The Washington Commanders have won seven games each of the last two seasons under coach Ron Rivera.
Will 2022 be any different? Washington traded for Carson Wentz this offseason, which puts the former No. 2 pick back in the NFC East. The Commanders selected Penn State receiver Jahan Dotson in the 2022 NFL Draft, and it is a franchise that stayed on the fringe of the playoff conversation last season.
Washington finished third in the NFC East, and that is where the Commanders are projected to finish again according to odds by Sports Interaction. Will their soft schedule change that outlook?
Sporting News takes a closer look:
Commanders schedule 2022
The Commanders’ schedule will be announced as part of the NFL’s schedule release on Thursday, May 12. Below is a look at the matchups on their schedule. The table will be updated when those matchups are announced.
- Home: Cowboys, Eagles, Giants, Packers, Vikings, Falcons, Jaguars, Titans, Browns
- Away: Cowboys, Eagles, Giants, Lions, 49ers, Bears, Colts, Texans
Washington is playing a third-place schedule that will have a few bumps outside the traditional NFC East matchups. The Commanders get the NFC North and AFC South and third-place matchups against the Falcons and 49ers. The extra game is at FedEx Field against Cleveland.
The Commanders face eight teams that won at least nine games in 2021.
Commanders’ strength of schedule
The Commanders’ schedule is tied with Dallas for the easiest in the NFL. Their 2022 opponents finished with a 133-155-1 record, a winning percentage of .462.
Washington has eight games against teams that reached the postseason last year, and that includes division rivals Dallas and Philadelphia. Green Bay and Tennessee visit Washington, and the Commanders will make the trip to San Francisco.
Toughest Tests: Dallas, Green Bay and Tennessee were a combined 17-8 on the road last season, and all three will be favored when they visit Washington. Indianapolis, Wentz’s last stop, is already a tough road game. That won’t be any easier with Matt Ryan under center for the Colts.
Washington was 4-5 on the road last season, so that matchup with the Bears cannot be taken for granted. That’s the kind of game that will add up in the NFC playoff race.
Biggest Breaks: Washington has five games against teams that won four games or fewer last season. That includes the Giants twice along with matchups against the Texans, Jaguars and Lions. Washington has to take advantage of that portion of the schedule. Cleveland also was 2-6 on the road last season. That’s not a bad draw for the 17th game.
Green Bay and Minnesota are tough matchups, but consider a few trends. Aaron Rodgers is 0-3 at Washington in the regular season (he did win the 2015-16 NFC Wild Card matchup). Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is 1-0 against his former team, but that matchup was in Minnesota.
Bottom Line: Divisional play is a constant barometer. Washington swept Dallas and Philadelphia and got swept by the Giants in Rivera’s first season in 2020. Last season was the inverse: the Commanders swept the Giants but went 0-4 against the Eagles and Cowboys. That included the 56-14 debacle against Dallas on Sunday Night Football in Week 16.
Still, Washington is 3-2 in prime-time games with Rivera and can make it interesting if the division is muddled again. The Commanders need to take care of business with their home schedule, and that falls on Wentz. The return to Philadelphia will be compelling, and Wentz does have a 4-4 record with 14 TDs and four interceptions in eight career starts against Dallas.
Our prediction: the Commanders stay in the race but fall just short of the postseason again.
Record Prediction: 8-9