Category Archives: Winners & Losers

Redskins-Eagles Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following Skins games. This time a 37-34 loss at Philly.

Winners

Kirk Cousins — Rex Grossman-esque crunch-time INT aside, he was terrific, and it makes me rethink last week’s “How Good Is Kirk Cousins?” poll. My vote was for New York Mark Sanchez, you see, and most of you voted for Poor Man’s Andy Dalton or Young Matt Hasselbeck. But now I’m thinking, Normal-Sized Nick Foles.

Pierre Garcon — Had a huge day, including two fantastic catches along the sideline (see above). With apologies to Santana Moss, he’s my favorite receiver since Art Monk.

DeSean Jackson — Caught an 81-yard TD pass and taunted his skinny little ass off. Of course he did. I’m not ready to love him yet.

Niles Paul — He’s a pass-catcher all of the sudden! (Six for 68.)

Bashaud Breeland — That strip on Darren Sproles was crucial.

Darrel Young — Three TDs in three games for the fullback vulture.

Tress Way — Three punts at 56.7 yards per. None blocked!

Losers

Ben Kotwica — It’s hard enough to root for the Redskins when they’re not doing things like giving up a kickoff return for a TD and doinking a 33-yard field goal. AND THEY DO THIS SHIT LIKE EVERY WEEK.

Kai Forbath — Aforementioned 33-yard doink.

Jim Haslett — We won’t have to hear any more about the Skins having “the No. 1 defense in the NFL.” Also, the Eagles were missing like four-fifths of their offensive line.

Perry Riley — Looked lost on both of Jordan Matthews’ TD catches.

Trent Murphy — Got his name called! For roughing the passer.

E.J. Biggers — Sure did earn that deep PI call.

Ryan Grant — Dropped what would’ve been a first down on third-and-long. It was his only target.

Bruce Allen — I don’t know why he’s involved in challenges, but that was one of the more asinine challenges.

Medium

Jay Gruden — The good news is this doesn’t appear to be a bad team, and they’ve put 85 points on the board in the past two weeks. The bad news is they’re 1-2, he lost his first division game and that was as idiotic a challenge as you’re going to see. Nice lipper, though.

Chris Baker — I didn’t have a problem with the block he put on Foles, but I don’t know, maybe that’s just because I’m a Skins fan.

Alfred Morris — Didn’t have much room to rumble and coughed one up, but I can’t label FroMo a loser.

DeAngelo Hall — Forced a fumble and didn’t get called for any foolishness. May have torn his Achilles’.

Joe Buck and Troy Aikman — I’m not fond of the A-Team, but they’re so much better than the alternative.

Redskins-Jaguars Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following every Washington game. This time, a 41-10 win over Jacksonville.

WINNERS

Kirk Cousins. Made sports talk radio callers the happiest people in the D.C. area this morning. Completed 66 percent of his passes for 250 yards and a pair of TDs with no turnovers. This happened against the Jaguars. This Sunday against Philly will be an actual test.

Ryan Kerrigan. Four sacks, generally unstoppable all day.

The Running Game. Morris/Redd/Helu combined for 128 yards and three touchdowns with Griffin and Andre Roberts throwing in another 41 yards. As a team, they averaged 4.5 yards per carry with 191 total on the ground.

Jason Hatcher. Seemed to be in the backfield all game, had 1.5 sacks of his own.

Chris Baker. Played great at his natural nose tackle position, danced even better after the game.

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Redskins-Texans Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following Skins games. This time, a 17-6 loss at Houston to fall to 0-1.

Winners

Alfred Morris — Typical FroMo. 14 carries, 91 yards.

Pierre Garcon — Still a beast. 10 catches, 77 yards.

Ryan Kerrigan — Stripping Arian Foster inside the 10 was a sorely needed big play.

Jason Hatcher — Notched a real nice sack in his Skins debut.

Keenan Robinson — I don’t know if he actually played well or not, but it was his first career start and he got his name called quite a bit on the broadcast. Recovered a fumble and made a nice special teams tackle too. Seems like a swell guy.

Tress Way — Did you know our punter’s name is Tress Way? Averaged 49.2 per on five punts.

