Commanders roundtable: Awards, record predictions and potential surprises in 2023

A big campaign awaits the Commanders in 2023.

Chase Young
Chase Young / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders biggest weakness

Hirdesh: As much as things have changed, some things have stayed the same throughout Ron Rivera’s tenure. The offensive line continues to be a pain point and with 1-2 injuries, the season could come to an end before it starts.

Since Rivera took over, the Washington Commanders have not finished a single season with one starting quarterback playing the entire season. With the question marks across the protection, you have to hope Sam Howell’s body can hold up to the constant pressure and hits he may encounter or that trend may continue in 2023.

Jon: I’ve written about this all preseason. Though the offensive line remains a major concern, the biggest weakness of this team is the inability of its linebackers to stop the run. This problem has only been exacerbated by the injuries to Phidarian Mathis and Efe Obada to start the season.

It will put more wear and tear on starters Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne on the defensive front, which will in turn put more pressure on the linebackers to make plays against the run. With the exception of David Mayo, none of the Commanders' current linebackers are very good at this right now.

Perhaps they will improve. But if not, look for opponents to pound the ball against this defense.

Dean: The offensive line and linebacking depth would be right up there, but I'm going to go with the return game and the kicking position. Special teams are an often overlooked part of NFL play, but the Commanders could be in plenty of games this season that will be decided by fine margins, so its importance cannot be overstated.

Joey Slye beat out Michael Badgley for the No. 1 kicking job, but he must improve consistency when the real action arrives. The same applies to kick returner Dax Milne, who won the job almost by default after Kazmeir Allen blew his big audition in Preseason Week 3 against the Cincinnati Bengals.