By Eric Ronnebeck
It is now 2017 and I want to put a wrap on 2016 as quickly as I can. There are two teams I’m writing off in this final column of the 2016 season. One of those teams missed the playoffs in losing their week 17 game; the other is a sad fact that needs to be addressed. Unfortunately, there is one retraction I have to write but such is life. I take comfort in knowing that the Miami Dolphins did not make the playoffs in my heart…
Your Season Is Over Retraction: Your Season Is Actually Not Over Yet:
Miami Dolphins: (11-5)
Truly amazing. In what seemed like a lost season for the Dolphins, they gathered every bit of will they had (as well as a number one running back out of seemingly nowhere) to pull together an impressive 8 week run. Ryan Tannehill may or may not be the answer at quarterback for the Dolphins but right now that’s not important. Miami has a solid rushing game, an above average defense, a good pass rush, and a decent passing attack. It’s a new day, Miami Dolphins. See where it takes you.
The Washington Redskins: (8-7-1)
How woeful did the end of the season look for Washington? What seemed like an inevitable trip to the post season turned into an incomplete and deflating regular season. 8-7-1: this record looks exactly even to me. Yes, they have more wins than losses but missing the playoffs because of a tie is worth two losses, in my book. Washington is a team that has a lot going for it. They may not excel at any one side of the ball but they have enough talent on that team to get to the playoffs. Kirk Cousins isn’t great but he’s capable. The running game started to get some traction as the season went on and their o-line mostly did their job. Remember, this is the team that paid big money to Josh Norman in hopes of getting deeper into the playoffs. The Skins, in recent history, have had some issues with overpaying big name talent in hopes of getting to the Super Bowl. Josh Norman is good but he’s not the best cornerback in the league and he does not radically improve the overall defensive unit. I don’t know what Washington needs to do to get back to the playoffs but just as important is getting deeper into the playoffs. Washington is not a threatening team. They will win some games and be a challenge but they’re not the team that playoff roads travel through. That is the biggest thing Washington needs to improve on.
Oakland Raiders 2016 Super Bowl Dreams
This is the saddest team I was forced to write off this season. I say forced because there is no way that the Raiders are getting to the Super Bowl without Derek Carr. Adding insult and further injury to injury, Carr’s backup, Matt McGloin, gets injured in his first game as the Oakland starting quarterback. To cut to the point: the Oakland Raiders are headed into the playoffs with a good defense, a good running attack, and a third string quarterback. Their first round opponent is the Houston Texans. The Texans have a good defense, a good running attack, and questions at quarterback. Also, the Texans are playing at home. Whatever happens this week, the Raiders will have to travel to New England, Pittsburgh, or Kansas City to further their Super Bowl dreams. Sorry Raider fans, that’s not happening this year. No, it’s not fair. It’s not right. However, it is the reality. Take heart in remembering where you were two years ago and compare that to where you were in 2016. There are many years left ahead and the future remains unwritten.
I always enjoy writing this column every week. It’s a chance to have some fun yet also analyze the forgotten teams in the NFL. I had fun talking about a bunch of teams I don’t care about as well as the Buccaneers throwback jerseys. Until next year, I leave you with: Go Hawks.