NFC East goes 4-0 in Week 2

What a week for the NFC East.

The NFC East won all four of it’s games in Week 2.

The Eagles on Thursday defeated the Vikings 34-28. Sunday, saw the Commanders top the Broncos 35-33, the Cowboys roll the Jets 30-10 and the Giants come back to defeat the Cardinals 31-28.

  •  Commanders 2-0
  • Cowboys 2-0
  • Eagles 2-0
  • Giants 1-1

Commanders: Being down 21-3, Washington stormed back to lead 35-27 and hold on despite a Hail Marry as time expired by the Broncos. The Commanders quarterback Sam Howell has won each of his three NFL starts, Chase Young made his first 2023 appearance a good one and new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy again displayed much confidence in the offensive personnel, calling for the ball to be spread broadly. Washington’s two new guards, Saahdiq Charles and Sam Cosmi, thus far are marked improvements over the 2022 starting guards Andrew Norvell and Trai Turner.

Cowboys: Dallas has outscored its first two opponents 70-10. The defense is intimidatingly good, and the offense dialed it back in the second half of both games, not needing to show much or risk injury. While Dallas was converting half of its 3rd-down plays (9-18), the Cowboys defense severely limited the Jets to a mere 1-10.  The dominant Cowboy defense accumulated three quarterback sacks and won the turnover battle 4-0.

Eagles: The Eagles’ pass defense allowed Kirk Cousins to pass for 364 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Yet, the Eagles won the game. How? Their offense was both explosive and efficient. Jalen Hurts finished 18 of 23 passing for 193 yards. D’Andre Swift rushed for a very impressive 175 yards on his 28 carries (6.3 yards per carry) for one touchdown and a long of 43 yards. The Eagles ran the ball and then ran the ball, generating 259 rushing yards on 48 carries.

Giants: New York found itself down 20-0 to the Cardinals. This meant that in six quarters, the Giants had been outscored by their two opponents 60-0. That is not a typo. But the Giants managed to generate a comeback in which they scored 14 third-quarter points and 17 in the final quarter to obtain their first victory of the 2023 season. Bouncing back from his horrendous Week 1 game, Daniel Jones completed 26 of 37 attempts for 321 yards, two passing touchdowns and rushed for 59 yards in 9 carries, including a rushing touchdown.

Commanders: When did Washington last begin a season 2-0?

It’s been a while.

Sunday, when the Washington Commanders travel to Denver they will be seeking unfamiliar territory.

Sure, Washington has won season-opening games. Ron Rivera’s first game in Washington was a 27-17 victory over the Eagles. However, the team proceeded to lose their next five contests to fall to 1-5.

Just last season (2022), Washington defeated the Jaguars 28-22 at FedEx to launch the season. The next four weeks, they proceeded to lose to the Lions, Eagles, Cowboys and Titans.

In 2018, Alex Smith led the Redskins to a road win over the Cardinals 24-6. However, back at home the next week, the Colts clearly outplayed Washington 21-9.

For five consecutive seasons 2013-2017, the Redskins lost their season opener. The previous season (2012), Washington went to New Orleans for the season opener and surprised everyone by winning a 40-32 shootout. But the next week, they fell to the Rams, as Washington was on their way to a 3-6 record before winning their final seven games.

We have to go back to 2011 to find our answer. Washington faced the Giants at FedEx to open the season and defeated the Giants 28-14. Some may recall Ryan Kerrigan intercepted Eli Manning and returned the pass 9 yards for a touchdown.

The following week, again at FedEx Field, Washington trailed the Cardinals 21-13 in the final quarter. Rex Grossman connected with Santana Moss from 18 yards to narrow the deficit to 21-19. Then Graham Gano kicked a 34-yard field goal to give Washington the 22-21 win.

THAT was the last time Washington’s NFL franchise was 2-0 to start an NFL season.

