The Washington Commanders have won more than any team in the NFL since Week 6, which means that now, as the playoff race is starting to tighten up, the national media is paying more attention to the Burgundy & Gold.
Ryan Clark, who works as an analyst for ESPN on "NFL Live," was at Washington's game against the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday, and beside the fact that Washington won the game, 19-13, Clark was impressed with the atmosphere at FedExField.
"The energy at the stadium is like college," Clark said. "It's almost a collegiate feel. There's a feel of like, 'That's our people.' There's a connection. I think it's because of the quarterback, but I also think it's because now, they know they have an identity as a team."
The identity Clark is talking about hinges on the run game that has emerged with help from Brian Robinson, who had his first 100-yard game against the Falcons. Over the last three week's Washington has average 160 yards on the ground, which ranks fifth most in the NFL over that span. Robinson has started to get more comfortable as a runner, and he is starting to pair his knack for finding tough yards with some quickness and change of direction.
The result has caused defenses to bow their neck, Clark said, because they know how often Washington is going to run the ball. Now that Robinson is bringing a different level of physicality, things are starting to come together for Washington at the right time.
"It's changed the entire energy of the team," Clark said. "This team now has an identity. They're gonna come out, they're gonna play tough, physical football on both sides of the line of scrimmage."
No one has dedicated more to the rushing game over the last three games than the Commanders. They have averaged 42 attempts per games, which is nearly five more than the next team (Dallas with 36.7). That has paid off in dividends for Washington, and if the playoffs started today, the team would be the No. 7 seed.
And don't expect that to chance, either. The New York Giants, Washington's next opponent in its next two games, are among the worst teams in terms of defending the run, although they bring plenty of pressure. It will be a pivotal test for Washington, but if it manage to have another strong game on the ground, it will be in full control of its playoff hopes.
Here's a morning roundup of what the local and national media have to say about the Washington Commanders on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022. All reports, rumors and conjecture are a reflection of the media conversation and are not endorsed or confirmed by the Washington Commanders.
The reports and deals expressed in this article have not been confirmed by Washington, nor do they reflect any insider information from anyone in the front office.
- NBC Sports Washington's Peter Hailey reports on the latest news surrounding Chase Young.
- NBC Sports Washington's Peter Hailey also writes about Daniel Jones' past performances against the Commanders.
- NBC Sports Washington's Bijan Todd looks at how Robinson and Gibson have become the one-two punch Rivera envisioned.
- The Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala writes about how the Commanders' turnaround has echoes of Ron Rivera's past.
- The Washington Times' Jacob Calvin Meyer writes about five Commanders being in the Top 10 at their position in Pro Bowl voting.
- The Athletic's David Aldridge looks at how the Commanders keep winning.
- The Washington Post's Sam Fortier writes about the Commanders' red zone offense.
- The Washington Post's Sam Fortier also writes about Brian Robinson racking up big yards and wearing a big hat.
- The Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala reports on the Commanders surviving against the Falcons.
- The Washington Post's Barry Svrluga gives his perspective on the Commanders' winning formula.
- The Washington Post's Scott Allen gives four takeaways from Washington's win over the Falcons.
- The Washington Times' Matthew Paras writes about the Commanders being the seventh seed in the playoffs.
- The Washington Times' Jacob Calvin Meyer looks at how the defense played in big moments.
- NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay gives his stock report for Washington's win over the Falcons.
Check Out What's On Commanders.com:
- From the booth | A few asks
- Week 13 power rankings | Commanders continue to collect national attention
- 'A heck of a tandem': Jon Allen, Daron Payne are a duo to be reckoned with
- NFC playoff picture | Commanders get into the Wild Card discussion
- Numbers to know from Washington's Week 12 win over Atlanta
- Commanders-Falcons Stats & Snaps
- Instant Analysis | Washington survives again with game-saving INT, improves to 7-5
- 5 takeaways from Washington's third consecutive win
- Game Balls | 3 standouts in the Commanders' win over the Falcons