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20 things D.C. sports fans should be really happy about, playoff success or not

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20 things D.C. sports fans should be really happy about, playoff success or not

If this blog post could hug you, it would reach out and hug you. It'd be the warmest, snuggest hug you've ever gotten, too.

You know the Nationals lost Game 5 vs. the Cubs, a showdown that lasted approximately three and a half days and brought pain with it that'll last much longer. Beyond that, you know that D.C. sports teams and playoff success doesn't compute. Often times, neither does being a D.C. sports fan and fun, or satisfaction, or smiling.

You've read enough stories reminding you of those sentiments, though. This one, on the other hand, is here to prop you up and remind you of 20 things that should make you proud to support the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals and Nationals, happy to support them, regardless of their postseason records.

So open up your arms for this over-the-Internet embrace. Maybe it'll help you just a little bit.

20 things that D.C. sports fans should be really happy about, despite their teams' lack of playoff success

1) John Wall is under contract with the Wizards until the 2022-23 season.

2) Alex Ovechkin is on pace for a decent 164-goal season.

3) While the Tweet may no longer be true the following sentence is: The Redskins have more wins than the Giants.

😂 Factually accurate. . . . . #redskins #nfl #giants

A post shared by NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON (@nbcswashington) on

And that's something to be happy about too.

4) The Nationals are hosting the All Star Game next season.

Bryce Harper said he's going to do the Home Run Derby, by the way, so plan on parking really far away from the stadium.

5) Speaking of the Nats and Nationals Park, it has a Shake Shack inside of it, and Shake Shack is really delicious.

6) Sometimes Braden Holtby gets confused and thinks his crease expands all the way out to the blue line, and that results in highlights like this one:

7) The Redskins play on Thanksgiving this year.

And it's the night game, too, so you can eat, pass out from eating too much, wake up, eat some more and then watch the 'Skins take on the Giants. 

8) Bradley Beal's jumper.

It's so pretty.

9) Anthony Rendon's swing.

It's so pretty.

10) Brandon Scherff's weekly annihilation of an opposing player.

It's so pretty, in its own, scary way.

11) Kirk Cousins has "dad swag," and he's damn proud of it, too:

12) Trent Williams calls Kirk Cousins' shoes in the above photo "mall-walkers," which is the best half-joke, half-insult ever.

13) Kelly Oubre Jr. is only 21 years old, has already carved out a nice role with the Wizards, and he should only get better.

Plus, he's a "pretty dude" and knows it.

14) Craig Laughlin and his love of exclamation points:

15) Jim Tomsula. 

He's a superb coach really helping the Redskins' D-line. He's also a superb human really helping out people who like funny videos, like this one:

16) One of Tomsula's pupils, rookie Jonathan Allen, is looking every bit like the steal everyone thought he'd be when they drafted him in April.

17) The Nationals will soon use a lineup that features Trea Turner and Victor Robles.

All of the bases will be stolen.

18) The Wizards are a nicely-assembled NBA team, and the core of their roster is like your mom's cookies.

Homemade.

19) Capital One Arena is the only place in the world you can get free Chick-fil-A because DeAndre Jordan's free-throw percentage looks like Tim Tebow's completion percentage.

20) D.J Swearinger may be the answer at safety for the Redskins. 

Instagram posts like these should earn him a Pro Bowl nod on their own, on top of the fact that he's playing quite well.

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Redskins draft countdown: Georgia RB Sony Michel

Redskins draft countdown: Georgia RB Sony Michel

Redskins draft countdown

Sony Michel

Running back
Georgia

Sony Michel is a solid north-south runner who also can bounce outside and pick up yardage. He shared playing time with Nick Chubb last year and still ran for 1,277 yards, averaging 7.9 yards per carry, and scored 16 touchdowns against SEC competition. Michel also showed his bona fides in the passing game, catching 64 career passes and showing that he can handle pass protection. 

Height: 5-11
Weight: 220
40-yard dash:4.54

Projected draft round:2

How he fits the Redskins: The Redskins have made no secret of their desire to draft an upgrade at running back. They would prefer one who can catch passes out of the backfield and gain yardage between the tackles. Sony Michel can do both as well as pop for yardage on the outside. There is a good chance that he will be on the board when the Redskins draft in the second round. Since they don’t have a third-round pick, this may be the last chance to get an upgrade in this draft. 

Film review: vs. Notre Dame, vs. Alabama

—The first thing to say here is that the Bulldogs had a quality run-blocking offensive line. Michel frequently had big holes to run through. For his part, Michel maximized his gains when he had a big opening, hitting it quickly and working north-south. 

