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Can Washington Beat Pittsburgh

author
Ellen Grant
• Sunday, 17 January, 2021
• 7 min read

Jake Guentzel‘s shootout goal was the difference for the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday afternoon as they beat the Washington Capitals, 4-3, to earn their first victory of the season. Even with the win the Penguins still look like a team that has a lot of things to work through early in the season, specifically on the power play where they failed to capitalize on all five of their opportunities.

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Contents

They also gave up just eight scoring chances (via Natural Stat Trick) after giving up 10 in the first period alone. That gives them five out of a possible six points to open the season while playing three games in four days, all on the road.

When it comes to teams in opposing conferences, it gets interesting to see how their overall records shape up going years into the past. Whether Monday’s win over the Steelers holds any weight with what ends up happening with Washington this year is a moot point at this moment, but it is definitely fun to imagine that history is strung along by connective tissues that could see Washington playing in Tampa, Florida, in February.

Crazy things happen in the NFL, like the Giants beating the Seahawks in Seattle on Sunday, so don't count Washington out quite yet. Pittsburgh's offense has dangerous weapons all over the field and a quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger that will eventually land in the Hall of Fame.

Just Smith-Schuster is their top hideout, but the Washington defense needs to focus on limiting rookie vertical threat Chase Clay pool. A matchup nightmare at 6-foot-4 and 238 lbs., in the Steeler's narrowest win this year (27-24 Week 6 against the Titans) Clay pool was limited to just one catch.

Going into Week 13, Washington's defense led the NFL by only allowing a touchdown on 48 percent of opposing trips into the red zone. The Steelers are scoring touchdowns 65 percent of the time they reach the red zone, so this will be a major test for Washington's defense.

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According to NFL Research, Washington's 4-7 record was the worst by any team in NFL history to defeat a team that entered that game with an 11-0 or better record. Their divisional rivals Browns were celebrating the Steelers loss, breaking down all the ways Cleveland could win the division.

Many Browns players reacted positively and wanted to thank Washington. Other athletes and NFL fans were also quick to react to the big win on Twitter.

This is also bad news for the New York Giants, who were banking on having a more comfortable lead over Washington in the division. Rivalry newbies Debate Smith-Pelly, Jakub Ran and Chandler Stephenson scored key goals, because they didn't know any better.

They knew that their coach, Barry Trot, was without a contract for next season and likely wouldn't be back safe for winning a Stanley Cup -- and even then, it wasn't a given. The Caps also knew that GM Brian McClellan would drastically shake up the roster if they fell to the Penguins yet again.

Of course, it helped that the Pens had played the equivalent of an extra half-season of hockey over their past two Stanley Cup runs. Washington also took advantage of Even Main and Patrick Horniest missing games with lingering injuries.

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Also, I'm happy to report, no beer cans were chucked onto the ice. The Capitals will need Braden Holt by to be stellar in net against Crosby & Co. After that, I'd probably learn that Holt by, with some restored confidence after four consecutive victories against the Columbus Blue Jackets, was at the top of his game.

His .932 career save percentage in the postseason hasn't necessarily helped a ton against Pittsburgh in previous years, but this time it's enough, especially if Penguins goalie Matt Murray's numbers continued to dip. The Capitals would need big performances from their depth players to bolster the expected production from their top guys like Overlain, Nicolas Backstroke, Even Kuznets and John Carlson, who had been so strong against Columbus and continued to be threatening against Pittsburgh.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the Browns' remaining paths to winning the AFC North heading into the final four weeks of the season. With the Browns two games back of the Steelers in the standings, there's still enough time for Cleveland to finish ahead of Pittsburgh at season's end.

Either scenario would require Cleveland winning its Week 17 matchup with Pittsburgh at FirstEnergy Stadium. If the Steelers lose to the Bills and Colts but beat the Bengals, they would hold a tiebreaker advantage over the Browns as the result of Pittsburgh having a better division record.

As noted earlier, any of one of these scenarios playing out is largely unlikely -- hence the Browns currently only having a five percent chance of winning the division. Following the Pittsburgh Steelers' loss to the Washington Football Team on Monday, the Cleveland Browns remain in contention to win the AFC North.

