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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Bryan Manning

The Commanders had one of the oldest offenses in the NFL in 2022

The Washington Commanders took one step forward and two steps back on offense in 2022. There was the trade for quarterback Carson Wentz that failed. However, what head coach Ron Rivera did — or didn’t do — on the offensive line wrecked Washington’s offense.

The Commanders lost right guard Brandon Scherff. That’s not Rivera’s fault. No matter how many times Scherff said he wanted to remain in Washington, it was never genuine. Then, just as free agency began, the Commanders released left guard Ereck Flowers in a salary-cap move.

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Washington replaced Scherff and Flowers with Trai Turner and Andrew Norwell, respectively. While both players had their moments last season, there’s no doubt the entire offensive line took a step back in 2022.

What was most troubling for the Commanders, they seemed to hit two of their draft choices in wide receiver Jahan Dotson and running back Brian Robinson Jr. However, quarterback and offensive line play plagued Washington all season.

Now that the season is complete, Bill Barnwell of ESPN analyzed the snap-weighted age rankings for every NFL team on offense, defense and overall. Where Washington landed was a bit of a surprise, especially considering some of the young playmakers on the roster.

On offense, the Commanders had the No. 4 oldest offense in the league, at an average of 28.1 years old. Defensively, things were much more encouraging, with Washington coming in at No. 25, with an average age of 26.3. Overall, the Commanders were ranked as the 11th-oldest team in the NFL for 2022 [27.2].

This leads us back to Wentz and the offensive line. Wentz, 30, will not be back in 2023. Also, Norwell [32 in 2023] and Turner [30 in 2023] may not return. Also on the offensive line was left tackle Charles Leno Jr. [32 in 2023], right tackle Cornelius Lucas [32 in 2023], and guard/center Wes Schweitzer [30 in 2023].

Therein lies a problem. Leno is a good player. He will return — and he should return as the starting left tackle for 2023. However, Lucas is best served in his swing tackle role. Schweitzer is a player who can play all three interior positions and has proven to be a solid guard.

There weren’t enough young offensive linemen on Washington’s roster. Rivera went the cheap, veteran route, and it didn’t work. Turner and Norwell were once Pro Bowl guards, but that time has passed.

Rivera knows the offensive line is a major need this offseason, and the Commanders will likely spend resources on the unit in free agency and the draft.

Washington’s average age should go down next season with an infusion of youth on the offensive line.


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