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The Commanders have allowed the most points in franchise history in 2023

How bad are the Washington Commanders on defense in 2023?

Washington ranks No. 32 in scoring defense, allowing 30 points per game. The Commanders also rank No. 32 in total defense, allowing almost 386 yards per game. Finally, Washington is ranked 31st, allowing opponents to average 5.9 yards per play.

That defensive ineptitude left head coach Ron Rivera no choice but to fire defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio after losing 45-10 to the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving. It was quite the fall from grace for a defense that was a top-10 unit in every metric only one year ago. The Commanders were ranked even higher in some metrics.

In the offseason, Washington lost only injured linebacker Cole Holcomb and replaced him with Cody Barton. Additionally, the Commanders used first- and second-round picks on defensive backs.

Yet, somehow, the team is worse — historically worse. On a defense that featured six former first-round picks, the Commanders have the NFL’s worst defense. Washington’s defense was so bad that the team shipped out defensive ends Montez Sweat and Chase Young at the NFL trade deadline on Oct. 31.

Washington has allowed opponents to score 30 or more points in nine of its 16 games this season.

After the Commanders allowed 27 points in Sunday’s loss to the 49ers, they broke the franchise record for most points allowed in a season with 480. The previous record was established in 2013 when Washington allowed 478 points. That 2013 season was Mike Shanahan’s final season and another rock-bottom moment — there have been several — for the organization.

Amazingly, the five worst defensive seasons in Washington’s franchise history have all occurred in the last 10 years. The NFL expanded to 17 games in 2021, meaning the Commanders have one more game to become only the sixth team in NFL history to allow 500 or more points. Of the five teams that have allowed 500 points or more, only one (2021 Jets) has come since the NFL expanded to 17 games.

The 1981 Baltimore Colts allowed 533 points. The Commanders would need to give up 54 points to the Cowboys this weekend to break that record. Difficult, but not impossible. After all, Dallas is playing to win the NFC East.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire