Category Archives: Winners & Losers

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.

Redskins-Cowboys Winners & Losers

Handing out labels after Skins games. This one a 24-23 loss to Dallas.

Winners

Pierre Garcon — Monster game (11 catches, 144 yards) to break Monk’s 29-year-old record for catches in a season. Cousins was looking to him first over and over again. The catch while laying down was particularly inspired.

London Fletcher — Picked up six more tackles in his last home game, and wasn’t embarrassed by Jason Witten once. The diving, flipping attempt he made at DeMarco Murray during the final goal-line stand was absurd. Feel bad about that outcome, though.

DeAngelo Hall – Picked Romo. Loves playing against Dez/Dallas.

Kai Forbath — Made three out of three field goals, including one from 47.

Aldrick Robinson — Made a diving 3rd-and-9 catch in crunch time.

Nick Williams — Looks who’s returning kicks now. Averaged 24.7 per.

Losers

E.J. Biggers — Had a free shot at Romo on a safety blitz, but Romo faked him to the ground and calmly threw a TD to Dez Bryant.

Kirk Cousins — Sloppy in the red zone, sloppy on the last drive. Had some accuracy issues too.

Santana Moss — False started inside the 10. Kinda dropped what ended up being Cousins’ INT. Caught two passes for 13 yards.

Mike ShanahanCommenters in our open thread were not big fans of him calling timeout with the clock stopped just before the two-minute warning.

Jim Haslett — Interesting choice to not pressure a hobbling Tony Romo AT ALL while Romo limped his way to victory.

Sav Rocca – First punt was returned inside his own 5. His second and third punts were muff-shanks that took lucky bounces. Needs to PSGO.

Keith Burns — The kick return unit committed a block in the back on their last return, when they really needed the field position.

Perry Riley — Got lost on DeMarco Murray’s game-winning TD.

Brian Orakpo — That groin injury did not look pleasant.

Erin Andrews — Why was she working this game?

The FedEx Field turf — Still super-shitty.

Medium

Josh Wilson — Made an awesome play to force a fumble early, made an awful play to slip and allow a deep pass late (see above).

Ryan Kerrigan – Picked up a sack for the second straight week, but that was about it.

Alfred Morris — Got carries (24) but didn’t do much with them (88 yards).

The FedEx Field experience — I swear I saw Romo quieting the crowd when Dallas had the ball inside their own 10 during the first quarter. It did get loud late, though. I don’t know; it’s hard to tell on TV.

Redskins-Falcons Winners & Losers

Handing out labels after Skins games, this time a 27-26 loss in Atlanta.

Winners

Kirk Cousins — Threw for nearly 400 yards and three touchdowns, including one to cap off an 80-yard drive in the final seconds. Also turned it over three times, including an INT from his own end zone. Played like a slightly better Rex Grossman, which is more than good enough for a backup, but not quite enough to net much on the open market. Could have a big game against Dallas next week to make things interesting.

Robert Griffin III — Played the supportive teammate role to a T, which is better than the alternative.

Brian OrakpoPicked up 1.5 sacks to crack 10 on the year. Also recovered a fumble.

Ryan Kerrigan — Forced said fumble. Was also referred to frequently as a “game wrecker.” In a good way, I think.

Pierre Garcon — Big game keeps the “career year” theme going, and he’s a good bet to break Art Monk’s single-season receptions record.

Fred Davis — I was not expecting Fred Davis to score a touchdown.

Sally JenkinsDescribed Shanahan as an “angry red elf lord.”

Losers

Alfred Morris and Santana Moss — Four fumbles between them. Four!

Josh Wilson — Got absolutely trucked by Stephen Jackson at the goal line in what may be Stephen Jackson’s lone highlight as an Atlanta Falcon.

DeAngelo Hall — One of the NFL’s all-time leaders in unnecessary penalties picked up another by hitting Tony Gonzalez out of bounds.

London Fletcher — Has aged very well, but not nearly as well as Gonzalez.

Heath Evans — I hadn’t heard his broadcast stylings before, but he strikes me as the 2013 Redskins special teams unit of color commentators. He called Fred Davis an “exceptional” tight end.

Kyle ShanahanThe pregame report from La Canfora just killed him.

Medium

Mike Shanahan — Their sixth-straight loss, but at least he went for two.

