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Washington Commanders 2023 Season Preview

Photo courtesy of the Washington Commanders

Washington Commanders 2023 Season Preview & Record Prediction 

2022 Record: 8-8-1

Washington Commanders fans nationwide and in the surrounding area can finally breathe a sigh of relief as their long-awaited wish has come true. Controversial owner Daniel Snyder is no longer at the helm of the franchise based in the Nation’s Capital. In a groundbreaking deal, a group led by esteemed businessman Josh Harris and basketball legend Magic Johnson has acquired the team for a staggering $6.05 billion. While this ownership change brings a fresh start off the field, the Commanders must aim higher and strive for greater success on the football field.

Under the guidance of third-year head coach Ron Rivera, the team has shown significant progress compared to previous coaching regimes. However, in the ever-competitive National Football League, success is measured by tangible results each year. Despite Rivera’s commendable efforts, the Commanders have made the playoffs only once, in 2020, and finished the past two seasons with identical records.

The team has consistently experienced mid-season surges, only to be plagued by critical setbacks that dashed their hopes of a playoff berth. Disappointingly, the Commanders were the sole NFC East team to miss out on the postseason in 2022, concluding the year with an 8-8-1 record. Armed with a formidable defensive line and talented weapons on the perimeter, the Washington Commanders’ 2023 season is poised to unfold intriguingly, according to Strike 7 Sports, as we delve into our latest NFL team preview series.

Previewing the Commanders Offense

Turning our attention to the Commanders’ offense, it’s evident they are again undergoing a transition at the quarterback position. Following a solitary season with former first-round pick Carson Wentz at the helm, the team has decided to part ways with him. Additionally, fan-favorite Taylor Heincke has bid farewell to Washington, having joined the Atlanta Falcons during the free agency period.

Taking over the reins for the upcoming season is Sam Howell, a promising talent hailing from North Carolina and the Commanders’ fifth-round pick in the 2022 draft. However, Jacoby Brissett, a seasoned veteran, poses a solid challenge for Howell during the upcoming training camp. Brissett showcased his skills admirably last season when he stepped in for Deshaun Watson, amassing 2,608 passing yards, 12 touchdown passes, and six interceptions.

Regardless of who ultimately earns the starting role, the Commanders can rely on a reliable cast of playmakers in the passing game. Star wideout Terry McLaurin, accompanied by his counterpart Jahan Dotson, will be a formidable challenge for any opposing secondary. In the backfield, Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson combined for an impressive 1,756 rushing yards last season.

However, the most significant X-factor for the Commanders’ offense in 2023 lies in the appointment of Eric Bienemy as the team’s offensive coordinator. Bienemy arrives with an impressive track record, having worked with high-powered offenses like the Kansas City Chiefs. While Washington may not possess a quarterback of Patrick Mahomes’ caliber on their roster, the hope is that Bienemy can implement some of the same offensive concepts that proved successful during his tenure with the Chiefs.

Previewing the Commanders Defense

Regarding the Commanders’ defense, there were minimal changes to the formidable front line. Key members such as Daron Payne, Chase Young, Montez Sweat, and Johnathan Allen will return for the upcoming season, ensuring the team maintains its strength in the trenches. Notably, Payne’s future was initially uncertain as he was set to play under the franchise tag. Still, the front office quickly secured his services by signing him to a lucrative four-year, $90 million deal, with a substantial $60 million guaranteed, as revealed by sources close to NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

In the 2023 draft, the Commanders further fortified their defense by selecting Emmanuel Forbes, a talented cornerback known for his ability to make game-changing plays, from Mississippi State. Forbes is expected to line up alongside veteran corner Kyle Fuller, bolstering a secondary that was the sole weak spot for the Commanders’ defense last season. With these additions, Washington aims to solidify their defense and establish a well-rounded unit for the upcoming campaign.

Important Games

Bills (September 24)

Eagles (October 1, October 29)

Seahawks (November 12)

Cowboys (November 23, January 7)

Dolphins (December 3)

Jets (December 24)

49ers (December 31)

Projected Outlook

The Washington Commanders possess a veteran roster filled with playmakers on both sides of the football, laying the foundation for a potential playoff push in the upcoming season. However, the team’s success will heavily rely on the productivity and performance of their quarterback. As mentioned earlier, incorporating Eric Bienemy’s offensive concepts, reminiscent of the successful Kansas City Chiefs, could inject much-needed creativity into a team that has often lacked it on offense.

To secure a playoff berth, it will be crucial for the Commanders to split their season series with divisional rivals such as the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys. Washington will face challenging matchups outside the NFC East against formidable opponents like the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets, and Miami Dolphins.

Despite these tough contests, the Commanders’ schedule overall appears manageable, presenting opportunities for them to secure victories. In a relatively weak NFC landscape, a 9-8 record could be enough to secure a playoff spot. However, uncertainties surrounding the quarterback position prevent Strike 7 Sports from confidently labeling the Commanders as a legitimate playoff contender at this stage.

Predicted Record: 9-8 (Potential Playoff Team)

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Meet Derrick Branch, the founder and chief wordsmith at Strike 7 Sports. With a sharp focus on the NFL and the NBA, Derrick's expertise in sports is matched only by his passion for sharing it with others. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from the prestigious University of Arizona Global. Let his insightful and engaging writing take you to the heart of the action.

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