The Washington Commanders had a great season all the way until the end, when they lost two of their last three games and were left out of the playoffs. So how do we give the season a grade?
The team won’t be in the playoffs this year, but they were so close! Now that the season is over, the players and coaches need to evaluate what went right and what went wrong. They must think about how they can improve next season. Let’s check it out!
The Redskins added Carson Wentz from the Colts to their roster. It was thought that they would be able to compete. Washington went 2-4 in Wentz’s first six games before a hand injury stopped him in his tracks. That moved Taylor Heinicke into the starting lineup, and Washington’s play improved.
Then, Ron Rivera’s team won six of its next seven games to move into the playoff picture. The score of the Washington Redskins was 8-5, and they had back-to-back games against the New York Giants. They had a real chance to improve their playoff seeding and lock it in. The Redskins didn’t win any of those two games. So they need help from other teams if they want to make it into postseason play.
It was a bad week for the Commanders, who lost back to the San Francisco 49ers and the Cleveland Browns. Quarterback Nick Foles was benched in favor of rookie quarterback Carson Wentz for the Browns game.
The Commanders almost didn’t make the playoffs after losing to those two teams. But they still had a chance to make it into the postseason as long as they won their final game against the Baltimore Ravens.
That’s precisely what happened, as they were able to defeat the Ravens and earn a postseason berth. Their defense led the way for Jack Del Rio’s team, which finished the season as seventh-best in points against (20.2 per game).
The Huskies had a great defense this year. Daron Payne was the main reason for that. He led the team in sacks with 11.5 and forced two fumbles, which was tied for most on the team (the team forced eight turnovers).
Montez Sweat had eight sacks, while Jonathan Allen had 7.5. Safety Darrick Forrest had four interceptions on the year (which was tied for the most on the team), but the Huskies’ nine interceptions as a whole were 28th in the country.
Washington also ranked 25th in third-down conversions (35.22%) and sixth-worst in turnover differential (-5), but they were the best at stopping opponents on third down, allowing just 31.90% of them to convert. On offense, Brian Robinson Jr.’s running style really helped him show off his potential as a future starter.
Receiver Terry McLaurin kept doing his thing and had his third season with more than 1,000 yards (his third consecutive season in doing so). Curtis Samuel and Jahan Dotson, a rookie receiver, also made good progress. Each of them caught more than 500 yards and scored 11 touchdowns.
The team’s offensive line allowed the seventh-most sacks, while the defense was 12th for sacks with 43. The defense actually performed well, with star defensive end Chase Young missing most of the season.
So, there are some good things and some bad things. In the grand scheme of things, having a chance to make the playoffs is a step forward, but the fact that they missed out on it will make them feel bad. Just ask Scott Turner, who lost his job as offensive coordinator this week. In the end, the season feels like a huge “what if?” and a chance that Rivera’s men didn’t take.