DC Pro Sports Stock Report (10/15)
Right now, we focus on the two teams that are playing, the Washington Redskins and Washington Capitals. Let’s take a look at who is trending UP and who is trending DOWN:
DT Barry Cofield: Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett believes Barry Cofield may be the best nose tackle in the game. He could be right. Cofield has been a beast this season. Over the past two weeks, Cofield has grabbed 2 tackles, 2 sacks, and a fumble recovery. He is one of the main reasons that Dallas ran for under 50 yards. He is becoming an unmoveable force in the middle of the defensive line. If the passing defense continues to improve, with the way the run defense has been playing, we could see a much improved defense. Cofield has been one of the most consistent players on a very inconsistent defense.
LB Ryan Kerrigan: Kerrigan has been playing a pro bowl level this season. Over the past two games, he has 6 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 tackle for loss, and a quarterback hit. On the season, Kerrigan has 20 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. Folks we have only played 5 games. Aren’t we do for another Kerrigan tipped pass and return for TD?
LB Perry Riley: He continues to emerge as a defensive leader on this football team. He hustles, gets pressure on the quarterback, and makes tough tackles. Now he just needs to eliminate dumb personal fouls. Riley has 14 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 tackles for loss over the past two games. He also has added 3 quarterback hits. Overall, he leads the team with 25 tackles, has 2 sacks, two tackle for loss, and a fumble recovery. Washington’s defensive struggles haven’t been the fault of Riley, who is off to a terrific start to the season.
F Alexander Ovechkin: Ovechkin started where he left off the second half of last season, on an absolute tear on ice. Through 6 games, Ovie has tallied 6 goals, 3 of which have come on Washington’s man advantage. Ovie is tied for the league lead with 9 points (6G and 3A), second in goals scored, tied for the lead in power play goals, and leads the NHL with 42 shots. However, put away the stats. There is more to Ovechkin’s early season than just stats. He has been a force on ice, collecting bone crushing hits, including a strong hit against Mike Brown last night and a bone crusher against friend Alex Semin two nights ago. Ovechkin is doing his part, leading this team, scoring, and being an incredible force and presence on ice. The Caps just need others to step up.
F Nicklas Backstrom: Backstrom has been the passing Wiz we would expect, initiating another sweet feed across the center of the ice, in front of the goalie, to feed a power play tally for Joe Ward last night. He assisted both power play goals last night. On the season, Backstrom has 1 goal and 7 assists in 6 games. Backstrom has also collected 10 hits. He ha splayed consistently well in an inconsistent six games for the Capitals.
Redskins Special Teams Coverage: Geesh, I am not even sure we need to go into details here. This unit has been the worst in all of football. They are awful. An already bad unit humiliated themselves Sunday night by allowing an 86 yard punt return for a TD followed by a 90 yard kick return that set up a quick Dallas TD. Wanna blame the loss to Dallas one one team unit. Start and end here. The highlight of all the poor play was a penalty on special teams coach Keith Burns, for interference with a referee. Talk about adding more salt to a salty wound. As Mike Shanahan said in the post-game presser, Lorenzo Alexander is not in DC and won’t be. No one has stepped forward to lead this struggling unit. To worsen thing seven more, two of the most consistent player son coverage, LB Bryan Kehl and LS Nick Sundberg, have been lost for the season to injury. Stock here is down. Not even just down, it has plummeted.
Redskins Defense: I throw them all in here. Despite a better performance against Dallas, tackling was still pretty shoddy at times. Somehow the Washington Redskins defense has completely forgotten or simply disregarded fundamental tackling skills. It is hurting this team and allowing opposing offenses to sustain drives. There is a glimmer of hope. Tackling became more effective as the Dallas game progressed.
TE Fred Davis. Who? That’s the problem. In a contract year, Davis has disappeared. Rookie draft pick Jordan Reed is solidifying himself as the present and future at tight end in DC. Rumors existed that Davis’ work ethic has hurt his playing time. That is mind boggling to me considering this is a contract year or Davis. In three games, Davis has compiled a whopping 3 receptions for a mere 25 yards. Meanwhile, Jordan Reed has made 17 receptions for 164 yards and a TD. Besides the stats, Reed has been impressive in getting open and away from coverage. I expect nothing to change here either.
Interior Offensive Line: Let’s face it, they were offensive. Kory Litchensteiger and Chris Chester were absolutely abused by a make shift Dallas defensive front. If any game there should have been line domination, it was against Dallas’ tattered line. It was the opposite. Litch and Chester were beaten often and ended up stumbling backwards more than holding ground. Litch gets a small break with us, because overall, he has played quite well this season. Chester on the other hand has been consistently poor.
WR Josh Morgan: You can also put Leonard Hankerson in here as well, especially for the Dallas game. Besides Jordan Reed, Pierre Garcon, Roy Helu, and sometimes Santana Moss, the receiving game has disappeared. Morgan just had 1 catch for 6 yards against Dallas. In six games, he has 10 catches for 121 yards. Not that impressive. Weren’t we led to believe that this was going to be a breakout year for Morgan?
Caps Goalies: Before last night’s performance by Braden Holtby, you have to admit growing concern within your core over the Caps goalie performances. Braden Holtby is off to typical slow start, but it has been costly for the Caps. Several of his goal have been downright sloppy and soft. Holtby on the season has a 3.56 GAA and a .886 save percentage. Those numbers typically do not translate to wins. Michal Neuvirth in relief hasn’t been much better. In two games, he has posted a 3.32 GAA with a .893 save percentage, including allowing 5 goals against Colorado. Caps must get better goal tending, much like Holtby’s performance last night, or it will be lights out for the Caps very early.
Middle Core: The middle core guys have got to ramp it up. Before last night, Troy Brouwer, Brooks Laich, Marcus Johansson, Joel Ward and Martin Erat had not scored a single goal. Line1 can’t do it all. A balanced team is required. Joel Ward and Troy Brouwer added their first markers of the season last night. Let’s hope that is a flood gate beginning to leak.