What's next for the NFC Wildcard Losers?

I haven’t seen a whole lot of games from either the Washington team or the Vikings, but I was pretty underwhelmed by both Bridgewater and Cousins.

The Vikings seem to have a fairly strong defense, but their offense is one-dimensional, and that dimension is a 30-year old running back. McKinnon may be an adequate replacement - I don’t know much about him - but without a better O-line and a QB/playcaller willing and able to go deep on occasion and make solid reads, it’s hard to imagine the Vikings repeating the NFC North championship.

Yesterday’s game was literally the only time I saw of Washington’s this year. I’m not sure what aspect of their game they’re hoping to build on for the future. At least the NFC East is a mess, so they may be able to repeat, but I think the early money would have to be on Dallas winning that division next year.

Washington will probably be the same mediocre next year, but with some good drafting and proper coaching up could be legit in 2017 or 2018.

Cousins wasn’t great yesterday, but his receivers weren’t helping him out much. It much resembled the Patriots game from midseason, where they had a chance to at least keep up but there were drops all over the field killing drives.

The Redskins have a GM who has a plan, and Jay Gruden is at least a respectable head coach; he’s humble enough to always give credit elsewhere, accountable to take the blame where applicable, but still has the balls to call a guy out and tell it like it is when he needs to. He’s not going to make any particular brilliant moves in a game, but he’s usually not going to get out-coached.

Whether by giving him a fat new contract or franchise-tagging him Kirk Cousins is staying put. He may not be the second coming of Tom Brady, but he could be a legit NFL QB which this team has not had in a very long time (and they don’t really have any viable alternative so they really have no choice but to go all in with Captain Kirk).

They’ll probably resign Terence Knighton, give Junior Galette another year at a deep discount, maybe renegotiate DeSean Jackson’s contract, maybe Garcon too if they don’t cut him. Alfred Morris is probably gone.

Other than that, their offseason is going to go a lot like the last one, I think; GM Scot McCloughan believes in building a team from the trenches up and that’s what I expect him to continue to do. They really need to get some fresher beef in there and work on the run game, and the secondary needs a lot of help as well.

There aren’t going to be any splashy free agent signings; their biggest story this summer is going to be where does RG3 end up and that doesn’t really have anything to do with the team, as he’s surely going to be cut before they have to pay out that $16 million option.

Overall, the immediate outlook isn’t great, but there’s a core group to build something around.

It sounds like what you’re saying is that there’s a core group of competent, above average performers, but no stars, to build around. I find that totally believable, if not necessarily the best strategy. What are their core needs you think they ought to address in the draft?

ETA: probably wrong to say that’s not the best “strategy.” It probably is the best strategy if that’s the hand you’ve got, but I don’t see it leading to truly sustained success down the road, unless someone like Cousins really develops into an elite player.

They might have solved the QB situation, and that’s a big piece of course. TE Jordan Reed is a star. They have a Pro Bowl LT and a respectable, young right side of the OL. DeSean Jackson still has at least a couple of high-level, if not elite, years left in him. There’s above-average talent at LB.

Biggest need is DBs. The secondary has been pieced together from whatever they could scrounge up, going on for years now and really really needs to be addressed in the worst way.

They need a better starting LG and overall OL depth. The DL is average to very good at times, but the starters are comprised of 30 year old+ free agents on short contracts, so they need to get younger and stronger there.

So a lot of holes to be filled for sure, but again, their GM has a plan and he’s still only a year into building this thing so I’m interested in seeing what else he can do. Almost every move he made last summer worked out for them in one way or another, so I’ll believe in him for now.

Washington is in better shape than they have been in years. It just wasn’t their night. I always count on the management to make the wrong decision so I don’t expect to see much next year. Cousins may reached his limit, hard to say, we’ll just have to see what happens next season.

The Vikes didn’t do bad in an awful year for most teams. Beats me what they can do next year, I didn’t expect them in the playoffs this year.

None of the QB’s played particularly well yesterday. Rodgers missed a couple open receivers deep, Wilson could have had 2, maybe three, of his passes intercepted, McCarron had only 5.2 yards per throw and a bad pick, and Hoyer was absolutely horrible. Oddly enough, Bridgewater was PFF’s 2nd highest rated QB this past weekend, trailing only Alex Smith.

I think poor offensive line play and a complete lack of difference makers at the receiver position are to blame for a good share of the Viking’s offensive woes. They won’t be able to replace someone like Adrian Peterson, he’s just too damn good, but I do think they’ll continue to contend if they can get some playmakers. They were a botched field goal away from beating the Seahawks.

They’re an average team in a bad division. They hope to further develop Kirk Cousins, who is an average, cheap QB for now (but he’ll likely be overpaid very soon), but they don’t really have any consistent playmakers. DeSean Jackson is very hit or miss, Jordan Reed is an injury waiting to happen, and Breeland is about their only up and coming talent. With a passable offensive line and defensive line, they’re good, but not great team. But they’re soon to be past the crippling effect of trading up for RGIII, so they may remain competitive, at least in the NFC East.

A positive sign for Washington is they had quite a few blowout wins. While this team has been part of a lot of blowout games over the past 2 decades, they were always on the wrong side.

Many of the scores do not reflect how much they legitimately dominated many of their games this season. Granted they played a last-place schedule, but they’ve been playing a last place schedule the vast majority of seasons and never dominated this many games, not even when RG3 had his one big year.

Almost every move, really? The Redskins finished with the 28th-ranked defense and you think all those moves worked out?

Sure. Though I’ve seen enough from Wilson and Rodgers to not be biased by one off game. I haven’t seen a whole lot from Bridgewater or Cousins. So that’s kind of the point of this thread for me.

