Ennis on 147: ‘I’m just ready to take over the entire division’

Exciting unbeaten welterweight sensation Jaron “Boots” Ennis will look to make it 26 knockouts in 28 fights when he faces veteran contender Thomas Dulorme in the 10-round co-main event live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) Saturday, October 30 from Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

Ennis (27-0, 25 KOs), who has steadily risen in the ranks since his pro debut in 2016, faces another tough welterweight opponent in Dulorme after previously stopping former champion Sergey Lipinets in April. Dulorme, a 147-pound contender and former 140-pound title challenger, has amassed a solid resume in his career, climbing into the ring with world champions Yordenis Ugas, Jessie Vargas and Terence Crawford.

Named the 2020 Prospect of the Year by Ring Magazine, Ennis is trained by his father Bozy Ennis at Bozy’s Dungeon in his hometown of boxing-rich Philadelphia, Pa.

“My dad has me working on some new things to get better,” said the 24-year-old who boasts sublime boxing skills and power in both hands. “We’re working on having me be more relaxed in there and just staying sharp and alert, using my jab and going to the body a lot more. I never look for the knockout. I just go in there and do what I’m supposed to do and I let the knockout come to me, which it usually does.”

Ennis is currently ranked IBF No. 3, WBO and WBA No. 5 and WBC No. 8 at 147 pounds, and he believes that a title shot isn’t far away. He sees his latest opponent as just another obstacle in the way of reaching his ultimate goal.

“Dulorme is a good fighter and I don’t take anything away from him,” Ennis said. “He’s fought a lot of great guys, world champions, but I’m on a different level right now. I’m coming to take over the welterweight division and he’s in my way. He’s got to go. I’m coming for all the belts.”

With Ennis’ last three fights, including the no-contest against Chris van Heerden, all coming inside “The Fight Sphere” at Mohegan Sun, he is excited to fight out west for the first time in the Boxing Capital of the World as a profesional. Ennis does have fond memories of the city, however, having won Gold at the 2015 National Golden Gloves in Las Vegas.

“That’s a really fun memory, especially because I won the whole tournament,” he said. “I love Vegas. It’s the home of boxing, but honestly, I have so many fans from Philly coming out to this fight that it’s going to feel like I’m fighting at home. I would love to keep fighting in Vegas, bring my Philly people out, and make it like a second home.”

As the next in line amongst future Philadelphia-born world champions, Ennis takes great pride in his hometown and sees lots of boxing potential brewing in the City of Brotherly Love. “I definitely see a lot of other great prospects in Philly. There are even some amateurs that are about to turn pro that are great prospects. Philly has a lot of firepower and great guys coming up in the ranks right now. I feel like Philly is going to take over the boxing world.”

Ennis made his SHOWTIME debut in 2018 on ShoBox: The New Generation, scoring a third-round TKO over Armando Alvarez. Ennis has continued his progression on SHOWTIME, including in his last fight in April, when Ennis passed the most significant test of his career with flying colors, becoming the first fighter to stop Lipinets. Still, the rising star isn’t satisfied.

“It’s wonderful that I’m getting more and more recognition, but that’s not what I do this for. I’m just ready to take over the entire division. I promise this is just the start for me.”

Photo Credit: Justin McGinnis

The great, the not so great, & bottomline of Cavs’ loss to Grizzlies

On Wednesday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers fell to the Memphis Grizzlies in their season opener 132-121 at FedExForum. 

Memphis’ Ja Morant led all scorers with 37 points, including six assists and five rebounds.

Here’s the great for Cleveland:

-Darius Garland started slow but picked things up in the second half. Garland had two points in the first half, but the third-year point guard had 11 of his 13 points and eight of his team-high 12 assists in the second half.

-Ricky Rubio is just a professional point guard, and he also had a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists in 25 minutes of action. Rubio is a calming presence for this team.

-Jarrett Allen was perfect from the field(11-11) and had 25 points, four rebounds, and three block shots. He did a great job of scoring around the basket.

-Rookie Evan Mobley was impressive in his debut. He had a great stat line with 17 points, nine rebounds, and six assists in a team-high 38 minutes. He even showed off the range with three in the corner. 

-Cleveland was very unselfish last night. They had 38 assists on 47 field goals. The 38 assists are the most the Cavs have had in a game since 2016.

