The 5 o’clock club aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.
Power Rankings from some major media sites
After the first 14 weeks of the 2016 season, the Redskins looked like a pretty good bet to make the playoffs for a second straight season as they were 7-5-1 with two home games and a road date with the hapless Bears to close out the schedule.
They beat the Bears, but losses to the Panthers in Week 15 and a Giants team with nothing to play for in Week 17 meant that there would be no playoff streak. The offense, which was strong all year, managed just 25 points in those losses and they’ll have to bounce back without offensive coordinator/new Rams coach Sean McVay and wide receivers Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson.
Bleacher Report’s surprisingly glowing review of the Redskins:
Some might want to dock the Redskins points for losing veteran receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon as well as underrated defensive lineman Chris Baker on the free-agent market, but they compensated for those losses by adding younger wide receiver Terrelle Pryor in free agency and getting great mid-first-round value for Alabama defensive tackle Jonathan Allen on Thursday night.
The receiving corps, which also features talented youngsters Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson, might not miss Jackson or Garcon.
And that group has a pretty good quarterback throwing to it.
In fact, since becoming a full-time starter in 2015, Kirk Cousins has been the sixth-highest-rated qualified passer in the NFL. Only three quarterbacks have passed for more yards than his 9,083 during that stretch, yet 12 have thrown more interceptions. His 7.91 yards-per-attempt average ranks fifth. And it's not as though he's been babied, because nobody in football completed more 50-yard passes than Cousins did in 2016.
Throw in the addition of potential stud safety D.J. Swearinger in free agency and potential platoon back Samaje Perine in the fourth round of the draft, and a team that has posted winning records in back-to-back seasons could be on track to get into the playoffs in 2017.
here's the simple truth: Washington has a top-10 NFL QB and thus is in contention for the NFC East. But not just because of Cousins. The Zach Brown signing filled a void at ILB. First-rounder Jonathan Allen probably will start Week 1 at LDE. WR Terrelle Pryor is in da house. So, 10-6?
Lots of small moves don’t spell big improvement.
Peter King: Washington prediction of 10 words or less: In his last Washington season, Cousins throws for 4,500 yards.
Where should the Redskins be ranked in a 32-team pre-season Power Ranking?
This poll is closed
Top 12 (a playoff team)
13-20 (second tier)
27-32 (bottom of the barrel)