Category Archives: Redskins
- Dallas Cowboys
- Philadelphia Eagles
- New York Giants
- Washington Redskins
Offensive MVP – Felix Jones, RB, Cowboys. Michael Vick is the sexy pick. And he may very well end up being the best offensive performer in this division. But for creativity’s sake I’m going to go with Jones, who will no longer have to compete for carries with Marion Barber III. Jones is explosive and has dual-threat ability catching balls out of the backfield. With Jason Garrett calling the plays in Dallas, anything is possible. 15-17 touchdowns are not out of the question, believe me.
Defensive MVP – DeMarcus Ware, DE, Cowboys. The best defensive player in the league not named Revis might be Ware, who is still only 29 and still only the best pass rusher in the league. He has 80 career sacks, 15,5 of which came last year on a bad Dallas defense. Rob Ryan is the new defensive coordinator and will have plenty of opportunities to spring Ware into the opposition’s backfield all season long.
Impact Rookie – Ryan Kerrigan, LB, Redskins. Had to give my Redskins some love eventually. But contrary to what you may be thinking, this is not a homer pick; in fact, I feel strongly that Kerrigan could contend for Defensive Rookie of the Year if he adjusts to playing linebacker as well as Brian Orakpo did when he was drafted. If all goes well, the Redskins will have a linebacker tandem for the ages.
- Green Bay Packers
- Detroit Lions
- Chicago Bears
- Minnesota Vikings
Offensive MVP – Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers. This is the easiest pick in the history of the universe. Rodgers is a stud and should be the best quarterback of the next 10 years. He’s got a rocket arm, he’s got Vick-esque mobility, he’s as accurate as they come, and his IQ is through the roof. With Jermichael Finley back at tight end, and the best wide receiver corps in the entire league, expect Rodgers to approach numbers close to 4,300 yards and 35 touchdowns.
Defensive MVP – Clay Matthews, LB, Packers. No, he’s not overrated. Matthews is the real deal and while his numbers may have been inflated because of a monstrous start to the season, no numbers can do justice to how important he is to the Packer’s ‘D.’ He blows us plays, he crushed tailbacks, and overall scares the hell out of the opposition. He will come close to 15 sacks.
Impact Rookie – Gabe Carimi, OT, Bears. Camiri had an excellent career at Wisconsin but now finds himself of a completely different situation. His job: help improve one of the most notoriously inconsistent offensive lines in recent memory. For an tackle, Carimi is under an inordinate amount of pressure to make sure he’s a solid contributor on an offense that managed to reach the NFC Championship game last season.
*It bears mentioning here that no team has ever won this division in consecutive years. Also of note: since the division’s inception in 2002, the team that has finished in last place has won the division the next season SIX TIMES. In other words, this division is impossible to call and don’t be surprised if the Carolina Panthers end up 12-4. Seriously, the NFC South is nuts.
- New Orleans Saints
- Atlanta Falcons
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Carolina Panthers
Offensive MVP – Drew Brees, QB, Saints. I’m sure you haven’t forgotten the loss that the Saints endured in the playoffs last season. I know Brees hasn’t. That simple fact should make this entire division frightened. Brees will be a man on a mission and with a decent running game to back him up, he could direct the best offense in all of football.
Defensive MVP – Charles Johnson, DE, Panthers. The Panthers weren’t good last year, and they probably won’t be this year – but it’s no fault of Johnson, who gave the Panthers 72 million reasons to re-sign him after a breakout 11.5 sack campaign. Still only 25, Johnson should anchor Carolina’s defense for the next half-decade.
Impact Rookie – Take your pick. Honestly, while this division didn’t have a very good draft in terms of selecting for needs, every team drafted some form of player who will definitely contribute significantly for someone down the road. Here’s a quick rundown:
Saints – DE Cameron Jordan, RB Mark Ingram
Falcons – WR Julio Jones, RB Jacquizz Rodgers.
Buccaneers – DE Adrian Clayborn, DE Da’Quan Bowers, LB Mason Foster
Panthers – QB Cam Newton
- Arizona Cardinals
- St. Louis Rams
- Seattle Seahawks
- San Francisco 49ers
Offensive MVP – Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals. Watch out. Last year Fitzgerald put up 1,137 yards and six touchdowns, but he did that with a rotation at quarterback that could be considered awful at best. With Kevin Kolb under center, WR Steve Breaston gone, and RB Ryan Williams injured, expect Fitzgerald to get targeted an EPIC amount of times. Don’t be surprised if he grabs 110 balls for 1,500 yards and 14 TDs.