The Not So Great:

-Cleveland’s defense was not great last night. First, they allowed 132; next, they allowed 70 points in the paint, and finally, they allowed the Grizzlies to shoot 53% from the field, including 14-33 from downtown. 

Lauri Markkanen struggled with his shot last night(4-14 FG, 10 points). This is not a big deal, Markkanen is a solid shooter, and his shots will fall.

Bottom line:

The Cavaliers showed a lot of fight in this game. They battled back and cut the lead to one after falling behind by 14 in the fourth quarter. This was not a bad performance by Cleveland. Going forward, they have to be better on defense, but again, not a bad start for the young Cavaliers.

What’s next:

The Cavs will host the Hornets in their home-opener on Friday night.

76ers’ Embiid on Simmons: ‘At this point, I don’t care about that man’

When Ben Simmons returned to the 76ers last week after refusing to report to training camp due to him wanting to be traded, the thought was he was ready to show up and possibly play for Philadelphia until they could trade him.

However, as we’ve seen the past two days, it’s clear Simmons does not want to be a part of the 76ers. Yesterday, at practice, Simmons barely took part in the team huddle. Today, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, 76ers head coach Doc Rivers asked Simmons to join a defensive drill today. Simmons refused. Rivers asked again. Simmons said no again. Rivers then told Simmons he should go home, and Simmons dropped the ball and left.

Because of Simmons’ actions, the 76ers suspended him for one game due to conduct detrimental to the team. As a result, the three-time All-Star will miss the 76ers’ season opener in New Orleans against the Pelicans on Wednesday night. 

After practice, Rivers explained why he threw Simmons out of practice.

“I just thought he was a distraction today,” Rivers said. “I didn’t think he wanted to do what everybody else was doing. It was early. It wasn’t a big deal. I just told him he should leave. We went on with practice.”

Joel Embiid appears fed up with the situation.

“At this point, I don’t care about that man,” Embiid said about Simmons. “He does whatever he wants.”

However, Rivers seems willing to give Simmons another chance.

“Every day, every single moment, I’m going to give Ben a chance to join the team and be part of the team,” Rivers said. “He’s under contract to be part of the team, and that’s not going to change.”

Simmons has four years, $147 million left on his contract. 

The 76ers will wait to find the best possible deal, so Simmons could be traded now or even later, but based on today’s actions, it would be a surprise if Simmons played another game with the 76ers.

 

Cavaliers will be better this season, but making the playoffs could be a tall task

The Cleveland Cavaliers begin their 52nd season on Wednesday night in Memphis against the Grizzlies. Cleveland is hoping to make the playoffs this season, and the last time that happened without LeBron James was the 1997-98 season. 

Last season, Cleveland won 22 games, and that was in a 72-game season. This season, they will play a full 82-game schedule, so there is a good chance they will win more than 22 games.

The Cavaliers have a very young team. The oldest player in their expectant starting lineup of Darius Garland(21), Collin Sexton(22), Isaac Okoro(20), Evan Mobley(20), and Jarrett Allen(23) is 23. In fact, Okoro and Mobley are not even 21, so there could be some growing pains. The Cavaliers will have to figure out if the undersized backcourt of Garland(6-1) and Sexton(6-1) can work. The two can work on offense. Sexton is a gifted scorer((24.5 PPG last season), Garland is a decent shooter, and he came on strong last season. Garland, who spent time with the U.S. National team this summer, could take that next step after having career-highs in points(17.4) and assists(6.1) per game last season.

However, defensively, Cleveland struggled. They were 17th in points allowed, which is not awful, but they allowed teams to shoot 48% from the field, which was 29th in the NBA. Maybe, things could get better defensively with Allen(1.4 BPG last season) and Mobley(1.6 BPG led all rookies in preseason) in the lineup. 

Regarding Mobley, the number three overall pick, he has shown flashes in the preseason, but Cleveland will need him to be very good if they want to make the playoffs. Allen should be solid after signing a five-year, $100 million deal in the offseason. Allen, who Cleveland acquired from the Nets in January, averaged a double-double last season (12.8 PPG and 10.0 RPG) for the first time in his career. Okoro, the fifth overall pick in last year’s draft, came on strong near the end of last season as he scored in double-digits in 12 of the final 13 games. However, Cleveland has to find a way to integrate him into the offense.

