The Nationals and Astros both made the postseason in 2017, but they finished in very different ways. These two teams already have the core roster elements necessary to make return trips, but they will also have to ride the success of the likes of Wilmer Difo and Chris Devenski, who both stepped into larger roles in 2017 and hope to keep those this year.
It’s a remarkable leap and seems to be a bizarre fit for an offense with Alex Smith under center, given that even the 2017 version of Smith wasn’t exactly chucking it downfield on a frequent basis.
Washington’s offense is littered with injury risks, and while players like Jordan Reed and Chris Thompson offer significant upside when healthy, it’s not clear that’s the case with Richardson.
TE Trey Burton, Bears Grade: C Last seen famously throwing a touchdown pass to Nick Foles, Burton has been too useful of a player to stick around as a secondary tight end behind Zach Ertz in Philadelphia.
Burton is not going to score 16 touchdowns as a starter, and he’s not the blocker Ertz is, but the 26-year-old’s upside is as a legitimate No. 1 tight end up and down the field.
It wasn’t just free agency, either. Philadelphia also had success building through the draft and through key trades. It can be seen in players like Wentz, who led the team to an 11-2 record before his injury, and Jay Ajayi, who helped the Eagles finish third in the league for rushing yards last year.
It’s funny to look back now and see the impact the Eagles’ free agency acquisitions had on their Super Bowl odds, which was none whatsoever. Bovada had the Eagles at 50/1 before free agency and the draft, per Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia. The Eagles’ efforts didn’t move the needle at all.
In the Super Bowl five years ago, Colin Kaepernick threw a fourth-and-goal pass to Crabtree late in the fourth quarter that fell incomplete.
Crabtree has long contended it was pass interference by Jimmy Smith on the critical play that led to the Ravens’ 34-31 championship triumph.
He has dominated the Ravens in the three meetings to follow, catching five touchdown passes (the most against Baltimore over that span).