Category Archives: Winners & Losers

Redskins-49ers Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following Skins games, this time a 17-13 loss in San Francisco.

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Winners

Alfred Morris – Topped 100 yards rushing for the first time this season, which is nice.

Tress Way — Pinned two or three inside the 10 and averaged 47 per. Team MVP.

Jim Haslett — It brings me no joy to slap the “winner” tag on Haz, and it’s no great feat to hold the 49ers to 17, but his squad did it despite being down to Santana Moss at cornerback. (Really.)

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Redskins First Half Winners & Losers

Here with a guest post for accurately predicting the Dallas game, it’s Mr. Irrelevant reader and “Snyder Sucks” T-shirt model Ryan Fitzpatrick.

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Coming off a disastrous 2013 that saw the Redskins limp to a 3-13 finish, there was some hope for improvement coming into this season. Don’t worry, it didn’t last long.

In typical Washington Football Team fashion, there were questionable offseason signings, a quarterback controversy and PR issues off the field. Don’t forget a new head coach in Jay Gruden, offensive coordinator Sean McVay and special teams coach Ben Kotwica. Unfortunately for us fans, Jim Haslett managed to keep his top job, again. Basically, we were doomed from the start.

The season started off with a loss on the road against the Texans. The next week is when things got really interesting with another injury to Robert Griffin III and the return of Kirk Cousins. Like most fans, I immediately had flashbacks to the Seattle game. Captain Kirk led us to a 41-10 win over the Jaguars while also kickstarting the eventually QB carousel.

After struggling under center, Cousins was benched at halftime vs. the Titans in favor of Colt McCoy, the 873rd starting QB in franchise history. Just when things looked to be at rock bottom, McCoy makes the biggest start of his career the following week against the heavily favored Cowboys on Monday night. And what a Monday night it turned out to be!

Somehow, all the stars aligned and the Redskins played well enough to win in overtime 20-17 (which I correctly predicted); it was an instant classic. Before we even had a chance to soak it all in, the Redskins did what they always seem to do and stirred up some more drama by starting RGIII in Minnesota and bringing things full circle with another loss in Week 9. Awesome!

Now that we’re all caught up, let’s point some fingers at those who have showed up and showed out and those who have, um … sucked. Some of these rankings are based on stats and some are based on gut feelings while watching the games. We’ll just skip over the parts about Daily Show segments, South Park episodes, Ben Shelly, bus crashes, trademarks, name-change debates and the resulting protests. That stuff is pretty boring anyways, right? Right. Continue reading

Redskins-Vikings Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following Skins games, this time a 29-26 loss at Minnesota.

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Winners

DeSean Jackson — Made his eighth and ninth catches this year of 40-plus yards; no one else in the NFL has more than five. Pretty remarkable, given the offense he’s in and who has thrown to him.

Alfred Morris — Things really open up for him when RGIII is there (19 for 82 and two touchdowns). The James Brown-esque coat routine after his first TD was a nice touch.

Trent Murphy — Got his first career sack, giving him 1.0 on the season. Or, .5 more than Brian Orakpo.

David Amerson – Appeared to make a really nice INT in the first half. It was ruled incomplete, though, because Jay Gruden has proven incapable of winning challenges.

Bashaud Breeland — Keeps showing up, showing out.

Tress Way — Averaged 45.3 per punt, including one out of his own end zone that was fair caught in Vikings territory.

Losers

Jim Haslett — They were so good defensively for most of the first half! Then Minnesota reeled off 29 points in just over 30 minutes. Not sure how or why Haz laid back vs. a middling rookie QB one week after blitzing the hell out of Romo, but it was very Haslett, and very Redskins.

Jay Gruden — I’m not necessarily assigning blame to him or retroactively disagreeing with his decisions, but these are the facts: He lost another challenge (0-6 on the season), went for two when he didn’t have to (and it backfired a bit), had his authority called into question on ESPN and fell to 3-6. That’s a tough day, man.

Shawn Lauvao — Killer holding call to negate the defensive pass interference that would’ve sustained that final drive.

Pierre Garcon — Only 15 yards receiving and failed to reel in RGIII’s on-target (albeit contested) deep ball.

Keenan Robinson — Not sure what he was thinking on that late-and-vicious hit on Bridgewater. Well-deserved flag, there.

Jordan Reed — Forgotten man in today’s game plan, apparently.

Brandon Meriweather — Completely whiffed on somebody in the open field. Can’t remember who.

Logan Paulsen — False start. That is all.

Chris Myers and Ronde Barber — Not a great announcing duo, to say the least.

