Trying to Fix the Leaks vs the Titans | Washington Commanders
By Adam Aniba
Washington faces off against the Tennessee Titans this Sunday, who are also dealing with injury issues. Washington gets back two rookies at key positions this week, that could help get the offense back on track and hopefully get a much needed win.
The Run Game Gets a Boost
During this week's practice, rookie RB Brian Robinson was asked what he learned about himself during his time removed from the game, recovering from a gunshot wound to his leg (Per The Athletic's Ben Standig).
"I can pretty much fight anything I'm up against. I learned a lot about myself. I'm definitely ambitious. I'm going to fight for anything I believe in."
Getting Robinson back doesn't only help the run game, but also the ability to effectively set up play action, which has been an issue all season. The run game has struggled, which has led to Washington being one dimensional. Although play calling plays a role in their shortcomings, not able to impose their will at the line of scrimmage is a significant issue.
Although Antonio Gibson had 58 yards rushing and 72 yards receiving vs Jacksonville Week 1, he's struggled since, along with the entire offense to generate much and only have 173 rushing yards with 3.3 per carry through 4 games.
Getting Spark from Turner
Starting tight end Logan Thomas is questionable this week and did not practice on Friday due to a calf strain. On the flip side, after dealing with a hamstring strain for over a month, another rookie will see his first regular season action with 5th round tight end Cole Turner expected to see significant snaps. Turner displayed his knack for being a red zone weapon during his time at Nevada and boasts the size to be a weapon for Wentz.
It's likely OC Scott Turner could utilize 3-Tight End sets with the revolving door the o-line has become. Helping in the run game isn't something the Nevada TE is known for, but he understands leverage and was an above average pass blocker in college.
Titans 1st rd rookie WR Treylon Burks will be out with a turf toe injury sustained in the win vs the Raiders, so veteran receiver Robert Woods and RB Derrick Henry will be the focus of Washington defense.
Missed assignments, communication and a lack of effort have plagued Jack Del Rio's unit all season. Stopping Henry is a tall order, but Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne have been stout against the run. Second year linebacker Jamin Davis leads the team with 3 sacks and needs to have the breakout game fans have been waiting for.
The urgency to win is obvious. Washington sits in the basement of the NFC East at 1-3 with 0-2 record in the division. Another loss could have fans looking ahead to the draft and putting together their mocks.
Rivera was visibly upset during the last presser, even though the media's questions weren't very hard hitting. Late challenge flags and unimaginative play calling have been key issues that have brought Washington to this point once again.
The issues run deep with this team, but a win and a strong performance with two key rookies back, will hopefully light a fire under the Commanders with a long season to go.
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