The Redskins competed for a Wild Card spot in 2016, narrowly missing out after blowing a great chance with a loss to the Giants in Week 17. In fact, the Redskins put up stinkers in their final two home games of 2016, a Monday night loss to the Panthers and the Giant loss.
Still, despite the poor finish to 2016, many expect the Redskins to again compete for a wild card spot in 2017. Except Pro Football Talk.
PFT ranked the Redskins 25th out of 32 NFL teams in his 2017 projections. The biggest reason why the Redskins landed near the bottom of the league comes from the loss of DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon:
Those changes could make life more difficult for quarterback Kirk Cousins, who had another good season but remains without a long-term contract after getting a second straight franchise tag. That didn’t hurt him on the field last year and his focus should remain strong with the prospect of a big payday still on the horizon, but success will have to come with a different supporting cast this time around.
Yes, success will have to come from different folks, but the talent is there. Terrelle Pryor and Jamison Crowder can produce at a high level, and 2016 first round pick Josh Doctson should emerge now that he's healthy.
It's interesting that while the PFT ranking is quite low, most of the points about the 'Skins are actually positive, including a defense that should improve from a bad 2016 season. The biggest knock in the piece is on the abrupt yet slow ouster of Scot McCloughan. To anyone with a pulse that situation was handled poorly, yet, it doesn't seem like the kind of thing that will make an impact on the field this season.
Outside of the McCloughan firing and again being unable to sign Cousins long-term, it's been a strong offseason in Washington. PFT even said as much.
"They won the division in 2015 and, as mentioned, weren’t far away from the playoffs last year so it doesn’t feel far-fetched that Washington could find themselves in the mix."
In the mix sounds about right for the Redskins fortunes this season. And in the mix doesn't sound like 25th in the league.
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