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Chargers sack Jets' McElroy 11 times in 27-17 win

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Chargers sack Jets' McElroy 11 times in 27-17 win

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Sack after sack, the San Diego Chargers made things downright miserable for Greg McElroy.

The Chargers took McElroy down 11 times, tying the team record and ruining the New York Jets quarterback's first NFL start in place of the benched Mark Sanchez in a 27-17 victory Sunday.

McElroy, the third-stringer, moved the offense for the Jets (6-9) early but faced pressure all game. With a chance to get New York back into it with less than 5 minutes remaining, McElroy was taken down by Shaun Phillips - the Chargers' eighth sack of the game - and lost the ball. Phillips, who had 2 1/2 sacks recovered and San Diego sealed the win, but not before sacking McElroy three more times.

Kendall Reyes finished with 3 1/2 sacks and Corey Liuget two for the Chargers (6-9), who also had 11 against Dallas in 1986 and finished one off the NFL mark set by several teams, last by the Giants in 2007.

With Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith facing uncertain futures, it was a dominant effort for the defense with one game left.

McElroy 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 Rex Ryan, guaranteed his first losing season as Jets coach, ``but ridiculous on our part.''

With most of the pregame drama centered around whether Sanchez or Tim Tebow would back up McElroy - turned out, it was both - 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.

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.

Ryan had Sanchez and Tebow active for the home finale, the first time all three quarterbacks were available for a game. With the decision, Ryan avoided having to designate either Sanchez or Tebow as the No. 2 quarterback Sunday. Both were listed as the backup on the team's flip card in the press box.

Ryan benched Sanchez after the quarterback had five turnovers in New York's 14-10 loss at Tennessee last Monday night. Tebow was leapfrogged on the depth chart earlier this week when Ryan chose to start McElroy over the popular backup for Sunday's game.

Ryan announced after the game that McElroy would start the season finale next Sunday at Buffalo.

The Jets ran the wildcat a handful of times - but with wide receiver Jeremy Kerley instead of Tebow, who stood on the sideline the entire game without getting a snap.

Several times throughout the game, with the defense on the field, McElroy and Sanchez often sat with offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, while Tebow was off to the side talking with other teammates.

McElroy jogged onto the field to big cheers from the crowd that filled MetLife Stadium only halfway.

Moments later, the fans were booing as Micheal Spurlock took a punt 63 yards for a touchdown to put the Chargers up 7-0 just under 2 minutes into the game.

Spurlock caught the punt, got some good blocks and then stiff-armed Robert Malone before zipping into the end zone.

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, to tie it at 7 on Shonn Greene's 1-yard touchdown run - two plays after McElroy nearly ran it in from the 8 but was ruled down just short of the goal line.

Throwing another wrinkle into the Jets' quarterback quandary, after McElroy completed a short pass to Greene, who turned it into a 30-yard rumble, Kerley - out of the wildcat - took the direct snap and lofted a 42-yard pass that hung up in the air but was snagged by Clyde Gates.

After a three-and-out by San Diego, McElroy led the Jets back into the end zone as Greene plowed in for another 1-yard score to give New York a 14-7 lead.

It was the first time the Jets had at least two touchdowns in the opening quarter since 2009 at Oakland.

San Diego got to the New York 16 on a fourth-down conversion by Alexander, who caught a short slant pass from Rivers and took it 18 yards.

But consecutive holding penalties on tackle Mike Harris pushed the Chargers back to the 36. Four plays later, Nick Novak kicked a 46-yard field that was negated by yet another mistake, this time because the Chargers had 12 men on the field.

Punter Mike Scifres ran out onto the field, and then Turner took a timeout before sending Novak out again. Novak tied a season high by making a 51-yarder to cut the deficit to 14-10.

The Chargers opened the second half with a 37-yard touchdown catch by Alexander that gave San Diego the lead.

McElroy made his first costly mistake of the game late in the third quarter when his long pass intended for Gates was intercepted by Corey Lynch. Novak kicked a 27-yard field goal moments later to make it 27-14.

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Game 61: Capitals at Panthers Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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USA TODAY Sports

Game 61: Capitals at Panthers Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers

Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise, Fla.

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

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

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

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-PANTHERS GAME?

The Capitals (34-19-7) take on the Panthers (26-25-6) Tuesday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m. ET in Florida.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-PANTHERS GAME ON?

The Capitals-Panthers game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:30 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 7:00 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:30 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:30 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:30 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
7:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:30 p.m. — Capitals at Panthers
10:00 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:30 p.m. — Caps in 30

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

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Panthers 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
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Michal Kempny - Brooks Orpik

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-PANTHERS GAME?

The Capitals-Panthers 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.

CAPITALS-PANTHERS 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: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

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Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, February 22, 20 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.

The underrated Redskin moments of 2017

Originally published 12/29/17

Sometimes in the NFL, something happens that grabs headlines and appears to be a momentous event that has ripple effects that will last all season and perhaps beyond. Other times something that is greeted with a yawn by fans and the media turns out to be something with lasting impact. Here, in no particular order, are three underrated events from 2017. Tomorrow we’ll look at three events that were overrated at the time they happened.  

Beating the Rams in Week 2—Nobody got particularly excited when the Redskins went to the LA Memorial Coliseum and beat a Rams team that had gone 4-12 in 2016. Sure, there was a belief that they were in good hands with Sean McVay but nobody saw them as anything better than a middle of the pack team. The win looks much more impressive now as the 11-4 Rams have locked up their division with a playoff game in their future.

Drafting safety Montae Nicholson—He was a fourth-round pick who had a shoulder injury and appeared to be a reach. But once he got on the field, the reasons the Redskins drafted him became apparent. His range and hard hitting had an immediate impact on the game. Nicholson had problems staying on the field and he will finish the year on IR so his impact this year was diminished. Regardless, he has a good chance of being part of the solution to a position with which the Redskins have had issues for years.

Ty Nsekhe’s injury—Against the Raiders in Week 3, Shawn Lauvao’s facemask had an issue and he had to leave the game for a play. In came Nsekhe without an opportunity to warm up. He suffered a core muscle injury and he had to undergo surgery. His absence didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but Trent Williams suffered a knee injury the next week and other offensive linemen were sidelined with injuries over the next several weeks. Nsekhe was inactive until the Week 10 game against the Vikings and he didn’t start a game until the Thanksgiving game against the Giants. He sure would have been useful to have in the lineup instead of T.J. Clemmings or Tyler Catalina.

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) 7
—NFL Draft (4/26) 63
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 199