What harsh realities surround the Washington Commanders after their disastrous Week 7 defeat against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium?
We are 40 percent of the way into the 2023 NFL season and the Washington Commanders continue to be a confounding team. After playing their best game of the year - a road loss against defending the NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles, they have turned in two of the weakest performances during Ron Rivera’s coaching tenure - losses to the Chicago Bears and New York Giants.
Those teams are 2-0 against Washington - and 2-10 against the rest of the league.
If you are familiar with fan bases outside of your own local teams, you know full well that no one is ever satisfied. There are more than a few fans of the Kansas City Chiefs and Eagles who see disaster lurking around the corner because their teams fail to score on every possession.
If you support a middle-of-the-road team, it can be even worse. Fan bases in Pittsburgh and Atlanta - supporters of teams who would be in the playoffs were the season to end today - have already decided second-year quarterbacks Kenny Pickett and Desmond Ridder are little better than garbage-time backups, and go to bed with visions of Caleb Williams and Michael Penix Jr. dancing in their dreams.
Reality checks in professional sports can be difficult pills to swallow. But then, so am I.
So, though we aren’t quite at the halfway point in the 2023 season, let’s beat the November rush and do a handful of Commanders reality checks.
Commanders are down, but not out…
The season, as previously noted, is not yet half over. The Commanders are 3-4. As gloomy as the past few weeks have looked, one unexpected win can turn things around.
A three-game winning streak can put this team in a prime playoff position. Think it can’t happen? In each of Ron Rivera’s previous three seasons in Washington, his teams have put together four-game unbeaten streaks - one of those featured a tie - late in the season to revive playoff hopes when all seemed lost.