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NFL Power Rankings: Washington’s win moves them up, but the “full Wentz experience” continues to hold them down

The Washington Commanders move up, but need to do more to remove old storylines

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Jacksonville Jaguars v Washington Commanders Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Washington Commanders are 1-0, and as you watched, and you’ll read multiple times below, they got the full Carson Wentz experience in their 28-22 Week 1 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. National media was not high on them heading into Week 1, but their average ranking jumped almost 4 spots after going 1-0. Wentz will continue to make headlines any time he throws an interception, whether its justified or not. If Washington continues to win, and win against better teams than the Jaguars, that narrative will fade away. If they lose to the Lions this week, and Wentz throws a few more picks, expect the storylines to continue all season.

High: 10

Low: 25

Average: 20.7


Fox News(Gaydos)

Carson Wentz battled the Jaguars and turned out victorious. He was 27-for-42 with four touchdown passes, helping the Commanders to get off on the right foot.


The Athletic(Wulf)

Eagles fans and Colts fans, don’t spoil things yet. Let the Commanders fans have this moment.

After some familiar looseness with the football, Carson Wentz rallied the Commanders from eight points down in the fourth quarter to score consecutive touchdowns and win 28-22 (there was a failed two-point conversion after the first score). Wentz led an offense that ranked in the top quarter of the league in EPA per drive while tossing four touchdowns to three different wide receivers and leading a 13-play, 90-yard game-winning drive. By EPA per dropback, it was his best performance since 2018 in a game during which he also threw an interception. Embrace the roller coaster.


CBS Sports(Prisco)

Carson Wentz did some good things in the victory over the Jaguars, which is a good sign for this team. They do have playmakers on offense.

NBC Sports Chicago

The Commanders looked a lot more competent than I expected. They were playing the Jaguars, but credit where credit is due.


Athlon Sports(Fischer)

Washington fans are not going to last the season if there will be 16 more games of this Carson Wentz. 1-0 is still 1-0 though.


USA Today(Davis)

Off to a 1-0 start, Washington stands to benefit significantly from Dallas’ troubles ... as well as rookie WR Jahan Dotson’s emergence.


The franchise has a new moniker once again. And the Commanders welcomed to the Jacksonville Jaguars to Landover, Maryland. The final stats show that new Washington quarterback Carson Wentz threw for 313 yards and four touchdowns. But he was also picked off twice.

The Commanders squandered an 11-point lead and wound up rallying for 14 points in the fourth quarter. Two of Wentz’s four scores went to rookie wideout Jahan Dotson.



Rookie who stood out: WR Jahan Dotson

Dotson caught only three passes for 40 yards, but two catches were for touchdowns and both highlighted his skill as a receiver — and why Washington is so high on him. He also got open on a couple of other throws but was missed. The No. 16 overall draft pick caught a 7-yard touchdown pass in which he froze the corner, got him leaning outside and then cut back inside to catch a dart from quarterback Carson Wentz. In the fourth quarter he caught the go-ahead touchdown pass, on which he was obstructed and had to make a lunging grab in the end zone. Dotson ran good routes and showed excellent hands — traits that drew Washington to him in the first place. — John Keim

Boston Herald

Washington fans got the full Carson Wentz experience in one game. He was both unbelievably good, and woefully bad. For one Sunday, at least, the good Wentz won out.



Carson Wentz talked about how the Washington Commanders made him feel wanted. In the season opener, he rewarded the franchise’s confidence in him. Time will tell whether or not Wentz’s volatility returns, but the Commanders at least have something to feel good about right now.

New York Post(Dunleavy)




Carson Wentz was contained, responsibly aggressive and the Commanders rolled out an offense full of shifty, backfield eye candy that can gain him a pre-snap advantage. Washington is officially better than we expected.

Yahoo Sports(Schwab)

Curtis Samuel suddenly was a huge factor, leading the team with 11 targets and also getting four rushing attempts. It seems a bit odd to feature him so heavily on an offense that has Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson and Antonio Gibson, but at least Washington is getting some return on its free-agent investment in Samuel.

