Patriots

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Redskins put it all together in prime time to rout Raiders

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SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Redskins put it all together in prime time to rout Raiders

LANDOVER, Md. -- Convinced no one outside their locker room gave them a chance to beat the Oakland Raiders, the Washington Redskins put together the kind of complete performance that made them worthy of the prime-time spotlight.

Kirk Cousins threw for 365 yards and three touchdowns, Chris Thompson had 188 all-purpose yards and a score and the Redskins sacked Derek Carr four times, forced three turnovers and held the Raiders to 128 yards in a dominating 27-10 victory on Sunday night.

"We wanted to show everybody what the Washington Redskins really could do because everybody didn't give us a heck of a chance," cornerback Josh Norman said. "Our boys showed up and they played some heck of a ball tonight and I can't be more proud of them."

Cousins was a spectacular 25 of 30, including TD passes to Thompson, Vernon Davis and a 52-yarder to Josh Doctson. Thompson had 150 yards receiving and 38 yards rushing, joining Jamaal Charles as the only running backs to put up 150 yards receiving against the Raiders (2-1) since they moved to Oakland in 1995.

"It's just on us as running backs and receivers, offensive line, just basically beating our matchups and winning our matchups and Kirk, he's going to get us the ball," Thompson said. "I knew it was about time for him to have a big game, and he did a great job."

Thompson was again a difference maker and has four of Washington's seven offensive touchdowns this season. The Redskins (2-1), who piled up 472 yards, improved to 4-6 in prime-time games under coach Jay Gruden and tied the Philadelphia Eagles for first place in the NFC East.

Under pressure all night, Carr was 19 of 31 for 118 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Carr had thrown 112 consecutive passes before being picked off by Montae Nicholson on the second play of the game.

"I've got to take care of the ball better and I will," Carr said. "This isn't alarming, but we did get punched in the mouth and it's all about how we respond."

Oakland's rushing offense, which came in ranked fifth in the NFL, managed just 32 yards.

"Days like this can happen," coach Jack Del Rio said. "You just don't want it to happen very often."

OAKLAND 0-FER

The Raiders went 0 of 11 on third down as part of their anemic offensive effort. Their 47 first-half yards were their fewest since Week 14 against Denver in 2015, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

Oakland's only touchdown, a 21-yard pass from Carr to Jared Cook, came after the Redskins' Jamison Crowder muffed the punt return and the Raiders recovered at the Washington 18. The Raiders had scoring drives of 18 and 8 yards.

REDSKINS SACK MASTERS

The Redskins' defensive front dominated the Raiders' offensive line for much of the games. Preston Smith and Ryan Kerrigan each had a solo sack and rookie Jonathan Allen was in on two - with Junior Galette and Matt Ioannidis.

"We pride ourselves on being a physical group on offense and defense," Allen said. "To go out there and have a team performance like we did is something special."

It was the most sacks of Carr since the 2015 finale against Kansas City (six).

ANTHEM PROTEST

Washington's Dan Snyder followed the lead of a handful of other owners by linking arms with his players on the sideline during the national anthem. Seven Redskins players kneeled: tight ends Jordan Reed and Niles Paul, receivers Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson and Brian Quick and linebackers Chris Carter and Ryan Anderson.

"One brother, you mess with one, you mess with us all," Norman said. "Nobody is divided in this. We were in unity, and we wanted to stand for something."

A vast majority of Raiders players sat on the bench arm in arm. Carr was among those standing, along with Del Rio.

INJURIES

Raiders: WR Michael Crabtree left with a chest injury. ... CB Sean Smith returned from a neck injury and was beaten down the field by Davis and others.

Redskins: Reed (chest/rib), RB Rob Kelley (rib), and LB Mason Foster (shoulder) were all inactive . ... RB Samaje Perine injured his hand on the play he fumbled in the fourth quarter. ... OT Ty Nsekhe suffered a groin injury.

UP NEXT

Raiders: Visit the Denver Broncos in an AFC West matchup Sunday.

Redskins: Visit the 3-0 Kansas City Chiefs on Monday, Oct. 2.

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Despite 'a lot of urgency,' Patriots don't panic before game-winning pick

Despite 'a lot of urgency,' Patriots don't panic before game-winning pick

Who saw that ending coming? Anyone? Well, if the Patriots are to be believed, they had a pretty good idea that the Steelers were a threat to have something up their sleeve as time wound down on what turned out to be a thrilling 27-24 victory snatched from the jaws of defeat.

The ill-advised ‘fake spike throw a freakin’ slant to a well-covered Eli Rogers’ wasn’t the smartest play ever cooked up in offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s apparently very smokey lab. But that’s what Pittsburgh decided the situation called for, down 3 with 9 ticks left on the clock. They were hell-bent on walking away a winner and instead departed the field slack-jawed and silent, likely having cost themselves a chance at home field throughout the playoffs and maybe, just maybe, a shot at the Super Bowl.

“I think just practice execution turns into game reality,” said an elated Duron Harmon, who intercepted that final throw. “ We’ve seen it before. Everybody didn’t panic. Nobody was out there thinking they didn’t know what to do. We just played our rules, played good football and it turned into a good play for us.”

“The fake spike is something we see all the time,” said Devin McCourty. “I think all great quarterbacks do that. If they catch you sleeping and get an easy play, they’re going to try to do it. You could see us yelling and screaming the coverage, trying to get the guys up and get set because we knew there was a chance. If they spike it, they spike it.”

MORE:

The tape told a little something different. Only Trey Flowers actually attempts to play the play up front, eventually jumping in the air to dissuade Ben Roethlisberger from throwing the pass. On the back side of the play, Stephon Gilmore barely moves while Pat Chung appears lost and then lets up. Even Duron Harmon, who ended up with the ball falling into his lap for the game-preserving interception, didn’t react at the snap of the ball. But cornerback Eric Rowe did. The Pats should thank goodness for that. He deflected the ball that ended up in Harmon’s hands.

“A lot of urgency on that last play,” he said, describing the play in detail. “I see ‘em rushing to the ball. I see Matty P (Patricia) giving the call. I’m the star (the nickel cornerback). No one is on the outside. I’m like, forget it, I need to go outside and cover ‘em up. Everybody was in panic mode trying to get lined up and I see Big Ben fake it and I’m like ‘oh they’re running a play.’ I get my eyes back on the receiver and see him doing like a slant or a pop pass. I didn’t really think he was going to throw it because I was on his hip. He threw and I said ‘I just need to break this up’ and then boom, and I honestly like - it tipped off and if they caught ‘oh my god,’ but we came down with it. I was ecstatic.”

Coming down with it was Harmon. One of his nicknames is “The Closer” for good reason. He’s had a knack for sealing games with an interception but this one may have been the biggest of his career.

“Just prepared, man. Like everyone on our team. I just prepare. Credit to the entire defense for playing until the end. To all the guys,” said Harmon.

“It’s not by accident,” said Matthew Slater, who’s seen his share of big plays. “The guy prepares himself in that way. He respects the game of football, gives it everything he has every day and comes in here and he works hard to be in position. When guys are always around the ball, it’s not by accident.”

No, it is not. Never seems to be with this team, who once again have put themselves in position to do special things come January and - they hope - February in Minnesota.

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