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Hogs Haven 2016 Season Predictions Revisited (Updated)

A look back at the Hogs Haven writers’ 2016 season predictions

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With the Patriots miraculous and historic comeback win against the Falcons on Sunday, the 97th season of the NFL is in the books.

It was a fun year, but it was also a disappointing one for a Redskins team that probably improved but still failed to make the postseason after winning their division last year.  In many ways it was your typical NFL season: the Redskins didn't live up to expectations, the Patriots won the Super Bowl, the North was dominated by the Packers and Steelers, the MVP lost in the Super Bowl to a superior defense, some random teams won the NFC East and South, etc, etc.

It is just about time for diehard NFL fans to switch into full-offseason mode with all eyes directed towards the combine, free agency and the draft.  But before we forget about the past and move on, we should first look back to see what we got right and wrong in 2016.

Seemingly every sports site makes preseason predictions, but rarely do any of them have the guts to take a look back at those same prognostications when the dust settles.  Well we do.  That's right, it's time for Hogs Haven's writers to be held accountable for our preseason predictions, and to either face the music for our horrible picks or to hear our praises sung for our Nostradamus-like foresight.

Category Jason Bacaj Anthony Brown James Dorsett Jen Filsinger Bryan Frantz Tom Garrett Mike Harar Actual
NFC East Redskins Redskins Giants Redskins Giants Cowboys Redskins Cowboys
NFC North Packers Packers Packers Packers Packers Packers Packers Packers
NFC South Panthers Buccaneers Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers Saints Falcons
NFC West Seahawks Seahawks Cardinals Cardinals Cardinals Cardinals Seahawks Seahawks
NFC Wild Card Cardinals Panthers Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Panthers Giants
NFC Wild Card Falcons Falcons Redskins Vikings Vikings Falcons Vikings Lions

AFC East Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots
AFC North Ravens Steelers Steelers Bengals Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers
AFC South Texans Texans Texans Colts Colts Colts Colts Texans
AFC West Broncos Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs Raiders Chiefs Chiefs
AFC Wild Card Raiders Raiders Raiders Bills Broncos Broncos Jets Raiders
AFC Wild Card Steelers Ravens Bengals Steelers Bengals Bengals Bengals Dolphins

NFC Champion Packers Cardinals Packers Cardinals Packers Cardinals Packers Falcons
AFC Champion Patriots Steelers Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots
Super Bowl Packers Steelers Packers Cardinals Patriots Cardinals Packers Patriots

1st Pick in 2017 Eagles Bills Browns 49ers Browns Titans 49ers Browns
Comeback POY Andrew Luck Jimmy Graham Andrew Luck Andrew Luck Kelvin Benjamin Jordy Nelson Kelvin Benjamin Jordy Nelson
Coach of Year Jack Del Rio Mike Tomlin Mike McCarthy Mike Zimmer Bruce Arians Jack Del Rio Andy Reid Jason Garrett
Offensive ROY Ezekiel Elliott Josh Doctson Ezekiel Elliott Ezekiel Elliott Carson Wentz Ezekiel Elliott Ezekiel Elliott Dak Prescott
Defensive ROY Karl Joseph Su'a Cravens Myles Jack Jalen Ramsey Jalen Ramsey Leonard Floyd Jalen Ramsey Joey Bosa
Offensive POY Aaron Rodgers Stefon Diggs Antonio Brown Antonio Brown Aaron Rodgers Antonio Brown Aaron Rodgers Matt Ryan
Defensive POY Aaron Donald Preson Smith Khalil Mack Khalil Mack Aaron Donald Von Miller J.J. Watt Khalil Mack
MVP Aaron Rodgers Tom Brady Aaron Rodgers Tom Brady Aaron Rodgers Aaron Rodgers Adrian Peterson Matt Ryan

Redskins Off. POY Josh Doctson Kirk Cousins Kirk Cousins Jordan Reed Kirk Cousins Kirk Cousins Kirk Cousins Kirk Cousins
Redskins Def. POY Su'a Cravens Preston Smith Preston Smith Preston Smith Bashaud Breeland Josh Norman Will Compton Ryan Kerrigan
Redskins Record 9-7 12-4 10-6 10-6 7-9 8-8 11-5 8-7-1
Playoff Finish Divisional NFC Champ Loss Wildcard Divisional None None Divisional None

Category Chris Hess Aaron Lesher Ken Meringolo Alex Rowsey Steve Shoup Bryan Stabbe Mark Tyler Actual
NFC East Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Cowboys
NFC North Bears Packers Packers Packers Packers Packers Packers Packers
NFC South Buccaneers Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers Falcons
NFC West Seahawks Seahawks Cardinals Cardinals Seahawks Seahawks Cardinals Seahawks
NFC Wild Card Panthers Cardinals Seahawks Seahawks Cardinals Cardinals Seahawks Giants
NFC Wild Card Packers Giants Vikings Buccaneers Giants Saints Saints Lions

