The Washington Commanders have a long way to go before being 2024's Houston Texans

The Houston Texans in 2023 were one in a million and no one should hope to have similar success.
Washington Commanders Rookie Minicamp
Washington Commanders Rookie Minicamp / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

Do you know how hard it is to have a season like the Houston Texans in 2023? To have two key rookie players, a rookie head coach, and a slew of players who had underperformed before that season, all come together and become champions is almost unheard of. While the Texans were rebuilding for a few years, most of the key aspects of the roster only arrived in the 2023 offseason.

Tank Dell, C.J. Stroud, Will Anderson, Dalton Schultz, DeMeco Ryans, and others arrived to turn up the noise. Then you had guys already on the roster, but not turning heads, and started to produce. Jonathan Greenard, Blake Cashman, Derek Stingley Jr., and others picked up the pace under Ryans and the Texans went from 3-13-1 in 2022 to 9-8 in 2023, with an AFC South championship.

It was a convergence of largely unexpected events. It's extremely unlikely that it can be repeated as if it were a set of Lego instructions. There isn't a formula or manual to go from zeros to heroes in one season. The Texans landed a potential MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in Stroud and Anderson. There are not a lot of teams who can say they landed both types of players in one draft.

The Commanders, who SI believes is the closest to repeating the Texans turnaround success,

They did draft Jayden Daniels in the 2024 NFL Draft, a solid start for a rebuild. That said, rookie quarterbacks rarely ever look as good as Stroud did. Most quarterbacks fail in the NFL. So while there's hype and excitement over Daniels, historically, there isn't a lot of reason to be. It's far more likely they end up with a dud than a stud.

It's always possible that Daniels is the next Stroud. That possibility exists, but if you're hoping that drafting the LSU prospect alone will put the Commanders on the path to success, we have bad news for you. The Commanders can turn things around, but it may take a few seasons to see them reach the playoffs and win a division title.

Believing, or expecting them to do so in one year is unrealistic. Especially since the Texans simply lucked into such a turnaround. So it's unfair and far too lofty of an expectation to believe the Commanders or any other team can pull off such a miraculous turnaround.