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Dallas (3-7) and Washington (3-7) renew their NFC East rivalry at 4:30 p.m. The prime-time matchup between Baltimore (6-4) and Pittsburgh (10-0), supposed to be the main event, had been postponed to Sunday.

It's a great holiday schedule and a chance to improve on our NFL pick 'em record. The Lions have lost their last three Thanksgiving games, and they are coming off a listless performance in a 20-0 shutout against the Panthers.

Houston has won two of its last three, and DeShawn Watson hasn’t thrown an interception in five games. Andy Dalton was knocked out the last time the Cowboys played the Redskins, and this game might have NFC East title implications.

ESPN’s Adam Shelter reports the “Steelers and former FT QB Dwayne Haskins now have officially reached agreement on a one-year contract, per source.” Head coach Ron Rivera replaced Haskins with Kyle Allen, who went down in Week 9, clearing the way for Alex Smith to complete his comeback as Washington’s starting quarterback.

He also lost the locker room after he was seen in photos on social media violating the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols. In Pittsburgh, he will get a chance to back up two-time Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger.

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To answer this question, we looked at Walk Score data, Cost of Living Index, and average rents for every major city in the country. Despite, the long, cold winters, this once-great industrial hub in western New York is home to a vibrant community of young professionals and students in walkable areas like Bryant and Front Park.

Located where the Niagara River flows out of Lake Erie, Buffalo boasts great nightlife, an emerging dining scene, and neighborhoods with a strong sense of community. Home of the Gateway Arch and the Cardinals, this Midwestern city boasts not only walkable neighborhoods and affordable rent, but also plenty of free activities.

Forest Park, the site of the 1904 World’s Fair, houses a free zoo and world-class art museum. Walkable neighborhoods such as the revitalized Downtown, the Central West End, and the Delmar Loop offer a variety of apartments at affordable prices.

Even in the winter, when snow is high and temperatures are low, walkers can navigate downtown in the Rochester Skyway, a system of enclosed walkways. Residents, many of whom live in walkable neighborhoods like Pearl-Meigs-Monroe and Park Avenue, can also jump in a car share and head out for a day trip to the gorgeous Finger Lakes, a major wine-growing region.

Chicago’s many walkable neighborhoods (seriously, there are 28 with a Walk Score of 90+) are connected by one of the country’s best public transit systems. Pittsburgh’s landscape is defined by waterways, hills, and bridges connecting walkable neighborhoods such as the Central Business District and the Southside Flats.

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Known for its breweries and its avid sports fans, Milwaukee sits on the Western coast of Lake Michigan. Locals flock to Brady Street on the Lower East Side for independent coffee houses and shopping, and foodies love the indoor Milwaukee Public Market in Juneau Town.

Neighborhoods like Mount Vernon, Seton Hill, and Charles Village offer walkable and affordable apartments, and for those who love to live in a walkable city but still experience nature, Wynn Falls Trail is an excellent example of an urban trail system. Now, residents can enjoy the historic Shock Bottom area and beautiful Edwardian architecture in The Fan district, as well as a quick walk to work at any of 60 public and private companies in the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park.

The hub of California politics, Sacramento is one city in the Sunny State where affordable rent isn’t out of the question. With beautiful weather year round, residents of Sacramento can enjoy affordable rent and a walkable lifestyle in neighborhoods like Boulevard Park and Mansion Flats.

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Sources
1 www.accuweather.com - https://www.accuweather.com/en/us/olympia-wa/98501/weather-forecast/331418
2 weather.com - https://weather.com/weather/today/l/Olympia+WA
3 weather.com - https://weather.com/weather/hourbyhour/l/Olympia+WA
4 www.timeanddate.com - https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/usa/olympia/ext
5 forecast.weather.gov - https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php
6 weather.com - https://weather.com/weather/monthly/l/Olympia+WA
7 www.timeanddate.com - https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/usa/olympia/historic
8 www.wxusa.com - https://www.wxusa.com/wx1/Olympia-WA.htm
9 www.15dayforecast.net - https://www.15dayforecast.net/16dayweatherforecast/wa/olympia-15-day-weather-forecast.html
10 l-36.com - https://l-36.com/weather.php