As Brandon Johnson hauled in the tip-drill Hail Mary pass from Russell Wilson, the entire District of Columbia and surrounding areas let out several expletives, I’m sure.
“The Commanders are really going to Commie this up, aren’t they,” some drunk person in Adams Morgan said. After a comeback that showed strength on both sides of the ball with Sam Howell properly running the offense, Brian Robinson Jr. looking like one of the most-improved running backs in football, a defensive front that can disrupt a well-oiled offensive line, and none of the bone-headed mistakes that have defined Washington’s on-field NFL purgatory of this millennium, it all nearly went away as no Commanders’ defensive back managed to knock the ball to the turf and end the game.
Somehow, Washington didn’t further screw up its season from there and won the game. And the Commanders are 2-0 for the first time since two names ago, and more specifically, 2011. That year, Washington went to 3-1, had a Week 5 bye, then won two games the rest of the season to finish 5-11. Then they traded up to the second overall pick of the next year’s draft and selected Robert Griffin III.
Welcome to the Commanders, Drake Maye!
History (hopefully) won’t repeat itself as Washington already has a North Carolina quarterback leading it. The outlook for this season is better than only five wins for the Commanders, even in the best division in football.
The Commanders needed a fourth-quarter comeback at home to defeat one of the worst teams in the league by 4 in Week 1. And they were dismantled by the first-half Broncos. The second-half Broncos are trash and Washington picked them apart. Now with the Bills coming to town in Week 3, will we finally see the “real” Washington? I’m not so sure. If the Commanders get blown out, everyone will say it’s more of the same crap in the nation’s capital. If Washington wins, everyone will think it’s a fluke unless it’s a thorough demolishment. So the Commies really have nothing to lose against a team thought to be one of the favorites to reach the Super Bowl.
Well, except for one game.
Despite two wins, the outlook for the Commanders in the NFC East is third, at best, which is fine. Philadelphia is truly one of two teams good enough to play in the Super Bowl from the NFC this season, and Dallas’ defense is one of the best in the league and would join the 49ers and Eagles as possible Super Bowl contenders if it didn’t have a huge recent history of choking in the playoffs.
The Giants comeback win over Arizona doesn’t prove anything about their ability, as taking over a game against one of the worst teams in football isn’t impressive. Most of the rest of the NFC is unproven too. The Lions and whoever comes out of the NFC South will also make the playoffs, meaning there’s plenty of wiggle room for the Commanders to go 9-8, or possibly 10-7 and still make the postseason.
Will this Washington team set the world on fire?
Nope, not even close.
Is this a Washington team on the rise?
Yes, which is a bracing-for-impact-style answer.
There’s been plenty of times the franchise has “turned a corner” only to have fallen back into purgatory, namely with Griffin as the team’s future more than a decade ago. And without Dan Snyder involved in the organization, maybe this euphoria isn’t unwarranted.
And that’s the crazy part.
We’ve seen eight quarters and two wins from the Commanders. We’re not close to figuring out what the team is capable of.