Redskins-Giants Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following Skins games, this time a 24-17 loss to NY.

Winners

Brian Orakpo — Treated LT Will Beatty like a turnstile for two more sacks, giving him 5.5 in the past four games.

Perry Riley – Seemed to play well out there, at least in pass coverage.

Al Michaels — I *love* how pissed he sounded about the refs screwing up the end of the game. Do NOT play with Al Michaels’ gambling lines.

Cris Collinsworth — I’m a big fan of Cris Collinsworth. Discuss.

Losers

Pierre Garcon — What a terrible night for 88: called for delay of game after kicking the ball into the stands(!?), averaged 6.8 yards per catch, dropped two or three passes and got the ball stripped out of his arms to end the game. It’s cool, though; I’m sure RGIII will shoulder the blame.

Kyle Shanahan — Two things I don’t understand: 1) Why ditch the up-tempo no-huddle attack after it produced their first opening-drive TD of the season? 2) How does RGIII end up with more carries than Alfred Morris?

Jim Haslett — The D started strong and but just kept fading, allowing 24 points to an offense with no RBs and a QB who leads the NFL in INTs.

Kyle Nelson — The son of Sundberg grounded a punt snap, which resulted in Giants ball on the Redskins 46, which resulted in a Giants TD.

Sav Rocca — Another 38-yarder when they really needed the field position. May be the worst punter in the league.

Kai Forbath — Kai Forbath doesn’t get to try 57-yard FGs, not even at the end of the half.

Tyler Polumbus — Justin Tuck had four sacks. Four!

Fred Davis — Sleepy Davis sighting! Dropped what should’ve been a big catch on the final drive.

Ryan Kerrigan — Not sure what happened to him; he’s a real Nowhere Man.

FedEx Field — That field looks and plays so shitty.

Mike Shanahan — Two games back of the second-to-last-place team in the NFL’s worst division.

Medium

Robert Griffin III — Weird game for RGIII, but aren’t they all? He was accurate and nearly put up 300-plus total yards with no turnovers, but he also held the ball too long and took off to run too much. Bonus weird things RGIII needs to work on: 1) sliding 2) blocking 3) slipping.

Alfred Morris — Scored a touchdown and doubled his receiving totals (three catches for 27 yards), but was abandoned once again.

Evan Royster — Started at fullback in place of an injured Darrel Young, prompting Collinsworth to say he’s “probably the smallest fullback in the history of the league.”

Santana Moss — Didn’t do much, but I’m enjoying the Santana Moss Punt Returning Experience, which consists of copious hand gestures, yapping, sure-handedness and shiftiness.

Brandon Meriweather — Got run through by Peyton Hillis. Caught a gift INT.

Logan Paulsen — Caught a big TD. Also had a key drop or two; must be contagious.

The refs — What went down at the end was suspect, but I’ve got a bigger issue with the plays that happened right before (Davis’ drop) and after (Garcon’s fumble) the crime. They’re not to be forgotten.

Redskins-49ers Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following Skins games. This time a 27-6 manhandling at home by the 49ers on MNF to fall to 3-8.

Winners

NFL (and/or aspiring NFL) coaches looking for highly paid jobs — There are about to be a number of openings in the D.C. area. You just have to work for that gold watch-wearing MFer.

Losers

Robert Griffin III

(via @gifdsports via FTW)

Medium

Navajo Code Talkers

Redskins-Eagles II Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following Skins games. This time a 24-16 loss at Philly. Note: Thanks to Fox cutting to a “a more competitive game” I only saw a) the Eagles going up 24-0 and b) the Redskins’ final, futile drive. Fun!

Winners

Alfred Morris — Did his damage in the first half. Finished with 93 yards. Very FroMo.

Brian Orakpo – Got a sack and a half. Seems worth mentioning.

Darrell Young — Didn’t see it happen so I have no idea how DY was able to score a 62-yard TD.

Aldrick Robinson — Scored a 41-yard TD of his own. At least I can imagine this one.

Losers

Mike Shanahan — Swept by Philly. Alone in last place in the NFC East, at the moment. Maybe cool it on the extension talk this week?

Kyle Shanahan — Shutout in the first half. Again. Great line by deepvalue from the Open Thread: “Skins offense can stack up with anyone as long as they are facing a prevent defense.”

