Commanders News: Sam Howell, Emmanuel Forbes, power rankings and Week 5

Examining the latest Commanders news and rumors from around the media.
Emmanuel Forbes
Emmanuel Forbes / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages
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Commanders up slightly in ESPN's power rankings

As far as defeats go, it was hard to get too despondent about the Washington Commanders' loss at the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 4. Ron Rivera's squad pushed the defending NFC champions to overtime and had it not been for a questionable call surrounding Terry McLaurin's catch, the result could have been different.

Moral victories are almost non-existent in the NFL. However, the Commanders can take plenty of positives from the narrow reverse heading into tomorrow night's game against the Chicago Bears back in familiar surroundings.

This was reflected in ESPN's weekly power rankings. Washington moved up one spot to No. 16 in the standings, although beat reporter John Keim highlighted the passing game giving up too many big plays as the primary concern through four weeks.

"Washington has allowed 11 pass plays of 25 yards or more, tying for second most in the NFL with Chicago. That's the same number the Commanders allowed in the final eight games of 2022. They've already allowed five touchdowns on such plays, two less than all of last season. A lot of it is youth: Rookie corner Emmanuel Forbes has allowed several long pass plays and was involved in some fashion, whether in man or zone, in four 25-plus-yard gains vs. Philadelphia Sunday. Coaches want the aggressive Forbes to be more disciplined with his technique."

John Keim, ESPN

There are far worse teams than the Commanders right now. If the defensive unit can work out some unexpected kinks and the offense continues to progress encouragingly under Eric Bieniemy's expert guidance, there's nothing to suggest Washington cannot enter the playoff picture with a decent-looking schedule over the next five games.