Washington Commanders fans should not have expected their team to defeat the Buffalo Bills at home last week, but that doesn't make a 37-3 loss acceptable. Ron Rivera and his coaching staff have serious work to do if they want to get back on the winning side of things against the Philadelphia Eagles in a divisional game this weekend.
Both sides of the ball need attention in the nation's capital. Sam Howell threw four interceptions on just 29 passing attempts. The team's defense got roasted for 37 points by a balanced Bills attack.
Traveling to Philadelphia isn' a great recipe for a bounceback win for the Commanders, but fixing the following three issues could really help improve their chances of springing the upset.
3. Commanders must find a pass rush
Forcing Jalen Hurts is a double-edged sword but the Commanders cannot allow the Philadelphia signal-caller to get comfortable in the pocket. They failed to notch a single sock against Josh Allen last week which allowed him to pick apart their secondary.
The key for Rivera's defense will be to bring pressure against Hurts in a controlled manner. He is not afraid to run the ball if Washington's defensive line loses its gap integrity. Bringing an unbalanced blitz is a great way for the Commanders to see Hurts scamper for a long touchdown score.
Edge rushers Montez Sweat and Chase Young will be under the most scrutiny to bring the heat against Hurts and the Eagles. One of them needs to find a way to register a sack and both need to add a few pressures to their stat line on the young season. If Washington loses the battle up front they could be in for another long day on defense.