In this preseason series I will be taking a look at the 2023 Washington Commanders roster and giving my season predictions on how each position group will perform.
Today I will look at a much more stable position on the roster - running back.
Last season saw a committee approach at running back, with rookie Brian Robinson leading the way after he recovered from his gunshot injuries. Over 12 games, Robinson rushed for 797 yards and two touchdowns while averaging just 3.9 YPC. Antonio Gibson didn’t fare as well, with a poor 3.7 YPC average and 546 rushing yards. He did however catch 46 passes for 353 yards and found the end zone five times.
The Commanders return both top rushers from 2022, and added rookie sixth rounder Chris Rodriguez to the room to go along with veterans Jonathan Williams and Jaret Patterson. It’s a strong room overall with much-needed versatility, but the blocking up front will play a key role in determining the unit’s effectiveness.
In this preview, I will be looking at the top three running backs on the roster.
Brian Robinson - It took Brian Robinson a few games upon his return to start hitting his stride. His offensive line did him no favors, allowing contact early and often, which limited him to just 3.9 yards per attempt. With better blocking up front, I expect BRob to average over four yards per carry and see the end zone with more frequency.
Rec Yds: 105
Antonio Gibson - People speak highly about offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy’s ability to create mismatches for his weapons, and I think that’s exactly what he’ll do with Antonio Gibson. I see his rushing attempts dropping a bit from 2022, but I expect his yards per carry, as well as his touches in the passing game, to both increase.
Rec Yds: 445
Chris Rodriguez - Rodriguez is the wildcard here. It wouldn’t surprise me if he ended up out-touching Gibson on the ground when all is said and done, however I am predicting a modest year right now for the rookie, with a potential break-out in 2024. My prediction has him leading the trio in yards per carry at 4.5, but issues with pass blocking keep him off the field with regularity early in the season.
Rec Yds: 40
Which running back will lead the commanders in total scrimmage yards in 2023?
This poll is closed