Sunday’s game at Denver will be the opportunity for the Burgundy and Gold to accomplish the feat for the first time in 13 NFL seasons.

NFC East goes 3-1 in Week 1

A good week for the NFC East — except for the Giants.

Dallas, Philadelphia and Washington picked up victories launching the 2023 season.

The NFC East which finished with the best record in the NFL in 2022 did lose one game in Week 1, but that was due to the fact the Cowboys and Giants played each other.

Dallas crushed the Giants 40-0, the Commanders survived the Cardinals 20-16 and the Eagles outlasted the Patriots 25-20.

  •  Cowboys 1-0
  • Commanders 1-0
  • Eagles 1-0
  • Giants 0-1

Dallas: The Cowboys embarrassed the Giants, and that was only in the first half. It was a total domination by the Cowboys.

The defense not only shut out the Giants, but they collected seven sacks, two interceptions, including one pick-6, one blocked field goal TD return and forced five fumbles.

The Cowboys defense registered 23 quarterback pressures on the 37 snaps the Giants dropped back to pass.

Washington: The Commanders offense was supposed to be much better with Eric Bieniemy taking over from Scott Turner. But in their opener, the Commanders converted only 4 of 12 third downs, averaged only 3.8 yards per play, averaged 4.2 yards per pass, turned the ball over three times and allowed six quarterback sacks for -46 yards.

The Commanders defense registered 11 tackles for a loss and allowed only 3.6 yards per play and nine offensive points by the Cardinals.

Philadelphia: Quarterback Jalen Hurts completed 22 of 33 passing for 170 yards and 1 touchdown. He also rushed 9 times for 37 yards. He did lose a fumble.

The biggest play of the day for the Eagles was when Darius Slay notched a pick-6.

Defensive tackle Jordan Davis was a beast as he registered six tackles, 1/2 sack, one QB hit, one TFL, and one forced fumble.

New York: See Dallas above. It was a horrible night for the Giants. Quarterback Daniel Jones completed 15 of 28 passes for 104 yards and two interceptions for a passer rating of 32.4.


What place will the Commanders finish in the NFC East?

Some believe the Commanders will be better than the Giants in 2023.

In what place will the Commanders finish in the 2023 NFC East?

Monday, the hosts of “First Things First,” a Fox Sports talk show, predicted the NFC East 2023 season. The show is hosted by Nick Wright, Chris Broussard, and Kevin Wildes.

Here is the entire segment.

Here is how the three predicted the 2023 NFC East Division to unfold and what they had to say, particularly regarding Washington.

Nick Wright: Cowboys, Eagles, Giants, Commanders

“Coming in last in the NFC East, look, I wish Eric Bieniemy the best. But Sam Howell is your Week 1 starter. You already have odd vibes between your receivers, your head coach and the offensive coordinator about whether or not they actually like Bieniemy’s coaching style.”

“I thought their decision to not pick up the 5th-year option on Chase Young was inexplicable. Despite the injuries, we know what a talent he is, and the potential to let the number two pick in the draft hit free agency, made no sense to me. They are your fourth-place team.”

Chris Broussard: Eagles, Cowboys, Commanders, Giants

“Washington, I like them a little bit. Not like a Super Bowl team, but I like them. The defense is legit. Eric Bieniemy? I know it is preseason, but I like the way they have been running their offense. Obviously, you have Terry McLaurin; you have some decent skill position players. So I got them in third.”

Kevin Wildes: Eagles, Cowboys, Commanders, Giants

“Oh, look at that, Sam Howell sneaks (the Commanders) into the playoffs.”

Commanders season opener in 6 days: Washington’s best No. 6

Six days until the Commanders open the 2023 NFL season. A lot of players have worn the No. 6 jersey, but no one has stood out.

Commanders Wire continues a countdown to Washington’s season opener for 2023 in 6 days. Who was the team’s best player wearing No. 6?

Wearing No. 6 in Washington history nine players have kicked the ball, while two players have passed the ball.

