What went right: Moving Alec Ogletree to MLB is looking like it’s paying off. He led the team in tackles and interceptions. Mark Barron earned his contract this season playing fantastic at OLB for a guy who was drafted as a safety. Aaron Donald continued to be one of the top defensive players in the league.
What went wrong: Trading up for Goff may have been a big mistake. The number one pick didn’t play till week 11 and never looked good in his starts. Jeff Fisher was finally fired after a career of being 7-9. They were ranked last or second last in every offensive category, they were a train wreck.
- Key Position Needs: OL, WR, DB
- OMVP: Kenny Britt
- DMVP: Aaron Donald
New York Jets: 5-11
What went right: Australian Lac Edwards established himself as a NFL calibre punter and should enjoy a good career at this level. Leonard Williams continued from his outstanding rookie year and is starting to look like one of the top interior lineman in the league. Darron Lee provided some athleticism and playmaking ability at MLB, should be a good fit for them going forward. Bilal Powel looked fantastic in limited playing time. Look for them to use him a lot more next season instead of the ageing Matt Forte.
What went wrong: Rolling the dice on Ryan Fitzpatrick did not pay off. He was terrible until benched for Bryce Petty who was just as bad in relief. Brandon Marshall is getting old and is starting to become an issue in the locker room. Look for them to move on from him in the offseason. Eric Deckers injury was massive as the offence wasn’t too bad before it. Hopefully he can get healthy and continue to be effective in New York.
- Key Position Needs: OL, Edge rusher, QB
- OMVP: Bilal Powel
- DMVP: Leonard Williams
LA Chargers: 5-11
What went right: Melvin Gordon shook off a errible rookie year to become a top playmaker in the league. If they rebuild around him they should be able to be a good offence again next season. Phillip Rivers had another good season and discovered some new playmakers in rookies Tyrell Williams and Hunter Henry. If they get Keenan Allen back healthy they will be a terrific offence. After a holdout to start the season Joey Bosa was better than expected. He led rookies in sacks and was a dominant force all season. Pair him with breakout player Melvin Gordon and the Chargers will be fine.
What went wrong: Losing Keenan Allen on offence for the second-year running was huge. He’s a terrific route-runner and helps with 3rd down conversions. The defence stopping teams passing most of the year. Loosing outstand cornerback Jason Verrett early was a key reason. However, if Casey Hayward isn’t a one year wonder they should be able to recover. Manti Te’o continues to struggle in the NFL. Rookie Jatavis Brown took his spot and was great. The college standout needs to spend more time playing football and less time making up girlfriends.
- Key Position Needs: S, Interior lineman, MLB
- OMVP: Phillip Rivers
- DMVP: Melvin Ingram
Carolina Panthers: 6-10
What went right: Luke Keuchly, Thomas Davis and Shaq Thompson continued to be the best linebacking duo in the NFL. They were outstanding against the run. Although Cam Newton didn’t have his best season he had some great moments. I’m not the biggest fan of him on a personal level but he certainly is a specimen and I think he’ll bounce back next year. Mario Addison developed into a good situational rusher and should be handy if they can add some edge rush help alongside him.
What went wrong: The attitude of the team was not good for most of the year. Going from the top team that liked to “dab” all the time to a struggling one revealed a lot of character concerns, especially at the QB position. Kuechly’s head injuries are starting to become concerning. If he has anymore concussions it could put the remainder of his career in jeopardy. Letting Josh Norman walk was a terrible move. They had no competent players to replace him and it was a massive hole in an otherwise good defence. Tackle became an issue when Michael Oher went down injured. They need to find a true left tackle and move Oher back to the right side. That would improve their offensive line in spades.
- Key Position Needs: CB, LT, SR
- OMVP: Greg Olsen
- DMVP: Thomas Davis (Kuechly injury helped seal this)
This week on the Podcast, James, Chris and Richard will be discussing these teams and how they did, be sure to aske your question in comments below.