Saturday, November 4, 2023

Washington Commanders Week 9 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2023 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a Week 9 roundup for the Washington Commanders in our consensus 2023 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 24

Washington coach Ron Rivera said one reason the Commanders remain optimistic at 3-5 stems from Sam Howell's growth. Howell, who has now started nine career games, has thrown 13 touchdown passes this season, which puts him sixth in the league and on pace for 27. That would be the most for the franchise since Kirk Cousins threw the same amount in 2017. Howell is coming off his best game, throwing for 397 yards and four touchdowns in Sunday's 38-31 loss to the NFL best team, the Eagles. He has been sacked 41 times but only once on Sunday as he did a better job of getting rid of the ball and making quick decisions. -- John Keim -- Rank: 27

After Sunday's loss knocked the Commanders back to 3-5, all eyes turned to what they might do at the trade deadline. Losing five of six games after the 2-0 start has put them here, thanks to this team's often maddening inconsistency. Do we give Washington credit for battling the Eagles to the bitter end in two games this season? Some, yes, but how can we justify the losses to the Bears and Giants? Those performances looked nothing like the two games against Philly or the road wins at Denver and Atlanta. Sam Howell showed why any talk of benching him was silly, and it was nice to see the improved pass protection and play calling after weeks of poor performance in those areas. But this team made its own bed, which is why it might be open for business now.

UPDATE: On Tuesday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Commanders are trading DE Montez Sweat to the Bears in exchange for a second-round pick.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 24

They had their chances against the Eagles, but they have to start winning games. Could Ron Rivera be in trouble?

USA Today -- Rank: 30

Pending free agents Chase Young, Montez Sweat and Kendall Fuller are all good players. They're also part of a pass defense that's allowed the most TDs (18) through the air league-wide.

The Athletic -- Rank: 25

Something scary (for them): The trade deadline

New owner Josh Harris might decide to go full fire sale before today's 4 p.m. ET deadline. Defensive lineman Montez Sweat is rumored to be on the market, and nobody should be off limits. Sam Howell does not look like the solution at quarterback, and Washington might be looking for draft capital. The Commanders are in position to have the 11th pick in next year's draft and probably need to get a little higher to have a shot at a difference-maker at quarterback.

FOX -- Rank: 22

If they're playing the Eagles, just assume the Commanders are going to leave it all on the field. It'd be nice if they could manage any sense of consistency against anyone else, but at least they get up for Philly. Now, we wait to see what (if anything) happens at the trade deadline.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 25

It came in a loss, but Sam Howell had the type of game that can get Washington excited for his future. He threw for 397 yards against a good Eagles defense. He has been taking way too many sacks this season but took only one against a strong Philly pass rush. Howell threw a bad interception that led to the loss, but otherwise it was a very good performance for a young quarterback.

PFT -- Rank: 25

The reset button is getting closer for the new ownership group.

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