Ryan Fitzpatrick’s beard — Puts Jayson Werth’s to shame. Not bad, Harvard.

The 49ers — Thank you for what you did to Dallas.

Losers

Jay Gruden — I was hoping for an electrifying debut like the one Shanahan had two years ago, but yeah, that didn’t happen. The good news is the Skins outplayed ‘em, picking up more total yards, first downs and time of possession. The bad news is they did a ton of stupid shit, from penalties to turnovers to special teams gaffes to burnt timeouts to bad challenges. Humble beginning.

Ben Kowitca — One year after the Redskins special teams unit was one of the worst ever, they allowed not only a blocked extra point but a blocked punt for a TD. HOLY SHIT. I don’t know anything about new ST coach Ben Kowitca, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out he was in Bruce Allen’s frat or something.

Whoever was blocking JJ Watt — Tyler Polumbus? Chris Chester? K. Lichtensteiger? All of the above? Other? IDK, it never actually happened.

Bacarri Rambo — Got all turned around and lost on DeAndre Hopkins’ 76-yard TD. Safety is a problem.

Jordan Reed Strained hamstring on his first catch of the season. Fantastic!

Barry Cofield — Left with a high ankle sprain and was seen in a walking boot after the game.

Nile Paul — Had a huge catch-and-run, only to fumble inside the 10.

Santana Moss — Weird seeing him as a healthy inactive. Ryan Grant, the guy who took his spot, was not targeted.

Roy Helu — Got some action in the backfield, and did something with it (six touches, 61 yards), but also let his man fly right by him on that blocked punt, which was good for -7 points.

DeAngelo Hall – Picked up a very D. Hall unnecessary roughness penalty, pushing a receiver who had a caught a ball on him and was already on the ground back onto the ground, after the whistle.

Andre Johnson — Passed Art Monk for 16th in all-time receiving yards. Nobody passes Art Monk in anything.

David Diehl — The latest talking meat puppet to step off of the NFL factory line and into Fox’s broadcast rotation. I’d call him Capt. Obvious, but that implies a minimum level of competence. Specializes in awkward silences, repeating himself and heavy breathing.

Medium

Robert Griffin III — Accurate on the short stuff and didn’t turn it over except for the botched handoff. Didn’t look sharp diagnosing the pass rush, and just didn’t seem dangerous with the ball. The line was a wreck, and I’m not sure we could’ve expected much better than what we got. If Andre Roberts stays in bounds on that one deep ball, which I think he should have, RGIII’s looking at 81% completion percentage and 300+ yards.

Jim Haslett — I’m not sure if it was the Skins D that played well or the Texans O that played poorly. Houston fans are probably saying the same thing in reverse.

Kai Forbath — His kickoffs were going to the back of the end zone, which was nice.

Darrel Young — Accidentally tackled Roberts on a punt return. Vultured a rushing TD from FroMo.

Andre Roberts – Pretty lackluster debut. Thought he should’ve stayed in bounds on that deep first half pass. Did average 28 yards on kick returns and 18 on punts.

DeSean Jackson — Caught 8 short passes on 9 targets in his Skins debut. Also lined up at RB a couple times. Mildly exciting.

Redskins-Buccaneers Winners & Losers

Handing out labels after Skins games, this time a game against the Buccaneers that existed, but really who’s going to quote the score or brag about a fourth preseason game.

Oh.

WINNERS

All of us. Preseason is over, everyone. We made it. RG3 didn’t burst into flames. Trent Williams is still going strong. Nothing horrible happened to any starters. Next time we see this football team take the field, it will be for a real game. Great job, everyone. Way to stay tough.

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Redskins-Ravens Winners & Losers

Handing out labels after Skins games, this time a oh god I don’t know what am I doing with my life 23-17 loss to the Ravens.

WINNERS

Keenan Robinson – Was all over the field, living up to the generally favorable reports he’s been getting all preseason. Notable plays included a 4th & 1 stop on the Ravens first drive and shutting down an end-around on the next drive. Looks like a major upgrade over the last year of London Fletcher.

