Hail to The Commanders
A New Era begins in Washington! The burgundy and gold still exists but the name Redskins is gone; in its place the new name of Commanders now flies across Fed-ex Stadium. The team also has a new quarterback…Carson Wentz now leads the Commanders offense. What does he bring to the team? In 2021, his stats were solid (3,500 yards, 27 Touchdowns and 7 interceptions) but his season abruptly ended with the Indianapolis Colts not making the playoffs and then Wentz was shockingly traded to the Washington Commanders for reasons not exactly related to football.
I have to be honest, the pre-season for what its worth was not very good or inspiring for me. The Commanders much like the Redskins still have the same defensive problems. The linebackers can not tackle or cover anyone and the secondary is always be out of place or to far back and Jack Del Rio seems lost at times to design a defense that works. Maybe I am being overly concerned here because the season has not started yet but I have been a fan for decades and I know the overall football history of this organization under Dan Snyder.
Here Come the Jags
Week one pits my Commanders against one of the worst teams in the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars who have a new and familiar coach in Doug Peterson who helped Carson Wentz have a great 2017 season. The Jags also added Christian Kirk at Wide Receiver and former Washington Guard Brandon Scherff who no doubt wants to make an expression.
Offensive Keys to the Game
On paper, the Washington offense has it all; arguably one of the best Wide Receiver groups in the NFL, a solid Tight End group and Running backs who could dominate the game on the ground and through the air.
The offensive success falls on shoulders of the offensive line and Carson Wentz who with all of his physical skills including one of the biggest arms in the game but he often tries to make the big play when it is not there; he must scan the field and if the first choice is not there, check it down and let his playmakers make plays.
Unfortunately the team will be without rookie running back Robinson due to a violent attack that will leave him sidelined for awhile but 2021 starting back Antonio Gibson will be in the backfield but he must control the ball and run with passion and power. He is 240 pounds but often runs like he weighs 180 pounds. Against the Jags he must show up and show out to take the early pressure off of Wentz; if he gets 80-100 yards, the Commanders should be in good shape to win the game…if the following happens
Defensive Keys to the Game
Linebackers and Secondary
Doug Peterson knows the Washington Commanders and he knows the linebackers and secondary are the weakness of the defense. He will attempt to exploit this by throwing the ball early and often to the tight-ends down the hash line and inside slants to receivers when Washington plays off. Washington’s outside linebackers have to cover and make tackles or it will be a very long day.
The Commanders will be without Chase Young for a while due to injury recovery but they still have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL but to often the line does not finish plays; especially when the play breaks down. We saw this during the pre-season verses the Kansas City Chiefs; the line had Patrick Mahomes sealed up but he scrambled and exploited the secondary; yes its Patrick Mahomes and dos that to every defense but this Sunday they are facing Trevor Lawrence who is an up and coming quarterback but he is not Mahomes. With this being said, if Lawrence scrambles untouched, or stands in the pocket for a long time, he will put up big numbers.
The Commanders are at home and are the favorites which I do not like but I believe this team has a chip on its shoulders; I believe Carson Wentz is eager to prove the naysayer experts wrong; I believe Terry Mclaurin and Antonio Gibson are going to have big games ( McLaurin 11 Catches, 135 yards, 2 touchdowns, Gibson 23 Carries, 85 Yards, 1 Touchdown ,4 Receptions-28 yards
Commanders Win 24-12