3 important stats that could regress for the Commanders in 2022
By Jerry Trotta
2. Rushing Attempts Per Game
The Commanders will still likely be a run-first offense in 2022, but the volume of running plays should reduce with their new QB and weapons.
Last season, only nine teams averaged more rushing attempts per game than Washington’s 28.1. Of those clubs, seven — Tennessee, Philly, Indy, San Francisco, Arizona, Cleveland and New England — made the playoffs, so establishing the run is obviously important. Nobody’s denying that.
However, Heinicke’s inability to stretch the field saw Rivera and Turner almost force-feed Antonio Gibson at times last season. As a result, the 23-year-old finished fourth in the league (first in the NFC) with 258 carries. That’s despite the fact Gibson ceded reps after fumbles and played through a stress fracture in his shin.
We’d like to see the Commanders continue to establish the run — a Gibson and Robinson committee could be exhausting for opposing defenses as the two running backs weigh a combined 445 pounds — but make no mistake: the arrival of Wentz should see Washington drop back to pass more often than it did in 2021.
Wentz thrives on play action, so Turner should dial up plenty of runs, but it’s time for the Commanders to add some firepower to their offense. We’re begging for fewer conservative run plays on early downs. Same goes for third down.