“Counterparts to be counted on” is a 32-part series where we the “Front Office” of www.couchpotatogm.com analyze one offensive player and one defensive player on each team that MUST have a particularly strong individual season in 2016 for their respective teams to have a successful 2016 campaign. The Washington Redskins surprised all and won the NFC East behind a strong second-half performance. Can Washington build on that in 2016?
Washington Redskins “Counterparts to be Counted On” 2016
Kirk Cousins – As we all know Kirk Cousins is playing on the franchise tag for the year. From all reports the Redskins offered Cousins 16 mil a year but the QB turned that down and bet on himself. In 2015, Cousins completed 69.8% of his passes. He also threw for 4,166 yards and 29 touchdowns with 11 INTs leading the Redskins to a 9-7 record. That record was enough to win the division and garner a playoff berth against the Green Bay Packers. In that contest, Cousins threw a TD and rushed for another; he also fumbled three times and was sacked 6 times in a loss. In his last four games of the regular season Cousins threw a spectacular 12 TDs and 1 int going 4 – 0. But in his first 6 games he had 6 TDs and 8 imts with a 2 – 4 record. Just as they were about to go 2 – 7 for the season with a 3rd straight loss coming at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; down 24 – 0, mid to late 2nd quarter, Cousins mounts an epic comeback, 31 – 30 victory. Leading to those famous words that he spoke as he passed the through the hall from the tunnel to the locker room ” YOU LIKE THAT!”
The QB position as you may know is the most important position on the football field and Cousins is NO exception to this rule. As CPGM has stated before in our State of the Franchise 32 video series on the Redskins, Kirk Cousins is the guy. With the addition of newly drafted WR Josh Doctson, the speedster DeSean Jackson,, veteran Pierre Garcon, Top 3 TE, when healthy Jordan Reed, potential laden Jamison Crowder, and “bell cow” back in Matt Jones, Cousins has all the tools at his disposal. With all the change that has come about in this division, Eagles new coach and scheme, Cowboys substance abuse suspensions and lack of play-makers on defense, and the Giants making free agent signing splashes (which usually don’t workout) this division is ripe for the for a back-to-back run.
Beshaud Breeland – You probably wondering huh? Why not Josh Norman? In CPGM’s NFC East bold prediction CPGM Headley had a prediction about Breeland. My colleague brought up some good point as to why he picked Breeland for such a BOLD prediction so allow me to piggy back off of that. With Josh Norman signed in the off-season to bolster the secondary and DeAngelo Hall moving to safety Breeland is left to be the number 2 CB. If Norman is who we think he is that leaves Breeland to be covering the number 2 WR and being tested on a routine basis giving him plenty of opportunity to make plays and show that he is one of the league’s best.
Last year Breeland played in 15 games starting 14 of them and had 59 total tackles with 2 interceptions and 16 pass deflections ranking 11th among defenders in the league. That’s better than the likes of Richard Sherman and Aqib Talib. Deangelo Hall missed 5 games due to injuries which would put Breeland up against the number ones at times. For the stat geeks out there Pro Football Focus had Breeland as the 21st ranked CB in 2015 posting a 82.0 grade, again better than a beast like Aqib Talib. Some of you right now are thinking if Breeland is so good why did Washington go and sign Norman. It’s simple, first you don’t pass up an opportunity to make your team better in any way if you have the resources to do so. Second, Norman finished 11th just out of the top 10 just below the likes of a Chris Harris. So as it stands to say the Redskins have one of the Top ranked corner duos going into the 2016 season an already established well paid Norman and an ascending Breeland who must continue to do so if the Redskins want to take this thing to the next level.