The opener to the 2022/2023 season for the Washington Commanders

Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkCommanders

We finally have the long-awaited first game of the season in 2022/2023 season in what seemed like forever to get to this point. The off-season had the build-up to the permanent name change to the Washington Commanders, and the team traded for quarterback Carson Wentz in a much-debated move. Isn’t there a debate on any move that Washington makes?

So we will see how the Wentz era goes, and the team that has been built around him. We know he has a skilled receiving group, and running backs with proven history. There will always be a question on the offensive line, and we will see how it all works out in a real game.

“I think we have a guy that we can now establish and rally around … For us, the insights that Carson can give us are or has already given us is huge. We’ll take that to heart, but we’ll take it for what it’s worth. I mean, it’s more about what they’ve got planned for us than what they’ve done.”

— head coach Ron Rivera on Carson Wentz

For Wentz, he was originally drafted by the Eagles and last year was with the Indianapolis Colts. The Commanders and Colts were able to work a trade for Wentz in March of this year for the Commanders’ 2022 third-round pick and next year’s third-rounder that can convert to a second-rounder based on incentives. The teams swapped their 2022 second-round draft picks. Wentz owns the NFL’s 12th-best total QBR since 2017; he was ninth last season after throwing 27 touchdown passes to seven interceptions.

The Jaguars brought in a new coaching staff led by Doug Pederson who takes over a Jacksonville team that went 3-14 last year. Of course Wentz and Pederson have history, spending five seasons together and winning the Super Bowl in 2017 for the Philadelphia Eagles after Wentz led the team and was injured.

We will see how ready the coaching staff is in their preparation for the Jacksonville Jaguars and their new coaching staff. Commanders’ head coach Ron Rivera says he is ready for this one.

“Kind of interesting because yeah, I think in all honesty, other than the pandemic year, this year going into it, this got the most questions, because we didn’t have all of our offensive alignment up, ready to go. We didn’t get to see all of our tight ends. We don’t have all of our backs up this week. I mean, so I’m anxious to see what we’re gonna look like. I’m anxious to see what that combination is gonna be. It’s the same thing on defense. Going to miss a couple parts, but I’m anxious to see what we are, who we are, where we are. I mean, I really am. I think it’s exciting. You get that pit in your stomach already where you wanna throw up. It’s that anxiety, that anxiousness and it’s crazy because that’s something we can’t control. And that’s why, for me personally, I try not to get into it where we start thinking about what’s going to come on Sunday. I always kind of refer to what Andy [Reid] used to say is don’t play the game now, play the game on Sunday. So just trying to make sure we’re focusing on what we’re doing right now. And that’s the preparation to preparation, to preparation.”

— head coach Ron Rivera on first games of the season

So here we are to get this first game to see what this Washington team really looks like. There will be a lot to talk about before kickoff, during the game, and of course after the game. The team of course will be missing some of their key defensive players in Kam Curl and Chase Young.

This game is being played on 9/11 and with that there will be recognition and tributes at NFL stadiums.

ODDS: Washington is a 2.5-point favorite over the Jaguars.

GAME TIME: Sunday, September 11, 2022 at 1 p.m. ET

LOCATION: Fedex Field (Landover, MD)

TV: FOX WTTG-5 in the DC market

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