Jason Hatcher – Finally got on the field post-surgery, and immediately helped lead to Joe Flacco looking pressured and harassed. So for at least one preseason game, he looks like exactly the kind of impact free agent signing the team was hoping for.

Trent Murphy – Bull-rushed his way into a sack and basically made a nuisance of himself all night.  Promising preseason continues for the rookie.

Andre Roberts – Had just one punt return for 23 yards, but it’s been a long drought between decent punt returners, so it seemed disproportionately incredible.

Kirk Cousins – I guess. I dunno. He went 14 for 20 for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns, but the Ravens’ top 3 corners were already out to start the game, so lord only knows who Cousins was throwing against. But … sure. He moved the ball. RG3 didn’t (SPOILER: see “Losers,” below). I dunno. I am so glad I don’t have to field emails and comments about the team this week.

People With Hot Takes About RG3 – Possibly the biggest winners of the whole night.

LOSERS

First-team offense – These guys were terrible, almost without exception. They opened with a strong Alfred Morris run, then threw an interception negated by penalty, had a bunch of no-gains, and settled for a field goal. They still haven’t scored a touchdown this preseason. There were good plays negated by penalties. Miscues. Oddities. False starts. Another near-interception (which also would’ve been negated by penalty), and then an actual interception. Oh, and Griffin was sacked 3 times. I am basically clinging to Bill Barnwell’s “preseason is meaningless” article like it is a floating door and I am a spunky, ahead-of-my-time rich girl who doesn’t want to marry Billy Zane.

Tress Way – Is a punter. Punted poorly.

The TV broadcast – Was apparently engaged in a duel to the death with the starting offense to see who could be worse at their jobs. Probably lost that competition, but not by much. In the first half, the broadcast spent an inordinate amount of time talking about how much Griffin has improved — stepping into his throws! working with Terry Shea! — while he put up terrible numbers. Joe Theismann repeatedly claimed to be unable to distinguish between Steve Smith and Santana Moss, and then compared Nick Williams to Wes Welker, Danny Amendola, and Julian Edelman, inexplicably failing to mention dozens of other famous white people. And Ken Harvey remains the worst sideline reporter in recorded human history, which is saying something if you remember Eric Dickerson’s work in that role.

Robert Griffin III – No way to spin it. He looked awful. Indecisive, inaccurate, overwhelmed, and maybe overcoached. But worse than losing a preseason game, he has now doomed us all to a week of lunatic quarterback controversy.

MEDIUM

Brandon Meriweather – Started off seeming active, and possibly improved. Made a nice stop in the backfield. Then he turned back into Brandon Meriweather, got called for a helmet-to-helmet hit, then fell down in coverage to give up a long gain. But he’s medium because, honestly, this is who he is, and he did a perfectly average job of being Brandon Meriweather.

#RedskinsFacts – Put together a well-produced, genuinely compelling commercial supporting their near-lunatic insistence on keeping the team name. On the other hand, its primary argument also seemed to boil down to “The Redskins name isn’t nearly as big a problem as poverty, alcoholism, or sub-par health care,” which … I mean, sure, that’s one approach you could take, but it’s not setting yourself a particularly high standard to match.

Redskins-Browns Winners & Losers

Handing out labels after Skins games, this time a 24-23 preseason THRILLER against Cleveland.

Cleveland Browns v Washington Redskins

WINNERS

Ryan Kerrigan. Recorded a sack on the first play from scrimmage, added another later in the game on Johnny Manziel, which led to Brian Orakpo doing this.

Ryan Grant. He continues his impressive camp/preseason with four catches and a touchdown. Looking more and more like a lock to make the roster.

DeSean Jackson. A couple catches for 34 yards, including one in which he turned a four-yard gain into an 11-yard first down reception. I’m so excited to watch him this season.

Andre Roberts. Two catches, including the 49-yard over-the-shoulder reception on a perfectly placed bomb from RGIII.

Bashaud Breeland. Seems like a fairly bad man.

Evan Royster. Nice 24-yard catch-and-run, followed up with a two-yard touchdown carry. Both will help his hopes of making the team.

