Top 9 Best NFL Franchise Moves: Are Commanders Better Off?

Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

The Washington Commanders are one of the NFL’s iconic franchises, as the team’s history dates to the league’s early years. However, the Commanders did not originate in the nation’s capital.

BetVirginia.com – your source for the best Virginia sportsbook promos – wanted to see how the Commanders, who moved from Boston in 1937, compared to other franchises that have moved cities. Using Sports-Reference.com, we found nine NFL teams that played somewhere for at least two seasons before relocating to their current city. We ranked the franchises based on the average win-loss percentage change between the previous city to current city.

Best NFL Franchise Moves

Rank

Team (Past Home/Name)

Avg. Win-Loss % Change

1

Los Angeles Rams (St. Louis Rams)

.141 up

2

Las Vegas Raiders (Oakland Raiders)

.078 up

3

Tennessee Titans (Houston Oilers)

.055 up

4

Washington Commanders (Boston Redskins)

.031 up

5

Los Angeles Chargers (San Diego Chargers)

.003 up

6

Indianapolis Colts (Baltimore Colts)

.013 down

7

Kansas City Chiefs (Dallas Texans)

.049 down

8

Arizona Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals)

.074 down

9

Detroit Lions (Portsmouth Spartans)

.187 down

Note: Only the past two cities count here (for instance, with the Cardinals we compare their St. Louis era to their Phoenix years, not including their time in Chicago). Also, the NFL considers the Ravens a “new” franchise so their move from Cleveland to Baltimore is not accounted for here. Finally, the Rams’ numbers only count their current tenure in Los Angeles, not their first run there (1946-94) and the Raiders’ numbers only are tabulated from their second stretch in Oakland (1995-2019).

Track Washington Commanders playoff chances all season at BetVirginia.com.

A Brief Washington Commanders History

Years before the New England (nee Boston) Patriots helped found the upstart AFL, Beantown was the first home for what is now Washington’s football team. From 1932 to 1936, the team (first known as the Boston Braves, then the Redskins) went 24-28-5, reaching the NFL Championship in ’36. But in that offseason, team founder George Preston Marshall moved the team south, citing a lack of popularity in the northeast.

Since moving to Washington, the Commanders have posted a 605-615-24 record (.496), which is .031 points better than their winning percentage in Boston. The franchise has also won five championships, including three Super Bowl trophies in a 10-year span under legendary coach Joe Gibbs – well before the advent of legal Virginia sports betting.

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2024 Washington Commanders Odds

The team has not won more than 10 games in any season since its most recent Super Bowl title, and it has only reached that plateau three times. The last playoff win came in 2005, and in those 32 seasons since winning Super Bowl XXVI, Washington has posted 15 seasons with 10 or more losses.

Chances are strong that the Commanders will have another double-digit loss season in 2024. At least that’s according to Caesars Virginia Sportsbook, which set the team’s season win total at 6.5. Odds for over that mark are slightly lower than the under (-130 vs. +110).

With expectations for another losing season in the cards, the Commanders are also considered underdogs to make the playoffs this season. At bet365 Virginia sportsbook, oddsmakers offer odds of +260 for Washington to play in the postseason. That’s an implied probability of 27.8%. The odds for them to miss out are -350.

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USA Today photo by Geoff Burke

Author

Steve Bittenbender

Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.

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