Opening day is finally here and all the expectations and hopes of a winning season start today. Now a loss in week 1 does not end your season but a loss will definitely ratchet up the questions about the direction of the franchise. So today the more dominant the team can look the better the outside noise will be. The Commanders welcome familiar head coach Doug Peterson and the Jacksonville Jaguars to what should be a rainy FedEx Field. Here are my three keys for Washington to secure the victory today.
1. Be the Aggressor
Too often our defense is dictated to them by other teams and they play reactionary. Our defense has the talent to be aggressors but are never allowed to be that. The defense needs to keep consistent pressure up the middle on Jaguars QB Trevor Lawerence making his vision bad and get some turnovers. Blitzes need to be mixed up and try and confuse the second year signal caller. If Lawerence is able to get a rhythm, he can put up big numbers in Peterson’s offense. This task will be more difficult with Kam Curl being out today. The team will have to mix up who plays for Curl today. (Defensive Stats for a win- 3 sacks, two turnovers, less than 250 total yards.)
2. Clark Kent Wentz
Carson Wentz possess elite QB tools: impressive size, cannon arm, movement in the pocket. However those tools have also gotten him into trouble in the past for trying to hit the big play on every play. So for this offense to be successful, Wentz just needs to be Clark Kent and not superman. Take what the Jaguars give you, if it is the short game use that. If its the middle of the field attack there. The offense is loaded with weapons who just need the ball to make the play. Logan Thomas playing today also give Wentz another playmaker. There will be one or two plays that will call for Wentz to be superman, it is up to him to know when it is time! (Carson Wentz Stats for a win- 20-27, 250 yards, 2 touchdowns)
3. Fresh Start
Every offseason in Washington is a reality show that sometimes you never know what is coming. The beauty of the season is winning cures all concerns. A solid win today then the narrative turns away from the owner, new name, Congress, and whatever else may pop up. The players should want this opportunity to put in on the field and compete. Washington rarely has comfortable wins, so one of those would be nice for a season opener.
I foresee a slow start for Washington that will pick over the game. Antonio Gibson I expect to be used all over the field today and he reminds everyone of his abilities. I expect a 4th quarter separation and a Washington win. Commanders 27 Jaguars 17