The Cavaliers will have a better bench this season. The addition of Ricky Rubio helps the second unit and the team. Rubio is a professional point guard, and there will be many times where he will close games for Cleveland. In addition, Kevin Love seems to be buying into his role with Cleveland; if Love(played in only 25 games last season due to calf injury) is healthy, which was an issue last season, he can still knock down shots and give this team good minutes. Also, Cleveland acquired Lauri Markkanen in a sign and trade from the Bulls in a three-team deal that sent Larry Nance Jr. to Portland. Markkanen can score the basketball and averaged a career-high 18.7 PPG in his second season in the league. Markkanen was the only 7-footer in the NBA last season to make 100+ three-pointers (118). He should be instant offense off the bench for Cleveland. The Cavs will have a lot of size this season. They can and will feature a lineup, at times, with three 7-footers in Markkanen, Allen, and Mobley, so that should be interesting. 

Getting to the playoffs won’t be easy for Cleveland. The Eastern Conference is expected to be very good this season. The top six teams from last season, the 76ers, Nets, Bucks, Knicks, Hawks, and Heat, could be better or close to what they were last season. In addition, the last four teams to make the playoff, the Celtics, Wizards, Pacers, and Hornets, could be around the same or better as well. Furthermore, the Chicago Bulls, who added Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan, could be a high-seed in the East.

For Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff to keep his job, Cleveland will have to be better, which they should be. However, better will probably not mean the playoffs. Cleveland does not defend or score well enough for that to happen. But, if Sexton, who the team did not extend before Monday’s deadline, can play with a chip on his shoulder and be better, if Garland takes that next step, if Markkanen shows the league that he can play, if Allen continues to be steady, if Mobley plays like a Rookie-of-the-Year candidate, if Okoro gets better in year two, if Love stays healthy and plays well; maybe Cleveland will get into the play-in tournament.

However, don’t bet on it. Expect this team to win between 25-30 games this season. 

Hawks GM Schlenk on Huerter: ‘He’s developed into a versatile, two-way player’

The Atlanta Hawks have signed guard Kevin Huerter to a contract extension, which begins with the 2022-23 season, the team announced on Monday.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a four-year rookie contract extension worth $65 million.

“It was important to our group to secure Kevin as a part of our team moving forward,” said Hawks President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Travis Schlenk in a press release to announce the deal. “He’s developed into a versatile, two-way player who can fit any lineup and can play minutes all over the perimeter. We are excited his future is in Atlanta.”

In 69 games (49 starts) last season, the 6’7 guard averaged 11.9 points, 3.5 assists, 3.3 rebounds and a team-best 1.2 steals (tied for 31st in the NBA) in 30.8 minutes (.432 FG%, .363 3FG%, .781 FT%). 

In 18 playoff contests in 2021 (10 starts), he put in 11.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 31.0 minutes (.428 FG%, .347 3FG%, .706 FT%). In helping vault the Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second time in Atlanta franchise history, Huerter finished with a career playoff-high 27 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a steal in 40 minutes (10-18 FGs, 2-4 3FGs and 5-7 FTs) in a 103-96 win in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at Philadelphia.

Atlanta selected Huerter in the first round (19th overall) of the 2018 NBA Draft.

Suns’ Bridges on contract extension: ‘I’m happy we got it done’

The Phoenix Suns have signed forward Mikal Bridges to a multi-year contract extension, the team announced on Monday.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a four-year, $90 million deal.

“Like I been preaching for a long time, I always wanted to be here, and I always want to be here,” Bridges said after shootaround on Monday. “So, just for that happening, I take nothing for granted. Just blessed and grateful for the position I’m in. The people I have around me, my family and friends. it’s just great, and I’m happy we got it done.”

Last season, Bridges averaged career-highs of 13.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 0.88 blocks while shooting career highs of 54.3% from the field and 42.5% from three-point range. The Philadelphia native recorded one of just four qualified seasons in NBA history of a player shooting at least 54% from the field and 42% from three-point range, joining John Stockton, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Michael Porter Jr.

In addition, he received the 11th-most votes for the 2020-21 NBA All-Defensive teams, just missing selection. During the Suns’ run to the NBA Finals, Bridges started all 22 playoff games, averaging 11.1 points on 48.4% shooting from the field plus 4.3 rebounds and 1.00 steals.

In three NBA seasons, the 25-year-old Bridges has appeared in all 227 of the Suns’ regular-season games. He’s the only player in the NBA to have played in every regular-season game during the past three seasons.

The Suns acquired Bridges in a draft-night trade in 2018 as he was the 10th overall pick following a decorated career at Villanova University, where he helped the Wildcats win two national titles.

