The Washington Commanders finished with an 8-8-1 record and narrowly missed at shot at the 2022 playoffs. The season was disappointing in many ways, but there were some encouraging moments to build on for the future.
After the first game of the 2022 season, the Washington Commanders looked like an improved team from recent years and fans were genuinely excited. A four-game losing streak quickly muted those lofty expectations, but a resurgence took place over the next seven games as the Burgundy and Gold posted a 6-1 record during that span. The Commanders were in the driver’s seat for a playoff slot, but a horrible stretch in December and early January ended their playoff hopes for a second straight season.
The 2023 offseason is here and some changes are coming to Commanders Park. A new offensive coordinator will soon be named and a new owner (or owners) will likely complete a purchase within the next two or three months. New players will be signed and drafted. Some current players could be released. Obviously, there is a lot to talk about during this offseason, but we are taking one final look at the 2022 season with some observations and grades. A .500 season is very difficult to analyze, but let’s see what we have for you today.
Seasonal Grades for Commanders Players and Coaches
Grading the quarterbacks is certainly a mixed bag for 2022. There were highs and lows, but we will not factor in the final game with Sam Howell at the position – the season was basically over at that moment. Carson Wentz was not the answer in 2022 and the team will move on from him very soon. Taylor Heinicke put the Commanders in a great spot for the playoffs, but tossed all of that goodwill aside with a very poor December and early January. Grade: D
It was a tough season for the running backs, but they endured. J.D. McKissic was lost early in the season to injury and Brian Robinson was the target of a shooting in late August. Robinson’s comeback was inspirational and his impact during a four-game winning streak was what the team needed. Antonio Gibson had a new role in 2022 and contributed to the occasional successes until he went down with an injury late in the season. Grade: B-
A season of high expectations from the tight ends was anticipated, but it never came together. A talented veteran returning from an injury in 2021 never regained what he produced in 2020. A young rookie and solid undrafted free agent spent much of the season with the injury bugs. The dependable blocker filled the same role in 2022. Grade: D
The wide receiver corps enjoyed a great season, but it wasn’t perfect. Terry McLaurin had his best season thus far and rookie Jahan Dotson was a touchdown machine. If Dotson didn’t miss several games with an injury, he could’ve been a realistic choice for NFL offensive rookie of the year. Curtis Samuel had a solid season, but he faded away in the last few games of 2022. Dyami Brown had a few special moments and provided a glimpse of what he is capable of producing. Grade: A-
Charles Leno played in 100% of the snaps in 2022 and while he is not among the elite of tackles in the league, the former Boise State standout is proof that availability can also mean stability. The rest of the offensive line had to deal with injuries at times and various inconsistencies, but they continued to battle with some positive results as well. Look for major upgrades to this unit during the offseason. Grade: C