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Browns vs. Commanders: Scouting the Washington Commanders with our Q&A with Hogs Haven

We ask about the Commanders’ quarterback decision, the return of Chase Young, whether Washington has a path to the playoffs, and more.

Washington Commanders v New York Giants Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

This Sunday, the Cleveland Browns take on the Washington Commanders. To help preview a few topics from the Commanders’ perspective, we reached out to KyleSmithforGM from Hogs Haven and exchanged five questions with him. Enjoy!

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Browns are 2.5-point underdogs against the Commanders.

NFL-New York Giants at Washington Commanders Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Chris: “The Commanders just named Carson Wentz their starting QB over Taylor Heinicke, which I wouldn’t have agreed with. What is the feeling among fans?”

Hogs Haven: “The feeling among fans is split. I come down on side of Taylor Heinicke still giving the team the best chance to win, but after going 0-2-1 over the last three games, many fans who were already frustrated that Heinicke wasn’t putting up great fantasy football numbers were chomping at the bit for another ride on the Carson Wentz Experience (TM). Wentz was largely terrible this season, apart from the opening game, and expecting him to be any different over the next couple of weeks seems fairly naive to me. I expect Myles Garrett and the Browns’ pass rushers to have a big game against the statuesque Wentz this week.”

Washington Commanders v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Chris: “What has been Washington’s biggest strength & weakness defensively?”

Hogs Haven: “Washington’s defensive line and safeties have been very good this year, and with Chase Young returning last week, I expect the line to keep getting even better. Both tackles, Jon Allen and Daron Payne were selected to the Pro Bowl recently.

Their chief defensive weakness, and fans saw it from before the season began, is their depth at linebacker. Once starter Cole Holcomb went down, a platoon of David Mayo and Jon Bostic have filled in for him since. Mayo was simply roasted by George Kittle last week, and neither of these linebackers are any good in coverage. The soft, chewy middle of this defense is its clear weak spot.”

Chris: “Do you think the Commanders end up making the playoffs?”

Hogs Haven: “I do not. Realistically, Washington has to win its next two games, against the Browns and Cowboys, in order to have a real shot to lock up the 7th seed. In head to head match-ups against the Giants earlier in the month, they squandered the perfect chance to secure the playoffs with several weeks to go. Now, they may not make it at all. I have no faith Carson Wentz can win these next two games.”

Washington Commanders v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Chris: “Tell us about one player who Browns fans may not have heard of, but who could have an impact on this Sunday’s game.”

Hogs Haven: “How about I tell you about two. On offense, WR Jahan Dotson is currently the co-leader among rookies with 7 receiving TDs, and that’s in only 10 games played. Dotson has incredible hands, and has been a great complement to Terry McLaurin this year, catching touchdowns on - basically - 25% of his receptions.

On defense, second year safety Darrick Forrest has probably been the most pleasant surprise on the entire team. The ballhawking, hard-hitting safety, has forced two fumbles and come up with 4 interceptions, and has been a game-changer in a number of matches this season.”

Chris: “The Browns are +2.5 as of this question, per DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Commanders favored to win. Who would you pick against the spread?”

Hogs Haven: “I expect the Browns to win this game outright, say 24-17.”

Thanks again to Hogs Haven for taking the time to answer my questions.