Suns extend Shamet:

Phoenix also agreed to a contract with Landry Shamet. According to Wojnarowski, it’s a four-year, $43 million deal. Shamet, 24, was acquired by Phoenix in a trade with Brooklyn on August 6 and he averaged 11.0 points on 48.4% from the field and 44.4% from three-point range in four games this preseason. Shamet has completed three NBA seasons, appearing in the playoffs three times, and averaged a career-best 9.3 points for the Nets in 2020-21.

No deal for Deandre Ayton:

The Suns and Deandre Ayton reportedly could not come together on an extension before Monday’s 6 p.m. ET deadline. According to Wojnarowski, the number one overall pick in the 2018 draft wanted a  max contract, but Suns owner Robert Sarver did not offer it.

Last season, the 23-year-old Ayton averaged 14.5 points and 10.3 rebounds per contest. Ayton can become a restricted free agent at season’s end.

Listen below as Bridges talks contract extension:

 

Spurs exercise team options on Johnson, Vassell

The San Antonio Spurs today have exercised their fourth-year team option on forward Keldon Johnson, as well as their third-year option on guard Devin Vassell for the 2022-23 season, the team announced on Monday.

Johnson, 22, is entering his third year with the Spurs after appearing in 69 games last season and averaging 12.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 28.5 minutes. He is one of three Spurs in franchise history (Tim Duncan and David Robinson) to record multiple games with 25-plus points and 10-or-more rebounds in their first 50 career games. Johnson was a member of this summer’s Team USA Basketball squad that captured the gold medal at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Originally selected by San Antonio in the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft (29th overall), Johnson has seen action in 86 regular season games, averaging 12.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 26.4 minutes.

The 21-year-old Vassell enters his second season with San Antonio following his rookie year when he averaged 5.5 points, 2.8 rebounds in 17.0 minutes over 62 games. He became just the seventh rookie in franchise history to record 50-plus three pointers in their first season. The former Florida State Seminole made his NBA debut at Memphis on Dec. 23, 2020, becoming the first rookie to play at least 20 minutes in a Spurs season-opener since James Anderson (27) on Oct. 27, 2010. Vassell became the first Spurs lottery pick since the 1997 season when the Silver and Black selected him with the 11th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Canelo-Plant undercard announced

Three high-stakes matchups featuring former world champions, top contenders and rising future champions have been added to the highly anticipated SHOWTIME PPV event headlined by Canelo Álvarez and Caleb “Sweethands” Plant battling for the undisputed super middleweight championship on Saturday, November 6 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Two-time super middleweight world champion Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell will square off against exciting contender “Madman” Marcos Hernández in the 10-round co-main event, while unbeaten former super bantamweight world champion Rey Vargas returns to action against Mexico’s Leonardo Báez in a 10-round attraction. Kicking off the pay-per-view at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, super lightweight contenders Elvis Rodríguez and Juan Pablo Romero will duel in a 10-round showdown.

Dirrell (33-2-2, 24 KOs), a two-time WBC 168-pound world champion, won the title for the first time with a unanimous decision over Sakio Bika in 2014. The native of Flint, Mich. dropped the title the next year to Badou Jack by majority decision, before putting together six straight victories to get back into position to fight for the championship again. He captured the title for a second time in 2019, winning a technical decision victory over Avni Yildirim. Most recently, Dirrell battled Kyrone Davis to a draw in February, in his first fight since a title fight defeat against David Benavidez in September 2019.

“I’m very ready for this fight,” said Dirrell. “I know Hernandez is a tough competitor and I’m sure he’ll have a lot of fans there since we’re fighting on the same card as Canelo. But I know I’m ready to fight on the big stage and on a card of this magnitude. I fought on the Errol Spence Jr. vs. Shawn Porter undercard and I think this fight night is going to have a similar feel. I’m just prepared to do whatever I have to do to get the victory. The fans should expect fireworks. I’m not shying away from the action and hopefully I can get the winner of Canelo vs. Plant if I perform well on November 6.”

Fighting out of Fresno, Calif., Hernández (15-4-2, 3 KOs) has faced excellent competition in his career, battling a litany of tough fellow rising contenders. The 28-year-old most recently scored an impressive unanimous decision victory over previously unbeaten Armando Resendiz in September. In addition to his recent triumph, Hernández has twice faced former unified super welterweight champion Jeison Rosario, fighting to a draw in their first meeting before losing the rematch. He has also taken down then-unbeaten fighters in Kevin Newman II and Thomas Hill.

