The matchup: Coming off their worst loss of the season the Mystics (2-6) stay out west to face the Phoenix Mercury (2-7), another squad struggling early in the season. Washington, last in the Eastern Conference, has lost 12 straight road games dating back to last season. Phoenix, playing without injured star Diana Taurasi, has dropped three straight and looks to avoid its first four-game since the 2010 season.Last time out: The turnover problem that plagued the Mystics earlier in the season returned in a 101-70 drubbing at the hands of the Los Angeles Sparks on Monday night. They coughed the ball up 27 times and the Mystics 19.7 turnovers per game ranks next-to-last in the WNBA. Four of the five starters had at least three turnovers, including Noelle Quinn with five. No matter the miscuing culprit, Los Angeles turned the extra possessions into decisive points.We know we have to take care of the ball, and we typically do that, so we just have to bounce back and get back to who we are and what we do best, center Michelle Snow said. That is getting people easy baskets. They had 30 points in transitionthats the game right there.Crystal light: After three straight games with more than 20 points, leading scorer Crystal Langhorne finished with a season-low two points against the Sparks, missing four of five field goal attempts. Obviously, the percentage is low, but the more alarming aspect is the paltry amount of attempts for the interior scorer. Again, turnovers are largely to blame.Its tough to get the ball to the post when they turn it over so much, Mystics coach Trudi Lacey said. So I think that was the main problem.In the previous three games, Langhorne averaged 14 attempts per game and shot 63 percent from the field.Snow-y June: Since moving into the starting lineup on June 8, center Michelle Snow has been the Mystics most consistent performer over the last three games. The 6-foot-5 Snow led the team in rebounding each time out and scored a team-high 15 points against the Sparks, sinking 6 of 8 shots.Mercury falling: Without Taurasi (hip flexor), the usually potent Mercury have been getting worked by their opponents, losing six of seven by an average of 18 points per game. Phoenix is allowing a league-high 87.1 points per game, but its up-tempo style lends itself to giving up points. Without Taurasi, arguably still the best player in the league, the Mercurys offense struggled, ranking ninth in scoring. Forward DeWanna Bonner picked up the slack, averaging 20.7 points and 10.7 rebounds en route to being named WNBA Player of the Week.
MOBILE — Kirk Cousins remains the best option to be the Redskins quarterback of the future, but that future isn't very secure. For the past two seasons, Washington has been unable to get a long-term deal done with Cousins and optimism is low heading into the 2018 negotiating period.
At this point, after consecutive franchise tags, it might be time for the Redskins to look at options beyond Cousins. Colt McCoy is under contract for 2018, and head coach Jay Gruden has repeatedly voiced confidence in the famed Texas product.
Big picture, however, the Redskins need to find their QB for 2018, and beyond. Perhaps that will be Cousins, but it's time for serious due diligence.
That means the Washington contingent heading to Mobile, Alabama, this week for the Senior Bowl needs to be watching the quarterbacks. And there's a lot to watch.
Senior Bowl rosters are loaded with future NFL talent at all different positions. NBC Sports will have much more on that later in the week, but to kick things off, start with the passers.
- 1) Baker Mayfield - Nobody will have a brighter light on them in Mobile than Mayfield. The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner made big splashes on the field for Oklahoma, posting video game numbers. He threw for more than 4,600 yards in 14 games to go with 43 touchdowns against only six interceptions. He completed a crazy 70 percent of his throws, which is very high for a college passer. There was some off-field immaturity, and a February 2017 arrest, but those issues aren't expected to cause him to slide in the draft. A number of draft experts predict Washington drafting Mayfield with the 13th overall pick, but there will be plenty of teams ahead of the Redskins that need a passer. Mobile will give the Redskins brass a chance to meet and learn who Mayfield is off the field, and that will be vitally important, along with figuring out if there are reasons to be concerned about his height on the pro football level.
- 2) Josh Allen - Big arm and traditional pocket passer, Allen will ace the eyeball test from talent evaluators. His 2017 numbers from Wyoming will not, however, and he will need a strong showing at pre-draft workouts. Mel Kiper suggested Allen could go as high as No. 1 overall, and at 6-foot-5, 230 lbs., there is clearly not a lack of physical talent. In his last two seasons at Wyoming, Allen threw for more than 5,000 yards along with 44 TDs against 21 INTs. Don't try too hard to compare Mayfield and Allen's stats, as comparing the talent and situations at Oklahoma and Wyoming are wildy different. Many NFL scouts love Allen, but some worry about his accuracy. In college, he completed just 56 percent of his passes. He may be a boom or bust type pick, but after the success of Carson Wentz coming out of North Dakota State, teams will be more willing to roll the dice on the Wyoming Cowboy in Allen.
