With reports that the Washington Commanders were going to sell at the deadline, the team traded their two best pass rushers on Tuesday, making their lives a lot easier in Week 9. Not that I think a win in Week 9 changes anything for the Patriots, but their game did get a lot easier. The Commanders are enduring a pretty poor season themselves, but they have a better record than the Patriots.
One of the only redeeming parts of their roster was their duo of talented pass rushers in Montez Sweat and Chase Young. Both players are right in the prime of their careers and were each slated to be free agents next offseason. Rumors began swirling that the Commanders could trade one of them at the trade deadline, and would you look at that, they traded both.
This is nothing but good news for the Patriots, especially their tackles, Trent Brown and Mike Onwenu. Young and Sweat were each having monster seasons. In 15 combined games in 2023, the duo had 11.5 sacks, 16 tackles for loss and 20 QB hits between the two of them. Both were on pace to have their best seasons with Washington, and now Sweat and Young are with the Bears and 49ers.
This also makes life a lot easier for Mac Jones and the rest of the offense. Sure, Kendrick Bourne is out for the year, but Jones may now have more time to throw and does have a good chance to do some damage against a pretty bad Commanders' defense that got even worse at the deadline. This could also be a huge game for Ron Rivera, who I think could be fired in-season if the Commanders lose on Sunday.
Again, I don't think a potential win versus Washington will change much for the Patriots, but objectively speaking, the offensive line should have a much easier time in Week 9.