Redskins

Dalton's 4 TDs lead Bengals over Giants 31-13

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Dalton's 4 TDs lead Bengals over Giants 31-13

CINCINNATI (AP) A.J. Green was right. The defending Super Bowl champions have a lot of holes, and not just on their defense.

Andy Dalton threw a career-high four touchdown passes - each to a different receiver - and the Cincinnati Bengals ended their four-game losing streak by beating the reeling New York Giants 31-13 on Sunday.

The Bengals (4-5) took advantage of a fumble and Eli Manning's two interceptions, which set up third-quarter touchdowns and helped Green back up his observation that there are a lot of holes in New York's defense.

That's not the only place.

The Giants (6-4) head into their bye week with back-to-back losses and a lot of issues, especially on offense. Manning had another subpar game, failing to live up his family legacy of beating the Bengals. Older brother Peyton improved to 8-0 against Cincinnati on the same field a week earlier, leading Denver to a 31-23 win.

This one was surprisingly lopsided as the Giants hurt themselves with bad passes, broken coverages, a dropped touchdown pass and penalties in front of a less-than-capacity crowd of 56,614.

Manning was sacked a season-high four times by a defense that hardly touched his brother. He also threw two interceptions under pressure that led to Bengals TDs and a 31-6 lead in the third quarter. Manning finished 29 of 46 for 215 yards, falling to 1-2 career against Cincinnati.

Manning threw for only 125 yards, his fewest in four years, during a sloppy 24-20 loss to the Steelers last Sunday that finished a week of turmoil from Superstorm Sandy. The Giants badly wanted to get back in form before their bye week.

Instead, they were worse.

The Giants gave up a 68-yard punt return, Victor Cruz dropped a pass at the goal line, and New York's four turnovers in a horrific second half helped the Bengals pull away.

Green didn't have to take anything back.

Cincinnati's first big play was made by the Pro Bowl receiver, who went on a New York radio station during the week and said the Giants ``have a lot of holes'' in their defense. Five plays into the game, he found a huge one. Cornerback Corey Webster let him go down the sideline, apparently expecting help in coverage that never came. Green was wide open for a 56-yard touchdown catch.

The Giants have given up 39 passes of 20 yards or more, 10 for touchdowns. Green has a touchdown catch in eight straight games, tying T.J. Houshmandzadeh for the second-longest streak in club history.

There were openings for all of Dalton's receivers. Andrew Hawkins made a one-handed catch for an 11-yard touchdown that came off another Giants mistake. Steve Weatherford's punt went out of bounds at the Cincinnati 14-yard line, but a penalty forced a rekick. Adam ``Pacman'' Jones slipped through two defenders for a 68-yard return that set up the score.

Jones started Cincinnati's big third quarter by stripping Ahmad Bradshaw of the ball at the Cincinnati 14-yard line, preventing New York from getting back into the game.

On New York's next possession, Manning's deflected pass was intercepted by tackle Pat Sims at the 12-yard line. Dalton threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jermaine Gresham, who outjumped Antrel Rolle in the end zone. Rolle was upset by Green's ``lot of holes'' comment, saying he would let his pads do the talking on the field.

Less than 2 minutes later, Manning forced a throw that was picked off by Nate Clements. Dalton's 10-yard touchdown to Mohamed Sanu made it 31-6. Dalton was 21 of 30 for 199 yards without a sack or interception.

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In talking 2018 NFL draft, Doug Williams actually explained Redskins' free agency

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USA TODAY Sports

In talking 2018 NFL draft, Doug Williams actually explained Redskins' free agency

The Redskins spent modestly in 2018 free agency, and plenty of fans thought the team should have shelled out much bigger bucks. Talking with sources around the Ashburn facility, a prevaling notion became clear that the Washington brass believed they had a strong team in 2017, but they lost their chance to compete because of injuries. 

Well, the secret is out. Doug Williams said as much on Tuesday. 

"Coming out of Richmond last year, I liked this football team. I think we’ve got a tough football team, a smart football team. Some things you can’t control," Williams said Tuesday in a pre-draft media session. "We were very competitive up to a certain point, and when you have the injuries that we have, at a certain point, that competitive edge, you lose it because your best players are not playing."

Williams' words were true, and telling. 

First the true part:

  • In Washington's first five games of 2017, the team went 3-2. The Redskins only lost to eventual the Super Bowl champs Philadelphia and AFC West champs Kansas City. Washington only gave up more than 100 yards rushing once in those first five games, before rookie Jonathan Allen got hurt and the defense began to look much different. After Week 5, the Redskins only held one team under 100 yards rushing and finished the year dead last in rush defense.

Now the telling part:

  • The Redskins signed free agent WR Paul Richardson, and kept free agent LB Zach Brown. Beyond that, the team added inexpensive veterans in OLB Pernell McPhee and CB Orlando Scandrick. No splash moves, and recurring speculation that Washington was not offering top dollar to free agents. Bruce Allen acknowledged as much during NFL League Meetings when he explained that his team identified exactly how much they would offer free agents, their own and otherwise, and wouldn't go beyond that dollar figure. 

That means the focus of the offseason, at this point, is about this weekend's NFL Draft.

That also means the focus of the offseason, at this point, is not about Johnathan Hankins or any other free agent. 

"We’re going to deal with the draft now, and the second wave of free agents, if it’s somebody out there we feel like can help the Redskins,that’s what we’re going to do," Williams said. 

Throughout the offseason, Redskins fans wanted more action from their front office. It didn't happen, and Williams' basically explained why on Tuesday. The brass likes their team, and by default, expects better health and luck in 2018. 

When Williams talks about drafting the best player available, it's not just the typical NFL front office tripe. Right or wrong, the Redskins believe they have a team ready to compete in 2018, and any rookies that come in will only supplement that position.

"At the end of the day, I like this football team we’ve got. Like, last year when I walked out of camp, I thought we had a pretty good football team and I still feel the same way today," Williams said.

"At the end of the day, you get the best football player, and if that best football player is the guy that you want to plug and play, that’s all right. But if that’s the best football player that’s going to help your team overall, I think that’s the route you have to go."

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How the Caps won their first round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets

How the Caps won their first round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets

Things did not look good for the Capitals after two games.

Facing a 0-2 series hole after losing both games in Washington, it looked like it could be an early summer. The Caps were going to be the first team to ever lose a series in the playoffs to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

HOW DID THE CAPS WIN THEIR SERIES AGAINST COLUMBUS? FIND OUT HERE

But the Caps rallied.

Washington won the next four games and turned what looked like it would be another postseason disaster into a postseason triumph.

Only once in franchise history had the Caps rallied from a 0-2 deficit and only once had the Caps won four straight games to win a series. They managed both against the Blue Jackets.

Here's how the Caps were able to rally to a first-round victory over Columbus.