2022 marks the dawn of a new era for the Washington Football Team Commanders, as they embark on their first season with the new name change.
Unfortunately, changing the name doesn’t take away from the train-wreck that the Washington franchise has been for the past 30 years.
With question marks at the quarterback position and a roster lacking talent, the Commanders certainly don’t enter the 2022 season with any championship hopes.
Instead, they just hope to make to January without embarrassing themselves, something they have been unable to do in about a decade.
What are their chances? Well, not great. Let’s get into it.
2022 Commanders NFL Betting Odds
Unsurprisingly, the Commanders are among the bottom tier of teams in terms of Super Bowl odds. They currently sit at +7000 to win the Super Bowl, with only 9 teams having worse odds than them.
In terms of coming out of the NFC, they have the 7th-worst odds to make it to the Super Bowl (+3100) with only the truly porous teams behind them.
There really isn’t much to say regarding their odds here, as I think they are accurately priced as among the bottom third teams in the NFL.
The more interesting argument in terms of futures are their odds to win the NFC East division, which are at +500.
Considering how bad the NFC East has been in recent years, and that they won the division with a losing record only two years ago, I’m not going to say it is impossible.
Despite their poor performance defensively last year, they still do have a ton of talent on the defensive side of the ball, especially along the line. They were a top five defense in 2020 when they won the division, but took a massive step back last year.
In 2020, they allowed the fourth fewest points in the NFL, only allowing 20.6 points per game (PPG), but last year they allowed the eighth most PPG at 25.5 PPG allowed.
If they can regain that elite defense from two years ago, then I could see them squeaking out 8 wins and winning the division if both the Eagles and Cowboys flounder.
Unlikely? Absolutely, but, no, not impossible.
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As things currently stand, the betting markets have set the Commanders win total at 8.5 games. Granted, they are heavily favoring the under in this case, with the odds to go under 8.5 games at -170.
Still, that total is too rich for my blood. Based on my math, if the Commanders go over their win total of 8.5, that would put them with a winning record on the season. That is something I just cannot envision.
Even in the wildest scenario where the Commanders do have a top three defensive unit, they project to be a bottom five team offensively. Generally, offense translates to wins more than defense does, with all else equal.
The Commanders starting quarterback is Carson Wentz, who has been among the worst QBs in the NFL for two straight seasons.
While his counting stats of 27 touchdowns to only 10 interceptions in 2021 sounds good on paper, any meaningful look into his play shows a poor quarterback.
Along with those ten interceptions he also fumbled eight times last year. So, that was 18 turnovers total, but a brutal 12 turnovers specifically in the redzone. Wentz was prone to making gut-wrenching mistakes at the most inopportune times last year.
Looking at advanced analytics highlights his poor play the previous two seasons. In 2021, PFF grade was 70.9, which was somehow even behind poor QBs such as Daniel Jones and Jacoby Brissett.
At least that was an improvement from 2020, when his PFF rating was even lower at 65.
Now, in Washington, Wentz goes to a worse coaching staff than the elite one he had in Indianapolis led by Frank Reich, with a worse offensive line and weapons around him.
The Colts have the 10th ranked offensive line according to PFF, ahead of Washington.
If there is some hope for the Commanders, it is that they have the sixth easiest strength of schedule, and that Wentz was rated higher than Taylor Heinicke, who started the majority of the 2021 season for Washington.
Still, even with all that, this Commanders win total under is one of my favorite win total bets of all 32 teams. You are paying for it with the -170 odds, but I view this as a smash play.