Good morning, DC Sports Fans, and a very happy football Sunday to everyone! A lot has happened this week and a huge game looms for the Burgundy and Gold. Injuries and inconsistency continue to bedevil our favorite clubs, but there are some bright spots to be found.
Below is what you need to know to get you ready for your DC sports week.
The Redskins are 6-3 for the first time since 2008. LET ME REPEAT THAT: THE REDSKINS ARE 6-3! They won an ugly game last week, but a W is a W, and the wins keep piling up for a club no one expected much from this year.
They enter Week 11 atop the NFC East but as heavy underdogs against the Houston Texans. Literally no national analysts are picking the team to win this week and it’s easy to understand why. The Skins offense has been mediocre at best, and given the rash of injuries suffered along the O-line, that trend is unlikely to turn around today.
Alex Smith threw for less than 200 yards again against the Bucs and has consistently struggled when under pressure. The Texans are very stout against the run, so unless the Skins can get some yards through the air, it’s going to be a looooong day for the offense. With a cobbled-together line in front of him against one of the best defensive fronts in the league, this game is looking very tough on that side of the ball.
- WR Trey Quinn and RB Byron Marshall have been activated and will be available against the Texans.
- WR Brian Quick and CB Joshua Hosely have been placed on waivers.
- OT Geron Christianson, acting as a replacement on the decimated O-Line, has been placed on IR and is done for the season.
- Jamison Crowder, Chris Thompson, and Samaje Perine are all officially OUT for Week 11.
- Trent Williams and Dustin Hopkins are questionable for today’s game.
- A lot of Redskins players are calling out the fans for the lousy home environment at Fedex Field:
- The team continues to give away tickets to encourage fans to come out to the stadium:
- Punter Tress Way is quietly having a Pro Bowl season:
The Wizards were finally able to string a few wins together this week, bringing their record to a still terrible 5-10 on the young season. That puts them in 4th place in the division and 11th place in the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately, the glimpse of hope was extinguished in ugly fashion in an embarrassing loss to the Brooklyn Nets, who were without their best player after a gruesome injury to Caris LeVert earlier in the week.
The defensive stats for this team are awful; 29th in points allowed, 28th in rebounds, and 16th in turnovers. The offense has been thoroughly mediocre, ranking right in the middle of the league in most metrics, with the notable exception of their terrible shooting.
The biggest headlines for the team continue to be about off the court turmoil. Dwight Howard, who fouled out of Friday’s loss, decided to practice shots on the court after the game and was heckled by a stadium employee while doing so.
And talk continues about whether the Wiz should blow things up, starting with John Wall.
The Nats didn’t make any Hot Stove news this week, so the biggest headlines were about what didn’t happen. Both ace Max Scherzer and rookie phenom J3uan Soto lost out on the league’s biggest honors. Scherzer finished second in the NL Cy Young voting behind Jacob deGrom and Soto finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year contest to the Braves’ Ronald Acuna Jr.
- Jacob deGrom dethrones Max Scherzer as NL Cy Young winner – Adam Zielonka
- Soto finishes second in NL ROY Award voting – Jamal Collier
The years-long dispute between the Nats and Orioles regarding revenue from MASN may finally be coming to an end. The Revenue Sharing Definitions Committee (RSDC) heard final arguments from both teams on Friday. The Nationals are expected to receive several hundred million dollars in revenue from past years, as well as a larger portion of the cash flow going forward.
The Caps have spent the week on a long road trip, which included wins over the Wild and the Avalanche and a loss to the Jets. They will finish the road swing in Montreal tomorrow night. Tom Wilson finally made his long-awaited return after his 20 game suspension was reduced, but it’s the losses in the lineup that are this week’s biggest news.
The club is down several key players, including forwards TJ Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetzov and starting goalie Braden Holtby, all of whom are suffering from “upper body injuries”. Holtby was injured in a practice session on Wednesday and is considered day-to-day. Both Oshie and Kuznetzov have suspected concussions after dirty hits from the Jets. It was a rough 24 hours, leaving the Caps without their Vezina-caliber netminder and two top-six forwards.
Holtby is being capably replaced by Pheonix Copley, who has proven that he can perform well at the NHL level. One of the biggest questions going into the season was how much of a dropoff Copley would be from Philipp Grubauer. It turns out to not be much, if anything. Top goalie prospect Ilya Samsonov has been called up to the Caps to be the backup goalie for the duration of Holtby’s injury.
- Wilson has been fantastic since his return to the ice. He has points in all three games and his presence on the top line seems to be improving things for Ovechkin as well.
- Lars Eller is filling in on the top line with Kuznetzov out and is looking like he belongs there.
There isn’t much going on with the United this week, but a few things were in the news.
- Wayne Rooney got a fantastic sendoff from the home crowd at Wembly:
- Speaking of Rooney, he discussed his future aspirations as in coaching once his playing career is over:
- Speaking of Rooney again, he and Luciano Acosta made the MLS Best XI list: