Be careful now.
The Washington Commanders are 7-5 and within the thick of the NFC playoff race after beginning the season 1-4. Regardless of all of the dysfunction swirling round this crew, they’ve discovered a solution to climb out of that gap with critical playoff potential nonetheless in sight. And so they’ve managed to maintain tempo in what’s change into arguably the most effective division in soccer — all 4 groups are over .500 — in a single day.
What makes this run for the Commanders extra spectacular is that they’ve completed it with Taylor Heinicke underneath heart. Washington is 5-1 when Heinicke begins this 12 months. There’s one thing about his power this crew feeds off. It seems like guys need to observe him and go all out in a means no crew has ever completed for Carson Wentz.
With all of the drama popping out of the entrance workplace in Washington commonly, it’s a surprise the Commanders received any video games. Dan Snyder is perpetually caught up in some scandal. Whether or not it stems from alleged sexual harassment/misconduct within the office, accusations of dishonest different NFL house owners out of cash, or the crew bungling an anniversary ceremony for a deceased former participant, there’s at all times one thing unfavourable to report with the Commanders.
So, the very fact this crew shouldn’t be solely within the hunt however solely a few wins away from securing a wild-card spot is sort of exceptional. Positive, Washington is in final place in a tricky NFC East, however the Commanders journey to New York to face the Giants this week and, with a win, would transfer to 8-4 and into third. Take note the Giants did lose to the Detroit Lions at house two weeks in the past. After that, no loss wherever ought to shock Giants followers.
Throughout this run, the Commanders have relied on their protection because it’s improved considerably throughout their upswing. Of their final seven video games (six of which they’ve received), the Commanders have held opponents to 17 factors or much less in 5 of them. They haven’t allowed greater than 21 in any of these video games. Washington’s completed this with out arguably its greatest defensive participant Chase Younger, who hasn’t performed one down this 12 months. Younger continues to be recovering from knee surgical procedure and may make his season debut quickly.
Nobody expects something out of the Commanders ought to they make the postseason. However we additionally didn’t count on them to be this good, particularly after such a sluggish begin. At this price, the NFC East is on tempo to place all 4 groups within the playoffs. One thing that’s by no means occurred within the historical past of the NFL. Washington received’t be favored to win a lot if this occurs, but when any crew overlooks them, they’ve bought the protection and luck on their facet to drag off at the very least one huge upset come January.