Jaguars after latest home loss: 'We're mad, too'


Jaguars after latest home loss: 'We're mad, too'

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) With their team getting blown out again at home, Jacksonville Jaguars fans started cheering for the referee Sunday against Detroit.

Yep, the ref.

Every time Gene Steratore announced that Lions offensive tackle Riley Reiff had reported as an eligible receiver, fans roared with enthusiasm. Sure, they were mocking Steratore's repetitive and seemingly endless updates, but it's hard to blame fans for glomming a laugh while watching Jacksonville struggle this season.

The Jaguars (1-7) are 0-4 at EverBank Field and have been outscored 126-34 by Houston, Cincinnati, Chicago and Detroit. The latest debacle was a 31-14 loss in which Jacksonville trailed 14-0 before getting a first down and was behind 24-0 midway through the fourth quarter.

The NFL's worst record, the league's worst offense, all those lopsided losses and the five-game losing streak are not even close to what coach Mike Mularkey envisioned when he took the job in January.

``I'm disappointed that we are where we're at,'' Mularkey said Monday. ``I know the players are. I certainly know the fans are. I just want them to know how they feel, we feel the same way. Everybody in that locker room feels the same way. We're mad, too, very disappointed we're in this position.

``But we have to get over that emotion and get ready for this next game and these next eight games and know that we are going to battle to try to get this thing right.''

It's not an easy fix.

After showing signs of progress in recent weeks, quarterback Blaine Gabbert clearly took a step back against the Lions. He completed 27 of 38 passes for 220 yards, with two garbage-time touchdowns and two interceptions. He misfired on just about every deep pass.

And rookie receiver Justin Blackmon, criticized for what looked like a lack of hustle last week at Green Bay, was questioned for his on-field awareness against the Lions. Blackmon failed to get both feet in bounds on two sideline passes and seemingly made a halfhearted attempt at preventing an interception in the third quarter.

Mularkey said Blackmon's issues stemmed from moving to the slot in recent weeks and adjusting the starting routes from the middle of the field.

``I didn't think there was any lack of effort there,'' Mularkey said.

Mularkey apologized Monday for his surly response to a question about the team's effort against the Lions.

``I am sorry that I responded like I did, but I don't like questioning effort because that's very important to me,'' he said. ``If there's anything that I come in stressing as a coach and as a staff it's players effort. ... I would say some of the intensity was not as intense as we should have been.

``We wanted to be physical and intense play throughout, and I could see that drop off. I know defensively we were on the field a lot, and that's hard to keep up, but I never saw the lack of effort of guys not trying to finish plays. I think intensity is a better word.''

The Jaguars get a chance to for a better home performance Thursday night against AFC South rival Indianapolis (5-3).

Jacksonville, which has won three in a row against the Colts, needs a victory to avoid the worst start in franchise history.

``Short weeks are rough weeks, but in our situation, it's kind of good to get past this last game and have something to work toward immediately after,'' guard Uche Nwaneri said. ``It might be a blessing in disguise for us.''

The Jaguars usually play well in prime-time home games, but after the latest loss, they expect outsiders to wonder when or if they will give up.

``That's definitely something that a lot of people are probably thinking about: How is the team going to react?'' Nwaneri said. ``Mentally, where are they going to be at? We're just fine. ... I don't think anybody has been in the mind-set of `what's the point?' I don't think anybody's gone there. So we're just continue to work and continue to prepare and try and go out and get a win.''


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3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars


3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars

The Washington Capitals had not beaten the Dallas Stars at home since 2006, Alex Ovechkin's second season in the NHL. That streak ended on Tuesday in a 4-3 Caps win.

Here's how the Caps were finally able to down Dallas in Washington.

Oshie still hot

After going 19 straight games without a goal, T.J. Oshie has been red-hot of late with four goals in his last four games. He scored Washington’s first goal in what would become a three-goal period for the Caps as they battled back from a 1-0 deficit into a 3-3 tie through 40 minutes. Oshie also added an assist as he won a power play faceoff that John Carlson fed to Alex Ovechkin for the goal.


Ovechkin victimizing his favorite target

You knew Ovechkin would score given he was playing against one of his favorite targets. With his second period goal, Ovechkin now has 22 goals against Kari Lehtonen in his career, tied with Henrik Lundqvist for the most goals he has scored on any netminder. Lehtonen has not been in the Eastern Conference since the 2008-09 season. When he goes to sleep at night, Ovechkin is who he sees in his nightmares.

The Carlson-Klingberg duel

Carlson and John Klingberg entered Tuesday’s game each with 59 points, tied for the league lead in points among defensemen. Carlson downplayed the matchup both before and after the game, but it was clear that both players were playing at another level all game long. While both players tallied two points on the night, you have to give the win to Carlson as he had the most significant point, a game-winning goal in the third period.


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Redskins make contract offer to pass rusher Pernell McPhee, per report


Redskins make contract offer to pass rusher Pernell McPhee, per report

Free agent pass rusher Pernell McPhee visited the Redskins on Monday, and by Tuesday night a report emerged that Washington offered the veteran outside linebacker a contract.

Last week, Trent Murphy signed with the Buffalo Bills and things remain uncertain between the Redskins and Junior Galette. That means the organization has a need for an edge rushing linebacker, and that's exactly the role McPhee can play. 

A 29-year-old that played the last three seasons with the Bears, McPhee posted 14 sacks while in Chicago. Prior to his time with the Bears, McPhee was a solid contributor on some good Ravens teams. 


His best season in Baltimore came in 2014 when he posted 7.5 sacks. That's also the last season McPhee played a full 16 game schedule. He's missed 12 games over the last three years in Chicago. 

McPhee could provide the Redskins with solid veteran depth at outside linebacker, and he's also considered a plus defender against the run. With Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith cemented as the starting outside linebackers, if signed, McPhee would pair up with Ryan Anderson on Washington's second unit. At 6-foot-2 and 275 lbs., McPhee carries more weight on his frame than either Kerrigan or Smith. 

Pro Football Focus gave McPhee a strong grade for the 2017 season. He notched a +11.5 and ranked 13th out of 46 outside linebackers graded. For comparison, Broncos star Von Miller ranked 1st at +57, Kerrigan ranked 8th at +22.9 and Galette ranked 10th at +16.2.

It's unclear what a move for McPhee would mean between the Redskins and Galette, but it's hard to imagine it helps.

Free agent Johnathan Hankins also visited Washington on Monday, and while he plays an interior defensive line position different from McPhee, it's also unclear what this offer would do to any negotiations between the Redskins and Hankins. 

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