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Film Session: How Washington struggled to overcome Wink Martindale’s defensive pressure and disguises

A film session breaking down Washington’s day against New York’s pressure and coverage disguises

Washington Commanders v New York Giants Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

Washington’s offense had its hands full Sunday with New York’s defensive coordinator Wink Martindale. The struggles that Eric Bieniemy, Sam Howell, and the offensive line started on the second play of the day and didn’t stop until the game ended. Martindale blitzed quarterback Sam Howell nearly 40 times and created close to 20 pressures, contributing to the six Giants’ sacks on the day.

The interior offensive line for Washington struggled mightily to contain linemen Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams on the interior. Furthermore, the Giants exploited center Nick Gates and left guard Saahdiq Charles’s gaps through their blitz packages and line games, creating unaccounted rush paths to the quarterback. Howell struggled in his own right, properly diagnosing the coverages and IDing blitzes, contributing to off-target passes and missed opportunities throughout the day. Lastly, while Eric Bieniemy was able to scheme up a much better game plan for the second half against the Giants, Washington fell behind tremendously from a productivity standpoint with such a poor first half. This is something that Bieniemy should have tried to mitigate before the problems snowballed to the degree to which they did.

In this Trap or Dive film session, I detailed some key moments throughout the game that highlighted the problems from Bieniemy, Howell, and the offensive line against New York. We also look into how Bieniemy attempted to overcome Martindale’s pressures with his playcalling and protection and how Howell responded as the game went along.

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