NFC EAST 2016 PREVIEW
It’s difficult to make bold a prediction with this offense, after all we’ve only seen one great year form Kirk Cousins. His own team wouldn’t even sign him to a long-term contract, which speaks volumes. At the end of the day, if Brock Osweiler can get paid, Cousin’s should’ve as well, but we’ll have to wait to see if this chess move pays off for Washington. The Skins have playmakers, but not a lot, and depth could be an issue. Matt Jones is already banged up, Jordan Reed’s brain is thick oatmeal right now but could turn to mush with one more big hit, and Cousins is on the brink of greatness or disaster. The Redskins were second in the league in adjusted games lost last season, which measures starters lost to injury, but the they really capitalized on Dallas being banged up as well. If they stay healthy, they will compete of the division title.
The Skins made some noise with monster free agent signing Josh Norman, but the football world will learn that without a front seven to force bad throws from the opposing QB, Norman’s overall talent level is likely not at the Pro Bowl level even if his pay check doesn’t reflect that. Thankfully this team is experienced on defense, and Norman should be able to make plays. They aren’t the Panthers, so lower expectations. Still having to roster players like De’Angelo Hall doesn’t help either.
Jamison Crowder adds to much needed depth to this receiving unit and provided a decent sample size last year. He’s great on third down, has exceptional hand and route running ability. He’ll line up in the slot and should have room to work with both DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon able to run deep routes. Don’t forget about Crowder, and don’t be surprised when he puts up big games, because defenses didn’t game plan for him.
Jordan Reed if healthy is a top 3 TE behind Gronk and Greg Olsen. He’s an athletic freak, that Washington desperately needs to stay healthy and make big plays. He was great when on the field last season, and gives Kirk Cousin a much needed target in the slot when the going gets tough. He’s a true difference maker on the offensive side of the ball.
Jordan Reed is a top two or three TE, so gage value, and draft accordingly. He had 15 more receptions than Gronk in one fewer game and averaged more fantasy points per game as well in PPR leagues. Kirk Cousins is as good as a 2nd tier QB as there is, and should be on your radar after the first wave come off the board. Every other Redskins player should be added based on perceived value.
The Skins have Arizona, Carolina, Pittsburgh and Baltimore on their schedule so winning the division won’t be easy. With Tony Romo potentially out 6-10 weeks Washington has a real chance to take the division with their toughest test actually being the Giants. Don’t be surprised by a 10-6 record with a legit shot at the division title, even without a solid running game.