Commanders become part of NFL history with 2022 schedule quirk
By Jerry Trotta
As soon as the Washington Commanders‘ 2022 opponents were finalized, fans were itching with excitement for the schedule’s official release. That date came on Thursday and to say fans are satisfied would be an understatement.
The biggest positive? It’s tough to say. The opening three-game stretch is a worthy candidate, as is the encouraging list of quarterback opponents. What about the stretch spanning Weeks 11-15, when the Commanders will play three teams that could finish with a top-five pick in next year’s draft?
Long story short, there’s a lot to like. Of course, there are some difficult stretches baked in, but avoiding that entirely is impossible in the NFL. As we’ve learned, the so-called “easy” matchups can prove to be the most challenging.
Since fans have likely already decided on the easiest and toughest stretch of games for Washington, what’s the weirdest spell? Every year, there’s always a few fixtures that make you scratch your head and say, “That can’t be right.”
For the Commanders, that’s actually an easy pick. In a recent article for CBS Sports, writer John Breech highlighted the 11 weirdest quirks on the 2022 schedule. Wouldn’t you know it, Washington made the cut.
The Commanders playing the Giants in back-to-back games in 2022 makes them a part of NFL history.
Breech noted the Commanders’ back-to-back stretch against the Giants. In Week 13, Washington will play New York at MetLife Stadium, before hitting their bye in Week 14 and hosting Brian Daboll’s group at FedEx Field in Week 15.
According to Breech, this is just the second time since 1991 that an NFL team has played consecutive regular-season games vs the same opponent. That’s 31 years, folks, though the league will seemingly schedule more of these in the future, as the Ravens and Browns met in back-to-back tilts last year.
Of course, the Commanders are no strangers to scheduling quirks. Last year, they finished the regular season with five games vs the NFC East , including a four-game stretch that rotated between Dallas and Philadelphia.
We all know how that ended, but this two-game run vs the Giants offers optimism after Washington swept their season series with New York last season by a combined score of 52-36. Is it anomalous? Extremely, but the Commanders can’t dictate how the NFL’s schedule makers operate.
And if Washington fans could hand-pick a team to play in consecutive games it’d obviously be the G-Men. Unless, you know, you’d rather see the Eagles or Cowboys in back-to-back fashion. That’s what we thought.
It’s definitely out of the ordinary, but there’s a bye sprinkled in before the second showdown and New York is far from a world-beater. If the Commanders don’t sweep this quirky stretch, it’s on them, not the NFL’s schedule creators.