—He also can pick up yards through just a small crease, again by hitting it with urgency and gaining momentum to drive for the final few yards. 

—Michel didn’t do a whole lot of pass protection in the plays I watched, but he was solid when he did. On one play against Notre Dame, he put a blitzing defensive back on the ground. Against Alabama, he got in the way of likely first-round pick Da’Ron Payne long enough to allow the quarterback to get off a deep pass. To be sure, he didn’t blow Payne away but his block was effective.

—Besides the O-line, Michel also got quality blocking from his receivers. Again, he took advantage, reading the blocks and maximizing the gain. 

—He also can get it done without much help. On third and 20 against the vaunted Alabama defense, he headed up the middle and quickly went outside when he saw no running room. He headed to the sideline with four Alabama defenders and no blockers in sight. Michel found another gear and accelerated down the sideline to convert the third and long.  

—He later converted a third and 10 on a draw play, quickly getting up to speed and zipping through traffic to move the sticks. 

Potential issues: Although he has decent speed, he’s not the home run threat you might want in a back taken in the second round. And Michel isn’t really a power back either, although he can fight for extra yards. 

Despite his limitations, there is chatter that Michel might be drafted early in the second round or perhaps even late in the first. It’s hard to separate the smoke and speculation from reality as we sit a week before the draft starts. But he’s a talented back and if Derrius Guice goes off the board earlier than most expect, a run on runners could include Michel. 

Bottom line: Saquon Barkley is the obvious top running back and he surely will be gone when the Redskins pick in the first round. After that, the Redskins have plenty of options. They like Guice but 13 may be too high for him and he is likely to be gone when their pick in the second is on the clock. Michel is one of a few possibilities there, a group that also would include Michel’s former teammate Nick Chubb, Ronald Jones of USC and others. Without a peek at the draft board in Ashburn, we will just have to wait and see. 

Redskins draft countdown

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

 

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The NFL fills in the blanks on the Redskins' schedule tonight

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USA Today Sports Images

The NFL fills in the blanks on the Redskins' schedule tonight

Since the 2017 regular ended we’ve known who the Redskins will play this coming season and we have known where the games will be played. Tonight we find out the when. 

The NFL schedule will be released tonight at 8 p.m. The NFL will fill in the blanks beside all of the prime time games, the Thanksgiving Day games and the Sunday doubleheader and night games. 

Last year, the Redskins were coming off of an 8-7-1 season where they just missed making a second straight playoff appearance. Kirk Cousins was becoming one of the more recognizable names in the NFL and the schedule makers thought they would be enough of a draw to warrant five prime time slots. They were scheduled for a Sunday night, two Monday nights, and two Thursday nights, including a first-ever home game on Thanksgiving. 

The Redskins may not be as attractive a prime time candidate this year. They went 7-9 and Cousins is gone, although replacement Alex Smith is fairly well-known. It’s nearly a given that two NFC East games will be on prime time. That has been the case every year but one since 2012. We will see what will happen beyond that. 

The prime-time games that the Redskins do have will start a bit earlier than they have in the past. The league announced yesterday that Monday night games will move up from 8:30 p.m. ET to 8:15 p.m. ET and Thursdays will move from an 8:25 p.m. start to 8:20 p.m. Sunday night games move up from 8:30 p.m. to 8:20 p.m.

There has been speculation that the Redskins will play on Thanksgiving, perhaps at Dallas or against another opponent in the night game. That would make three years in a row on Thanksgiving for them. That is not without precedent although it would be unusual. Besides the Lions and Cowboys, who host Thanksgiving games annually, only two teams played in three straight Thanksgiving games. The Bears played every Thanksgiving from 1979-1981. The Cardinals also played three straight, but there is an asterisk there since they hosted the game instead of the Cowboys in 1975 and 1977. In between they played at Dallas on Thanksgiving. 

The availability of FedEx Field should not cause any schedule alterations. There are some events scheduled for the venue but concerts by Taylor Swift and Beyonce & Jay-Z, an international soccer game, and the Maryland-Texas college game are all going to be done before the start of the NFL season. 

Here are the Redskins regular season opponents. 

Road

  • Cowboys 
  • Giants
  • Eagles
  • Cardinals
  • Saints
  • Jaguars
  • Titans
  • Bucs

Home

  • Cowboys 
  • Giants
  • Eagles
  • Packers
  • Panthers
  • Colts
  • Falcons
  • Texans

The preseason opponents were announced earlier this month.

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.