You could just easily argue it took a perfect storm to get them there: a 10am game, a freakishly cold day, and Marshawn Lynch taking most of the practice snaps at running back but not playing. My biggest concern for the Vikings going forward is that they’re going to go from a one-dimensional offense (AP) to a zero-dimensional offense. Bridgewater does not look like a QB who can make quality passes or run. He’s a zero-threat quarterback. And his stats on the year back that up. Maybe it’s all on the line and his receivers (and his playcaller). But it seems unlikely.

Cousins is actually very highly rated this year, statistically speaking. Based just on that, it’s actually kind of unfair to call him average. I think ‘promising’ is apt.

28th in yards. 17th in points allowed, up from 29th in 2014 and 30th the year before that.

Signed NT Pot Roast. Good player, played well.

Signed DE Ricky Jean Francois. Good player, played well.

Brought in S Dashon Goldson. Average player, but at a position were they literally had nothing.

Brought in CB Chris Culliver. Played well when healthy, but when injured they discovered a good young player in Quinton Dunbar, who was a WR on the practice squad in camp but consistently made good plays as a CB.

Added OL depth, which paid off because of a rash of injuries along the offensive line.

Jeron Johnson was a bust.

Drafted good, starting-caliber players in G Brandon Scherff and WR Jamison Crowder. RB Matt Jones will probably be the feature back next season. LB Preston Smith led all rookies with 8 sacks. S Kyshoen Jarrett was playing well before getting hurt late in the season.

Ranking isn’t everything. They greatly increased the talent level and brought in a lot of quality young players.

They did a decent job with the draft, but aside from Culliver, none of the FA signings really played exceptionally well. Also, next year’s “feature back” averaged 3.4 yards per carry. Definitely an improvement over the Cerrato days, but not some unqualified success; the team still sucked. Not a single win this year came against a squad with a winning record.

I don’t follow. They won 10 games, won their division, and played with, and should have beaten, the Seahawks. They aren’t a fluke.

I disagree. I think he’s just fine. He’ll never set the world on fire, he won’t be elite, but he can be an average, maybe slightly better than average, QB. He’s efficient, avoids killer mistakes (mostly), and does what he’s asked to do.

Why unlikely? Seems you’ve reached a lot of conclusions having seen all of what? one or two games of his?

They played in a division with two weak teams, and another that seemed to just collapse during the second half of the regular season. They had the season’s rushing leader, who happens to be 30 and will certainly decline. And they had every advantage going into yesterday’s game, and still couldn’t get a victory, or more than nine points. Look, I don’t think they were terrible. I think they were an above average team, but I suspect they’ll decline going forward.

Two this year, but no, I haven’t reached any conclusions. What I have is a number of suspicions based on that, along with the statistical data that’s available to anybody. I’m open to new factors I haven’t considered, and it shouldn’t be hard to find some, since I haven’t exactly spent a whole lot of time thinking about Teddy Bridgewater. But you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t just take your word on it.

The proven Alfred Morris only averaged 3.7 yds/carry and only scored once.

If you really think Terence Knighton and Ricky Jean-Francois didn’t make a difference you weren’t paying attention. Their contributions don’t show up on the stat line, but they were effective players.

It was not an “unqualified success,” but they did not “suck” and look to be headed in a positive direction, focusing their attention in the right places with cost-effective low-profile moves.

The Vikings will contend for the number one seed next year. Zimmer will only make this already strong defense better. Teddy will improve. For the most part he played well in his sophomore season. His arm is extremely weak but that’s ok as long as he is making smart and accurate passes. Also a brand new indoor stadium will help teddy. I have been a vikings fan for a little over 20 years. I have watched all but a handful of games when work got in the way. Its tough being a vikings fan but thats the way it is in professional sports. The Vikings will make it to the superbowl soon. Bold prediction. The Vikings do not need adrian peterson. I don’t know why everybody thinks that.

I didn’t say Morris was any better.

You can’t even spell his fucking name correctly and* I *was the one not paying attention?

I think AP is the Vikings offense right now. The jury’s still out as to Bridgewater but I see him as a competent starter who given some receiving talent can maybe be their future. They need to develop another starting RB. Defense is strong and should continue to be their strong point.

I agree although I think their future is less bright than you probably do. Washington is one of the most poorly run organizations in sports. Coupled with the product on the field and the fact that will have to overpay Cousins next year, I think they will have a lot of issues going forward.

This is what Washington did this year. This was literally the best set of circumstances they ever could have imagined, and they only barely backed into the playoffs. Consider the following:

Washington did not beat a team with a winning record all year
Every other team in their division inexplicably shot themselves in the face this season
They had the second weakest schedule this year

Almost assuredly, every other team in their division will be better next year, and Kirk Cousins will regress back to the mean. He’s Nick Foles all over again. People forget how great a QB can look when they are playing really bad teams.

Washington—everyone says theres a great future for this team, under Daniel Snyder I see them wallowing in mediocrity until their next playoff appearance in 2028

Houston—Philly sports talk rumors are hot that Houston wants FA QB Sam Bradford, and Sam Bradford wants them. That could lead to another playoff appearance. If not, look for Texans to draft Macklenburg out of Penn State and build around him until . . . . nothing happens. Doomed loser franchise with no hope, ever.

Minnesota----I like Teddy Bridgewater, and think the Vikings will make a playoff appearance or two under him. No Super Bowls.

Cincinatti----bad history of thugs and troublemakers on this squad. They will never ever win a playoff game until they get a coach that disciplines players

Not much difference between a first place schedule and a last place schedule any more.Two games against teams in the conference that finished at the same position. The Redskins only play two games different than the other teams in the NFC East. Granted, they did win both (St Louis and Chicago) and that is often a difference maker in that division.