The Washington Commanders were tipped to get undone by fine margins at the Atlanta Falcons in Week 6 according to FanSided's predictions.
High stakes await the Washington Commanders this weekend when they travel to the Atlanta Falcons. It was a promising start to the campaign for Ron Rivera's men, but the pressure is building after three-straight losses that also included an embarrassing primetime defeat to the Chicago Bears on Thursday Night Football.
The Commanders have had extra time to assess and stew following their most disappointing result of the campaign by a considerable margin. Veterans players are trying to rally the troops and the coaching staff is also remaining resolute, which could lead to improved fortunes at the Atlanta Falcons in Week 6.
This already looks to be a must-win game for the Commanders. Speculation rose about the future of Rivera and others in prominent positions of power this week, but Josina Anderson of CBS Sports stated that Josh Harris is willing to be patient before coming to any drastic conclusions.
That might be true. But the NFL is an ever-changing world and considering how Rivera's seat looked particularly hot before his fourth season at the helm, it won't take much more losing to see landmark changes implemented.
Commanders edged out in FanSided's predictions for Week 6
Washington is down, but far from out. The Falcons are a difficult evaluation thanks in no small part to quarterback Desmond Ridder, but they have dangerous weapons within most position groups that deserve the utmost respect.
Nothing but a collective effort will do. However, the Commanders were tipped to lose 24-20 en route to their fourth consecutive reverse by Cody Williams of FanSided, which would be nothing short of disastrous whichever way one looks at it.
"Frankly, I'm not sure what to make of either of these teams when it comes to the long term. With the Falcons at home and consistently controlling games -- and playing sneaky good defense -- I think Atlanta can cause enough missteps from Commanders QB Sam Howell and pick up a narrow win."- Cody Williams, FanSided
The Commanders are currently 2.5-point underdogs in Atlanta according to FanDuel Sportsbook. There doesn't appear to be much between the two sides on paper, but one could argue that the Falcons look like a more well-balanced unit considering Washington's failings on defense currently.
Washington was punched in the mouth and became the league's laughing-stock for a day or two in Week 5. If that doesn't instigate a positive response, nothing will.
Make no mistake, Harris will be watching closely. Limited partner Magic Johnson is also sure to be taking a keen interest and given his proven track record of winning, knows exactly what sort of attitude is required to get this team trending upward after decades of languishing among the NFL's bottom-feeders.
Stopping the run and limiting big plays on the outside would be a good place to start. If they can force Ridder into his customary mistakes, the better their chances will be.
This would also lead to a more balanced offense, which could help quarterback Sam Howell enormously. The former fifth-round pick's done a remarkable job in difficult circumstances so far, but it's unfair to place all the responsibility on his shoulders when one considers the talent within other position groups.
The blueprint for beating the Falcons is obvious. Whether it can be accomplished or not is another matter.