What should fans realistically expect from the Commanders in 2023?

The Washington Commanders are about to embark on a new beginning.
Sam Howell
Sam Howell / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

What should fans realistically expect from the Washington Commanders during their first campaign under Josh Harris' ownership group in 2023?

The Washington Commanders might not have been what many expected in 2022 thanks to many poor offseason decisions and missteps for the team. Now with new ownership led by Josh Harris, the franchise is looking to move from under the dark cloud that plagued them for years.

The excitement of this team has been at an all-time high from the start of OTAs and continued throughout training camp. Ron Rivera knows the significance of this year after three underwhelming campaigns at the helm, rotating quarterbacks constantly and failing to generate any positive momentum as a result.

Commanders could become a surprise package in 2023

Washington has the makings to finally get over the hump and into the playoffs first time since 2020 when they won the division. But everything must go right within a highly competitive NFC East.

Last year the Commanders finished 8-8-1. The team showed some promise by going away from Carson Wentz - a guy whom they paid $22 million for - but they struggled with consistency over the last few stretches of the season.

Having a great defense to go along with a one-dimensional offense wasn't going to get this team into the playoffs. After Rivera wasn't aware that the Commanders could be eliminated from postseason contention, he now regrettably realizes he could have made a move to rookie quarterback Sam Howell instead of Wentz in the Cleveland Browns game.

Knowing that Washington needs more punch on both sides of the ball, they went into the 2023 season thinking one thing and one thing only. Creating more turnovers and putting points on the board.

Bringing in offensive guru Eric Bieniemy to bring more out of the offense and drafting ball-hawking defensive back duo Emmanuel Forbes and Quan Martin could help them achieve their goals. Also, everyone in the media believes this team won't be good in 2023, which is extra bulletin board material working in the Commanders' favor.

However, with Howell taking over the starting quarterback duties and the return of Chase Young, many believe this team is ready to contend.

We have seen some highs and lows from the Commanders during training and into the preseason despite emerging from their three games unbeaten. In less than a week, we'll see what Washington is truly made of against the Arizona Cardinals at a sold-out FedEx Field to begin their campaign.

The Harris era officially begins on the field in a competitive setting and fans are excited about the direction of the team. How the Commanders start the season will be very important, because all eyes will be on them. The schedule looks especially difficult, so any early momentum they can generate would be a major bonus.

With stud wide receiver Terry McLaurin's status up in the air, the Commanders can't afford to start off slow. This would inevitably result in some sections of the fanbase crying for immediate changes if Washington doesn't win right away.

Most sportsbooks have the Commanders at 6.5 wins as the over/under - far below the previous season. I don't see this team averaging only six wins for the campaign - there is far too much talent.

The Commanders will have a breakout season that no one will expect. My season prediction has them at 10 wins, which would probably be enough to secure a playoff berth and ease some pressure from Rivera's shoulders.

Washington's defense will create opportunities for the offense to make some plays. If the Commanders get off to a quick start and rack up some early triumphs, they will have every media outlet talking - for the right reasons at long last.