Commanders offensive progress under Eric Bieniemy
The Washington Commanders have improved in most significant offensive categories under Eric Bieniemy’s leadership.
This is true despite starting an inexperienced quarterback taken in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft. This is true despite having one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL. And this is true despite not adding any game-changing skill position plays on offense.
The Commanders' points-per-game are up more than 1.5 points this year. Their yards-per-rush and yards-per-pass-attempt are up. In total yards, they have risen from a below-average NFL team to an above-average one.
Had Washington’s defense held each of their opponents to their season average points, the Commanders would be 8-4 instead of 4-8. I grant you, that is a somewhat specious statistic, but it is clear that the offense has not been the primary culprit in the team’s failure this year.
Bieniemy deserves credit for that.
Despite those solid numbers, Washington has regressed in several other areas.
The Commanders' overall rushing totals are among the worst in the league. That yards-per-figure is inflated due to a relatively small sample size and several big scrambles. Washington is still not able to consistently generate yards on the ground.
Negative plays - especially turnovers and sacks - are way up. Under Bieniemy’s more pass-happy attack, Washington is committing almost half a turnover more per game this season, and are surrendering two more sacks per game. Those are huge numbers.
There is also the possibility that the Commanders' offensive line is not quite as bad as it has looked - particularly in pass protection - but has been undercut by schemes that do not maximize protection. Therefore, despite quantifiable improvement, you could argue that Bieniemy is not maximizing the talent he does have.
Jahan Dotson has virtually disappeared. Curtis Samuel looked revived early in the season but that has not lasted. Promising youngsters like Chris Rodriguez Jr. and Cole Turner have shown brief flashes but have mostly been invisible.
I’m not sure how much of these things fall on Bieniemy, especially given his brief tenure. But they are worthy of further consideration.