Defensive MVP – Patrick Willis, LB, 49ers. Willis is the 49ers’ saving grace, the player that they can hang their hat on as the best at his position hands down. On an awful team, Willis stands head and shoulders above the rest of the league at the linebacker position. While he hasn’t posted numbers as good as he did in his rookie season, Willis is still a lock for 16 games, 100 tackles, and five sacks.
Impact Rookie – Austin Pettis, WR, Rams. I’m reaching here, considering the Cardinals took Patrick Peterson. But I’m a believer in Pettis, a physical receiver who can bolster the Rams’ corps and give QB Sam Bradford a good target. Pettis won’t put up astonishing numbers but I think that 700 yards and seven TDs would be considered superb in an offense that lacks any elite playmakers at the receiver position.
SO WHO GETS TO THE SUPER BOWL?
Last year I picked the Packers. This year, I pick..the Green Bay Packers. Yes, I’m going with my Jets-Packers Super Bowl prediction of a year ago once again. The Pack won last year with nearly half their team on injured reserve. They get back RB Ryan Grant and TE Jermichael Finley. The defense is superb. The coaching is excellent. The Packers will repeat as Super Bowl Champions.
After struggling to find five moments worthy of being called “the best of the last five years,” it was understandably less difficult to find five that could be called the worst. As many of my friends back in Chicago so eloquently put it: “It must suck to be a Washington sports fan.” Well, i can honestly say that it doesn’t suck – it just tugs at your heartstrings and often makes you wonder why we are forced to go through this, year after year after year after year.
5. Redskins lose to the Eagles 59-28. The score says it all. The numbers speak for themselves. All you need to do is listen to Chad Dukes’ rant on 106.7 The Fan. Ladies and gentlemen, below is the greatest (and most deserved) sports rant in the history of Washington radio. GET ‘EM.
4. Gilbert Arenas brings guns into the Wizards’ locker room. This wasn’t a soul-shattering event by any means, but it was probably one of the most embarrassing. One can only imagine would could have possibly been going through Gil’s head when he brought six unloaded guns into the team locker room, put them next to Javaris Crittenton’s (who?) locker with a note emblazoned with the insane words, “pick one.” And then to go out in the next game and do a gun-shooting pre-game ritual? There’s a reason why Agent Zero wore out his welcome in D.C. Based on his performances with the Orlando Magic this season, it looks like the Hibachi needs a new tank of gas.
3. The Capitals lose to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7. I was proud of the Caps. They survived the Rangers in the first round. They got a 2-0 lead on the Penguins. There was the game of dueling hat tricks between Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby (which I consider one of the best sporting events I have ever witnessed). Then, it came down to Game 7. At the Phone Booth. Where the Caps never lost, where they always seemed to get the crowd to piggyback them and crush the opposition with talent and sheer atmosphere. But Ovie was stopped by Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury on a breakaway early in the game and the rest is history. The Penguins grabbed a 4-0 lead before the second period was over and the Verizon Center, sitting in stunned silence, watched as their beloved Caps bowed out in the most shocking manner in a 6-2 shellacking.
2. The Redskins end the Detroit Lions’ 19-game losing streak. I don’t care what anyone says about that Eagles game, this was the most embarrassing moment as a Redskins fan I have ever experienced. The Lions had finished the previous season 0-16. They had lost 19 games in a row. And they were facing the Washington Redskins. Needless to say, I was already worried about this game. The previous weekend, the Skins struggled to beat the flailing St. Louis Rams relying on three Sean Suisham field goals in a 9-7 win that felt like a loss. And in the Lions game, while Jason Campbell threw for 340 yards and Santana Moss caught 10 passes for 178 yards, it was still the ultimate embarrassment to be known as The Team That Lost To The Lions.
1. The Capitals are stunned in 7 games by the Montreal Canadiens. There are three things that I have never watched the highlights of: Carlos Rodgers dropping that interception against the Seahawks in 2005, the aforementioned Game 7 loss by the Caps to Pittsburgh, and all seven games of the series against Montreal. To put it in perspective, here are the numbers:
- The Caps finished the season with 54 wins, 121 points, and the No. 1 seed in the NHL. Montreal finished with 39 wins, 88 points, and the No. 8 seed in the East.
- The Caps scored a total of 101 (yes, 101) more goals than Montreal during the regular season.
- Infamous Canadian television personality Don Cherry didn’t even think Montreal could win.
