3 ways the NFL screwed Commanders with the 2024 schedule

The Commanders need to navigate the 2024 season successfully.
Dan Quinn
Dan Quinn / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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AFC North juggernauts 3 of 4 weeks

When examining the strongest divisions around the NFL, the AFC North is always right at the forefront of any discussions. This is renowned for being mercilessly physical and competitive. One could make a strong case for all four teams fancying their chances of making the postseason next season if everything goes according to plan.

The Washington Commanders will take on every member of the AFC North in 2024. They'll have three of these games during a brutal four-week span. This also happens within the first six weeks of the campaign.

If the Commanders wanted a measuring stick on how their roster is coming together and what more is needed, they'll get it in no uncertain terms over this stretch of fixtures. The Cincinnati Bengals are on the schedule first during a Monday Night Football clash on the road. This will see Jayden Daniels and Joe Burrow - two Heisman Trophy winners out of LSU - locking horns for the first time in the NFL.

This will be swiftly followed by a home encounter versus the Cleveland Browns in Week 5. Much of their success in 2024 will be dependent on whether Deshaun Watson returns to the form we've not seen since his trade from the Houston Texans, but Kevin Stefanski's defense is nothing short of exceptional - led by All-Pro edge rusher Myles Garrett.

If that wasn't enough, the Commanders make the short trip to take on the Baltimore Ravens in Week 6. They'll also harbor Super Bowl ambitions after going agonizingly close last time around. Their roster looks in good shape and quarterback Lamar Jackson is coming off his second NFL MVP season, so the challenge facing Quinn and his players is a daunting one.

Although it's going to be a tough ask to get anything from these games, it'll be a litmus test for the Commanders. They won't win them all, but if they can be competitive and keep things relatively close, that should be enough reason for optimism before things get somewhat easier over the second half of 2024.