Capitals

Chargers rack up 11 sacks in 27-17 win over Jets

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Chargers rack up 11 sacks in 27-17 win over Jets

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) One after another, the San Diego Chargers barreled into Greg McElroy and slammed him to the turf.

A whopping 11 times.

That's a lot of bruises for the New York Jets' new - and sore - starting quarterback.

Led by Kendall Reyes' 3 1/2 sacks, the Chargers made things downright miserable for McElroy, tying the team record for sacks in a 27-17 victory Sunday.

``You don't do anything different, but you know it is going to be tougher for him because of his lack of experience,'' Reyes said. ``You just want to get in his face.''

That's exactly what San Diego did as Norv Turner awarded game balls to each one of his players that took McElroy down - and he sure needed a bunch of them. Shaun Phillips had 2 1/2 sacks, Corey Liuget added two more, and four other players helped the Chargers (6-9) finish one short of the NFL record set by a handful of teams, last by the Giants in 2007.

``A lot of those sacks weren't where they beat a guy quick and went,'' Turner said. ``It was guys staying relentless and staying after the quarterback. You're playing a young quarterback. You'd like to be able to pressure him and disrupt it.''

McElroy, the third-stringer, got the start for the Jets (6-9) in place of the benched Mark Sanchez. Rex Ryan announced after the game that McElroy will start in the season finale at Buffalo next Sunday.

He leapfrogged Tim Tebow on the depth chart, and the popular backup never took the field even though all three quarterbacks were active for the first time this season. Tebow also took no snaps in the team's wildcat package in which he is usually featured.

Tebow said ``it just happened'' that he didn't play in the package usually reserved for him, but ESPN New York reported that he actually asked out of running the wildcat earlier in the week because he was miffed he was passed over for the starting job, according to sources. The Jets used wide receiver Jeremy Kerley in the wildcat as Tebow remained on the sideline. Kerley completed a 42-yard pass to Clyde Gates out of the wildcat, and had a few other snaps out of the scheme.

``Well, it's been disappointing,'' Tebow said of the season. ``Obviously, it didn't go as we thought, as I had hoped, but sometimes in life you have that. Sometimes you have setbacks and you just have to look at them as another opportunity for you to step back up and keep working and figure out what to do.''

Meanwhile, with Turner and general manager A.J. Smith facing uncertain futures - and lots of speculation that they'll be out after the season - San Diego matched the team sacks mark set against Dallas in 1986.

``The game plan was definitely was to get pressure on him, sack him and make him nervous,'' Liuget said of McElroy, ``and make them want to run the ball.''

With a chance to get New York back into it with less than 5 minutes remaining, McElroy was taken down by Phillips - the Chargers' eighth sack of the game - and lost the ball. Phillips recovered and San Diego sealed the win, but not before sacking McElroy three more times.

``I'm disappointed,'' McElroy said. ``This team's goal was to finish 8-8 and win the last two games and we're disappointed we're going to finish short of that goal.''

McElroy, the team's seventh-round pick out of Alabama last year, became the first Jets quarterback to be sacked 11 times since David Norrie by Dallas in 1987, a game played by replacements.

``It was great on their part,'' said Ryan, guaranteed his first losing season as Jets coach, ``but ridiculous on our part.''

Philip Rivers threw touchdown tosses of 37 yards to Danario Alexander and 34 yards to Antonio Gates to lead the Chargers. It was the 82nd touchdown catch of Gates' career, snapping a tie with Lance Alworth for the franchise lead. After Gates caught his milestone touchdown, the entire offense celebrated with him in the end zone.

``There is no better feeling than to score and have 10 other guys run up to you and congratulate you,'' Gates said.

Rivers was a modest 11 of 22 for 165 yards, while McElroy finished 14 of 24 for 185 yards with an interception and the lost fumble. Both offenses struggled, though, as San Diego went 2 of 12 on third downs, while New York was 2 of 11. But the Chargers' defense bailed out Rivers and the offense.

``That's awesome,'' Rivers said. ``It was certainly fun to watch them when they're rolling like that.''

Micheal Spurlock took a punt 63 yards for a touchdown to put the Chargers up 7-0 just under 2 minutes into the game. It was the first punt returned against the Jets for a touchdown since Oakland's Phillip Buchanon took one 78 yards in 2003 - a span of 150 games, the longest active streak in the NFL.