Both quarterbacks were only in Washington for a single season. Shane Matthews played for his ‘ole ball coach from Florida, Steve Spurrier, in 2002. Mark Sanchez was not part of the team when the 2018 season began. But after Alex Smith and Colt McCoy both suffered a broken leg ending their seasons, Sanchez came out of retirement for two games, playing in one.

The first player to wear No. 6 in Washington history was Ali Haji-Sheikh. He kicked during the 1987 season, and his last game for Washington and in the NFL was Washington’s Super Bowl XXII 42-10 win over Denver.

At age 37, Tommy Barnhardt punted for Washington during his last NFL season in 2000. David Akers kicked in Week 3 1998 for Washington, making both extra points but missing both field goal attempts, and that was it for Akers. Wouldn’t you know it, he next went to Philadelphia and kicked for 12 seasons against Washington.

Ola Kimrin kicked five games in the 2004 season, Josh Bidwell punted four games in the 2010 season, and Nick Rose kicked eight games for Washington in 2017.

Saverio Rocca from Australia punted his last three seasons in the NFL for the Redskins. Rocca punted all 16 games during the 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons at ages 38, 39 and 40.

Shaun Suisham came to the Redskins during the 2006 season and made 8 of 9 field goals, kicking the last five games of the season. The following season Suisham connected 29 times in his 35 attempts. In 2008 Suisham was successful on 26 of his 36 field goal attempts. Making 18 of 21 field goals in 2009, Suisham was having a good year but was released after the Week 12 game when he made three of four field goal attempts.

Commanders season opener in 32 days: Washington’s best No. 32

32 days until Week 1 for the Commanders: Who is the top No. 32?

Commanders Wire continues a countdown to Washington’s season opener for 2023 in 32 days. Who was the team’s best player wearing No. 32?

Washington has not had a great player wearing No. 32, but three players deserve special mention.

Jack Pardee (1971-72) came to Washington at age 35, an outside linebacker who had previously spent 13 seasons with the Los Angeles Rams. Pardee was brought to Washington by George Allen his former head coach with the Rams. The former Texas A&M Aggie had a huge first year in Washington when he intercepted five passes, returning one for a touchdown. Pardee was also a team captain on the 1972 Super Bowl team. He retired following the 1972 season at age 36. Pardee became the head coach of the Redskins from 1978-1980 seasons compiling a 24-24 record. He died of cancer in 2013 at the age of 76.

Ricky Ervins (1991-94) was drafted 76th overall by Washington in the 1991 draft. The former USC running back rushed for 2,026 yards, eight touchdowns, and 32 first downs in his four Washington seasons. Coming out of the backfield, Ervins also caught 115 passes for 849 yards, two touchdowns and 12 first downs. Ervins most effective season was with the 1991 Super Bowl Championship team when he averaged 4.7 yards a carry and 11.3 yards a reception. Ervins scored on a 17-yard run against the Falcons in the 1991 playoffs and rushed for 72 yards in 13 carries in Super Bowl XXVI.

Vernon Dean (1982-87) was drafted by Washington 49th overall out of San Diego State in the 1982 draft. The cornerback started all but one game of the 1982 Super Bowl championship team. He was a starting cornerback from 1982 through half of the 1986 season when he was replaced by the emerging Barry Wilburn. Dean played in 12 games for the 1987 Super Bowl XXII champions, his last season in Washington. In his six Washington seasons, Dean intercepted 21 passes, returning two for touchdowns, and recovered six fumbles, one for a touchdown.

Commanders season opener in 34 days: Washington’s best No. 34

The franchise history of jersey No. 34 is lean. But there are some players who had their moments. So we gladly recognize those moments.

Commanders Wire continues a countdown to Washington’s season opener for 2023 in 34 days. Who was the team’s best player wearing No. 34?

The Washington history of jersey No. 34 is rather lean. But there are some players who had their moments. So we gladly recognize those moments.

