One analyst thinks defense could make WFT best in NFC East originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
After Washington’s impressive defensive performance to open the season, and underwhelming showings from its division rivals, an inevitable debate began: Is the Washington Football Team the best team in the NFC East?
While it is clearly too early to know the fate of their season after just one strong performance, football analysts have already begun discussing if Washington’s defense can carry the team to the division title for the first time since 2015.
NBC Sports’ Mike Florio and Chris Simms engaged in a debate following Washington’s 27-17 win over the Eagles, and Florio was quick to jump on the Washington bandwagon.
“It was a dominating defensive performance — eight sacks,” Florio said. “I know the Eagles offensive line wasn’t great, but eight sacks from that defensive front, five first-round picks. If they can keep that up, maybe they’re the best team in the NFC East.”
In its 2020 debut, Washington amassed 14 quarterback hits, eight sacks and two interceptions. The eight sacks were the most by the team since 2014.
However, Simms wasn’t as convinced that the only 1-0 team in the division has a clear road to the title based on its opening performance.
“I don’t know if I’m ready to say that, but certainly it showed they’re going to be a pain in the butt in the NFC East,” Simms said. “Their front four can dictate football games. They can change a game, and that’s what it did yesterday. As much as I want to sit here and praise Washington for what they did and hanging in there and all that, I still look at that game and look at it as the Eagles being stupid and playing careless.”
Simms attributed a large part of Washington’s win to Philadelphia’s struggles. He said the team put too much pressure on Carson Wentz to make big plays, especially with a struggling offensive line.
The duo also discussed the institutional arrogance the Eagles had, which led to their downfall after they assumed the matchup would be an easy win. Simms said Philadelphia took a one-dimensional, pass-only approach and that, while the Eagles struggled, Washington proved its dominance in shutting down that style of play.
“If you become one-dimensional and think you’re just going to throw the ball on Washington, get out of town,” Simms said. “It ain’t going to work. When you have five first-rounders and they mix and match who they want in there, it’s tough to match up against that group. When Ryan Kerrigan is the old man, that’s when you know you have something special there.”
While the season is still young, Washington has the weapons it needs to shut down some of the best offenses in the NFL. It’s a team with a serious shot at the division title should it continue the high caliber of play displayed in Week 1.
Nadal faces tough path to French Open final [Video]
COMPLETE SHOTLIST AND SCRIPT TO FOLLOW
VIDEO SHOWS: PLAYERS PRACTISING AT ROLAND GARROS – RAFAEL NADAL, DOMINIC THIEM, KAROLINA PLISKOVA, GARBINE MUGURUZA, VENUS WILLIAMS AND SOFIA KENIN
PARIS, FRANCE (SEPTEMBER 24, 2020) (FFT – SEE RESTRICTIONS BEFORE USE)
1. WORLD NUMBER TWO AND 12-TIMES FRENCH OPEN CHAMPION, RAFAEL NADAL WALKING ON TO THE PHILIPPE-CHATRIER COURT, WEARING A MASK
2. INTERIOR OF STADIUM, WITH THE ROOF CLOSED, NADAL PRACTISING ON COURT
3. VARIOUS OF NADAL PRACTISING
4. NADAL SAT DOWN, SPEAKING TO COACH, CARLOS MOYA
5. VARIOUS OF NADAL PRACTISING
6. NADAL WALKING ON COURT AND TALKING TO MOYA
7. NADAL WALKING TO HIS TOWEL AND WIPING HIS FACE
8. WORLD NUMBER THREE AND U.S. OPEN CHAMPION, DOMINIC THIEM (WHITE SHIRT) WALKING ON COURT AND TAPPING RACKETS WITH ANDY MURRAY (RED SHIRT) AND MURRAY’S COACH, JAMIE DELGADO, THIEM WALKING ON TO THE COURT
9. VIEW OF SUZANNE LENGLEN COURT AS THIEM PRACTISES
10. VARIOUS OF THIEM PRACTISING
11. WORLD NUMBER FOUR AND SECOND SEED, KAROLINA PLISKOVA (BLACK SHIRT) PRACTISING ON THE PHILIPPE-CHATRIER COURT
12. INTERIOR OF COURT WITH PLISKOVA PRACTISING
13. VARIOUS OF PLISKOVA PRACTISING
14. VIEW OF CLOSED ROOF / WORLD NUMBER 15 AND TWO-TIMES GRAND SLAM CHAMPION, GARBINE MUGURUZA PRACTISING
15. VARIOUS OF MUGURUZA PRACTISING
16. MUGURUZA’S COACH, CONCHITA MARTINEZ WATCHING ON
17. MUGURUZA PRACTISING
18. SEVEN-TIMES GRAND SLAM CHAMPION, VENUS WILLIAMS ON COURT, WEARING A MASK
19. WILLIAMS HAVING FUN ON COURT BEFORE TAKING JACKET OFF
20. WILLIAMS PRACTISING
21. WILLIAMS’ SHADOW SEEN ON COURT AS SHE PRACTISES
22. VARIOUS OF WILLIAMS PRACTISING
PARIS, FRANCE (SEPTEMBER 22, 2020) (FFT – SEE RESTRICTIONS BEFORE USE)
23. VARIOUS OF AUSTRALIAN OPEN CHAMPION AND WORLD NUMBER SIX, SOFIA KENIN PRACTISING
STORY: Rafael Nadal, who is seeking a record-extending 13th French Open title and a record-equalling 20th grand slam singles crown, was handed a relatively tough path to this year’s final at Roland Garros when the draw was made on Thursday (September 24).
