The NFL season ended in dramatic fashion yet again, as the Broncos' defense carried Peyton Manning and the borderline anemic Denver offense to a Super Bowl victory over MVP Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
And sadly, with that the 2015 season came to a close. However, in a way the NFL never truly stops. The combine will be held in just under two weeks, free agency begins in a month and the draft (a.k.a the Scot McCloughan instructional workshop for GMs on how to build an NFL team) is less than 80 days away.
Those events are just around the corner, and Hogs Haven will be here to provide wall-to-wall Redskins coverage for all of them. However, before we focus our attention solely on the offseason and the future of the Redskins, we'll take a quick look back at 2015, specifically at what we got right and what we got wrong about the NFL this year in general.
Before the season kicked off, our writers made predictions on everything from who would make the playoffs in each division to what the Redskins' final record would be. This is not an uncommon practice, as almost every NFL site does this; what is uncommon is that we actually revisit our predictions. And now that the season is over it's time for us to face the music yet again. In the following two tables the writer's predictions have been re-posted alongside of the actual results.
|Category||Anthony Brown||James Dorsett||Bryan Frantz||Jennifer Filsinger||Mike Harar||Actual|
|NFC Wild Card||Vikings||Cowboys||Eagles||Cardinals||Lions||Packers|
|NFC Wild Card||Redskins||Vikings||Cardinals||Cowboys||Cardinals||Seahawks|
|AFC Wild Card||Dolphins||Patriots||Dolphins||Bengals||Ravens||Chiefs|
|AFC Wild Card||Steelers||Ravens||Chiefs||Dolphins||Broncos||Steelers|
|1st Pick in 2014||Raiders||Browns||Titans||Browns||Jaguars||Titans|
|Comeback POY||Sam Bradford||Sam Bradford||Victor Cruz||Eric Berry||Carson Palmer||Eric Berry|
|Coach of Year||Bruce Arians||Chip Kelly||Gary Kubiak||Chip Kelly||Pete Carroll||Ron Rivera|
|Offensive ROY||Todd Gurley||Amari Cooper||Nelson Agholor||Amari Cooper||Jameis Winston||Todd Gurley|
|Defensive ROY||Vic Beasley||Vic Beasley||Vic Beasley||Vic Beasley||Leonard Williams||Marcus Peters|
|Offensive POY||Aaron Rodgers||Andrew Luck||Andrew Luck||Andrew Luck||Adrian Peterson||Cam Newton|
|Defensive POY||J.J. Watt||Von Miller||J.J. Watt||J.J. Watt||J.J. Watt||J.J. Watt|
|MVP||Andrew Luck||Andrew Luck||Andrew Luck||Andrew Luck||Peyton Manning||Cam Newton|
|Redskins Off. POY||DeSean Jackson||DeSean Jackson||DeSean Jackson||DeSean Jackson||Kirk Cousins||KC/JR|
|Redskins Def. POY||Ryan Kerrigan||Ryan Kerrigan||Ryan Kerrigan||Ryan Kerrigan||Chris Culliver||RK/BB/CB|
|Playoff Finish||Divisional||None||None||None||None||Wild Card|
|Category||Chris Hess||Hog Hunter||Ken Meringolo||Alex Rowsey||Steve Shoup||Actual|
|NFC Wild Card||Giants||Cowboys||Redskins||Vikings||Eagles||Packers|
|NFC Wild Card||Seahawks||Vikings||Seahawks||Cardinals||Lions||Seahawks|
|AFC Wild Card||Steelers||Dolphins||Patriots||Dolphins||Dolphins||Chiefs|
|AFC Wild Card||Broncos||Chiefs||Bengals||Steelers||Ravens||Steelers|
|1st Pick in 2014||Cowboys||Browns||Browns||Raiders||No Pick Made||Titans|
|Comeback POY||Navarro Bowman||Sam Bradford||Sam Bradford||Sam Bradford||Sam Bradford||Eric Berry|
|Coach of Year||Jay Gruden||Chuck Pagano||Joe Philbin||Mike Zimmer||Chuck Pagano||Ron Rivera|
|Offensive ROY||Jameis Winston||Marcus Mariota||Marcus Mariota||Amari Cooper||Marcus Mariota||Todd Gurley|
|Defensive ROY||Leonard Williams||Leonard Williams||Preston Smith||Vic Beasley||Vic Beasley||Marcus Peters|
|Offensive POY||Drew Brees||Andrew Luck||Adrian Peterson||Aaron Rodgers||Antonio Brown||Cam Newton|
|Defensive POY||Ryan Kerrigan||J.J. Watt||J.J. Watt||J.J. Watt||Aaron Donald||J.J. Watt|
|MVP||Philip Rivers||Andrew Luck||Carson Palmer||Andrew Luck||Andrew Luck||Cam Newton|
|Redskins Off. POY||Alfred Morris||Alfred Morris||Kirk Cousins||DeSean Jackson||Pierre Garcon||KC/JR|
|Redskins Def. POY||Ryan Kerrigan||Ryan Kerrigan||Terrance Knighton||Ryan Kerrigan||Ryan Kerrigan||RK/BB/CB|
|Playoff Finish||Super Bowl||None||Wild Card||None||None||Wild Card|
Redskins Player of the Year Awards
Before we get to the results I want to briefly explain my thinking on the Redskins offensive and defensive player of the year awards. The team does not officially hand out these honors until much later in the offseason, so I'm left with a decision on who to pick and how to award points for correct answers here.
