The Commanders draw mostly mediocre predictions from NFL analysts


The Commanders draw mostly mediocre predictions from NFL analysts


As the Washington Commanders prepare to usher in the Josh Harris era at home against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, there has been a lot of talk about the team’s ceiling and floor, or the best and worst-case scenarios in coach Ron Rivera’s fourth-year helmet. If the Commanders fail to defeat the lowly Cardinals in front of a sellout crowd in Week 1, there’s a chance they’ll lose the metaphorical ground and create a hole big enough to swallow FedEx Field. (On the bright side, this could speed up the owner’s search for a new stadium.)

“My ceiling for the team is 10 wins,” former Washington cornerback Shawn Springs said Tuesday during an interview with the Junkies on 106.7 the Fan. “The floor, they could potentially go 4-13. If at any point it seems like things aren’t going in the right direction, let’s start with the tank games and get to work [USC quarterback] Caleb Williams.”

Washington, which won seven, seven and eight games in Rivera’s first three seasons, is expected to once again be among the NFL’s middle tier. The Commanders aren’t so bad that they could compete for the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft, but it would be a surprise if they qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2020.

After simulating the Commanders’ season 1,000 times with point spreads available as of Wednesday, The Washington Post’s Neil Greenberg predicts the team’s minimum point total will be three wins and the ceiling will be 11 wins. Washington, ranked 24th in Mark Maske’s preseason power rankings, is most likely to win between seven and 10 games, according to the simulation. The franchise hasn’t won at least 10 games since 2012.

Five absurdly positive predictions from the Washington Commanders for 2023

Here’s a look at how others expect the Commanders to perform this season:

ESPN’s Football Power Index gives the Commanders a 5 percent chance of winning the NFC East and an 18 percent chance of making the playoffs. Seth Walder boldly predicts Jacoby Brissett will replace Sam Howell at quarterback in Week 7. “I’m concerned about Howell’s high sack rates and sack-to-pressure rates in college and how that fits with a weak Commanders interior offense,” he writes. According to John Keim, Washington’s ceiling is 10 wins and the floor is five wins.

Jarrett Bell is the only one of USA Today’s seven NFL writers to predict Washington will make the playoffs. Bell named offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy assistant coach of the year.

Peter King ensures that the Eagles win the NFC East, the Cowboys secure a wild card spot and Washington makes it to the playoffs.

None of PFT’s five analysts predict Washington will make the postseason.

Eight outrageous (but not impossible) predictions for the 2023 NFL season

The MMQB team of ten writers and editors agrees: Washington is not a playoff team. Michael Rosenberg offers the following particularly juicy prediction: “Ron Rivera will be the leading candidate for Coach of the Year at the start of the season … and then he will be the first head coach to be fired.” Andrew Brandt picks Commanders cornerback Emmanuel Forbes to his Defensive Rookie of the Year.

John Breech predicts the Commanders will finish last in the division at 7-10. Washington opens the year ranked 13th in Pete Prisco’s preseason power rankings. Prisco predicts that Howell “will be better than many expect” and that the Commanders will make the playoffs. According to Jeff Kerr, Washington’s ceiling is 10 wins and the floor is seven wins.

The Athletic’s model predicts 7.5 wins for the Commanders. In an anonymous survey of NFL decision makers, four of 20 respondents chose the Commanders from their three teams that will pleasantly surprise people. The Commanders are ranked 25th in Bo Wulf’s preseason power rankings.

Five of’s 34 analysts are picking Washington to secure a wild-card spot. Forbes received a vote for Defensive Rookie of the Year and Rivera received a vote for Coach of the Year. Analytics expert Cynthia Frelund predicts 6.6 wins for the Commanders, with a ceiling of 9.4 and a floor of 5.2.

The Commanders are not mentioned in the staff’s playoff and pricing projections, which included recommendations from eight reporters.

Vinnie Iyer predicts Washington will finish 4-13. “The Commanders have some promise with Sam Howell and the defense figures, but they are stuck in the wrong division,” he writes. The Commanders draw mostly mediocre predictions from NFL analysts

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