The Spaniard will take on Bulgaria’s Egor Gerasimov in the first round and faces a potential last-eight clash with U.S. Open runner-up Alexander Zverev, who has never made it past the quarter-finals at the claycourt tournament.
Nadal then faces a possible semi-final clash against last year’s runner-up and U.S. Open winner Dominic Thiem.
Top seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia will face Swede Mikael Ymer in the first round, where Swiss 16th seed and former champion Stan Wawrinka will take on Briton Andy Murray in the hottest opener.
Djokovic, who was ejected from the U.S. Open after he inadvertently hit a line judge in the throat with a ball after a point, has an easier route to the final than Nadal after being drawn in the same half as Russian fourth seed Daniil Medvedev.
Canadian Milos Raonic, the world number 20, pulled out, organisers said.
Serena Williams, hoping to win a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title, will start her campaign against fellow American Kristie Ahn.
The sixth seed, who was drawn in the same half as top seed Simona Halep, faces a potential fourth-round clash with U.S. Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka.
World number one and 2019 champion Ashleigh Barty has pulled out of the tournament citing the coronavirus pandemic and a troubled preparation.
With Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic a last-gasp withdrawal, only six of the top 10 in the WTA rankings will start the tournament.
The tournament was rescheduled from May 24-June 7 to Sept. 27-Oct. 11 amid the COVID-19 pandemic
It will be the first year with a retractable roof at the French Open which some of the players, including Nadal, practising with the roof closed on Thursday (September 24).
(Production: Tim Hart)
Prosecutors drop prostitution charges against Patriots owner Robert Kraft
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft won’t be facing trial on charges that he paid for sex on consecutive days at a Jupiter, Florida, massage parlor. According to court papers filed on Thursday, Florida prosecutors are dropping the prostitution charges against Kraft.
The decision comes after a court blocked the prosecution from using a video that allegedly shows Kraft soliciting a woman for sex at the Orchids of Asia spa in January 2019. Police had secretly installed the cameras, which the court ruled was violation of his and other customers’ right to privacy. Prosecutors said they would not appeal the decision, which likely left them with essentially no evidence against Kraft.
“Although there was probable cause to make an arrest, the evidence cannot prove all legally required elements of the crime alleged and is insufficient to support a criminal prosecution,” the court papers said, via CNBC.
Charges were originally filed against Kraft in February 2019, and Kraft has fought them every step of the way. He issued an apology in March 2019, but pleaded not guilty. He and his lawyers have been seeking to have the video thrown out since early in the legal proceedings.
Kraft has escaped trial and possible punishment through the justice system, but he may not be totally in the clear. It’s still possible that he could face discipline from the NFL.
More from Sports Grind Entertainment:
2020 French Open men’s singles draw, bracket
Rafael Nadal was put into the same half of the French Open draw as fellow 2018 and 2019 finalist Dominic Thiem of Austria, with top-ranked Novak Djokovic catching a break.
Nadal, trying to tie Roger Federer‘s male record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, could play sixth-seeded German Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals before a potential clash with Thiem, who just won the U.S. Open.
Djokovic, who is undefeated in 2020 save being defaulted out of the U.S. Open, could play No. 7 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy in the quarterfinals before a possible semifinal with Russian Daniil Medvedev.
Medvedev is the fourth seed but is 0-3 at the French Open. Another possible Djokovic semifinal opponent is fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who reached the fourth round last year.
The most anticipated first-round matchup is between three-time major champion Andy Murray and 2015 French Open champion Stan Wawrinka. In Murray’s most recent French Open match, he lost in five sets to Wawrinka in the 2017 semifinals.
FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule
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2020 French Open men’s singles draw, bracket originally appeared on NBCSports.com
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