AFC East Patriots Patriots Dolphins Patriots Patriots Patriots Jets Patriots
AFC North Steelers Bengals Bengals Steelers Steelers Bengals Steelers Steelers
AFC South Texans Texans Jaguars Texans Texans Colts Colts Texans
AFC West Chiefs Chiefs Broncos Chiefs Raiders Chiefs Raiders Chiefs
AFC Wild Card Raiders Broncos Raiders Broncos Colts Jaguars Texans Raiders
AFC Wild Card Ravens Steelers Colts Bengals Bengals Steelers Bengals Dolphins

NFC Champion Redskins Seahawks Cardinals Cardinals Seahawks Panthers Cardinals Falcons
AFC Champion Chiefs Steelers Colts Patriots Steelers Patriots Steelers Patriots
Super Bowl Redskins Seahawks Cardinals Patriots Steelers Patriots Cardinals Patriots

1st Pick in 2017 Cowboys 49ers Eagles Browns Browns Browns Eagles Browns
Comeback POY Jimmy Graham Tyrann Mathieu Andrew Luck Jordy Nelson Jordy Nelson Terrell Suggs Andrew Luck Jordy Nelson
Coach of Year Jay Gruden Pete Carroll Mike Zimmer Bill Belichick Mike Tomlin Marvin Lewis Bruce Arians Jason Garrett
Offensive ROY Will Fuller Ezekiel Elliott Corey Coleman Ezekiel Elliott Ezekiel Elliott Ezekiel Elliott Corey Coleman Dak Prescott
Defensive ROY Su'a Cravens Jalen Ramsey Su'a Cravens Myles Jack Jalen Ramsey Jalen Ramsey Vernon Hargreaves Joey Bosa
Offensive POY Kirk Cousins Antonio Brown David Johnson Antonio Brown Antonio Brown Andrew Luck David Johnson Matt Ryan
Defensive POY Preston Smith Khalil Mack Khalil Mack Khalil Mack J.J. Watt J.J. Watt Khalil Mack Khalil Mack
MVP Tom Brady Russell Wilson Carson Palmer Aaron Rodgers Russell Wilson Aaron Rodgers Antonio Brown Matt Ryan

Redskins Off. POY Kirk Cousins Jordan Reed Kirk Cousins Trent Williams Kirk Cousins Trent Williams Kirk Cousins Kirk Cousins
Redskins Def. POY Preston Smith Josh Norman Bashaud Breeland Josh Norman Josh Norman Ryan Kerrigan Bashaud Breeland Ryan Kerrigan
Redskins Record 12-4 10-6 10-6 10-6 11-5 9-7 10-6 8-7-1
Playoff Finish Super Bowl Win Wildcard Divisional Divisional Divisional Divisional Divisional None

Analyzing the Writers' Picks

We'll start things off by making some observations on the predictions of the Hogs Haven writing staff.

