Nationals Welcome Soto; Capitals to SCF; NFL Anthem Issues

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Welcome to the DTC week in review. Mat, Stevie, and Joe discuss Juan Soto and his debut with the Nationals as a lone brightspot for the team this week with a “must-have” weekend series against the Marlins coming up. At the 12 minute mark the #Nationals talk shifts to #Capitals talk with a recap of the viewing party at Cap1Arena for game 7, and a discussion of why this IS the team that can bring home a title. Tom Wilson, Great8, Holtby discussed in detail, plus, has any one GM ever been responsible for two teams facing each other in the championship round of any sport? George McPhee built both the Capitals and #Vegas #GoldenKnights and deserves credit. The final topic starting at minute 29 (after a discussion of old guys and boobs) is about the #NFL and why their new national anthem policy will only make things worse for the business. Listen, like, and share!

100 Episodes Later… The Capitals May Do It!

Hard to imagine that this little sports experiment is 100 episodes and 52 articles old but here we are. Many have asked “Why didn’t DTC celebrate their 100th episode?” and there are two reasons… the first is embarrassing but true, we lost track of what episode we were on and this isn’t a sitcom, so does it really matter? The second reason is the real reason… we don’t want to jinx (fake jinx) the DC Sports Curse… which may or may not be real… but could be… but we aren’t sure… but we’ll see.

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The entire city will be watching tonight, we are lead to believe so at least, as the Capitals attempt to win a game seven… on the road… and lead a DC team to the the finals in one of the four major sports for the first time in 20 years. The premise of this entire project, podcast, articles, and all, was to find some mojo to defeat the sports curse which has crushed souls and spirits in the District spanning nearly an the age of an adult of drinking age. The image above is so perfect and is borrowed with love from RussianNeverBreaks and is so perfect D.C. wouldn’t you agree… the crying Jordan meme is all of us for the past two decades but win or lose tonight, the Capitals are to be received with nothing but praise.

If you are anywhere near D.C. tonight, or maybe attending the Nationals game this afternoon, make your way over to the Cap1Vault and watch the Capitals vs. Lightning LIVE with the DTC sports crew and join us for a live show afterwards… win or lose we will broadcast… but we want a win! We want June hockey in DC as bad as we want November baseball and maybe, one day, February football too.

If you have no idea what I am talking about or have recently arrived from outer space, get caught up on all things Caps by listening to and subscribing to our podcast.

Let’s go Caps! C-A-P-S CAPS CAPS CAPS! #AllCaps this is it! Defeat the Curse!

Did Kirk just play his last Redskins home game?

It’s Christmas Eve and all we Redskins fans want is a Kirk Cousins long-term deal. However, it’s very unlikely. So much so that almost everyone, media and fans, in DC feels that the LTD ship has sailed. Let’s take a step back, remove our hardcore Redskins fan hats and take an analytical look at the situation.

 

First, let’s take a look at all the tag options:

Exclusive Franchise Tag – This tag option is the same tag options the Redskins used on Kirk cousins the past 2 years, and is essentially a 1 year lease agreement again. Which would cost the Redskins 34 million for 1 year.

Non-Exclusive Franchise Tag – This tag option is usually a lower cap hit but it allows the player to go out and negotiate with other teams. If an agreement is reached with another team, the gaining team has to provide compensation of a minimum of 2 first round picks to the losing team. This would be an option for the Redskins however there is a rule in the CBA that says a player franchised 3 times is unable to negotiate with any team other than the team who has franchised them. So this ultimately throws this option out the window.

Transition Tag – This tag option allows Kirk to talk to other teams and come to an agreement. If/when an agreement is made with another team, the Redskins have 7 days to match the offer. If no offer is matched the Redskins have the rights to negotiate compensation with the gaining team. If no other teams make offers or Kirk decides not to negotiate then the Redskins would be an another 1 year lease but at 28 million.