Jim Haslett — Gave up 24 points in the two-plus quarters I saw.

Robert Griffin III — Completed 48.6 percent of his passes. Heaved that godawful INT to end the game. Out come the wolves.

Roy Helu — Whiffed on Connor Barwin, who then nailed RGIII for a fumble-sack. Also fumbled on third-and-forever.

Nick Williams — His first career punt return should’ve been fielded at the 10; it was downed at the 2. He let another one go later; it rolled into a 70-yarder and was downed at the 4. Holy shit.

Sav Rocca — Six punts, 37.2 yards per. How ’bout them Redskins?

Trent Williams — Beat by Trent Cole for a sack or two.

Tyler Polumbus — Does not strike me as an NFL-caliber right tackle.

David Amerson — Outmatched one-on-one with Riley Cooper.

Whoever cleans the team bus — Because it got egged.

LeSean McCoyJust let the guy wave his flag.

Sunday Ticket subscribers– I pay for this.

Medium

Santana Moss — Made a 28-yard catch on 3rd-and-25, so there’s that.

The refs — Who knows what Trent Williams is ranting about here.

Redskins-Vikings Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following Skins games. Tonight, a 34-27 road loss.

Winners

Robert Griffin III — Played like a champ: 7.6 yards/attempt on 37 attempts, three TDs, 44 rushing yards, no turnovers. Took a lot of hits, though.

Alfred Morris — Another game with over five yards/carry. Hit the 100-yard mark in the first minute of the second half. Then was largely ignored.

Pierre Garcon — Second straight game with well over 100 yards, 32 of which came on a monster screen-and-run. On pace for well over 100 catches.

Trent Williams — Made Jared Allen a total non-factor.

Jordan Reed — Six more catches on nine targets plus a TD.

Leonard Hankerson — Good showing (five catches on five targets).

The CapsAt least someone beat Minnesota tonight.

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Redskins-Chargers Winners & Losers

Guest writer and longtime Skins fan Kevin Stroop fills in to hand out labels following Washington’s 30-24 victory over San Diego.

Winners

Pierre Garcon –- A week after criticizing the offense, he delivered. Along with seven catches for 172 yards, he had highlight reel one-handed catches and caught a critical pass in OT on a 1st-and-20. More of that this week, please.

Alfred Morris –- Ho, hum FroMo with 25 carries, 121 yards and a TD. Ran hard all day. More of that this week too, please.

Darrel Young -– I think it’s a rule that if you score touchdowns on 60% of your carries, you are a winner.

Defense (goal line-stand edition) –- Maybe the Chargers playcalling had more to do with what happened at the end of the fourth, but nevertheless the defense saved the day. Granted, the defense vanished the second half of the quarter, but they somehow prevented a team from scoring a TD from the six-inch line on three downs.

Losers

Kai Forbath –- Having two FGs blocked by a franchise that had not blocked a FG in 175 games is not good. Four misses this year is worst in the league and also not good. Kickoffs still do not result in touchbacks. He did have a clutch 47-yarder. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some kickers show up at Redskins Park soon.

Josh Morgan –- As a kick returner, it’s not working. He can’t get past the 20 on kickoffs and doesn’t seem to know when to field a punt vs. let it go.

Defensive line – -I don’t understand how a guy as immobile as Rivers eluded the Redskins pass rush so easily. I thought the D-line would be a strength, but it didn’t show on Sunday.

Fred Davis -– The Redskins ran packages with 3 TEs. All three of them caught a pass on Sunday. Sleepy wasn’t one of them.

Medium

RGIII –- After a terrible showing vs. Denver, he came back with a solid game. He didn’t have gaudy stats but did guide the offense to 500 yards and 12-17 on third downs. Made a dangerous/exciting run late in the third quarter and seemed to make smart decisions throughout. Four batted balls including one in his own end zone resulting in a zero-yard pick-six was weird, though.

David Amerson –- Pros: another interception; was critical in keeping Woodhead out of the end zone leading to that goal line stand. Cons: still gets lost on the field it seems; burned on a number of occasions.

DeAngelo Hall –- I’m told by Deion Sanders he’s playing CB as well as anyone in the league. Fair enough, but he still collected a ridiculous unnecessary roughness penalty after E.J. Biggers’ interception.