Bleacher Report

Sunday marked the first chapter of the Carson Wentz saga in the nation’s capital. It’s just one game, and it wasn’t a flawless effort, but Wentz topped 300 passing yards and threw four touchdown passes while leading the team to a comeback win in their first game as the Commanders.

Wentz wasn’t the only Washington player to have a big game against the Jags. Running back Antonio Gibson parlayed 21 touches into 130 total yards. Rookie wide receiver Jahan Dotson caught a pair of touchdown passes, including the game-winner. And fellow wideout Curtis Samuel showed what he’s capable of when healthy with 72 total yards and a touchdown.

However, a Commanders defense that finished last season 22nd in yards allowed and 25th in points allowed 383 yards of offense. The Commanders also nearly squandered the game with three turnovers.

Against a team like the Jaguars, those miscues weren’t a dealbreaker. They might not be against the Detroit Lions in Week 2, either. But if the Commanders are to be viewed as anything but an also-ran in the NFC East, they need to play better defensively and cut down on unforced errors.

However, there’s also room for at least some optimism.

“Maybe Wentz isn’t the problem,” Sobleski said. “Maybe he was asked to do too much at his previous stops and didn’t quite fit what they envisioned at the game’s most important position. Washington can’t complain with his initial performance. A 300-yard, four-touchdown effort is a welcome change of pace with Wentz taking advantage of the weapons on Washington’s offense, particularly Dotson. He still has plenty left to prove and clean up, but so far, so good.”


The Ringer(Gayle)

Carson Wentz threw two fourth-quarter picks in a span of less than three minutes against the Jaguars. It didn’t end up dooming the Commanders this time, but that’s not going to get it done against better teams. The low end of the Wentz roller coaster is what cost Indianapolis a playoff berth last season, and it will cost the Commanders in the future if the turnovers continue. If the Commanders are going to be in the playoff mix, they’ll need more of Wentz’s upside, like the two absolute dimes that went for touchdowns in the fourth quarter.


Carson Wentz looked like the 2017 version and then the 2021 version and then the 2017 version again.

The Score

Struggling to put away the Jaguars isn’t exactly the most inspiring start to the season. But a win is a win, and the Commanders should be thrilled with the immediate impact they’re getting from first-round receiver Jahan Dotson.



The Commanders got the full Carson Wentz treatment in his Washington debut. The veteran quarterback threw two early touchdown passes to put the Commanders in, well, command, then tossed a pair of interceptions on successive plays that put the game on the brink. But credit Wentz for not letting the game spiral away. He led Washington on two more touchdown drives in the fourth quarter to secure a 28-22 victory and win over the Commanders faithful — for the time being, anyway. The Wentz experience has always been a roller coaster. Another NFL fan base is buckled in with no chance to exit the ride. Hold tight.

Pro Football Network(Miller)

Washington Commanders fans have already participated in the Carson Wentz experience this season. In fact, the season opener may have been the VIP version of it. Wentz threw four touchdowns and two interceptions in the game. In the fourth quarter alone, he threw two ugly picks and followed them up with two downfield bombs for touchdowns.

Jahan Dotson made a huge play to finish his second touchdown, which was the game-winner. The best news for fans has to be the team’s third-down performance in Week 1 on both sides of the ball. The Commanders converted on 70% of their third downs and held Jacksonville to just 25%. Both statistics plagued the team a season ago.

Walter Football

Carson Wentz tried his best to throw away a potential victory with his two interceptions in the second half, but to his credit, he came up big in the clutch. We’ll see what happens against tougher defenses, however.


Sporting News(Iyer)

Carson Wentz nearly blew his stellar debut for his second NFC East team vs. the Jaguars, but he showed overall command in a new downfield passing offense. He made ideal use of all his weapons and saved the day for an all-around undisciplined defense.

The Lines

Carson Wentz (27-for-41, 313 passing yards, 4 TD, 2 INT) had a solid debut for Washington in a passing attack that now looks more balanced with Curtis Samuel and rookie Jahan Dotson making plays.


Where should the Washington Commanders be ranked after their Week 1 win?

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  • 5%
    Top 10
    (80 votes)
  • 41%
    (641 votes)
  • 49%
    (770 votes)
  • 3%
    (50 votes)
1541 votes total Vote Now