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Redskins-Patriots Winners & Losers

Handing out labels after Skins games, this time a 23-6 preseason win against the Patriots. Yayyyyy football! Booooooo preseason! Via @BurgundyBlog, let’s all yawn at preseason along with Santana Moss.

Mossyawn

Winners

Redskins Running Backs — Originally I had them all listed separately, but that seems silly, for the most part. The RBs rushed the ball 42 times for  177 yards, a solid 4.0 average. Alfred Morris looked trucklike and Morris-y in deliberately limited action. Roy Helu Jr. looked like a more-than-capable #2. Evan Royster looked unremarkable, and bizarre in a #26 jersey. (Every true Redskins fan knows that will always belong to Ifeanyi Ohalete.) Chris Thompson continues to look more like Brandon Banks and less like Darren Sproles. And then there were the two new guys.

Lache Seastrunk — Looked every bit as electric as advertised, rushing 12 times for 63 yards (admittedly against New England’s 11th-string defense).

Silas Redd – Wearing the #24 jersey of preseason legend Marcus Mason, Redd took 9 carries for 45 yards and added 2 catches for 18 yards. Running back is looking crowded this year.

Colt McCoy — Wearing the #16 jersey of Redskins preseason legend Babe Laufenberg and the first name of Redskins preseason legend Colt Brennan, McCoy is a strong front-runner candidate for “player that some idiot fan will advocate for ahead of an actual top-line starter”. (Ed. note — And also the Redskins Preseason HOF!) Continue reading

Nats 2014 First-Half Winners & Losers

It’s been some time! Let’s hand out midseason labels …

Jordan Zimmermann

Winners

Jordan Zimmermann — After winning 19 last year he’s clearly been the Nats’ best starter this year, which is not an easy thing to be.

Doug Fister — Even better than he was in Detroit.

Tanner Roark — A crash seems likely, but he’s been fantastic.

Adam LaRoche — My dad says LaRoche can’t hit,* which doesn’t speak highly for the Nats, because ALR leads them in OPS (.863). He’s actually posting a career-best OPS+, too (139). Must be the beard.

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Wizards 2014 Playoffs Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following the Wizards’ best postseason run since before I started rooting for them nearly 30 years ago.

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 9.22.51 AM

Winners

Bradley Beal — Had a couple clunkers against Indiana, including 7-19 shooting in the decisive Game 6, but check out his numbers across 11 playoff games: 19.2 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 4.5 APG, 1.6 SPG and .415 3P%. Also, and you probably didn’t hear about this, he’s only 20.

Randy Wittman — He does not seem to be a very good coach, but he did take this team further than they’ve been since 1979.

Ernie Grunfeld — Same for Ernie, right Wise?

Ted Leonsis — Same for Ted, who benefits in this regard, in a strange way, from the Caps bottoming out on the other side of the ledger.

Marcin Gortat — Replicated his rock-solid regular season averages of 13 and 10 and, though he was inconsistent from game to game, went off for 31 and 16 to stay alive vs. Indiana, giving us this John Wall quote for the ages:

Drew Gooden and Andre Miller — I was not expecting these two to make meaningful postseason contributions. Old guys rule.

Trevor Ariza — Had a great regular season, and more or less lived up to that in the postseason, averaging 8.9 boards, 46 percent from three and 52 percent overall. Even though he disappeared in a few games, he led the team in win shares and probably made himself a considerable amount of money in free agency. What the Wiz end up doing with him and Gortat will be fascinating.

Losers

John Wall — I hate to do this to the man, because I really want him to put it all together, but he was hard to watch at times and inconsistent throughout. After finishing top-20 in scoring and second in assists, his playoff numbers dropped across the board. He seemed unsure of himself and confused with the ball. But the glimpses were there; Game 5 against Indy was goddamn beautiful. Hopefully he learns from this. I think he will.

Martell Webster — Another guy I like a lot, so this brings me no joy. He was good last year, got paid, regressed a bit and then really fell off in the playoffs, shooting 23 percent from three.

Otto Porter — The No. 3 overall pick played six minutes total.

Wizards fans — Not a great showing! Nor did they get much to cheer for, as the Wiz went 1-4 at home (vs. 5-1 on the road).

