From Comcast SportsNetASHBURN, Va. (AP) -- The early glow from Robert Griffin III's fast start faded quickly for the Washington Redskins on Monday when defensive starters Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker were declared out for the season.Two-time Pro Bowl linebacker Orakpo tore the pectoral muscle near his left shoulder, and defensive end Carriker tore the quad tendon in his right knee in the first quarter of Sunday's 31-28 loss to the St. Louis Rams.The injuries rob two players from a team that has allowed 63 points and more than 800 yards in its first two games, tempering the early promise by Redskins (1-1) have shown with rookie quarterback Griffin."It's an opportunity for somebody else now," linebacker London Fletcher said. "We're a no-excuse football team."Orakpo had surgery on the same shoulder after a suffering tear in the final game of last season, then damaged some scar tissue in the shoulder during a preseason game last month.Coach Mike Shanahan said the latest tear is in a different part of the muscle. Orakpo will have surgery and require four months of recovery time.Orakpo, a first-round draft pick in 2009, had at least 8 sacks in each of his first three NFL seasons. He was injured Sunday while making his first -- and only -- sack of this season. He returned to the game twice but was unable to keep playing."He's obviously everything you look for in a Pro Bowl player," Shanahan said. "And we'll miss him."Shanahan said Rob Jackson and Chris Wilson, a pair of career backups without an NFL start between them, will compete to take Orakpo's outside linebacker spot.Carriker was hurt on the Rams' second offensive play and did not return. The fifth-year veteran, who had 5 sacks a year ago, will require five months of rehabilitation after his surgery.He will be replaced by Jarvis Jenkins, a 2011 second-round pick who missed his entire rookie season with a knee injury."A real big opportunity," Jenkins said. "Coming off the knee injury, I get a chance to prove I'm a hard worker and just make plays."Two other defensive starters also are nursing injuries. Cornerback Josh Wilson left Sunday's game with a concussion and will be reevaluated Wednesday, and safety Brandon Meriweather hopes to play this week against the Cincinnati Bengals after missing the first two games with sprained ligaments in his left knee.
The Redskins were dominant defensively on Sunday night during their 27-10 beatdown of the Oakland Raiders. Historically dominant.
The Raiders gained just 128 yards in four quarters of football. That didn’t set a team record or anything but it was the most dominant the Redskins have been against a quality team in at least the last 57 years.
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Since the 1970 merger, the Redskins have held their opponent to fewer than 130 yards in a game five times. Here is a quick look at the other four teams:
1972 Eagles (120 yards)—They finished 2-11-1 and averaged 10.4 points per game, dead last among the 26 teams in the league.
1974 Bears (126 yards)—Under Abe Gibron the bears were 4-10 and had an average of 10.9 points per game, 25th of 26 NFL teams.
1991 Eagles (89 yards)—Thanks to a dominant defense this team finished 10-6. Rich Kotite’s boys were OK offensively (18th of 28 in scoring) but not on the day they played at RFK Stadium.
1991 Broncos (128 yards)—Dan Reeves’ team finished 8-8 on the year but they ranked 22nd of 28 teams in scoring.
Of course, we don’t yet know how the Raiders will finish the season in terms of scoring but it’s likely that they will finish in the top half of the NFL in scoring, perhaps even in the top 10. None of those teams had a quintet on offense the equal to Derek Carr, Marshawn Lynch, Michael Crabtree, and Jared Cook. This was as dominant a performance against a quality offense as the Redskins have had in at least 50 years.
The 2017 MLB Wild Card race is still undecided after over a 150 games throughout the regular season.
While the Yankees, Twins, and Diamondbacks did what they had to do this past weekend, the Rockies did not. Just like that the National League’s second Wild Card spot is wide open.
Only three postseason slots remain open, the NL Central title and a Wild Card spot on each side. Positioning and even the AL East are still up in the air but seven of the ten teams know they will be playing in October.
Things flipped this weekend. The American League Wild Card race calmed down and is essentially over, but the National League race is just primed for a crazy final week.
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Heading into this past weekend’s match-ups the American League Wild Card was wide open. Ten teams were alive and many were in a position to make a run.
Well the Minnesota Twins (82-74) took care of business with a four game sweep of the Tigers. The bats opened up after an up-and-down month with 39 runs spread across their series. Virtually the Twins have wrapped up the second Wild Card. Their lead over the first team out is 4.5 games over the Los Angeles Angels (77-78). If not wrapped up, Minnesota has padded their lead heading to a three game series in Cleveland.
With their success, three teams were eliminated in the Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, and Oakland Athletics. Now only six teams are in the race.
The New York Yankees (86-69), despite winning only one game against Toronto, clinched their postseason berth. They have fallen back to five games behind the Red Sox in the AL East race, but maintain a 4.5 game edge over the Twins for the first Wild Card.
Salvaging one win against the Astros, the Angels are not done yet. Seven games are left for them with four of them being against the White Sox. The Kansas City Royals (76-79) end their schedule in an awkward fashion. First they play the Yankees on Monday before a three-game series hosting Detroit and then an interleague head-to-head with Arizona. There is a tall task ahead for the Texas Rangers (76-79), facing the Houston Astros when there is no room for error.
AL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 25):
New York Yankees: +4.5
Minnesota Twins: ---
Los Angeles Angels: -4.5
Texas Rangers: -5.5
Kansas City Royals: -5.5
Tampa Bay Rays: -6.0
Seattle Mariners: -7.0
Somehow the National League Wild Card race did not tighten up this weekend. It has however set up the race for an incredible finish to the 2017 season.
What we do know now though, essentially the only way for the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals to get into the postseason is through the Wild Card.
A sizable lead has put the Arizona Diamondbacks (90-66) as the only team in the majors that knows their postseason fate. Arizona locked up the top Wild Card spot and will host the National League Wild Card game on Oct. 4.
Their opponent still remains a mystery.
The Colorado Rockies (84-72) were in a good spot but only claimed two of four from the Padres. Now the Rockies host Miami, a long-ball hitting team in a hitters ball park, and have to face the Los Angeles Dodgers to end the season.
Waiting for the end of season slip, the Milwaukee Brewers (82-74) play Cincinnati and the St. Louis Cardinals (81-74). Now almost out of the Central race, the Cardinals first play the Cubs before their season finale against Milwaukee.
NL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 21):
Arizona Diamondbacks: +6.0
Colorado Rockies: ---
Milwaukee Brewers: -2.0
St. Louis Cardinals: -2.5