Mark Bacon—Main Event Sports DC
We the people are undeniably tethered to technology. To wit, I’ve been off site here for a month. Non-voluntary. I spilled water across the keyboard of my laptop three weeks ago, and, that’s all she wrote. No MacBook for 18 days. It was like being denied oxygen. No constant news and information overload. Even in DC, where fortunately, friends and I talked about the news of the day, local, international, and of course… sports.
• Chris Mack’s debut slid by. No internet, no hometown reports. I was able to see highlights on the worldwide leader. Saw enough to know that CCM preaches defense and accountability. The players seem to struggle with suppressing the urge to cheat the lane for a steal or deflection. I know enough about Tony Bennett’s pack line defense to know you can’t break the wall of this defensive amoeba. Saw many “sky is falling” comments on Twitter last night, once I was back on-stream. Really??! Patience with this bunch, please. Faith in CCM, too.
• Bobby Petrino? Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Just go away. I never liked the rehire. Never liked the person. Friday, seeing players politely jog after a break away SU WR reminded me of people barely jogging across a crosswalk when the light is about to turn in downtown DC. Tepid. Flaccid. Lame. Who’s next? Do I care?? No. But sure have beau coup respect for Charlie Strong. You know?
Up here in your Nation’s Capital, and home to the most vile human alive, DJT, the ‘Skins, my beloved ‘Skins are, well, quite the story. A few observations from the Redskins’ 16-3 win over the Buccaneers:
• Tampa Bay dominated the game by nearly every statistical measure, especially in the first half, when it entered the red zone on three of its first four possessions and controlled the ball for almost 20 minutes. The Buccaneers outgained the Redskins 501-286 in the game, finished with five red zone trips and still finished with only three points. That’s really, really hard to do. Toward the end of the game, Fox’s broadcast team reported that no team dating back to at least 1960 had managed at least 480 yards of total offense and scored three or fewer points in a game.
• Washington’s defense deserves some credit for capitalizing on and creating several of Tampa Bay’s miscues. Josh Norman ended Tampa Bay’s first possession with a leaping interception at the goal line that sailed over the outstretched arms of Fitzpatrick’s intended receiver. Early in the fourth quarter, after a Josh Doctson touchdown reception gave Washington a 13-3 lead, Greg Stroman stepped in front of a pass intended for O.J. Howard for his first career interception. With Tampa Bay nearing the red zone on its next possession, Redskins linebacker Ryan Anderson borrowed a technique from Norman and punched the ball out of Jacquizz Rodgers’s grasp after a long catch-and-run. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix recovered it in the end zone. Preston Smith sealed Washington’s win with a sack-fumble of Fitzpatrick near the goal line that Ryan Kerrigan recovered with less than four minutes to play. The Redskins’ defense gave up large chunks of yards at times, but it also had a role in limiting an offense that entered the game averaging more than 28 points to one measly field goal.
• A win is a win, but… The Redskins are 6-3 for the first time since 2008 and will remain all alone atop the NFC East entering Week 11. Still, their offense has to find a way to score more points and their defense has to do a better job of getting off the field on third down. Alex Smith (who sucks) was 19 for 27 for 178 yards and a touchdown, and missed a wide open Vernon Davis on one of his few shots downfield. The best thing one can say about Smith’s performance, outside of when he threaded the needle to Doctson for his lone touchdown pass, was that he didn’t turn the ball over. That was enough on Sunday, but it likely wouldn’t have been against a team that displayed even the slightest bit of competency in the red zone. The Redskins’ defense buckled down somewhat after missing multiple tackles in a sloppy first half, but the Buccaneers still converted 6 of 10 third downs in the game and Fitzpatrick was only sacked twice.
• The Wizards? What a fucking mess. Seriously, this team does not pass the smell test. They reek. I reeled when I heard Ernie “Worst NBA GM Going” Grunfeld brought in Austin Rivers, Jeff Green and… gack… Dwight Howard. They all suck. Bigly. As expected, they have done nothing. Howard starting to display the erratic mental health he’s known for. Already causing divisions in the locker room. Beal and Wall openly feuding. John Wall? Trade him. He’s very overweight, slow and angry. Trade him, fire Grunfeld, make Kelly Oubre attractive trade bait (sadly) and hang onto Beal at any price. Otto Porter will remain due to his contract. Time to bring up some cats from the Capitol City Go-Go, our G League team.
Oh it’s nice to be back…