Just the Redskins, in general — This bit from Steinberg’s Best & Worst sums it up nicely:

Worst pregame: Well, the Redskins got in a bus accident, were hit by a double-dip of negative ESPN stories and were protested by thousands outside the stadium. The Vikings…I dunno. I guess they just went to the game.

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Robert Griffin III — Looked terrific in the first quarter. Perfect, really, highlighted by his escape of two defenders before throwing for a big gain (see above) and being accurate with the deep ball while also running effectively. It was like 2012 all over again. Then he was not so terrific, lowlighted by a late-first half pick and an end-game fourth-down incompletion, both of which were inexplicably off-target. He did stay healthy, though, which is the most important thing.

Redskins-Cowboys Winners & Losers

Here to hand out labels following the Skins’ 20-17 OT win in Dallas on Monday Night Football is Mr. Irrelevant reader SiPhi.

Winners

The Fans — We stuck it out and enjoyed a classic rivalry game. Through shitty non-call holding penalties that should have ended the game in regulation, through horrendous delay of games, we stuck with them and WON IN DALLAS.

Colt McCoy –- He now has a 1.000 winning percentage as a Skins starting QB.

Bashaud Breeland –- Studded it up. Forced a fumble, denied Dez twice in a row at the goal line.

Perry Riley –- Two huge stops on the OT drive.

Jordan Reed –- Great catches. Continues to be clutch on third down.

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Redskins-Titans Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following Skins games, this time a 19-17 win over Tennessee that I did not watch. So let’s hand it over to Twitter friend @youlookfoolish.

Redskins-Cardinals Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following Skins games, this time a 30-20 loss at Arizona to fall to 1-5.

Winners

DeSean Jackson — Three catches for 115 yards and a TD. You’d think that making big plays and playing for the Washington Football Club would be mutually exclusive.

Jordan Reed — Eight catches on 11 targets for 92 yards. And more importantly, back on the field!

Kai Forbath — Touchbacks! No blocked kicks! It’s the little things.

Losers

Dan Snyder — Just look at him up there, like some kind of nerd-villain.

Jay Gruden — Off to a 1-5 start, which is worse than Mike Shanahan or Jim Zorn ever were.

Kirk Cousins — INT hat trick! Three today, seven in the past three weeks, 18 for his 13-game career.

Brian OrakpoThat drop was brutal. Shutout in the sack column too; now has 0.5 on the season.

Andre Roberts — Fumbling at your homecoming has to hurt.

Alfred Morris — Thirteen carries, 3.2 per. Second straight bad game.

Chris ChesterManaged to tackle D-Jax while blocking for him, which is very Redskins.

E.J. BiggersThe attempted tackled on Larry Fitzgerald’s TD was not great.

Bradley BealOut 6-8 weeks with a broken wrist. Hold me.

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Pierre Garcon — Scored a TD, but it was his third straight game with 31 yards or less. These are not good times.

Redskins-Seahawks Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following Skins games, this time a 27-17 MNF loss to Seattle.

Winners

Kirk Cousins — If you compare this to his last outing he looked like Joe Montana. Any way you cut it, 283 yards, two TDs and no picks against Seattle ain’t bad. That first bomb to DeSean Jackson (above) was like a ray of sunshine in monsoon season.

DeSean Jackson — His 157 receiving yards accounted for 51% of the Redskins’ total offense.

Ryan Kerrigan — Made a drive-stopping sack, blowing right by the guard. Is now tied for the NFL lead with six.

Tress Way — Averaged 49.9 yards per punt, and is now averaging 52.2 per for the season, which is best in the league by two yards. His net average (42.3) is good for seventh in the league, but I’m not yet ready to accept the Redskins having a good punter, especially one named Tress Way.

Losers

Jim Haslett — Were they unaware that Russell Wilson can run? Because Wilson ran for a MNF QB-record 122 yards, and it looked like he could’ve gotten 122 more. Overall, the defense was brutal in the first half and decent in the second. They really benefited from Seahawks miscues. Percy Harvin alone had three touchdowns called back.

Jay Gruden — Seattle’s tough, but his offense looked inept for long stretches. He’s also now 0-5 on challenges, but that may be Replay Booth Coordinator Bruce Allen’s fault.

Ben Kowitca — Of course Seattle’s fake field goal worked.

Alfred Morris — You know I love FroMo, but 2.2 yards/carry and a fumble is no way to go through life.

Pierre Garcon — Caught two balls for 23 yards, and was told by Richard Sherman that “he doesn’t matter in this league.” Rough night.

