2021 Record: 7-10
Last Meeting: 12/26/2021 (Cowboys won 56-14 and lead all time series 75-47-2)
Head Coach: Ron Rivera (91-84-1 as a head coach)
Key Additions: QB Carson Wentz, G Andrew Norwell
Key Departures: G Brandon Scherff, DT Tim Settle, TE Ricky Seals-Jones
Although 2022 looks to be a year of change for the franchise, 2021 seemed like more of the same for the Washington Commanders (then Football Team). 2021 saw the team finish third in the NFC East and missing the playoffs while not making the most of some of the talent around them, which has seemed to be the case for this team for quite some time. A fresh start on branding provides hope for a new direction, but it has to translate to the on-field product.
Adding a familiar face from the division, Carson Wentz is supposed to steady the ship and allow for the Commanders to thrive offensively. However, with some solid offensive weapons around him, this team has yet to put it all together. So far early in 2022, they come into week four 1-2 and looking to not fall two games below .500 this early in the season. The Commanders are currently the only team in the NFC East with a losing record and looks to be the cellar-dweller of the division at this time.
Player to watch… Curtis Samuel, WR
Curtis Samuel is a dynamic playmaker that deserves to get the ball frequently for this offense. Making him a point of emphasis will only serve this team right, and through the first three games of the season it is clear that the team feels similarly as they use him in a variety of different ways, not just in the passing attack. Jet sweeps, hand-offs, and screens tell a little bit of the story of how Samuel is used in this Commanders offense.
Curtis Samuel— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) September 21, 2022
is not going away
as long as he is healthy, Scott Turner is gonna scheme 'em up
as evidenced by his 3.6 aDOT
compared to Terry McLaurin's 15.7 and Jahan Dotson's 16.7 pic.twitter.com/LMHBzMoepg
Samuel, through three games, has collected 22 receptions, 181 yards, and two touchdowns to go along with eight rushing attempts for 51 yards, which sticks out for a wide receiver and something to make note of as a defense prepares to go against him. The Commanders do boast other playmakers on this offense, but if you are looking to identify something to hone in on when scheming for this Washington team, it may very well start with Curtis Samuel.
Don’t forget about… Antonio Gibson, RB
We easily could have discussed Terry McLaurin here and it would’ve been a deserving selection. Maybe we could have even discussed their big, physical, tight end threat Logan Thomas who is capable of making plays and putting stress on a Cowboys defense down the seam or in the redzone. However, Antonio Gibson is an interesting part of this Commanders offense to pay attention to and is someone the Cowboys cannot afford to forget about.
Gibson’s stats haven’t been earth-shattering so far this year as he has 40 attempts for only 124 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, while also having 10 receptions for 87 yards in the air. But he is a dynamic player that hasn’t quite been used to his full potential yet this season. Gibson has had big games against this Cowboys defense before and that type of play is still possible from the young running back if put in the position to do so. Gibson certainly isn’t this offense’s top option, but he is one of them to be worried about, and has enough talent and big-play ability to warrant him being a player this defense cannot afford to forget about.