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Washington fans only slightly buoyed by Snyder’s decision to sell as the NFC East leads in wins and expectations for end-of-season honors

Poll results!!!

Minnesota Vikings v Washington Commanders Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Two weeks ago, Washington fan confidence was at 43% in our Hogs Haven Reacts poll. Last week, the poll was sent out before Dan Snyder’s announcement that he planned to sell the team, so the full effect of the announcement wasn’t seen in the voting, and fan confidence took the slightest of dips to 42% in the wake of the ‘squeaker’ win at Indianapolis.

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This week, the Commanders lost a game at home to the Minnesota Vikings that had appeared to be on track for a victory well into the 4th quarter. That game seemed to have more effect on this week’s fan confidence than the long-term hope of a new team owner. Fan confidence rose slightly to 51%, but it was not the steep increase in confidence that I thought might result from the long-awaited news that Dan Snyder was ready to cash in his chips.

Of course, part of the reason why barely more than half the fan base is ready to express confidence in the direction of the team is that in Ron Rivera’s 3rd season as head coach, the team seems unable to get to the point where it can reliably beat good teams.

The loss to the Vikings this past week came in a game that Ron Rivera had termed “a measuring stick” for the Commanders. Well, they came up short.

The Commanders are expected to come up short again this week when they take on the only unbeaten team remaining in the NFL. The Commanders travel to Philadelphia to take on the division-, conference-, and league-leading Eagles, and you have to look pretty hard to find anyone not on the Washington team payroll who thinks they can return home with a 5-5 record.

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As you can see, fans across the nation picked the Eagles in the national email survey to remain undefeated when the two division rivals face off on Monday Night Football. When the same two teams met in Washington in Week 3, the Eagles dominated in a 24-8 game that wasn’t as close as the final score would indicate.

The Eagles are having the best season in their history, off to an 8-0 start for the first time ever. But the entire NFC East division — even when you include the 4-5 Commanders — is doing well.

As you can see from the chart above, the NFC East has more total wins than any other division, with 24, and is the only division in the NFL to have reached 20 extra-divisional wins. The next closest is the AFC East with 18 extra-divisional wins, while the two South divisions (AFC & NFC) have just 13 extra-divisional wins between them.

All this winning — no other division has more than one team with more than 5 wins; the NFC BEast has three — means that a lot of players and coaches in the division are being considered for end-of-season awards.


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In the national email survey of fans, Jalen Hurts led all other candidates in the number of NFL fans who think he should get the MVP award this season.

Defensive Player of the Year

Meanwhile, a 6-2 Dallas Cowboys team that is being led by its defense has a 2nd year linebacker in Micah Parsons who ran away with the national Reacts voting for Defensive Player of the Year.

Coach of the Year

While no coach in the NFC East led the poll for Coach of the Year in the Reacts survey this week, two division head coaches, Brian Daboll and Nick Sirianni, were among the top four vote-getters.

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It all adds up to a tough NFC East in 2022 that pretty much eliminates the Commanders from a shot at the division title (though that assessment could be revisited if Washington were to pull off an unlikely upset on Monday night). Ron Rivera’s team is not, however, out of contention for the final wildcard slot, though accomplishing that would probably require that all 4 NFC East teams qualify for the playoffs — something that has never before happened in NFL history. Still, it feels like 8 or 9 wins could be enough to get into the NFC playoffs as the 7th seed in January, and that’s not yet out of the question for the burgundy & gold.

In the meantime, what’s happening off the field with investigations and ownership maneuvering seems, at times, to be a bit more interesting than what’s happening on the field; especially when Washington has the ball.

The Commanders are 11-point underdogs on Monday Night Football, and the over/under is set at 43.5 points by DraftKings. The Eagles offense is averaging 28.1 points per game while the Commanders offense is averaging 17.7 for the season, so the under looks pretty good on that basis. Let’s hope that the Commanders defense has what it takes to dramatically slow the Philly offense, and that Taylor Heinicke can find a little magic dust somewhere in his bag of tricks.

Bill-in-Bangkok prediction:

Eagles 24

Commanders 19