  • We didn't unanimously predict the same result in any of the categories going into the season, so obviously there was no way for us all to be correct in any one area.  We did, however, come very close to doing so in a couple of instances.  Of the 14 writers polled, 13 of us picked the Packers to finish the year as Kings of the North (NFC), and 12 of us correctly had the world champion Patriots winning their division.  Chris Hess had the Bears taking the NFC North, while Ken and Mark went with the Fins and Jets respectively in the AFC East.
  • Here are some other popular predictions that we got right (each pick is followed by the number of writers that were correct): the Steelers winning the AFC North (9), the Chiefs winning the AFC West (9), The Patriots winning the AFC Championship (8), Khalil Mack winning Defensive Player of the Year (6) and the Browns ending up with the first pick in the 2017 draft (5).
  • We did a pretty decent job in those categories, but we were off the mark as a group more often than not.  This is really the norm though, because believe it or not, but making accurate NFL predictions before the season even starts is a lot harder to do than it looks.  None of us foresaw the following things happening: the Falcons winning the NFC South, the Lions making the playoffs as a wild card in the NFC, the Dolphins making the playoffs as a wild card in the AFC, Jason Garrett winning Coach of the Year, Dak Prescott winning Offensive Rookie of the Year, Joey Bosa winning Defensive Player of the Year, Matt Ryan winning Offensive Player of the Year, Matt Ryan winning the MVP and the Redskins finishing with a record of 8-7-1.
  • There were also a few predictions that almost all of us got wrong.  Only one writer had the Cowboys taking back the East, and only two of us had the Giants earning a wild card spot or the Redskins not making the playoffs.  The most props here should go to Tom Garrett.  He led the group with the most correct unique picks (Cowboys in the NFC East and the Redskins not making the playoffs).  Tom also had the Redskins winning eight games.  It took a lot of guts for him to do that on this site the year after the Skins made the playoffs; but he did it, and it paid off for him.  Bryan Frantz also was right about Washington not qualifying for the postseason.  Aaron Lesher and Steve Shoup both correctly had the Giants making the tournament as a wild card.
  • Anthony Brown made the most correct playoff predictions with seven of them.  Anthony had strong showing with his preseason picks for the second year in a row, which are the only years that he's participated.  Steve, Aaron, Chris and I were right behind him with six accurate playoff predictions.  Ken and Mark brought up the rear with two correct.  Oh, and by the way, forecasting playoff teams for the NFC was much harder for us than it was to do for the AFC.  We averaged three correct picks in the latter and just 1.6 in the former.
  • Alex Rowsey, Bryan Frantz and Bryan Stabbe were the best when it came to picking the outcome of the "big game".  They were the only ones that had the Pats bringing home their fifth Lombardi Trophy.  Anthony, Steve, Aaron, Chris, Ken and Mark went O-fer on their Super Bowl picks.
  • Quick note here: the NFL Awards category also includes the prediction for who would get the first pick in the 2017 draft.  It had to go somewhere.  Anyways, Alex's three correct picks were tops here.  Steve and I closely followed him with two accurate calls.

How'd We Do?

The awards categories that I just mentioned are a microcosm of how this contest went as a whole, with Alex, Steve and I coming out on top.  This is not the first time that the three of us have fared well as prognosticators and finished close together in this contest.

In 2013, Steve and I finished second and first.  The following year it was myself and Alex in first and second followed by Steve in fourth.  Last year we didn't do so well, but at least we did it together, as we each ended up in the bottom three (Chris Hess won it).  Even in the last two years of our writer's fantasy league, it was Alex and I winning, and Steve coming in second both times.

This time the difference is that we need your help to determine which of us will finish in first, second and third.  The reason for that is the Redskins player of the year categories.

Writer Correct Picks Ranking and Breakdown
Rank Name Total # Correct Playoffs Super Bowl NFL Awards Redskins
t-1st James Dorsett 10 6 1 2 1
t-1st Alex Rowsey 10 5 2 3 0
t-3rd Bryan Frantz 9 4 2 1 2
t-3rd Steve Shoup 9 6 0 2 1
t-5th Anthony Brown 8 7 0 0 1
t-5th Tom Garrett 8 4 1 1 2
t-5th Bryan Stabbe 8 4 2 1 1
t-8th Mike Harar 7 5 1 0 1
t-8th Chris Hess 7 6 0 0 1
t-8th Aaron Lesher 7 6 0 1 0
11th Jason Bacaj 6 5 1 0 0
12th Jen Filsinger 5 3 1 1 0
t-13th Ken Meringolo 4 2 0 1 1
t-13th Mark Tyler 4 2 0 1 1

In previous years, the Redskins offensive and defensive players of the year have either been very clear cut and obvious or the decision would not have decided the outcome of this contest; this year it's both a tough call and one that has a direct affect on the top of the standings.

That's why I want to enlist the help of you, the reader, to decide who the best players were on both sides of the ball for the Redskins, which will by extension determine the final rankings for our writers.  I'm of the opinion that letting you decide is the most equitable way to settle this, so that's exactly what we're going to do.

Updated at 4:30 PM on 2/8/2017: Kirk Cousins and Ryan Kerrigan were selected by you as the Redskins Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year.  With those selections in, we now have a final tally for the correct number of picks by each of our writers.

With 10 correct each Alex Rowsey and I finished tied for first place.  This was Alex's second finish in the top two in his three years participating.  It was my third first-place finish in the four years that we've been doing this.

Steve Shoup and Bryan Frantz tied for third place.  Steve has been in the top three in three of four years.  Bryan has now finished tied for third in both of his years participating.

Bryan and Tom Garrett led the way with two correct Redskins predictions each.

Chris Hess fell to eighth after finishing in first place last season.

You Decide the Redskins Player of the Year Awards

On offense you'll be choosing between Kirk Cousins and Trent Williams and for the defensive side of the ball it'll be between Ryan Kerrigan and Josh Norman.  I'll make a brief case for and against each player winning the award to help you along with your decision and to save you the trouble of doing all the research.

