Ron Rivera’s men pulled off a shock on Monday night, taking down the 8-0 Eagles to hand Nick Sirianni’s team its first loss of the year and prove why their playoff hopes are still alive.
Many seemed to rule Washington out as a playoff contender due to its weak start to the season, which was understandable. But after this win, the outlook has changed and it’s time to see the Commanders as a potential playoff team.
3. Chase Young returns
In their massive win in Philly, the Commanders set the tempo and their defense made sure of shutting down Jalen Hurts’ offense. To make things even better, Chase Young is nearing his return.
The former Defensive Rookie of the Year has been on the sidelines since November 2021, when he suffered a torn ACL. Young is one of the best pass rushers in the league, so his addition would certainly boost an inspired Commanders’ defense.
2. Favorable schedule
If the Commanders look at their schedule, they should feel encouraged for what’s next. On the wheels of a promising result, it would make sense if Washington (5-5) gets enough victories in the next seven weeks to make the postseason.
First, they visit the 1-7-1 Texans. They’d later have to beat the 4-6 Falcons, who currently run from behind in the playoff picture. The following two divisional games against the Giants would be crucial, before facing the 49ers, Browns, and Cowboys.
1. Playoff picture wide open
The NFC East is making things complicated for Washington, as right now it’s the only division of the conference with all four teams above .500. Even so, the Commanders are still on pace to clinch a playoff berth.
Washington is currently one place below the 49ers (5-4), who would claim the last Wild Card ticket today. But let’s keep in mind that it still has to face San Francisco, Dallas and New York (twice), who are all in playoff spots. Therefore, the Commanders depend on themselves.