DC Sports teams are all of 3-19 for the month of December. That’s the sort of Chekhovian winter we’re in for, I’m afraid. But it’s not all bad news.
Last Two Weeks: 0-2
Place: Tied for third in the NFC East
Down 30-14 at the end of the third quarter, it looked like the benching of Donovan McNabb was the sort of thing that the Skins wouldn’t live down. In the fourth quarter, though, Rex Grossman came alive and put up a pair of touchdowns and a 2-point conversion while shutting down the Cowboys offense to tie it at 30. Sadly, Grossman’s efforts wouldn’t be enough, and an INT inside the 2-minute mark put the ball in Dallas’ hands and they converted for the win.
Skins fans should be comforted that Grossman can, in fact, throw the ball. He piled up 322 yards and 4 TDs on Sunday, which is more than any Redskins QB in a couple seasons, and was an effective on-field leader in the second half. With two tough games left in the season, the Skins aren’t looking like they’ll finish much better than last season.
This was a lost season for the Redskins. A 5-11 or 6-10 seasons looks an awful lot like failure, and couple that with the abandonment of McNabb after signing a contract extension on him, and the Haynesworth foofaraw, and you’ve got an ugly
Last Two Weeks: 0-6
Place: Fifth in the Southeast
Forget anything that’s been happening in the past two weeks, everything you need to know about the current Wizards situation occurred this past weekend: The Gilbert Arenas Trade to the Magic and their last-minute collapse to The Heat. Prior to the season we made a bold prediction that the Wizards would find a suitor for Arenas and his bloated contract. Even though most out there knew it would be almost impossible to trade the remainder of Gilbert’s overpriced extension, it was a necessary step for this rebuilding team. Arenas represented the old regime and wasn’t happy playing second fiddle to John Wall. Even owner Ted Leonsis agrees that the trade helps the on-going rebuilding process. Gilbert looks much happier now that he’s in Orlando. In this video of him talking to Orlando press he was all smiles and reveals he spent his own money to buy a ticket down south so he could join the team as soon as possible.
Saturday’s loss to the Heat caps off a win-less two weeks for the Wizards. After losing to the Lakers on Tuesday, Wizards fans were not too optimistic about their chances against the red hot Heat. The way the team bumbled away the lead represents how lost the team has been all season. We hope that the addition of Lewis and the return of Josh Howard can help bring some stability to the team.
Up Next: Monday vs Charlotte, Wednesday vs. Chicago, Sunday at San Antonio.
Record: 19-12-4, 42 points
Last Two Weeks: 1-6
Place: 3rd place in the East
It’s always darkest before the dawn. This sports cliché is repeated over and over and over in the hardest moments, and it’s been mantra for the Caps fans all over the area these last two weeks. Finally, there is light.
The Capitals have been in darkest night for two weeks, dropping games left right and center, and playing some of the worst hockey since 2007. There have been doubts about the Capitals’ coach, Bruce Boudreau, remaining with the team in the face of the streak. Sunday night’s win against Ottawa at the Scotiabank Center was the light at the end of the tunnel.
The previously listless Capitals exploded for three goals in the second period on Sunday night, with defenseman Matthieu “Rock’em Sock’em” Perreault-bot netting two against the hot Sens. The scoring frenzy was remarkable for being the first three-goal period for the Caps in the month of December, something they did six times in the month of November. We’ll see if this is a new lease on life for the Capitals, as they retook the Southeast Division lead with the win, and slid back toward the top of the East.
There are just four games before the Winter Classic: Tuesday against New Jersey, Thursday against Pittsburgh, Sunday in Carolina, and the Tuesday following against Montreal.
The Hot Stove is a wonderful time of the year. Less than two months from now, the season’s first steps will be made, but until then, we live in the abstracted wilderness of media reports, statistical analysis and trade rumors. This past weekend, the Nationals were the center of rumors surrounding the trade of Kansas City Royals’ pitcher Zach Greinke. The deal was done over the weekend to send Greinke north to Milwaukee, but not before the young hurler rejected an offer to be traded to the Washington Nationals. The deal likely would have cost the Nationals Jordan Zimmermann, Danny Espinosa and possibly Drew Storen, which would have been a high cost for Greinke’s presence.
With so many unknowns at play in the off-season, this is the most fascinating and horrendous time of year for the fans. All of these moves that are falling place, from Werth’s signing, to Greinke’s trade, will be merely theory until March 31st. There’s a lot to be looking for in the next two weeks: can the Nationals sign sensible deals with Brandon Webb and/or Carl Pavano? Will there be another trade for starting pitching before Christmas? The Nats are in high-gear now, and GM Mike Rizzo is quick to point out that he signed Matt Capps on Christmas day last year. We’ll see if there’s a present under the tree for Nats before Christmas.