Could the Washington Commanders rise from the proverbial wilderness and reach the NFC East summit under new ownership in 2023?
It hasn't been the easiest three years as head coach for Ron Rivera. Some significant off-the-field issues and the Washington Commanders' ownership flux have made changing the culture difficult, but he's molded things together piece by piece in the hope some genuine results can come to fruition during the 2023 season.
That will be easier said than done within an NFC East that is now among the league's strongest. But if certain position groups meet their end of the bargain and Eric Bieniemy's arrival sparks the offensive side of things into life, one would be hard-pressed to see a roster this talented not make a push for a playoff spot at the very least.
Of course, not everyone handles pressure with the same aplomb as Rivera. Some coaches and players could wilt under the added scrutiny of Josh Harris' ownership group, who plan to have boots on the ground during the team's upcoming training camp according to Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports - just after their $6.05 billion purchase gets official NFL approval on July 20.
Commanders tipped to win the NFC East in 2023
However, a situation could emerge where this added sense of urgency brings about better fortunes. After all, you'd be surprised how people - whether in sports or life - find that extra five percent when their jobs are on the line.
This was a sentiment echoed by TWSN.net, which went one step further and claimed the Commanders could emerge as shocking winners of the NFC East in 2023. And in all honesty, they brought some pretty strong arguments to the table.
"The Washington Commanders have been subpar through Ron Rivera’s first three seasons as head coach. Even though the team won the NFC East in 2020, they haven’t had a winning season since 2016. However, this all could change for the 2023 season, as the Commanders have one of their most talented rosters in the last decade. While the Washington Commanders quietly improved their roster this offseason, the same cannot be said for their division rivals. This gives an opportunity for the youngest team in the NFC East to come out on top. With Washington’s roster gaining more and more experience every year, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ron Rivera and the Commanders come out on top of the NFC East in 2023."- TWSN.net
It certainly would be a turn-up for the books if the Commanders finished atop such a competitive division that also has the defending NFC champions. But if Sam Howell figures things out under center and the defense maintains its top-five status, Washington will be a tremendously hard out throughout the campaign.
One would anticipate Rivera having the make the playoffs and perhaps even secure a postseason triumph to avoid getting the chop from Harris' group, who'll no doubt have their own vision on how best to take the Commanders forward. Winning the division would provide the new owners with a lot to think about - whether it's something legitimately attainable is another matter.
Rivera will give it everything he has until his services are no longer required. The same goes for Washington's players, who remain fully supportive of their head coach despite sections of the fanbase and media questioning whether he's capable of spearheading this exciting new era.
The Commanders going from worst to first is a tough sell. But nothing can be completely dismissed at this juncture.