Are the Washington Commanders about to embark on a must-win situation against the Chicago Bears on Thursday Night Football?
The Washington Commanders are four games into the 2023 season and have had some highs and lows. Especially the overtime loss to the Philadelphia Eagles that could have gone their way had it not been for a questionable call or two.
Washington bounced back positively after getting blitzed by the Buffalo Bills a week before. With another home sold-out crowd at FedEx Field in Week 5 against the Chicago Bears, anticipation is starting to build among the fans.
A 3-2 record would be excellent through five games, but it faces a critical junction. Thursday's game seems to be a must-win situation. Going 2-3 would put pressure on a team and the coaching staff looking to build on something special.
Commanders can kick-start a winning run in Week 5
If the Commanders wish to make a dent into the standings, then the Thursday night game is a great start. Washington is now 1-1 on home soil and they haven't played very well - a comeback win over the Arizona Cardinals followed by a beatdown versus the Bills.
Let's start with the offense led by Eric Bieniemy and Sam Howell. They were very efficient at the Eagles, taking advantage of some favorable matchups and moving the ball down the field within a well-devised scheme.
The Commanders' offense has put up points this season, scoring 30 twice. Against the Bears' defense, there will be plenty of opportunities for Howell and his playmakers to take advantage of a team that can't stop the pass or run.
If the Commanders' offense can start as fast as it did against the Eagles, I don't see why this can walk away with a much-needed win.
Washington's defense played fairly well against the Eagles on Sunday but has still given up more than 30 points in each of the last three games. With a winnable stretch coming up for the Commanders, this would be a good time for the defense to get back on track - starting against a shaky Bears offense.
The first thing this unit needs to establish is consistency if they want to succeed. The strength of this unit is Washington's defensive front with Chase Young, Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen, and Daron Payne.
This unit has to find a way to take over games to make it easy for the offense. But there is some upside for this defense to turn things around.
Creating more turnovers would help, obviously. Also, one of the biggest issues for Washington centers on the explosive plays they are giving up - 11 pass plays of 25 yards or more - something that needs to halt immediately to stand any chance of making the wildcard conversation.
There is a chance for the Commanders to kick start off a winning streak. But it won't be easy because the Bears will have something to prove after their meltdown versus the Broncos.
Can the Commanders finally put it all together on both sides of the ball? That's the million-dollar question.