“I’m having a great training camp for this fight coming off of my performance in early September,” said Hernández. “As always, the fans can expect me to bring an entertaining fight. I know that I’m up against a former world champion who’s accomplished a lot in his career. I’m just focusing on working hard every day to get the victory and everything that will come with it.”

The former WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion, Vargas (34-0, 22 KOs) will return from layoff due to injury when he enters the ring on November 6. The 30-year-old went on the road to the U.K. to capture his title in 2017, winning a decision over previously unbeaten Gavin McDonnell. A native of Mexico City, Vargas made five successful defenses of his title, defeating top contenders including Oscar Negrete, Ronny Rios and Azat Hovhannisyan. His last fight and fifth successful title defense came via a unanimous decision over former world champion Tomoki Kameda in July 2019.

“I’m very happy for my return to the ring and my debut with PBC,” said Vargas. “You are going to see a renewed Rey Vargas on November 6. My opponent is a good fighter with speed who throws a lot of combinations. It will be a tough fight, but I know I have what it takes to win. I couldn’t be happier to be on the big stage on Canelo’s undercard. I know that I have to shine on fight night, take advantage of this showcase, and deliver a great fight for the fans.”

The Baja California, Mexico native Báez (21-4, 12 KOs) enters this fight the winner of his last three outings, all coming by TKO. The 26-year-old put together the winning streak after defeats to the previously unbeaten Carlos Caraballo and former title challenger Jason Moloney. Báez, who has fought professionally since 2013, will fight in the U.S. for the fourth time on November 6. Amongst his stateside outings, Báez dominated former interim champion Moises Flores on his way to earning a unanimous decision in February 2020.

“I’m excited for this great challenge on November 6,” said Báez. “I’m planning on giving the fans a true Mexican war and leaving it all in the ring to get the victory. It’s an honor to fight on the Canelo undercard and I’m going to make the most of it. This is going to be a toe-to-toe war, and I’m going to show that he’s not able to stand up to my power and aggression.”

Rodríguez (11-1-1, 10 KOs) burst onto the scene with knockout victories in 10 of his first 11 fights. He capped off a five-win 2020 campaign with a knockout of Cameron Krael in October and a decision victory against Luis Alberto Veron four months later. Fighting out of his native Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Rodríguez most recently dropped a narrow majority decision against Kenneth Sims Jr. in May.

“I am very thankful to my team for getting me this tremendous opportunity opening up the pay-per-view for the biggest fight of the year,” said Rodríguez. “I have a tough opponent in front of me, but I’m in the best shape of my life. I’m ready to show everyone that I’m the real deal. My goal remains the same, and that’s to win a world title in 2022. First, I am just focused on November 6 and making sure I take advantage of the opportunity that a victory will produce on my road to the world title.”

Romero (14-0, 9 KOs) turned pro in 2017 after fighting for his native Mexico at the 2016 Olympic Games. The 31-year-old dispatched solid veterans Nestor Armas, Nestor Gonzalez and Ranses Payano in 2019, before earning a 10-round decision over Sergio Torres Alvarado in his only 2020 contest. Romero made it back-to-back 10-round unanimous decision triumphs in April of this year, as he won his U.S. debut by defeating Deiner Berrio. Throughout his extensive amateur career, Romero owns an impressive victory over unbeaten welterweight contender Gabriel Maestre.

“I’m very excited that my team was able to get me this great opportunity to fight on a Canelo show in Las Vegas,” said Romero. “I feel just as happy and excited to fight as I did for the Olympic games. I’m going to prove what I’m made of on November 6. No matter who my opponent is, I always train hard and prepare to do whatever I can to earn the victory.”

Giants’ Judge: ‘I don’t quit things, these players don’t quit things’

After one quarter, the New York Giants led the Rams 3-0. However, things fell apart in the second quarter. New York would turn the ball over three times, which led to 14 of the Rams’ 28 points in the second quarter. The game was pretty much over as Los Angeles led 28-3 at the break. The Rams(5-1) would score 38 straight points and defeat the Giants(1-5) 38-11 at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

New York came into this game for the second straight week missing key players on offense, including RB Saquon Barkley and WR Kenny Golladay. Against the Rams, New York would lose rookie wide receiver Kadarius Toney and second-year LT Andrew Thomas. 