Martin Bayless (1994) came to Washington following 10 NFL seasons and four different teams. The safety out of Bowling Green at age 32 became a Redskin, played in 16 games, starting 15, and picked off a career-high three interceptions. Bayless also recovered a fumble, returning it 60 yards for a touchdown against the NY Giants at RFK. He also might be remembered for a nice hit he put on Jerry Rice on a slant pattern at RFK. Bayless then played two seasons in Kansas City and retired after the 1996 season.

Tony Green (1978) was drafted by Washington 159th in the 1978 draft. The former Florida Gator running back was the last running back on the depth chart to make the roster, having missed much of the reps due to a hamstring issue. Yet Jack Pardee kept Green and they assigned him to return punts and kickoffs though he had little experience doing so. Green dropped a punt against the Eagles, picked it up and 80 yards later had his first NFL touchdown. Green averaged 10.5 yards on punt returns and 25.6 yards on kickoff returns including a 99-yard touchdown return. But the Redskins released Green in the 1979 preseason. He spent that season with the NY Giants and Seattle Seahawks and it was his last season in the NFL.

Mack Brown (2016-17) was an undrafted running back out of Florida. Released by the Texans, he signed with Washington was released, signed to the practice squad, released and signed again to the squad in 2015. In 2016 Brown rushed for 149 yards in the preseason against Tampa Bay, yet was again released, signed to the practice squad then promoted to the active roster. In Chicago, Brown enjoyed his career highlight, a 61-yard touchdown run against the Bears. The Redskins released Brown in 2017. He was claimed by the Vikings, back to the Redskins in 2018 on the practice squad before being waived a final time.

Brian Davis (1987-90) was drafted by Washington 30th overall in the 1987 draft. Davis did not start any games his rookie year as Washington started Darrell Green and Barry Wilburn. However, being the fifth defensive back, Davis impressed, intercepting a pass in a playoff win at the Bears and in Super Bowl XXII. In 1989 Davis intercepted a career-high four passes but in 1990 was beaten out by Martin Mayhew. He would only start two more games in the NFL (1992 for San Diego).

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Why some rest was good for the Commanders

The truth is, sometimes it is actually more important to rest than it is to work.

The truth is, sometimes it is actually more important to rest than it is to work.

No, you can’t make a lifestyle of resting more often than working. If you are going to maintain physical fitness, or maintain your property, develop your skill set for your career, it will require work – and lots of it.

However, the unanimous consensus of those reporting on Commanders training camp was that Friday was the worst practice thus far, really sloppy at times.

But Sunday was said to be much better.

Should we be surprised? The Commanders were in pads several consecutive days in the summer heat. The body can only take so much before it begins to experience a breakdown.

It’s true in all sports. Swimmers take on a tremendous workload during the regular season, but as they approach their biggest meets of the season, they will all “taper.” That is, they taper off in their yardage in the last weeks prior to the biggest meet. This allows them to be fresh, rested and ready to record their best times of the season.

The Commanders offense has not only been having to do battle against a defense that was a top-10 NFL defense in 2022, but the offense is also a step slow, with the added psychological weight of having to think through and trying to learn the new offense being installed by former Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.

Consider the offensive line. They are not only going up against Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Montez Sweat, Chase Young and their backups. The offensive line is having to learn new steps, new techniques in both passing and run blocking as well as new plays of which they may not be accustomed.

Having the day off Saturday permitted them time to be off of their feet, replenish with plenty of electrolytes and even get in some mental study of the new offense they are learning.

Rest is not to be ignored. Rest enhances recovery. When you have worked hard as the Commanders did in pads for a week, rest is actually important – significantly important.

For instance, Curtis Samuel began to feel his legs getting heavy and tight. Runners know all about this. There are times to back off, get some rest, increasing your chances of a better recovery before your next workout.

Centuries ago we read of God creating a day of rest. Today we realize that the human body functions best when there is a habitual pattern of a day of rest.

