Heller’s Three Burning Questions 2022: Washington Commanders

Heller’s Three Burning Questions 2022: Washington Commanders

by July 4, 2022 0 comments

The 2022 NFL preseason is rapidly approaching, with team practices growing more intense by the day, coming off an offseason for the ages that changed not only the complexion of individual teams but both the AFC and NFC as a whole. Many things will look quite different from a season ago. It’s the perfect time for the fourth annual edition of Three Burning Questions. As in years past, this 32-part series will look at the three most pressing questions facing each of the 32 teams. Here are the Three Burning Questions for the Washington Commanders.

Make sure to also check out our NFL Bold Predictions series.

Will a Paid Scary Terry be a Productive One?

The Commanders’ wide receiver, Terry McLaurin was another one of those players who wanted a new contract from his respective team, and he was absent from OTA’s, albeit voluntary. Washington has paid up to keep the best receiver on their depth chart in their uniform until 2025. McLaurin was given a three-year extension worth up to $71 million. With a new quarterback, in Carson Wentz, who returns to the NFC East, the team needed to ensure their star receiver is in camp to build chemistry with his signal-caller. Hopefully, for both his sake and the team’s, McLaurin will continue to live up to the ‘Scary’ nickname.

Can the Defense Regain its Form?

The defensive unit in Washington was a top-five defense in 2020. Injuries played a crucial part in the tremendous drop to the twenty-fifth ranked one in 2021. Linebacker Jonathan Bostic missed 13 games after he tallied over 100 tackles in the prior two seasons for Washington. That loss combined with defending Defensive Rookie of the Year, Chase Young tearing his ACL in Week 10 and missing the final eight games of the season, proved too great for the team to overcome. Bostic remains a free agent but Young contends that he’ll be ready when camp begins in the coming weeks. For this team to get back to their 2020 form it begins and ends with Young. A healthy Young will bode well for fellow lineman and former first-round picks, Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen, and Daron Payne.

Can They Avoid Being Distracted?

The turmoil that ownership is dealing with, could trickle down to the field. The chance that Daniel Snyder will be forced to, or at the very least decide to sell the team, will weigh on the coaches and players. Head coach Ron Rivera will have another season of adversity to overcome. This team could, under Rivera’s leadership, use that as the collective chip on their shoulders. With the potential of new ownership, this could be the player’s final chance to prove they deserve to be a part of this team. Last season’s 7-10 showing could likely be improved by a game or two, and this team could contend for the final wildcard spot.

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Husband, father of 3 and an avid sports fan. Living out my childhood dream of writing about sports, now that I'm in my forties.

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