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 group, they’ve discovered a technique to climb out of that gap with severe playoff potential nonetheless in sight. They usually’ve managed to maintain tempo in what’s develop 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 achieved it with Taylor Heinicke below middle. Washington is 5-1 when Heinicke begins this 12 months. There’s one thing about his power this group feeds off. It appears like guys need to observe him and go all out in a approach no group has ever achieved for Carson Wentz.
With all of the drama popping out of the entrance workplace in Washington repeatedly, it’s a marvel the Commanders gained any video games. Dan Snyder is endlessly 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 group bungling an anniversary ceremony for a deceased former participant, there’s at all times one thing destructive to report with the Commanders.
So, the very fact this group just isn’t solely within the hunt however solely a few wins away from securing a wild-card spot is kind of outstanding. Certain, Washington is in final place in a troublesome 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. Bear in mind the Giants did lose to the Detroit Lions at dwelling 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 gained), 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 achieved this with out arguably its greatest defensive participant Chase Younger, who hasn’t performed one down this 12 months. Younger remains to be recovering from knee surgical procedure and will make his season debut quickly.
Nobody expects something out of the Commanders ought to they make the postseason. However we additionally didn’t anticipate them to be this good, particularly after such a sluggish begin. At this fee, 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 gained’t be favored to win a lot if this occurs, but when any group overlooks them, they’ve received the protection and luck on their facet to drag off a minimum of one huge upset come January.