The Commanders’ day of rest came as some were starting to break down a bit. The day of rest apparently was good for the team.

Perhaps an important part of coaching is knowing when to take the foot off of the pedal, and even declaring to the team a four-letter word coaches don’t naturally like to utter: “rest”.

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Commanders season opener in 56 days: Washington’s best No. 56

56 days until the Commanders begin the 2023 NFL season. Who was the best No. 56?

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Commanders Wire continues a countdown to the Commanders season opener for 2023 in 56 days. Who was Washington’s best player wearing number 56?

LaVar Arrington (2000-2005) was an exciting linebacker out of Penn State who made so many splash plays he was drafted second overall in the 2000 NFL draft by Washington. Following his rookie season, Arrington produced greatly, earning three consecutive Pro Bowler designations. He was voted AP All-Pro second team in 2001. In 2002 Arrington produced 12 tackles for a loss, 95 combined tackles (70 solo, 25 assisted), 8 passes defended, 3 fumbles recovered (one touchdown), and his career-high 11 quarterback sacks. Arrington led the NFL in 2003 with 6 forced fumbles. He also was voted AP All-Pro second team. He had six quarterback sacks and 9 tackles for a loss. Unfortunately, injuries and frustration outlined his final two seasons in Washington, resulting in his playing in only 17 of the 32 games.

Len Hauss (1964-77) was an iron man for Washington, playing in 196 games, starting 194 over his 14-year career for the Burgundy and Gold. Hauss was drafted No. 115 overall out of Georgia. His rookie season he did not start two games. However, from that time forward in his 14 NFL seasons, Hauss never missed a game or a start. Hauss was a Pro Bowler for five seasons. He was voted AP All-Pro second team twice. He helped cement the offensive line that produced Larry Brown rushing for 5,000 yards in 5 seasons (14 game schedules). He started and was a key offensive leader for the playoffs for five teams (only four teams qualified in each conference) and the 1972 NFC Champion and Super Bowl VII team. He was named one of the top 70 Washington Redskins in 2002. Hauss died on Dec. 15, 2021, at age 79.

Commanders season opener in 66 days: Washington’s best No. 66

66 Joe Jacoby days until Week 1.

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Commanders Wire continues a countdown to the Commanders season opener for 2023 in 66 days. Who was Washington’s best player wearing number 66?

There is no question Joe Jacoby is the greatest Washington player to wear No. 66. There are some other players deserving of mention.

Carl Kammerer (1963-69) was an insignificant linebacker during his two seasons in San Francisco (1961-62) and his first two in Washington (1963-64). Yet, when switched to a 4-3 defensive end, Kammerer had two huge seasons. In 1966 Kammerer sacked opposing quarterbacks 17.5 times! He proved it was no fluke in 1967 with another 11.5 sacks and retired after the 1969 season with 43.5 sacks for his career.

Chris Chester (2011-14) and Derrick Dockery (2003-06, 2009-10) were two effective guards for Washington. Chester started all 16 games each of his four seasons with Washington after playing five with the Ravens. He later played two with the Falcons. Dockery was drafted 81st by Washington in the 2003 draft. The former Texas Longhorn also had four seasons he started all 16 games for Washington.

Joe Jacoby (1981-1993) unbelievably was not even drafted out of Louisville. Joe Gibbs has even admitted he initially was confused, thinking Jacoby was a defensive lineman. But into his rookie year, Gibbs and all Redskins fans knew who Jacoby was, as he started a surprising 13 games. Jacoby would become a four-time Pro Bowler, two-time All-Pro, a four-time Super Bowl starter and three-time Super Bowl champion. He was also voted to the all-1980s Decade team. He played most of his seasons at left tackle, then right tackle when Washington acquired LT Jim Lachey. Late in his career, he also played some guard.

Today (July 6, is Joe Jacoby’s 64th birthday.