Commanders vs. 49ers - Week 17
The Washington Commanders get two home games to conclude the 2023 regular season and in this scenario, they must gain one victory to be assured of postseason football. However, Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers won't make things easy.
Now that Nick Bosa's contract extension has been sorted, the Niners have their elite-level defense intact. They're taking a big risk with quarterback Brock Purdy as their starter, but Shanahan's scheme applies an extremely high level of confidence in their quest to reach the Super Bowl once again.
Prediction: Loss (9-7)
This will be a difficult game. One that might not go in Washington's favor given the standard of opposition.
Commanders vs. Cowboys - Week 18
Sam Howell's first start was in Week 18 against the Dallas Cowboys last year. If things go this way, then one could make a strong case for Washington's regular-season finale being flexed for primetime depending on Mike McCarthy's record.
There will be an electrifying atmosphere at FedEx Field for this one. Playing the game and not the occasion will be important, but the Commanders have the biggest prize awaiting them if they can pull off the victory.
Prediction: Win (10-7)
Finishing 10-7 might seem ambitious. But this is a different Commanders team these days and if they get off to a good start, that could be enough for postseason football and maybe even save Ron Rivera's job along the way.