DC Pro Sports Stock Report (11/14)
The Washington Redskins, Washington Capitals, and Washington Wizards are all in season. So we take a look at who’s stock is up, and who’s is down.
WR Pierre Garcon. In Washington’s awful 34-27 loss to Minnesota last week, Pierre Garcon was the main target for QB Robert Griffin III, having been targeted 10 times in the passing game and making 7 receptions. Garcon put up another +100 yard game, catching 7 passes for 119 yards for an average of 17.0 yards per catch. Garcon is establishing himself this season as the primary receiver in DC and one of the top receiving threats in the NFL. Over the past two games, Garcon has nabbed 291 yards receiving on 14 catches for an average of 20.8 yards per reception. Quite impressive. His production is being fed by well designed screens, in which Garcon has gotten significant yards after the initial grab, and tons of calls for misdirection play calling benefiting Garcon. He is on pace for his best season of his career. Last season, Garcon grabbed 44 passes for 633 yards. Through 10 games this season, Garcon has 61 receptions for 803 yards.
RB Alfred Morris. Morris is starting to roll as Griffin gets healthier and more willing to run the football. The dual running threat is back and the Redskins rushing game is reaping benefits. In the loss to the Vikings, Morris put up his second consecutive 100+ yard game, carrying the Redskins offense for 139 yards on 26 carries. Both in terms of yards and carries, those numbers were season highs for Morris. In fact, Kyle Shanahan is becoming more reliant on the running game, as Morris has had 25 and 26 carries the past two games. Morris is responding. He has compiled 261 yards on 51 carries over the past two weeks.
F Joel Ward: The Washington Capitals have moved to within 1 point of first place Pittsburgh in the Metropolitan Division. Ward has been a big part of that with his production on ice and his quality physical play. Ward has been entrenched on the second line and the Caps are getting quality production from guys like Ward, Jason Chimera, and Mikhail Gragovski. Ward has scored a goal in three consecutive games, including a short handed goal against Columbus. Over those three games, Ward has put 11 shots on net.
F Marcus Johansson: The Caps have been waiting for Johansson to heat up and he has. Johansson had a beautiful charge to the net in overtime against Columbus that led to a rebound and the game winning goal by Alexander Ovechkin. Without the Johansson drive to the net, Ovi would not have been in place to win it. Johansson has 2 goals and 4 assists over his last 5 games.
D John Carlson. The Caps have been waiting for offensive production from the blue line. John Carlson is bringing it. Carlson had a beautiful goal against Columbus, so beautiful, that rookie Tom Wilson felt the need to follow Carlson’s puck into the net. Carlson has tallied 4 goals in the last 6 games, giving the caps some production from the blue line. He also has put 16 shots on net over those six games. To see a more complete picture, he has been credited with 15 blocked shots and 4 hits over that span of games. Good numbers for the young defenseman.
Trevor Ariza. Only Ariza deserves to be mentioned as a Stock Up, but he strained a hammy last night. Ariza was having a fine season before straining him hamstring and coming out early against the Spurs on Wednesday night. He is third on the team in scoring [15 ppg], second in rebounding [6.6] and tops in steals [2.1]
Special Teams. They should get a permanent spot here. They are horrible, awful, horrendous, and any other words you wish to throw in here. The return units have been horrible. perhaps they could be fixed this week with the addition of WR Nick Williams to the roster. Williams was a special teams returner, and a good one, at Connecticut last year. As for the current returns, Joshua Morgan has been a $6 million waste at wide receiver. He has reenforced that as punt returner. He doesn’t even look like a real punt returner. Awful. The special teams hit a new low by completely botching a faked punt. Punter Sav Rocca threw a pass to a completely unsuspecting Niles Paul. How is that possible? Was it not discussed? Wouldn’t have mattered anyway, because even more ineptly, the Redskins were flagged for a penalty. Then there is Sav Rocca. Rocca tallied 3 punts for a whopping average of 33.7. Keith Burns continues to have a job, how?
WR Joshua Morgan. Six MILLION dollars. Really?
Pass Rush: Redskins tallied one sack early in the game, courtesy of Brain Orakpo. Other than that, despite knocking Christian Ponder out of the game and dealing with Matt Cassell, the vaunted pass rush whimpered away, as Minnesota effectively just sit back and threw there way back into the football games, eventually knocking the Redskins to 3-6, after falling behind 27-10. Ponder completed 81% of his passes before getting hurt. Yes, Christian Ponder. The two highly touted pass rushers for the redskins, Brain Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan, have just 2.5 sacks over the past 5 games. That is a story of not getting the job done.
F Brooks Laich. Who? You could ask that question because he has been non-existent. Laich has a whopping 2 assists in his last 11 games. he has not put the puck in the net in 11 consecutive games. On the season, he is a -10. Pretty awful start for Laich.
D Mike Green: Have to handle the puck better. Green’s botch cost the Capitals a goal against Columbus. He is a-3 over the past three games. Of course, Green has been battling a lower body injury.
Bench: Want to see a big reason why the Washington Wizards are struggling. They have no bench production. Everyone including Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker, Eric Maynor, and Al Harrington have been awful. Everyone except for Martell Webster. Washington can’t run John Wall and Bradley Beal into the ground, but bringing this bench in will likely continue a trend of relinquishing leads. You can blame that on the front office. But, what’s new with that.