The Jets came right back, though, with two 1-yard touchdown runs by Shonn Greene to take a 14-7 lead.

The Chargers opened the second half with a 37-yard touchdown catch by Alexander that gave San Diego a 17-14 lead that they wouldn't relinquish.

``Offensively, you're not beating anybody when you play like that,'' Ryan said. ``It's just hard to put into words. You get sacked 11 times, it's extremely frustrating. I expected a lot better, but that never happened.''

NOTES: The Jets held a moment of silence before the game for the victims of the Connecticut shootings last Friday, and had banners on the sidelines that read ``S.H.E.S'' for Sandy Hook Elementary School. ... Chargers rookie S Brandon Taylor was carted off the field in the third quarter after injuring his right knee. Jets DB Ellis Lankster left in the second half with a concussion.

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Game 60: Capitals vs. Lightning Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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USA TODAY Sports

Game 60: Capitals vs. Lightning Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Lightning will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Lightning game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

You can also stream the game online with no cable TV subscription on fuboTV (try for free!).

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME?

The Capitals (34-18-7) take on the Lightning (39-17-3) Tuesday, February 20 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Washington.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME ON?

The Capitals-Lightning game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Lightning
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:00 p.m. — Caps in 30

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME?

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Lightning game:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Defensemen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Taylor Chorney

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME?

The Capitals-Lightning game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

The game is also available to stream, along with all the pregame and postgame shows, on fuboTV (try for free).

CAPITALS-LIGHTNING OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 20, 22 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

Galette to be a valued free agent

Originally published 12/13/17

Like the Redskins, the Broncos are no longer relevant in 2017. Both teams’ fan bases have started to look towards the coming offseason.

To give their readers what they want, the Denver Post published an article by Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus that discussed some of the top pending free agents who have done the most to increase their values in the past year. There were two Redskins named, one you would expect to see on such a list and one that might surprise some people.

Kirk Cousins is at the top of the list. “The Washington signal-caller is grading as a top-10 quarterback (82.8), and soon he’ll have the long-term contract of one,” Renner wrote. “Only this time its value will be exponentially higher than any one he would have signed back when he first became a free agent in 2016.”

But the surprising name is that of Junior Galette. After missing the last two seasons with two torn Achilles tendons, he played this year on a one-year, $800,000 deal. And while he hasn’t been on fire in the sack department with just two on the year, he has been getting pressure on the passer.

“He’s accumulated the 27th-highest pass-rushing grade of any edge defender this season, but in only 264 snaps,” wrote Renner. “At 29 years of age, it’s doubtful he ever gets back to the level of the contract that he once had on the table with New Orleans. With how he’s played this season though, some pass-rush-needy team will pay handsomely for his services.”

One team that could be considered to be pass rush needy is the Redskins. Preston Smith is the starter and supposedly one of the Redskins’ top pass rushers. But in 100 fewer pass rush snaps this year, Galette has only three fewer quarterback hits than Smith and six more hurries.

And after missing those two seasons, Galette has remained healthy. Although he was limited with a hamstring during much of the preseason, he has not missed a practice or appeared on an injury report this year.

But would the Redskins be willing to pay him “handsomely”? Perhaps a good comp would be Connor Barwin, who moved from the Eagles to the Rams this past offseason at the age of 31. He had five sacks in Philly in 2016. That got him a one-year deal worth $3.5 million.

Barwin likely will have more sacks on his ledger going into free agency so let’s say Galette could command around $3 million. Perhaps he could offer Washington a bit of a hometown discount and agree to something in the $2.75 million range. If that is the case, the Redskins would be smart to keep him around for another year.

Plenty of things could alter the equation. If Galette gets hot in the last three games and posts a few more sacks his price could rise. With Smith and Ryan Kerrigan both back next year, perhaps Galette will want to go somewhere that he might get more playing time.

The details need to be sorted out but don’t be surprised if Galette gets a lot of attention in free agency, as much as teams need pass rush, and if the Redskins have to make a very tough decision about how much he is worth.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 9
—NFL Draft (4/26) 65
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 201