In each of the last two years, I thought that the answers were clear and I've used statistics to back them up. This time around, however, there were a number of players that were deserving of these awards, which obviously makes it much more difficult to select just one of them. I also noticed that the writer standings (see below) would not drastically be affected by these picks; so with all of that in mind I decided to award points for several different players.
On offense, I accepted Kirk Cousins as a correct choice for player of the year and I also would've counted Jordan Reed as an acceptable answer. Ryan Kerrigan, Chris Baker and Bashaud Breeland were all acceptable answers on defense.
As a result, every writer ended up with exactly one correct pick between the two categories. Just in case you were wondering, if I had to make a firm decision on these picks, I would've gone with Jordan Reed and Chris Baker. If that had been the case then nobody would have been awarded a point, and the standings you see below would remain unchanged.
How'd We Do?
The short answer is "not so well." After averaging eight or more correct picks per writer in each of the last two years, we fell to an average of 5.5 as a group this season. Not great at all, but while we may not have put forth the most sterling results this year, I do believe that a lot of that had to do with the fact that this was a particularly crazy season in terms of what teams ended up doing well. At least I predicted that much right.
|Rank||Name||Total # Correct||Playoffs||Super Bowl||NFL Awards||Redskins|
Chris Hess was the only one of us that matched our old average of eight correct picks this year. He was on the money with a whopping seven accurate playoff predictions and because of that he came out on top. He's actually the first writer in the three year history of this contest to make the most unique selections and not come in last place. He made a lot of seemingly wild picks, but they paid off in the end for him.
I was dead wrong about Chris' predictions and about my own. After coming in first in each of the last two seasons, I fell all the way to ninth. Steve Shoup had finished in the top four in both 2013 and 2014 by picking a lot of repeat winners, but it didn't pay off for him this time around and he finished last. Steven and I made it to the finals in the Hogs Haven fantasy league though, so our winnings from that will have to serve as consolation.
Anthony Brown, Jennifer Filsinger and Bryan Frantz all performed admirably in their first season making picks. Each writer finished in a tie for either second or third.
Praising, Prodding and Picking on the Predictors' Picks
- Mike Harar and I were the only ones with a correct Super Bowl pick. Mike, however, actually had the guts to pull the trigger on the pick for the Broncos to win it all, whereas I did not. Only Anthony, Jen and Bryan made more than one correct awards picks (2 each). Ken and Anthony led the way with two correct Redskins calls. Anthony also nailed the 9-7 final record.
- As a group we weren't on point in a lot of categories, but the vast majority of us did make the right call on the AFC East winner (Patriots), the AFC West winner (Broncos) and the Defensive Player of the Year Award (Watt). Probably the main reason for my poor showing was that I got way too cute in two of those categories. I'm actually kind of proud of my Von Miller defensive player of the year pick though, because I was maybe one of the few that knew just how good he and that defense would be.
- Every writer incorrectly picked the NFC champion, the coach of the year, the defensive rookie of the year, the offensive player of the year and the MVP. Four of those five categories were won by Carolina Panthers. Not recognizing how good that team is was probably our biggest failing, but I think the same thing can be said for most NFL writers that made preseason predictions this year though. Kudos to anyone who can send me a link that shows an expert picking the Panthers to do this well.
- Finally, I want to recognize those of us that made some unique picks that turned out to be right. Chris was the only one with the Redskins, Vikings and Texans winning their respective divisions. Either he's Nostradamus, crazy, an unrelenting homer or some combination of the three. I still can't tell which when I look at his picks.
- Anthony and Jennifer were the only other writers with two correct unique selections. He had Gurley taking home the OROY award, in addition to his 9-7 pick for the Redskins record. Jen was the only one of us that saw the Panthers coming at all when she picked them to win the South. She also was able to foresee Eric Berry's feel good comeback from cancer.
- I was the only one with the Bengals winning the AFC North. I think they could've gone a lot further if not for Dalton's injury. Bryan was the only one of the bunch who believed that the Titans sucked enough to finish as the one of league's worst teams two years in a row. Ken's unabashed optimism for all things Redskins paid off in the form of his prediction on the team's playoff finish.
That's a wrap for 2015 and our predictions, but before you go be the first to take a stab at some 2016 prognostication and make a prediction of your own in the poll. And feel free to call your shot on that and any other picks for next season in the comments section.
|Cousins' Worst Season vs. Smith's Best Season (min 224 Att)|
|* - Denotes the stat was recorded in 2017|
|Category||Worst KC||Best AS||AS > KC Worst|
|Cmp||347 *||341 *||0|
|Cmp %||64.3% *||67.5% *||1|
|First Downs||191 *||184 *||0|
|Pass Yards||4093 *||4042 *||0|
|Y/A||7.58 *||8.00 *||1|
|QB Rating||93.9 *||104.7 *||2|
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How many games will the Redskins win in 2016?
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