Washington Commanders Season and Week 1 preview vs the Jacksonville Jaguars
Football is finally back in the Nation’s Capital after another crazy offseason. An offseason that included a name change and rebranding effort, oversight committee hearings, and trading for quarterback Carson Wentz for the Washington Commanders. Carson Wentz threw 27 Touchdowns and 7 interceptions last season for the colts. Wentz can make every throw needed in the NFL unlike Taylor Heinicke, which is why the Commanders made this move. Ideally Wentz limits his crazy mistakes and gets the ball out quickly to his receivers. If Wentz can do this I believe this offense can put up some numbers with the weapons it has.
For the first time since the 2016 season the Commanders have legit weapons. Terry McLaurin has been the only real threat for the Commanders the last several seasons at wide receiver. Now we have a healthy Curtis Samuel and rookie Jahan Dotson who looked good during training camp and preseason to along with McLaurin. At running back we bring back the NFC East leading rusher Antonio Gibson and receiving threat J.D. McKissic. Hopefully at some point this season rookie running back Brian Robinson Jr. will play when he fully recovers. At tight end we have familiar faces like John bates and Logan Thomas who is coming back from a torn ACL. Also at tight end watch out for rookie Cole Turner in the red zone and passing situations, since Wentz went to him a lot in training camp. Finally to lead this offense quarterback Carson Wentz. This will be the best quarterback Washington has had since Kirk Cousins left after the 2017 season. Also this will be the best offense Wentz has played with since 2017 when the Eagles won the Super Bowl if everyone can stay healthy.
With Chase Young being out for at least the first four games of the season the commanders will need to rely on the depth of the defensive line. They will need either James Smith-Williams or Casey Toohill to produce some sacks until Young comes back. From the line-backing position the Commanders have Cole Holcomb and an unproven Jamin Davis starting. Hopefully Davis will improve from last season, but I wouldn’t bet on it from what he did during preseason. In the secondary the commanders bring back the same group from last season minus Landon Collins. After how they looked during preseason and especially during the Chiefs game I’m worried about the depth and production from this group. Also Kamren Curl is out this game with a thumb injury. This means unproven players will be playing at safety, which could lead to coverage issues.
Sunday will bring a big rainstorm to the area and it is expected to rain heavily during the game. This means the game will have a lot of ground and pound, which should favor the Commanders as Gibson protects the ball. I expect the D-line for the commanders to have the biggest impact on this game and stuff the Jaguars run attack.
For the season I believe the Commanders have a good enough roster to compete for a wild card spot in the NFC. As long as the defense can bend but not break and Carson doesn’t have a crazy amount of turnovers they will win some games. I believe the Commanders will finish 9-8 and make the playoffs as the final wild card spot.
For this game I believe the Commanders defense up front will stuff the Jaguars run and do enough against the pass. The offense for the Commanders will rely on the run and as long as they don’t turn the ball over they will succeed. For people that want to bet this game take the under and the Commanders -2.5.
Commanders win 17-13 in a sloppy mess at FedexField.
Line -2.5 Commanders