The Washington Commanders sat at 6-6 after Week 13 in 2021 and many started to wonder if Taylor Heinicke was the answer at quarterback the franchise was searching for. A 1-4 finish to the season erased any of those thoughts and now Carson Wentz enters from Indianapolis in hopes of bringing Washington to its second postseason in seven years.
Washington Commanders (2021 Record: 7-10)
Biggest Addition: Carson Wentz
Wentz certainly wasn’t bad in Indianapolis but seemed to shoulder a ton of the blame – as most quarterbacks do – for their season-ending meltdown that kept them out of the postseason. Wentz will now likely start on Week 1 for his third team in three seasons. This feels like a short-term marriage unless the 29-year-old can dial it back to his 2017 Pro Bowl form.
Prime Carson Wentz was special man pic.twitter.com/VBWBtPryTf
— Bradley Locker (@Bradley_Locker) June 10, 2022
Biggest Loss: Adam Humphries/DeAndre Carter
These two are grouped together because on the surface, they don’t seem like big losses for Washington. But, losing both is a major blow to the team’s depth at the wide receiver position and now leaves Terry McLaurin as the only wideout on the team with more than 20 receptions in 2021. Hopefully 2022 first-round pick Jahan Dotson can bring some production opposite to McLaurin.
X-Factor: Terry McLaurin
In order for the Commanders to succeed in 2022, McLaurin will have to give Wentz what he didn’t have in Indianapolis: A stud wide receiver that he can rely on in high leverage situations.
More often than not – especially in a puzzling Week 18 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars that kept the Colts out of the postseason – Wentz struggled to find a go-to option when third-down conversions were needed in the passing game. If McLaurin can become that outlet for Wentz, maybe this team can win some games.
NFC East Futures Market
Line Movement: +450 to +500
Amount of tickets: 35.4%
There seems to be enough here to say the Commanders would really have to fall short of expectations to bring up the caboose in this division. They feel most likely to finish second or third in the NFC East but if things can click quickly for Wentz in the new offense, +450 is a good price with some talent on both sides of the ball between McLaurin, running back Antonio Gibson, and defensive end Chase Young.
Buy or Sell?
Neither a buy nor a sell, this is more of a hold.
Many believe it’s important to get these wagers in prior to Week 1, but this one is worth the wait to see how Wentz looks in his new digs. Whether McLaurin indeed re-signs with the team and how they fill out their depth at wide receiver are also key pieces leading up to the season.
There is some potential here, but seeing if it can all mesh together is the biggest key and makes them a team to hold off on until at least Week 4.