Ryan Wormeli

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Redskins honored for support of Maryland National Guard during coronavirus pandemic

Redskins honored for support of Maryland National Guard during coronavirus pandemic

Organizations across sports are stepping up to aid the fight against the COVID-19 global pandemic. Countless athletes and teams have made donations and supported public health entities, whether it's in the form of food, money or space.

The Washington Redskins were recognized Friday for their support in partnering with the Maryland Army National Guard to operate the COVID-19 testing site at FedexField, the team's home stadium. A ceremony honored soldiers of the 115th Military Police Battalion, who received select medals and ribbons for their efforts and support. 

“We want to thank the Washington Redskins for being a fantastic host for us at the FedexField testing site,” said Major General Timothy E. Gowen in a press release. “It was great to partner with one of the most important agencies in the entire region. We appreciate all the help that they provided in our efforts to get people tested and combat this terrible disease.”

The ceremony also included honors for the Redskins for their support of Maryland's coronivirus response efforts. Team partners Pepsi, USAA and FedEx provided food and other supplies as well.

“I want to thank the 115th Military Battalion of the Maryland Army National Guard for this generous and humbling recognition,” said Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder. “The soldiers at the FedexField location along with all of our front line workers are the real heroes. Their courage and contributions to society during these trying times are an inspiration to us all as we continue to face this ongoing challenge.”

 

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The Redskins are doing everything they can to help the efforts of the government and public health organizations, and will continue to do so moving forward.

“It was an honor working with the Maryland Army National Guard in facilitating and operating the COVID-19 testing site at FedexField,” said Washington Redskins Senior Vice President, Operations and Guest Experiences Chris Bloyer. “Working from the site gave me a firsthand look at the hard work and dedication that these men and women have for their community. It was an incredible experience and I want to thank the 115th Military Police Battalion for their hard work and in making a major impact in our community.” 

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Which Nationals and Orioles wouldn't have been chosen in a 5-round draft?

Which Nationals and Orioles wouldn't have been chosen in a 5-round draft?

As a result of the shortened season and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 global pandemic, Major League Baseball has decided to shorten the 2020 MLB Draft to just five rounds. 

The draft, typically 40 rounds long and previously as long as 50 rounds, will bring a much smaller pool of players to professional baseball than in most years. Countless Major League players enter the big leagues from later rounds every season. Of the 1,046 active MLB players who entered the league through the draft, 483 were taken after the fifth round. That's a whopping 46%.

Anthony Rizzo, Paul Goldschmidt, Jacob deGrom and Albert Pujols are just some of baseball's biggest stars who came into the league without much pedigree. But which notable Nationals and Orioles also wouldn't have gotten their chance without a longer draft?

Here are the eight biggest local players to be drafted after the fifth round, in order of draft years.

Washington Nationals

Howie Kendrick
Year: 2002
Team: Anaheim Angels
Round: 10, Overall Pick: 294

Kendrick, of course, was the clutch hero of the Nats' 2019 World Series run, with multiple late-inning home runs during a magical October. Kendrick didn't begin his career with Washington, but he will forever be remembered for his exploits in the nation's capital.

Michael A. Taylor
Year: 2009
Team: Washington Nationals
Round: 6, Overall Pick: 172

Taylor has provided stellar defense and speed off the bench for a number of years with the Nationals. He has yet to establish himself as an everyday player, but he brings a lot of value as a bench piece.

Yan Gomes
Year: 2009
Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Round: 10, Overall Pick: 310

Gomes has only been in Washington for one season, though it was a memorable one ending with a championship ring. His defense and power has helped him accumulate 13.4 career WAR so far, a nice total for a player drafted this late.

Adam Eaton
Year: 2010
Team: Arizona Diamondbacks
Round: 19, Overall Pick: 571

Eaton has 19.3 WAR in his career after being taken in the 19th round of his draft. At that point, teams are just taking fliers, so any value at all would have been a net win. Instead, Eaton has proven himself one of the better outfielders in baseball when healthy, and durability is the only thing keeping him from his first All-Star Game.

