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NFL-Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Commanders

A New Era, Can Washington Deliver a “W” to a Packed House at FedEx Field Sunday?

Newest Episodes of BnG Sessions

Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A new era of Washington Football will officially kick off Sunday afternoon when the Commanders host the Arizona Cardinals in front of a sold-out crowd at FedEx Field. A crowd that will feature several former players that haven’t been “home” in quite a while.

Now that Daniel Snyder is gone, it’s good to feel that excitement again; for me, it’s been since 2012 that I felt excited about a new season. Even then, we had more questions heading into the season than we do now. The quality of the depth on the current roster in comparison to that team isn’t even fair to speak on.

For Washington fans, hearing the roar of that burgundy and gold crowd this weekend instead of the embarrassing sea of green the last sell-out I remember gave us is a thought that should make all Commanders fans warm and fuzzy inside. Of course, most will still stress about the game all the way up to kick-off as we can’t help but remember all the times they were “supposed” to win over the last 20+ years.

Must-Win Statement Game Right out of the Gate

This Commanders team should come out in Week 1 and not have much of a problem with a Cardinals team that will start Joshua Dobbs at quarterback, a guy who has yet to even take a snap in an Arizona uniform. That said, this is the NFL, where on any given Sunday...well, you know the rest. Dobbs is someone the Commanders are already familiar with after taking on his former team, the Cleveland Browns, in the preseason.

Below are the two BnG Sessions (podcast) episodes that I uploaded on YouTube this week. Take a look/listen, and let me know what you’re thinking down in the comments.

Below is a timestamped summary of my “Commanders vs. Cardinals Week 1 Preview & Five Keys” video that’s posted above.

- [01:13] Washington’s defense may have an advantage as they’ve seen what Joshua Dobbs brings to the field, even though he didn’t start for Arizona in the preseason.

- [03:15] Without Kyler Murray, the Cardinals won’t be as good with Dobbs at QB, but they do have some talented players like Marquis Brown, James Conner, and Budda Baker.

- [04:25] Washington’s defense should aim to pressure Dobbs, force turnovers, and secure a win by at least two scores in this crucial game.

- [05:06] The game holds significance for the franchise, with new management and the return of older players like John Riggins.

- [07:08] Embracing change and enjoying the present moment is essential for sports fans as the team takes its first steps towards reclaiming its dignity.

- [09:50] Four keys to success for Washington in this game: Establish the running game, keep pressure on Dobbs, score touchdowns, not field goals, and avoid costly penalties.

- [02:23] The NFC East division is expected to be competitive; I have doubts about the Philadelphia Eagles’ ability to repeat as champions.

- [03:30] The success of the Washington Commanders this season is crucial for Coach Ron Rivera’s job security, making it a pivotal year for the team under Rivera.

- [04:11] The focus should be on scoring points on the scoreboard, particularly with Eric Bieniemy’s game planning.

- [06:05] My picks for the week.

John Ridgeway Brings Plenty to the Table

As the preseason was winding down, I did a few film study videos that I never posted here on Hogs Haven. One such video was about John Ridgeway, a guy who should get a lot of snaps this year. Year two should be interesting, to say the least.

- [01:24] Despite his size, Ridgeway displays agility, batting passes, and delivering impactful tackles.

- [02:19] Ridgeway’s determination to stay engaged in plays, even when initially not involved, is commendable.

- [03:16] His pass-rushing skills and speed are areas that need improvement.

- [05:06] The best ability is availability, and Ridgeway’s performance in year two will impact his contract value.

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