6 games the Commanders must win on 2024 NFL schedule

These are must-win games for the Commanders.
Kliff Kingsbury
Kliff Kingsbury / Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY
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Commanders vs. Falcons - Week 17

Getting the better of the Atlanta Falcons for the second season in a row could have surprising but genuine postseason implications. That might seem like the stuff dreams are made of at this point in the NFL calendar, but it surely has to be the expectation for a revamped Washington Commanders team.

There are enough playmakers on both sides of the ball for Washington to go from the NFC East basement to playing meaningful games in January. The way the New York Giants did two seasons ago.

Letting Kirk Cousins come back to town and play spoiler would be a pretty unpalatable way to lurch through the final portion of the season. The veteran signal-caller could and should still be at the controls for the Falcons in Week 17, provided the NFC South club hasn't already promoted surprising first-round pick Michael Penix Jr.

What's easier to predict is the Falcons will still have exciting weapons like running back Bijan Robinson, tight end Kyle Pitts, and wide receiver Drake London. Here's the thing, though, they all played when the Commanders overcame Atlanta 24-16 in 2023.

Doing the same won't be a straightforward task. Not with former Washington assistant Raheem Morris (there's reunions everywhere across this schedule) in charge of the Falcons.

There are matchups here that should worry Dan Quinn. Like how slight cornerback Emmanuel Forbes Jr. will handle the physical battles against a pair of towering targets like London and Pitts. Or if Terry McLaurin can consistently get the better of skilled Atlanta cornerback A.J. Terrell.

Those matchups will determine if the Commanders can cap Quinn's first season at the helm by defying expectations.