Commanders rookie Emmanuel Forbes is ready to jump into the lion’s den this upcoming season, but maybe he should be careful what he wishes for.
The NFC East should be very scared. The Philadelphia Eagles have been not-so-quietly stockpiling weapons this offseason and in the draft for another Super Bowl run, and it’s their division rivals who could get the worst beatings in 2023.
The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants each have talented squads to put up a worthwhile fight against the Birds, but the Washington Commanders? They practically have no chance.
In between the self-destructive Carson Wentz era and Dan Snyder’s corruption, there’s some good roster pieces on the Commanders, yet they don’t boast nearly as much depth as the Eagles.
Philly’s offense is touted to become even more dangerous after the franchise’s latest acquisition of running back D’Andre Swift, and they already have a savvy passing attack with Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown, and DeVonta Smith.
No defender should want to face that trio. But Commanders rookie corner Emmanuel Forbes is more than happy to meet the challenge head-on, anxiously waiting for his turn to take a slingshot at the Goliaths of the league.
Commanders’ Emmanuel Forbes is hungry for a rematch against Eagles’ DeVonta Smith
The No. 16 pick of the draft was asked which wide receiver in the NFL he can’t wait to go up against in 2023, and he named DeVonta Smith.
Forbes last played against Smith at the collegiate level, when his Mississippi State played Smith’s Alabama back in Forbes’ freshman year.
In that game, Smith put up 203 receiving yards and four touchdowns in the Crimson Tide’s gobsmacking 41-0 victory. It’s obvious why Forbes is looking for revenge, but can he handle the heat?
Smith has since enjoyed an upgrade in quarterback play in the pro league — he went from catching deep balls from Mac Jones to Jalen Hurts, and he’s primed to enjoy yet another 1,000-yard campaign in his third season in Philly.
Forbes, on the other hand, is inheriting a mediocre defense in the Commanders, one that ranked 26th in takeaways (18) and 28th in interceptions (nine).
Forbes, an elite cover corner who holds the FBS record for most career interceptions returned for a touchdown, should help turn the tides a bit, yet that Eagles offense is no joke. Whether he’s guarding Brown or Smith, the first-rounder may experience some rookie pains and could easily get smoked on the sidelines at least a few times this season.
Such are the initiation rites of Year 1 defensive backs, after all. Forbes had better put on his big boy pants and prepare for one hell of a division rivalry matchup in 2023.