Commanders News: Emmanuel Forbes, Sam Howell, power rankings and OL growth

Examining the latest Commanders news and rumors from around the media.

Emmanuel Forbes
Emmanuel Forbes / Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders surge up ESPN's power rankings

The Washington Commanders made harder work of it than needed, but they got the job done. Their win over the New England Patriots was a sign that this team is still fighting, which is always the hardest part of the battle given they'd lost five in six beforehand.

A lot of hard work remains to salvage respectability from the campaign, but this was undoubtedly a performance to build upon. Something that was reflected in ESPN's weekly power rankings, which surged them to No. 19 from No. 24.

This week's topic was non-QB MVP. After much deliberation, beat writer John Keim focused his attention on veteran wide receiver Terry McLaurin for his influence on and off the field.

"This was not an easy one to pick -- no one is having a Pro Bowl season -- but McLaurin has been one of the most consistent Commanders, with 47 catches for 568 yards and 2 touchdowns. In the past six games he has topped 70 yards receiving four times; he has averaged 73.7 yards per game in that stretch compared to 42 in the first three. McLaurin remains the heartbeat of the offense. When he's involved early, the offense benefits. He's on pace for 88 catches and 1,072 yards and would become the first player in franchise history to top 1,000 yards in four consecutive seasons."

John Keim, ESPN

Again, it's a step in the right direction, but no more than that. We've seen what's happened before this season when there's a chance for the Commanders to gain momentum, so it remains to be seen whether the narrative shifts at Lumen Field.