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Insider

Oakland Raiders are AFC West favorites

11/14/2011

Adam Schefter answers reader questions in his mailbag every Monday and Wednesday. Got a query of your own? Submit it here.

Q: All the Washington Redskins fans are ready for a franchise quarterback. John Beck and Rex Grossman certainly aren't the answer. What can the Redskins do? It seems like they won't have a high-enough pick in the upcoming draft to grab Matt Barkley or Landry Jones.

-- James (Va.)

A: It is the most significant question this franchises faces -- and has faced for a while, James. Without a quarterback, they're not going to advance much further than where they are today, which no one in Washington is happy about. The Redskins went through the offseason and didn't identify a quarterback that they felt would be a short- or long-term upgrade. That clearly must change this offseason. The problem is that there are so few options out there. The top free-agent quarterbacks are expected to be Green Bay's Matt Flynn and Oakland's Jason Campbell. The draft will be loaded with good quarterbacks, but Washington already is out of Andrew Luck range. The top option out there could be Peyton Manning, who could be available in a trade depending on any number of factors. But if the Colts ultimately decided to deal Manning, even he would come with risk (questions about his neck and durability). In the end, this is a quarterback league, and right now Washington doesn't have a championship-caliber one.


Q: Adam, it seems like the favorite is the AFC West is changing by the week. What team do you think has the best shot to win the division?

-- Trent (Calif.)

A: If anyone knows for sure, Trent, he or she should take over this column spot. Here's what we know: Kansas City had horrendous back-to-back home losses against Miami and Denver, practically killing its hopes; Denver won at Oakland and at Kansas City, giving the Broncos some hope; Oakland won at San Diego in a statement win; and San Diego has the best quarterback in the division but also has the same record as the Tim Tebow-led Broncos. So there are lots of uncertainties. If I had to pick a team today, it would be based on what we've seen most recently. And what we've seen most recently is that Oakland has the most physical team, the fastest team and the most playmakers of any team in this division. It has to be the Oakland Raiders -- for today.


Q: Adam, what in the world has happened to my Philadelphia Eagles? They just slept-walked through that game against the Arizona Cardinals. Are their playoff hopes officially over?

-- Jerry (Pa.)

A: They're on life support, Jerry. The Eagles going to have to find a way to win out and get some breaks at 10-6. More importantly, it's hard to see how they win out the way they're playing. They're just not playing well. Take away their defensive touchdown Sunday, and Philadelphia's offense scored only 10 points at home against Arizona. The offense isn't getting it done. The defense isn't getting it done. And now, as a result, the Eagles are just about done.


Q: I know that Ashley Fox didn't think that Andy Reid could be fired after this season, but after a loss like this, do you think there is a chance he gets the ax at the end of the year?

-- Tony (N.Y.)

A: Still don't think it's happening, Tony. The Eagles have been -- and continue to be -- committed to Reid, even through this challenging season. Could it change if this season continues to unravel? Sure, anything's possible, but the Eagles are not a reactionary, unstable organization. They're patient, thoughtful and know a good coach when they have one. Despite the way this season has gone, Reid is a good coach -- a very good one. Eventually all coaches in one place a long time get shipped out. It happened last season with Jeff Fisher in Tennessee. But it's hard to see the day when the Eagles send Reid packing.


Q: The Buffalo Bills have been beaten handily twice in a row now. What do you think is their biggest player need on offense?

-- Michael (D.C.)

A: More options in passing game, especially against physical teams, Michael. Dallas was far more physical than Buffalo, and the New York Jets did the same thing to the Bills. Against Dallas, the Bills were overwhelmed, and they're not forceful enough on offense; that seemed apparent. No one got open, and Ryan Fitzpatrick was under pressure all day. The past two losses against the Jets and Cowboys highlighted that Buffalo needs another physical threat at wide receiver or tight end for when teams are keying in on Fred Jackson. The Bills seem a weapon or two short right now. It's a good offense, but it still needs a couple of upgrades -- just like every offense in the league except for Green Bay.