- 3) Mason Rudolph - Upstaged by Mayfield's success at Oklahoma, Rudolph put together a terrific season of his own at Oklahoma State. A prolific passer for three seasons in Stillwater, as a senior, Rudolph tossed 37 TDs against nine interceptions along with nearly 5,000 passing yards. At 6-foot-5, Rudolph faces no questions about NFL size, and he certainly has a strong enough arm to play in the pros. Rudolph won't be practicing at the Senior Bowl but is expected to interview with NFL teams. Redskins coach Jay Gruden has said before the interviews are arguably the most important part of the pre-draft process, and this could be a big meeting. Rudolph isn't expected to go quite as high as Allen or Mayfield, and could even be drafted in the back half of the first round.
There will be other quarterbacks playing in Mobile, including Washington State's Luke Falk, Nebraska's Tanner Lee, Virginia's Kurt Benkert, Troy's Brandon Silvers, Western Kentucky's Mike White and Kyle Lauletta of the University of Richmond. There is some intrigue surrounding Lauletta and White, especially as small school QBs continue to thrive in the NFL and both passers have NFL size and play best from the pocket. Not for nothing, Bruce Allen played football at Richmond too.
It's a little weird that both Allen and Mayfield are on the same team, splitting reps in practice and snaps in the game. Then again Allen might not even play, so it could be irrelevant.
Stay with NBC Sports Washington throughout the week for updates from the Senior Bowl.
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Eagles fans are known for a lot of things, most tend to not be very positive.
Sunday, the internet made sure to help us all keep track of what was going on in Philly, before, during, and after the Eagles and Vikings played for the NFC Championship.
Let's take a look at how things progressed in the City of Brotherly Love.
In what has become the iconic symbol of Sunday's "celebrations", this poor fellow, according to TMZ, Andrew Tornetta, refused to comply with orders to disperse by police in the parking lot before the game.
Instead, according to the report, Tornetta punched a police horse twice in the right shoulder and then hit the human officer in the face, which is always a terrible decision.
Oh, and it's the second time in two weeks a police horse took a fist from a human in Philly.
Fans also welcomed anyone wearing Vikings colors with class and, well, brotherly love.
Hey @Eagles, maybe next time the Vikings come play in your stadium, don’t allow your fans to throw full beer cans at our fans. My dad’s friends son got hit with one before the game, not acceptable. Bad sportsmanship... pic.twitter.com/eFeSD006xS— Nathan #FBR (@natehoIe) January 22, 2018
Also before the game, the city decided to be proactive, and keep fans from climbing light poles if the Eagles won.
Good morning from Philly where crews from the city are greasing the light poles with Crisco to prevent #Eagles fans from climbing after the #NFCChampionshipGame tonight. #Vikings pregame coverage starts at 3 on FOX9. They call themselves the #CriscoCops pic.twitter.com/w1ZkYWZhYG— FOX 9 Sports (@Fox9Sports) January 21, 2018
Of course, we knew what wouldn't stop them.
Can't wait to see the videos of drunk Eagles fans still trying to climb the Crisco poles after the game— Nick Ashooh 🤧 (@NickAshooh) January 22, 2018
Sure enough, some fans were up to the Crisco Pole Challenge.
City workers in Philadelphia greased many of the city’s light poles to prevent Eagles fans from climbing them after the NFC Championship game. It looks like these happy fans were up for the challenge. https://t.co/Jqou2RxP08 pic.twitter.com/r0E1vzQ0CY— ABC News (@ABC) January 22, 2018
Others though, didn't need grease to have issues with a pole.
Even the non-greased up poles are already taking people out in Philly pic.twitter.com/97IrmIiKwk— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) January 22, 2018
Some decided to create a new dance, which we're sure will catch on any day now.
I need to go back to Philly pic.twitter.com/7iuAlWN12o— mitch cruelman (@rickcruelman) January 22, 2018
There was also the classic dance-on-a-car move.
Oh, and let's not forget them letting the Vikings know they played a great game.
Eagles fans pelting a Vikings bus with bottles, cans, whatever they can find to throw (la410rod_official/IG) pic.twitter.com/CmOWV5iZA2— Busted Coverage (@bustedcoverage) January 22, 2018
Forget the Patriots and Eagles playing eachother in the Super Bowl.
The real matchup, is Patriots fans and Eagles fans.
May the best fanbase win.
After all the classless Eagles fans I have seen... this is accurate ⤵ pic.twitter.com/pjZ3Pu1mNB— Heidi Zimmerman (@Heidiaca) January 22, 2018