In the NFL, one player can mark the difference between boasting a subpar roster and being a true contender. For the Washington Commanders, who have long found themselves right in the middle of that spectrum, hitting the mark this offseason could very well make them a surprise team coming out of the gate in 2023. Let’s take a deeper look at the path forward for the Commanders, who have +8000 odds at DraftKings Sportsbook to make Super Bowl 58.
Washington finished the 2022 season with an 8-8-1 record, good for last place in what proved to be a highly competitive NFC East. Despite playing without star pass rusher Chase Young for much of the season, the Commanders still finished seventh in scoring defense, limiting their opponents to 20.2 PPG. An offense that featured Terry McLaurin welcomed two impactful rookies in wide receiver Jahan Dotson and running back Brian Robinson, with the latter finishing sixth in rushing among rookies.
However, the carousel at quarterback continued to plague Washington, as Carson Wentz, Taylor Heneicke, and rookie Sam Howell each saw starting snaps through the 2022 campaign without either being able to hold a firm grasp on the starting job.
Washington Commanders Super Bowl 58 odds: +8000
If Ron Rivera hopes to extend his stay as head coach of the Commanders, his number one priority this offseason is clear: find a true QB1. The trade for Wentz was a failure, and Heinecke was once again unable to lock down the starting job after filling in over the last two seasons. Perhaps Howell is the answer, but this Commanders roster is already solid, and a veteran solution is what is needed to elevate this team into playoff contention. One of the obvious candidates out there is Derek Carr, who is on his way out of Vegas. Jimmy Garropolo also presents a backup option, though his recent injury history should be something to consider.
The Commanders finished with the 21st-ranked passing offense last season, and that’s in spite of having great depth at receiver and a promising run game to keep defenses honest. Finding a viable solution at quarterback is Washington’s top priority and arguably the worst-kept secret at this point.