The Washington Commanders made a statement on Sunday, securing a hard-fought 20-17 road victory against the New England Patriots. In the third quarter, with just 3:53 remaining on the clock, quarterback Sam Howell faced intense pressure and unleashed a pass towards the sidelines. His target? The talented wide receiver Terry McLaurin, who caught the ball, kept the drive alive on a crucial third and eight play.
According to NFL Next Gen Stats, McLaurin's 26-yard reception defied the odds with a mere 3.4% completion probability. Surpassing a Week 6 pass from PJ Walker to Amari Cooper.
Despite their 4-5 record, the Washington Commanders refuse to back down. Following the NFL Trade Deadline, where defensive linemen Chase Young and Montez Sweat were traded away, the team acquired valuable draft capital and publicly announced their commitment to building around quarterback Sam Howell.
Surprisingly, the Washington Commanders currently hold the eighth seed in the NFC after Week 9 of the NFL season. This position puts them in contention for one of the coveted NFC Wild Card spots. As of now, the Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, and Minnesota Vikings occupy those spots, but the tides could turn.
Washington holds some control over their destiny. With upcoming road games against the Seahawks and two matchups against the Cowboys, they have an opportunity to shape their playoff prospects. While the Commanders' playoff aspirations may seem unlikely, the NFC remains wide open, and a surprise run is not entirely out of the question.