Two months ago at the NFL owners meetings in Florida, New York Giants owner John Mara, who was born naked into this world and had to inherit everything he has, spoke out in support of the salary cap penalties the league had imposed on the Redskins and Cowboys about two weeks earlier. At the time, his smug words raised the ire of many Redskins fans.It turns out that members of Redskins Nation were not the only ones listening to Mara and seething over what he said. And his words could come back to bite him right in the seat of the pants of one of those 5000 suits he bought with his Daddys money.In its collusion lawsuit filed against the NFL, the NFLPAs lawyers cited Maras words as evidence that the league owners did conspire to create a secret salary cap of 123 million. The Redskins and Cowboys were penalized a total of 46 million in future cap space for, in essence, violating that secret cap.Under Factual Allegations in the document, the NFLPA says the following:In finally publicly disclosing why the NFL sought to remove salary cap room from the Redskins and Cowboys, Mara candidly admitted the NFLs and the Owners collusion regarding the secret salary cap in saying: I thought the penalties imposed were proper . . . . What they did was in violation of the spirit of the salary cap. They attempted to take advantage of a one-year loophole, and quite frankly, I think theyre lucky they didnt lose draft picks. (Giants owner Mara: Cap penalties could have been worse, NFL.com (Mar. 25, 2012).)Mara similarly admitted: It has to do with teams attempting to gain a competitive advantage through a loophole in the system. They attempted to take advantage of it knowing full well there would be consequences. . . . When you look at the overall scope of what they did, they were trying to take advantage and they were told not to.In the view of the NFLPA, and in the view of many others, Mara may as well have been waving a sign saying We Colluded as he spoke.His brazen admission that they were told not to spend over the imaginary salary cap could be very costly for his team and for the league. The suit is looking for at least 3 billion in damages.
After Week 2, it looked like the NFL was being divided into three tiers: The bottom feeders, the inconsistent squads and the leaders.
After Week 3, though, those tiers have largely fallen apart.
Blowouts came out of nowhere. Favorites lost to underdogs. And Joe Flacco looked good! (OK, only the first two happened).
After a classically wacky week in the league, how have the power rankings shifted? Click the above or below link to find out.
Is that what it feels like to watch the Patriots on a weekly basis?
The Redskins 27-10 victory over the Raiders on Sunday night was about as impressive of a performance as the Burgundy and Gold has produced in recent memory.
That means many of the huge storylines — like the return of Really Good Kirk Cousins, a secondary that locked down Oakland's weapons and Chris Thompson casually posting a Julio Jones-like receiving stat line — that have, and will continue to be, hashed over. But there are a few topics that are being overlooked following the Week 3 Washington win.
Here are three Redskins-Raiders things that should be talked about a little more.
1) The Redskins didn't make many mistakes, but when they did, they recovered really nicely
The 'Skins were in control of that ballgame pretty much from the start. But there were some points, like Jamison Crowder's muffed punt or Samaje Perine's fumble, where the team gave Oakland some life.
Yet Jay Gruden's team deserves more shine for the way they bounced back from those errors. The defense forced a three-and-out after Dustin Hopkins missed a 52-yarder. They also held the Raiders to three deep in their own territory when Perine put the ball on the ground. And the offense, behind Thompson's 74-yard catch-and-run, put three points on the board right after the Silver and Black scored their only TD.
Those few moments caused those at FedEx Field to hold their breath. But the Redskins' resiliency was key in maintaining their breathing room.
2) It was another incomplete effort from Dustin Hopkins
Speaking of Hopkins, Sunday night was a good but not perfect performance.
The Redskins' kicker missed the aforementioned attempt from 52 yards away, making Week 3 the second straight time out he's missed one from 50 and beyond. He converted all three of his extra points and was true on two other field goals so it wasn't all bad, but there'll be moments in 2017 when he'll be relied upon to hit from long range, and thus far, he's come up empty.
That miss is the type of thing that gets passed over in victories. Those are pointed to very quickly in losses, however.
3) You know the D-Line was a force, but let's not forget who they did it against, either
Jim Tomsula's unit made Derek Carr look more like his brother. Once you consider who they pushed around, though, their domination becomes even more notable.
The Raiders offensive line is regarded as one of the league's elite groups, but they looked pedestrian in D.C. The four sacks they allowed were the most they've given up in their last 20 regular season and playoff games. Greg Manusky's front seven will enjoy watching the film from this one.