Kirk has maintained that he wants market value for this contract. There is only 1 way to know what the market is, that is to hit the market. The only option of the tags that allows Kirk to hit the market is the transition tag. The problem with this? A team can front load a contract with say 50+ million in 2018 where the Redskins will have no chance of matching. Let’s take a look at NFL teams who have more projected cap space than the Redskins:

Team Projected 2018 Cap Space
49ers $116,114,127
Browns $111,719,592
Colts $84,467,477
Jets $80,931,976
Buccaneers $66,120,552
Vikings $57,594,809
Titans $54,489,041
Texans $54,312,683
Lions $54,268,605
Redskins $54,031,714

One thing to note is there are certainly teams who would be interested in Kirk who have less cap space than the Redskins. I’ve left these teams off because if they do hand Kirk an offer sheet it’s less likely that it’s some massive front loaded contract. In that case it would be ideal because then the Redskins have a reasonable market price contract they can choose to match.

Of this list, let’s throw out the following teams just because they have a QB and probably wouldn’t be interested in paying an arm and a leg for Cousins: Colts, Bucs, Vikings, Titans, Texans, and the Lions.

That leaves the 49ers, Browns and the Jets that could out bid the Redskins in a Transition Tag bidding war. If you noticed I left the 49ers in the running just because of the unknown, however I think this is very unlikely and would be absolutely stupid to trade for Jimmy G., start him for 5 games. then decide to let him go. That really leaves the Browns and the Jets as the teams who have more cap space and who need a quarterback in 2018. I’ll take my chances that Kirk would rather stay in DC.

There should be no other option than a transition tag. A one year lease at any price to me is considered a failure. I think we all have Redskins contract fatigue and the goal for this offseason should be long-term deal or no deal at all and move on. The transition tag allows Kirk to test the market, allows the Redskins to decide if they want to match market price, and ultimately should end this one way or another.

Update: After the Jameis Winston tirade during today’s game, the Bucs may be in on a new QB. A team to watch as it will largely depend on who comes in at coach.

 

Redskins Blow Opportunity, Postseason In Jeopardy After 38-14 Loss

All the momentum generated from the Thanksgiving Day win over the New York Giants fizzled as Washington failed to rise to the occasion and lost 38-14 to the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night. The loss all but eliminates the Redskins from the postseason. Sitting at 5-7, head coach Jay Gruden and company would need to win out and still get some help in order to qualify for the playoffs.

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The win was the first for the Cowboys since losing star running back Ezekiel Elliott to a six-game suspension. Quarterback Dak Prescott, who had been in a serious funk over the last several weeks, finally got himself right. Prescott didn’t have great numbers – 11-for-22 for 102 yards – but he did throw for two touchdowns and he didn’t make many mistakes. Prescott was sacked just once and didn’t commit a turnover.

Gruden thought his team was ready to play but just couldn’t make plays when they were needed. “I wouldn’t say we weren’t ready to play,” Gruden said. “I think, one, they made a couple plays, and, two, we didn’t make the plays we normally make.”

For the Redskins, it was a game filled with mistakes. Quarterback Kirk Cousins looked impressive at times and did finish the game having completed 26-of-37 passes for 251 and two touchdowns. However, Cousins was sacked four times and threw two interceptions. That was not all. Cousins also fumbled twice losing one of them.

“It was just miscues,” said Cousins. “A dropped ball here, we had a nice drive down the field the second drive, just a tough turnover, and then it was one thing after another that were just mistakes. They happen, and we have to correct them.”

Jamison Crowder committed a few costly mistakes. He was on the receiving end of a Cousins’ pass that Crowder allowed to sneak through his hands. The pass was picked off by the Cowboys’ Jeff Heath. Just minutes later, Crowder then fumbled on a punt return giving the ball right back to Dallas.

Dallas, now 6-6, did not make mistakes and were aided by an outstanding performance by running back Alfred Morris. The Cowboys would rush for 182 yards led by 127 from Morris who carried 27 times and scored in the fourth quarter on a one-yard run.

After a scoreless first quarter, Dallas jumped out to a 17-0 lead thanks, in large part, to a dazzling 83-yard punt return by Ryan Switzer. Cousins and the Redskins would answer though with a nine-play, 75-yard drive that culminated in a 20-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to Ryan Grant with just 59 seconds remaining in the first half.

The second half was all Dallas but for a Josh Docstson 14-yard touchdown reception from Cousins early in the fourth quarter. The loss does not officially eliminate Washington, but the chances of reaching the postseason are slim. To understand how slim – Dallas, Green Bay, Detroit, Atlanta, Seattle, and Carolina must go 5-19 over the course of the next four weeks, and, of course, the Redskins must win out.

