7 things Washington Commanders fans want to see in 2024

These would delight Commanders fans.
Jayden Daniels
Jayden Daniels / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders flip their 2023 turnover ratio

As much as fans want to see a smoothly run organization, their primary focus will be on the field. So let’s look at one obvious statistic that needs to change in 2024.

During Ron Rivera’s final season, the Washington Commanders offense turned the ball over 32 times. The defense only accounted for 18 takeaways. That is a recipe for failure.

With the benefit of hindsight, we can at least explain the high number of turnovers on offense. A young, inexperienced quarterback playing behind a below-average offensive line, and running an offense that mystifyingly threw passes at a higher rate than any team in the league.

The defense’s failure to generate takeaways - especially interceptions - is harder to figure. For the first half of the season, they had the ballyhooed defensive line made up of first-round draft picks. They invested their first two 2023 selections on defensive backs - one of whom was touted as a genuine playmaker. Still, the defense managed just eight interceptions.

Fans were left wondering if the players simply were not as good as advertised or if the coaching staff was incompetent. The consensus was that it was a bit of both. Enter Joe Whitt Jr. and five new cornerbacks.

Whitt seems to have a near-magical ability to take struggling secondaries and turn them around. The year before he arrived in Dallas, the Cowboys were equally miserable, managing just 10 interceptions. After his appointment to pass game coordinator in 2021, they led the league with 26.

Though the Cowboys were not able to achieve such astonishing numbers in Whitt’s next two seasons, they still ranked in the top 10, essentially doubling what the Commanders were doing. All fans hope to see this magic rub off in 2024.

Commanders sign Sam Cosmi to a long-term deal

The last time Washington drafted and developed a quality offensive guard, he couldn’t wait to get out of D.C. That was Brandon Scherff, who bolted for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2022. He would have left sooner if the Commanders hadn’t used their franchise tag on him for two consecutive seasons.

Sam Cosmi is the only offensive lineman drafted during the Ron Rivera years who looks to have a significant future in Washington. He will be a free agent in 2025 and Adam Peters needs to re-sign him.

Analytics guru Eugene Shen will weigh in on what kind of contract a team should invest in an interior lineman. That could complicate matters. Cosmi will be in line to become one of the highest-paid interior linemen in league history, and analytics may suggest that is not a wise expenditure.

Still, with a quarterback on a rookie deal, and just a couple of other high-priced veterans under contract, Peters will have flexibility. The Commanders have to stabilize an offensive line that has been shaky since 2020. Extending Cosmi is the logical first step that would please everyone.