Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NFL. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in Washington Commanders fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to participate in regular email surveys.
We begin our survey with the usual weekly question that asks if you are confident in the direction of the team. Last week, Commanders fan confidence fell precipitously following the home blowout loss to Buffalo. How do you feel now after an overtime loss on the road to Philadelphia?
While the players have to forget about the Eagles game and focus right away on Thursday Night Football, as fans we have a bit more time to spare before we move on, so we’ll look back to the Philly game and ask you what you were most disappointed in from that loss. We’ve limited the options to six, but you can feel free to redirect that discussion in the comments.
In our final question of the week, we do another thing that players are told not to do; we look beyond the next game. In fact, having finished the first ‘quarter’ of the 17-game season, we are asking you to predict what will happen in the 2nd quarter.
In our final poll before the season started, Hogs Haven readers correctly predicted the team’s current 2-2 record. You might also believe that fans anticipated the OT loss to the Eagles since 3-1 was the next most popular prediction.
As most of you know already, the burgundy & gold are playing on Thursday against the visiting Chicago Bears who are winless through 4 games and seemingly in disarray. They do have a dangerous quarterback in Justin Fields, however, and, in his Monday Zoom call with reporters, head coach Ron Rivera talked about Fields as if he were in contention for the league MVP award.
In Week 6, Washington travels to Atlanta to play the Falcons, who are tied with the Saints for 2nd place in the NFC South at 2-2. This past Sunday, however, the Falcons suffered an ugly road loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars 23-7. That was a game in which the head coach had to answer questions from reporters about whether he had considered benching starting QB Desmond Ridder in favor of his backup Taylor Heinicke.
In Week 7, Washington travels north to New York to take on the Giants, who occupy the 4th spot in the NFC East standings. After last year’s success, which included a playoff win and a “Coach of the Year” award for Brian Daboll, the Giants have shocked their fans by losing 3 of the team’s 4 games, and being outscored 122-46 along the way. After a brief sign of life in Week 2, when they overcame a scoreless first half to beat the Arizona Cardinals, the G-men have been mired in misery; they have mustered a combined 15 points in their 3 losses so far, and appear to be in danger of losing two more games before we meet them in Week 7, as their opponents in the intervening two weeks are NFL powerhouse teams, the Dolphins and the Bills.
Week 8 sees the Eagles traveling to Landover for the rematch of this past week’s exciting game. Washington swept the Eagles in 2020, when we played them in the first and last games of the season, with Dwayne Haskins getting the first win against Carson Wentz, and Alex Smith getting the second one against Jalen Hurts. Philly returned the favor by sweeping Washington in ‘21, but the two teams split the series last season, with the visitors winning each game. Will we see another split in 2023, with the home teams prevailing?
The Commanders have the opportunity to get to 6-2 if they can win all four upcoming games, but the worst case 2-6 outcome would be more in keeping with recent seasons. It’s the Josh Harris era now, so maybe we’re in store for more early success than Washington fans have been accustomed to in recent years.
One last reminder — in honor of playing the Chicago team this week — to vote early and vote often.
Comments & Results
Of course, we invite you to answer the survey questions below, but also feel free to expand on your answers in the comments section. I rely on those comments when discussing the results of the survey when they are posted in a separate article the next few days.