3 pleasant surprises at the Commanders 2023 bye week

It hasn't been all bad...

Sam Howell
Sam Howell / Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders have a 3-down threat in Brian Robinson Jr.

Brian Robinson Jr. finished his rookie season strongly in 2022 after the worst imaginable start through no fault of his own. He came into the 2023 campaign with ambitions to become a genuine three-down running back - an objective he's accomplished in no uncertain terms as the Washington Commanders reach their bye week.

While the Commanders haven't yet found the right balance between run and pass - thanks in no small part to playing behind more often than not - Robinson continues to be a real positive. He's an elusive and dynamic runner who's improved key areas of his game such as on-field vision and having more conviction when gaps emerge en route to 664 yards on the ground, five touchdowns, and a 4.2 yards per carry average.

Not only this, but Robinson has also emerged as a consistent pass-catching presence out of the backfield. Working with offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy helped the former third-round pick's route running efficiency, bringing significant rewards with 29 receptions for 326 receiving yards and two further scores.

As previously stated, big changes are coming to the Commanders this offseason. Another option at the running back position will be sought if Antonio Gibson doesn't get an extension, but Washington's new regime has their No. 1 guy in Robinson based on the player's output in Year 2 of his professional career.