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A New Era in Washington Football


During the offseason, the Washington Commanders made some monumental changes. Some of these key changes include new ownership, a new quarterback, an offensive coordinator, and stadium upgrades. The main headline was the Josh Harris group purchasing the Commanders for $6.05 billion from Dan Snyder. In Snyder’s 24 years as the Commanders’ owner, he built up quite a bad reputation. This reputation included an 18-year drought without a playoff win, protests over the team’s racist former name, female employees talking about the sexual harassment they faced at work, the worst stadium in the NFL by far with the stands collapsing on Eagles fans, and being known as the worst owner in the league. Snyder made fans lose their love for the team, failing to sell tickets, and failing to win games. 

Now that Josh Harris has arrived, the team is winning games with a packed stadium with upgrades. The 40 million dollars worth of upgrades included three new themed suites, new ticket scanning pedestals, point of sale upgrades, updated Commanders branded imagery around the stadium, and maintenance repairs to the bowl and paint around the stadium.  In the first week of the season, for their home opener, the Commanders beat the Cardinals 20-16 in a sold-out stadium where every seat was filled with a fan who had excitement and joy for a new era in Washington.

Next week, the Commanders would face a real challenge against the Denver Broncos with Patrick Surtain II, Jerry Jeudy, and Courtland Sutton. This game was also the return for Chase Young, former Defensive Rookie of the Year, who played amazingly in his return from a torn ACL in late 2021 that had him missing out on 22 games. He went above expectations with 3 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 1.5 sacks. Chase Young paired with defensive end Montez Sweat, who had 4 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 1.5 sacks to create a dominant pass-rushing duo. More highlights from the defense included an interception by 2023 first-round pick rookie Emmanual Forbes Jr. At one point in the game, the Commanders were down 18 points with a 96.3% chance of losing. The Commanders defied all odds and the offense started to play very well with touchdown receptions by Logan Thomas and Terry Mclaurin and two touchdown runs by Brian Robinson who put on a great performance with 87 yards rushing and 42 receiving. In the end, the Commanders won 35-33 in an amazing game! This would be the first time the Commanders had been 2-0 since 2011. The fans were hopeful and excited for the rest of the season and how the Commanders would do! Then they got beat 37-3 by the Bills in an ugly loss.

This game was a horrible performance offensively and defensively. The main headline of this game was QB Sam Howell throwing four interceptions with one of them being returned for a touchdown. Before this game, Howell was playing pretty impressively with 501 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns, and a rushing touchdown. He was living up to the hype and many believed that he was the solution to Washington’s struggle for many years to find a quarterback for the long term. The Bills game happened, and then Commanders’ fans didn’t know what to think. This was the first time Sam Howell had played an elite playoff-worthy defense. If Howell continues to show signs of struggling against elite defenses, then maybe he isn’t the solution that fans thought he was. On ESPN’s preseason power rankings, the Commanders debuted at 25th, which was then raised to 21st after their week one win against the Cardinals. This was bumped all the way to 12th after their comeback win against the Broncos, showing insanely good progress until their loss to the Bills, which put them back to 17.

In Week 4 the Commanders played the 2nd best-ranked team in the league who is one of the Commanders’ divisional rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles. With the help of an Eric Bienemy offensive master class, the Commanders took the Eagles to overtime. Sam Howell had a huge bounce-back game with 290 passing yards and a clutch touchdown pass to Jahan Dotson in the final seconds with our back against the wall. The Commanders started with the ball in overtime and a questionable out-of-bounds call would end their drive with a punt to the Eagles who would kick a 54-yard winner to win the game 34-31. The offense was connected and worked together beautifully except for the offensive line which is becoming a bigger problem as the season goes on. Sam Howell is the most sacked quarterback in the league and the Eagles defensive line ripped through the offensive line on almost every play. Do not be surprised if the Commanders use their first-round pick on an offensive lineman in the draft. Even though the offensive line was a setback during this game the Commanders showed that they can truly compete with good teams even though many thought the opposite after the Bills game. After the game, their power ranking went up to 16 because of their great performance. Although the Commanders lost, fans should still see this game as a win.

In Week 5, the Commanders were supposedly getting a free win as the Chicago Bears have been thought of by many as the worst team in the league and maybe of all time. The Bears’ offense stomped on the Commanders’ defense through the dynamic duo of DJ Moore and Justin Fields who connected for three touchdowns. The final score was 40-20, Bears doubled the Commanders’ points total. The Commanders are continuing to confuse almost every football fan as a team who doesn’t even know who they are. How can you go to overtime against the second-best team in the league but then get beat by 20 by the worst team in the league? So many questions with almost no answers. This loss put them into the 21st spot via ESPN’s power rankings.

There have only been five games so far with a long season ahead.  They could win the Super Bowl or have the worst record in the league, nobody knows. It may be a bumpy road, but this season has already been a success with the addition of Josh Harris and his new ownership group, Eric Bienemy as our new offensive coordinator, support from the fans, new stadium upgrades, and much more to come.

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