Analyst reveals factors behind potential Commanders 2024 playoff berth

Could the Commanders make the playoffs in Year 1 under Dan Quinn?
Dan Quinn
Dan Quinn / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It's hard to ignore the momentum building around the Washington Commanders. There is a vibrant atmosphere in the building and across the fanbase following a memorable offseason. Expectations are rising as a result, but tempering these remains the preferred course of action initially.

The Commanders didn't have the No. 2 pick in this year's draft by accident. They were one of the league's worst teams devoid of any inspiration or motivation during Ron Rivera's final campaign at the helm. That's not the case anymore, but so many changes mean their fortunes remain precarious with new head coach Dan Quinn leading the charge.

Improvements are expected. Projections are sketchy. Some analysts think the Commanders can become one of the NFL's surprise packages next season. Others feel like it'll take a little more time given the questions surrounding certain position groups.

The truth is somewhere in between. Fans won't know for sure until they see what will hopefully be an improved football product in a competitive setting.

Commanders have the blueprint to potentially make the playoffs in 2024

Frank Schwab from Yahoo Sports outlined some crucial factors that will determine whether the Commanders can excel in Year 1 under Quinn. The analyst believes a potential playoff berth is within reach if the new faces develop immediate chemistry, Washington's defense makes strides, and rookie quarterback Jayden Daniels takes the league by storm instantly.

If not, Schwab doesn't think it'll be long before the Commanders are competing for honors.

"It's not that uncommon for teams to go from worst to first in their division. It has happened in each of the past four seasons. It's hard to make an argument that the Commanders can finish ahead of the Eagles or Cowboys in the NFC East, but we often don't see those types of leaps coming. And the Commanders added a lot in the offseason, including [Jayden] Daniels. Practically, it's a brand new team. Washington could make a big jump if [Dan] Quinn fixes the defense and Daniels is a special rookie quarterback. Don't go buying playoff tickets yet, but maybe a playoff berth is not quite as far-fetched as we all think. Even if a postseason trip doesn't happen this season, the rebuild could come along fast."

Frank Schwab, Yahoo Sports

Making the postseason would be a dream come true. It's been a long time since the Commanders truly asserted themselves. Their last playoff appearance came almost by default when they won the NFC East with a losing record. Things won't be nearly as easy this time around.

The NFC East is a lot stronger now. Both the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles feel like they can make another deep run. If much-maligned quarterback Daniels Jones bounces back, one couldn't dismiss the New York Giants entirely given the improvements made this offseason.

That's why erring on the side of caution regarding Washington's immediate aspirations is important. It won't be perfect all the time. But staying the course, keeping the bigger picture in mind, and displaying gradual growth are attainable objectives for Quinn.

Anything above that is a bonus. If everything clicks right away, a potential wildcard spot isn't out of the realm of possibility. Just don't take it as a guarantee.