Winning out begins with a trip to Los Angeles where Gruden and company have to face the red-hot Chargers. A 19-10 win over the Browns last week gave the Chargers their third straight victory. L.A. is now 6-6 and has a very good chance of winning the AFC West. The Redskins will have to slow a very potent offense led by QB Philip Rivers. More importantly, the Chargers recent success is due to an improved defense that features one of the most feared pass rushes in the NFL. Joey Bosa (11.5) and

Melvin Ingram (8.5) have combined for 20 sacks so far this season.

If history is any indication, the Redskins own a 7-3 record over the Chargers all-time. The Redskins won the last time the two teams met in 2013. The last two times (2001, 2010) Washington played the Chargers on the road – the franchise was in San Diego – the Redskins lost.

Redskins Defeat Giants, Face Must-Win Against Cowboys Thursday

It was far from pretty, but sometimes pretty doesn’t matter. Washington got two touchdown passes from quarterback Kirk Cousins and the Redskins defense held the hapless New York Giants to just 170 yards of total offense in a 20-10 Thanksgiving Day victory.

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“We found a way to win and the defense kept us in the game all night long,” said Cousins, who connected on 19-of-31 passes for 242 yards. “This game just tests you every week and you have those moments throughout the game that emotionally you just get punched in the gut.”

The Redskins were tested all game long as Cousins and the Redskins’ offense produced all of one field goal in the first half. In fact, the Giants and Redskins combined for nine punts and just six points in the opening half of play. The winners’ first-half scoring drive consisted of 38 yards. The big play on the drive was a 37-yard pass interference penalty. That gives you an idea of how lethargic the offenses were in the first half.

“There were several sloppy plays that I would chalk up to the fact that they were sloppy because it was a short week,” said Cousins. The Redskins had faced New Orleans in a tough 34-31 loss just four days prior to Thursday’s win. “I’m glad we found a way to win.”

Find a way they did. Cousins would locate Jamison Crowder on a 15-yard scoring strike in the third quarter to give Washington a 10-3 lead. The eventual game-winner came on a 14-yard toss to last year’s first-round pick WR Josh Doctson with 3:31 left in the game. A Nick Rose 33-yard field goal with 1:49 to play provided insurance.

The Giants’ lone touchdown also came on a Cousins’ pass, one that Janoris Jenkins intercepted and returned 53 yards for a score late in the third quarter. The 53 yards on Jenkins’ return were more than the Giants’ entire offensive output of the second half. Head coach Ben McAdoo’s offense gained 47 yards and exactly one first down in the final two quarters of play.

Rookie running back Samaje Perine gained 100 yards on 24 carries and Crowder had game-highs in receptions (7) and receiving yards (141). The 84 rushing yards allowed and the four sacks of Giants’ QB Eli Manning are steps in the right direction for a Redskins defense that is far from where it needs to be. Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky needs his unit to be equally sharp this coming Thursday when the Redskins travel to AT&T Stadium to take on the Dallas Cowboys.

Like Washington, Dallas played on Thanksgiving Day though the Cowboys’ result was far less pleasing. Dallas lost for the third consecutive week and the Ezekiel Elliott-less offense produced a mere six points. In the three games since Elliott began serving his six-game suspension, the Cowboys have put up a whopping 22 points. The defense hasn’t fared much better giving up 92 points in the three losses.

At 5-6, the Redskins cannot afford a loss on Thursday if they wish to continue entertaining the idea of the postseason. Head coach Jay Gruden believes his quarterback can lead his team to the playoffs. “It’s kind of like baseball – October, right? Mr. October?” said Gruden. “Consistency is very important but the bigger the game, the bigger the show you want your quarterback to have.”

In 2015 after starting 3-5, Cousins was able to lead the Redskins to a 9-7 finish and a berth in the NFC playoffs. Washington will not face the same Cowboys team that beat them 33-19 in October. Dallas has been ineffective since the loss of Elliott. To finish the season, the Redskins have four very winnable

games with the Chargers, Cardinals, Broncos, and the Giants for a second time.