Ranking bad teams is fun, especially when you can put creative categories into play. ESPN has done just that, ranking all 32 NFL teams into eight possible categories.
Those categories are: time for a major rebuild, new coach taking control, time to reassess, stuck in quarterback purgatory, comfortable despite losing season, on the right track (mostly), need a postseason breakthrough, and still serious contenders.
The good news for Washington Football fans (or Commanders fans if you believe Joe Theismann) is the four-letter network does not think it's time for a major rebuild quite yet. But of course, ESPN isn't saying the team is a serious contender, either.
Washington falls somewhere in the middle, in maybe the most damning section ... "stuck in quarterback purgatory".
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Iron sharpens iron.
But is it accurate?
To paint a broader picture, the other teams that join Washington in that category are the Cleveland Browns (despite drafting Baker Mayfield No. 1 overall in 2018), the Carolina Panthers (even though they had Sam Darnold and Cam Newton on the roster this season), the Denver Broncos (still trying to replace Peyton Manning), the Philadelphia Eagles (time is running out on Jalen Hurts just two seasons in), and the New Orleans Saints (after just one year removed from the Drew Brees era).
Look, Taylor Heinicke wasn't terrible in 2020 or 2021, and in fact, made some improvements late in the season. But he's not the long-term answer for coach Ron Rivera. And the Ryan Fitzpatrick experiment failed miserably when 'Fitzmagic' went down for the season in Week 1.
Heinicke can and will be a serviceable backup for whoever takes the reigns of the offense next season. But there are other priorities to be addressed as well. Let's discuss!