E.J. Biggers — I don’t have a complete picture of his performance, but two things stand out: 1) getting punked by Wilson in the open field, and 2) being called for holding in punt coverage on a kick that was clearly going to be either a touchback or a fair catch.

Morgan Moses — Came in at right tackle for an injured Tyler Polumbus, and then this happened.

Kai Forbath — He proved in the second half that he *can* kick the ball into the end zone. So why do they continue utilizing the strategy of pooching it high and short? Seattle started their opening drive on the 35 and had the field position advantage all night long.

Jon Gruden — It can’t be easy calling your kid brother’s game. But it seemed like he went out of his way to criticize Haslett at every turn, while also praising Wilson for things that seemed like veiled criticisms of RGIII. He also wouldn’t question Jay’s decisions, including electing to kick on 4th-and-1 from the 10 down 17-7 in the third and then following that up with a failed onside kick. C’mon, man.

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Robert Griffin III — New hair alert! It’s kinda Iverson-y.

Andre Roberts — Picked up a couple first downs and scored a TD, but had a bad drop on a 2nd-and-10 with momentum happening.

Perry Riley — Missed the tackle on Marshawn Lynch’s TD, but made 10 tackles on the night.

Orioles-Tigers ALDS Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following Baltimore’s opening-round sweep of Detroit.

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Winners

Nelson Cruz — As if he wasn’t enough of a free-agent steal already after leading the league with 40 HRs, he hit two more against Detroit, including the series-winning blow. Now has 16 HRs in 37 career playoff games, and he slash lined .500/.500/1.000 for the series.

Buck Showalter – Pulled all the right strings. Example: With one out and a man on second in the ninth inning of Game 3, he intentionally walked Nick Castellanos to put the winning run on base. The next batter grounded into a series-ending DP.

Delmon Young — That bases-clearing triple in Game 2 was incredible, providing this Vine of the year candidate.

Bud Norris — Matched up against David Price, he threw six-plus innings of shutout ball, allowing just two hits. Bud Norris!

Andrew Miller — High-level bullpen boss. Threw three-and-a-third innings in two appearances, giving up no runs or hits and walking one.

Kevin Gausman — Provided valuable long relief in Game 2. Dennis Eckersley said he’s “got some hair.” High praise.

Pretty much the entire lineup — Faced three Cy Young winners, scored 21 runs. Also committed just one error.

Losers

There are no losers here, not on Baltimore’s side at least.

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Chris DavisCrush could be back by the end of the ALCS.

Game 1 of the ALCS is Friday, time and opponent TBD.

Nats-Giants NLDS Game 2 Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following the longest game in MLB playoff history, an 18-inning, six hour-and-23 minute 2-1 loss to San Francisco.

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Winners

Jordan Zimmermann — Fresh off of a no-hitter, he came within one out of a shutout in a near-must-win playoff situation. What a stud.

Anthony Rendon — Started off 4-4, driving in the Nats only run. Also stole a base and played sharp at third. Also a stud.

Tyler Clippard, Matt Thornton, Jerry Blevins, Craig Stammen and Rafael Soriano — Combined for seven innings of scoreless relief.

Ryan Zimmerman — Got a pinch-hit basehit.

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Losers

The entire lineup, aside from Rendon — Denard Span, Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche, Ian Desmond, Bryce Harper, Wilson Ramos and Asdrubal Cabrera went 4-53, by my count. AssCab did double, FWIW, but he also got himself thrown out for arguing balls and strikes — in the playoffs. This team only has three runs through 27 innings.

Drew Storen — I feel bad for him, about as bad as you can feel for someone in a sports context and non-injury situation. But he came in and blew it, like he did two years ago. (For extra sadness, read Barry Svrluga on Storen’s redemption from just a few days ago.)

Matt Williams — I didn’t disagree with him pulling ZNN for Storen at the time, and I won’t question it now. But it was his call, and it didn’t work. Also, that ejection was weird.

Nats fans — I don’t blame folks for leaving early, it was a six-hour game in 40-degree weather after all, but it’s not a good look.

Home plate umpire Vic Carapazza — The Nats didn’t lose because of him, but he did suck. The strike zone was all over the place, and two outs in the ninth inning of a complete game shutout is a hell of a time to start squeezing a guy. Karma’s a bitch. (Update: This is an awesome look at Carapazza squeezing ZNN in the 9th.)

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Tanner Roark — After a great season as the fifth starter, he was kept out of the playoff rotation and was the last man out of the bullpen. Pitched a scoreless 17th before giving up a solo shot in the 18th. Tough breaks, dude.

Game 3 is in San Francisco on Monday, Doug Fister vs. Madison Bumgarner. The Nats must win to stay alive.