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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11 Redskins Fans Who Think Colt McCoy Is Better Than RGIII

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1) Redskins fans, and all NFL fans, really, tend to overreact to preseason games.

2) You don’t have to look very hard on Twitter to find people saying dumb things.

With that, let’s check out what the social media buzz was all about last night as Washington beat New England, 23-6, with third-string QB Colt McCoy leading the way …

Kinda Funny but Treading Lightly

Not Entirely Unreasonable but Still Silly

Quickly Diving Into the Deep End of the Idiot Pool

Incredibly Dense and Also Lacking Originality

This is how Preseason Hall of Famers are made, people.

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

Jordan Zimmermann, The Quiet Ace In Hand

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I tend to overlook ZNN because he’s been here, and he wasn’t a big draft pick or acquisition to begin with. He has just pitched his ass off ever since arriving for good four years ago.

Aiding the invisibility is the fact that he’s been remarkably consistent along the way …

*ERA 2010-13: 3.18, 2.94, 3.25, 3.00
*WHIP ’10-13: 1.15, 1.17, 1.09, 1.17
*K/BB ’10-13: 4.0, 3.6, 4.0, 5.8

If you look at that last number, this year is actually a bit of a breakout. He’s posting career bests in both strikeout rate (8.3 K/9) and walk rate (1.4 BB/9). Neat trick.

Zimmermann, 28, is a Nat through 2015. I imagine he’ll be overlooked no more.

Just A Great Super Bowl XXII Photograph

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Shared months ago by Mr. Irrelevant Maryland sports correspondent Andy Peden and found in my inbox moments ago is this lovely gem. Here’s the quick backstory:

It was taken postgame of Super Bowl XXII in a bar in San Diego. The four guys in jackets were singers in the Redskins band. The dude in front was a local who was a Skins fan. This is what a Super Bowl victory celebration looks like. Glorious!

You’ll recall that game was played in San Diego and Doug Williams went off en route to a 42-10 victory over Denver. What I don’t recall, or was perhaps unaware of, is that the Redskins band had singers.

I want to believe this is true, and I also want that gentleman’s Doug Williams T-shirt.

Manny Machado Has An Arm He’d Like To Show Off

On Wednesday night, Manny Machado did this to Albert Pujols:

It was an amazing play, and one we’ve come to expect from Manny. But just to prove it was no fluke, he did it again last night. And again, it was against Albert Pujols:

Both were incredible, and both throws came from about 10 feet into foul territory:

mannythrow1

mannythrow2

But what really made the second one special was Manny doing this:

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There’s a man running to first base with no outs in a tie game in the 11th inning, and Manny Machado, about half a football field away from first base, is gonna take a moment to check out the baseball, gather himself, get his grip right, and then throw the runner out. I can’t wait to watch him do this for the next 15 years.

(GIF via @cjzero)

The Nats And O’s Just Made Themselves Better

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A quick post to share my thoughts and gather your own …

The Nats got 28-year-old shortstop/2B (and two-time All-Star!) Asdrubal Cabrera from Cleveland for middling infield prospect Zach Walters, who’s almost 25 himself. He’s a slight-but-clear upgrade over Espinosa at second until Zimmerman comes back, if Zim comes back. He’s also a rental, seeing as how he’ll hit free agency this fall.

The O’s got 29-year-old badass lefty reliever Andrew Miller from Boston for decent lefty SP prospect Eduardo Rodriguez. Miller’s ERA has been below 3.00 and his K/9 IP above 14 each of the past two seasons. Yes, please. Like Cabrera, his contract is up at the end of the year. Fangraphs has a good breakdown.

Walters and Rodriguez may pan out elsewhere, but it’s not worth fretting over. It’s July 31st, the Nats and O’s are in first place, and they’re now at least marginally better for a World Series run. Carpe diem.

Redskins Only Have One Guy On Grantland’s All-Bad Contracts Team

Going back to the Bill Barnwell:

Defensive Tackle: Jason Hatcher, Washington
Contract Flaw: Paying for the Outlier; System Guy Out of System

Hatcher had spent years as a backup 3-4 end in Dallas before 2013, in which two key things happened: The Cowboys moved to a 4-3 defense, and they hired defensive line guru Rod Marinelli to coach their linemen. Hatcher kicked inside to tackle and had an enormous year as an interior pass-rusher, leading a disappointing Cowboys defense with 11 sacks. He’d had just 16 sacks across his previous seven seasons. Washington, exhibiting its usual wisdom, saw this and signed the 32-year-old Hatcher to a four-year, $27.5 million deal in which he will once again become a 3-4 defensive end more than a thousand miles away from Marinelli’s tutelage. And even that might be generous; Hatcher will miss part of training camp after having his knee scoped.

Not the most promising start to Hatcher’s time in D.C.

Mr. Irrelevant is a D.C. sports blog covering the Redskins, Nationals, Orioles, Wizards, Capitals, Terrapins and more.