New York had a hard time protecting quarterback Daniel Jones, who was sacked four times on Sunday. In addition, Jones, who had struggled with turnovers in previous seasons but had done an excellent job this season of protecting the ball, had four turnovers against the Rams. Jones finished the game 29/51 for 242 yards with three interceptions and lost a fumble. 

Despite the turnovers, Judge still has a lot of faith in Jones.

“We’ll look specifically at what happened, but Daniel has improved as a player,” Judge said. “Daniel is a guy that we’re going to have success with. He’s a tough dude; he’s a good competitor; he’s a leader on this team, does everything we ask him to do, does everything the team needs to see from a guy in the leadership standpoint to do and perform. We’re going to have success with Daniel. There are obviously things we have to clean up from today.”

New York also struggled defensively against Los Angeles. Rams QB Matthew Stafford threw for 251 yards and four touchdowns, interception, and Los Angeles had 131 yards on the ground. Last week, the New York’s defense gave up 516 yards of total offense and 37 points against the Cowboys, which defensive coordinator Patrick Graham called unacceptable.

“We obviously gave up too many points no matter what the situation was,’ Giants DE Leonard Williams said. “We allowed them in the end zone too many times. No matter how we started off, we didn’t finish the way we wanted to.”

At 1-5, the Giants have put themselves in a hole, but Judge believes there’s still time to turn things around.

“There’s a lot of ball left to be played,” he said. “There’s a lot of ball left to be played. We’re in Week 6, so to turn around and start tapping out now – I don’t know what kind of mentality other people have, I don’t quit things, these players don’t quit things. We’re not going to do that.”

The Giants are not a good football team right now, and injuries have definitely hurt this team, but their last two games have been unacceptable, and they have to find a way to get things right next Sunday against the visiting Panthers if they went turn the season around.

Washington’s Heinicke: ‘We just couldn’t get the ball rolling in the second half’

The Washington Football Team(2-4) battled hard against the Kansas City Chiefs(3-3) on Sunday and led at halftime, but Kansas City took over the game in the second half and would defeat Washington 31-13 at FedExField.

Washington has now lost two straight and three out of their last four.

In the first half, Washington had 200 yards of total offense and led 13-`10 at halftime, but they had only 76 yards of total offense in the second half and did not score.

WFT QB Taylor Heinicke, who completed 24-of-39 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown, felt the team could not put anything together in the second half.

“We just couldn’t get the ball rolling in the second half, whether it was penalties or keeping it on the sticks, or the defense making a good play, or a dropped ball, bad throw,” Heinicke said postgame. “We just couldn’t put it together. It was frustrating. But again, we’ll get better.”

According to Washington head coach Ron Rivera, the team needed to play a complete game to beat the Chiefs.

“I think the message to the guys more so than anything else is we have to handle adversity,” Rivera said. “We have to play two halves of football. We played a good first half. We didn’t play a good enough second half to give ourselves a chance to win. We’ve got to be able to handle the mistakes, correct the mistakes and just keep going forward. The truth is it’s the sixth game; we’ve got a few more left to play, obviously. We’ve got to shake this one off, learn from it, and get ready for next week. It’s all we can do.”

All four of Washington’s losses have come against teams .500 or better, so the schedule has not been easy, which Rivera addressed after the game.

“We did lose to four good teams, but we could have also beat a couple of them,” Rivera said. “That’s the hard thing to swallow if you’re going, to be honest with it. I mean, we had a chance last week, a chance the opening game. You are what your record says you are. The only way we can get better is to practice, work at it and then go out and play better. And that's pretty much what we have left.”

The next three games for Washington won’t be easy as they have two straight road games against the Packers and Broncos, and back home against the defending world champions, the Buccaneers, so the schedule will continue to be difficult, but Washington has to find ways to overcome it.

Sean Taylor’s jersey retired:

At halftime, the Washington Football Team retired the late Sean Taylor’s number #21 jersey. The Taylor family and friends were honored on the field with a framed Sean Taylor #21 jersey. Also, the team formally commemorated the renaming of the road leading to FedExField as Sean Taylor Road in a pregame ceremony with Taylor’s family, alumni, and team representatives.

Taylor spent four season in NFL, all with Washington. Sadly, his life was cut short after being shot by intruders who tried to burglarize his home back in 2007. He was only 24 years old.

Below are highlights of Taylor’s ceremony from today: