Last year the Commanders played slow (20th situational neutral pace) but it’s hard to know how much of that was due to inconsistent QB play. Would you be thrilled about the idea of giving more plays to Taylor Heinicke? This year, the Commanders brought in Carson “Am I an upgrade?” Wentz. Wentz SHOULD (strongly stressing should) be an upgrade, but there is a reason he has struggled to find a consistent home over the past few seasons. Rivera wants to be aggressive. With a competent offensive line (ranked 12th by Sharp football), and a better QB, there is a real chance the Commanders play faster than they did last year.
The Jags were a sieve on defense last season. They were dastardly bad (31st in DVOA) against the pass and almost equally soft (19th DVOA) on the ground. The Jags lost Myles Jack, but added some help in free agency, and used three of their first four draft picks on defense. This unit could improve as the season progresses but should still be a liability. Sharp football ranks poorly both their front seven (22nd) and secondary (27th). The Jags profile as a team that can be attacked through the air, or on the ground. With the tragic shooting of Brain Robinson during a carjacking and the coaching staff’s obvious displeasure with Antonio Gibson, the Commanders could skew pass heavy Week 1, against one of the worst secondaries in the league.