And what happened? Well, we all know. It hit me harder than most, though. See, my dad is a die-hard Canadiens fan. And while I was facedown on the ground, tearing up and praying it wasn’t possible, he was taunting me. I will never forget that day. It was one of the worst days of my life.
Welcome to ****ing Washington.
The Nationals’ 8-game winning streak got me thinking: Where does it stack up with the top moments in D.C. sports over the last couple of years? While this streak didn’t make the cut, I still think that you’ll enjoy reliving these five moments from the last five years that made us cheer in Washington. If you think I’ve left anything out, comment on the post and let me know! Tomorrow, I’ll post the 5 worst moments in DC in the last 5 years.
5. Gilbert Arenas drops 60 points on the Los Angeles Lakers. My biggest regret as a Wizards fan was deciding to go to sleep before this game was over. Since it was on the West coast, it ended quite late – and being in 2006, this was when I still had a bedtime. The game started innocently enough before Gil went into overdrive. He unloaded shot after shot (most of which would have gotten a normal player cut for poor shot selection) and hit ridiculous pull-ups, three-pointers, and layups. He scored 16 points in overtime setting a new NBA record and helping the Wizards overcome Kobe Bryant’s 45 points in a 147-141 victory.
4. The Capitals overcome a 3-1 series deficit to defeat the New York Rangers. One year after their coming out party, the Capitals were out to erase memories of the previous season’s 7-game loss to the pesky Philadelphia Flyers. Unfortunately for the Caps, Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist was locked in and held them to 5 goals in 3 Rangers wins. But the Caps discovered Lundqvist’s weakness on his glove side and exposed it for the rest of the series. In Game 7, former MVP Sergei Federov scored the winning goal with just under five minutes left in the game to send the Verizon Center into a frenzy.
3. The Capitals win 14 games in a row. It began with a 5-4 shootout win over the Florida Panthers on January 13, 2010 and ended with a 6-5 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens (who would do other things to the Caps in the playoffs. Stay tuned for the “Worst Moments” post tomorrow) on February 10th. During the streak, the Caps averaged a stunning 4.86 goals per game and allowed just 2.07 goals against. They were four games shy of breaking the 1992-1993 Pittsburgh Penguins’ record of 17 wins in a row. The Caps finished the season with 121 points, finishing first in the league and winning the Southeast Division by a staggering 38 points.
2. Stephen Strasburg strikes out 14 batters in his major league debut. The Nationals had only one defining moment since moving to D.C. from Montreal: a 10-game winning streak in their debut season of 2005. The team struggled going forward, but those struggles resulted in the drafting of once-in-a-generation pitcher Stephen Strasburg. After blowing through the minor leagues, Strasburg took the mound on June 8, 2010 in front of a sellout crowd at Nationals Park. Seven innings and a team-record 14 strikeouts later, Strasburg emerged from the dugout for one of the most memorable curtain calls in D.C. sports history. The dominant performance will undoubtedly live on in Washington lore not only for its sheer brilliance, but also because the 21-year old kid with the rocket arm was able to exceed the enormous expectations placed on him.
1. The Redskins close out 2007 with an emotional 27-6 win over the Cowboys. If you think that a one, single Redskins win could not possibly make No. 1 on this list, I’m sure you have a good reason why. But there were several reasons why I think this moment deserves to be called the best moment in D.C. in the past five years. First of all, it capped an unbelievable 4-game winning streak led by veteran QB Todd Collins and guaranteed the Redskins a trip to Seattle for a wild card playoff game. Second, it was arguably one of the most dominant performances in the storied Redskins-Cowboys rivalry. The Redskins held Dallas to 147 total yards including a franchise record one rushing yard. Marion Barber III, who needed just 25 yards to reach 1,000 for the season, was held to -6 yards on six carries.
But this victory is No. 1 on my list for reasons greater than anything could happen on the field. Namely, it was a game that was dedicated by the Redskins to their fallen teammate, Sean Taylor, killed in his Miami condo in an attempted burglary earlier in the season. When Redskins RB Clinton Portis scored a touchdown in the first quarter, he lifted his jersey to reveal a t-shirt commemorating #21, his best friend and fellow teammates at the University of Miami.
But then-Redskins LT Chris Samuels made a declaration that touched the hearts and minds of Redskins fans all over the country: “I was on the sideline and the guys were talking about the score and then it hit me – we won by 21. I came into the locker room…and broke down in tears.”