Medium

Nene — After being generally regarded as the MVP of Round 1 for winning his matchup with DPOY Joakim Noah, he was pretty bad against Roy Hibbert and David West in Round 2, shooting .395 from the field and grabbing 4.5 boards per game. I will never understand what he did to Jimmy Butler.

Trevor Booker — Didn’t figure into the Indiana series but played 24 minutes per game against Chicago, running around like a wild man. Not sure how effective he was, but it sure was fun to watch.

Redskins-Giants Winners & Losers

Handing out labels after Skins games. This one a 20-6 miseryfest against the Giants.

Winners

Sav Rocca – Recovered from a terrible first punt to hit a couple of good ones, then recovered from certain disaster on a mishandled snap in his own endzone to get the ball away.

Keith Burns – Made it through the entire season, which seemed unlikely at times. (Look, this was the end of a horrific season that’s going to see everyone fired. The bar for “Winner” is low.)

Kai Forbath – Made both his field goals, including a 49 yarder to end the first half, and scored all the Redskins’ points. Did not hideously embarrass himself. (Again, low bar.)

London Fletcher – Tipped a Curtis Painter pass in the end zone into the waiting arms of Reed Doughty. That’s reason enough to put him into the Winners column one last time. So long, LFB. Sorry it couldn’t end better.

Pierre Garcon – At times appeared to be the only competent offensive player wearing a burgundy helmet. It was just 6 catches, 56 yards, but on a day like today it looked good.

Chris Cooley – After a genuinely impressive first season in the radio booth (as ably chronicled by Steinz), Cooley called this one accurately as well: “This is quickly becoming the worst football game I’ve ever watched.”

Robert Griffin III – Didn’t have to play in this clownshow. Gets to put the worst year of his football life behind him and come back (presumably) healthy next year, with (presumably) a new coaching staff and (hopefully) some new supporting castmembers. And without any kind of a QB controversy, thanks to three sub-mediocre starts for Kirk Cousins.

Rex Grossman – Managed to add a new category to The Dark Knight axiom about “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain,” as he hung around long enough to become the “Hey, why not put this guy in the game!” backup again.

Chris Baker – I mean, I dunno. He seemed to tackle a lot of people. He knocked Eli out of the game. Got called for a horsecollar tackle penalty that seemed bogus but honestly, who cared by that point.

Medium

Josh Wilson – Looked terrible in coverage, but somehow managed to be on the business end of two takeaways. Left the game with a calf injury and just had to watch the second half, which is probably an argument for putting him the Winners column.

Losers

All of us – For continuing to care, at all. There were things I could’ve done with my life instead of watching this Redskins season. I could’ve played with my kids more. I could’ve gotten better at Rainbow Loom, or brushed up on some cooking techniques. Hell, I could’ve sat around reading old Marvel comics and drinking grape soda and it STILL would’ve been a better use of my time than this was.

Washington Redskins – Secured the second overall pick in the draft, which will be going to St. Louis. Also, lost, making them “losers” by any definition.

St. Louis Rams – NO FIRST OVERALL PICK FOR YOU GUYS. SO THERE.

The Redskins Media Corps – Had to sit in the rain and cold and pretend to care about the game while knowing that the real story — and, likely, a few 22 hour workdays — would be coming only after it ended.

Nick Williams – Inherent scrappiness unable to overcome lack of football ability.

Kirk Cousins —  Terrible day: 19-of-49 for 169 yards with 2 interceptions and a fumble lost. To make matters worse, as his trade value dwindles the likelihood of another year (or more) stuck as backup in D.C. increases. This is not how Kirk Cousins thought his career was supposed to go.

Josh LeRibeus – Made it through the entire season inactive, which is … not good for a thrird-round pick at what would seem like a position of need. Actually, the big loser here isn’t LeRibeus, but the people who drafted him and the fans who have to sit around and think about all the other ways that pick could’ve been used.

Jose Gumbs – Honestly, singling people out feels sort of ridiculous at this point, doesn’t it? He did some more dumb crap, drew a terrible penalty, and generally didn’t play well. Frankly, he fit right in.

Image via @recordsANDradio.