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Commanders predictions: Best case and worst case scenarios in 2023-24 NFL season

Here’s a look at the range of outcomes for the Commanders in the 2023 NFL season.

Sam Howell #14 of the Washington Commanders looks to pass during training camp at OrthoVirginia Training Center on July 28, 2022 in Ashburn, Virginia. Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Washington Commanders are under new ownership and hope to correct the sinking ship that has been this franchise over the last decade. Even the team’s most recent divisional title doesn’t inspire pride because it came when they had a 7-9 record and were bounced in the first round of the playoffs.

The Commanders had an 8-8-1 record last season. They picked up impressive wins over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles. Washington went into its Week 13 matchup against the New York Giants on a three-game win streak. They tied with the Giants and then lost three consecutive games coming out of their bye week. The Commanders finished in last place in the NFC East.

Commanders best-case scenario for 2023

Washington has named Sam Howell as its QB1 for Week 1 of the regular season. Expectations are high for the young quarterback, and the team hopes they have found stability. Howell will be the seventh different Week 1 starter in as many years. The best-case scenario for the team is that Howell looks like an improved version of himself when he was with the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.

Washington needs its defense to play to its potential and stay healthy. The team’s best-case scenario has them closing the gap between themselves and the Philadelphia Eagles, who are expected to be atop the division again. The Commanders would see Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson cement themselves as a top wide receiving duo in the league and would make the playoffs.

Commanders worst-case scenario for 2023

The worst-case scenario for Washington is that Howell is clearly not the answer, and the team struggles. The only other quarterbacks Washington currently rosters are Jacoby Brissett and Jake Fromm. If Howell isn’t the answer, the Commanders could throw in the towel earlier than expected.

Washington should have an easy win in Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals, but it gets really murky, really quickly. Games against the Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears, Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants could have the Commanders sitting at a 1-7 record heading into Week 9. At this point, Washington could pull the trigger on winning the Caleb Williams sweepstakes and tank the rest of the way. Honestly, what could be worse would be the owners wanting to prove a point and striving not to tank and the team finishing like 7-10 with the No. 14 draft pick.