Redskins Offensive Player of the Year

Kirk Cousins- Cousins set franchise records in the following passing statistics this season: attempts, completions, first downs and yards.  He finished in the top eight in the league in the following passing categories: passing yards (3rd), completion percentage (8th), passer rating (7th), sack percentage (5th), adjusted net yards per attempt (4th), PFF rating (8th), DYAR (3rd), DVOA (5th), raw QBR (6th) and QBR (5th).  Cousins also earned a Player of the Week (11) and a Player of the Month Award (November).

Kirk Cousins played on every single offensive snap for the Skins this season.  The only other offensive players that were not lineman that accomplished that feat were Drew Brees, Eli Manning and Matthew Stafford.  That is much more than can be said for Trent Williams, who got himself suspended for a crucial four-game stretch of the season.  The Redskins went 2-2 in his absence.  The main argument for Williams is that he is the better player, but even if that is the case, that is not how player of the year awards work in sports.

Trent Williams- Williams only played in three quarters of the games this season, but perhaps that is all he needed to prove that he is the best player on the offense and the team.  Trent Williams led all National Football League players in NFL 1000 rating and he had the highest Pro Football Focus grade on the team and among all offensive linemen.  He was a pro bowl starter, and Cousins was just an alternate.  He was also chosen as a first team all pro by PFF and Sporting News; Cousins did not receive any all-pro consideration.

Redskins Defensive Player of the Year

Ryan Kerrigan- First of all, Ryan Kerrigan only committed three penalties in 2016; Josh Norman, on the other hand, was flagged a league-high 19 times.  Per NFL Penalties, that is the second most infractions committed by any player since 2009.  Kerrigan edged Norman in NFL 1000 rating (70.4 to 70.3) and PFF grade (82.2 to 82) and doubled him in Approximate Value (10 to 5).

Kerrigan was voted to his second pro bowl and Josh Norman was only selected as an alternate.  Kerrigan was named first team all conference by the Pro Football Writers of America, and Norman did not earn any all-pro or all-conference selections.

The Heartbreak Kid ranked in the top ten in the following categories: sacks (8th), pressure rate (7th, minimum 50% of snaps), tackles for a loss (7th) and distance to the quarterback among edge rushers (9th, minimum 300 pass rushing attempts).  That's in contrast to Josh Norman who according to Football Outsiders cornerback charting data ranked 20th in yards per pass allowed, 53rd in success rate allowed and 61st in average air yards allowed per pass (among corners targeted 50 or more times).  He also ranked outside the top 12 in passer rating allowed at the position and Washington ranked 21st against number one receivers in DVOA.

Kerrigan led a front seven that ranked 11th in sacks, 11th in sack percentage and 9th and adjusted sack rate; Norman led a secondary ranked in the bottom 12 in passing yards allowed, completion percentage allowed, adjusted net yards per attempt and passing DVOA.

Josh Norman- You can say what you want about Norman's performance this year, but he was typically responsible for covering the opposition's best receiver.  Meanwhile, Kerrigan spent the majority of his time going up against right tackles.

To counter some of the team stats that were referenced in Kerrigan's favor, you could easily point out that passing defense also falls on the pass rushers and that the secondary plays a role in getting sacks as well.

We also need to remember that Norman ranked third in the league in YAC average allowed (again per Football Outsiders charting) and fifth in passes defended with 20 of them.  In fact, per PFF, he broke up or intercepted a league-high 20 percent of his targets this past season.  As for Kerrigan, he has some nice rankings, but he finds himself outside of the top 12 in hits and hurries according to several publications.

Josh Norman also led the defense in snaps, while Kerrigan, who played nearly 300 fewer snaps than Norman, ranked third and saw a career-low snap total and percentage.

It's up to you, guys.  I'll check back tomorrow at 3 PM Eastern to see how the voting ended up.  At 4 PM I'll update this post with the writer's final rankings.

Let us know your thoughts on the 2016 season, our predictions and the Redskins player of the year awards in the comments.

Updated at 4:30 PM on 2/8/2017: The votes are in for the Redskins Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year Awards.

The "Cousins/ Kerrigan" selection won with 87 votes.  The next closest pick was "Cousins/ Norman" with 68 votes.

The total vote between both selections that included Cousins was 155.  Trent Williams only got a total of 37 votes.

Ryan Kerrigan beat out Josh Norman by a count of 107 to 85.

So there you have it.  Kirk Cousins and Ryan Kerrigan are your Redskins Offensive and Defensive Players of the year for the 2016 season.  Points have now been awarded to the writers who picked either player.  Check out the final standing for our writers in the table above, and thank you for voting.

*All statistics are courtesy of Bleacher Report, ESPN, Football Outsiders,, NFL Gamebooks, NFL Penalties, Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference, Sporting Charts and Team Rankings*