NFL predictions are typically all over the place before the football year begins. Whether it’s picking a team to double their win total or thinking a terrible unit will struggle even more than last year. But they don’t get much harsher than what one NFL analyst predicts from the Washington Commanders in 2022.
Internally, the Commanders feel they’ve taken a major leap forward, simply by going from Taylor Heinicke to Carson Wentz as their starting quarterback. By the way, even if things go awry with Wentz, Heinicke’s still on the team as a safe backup option.
Aside from the expected QB improvement, having a healthy defensive line with Chase Young and Montez Sweat hopefully available for more than a total of 19 games between the two of them should be a major boost.
But that’s not what Adam Rank of NFL Network predicts will happen. In a game-by-game breakdown, Rank suggests the Commanders will start their season 0-8, before getting their first win in Week 9 against the Minnesota Vikings at home. In all, Rank predicted the team to finish 3-14 in 2022. This would be a four-win decrease over last season and would surely put coach Ron Rivera on the hot seat.
But how likely is this prediction? Or is it a bit cuckoo?
Busting Adam Rank’s Washington Commanders theory
Adam Rank thinks the Washington Commanders will start 0-8? Let me tell you why that won’t happen.
One thing you should know right off the bat, is that the Commanders are tied for having the easiest strength of schedule in football, with their 2022 opponents having a .462 win percentage in 2021. Another helpful fact, is knowing who the Commanders play in their first eight games.
- vs Jacksonville Jaguars
- @ Detroit Lions
- vs Philadelphia Eagles
- @ Dallas Cowboys
- vs Tennessee Titans
- @ Chicago Bears
- vs Green Bay Packers
- @ Indianapolis Colts
From looking at the schedule, both the Jaguars and Lions combined for a record of 6-27-1 last season, while the Commanders went 7-10. While the Jaguars and Lions are strong picks to improve their win total, it might not all come together for their squads right away. Which, could be a similar situation for the Commanders as they get used to Wentz under center.
But are Ron Rivera’s Commanders really going to fold against two of the worst teams in football last season? Probably not.
Even if they stumble out of the gates, the Chicago Bears could end up replacing the Lions as one of the worst teams in football. There’s no telling how Justin Fields does with a depleted roster and few established offensive weapons. But I certainly wouldn’t place the Bears ahead of the Commanders, even with them having home-field advantage by playing at Soldier Field.
This is the NFL, where a simple bounce of the ball can make all the difference in the world. Even if the Commanders take a step back this year, they aren’t likely to suddenly become a terrible team that starts their year 1-8. That’s a bit out there.
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.