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Payne Has Become a One Man Wrecking Crew | Washington Commanders

Updated: Sep 24, 2023

By Adam Aniba

Washington's defense has been an impressive group through 2 games, registering 10 sacks (Tied for 1st in the NFL), 16 tackles for a loss (2nd in the NFL). The defense has also forced 4 turnovers (3 fumbles/1 int).

Although Montez Sweat leads the team with 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles, Daron Payne has stood out. His 7 tackles (all solo), 4 tackles for a loss and 1 sack don't tell the full story of Payne single handedly shutting down offensive drives.

Payne is already showing that is 11.5 sacks in '22 wasn't an anomaly. Infact, the former Alabama defensive tackle only needs 3 sacks to join Jonathan Allen (1.5 sacks away from breaking the DT sack record) and the Skins All-Time defensive tackle sack leader Dave Butz (59 career sacks for WSH) with 30+ career sacks.

During Wednesday's post practice presser, Ron Rivera was asked about the impact of defensive tackles Allen and Payne.

"Those two are as dynamic a group as I've been around".

Although Payne is dealing with a sprained ankle and did not practice earlier in the week, it was reported he participated on a limited basis towards the end of the week.

It's doubtful Payne will miss this Sunday's home matchup vs the Bills, but not having him at 100% hurts the defenses ability to consistently pressure Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen.

Stopping the run against Buffalo will be key and Payne's ability to disrupt the backfield has been on display through two weeks.

One thing is certain, Payne is leading the way for a defense that could be a Top 5 unit by seasons end.



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