Philadelphia Eagles find hope while Dallas has a crisis: NFC East rankings

Andy Dalton (Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)
Andy Dalton (Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Philadelphia Eagles
Alex Smith #11 (Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports) /

Washington Commanders. 3. team. 58. . 1-4. Previous: 3rd

This doesn’t look like the team that beat the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1.

The Washington Football Team presents an interesting case study. They had the best front four in the 2020’s season opener. They sacked Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz eight times and were the main reason why their offense had a favorable field position throughout the game.

That same defensive line has gone dormant in the last four weeks and has collected just seven sacks since. They surely miss rookie defensive end Chase Young, but his absence doesn’t explain the steep drop in production. Funny enough, the ‘Birds’ were leading the league in sacks heading into Week 5 with 17 while Washinton had 14.

To make matters worse, quarterback Dwayne Haskins has been demoted to the bench and none of the options Washington currently has at quarterback are enticing. Kyle Allen got the starting nod against the Los Angeles Rams, but Washington was led to the finish line by Alex Smith. His battle to get back on the field is worthy of praising, but Smith isn’t the long-term solution the team needs. Nor is Allen.

Washington isn’t taking advantage of the young players that they have on the roster. Wide receiver Terry McLaurin and rookie running back Antonio Gibson are playing hard and showing playmaking prowess, but without competent quarterback play, their talent may never be fully utilized.

Washington may end up going back to Haskins but by the time they do, it might be too late to make some serious noise. They have mismanaged the quarterback position and that oversight could end up setting the team back a few more seasons.