Redskins

Dolphins miss playoffs but beat Bills 24-10

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Dolphins miss playoffs but beat Bills 24-10

MIAMI (AP) The whistle had blown and Reggie Bush stood in the end zone, holding the ball for a touchdown as he wiggled his right leg to free it from the annoying grasp of a Buffalo Bills defender.

Bush repeatedly shook loose Sunday, catching passes for two scores and running for a third to help the Miami Dolphins beat the hapless Bills 24-10.

The win kept Miami's slim playoff hopes alive for another six minutes. By the time they reached the locker room they had been eliminated because of Cincinnati's victory at Pittsburgh.

``It's hard to win in this league,'' Bush said. ``We've got to a do a better job obviously next season.''

Miami will sit out the playoffs for the 10th time in 11 years.

``The NFL has a system in place - six teams earn a spot in the playoffs,'' first-year coach Joe Philbin said. ``It is what it is.''

The Bills (5-10) came into the game assured of missing the playoffs for the 13th consecutive season. Coach Chan Gailey's team reached a double-digit loss total for the third year in a row, but he said he's not worried about his job security.

``No, I worry about getting better ... playing to our abilities, which we haven't done,'' he said. ``And that's my responsibility to get that done.''

The Bills missed a chance at a sweep of the season series with Miami.

``We came into this game playing for pride,'' said C.J. Spiller, who rushed for 138 yards. ``We were just trying to get the respect that we know we don't have right now.''

Respect has been elusive for the Dolphins, who need a win in Sunday's finale at New England to avoid their fourth consecutive losing season. There were signs of progress against Buffalo, with an efficient offense and a stingy defense that suddenly began forcing turnovers.

Safety Reshad Jones recovered two fumbles and made an interception at the Miami 1 with 71 seconds left to seal the victory. The Dolphins managed four takeaways playing with a patchwork secondary that included starting cornerback Dimitri Patterson, acquired Tuesday after being waived by Cleveland.

The Dolphins took advantage of Buffalo's woeful run defense by netting 182 yards on the ground while averaging 5.2 per carry. Lamar Miller had 73 yards, Bush 65 and Tannehill 44.

The Dolphins recovered three fumbles, doubling their season total, but their most spectacular takeaway was Jones' interception. Jones leaped at the line of scrimmage to snare Ryan Fitzpatrick's pass and clinch the win.

``He just made a heck of a play,'' Fitzpatrick said.

The Dolphins' flurry of takeaways came after they had one in their previous seven games.

``They come in bunches,'' linebacker Karlos Dansby said. ``We stuck with it.''

Along with the turnovers and 11 penalties, missed chances hurt the Bills. Stevie Johnson lost a fumble at the Miami 17 and dropped a pass in the end zone, when Buffalo settled for a field goal.

``Especially the first half there, I think that's as poor as we've played offensively since I've been here,'' Fitzpatrick said.

Buffalo settled for a field goal after Johnson's dropped pass. The ruling appeared questionable, but the Bills didn't challenge the call.

``If the ball rolls out without (the receiver) coming up with it and giving it to the official, they're not going to ever give it to you,'' Gailey said. ``So you're wasting a challenge there.''

NOTES: Miami CB Sean Smith hurt his left knee in the second half. ... For the Bills, TE Scott Chandler left the game in the first quarter with a left knee injury. FB Dorin Dickerson was carted off the field late in the fourth quarter with a right ankle injury. ... SS Da'Norris Searcy hurt his groin in the second quarter. CB Stephon Gilmore left with a head injury in the third quarter. ... TE Michael Egnew, Miami's third-round draft pick, was active for the first time and played seven snaps.

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New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins woeful run game

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USA TODAY Sports

New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins woeful run game

News broke that the Tampa Bay Bucaneers released former Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin, and while the name certainly triggers value, his play of the last two seasons should calm the excitement. 

Since a 2015 season where Martin rushed for 1,400 yards and averaged nearly 5 yards-per-carry in 16 games, Martin has been suspended, undergone substance abuse rehab and missed games due to injury.

In the last two seasons, Martin has played in 16 of 32 games, rushed for 827 yards and averaged less than 3 yards-per-carry. Over his six year NFL career with the Bucs, Martin has only played two full seasons. Those two seasons were great, in 2012 and 2015, but the other four have been largely disappointing. 

The Redskins averaged just 3.6 yards-per-carry last season, and could definitely use a boost in the run game. It's entirely possible Washington might look to upgrade their offensive backfield this offseason, either in free agency or the draft, but Martin does not look like the player to help. 

Early in the 2017 season, it appeared the Redskins run game might be a strength for the offense. After a disappointing effort on the ground to open the year in a loss to the Eagles, the Redskins rushed for at least 111 yards in their next three contests, including nearly 230 yards on the ground in a Week 2 win over the Rams. 

Injuries undid the run game, as Rob Kelley got hurt and the offensive line lost players too. Over the course of the season, rookie Samaje Perine sustained minor injuries and Chris Thompson was lost for the year with a broken leg. 

Going into 2018, Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Kapri Bibbs are all on the roster and expected for now to stay with the team.

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Michal Kempny excited to move from last place Chicago to first place Caps

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Michal Kempny excited to move from last place Chicago to first place Caps

On Sunday, Michal Kempny was a defenseman struggling for a spot in the lineup for a team poised to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008. On Monday, he became potentially an important piece on the roster of the first place Capitals.

The last few days have been quite the whirlwind for Kempny who tallied an assist for Chicago on Saturday in a 7-1 blowout against what is now his current team. While the Blackhawks may have gotten the better of Washington that night, Kempny is excited about the postseason opportunity that now lies in front of him.

"Nobody knows what's happening in Chicago, but I'm really happy and I'm really glad that I can be here," Kempny told reporters on Tuesday after his first skate with the team. "There is option of play a playoff and I'm very happy for it."

RELATED: WHERE MICHAL KEMKPNY FITS IN THE CAPS' LINEUP

The 27-year-old Czech defenseman played only 31 games for the Blackhawks this season, but considering Washington's need to shore up its defense before the trade deadline and the team's willingness to give up a third-round pick to acquire him, it is likely he will have a much more significant role with the Caps.

"I thought that I [was] going to get more space on the ice and more ice time, but I didn't play more than half games," Kempny said of his decision to originally sign with Chicago. "But now I'm here and I'm really glad that I'm here. Washington is amazing city and great organization and I hope I will get a chance to access myself on the ice more than in Chicago."

Kempny will not play in Tuesday's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but did say he expects to play Thursday when the team visits the Florida Panthers.

When he does get into the lineup, it is unclear just how big a role he will play initially or how the team foresees utilizing him going forward. He is a left-shot defenseman and did tell reporters he prefers to play on that side. It seems unlikely the team would acquire him just to put him on his offside.

As of now, however, everything regarding his role in Washington is up on the air.

"I need everything settle down a little bit," he said. "New teammates, new people around here."

MORE CAPITALS: MEET MICHAL KEMPNY