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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Ivan Lambert

How many Commanders will compete hard these last four games?

Will the Commanders’ fan base need to mentally prepare for the last month of this 2023 NFL season?

The team has lost six of their last seven games, they are certainly not going to qualify for the playoffs, and head coach Ron Rivera is going to be dismissed as soon as the season expires.

Jonathan Allen, who is from the Ashburn area, even stated Monday on the “Sports Junkies” that there are times he does think about playing elsewhere and being a winner in the NFL.

“1,000 percent. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. I play this game to win, and I would love to win here, for sure. But I want to win, first and foremost.”

The new general manager and head coach, when they are hired, now have to consider who, like Allen, would-be players the Commanders could trade and receive notable draft capital.

Unfortunately fans must now further consider the last two games. Washington has lost 45-10 and 45-15. That’s 90-25. It is thus legitimate to ask questions such as, “How many guys are not competing at the level they were earlier in the season?” How many guys will not be laying it on the line but will be attempting to avoid getting hurt?

The Commanders still have to play the 49ers and Cowboys (Super Bowl contenders). The other two games will not be easy either because the Jets defense is very effective, and the Rams are in the race for an NFC Wild-Card spot.

Unbelievably, after a 2-0 start, could the Commanders actually finish 4-13?

Class of 2023 defensive ends Andre Jones and K.J. Henry need to show out these last four games. If, for example, they don’t produce, then you might see Washington draft or sign a veteran free agent edge who they see as a starter next season.

There are several players whose contracts expire after this season. Thus, they are going to be free agents. These guys are playing for contracts. Some are playing to remain in the NFL next season, whether they realize it now or not. How much more motivation do you need?

What about Sam Howell?

Howell has started all 13 games this season. Yet he has taken snaps in only 14 NFL games. In his last three games, Howell has offered up an interception for a touchdown in each game.

In the last four games (all losses), Howell has been sacked 3, 4, 4 and 3 times. He has been sacked 58 times this season, and four games still remain. Four games that we don’t want to see get ugly. We don’t want to risk Sam Howell getting injured having to throw too much, as well.

Four weeks ago, Sam Howell was the guy the Commanders were going to build around in 2024. Now, with the four consecutive losses, the Commanders have moved all the way up to the 4th overall draft position for the 2024 NFL draft.

Consequently, this brings quarterback into the list of possible draft selections with that 4th overall selection.

Fans are talking of tanking to continue to move up the draft board. This is not the NBA; this is the NFL, where things are much different. I’d rather see the Commanders have a bunch of guys who are fed up with losing and band together to fight together and pick up another win.

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