Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Washington Commanders Week 5 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 5 roundup for the Washington Commanders in our consensus 2023 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 16

Biggest issue on defense: Explosive pass plays

Washington has allowed 11 pass plays of 25 yards or more, tying for second most in the NFL with Chicago. That's the same number the Commanders allowed in the final eight games of 2022. They've already allowed five touchdowns on such plays, two less than all of last season. A lot of it is youth: Rookie corner Emmanuel Forbes has allowed several long pass plays and was involved in some fashion, whether in man or zone, in four 25-plus-yard gains vs. Philadelphia Sunday. Coaches want the aggressive Forbes to be more disciplined with his technique. -- John Keim

NFL.com -- Rank: 22

The theme here should be resiliency. We saw Sam Howell take his lumps -- big ones -- in the nine-sack, four-pick outing in Week 3, but he came back on Sunday and was great, albeit in an overtime loss to the Eagles. Howell got the Commanders out to a strong start and then rallied them back with two clutch fourth-quarter TD drives. I'm just as hopeful that CB Emmanuel Forbes can have a similar rebirth, because Sunday was a rough one for the rookie. The Eagles went after Forbes right away and didn't stop. Forbes allowed197 yards on nine catches, including the double-move 28-yard TD by A.J. Brown, per Next Gen Stats. Those were tough assignments, and I still believe in the intriguing first-round pick -- and the overall fight of this team.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 21

The showed much better against the Eagles than they did the week before. That's progress. Sam Howell was much better.

USA Today -- Rank: 15

They're 6-3 in prime time since 2020, but Thursday night's date with Chicago is Washington's only scheduled appearance in 2023.

The Athletic -- Rank: 21

The Sam Howell roller coaster ride continued for the Commanders. The first-year starter is on pace to be sacked 102 times this season. David Carr holds the record for the most-sacked quarterback. He was taken down 76 times in 2002, and his career was never the same. Washington might want to think about protecting Howell some because he looked pretty good leading a game-tying, 64-yard drive in the final 1:36 Sunday.

FOX -- Rank: 17

Yes, I'm bumping a team up after a loss. Why not? It's not as if anyone below them is overly deserving. I'm still mad at Ron Rivera for kicking the extra point in Philly. Tired players are such a flimsy excuse — it's one play! Disappointing as it was to play for overtime, this was a fun performance from Sam Howell and a nice response to getting bludgeoned by Buffalo the week before. If Howell can keep calm under pressure more often, the Commanders are a feisty team.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 13

Ron Rivera had to go for two when Washington scored on the final play of regulation. One play from the 2-yard line for the win is a lot better as a road underdog taking its chances in overtime. Rivera kicked the extra point and the Commanders predictably lost in overtime. But overall, it was impressive for Washington to play that well against Philadelphia. A Thursday game at Chicago should lead to a 3-2 record, which would be fine for this point of the season.

PFT -- Rank: 20

The NFC East is too tough to blow a chance to steal a road win against one of the other three teams in the division.

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