Who Are The Washington Commanders' Biggest Rivals?
The Washington Commanders are a National Football League (NFL) franchise that has been around since 1932. In those 90+ seasons, they have had some memorable matchups and notable rivals. Geography and the structure of the NFL naturally create some of those rivalries. The NFL is divided up into eight divisions of four teams, and teams play the other three teams in their division twice a year. As for Washington specifically, they play in the NFC East division, and their three rivals come from that division.
New York Giants
The first rival for the Commanders and the team they have played the most throughout their history is the New York Giants. Their first matchup came way back in Washington’s first season in 1932, when they were known as the Boston Braves. Washington’s first-ever win in their history came against the Giants. In their second game in 1932, they defeated the Giants 17-9.
In addition to all of their great regular season matchups, the two have met on two occasions in the postseason. The first one came way back in the 1943 Divisional Round, with the Commanders (then known as the Redskins) defeating the Giants 28-0. Forty-four years later, in 1987, the Giants extracted some revenge, defeating Washington in the NFC Championship game 17-0 to advance to the Super Bowl, which they eventually won. Overall, the Giants and Commanders are certainly one of the NFL’s most historic rivalries.
After the Giants, another intense rival for the Commanders is the Philadelphia Eagles. Washington has had much more success against the Eagles than their other two main rivals. A lot of the wins for Washington came early on in their history. Of late, however, it has been the Eagles who have been dominating the series. Since 2017, the Eagles have beaten Washington nine times in 12 meetings.
In their most consequential matchup in 1991, it was Washington who came away victorious. In the Wild Card round of the playoffs that year, they defeated the Eagles 20-6 to advance. Additionally, in November of 2022, the Commanders shocked the Eagles and handed them their first loss in their ninth game of the season. Surely, Philadelphia and Washington will have some more memorable matchups in the future.
The final rival on this list for Washington and the one they have played the least throughout their history is the Dallas Cowboys. This is due to the fact that the Cowboys are much younger than the Eagles, Giants, and Commanders, having come into the league in 1960. In their first matchup that year, it was Washington who won by a final score of 26-14. However, the Cowboys have been the more dominant team in this rivalry historically. This dominance has been especially evident over the last 15 years, as Dallas has beaten Washington 20 times in 30 meetings since 2008. When it comes to their playoff history, however, it has been Washington coming out victorious.
They met in the 1972 and 1983 playoffs, and Washington won both times. In 1972, Washington won 26-3 in the NFC Championship game, and in 1983, they claimed a 31-17 victory in that year’s NFC Championship. While they would lose the Super Bowl the first time, the second victory propelled Washington to a Super Bowl victory in 1983. Overall, while Dallas has come out on top most often in the regular season, it has been Washington coming up clutch when it matters the most.
Who is the biggest rival of the Washington Commanders?
While it is tough to pick just one, the Commander's biggest rivalry has to be the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles are Washington's second most common opponent over the years, having met 178 times as of 2023, and they are their closest geographical rival within the NFC East. Washington has come out on top 89 times to take a slight edge in the series, including their lone postseason matchup in the 1991 NFC Wild Card round by a final score of 20-6.