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Baltimore Orioles 

Richard Bleier
Year: 2008
Team:Texas Rangers
Round: 6, Overall Pick: 183

Bleier didn't make the big leagues until 2016, eight years after he was drafted. But the career minor leaguer carved out a nice role in the Baltimore bullpen, with a 1.97 ERA across the 2017 and 2018 seasons before a down 2019.

Trey Mancini
Year: 2013
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Round: 8, Overall Pick: 249

The best player on the Orioles, Mancini had a strong 2017, a poor 2018, and a terrific 2019. The slugging first baseman-turned-outfielder was chosen out of Notre Dame in 2013 after a strong hitting career, and he hasn't stopped hitting at any stop up the professional ladder. In the span of three seasons, he has gone from promising rookie bat to surprising face of the franchise.

Tanner Scott
Year: 2014
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Round: 6, Overall Pick: 181

Scott is still trying to corral his high-90s fastball with better command, but he has the pure stuff to be a dominant bullpen arm. That's more than most teams get out of their sixth-round picks, but he's not there yet.

John Means
Year: 2014
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Round: 11, Overall Pick: 331

After making the roster as the 25th player out of camp in 2019, Means enjoyed a surprising breakout All-Star season, establishing himself as the O's newest ace thanks to his killer changeup. Means finished second in AL Rookie of the Year voting last season, and will look to build off his breakout year whenever baseball returns.

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Madden NFL 20 Simulation: Ravens finish 2020 season 11-5

Madden NFL 20 Simulation: Ravens finish 2020 season 11-5

As a way to predict the future, NBC Sports Washington ran a Madden simulation of the Ravens' 2020 season. Here were the results.

Disclaimer: We tried to replicate free agency and trades as much as possible, but no rookies were added and not all NFL transactions are finalized yet.

Week 1 -- Cleveland Browns defeat Ravens, 38-32 in OT

Record: 0-1 (0-1 AFC North)

Recap: The Ravens and Browns kicked off their seasons with an old-school, smashmouth game. Mark Ingram and Nick Chubb combined for an astonishing 30 carries, 304 yards and six rushing touchdowns in this one, stealing the show from quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield. After losing to the Browns at home in 2019 for their last regular season loss, this is not how the Ravens wanted to get things going.

Week 2 -- Ravens defeat Houston Texans, 21-20

Record: 1-1

Recap: It was a whole lot closer than last year's blowout in Baltimore, but the Ravens squared off with Deshaun Watson and the Texans and managed to come away with a close victory. Lamar Jackson still has yet to lose to Watson in their young NFL careers, though it was a different story when they met in college.

Week 3 -- Kansas City Chiefs defeat Ravens, 31-20

Record: 1-2

Recap: Just like in 2019, the Ravens and Chiefs squared off in one of the season's most highly-anticipated matchups in Week 3. And just like in 2019, the Ravens fell just short, in a game that was closer than the final score would indicate. When Patrick Mahomes is on his 'A' game like he was on this Monday Night, there's not much any team in the league can do.

Week 4 -- Ravens defeat Washington Redskins, 26-23

Record: 2-2

Recap: Lamar Jackson struggled mightily in this one, but the Ravens turned to their old-school roots to come away with a tough, hard-fought victory. Mark Ingram rushed for 145 yards and two touchdowns, Justin Tucker hit four field goals, and the defense played just well enough to win the Battle of the Beltway.

Week 5 -- Ravens defeat Cincinnati Bengals, 35-10

Record: 3-2 (AFC North 1-1)

Recap: Jackson was highly-efficient, throwing for three touchdown passes on just 15 total attempts, but Patrick Ricard was the story of the day. The Ravens' jack-of-all-trades record four tackles and a sack, plus rushed the ball twice, and had two receptions, including a touchdown. Talk about doing it all.

