Last Two Weeks: 0-1
Place: Last in the NFC East
I think by now it’s pretty safe to say it wasn’t Jim Zorn’s playcalling that was the problem with the Redskins Offense. What is the problem? This week against the Falcons, the Skins controlled the ball longer, had more total yards, gave up just one turnover and yet came up two touchdowns short. Sure, the one Redskins’ turnover was a touchdown, and the Skins did amass 10 penalties for 89 yards, which looks to be the difference in this bout. The Skins were definitely missing Chris Cooley, who suffered a leg fracture in the game against Philly two weeks ago. Todd Yoder and Fred Davis filled in for Cooley this week, but neither were the same caliber player against the Falcons. Davis’ bauble resulted in the interception that put the Skins at such a disadvantage, but Yoder came up with a TD in the corner of the end zone, so you win some and lose some. Cooley’s not likely to be back this season, though the surgery to repair the break in his ankle was successful.
Next week, the Broncos show up at FedEx field, with their 6-1 record (plus whatever happens tonight against the Steelers) and an offense that is, by comparison, fairly potent. The Skins defense may have failed them this week, but I suspect next week, they’re the best chance to keep the game close. After that, it’s week-of-weeks: the Cowboys in Dallas. Somehow, I’m not as optimistic about the pre-Thanksgiving battle as I was last year.
Last Two Weeks: 4-1-2
Place: 1st in the Southeast
Saturday night’s game at the Phone Booth was a bit of a crazy one. 7-4 looks more like a night when the Nationals bullpen was at its particular worst, not a hockey score. But, the Caps came back from behind and scored five goals in the third period to light up the Panthers. This is proof that the Caps don’t need Ovie for every game, but his absence is certainly a formidable one.
There’s rumors that Ovechkin may be out another 3-4 weeks, but the Caps are disputing that report, without releasing any information that explains why they’re disputing that report. Intrigue! Excitement! Office Politics! Hockey!
The Caps take on the Islanders (6-6-5) Wednesday, and then Minnesota (6-10-0) Friday, before heading to New Jersey (11-4-0) on Staturday
Last Two Weeks: 2-5
Place: Last in the Southeast
So, as bad as this looks, it’s not nearly as bad as it could be. Gilbert’s putting up some solid points, and the schedule for the first 15 games are pretty harsh. The win in Dallas was unexpected, though the win in New Jersey was. Agent 0 is putting up 25 a game, and Caron Butler is throwing up 16. It’ll be better once Antawn Jamison returns to the floor, but that’s no guarantee of a winning squad. There’s frustrations in the Wizards’ locker room over the slow start, frustrations that the offense isn’t hitting on all cylinders, that turnovers are outnumbering assists. 40% from the field isn’t going to cut it, and Flip Saunders knows as much.
There’s still no date for a return of Jamison, who would be a welcome offensive puzzle piece and a playmaker for the Wizards. This week, the Wizards play in Miami (5-1) on Tuesday night, then at home against Detroit (3-4) on Saturday.