The Washington Commanders were defeated by the Philadelphia Eagles 24-8 in Week 3. However, you can't necessarily blame Washington's defense. Yes, the Commanders allowed 24 points, which all occurred in the second quarter.
One area that has plagued Washington is the explosive plays. The Commanders allowed explosive plays last week in the loss to the Eagles, but it wasn't because they were out of position. That's an improvement. Cornerback Kendall Fuller was on the wrong end of multiple explosive plays last week. The good thing was Fuller had solid coverage each time but failed to make a play on the ball.
Washington defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio met with the media this week and was asked what he liked about last week.
"I liked the first, third and fourth quarters," Del Rio answered. "I thought we played some good football in spurts. We're looking to have more consistency in what we're doing, but there were some real bright spots in the game. A couple of things we like to do better, but the effort has been really strong, and I feel like we're improving."
Del Rio is right. There were some bright spots. One of those bright spots was second-year cornerback Benjamin St-Juste.
"Yeah, he stood up," Del Rio said. "Benjamin did a good job late in the week. Will [Jackson] had some issues and wasn't able to go, and Benjamin stepped up and did a nice job for us. So, yeah, we're looking to play good football, you know, whatever we can do."
It sounds like St-Juste will be back in the slot this week. That's a shame as it's clear he belongs on the outside and has a chance to be a really good NFL cornerback.
Another young player who is playing better of late is linebacker Jamin Davis. Head coach Ron Rivera has praised Davis. Del Rio called Davis out after the Week 1 win over Jacksonville, saying Davis had a "so-so" performance.
Del Rio was more complimentary of Davis this time around.
"Well, he's got a lot of speed, you know, so if you have a guy that can run, he can certainly track him and get him down," Del Rio said of Davis. "There were a couple of examples of him doing just that in the game. So, want him to continue to grow and work hard and develop the way he is and, you know, make the plays when he has an opportunity."
Del Rio wasn't over the top in his praise of Davis, so you wonder if this remains Del Rio's version of "tough love." Anyhow, Davis is improving each week and that's a good sign for the future.
Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire