WEEK 9 CRYSTAL BALL - THURSDAY
The Snyders Set the Ball in Motion
My friends, THE GURU types with moistened eyes as I digest the news that Daniel Snyder is considering the sale of my beloved Commanders. Lord, I must be dreaming.
I feel like a kid on Christmas and my fellow Washington fans share the sentiment. THE CHIEF was joyful on the phone yesterday and, when I texted THE TRE MAN with the news, I got a speedy reply across the transom. He happily wrote “YES,” in all-caps.
Rest assured, folks, this is a seismic event for the team’s fans and, arguably, the most exciting news for the franchise since Joe Gibbs returned to the sidelines in 2004. It’s been a long walk in the desert.
How rough have things been in the 24 seasons since Snyder purchased his boyhood team? Grab a knife and fork and chew on these facts:
A record of 162-222-1 (.421) including 35-55 since 2017 (.389).
Six winning seasons and two postseason victories, with none since January 2006.
Eight head coaches, including four that lasted two years or less under Snyder.
A litany of off-field distractions, including sexual harassment allegations against Snyder and other members of the organization, leading the NFL to fine the owner $10 million in 2021 for its “toxic” culture. Plus, earlier this year, the NFL hired Mary Jo White, the former Securities and Exchange Commission chairwoman, to investigate additional accusations of harassment.
Unfortunately, that’s not all as, yesterday, it was reported that the U.S. attorney’s office is also investigating the team over alleged financial improprieties. This is in addition to similar probes being conducted by attorneys general from Virginia and Washington, D.C.
In the wake of yesterday’s news, it sure feels like an inflection point for this once-proud franchise which, believe it or not, is on the cusp of doing some good things on the field.
Riding a three-game winning streak, the Commies possess a young roster with quite a bit of talent, especially at defensive line, running back and wide receiver. In fact, since coach Ron Rivera arrived in 2020, the roster has gotten much younger with their top players in their 20s and their oldest, punter Tress Way, just 32 years old. This team is not quite legit playoff material yet but, with the much-improved roster and a possible team sale in the works, the storm clouds are lifting.
Are happy days here again? We can only hope.
Hope is the general strategy for my picks, and my methodology (finally) paid off with an 11-3 mark (.786) in Week 8 to improve the season record to 72-50 (.590). Long-term, however, the arrow isn’t moving likely to move in the right direction.
The 2022 season has been nothing but gleeful for the Eagles (7-0), who travel to face the Texans (1-5-1) this evening at 8:15 pm ET on Amazon Prime. Considering how rough-and-tumble these Birds have been on defense, I’m betting tonight’s Philly-Houston game will NOT be a no hitter. Sorry, Phils fans. It had to be said.
Indeed, Nick Sirianni’s club punishes opponents physically while beating them up on the scoreboard. That pattern of success is likely to continue this evening. Let’s call it 31-21, Eagles.
That’s it for today. I’ll be back with more soon. God bless!