Week 6 -- Ravens defeat Philadelphia Eagles, 17-14

Record: 4-2 

Recap: The Ravens won this one despite a poor day from Lamar Jackson (211 yards, 2 INT) thanks to a strong effort from their defense to hold Carson Wentz and the Eagles' attack down. Once again, the Ravens pulled it out behind the leg of Justin Tucker, who hit a 49-yard field game-winning field goal with 50 seconds left.

Week 7 -- Pittsburgh Steelers defeat Ravens, 28-7

Record: 4-3 (1-2 AFC North)

Recap: This was not the rivalry game most fans envisioned when the schedule came out. The Steelers scored the game's first 28 points before the Ravens got on the board late in the fourth quarter. This was an ugly loss in every possible way heading into the Week 8 bye.

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Week 8 -- BYE WEEK

Week 9 -- Ravens defeat Indianapolis Colts, 34-21

Record: 5-3

Recap: Lamar Jackson was the unquestioned star of the week, with an unbelievable stat line: 24/26, 343 yards, 5 TD, 158.3 Rating. That's one of the greatest passing days in NFL history and easily tops his young career. When Jackson looks like this, the Ravens are nearly unbeatable.

Week 10 -- Ravens defeat New England Patriots, 34-9

Record: 6-3

Recap: Apparently, Tom Brady really is that big of a loss. The Ravens went into New England, a house of horrors for opposing teams over the years, on Sunday Night Football, and came away with one of their most convincing wins of the season. The defense was the star of the show, totaling eight sacks against an overwhelmed Jarrett Stidham.

Week 11 -- Ravens defeat Tennessee Titans, 24-13

Record: 7-3

Recap: Think the Ravens have had this one circled on their calendars for a while? After last postseason's upset home loss to Tennessee, the Ravens came out ready to play and Lamar Jackson threw three touchdown passes to Willie Snead to avenge one of the few losses in his young career.

Week 12: Ravens defeat Pittsburgh Steelers, 34-31

Record: 8-3 (2-2 AFC North)

Recap: On Thanksgiving night, with the eyes of the football-watching nation upon them, the Ravens and Steelers played in one of the most epic games of the entire NFL season. The two bitter rivals went back and forth in primetime, with the Ravens prevailing on a last-minute Justin Tucker field goal to avenge their early-season blowout loss in Baltimore. 

Week 13 -- Dallas Cowboys defeat Ravens, 41-10

Record: 8-4

Recap: Sometimes, the other team plays really well. Sometimes, you don't play well at all. And on some rare occasions, both happen in the same game. That's what happened here, as Dak Prescott won the battle of two of the NFL's top young quarterbacks, and Ezekiel Elliott ran all over the revamped Ravens defense.

Week 14 -- Ravens defeat Cleveland Browns, 30-24 in OT

Record: 9-4 (3-2 AFC North)

Recap: The Ravens' second matchup with the Browns and the second one to go to overtime. The Ravens got another clutch kick from Tucker (54-yard field goal with 28 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime) and another workhorse day from Ingram (30 carries, 114 yards, 2 touchdowns) to avenge their opening week loss.

Week 15 -- Jacksonville Jaguars defeat Ravens, 28-21

Record: 9-5

Recap: Chalk this up as easily the most baffling game of the entire season. The Jaguars are rebuilding, and the Ravens are one of the favorites for the Super Bowl, yet anything can happen on any given Sunday. On this particular Sunday, the Jags came into M&T Bank and handed the Ravens a shocking upset loss.

Week 16 -- Ravens defeat New York Giants, 7-3

Record: 10-5

Recap: Matthew Judon showed why he was worth the franchise tag right from the very first play, exploding into the backfield for a three-yard loss for New York. He ended with two more sacks as the Ravens defense utterly dominated the Giants in this low-scoring affair.

Week 17 -- Ravens defeat Cincinnati Bengals, 30-13

Record: 11-5 (4-2 AFC North)

Recap: The Ravens clinch the AFC North with an easy victory over their division rivals. This was a game where the Ravens asserted themselves as the clearly dominant team in the division, winning their third straight title. The Bengals had a nice draft in 2020 but they are still a ways away from competing with a team like the Ravens.

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