2. Washington Commanders
The Washington Commanders have overcome a permeable defense and an inconsistent young quarterback to emerge as legitimate wild card contenders early in the season. Ron Rivera's squad is 3-3, and while the top of the division is unattainable due to Philadelphia and Dallas, we saw the NFC East steal three postseason slots last year.
Eric Bieniemy is a highly-touted offensive coordinator who has the Commanders showing serious upside despite Sam Howell's youth and a spotty collection of receivers. There is serious talent on the pass-catching front — Terry McLaurin has flashed WR1 upside and Curtis Samuel is perennially solid — but the Commanders rank in the NFL's bottom third in receiving yards. McLaurin has taken a step back compared to last season and the Commanders have 214 drops as a team across six games.
Still, Howell can sling it up field and the Commanders feel like a team on the precipice of genuinely good offense. Michael Thomas would bolster the WR room in a big way, taking pressure off of McLaurin and Samuel while giving Howell a 6-foot-3 end zone and deep-ball target.
Thomas has been a paragon of consistency for the majority of his career. It would take time to adjust to a new system, but Bieniemy is historically wideout-friendly. Howell's inconsistency is a hindrance, but he's also a talented young QB who would benefit from a route-runner and pass-catcher with Thomas' cachet. The better the weapons, the better the QB. Thomas could cement the Commanders as a genuine postseason aspirant.