Commanders Season Recap
The Washington Commanders ended a disappointing season, finishing 8-8-1 and last in the NFC East. The Commanders have the same draft spot as last year, sitting at pick 16. This indicates no improvement from last year, even though the Commanders logged one more win than last season. Major staff movements are expected in the offseason, as former Offensive Coordinator Scott Turner has been fired. Head Coach Ron Rivera’s position is also on the hot seat, as in his 3-year tenure, he has only made the playoffs once and never had a winning record.
Washington started the year strong, securing a 28-22 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are now eliminated from the playoffs. However, this momentum was short-lived, as the Commanders lost the next 4 games to the Lions, Eagles, Cowboys, and Titans. This skid was detrimental to the Commander’s future, as they didn’t get into the playoffs by one win. The most disappointing part of this is that they had many one-score games that were winnable, but inevitably folded.
The team needed more consistency, as they had two big losing streaks. The spark that ignited the Commanders back into the playoff race was Taylor Heinicke starting against the Packers after Carson Wentz got injured. Over the next 6 games, Washington went 5-1 and reinserted themselves into the playoff race. The energy was noticeably different with the team, as players demonstrated more effort, almost as if Heinicke was the reason for it.
The biggest problem for Washington has stayed the same for almost a decade now, and it’s the Quarterback position. Washington had hoped Carson Wentz would act as a bridge QB who could help win meaningful games and get the ball to playmakers while limiting turnovers. He was never expected to be top 10 at his position or become a superstar, just someone who could manage games, like Jimmy Garoppolo. This was not the case, as Wentz ended with 11 touchdowns and 9 interceptions while having an 80.4 passer rating, which ranks 30th among QBs.
Free agency will be the most vital component of the Commanders off-season. If they can attract elite players to Washington, this builds their market and makes players want to return. If they can hit on a big splash, only good things are ahead.