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NFL Capsule: Texans at Titans

NFL Capsule: Texans at Titans

HOUSTON (10-1) At TENNESSEE (4-7)

Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS

OPENING LINE - Texans by 4 1/2

RECORD VS. SPREAD - Houston 7-4; Tennessee 4-7

SERIES RECORD - Titans lead 14-7

AP PRO32 RANKING - Bears No. 1; Titans No. 27

LAST MEETING - Texans beat Titans 38-14, Sept. 30

LAST WEEK - Texans beat Lions 34-31 OT; Titans lost to Jaguars 24-19

TEXANS OFFENSE - OVERALL (3), RUSH (5), PASS (10)

TEXANS DEFENSE - OVERALL (6), RUSH (2), PASS (16)

TITANS OFFENSE - OVERALL (24), RUSH (19), PASS (20)

TITANS DEFENSE - OVERALL (29), RUSH (27), PASS (27)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Texans can clinch playoff berth with win and set single-season record for most wins in franchise history after winning 10 in 2011. ... Texans 5-0 on road this season. ... Matt Schaub averaging 421 yards passing in past two games and is 14-1 with 24 TDs and 10 interceptions with 97.5 passer rating in past 15. In past seven against Titans, Schaub 5-2 with 15 TDs and one interception with 106.9 passer rating. . Arian Foster looking for sixth straight game with 90 yards or more rushing. He has 1,064 yards and needs 136 yards rushing to reach 1,200 for third straight season. He had his 22nd career 100-yard rushing game last week. Houston 16-6 when Foster rushes for 100 yards or more. ... Andre Johnson has 461 yards receiving in past two games, highest total in two-game span by player in NFL history. His nine career TD catches vs Tennessee most against any opponent. ... J.J. Watt had a career-best three sacks last week and his 14 1/5 sacks most in franchise history. ... Titans 7-3 at home vs Texans. ... Jake Locker 52 of 74 for 607 yards with three TDs and one interception and a 102.7 passer rating in two starts at home. ... Chris Johnson is averaging 93.6 yards rushing against Houston and needs 58 yards to reach 1,000 for fifth straight season. ... Kendall Wright leads NFL rookies with 48 catches. ... Jared Cook has 1,211 yards receiving since 2011, third-most by tight end in AFC. ... Titans had season-high seven sacks last week. ... Rookie LB Zach Brown had 1 1/2 sacks last week. ... Kamerion Wimbley needs 2 1/5 sacks to reach 50 for his career.

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4 reasons the Caps beat the Blue Jackets in Game 4

4 reasons the Caps beat the Blue Jackets in Game 4

The Caps put together their best performance of the series Thursday in a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 4 of their 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs first-round series.

he win pulled Washington even with Columbus in the series 2-2.

Here's how the Caps got the big win.

4 Reasons why the Capitals beat the Blue Jackets in Game 4

1. Tom Wilson factors in the offense

Wilson’s hands are good for more than just punching.

He proved that again on Thursday as he scored the first goal for the second consecutive game. Chandler Stephenson and John Carlson provided the pressure on Sergei Bobrovsky. With Bobrovsky scrambling in the crease, Evgeny Kuznetsov passed the puck back to Wilson who fired the one-timer past the Columbus netminder.

In the first two games of the series, Wilson had no points and no shots. In the last two games, he has two goals and 13 shots on goal.

2. A great keep-in by John Carlson

We saw how dangerous it was when penalty killers fail to clear the puck in Game 1 when the Caps failed to clear in the third period leading to the game-tying power play goal.

In Game 4, the roles were reversed. Trying to kill off an Artemi Panarin penalty, Cam Atkinson attempted to clear the puck with the backhand. Carlson skillfully corralled the puck out of the air at the blue line to keep it in the zone.

The power play was able to reset and T.J. Oshie scored the rebound goal soon after.

3. Braden Holtby closes the door to finish the second period

After the Caps took the 2-0 lead, the Blue Jackets made a late push to try to pull one back.

In the last 10 minutes of the second period, Columbus had 13 shot attempts, five of which were not net. Several of those shots were high-quality opportunities, but Holtby came up with the big saves that the team was not getting earlier in the series.

His play ensured the Caps took the 2-0 lead to the locker room.

4. Alex Ovechkin extends the lead to three

Washington entered the third period up 2-0. In each of the first three games, the Caps held a two-goal lead and allowed the Blue Jackets to battle back and tie the score. Even with a two-goal lead, it still felt at the start of the third that the next goal would decide the game. If Columbus pulled within one and got the crowd back on their side, we have seen what that momentum can do for them.

This time, however, Ovechkin struck first. After a board battle behind the net, the puck trickled out to the faceoff circle. Ovechkin grabbed it and quickly snapped the puck past Bobrovsky before anyone could react.

The goal gave Washington their first three-goal lead of the series and shut the Blue Jackets’ comeback down before it could begin.

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Tarik's 3 stars: Ovechkin said Caps would even the series, on Thursday, he helped them do it

Tarik's 3 stars: Ovechkin said Caps would even the series, on Thursday, he helped them do it

COLUMBUS — Alex Ovechkin confidently predicted earlier this week that the Caps were going to win twice at Nationwide Arena and take their first round series back to Washington knotted, two games apiece.

And, on Thursday night, that’s exactly what Ovechkin made sure his team did.

No. 8, who was playing in his franchise-record 101st playoff game, scored his third goal of the playoffs early in the final frame and the Caps beat the Blue Jackets 4-1 in Game 4.

Tarik’s Three Stars of Capitals-Blue Jackets Game 4

1. Tom Wilson, Capitals

After a slow (and penalty-plagued) start to this series, Wilson has become a force. Yes, he took another minor, but the good is far outweighing the bad these days. Big Willy recorded a goal, an assist and a team-high seven shots. 

2. Braden Holtby, Capitals

Holtby had his best game in, well, a long time. He stopped 23 shots, including all eight he saw in a contentious second period.

The goal he surrendered was a nearly unstoppable tip-in by Boone Jenner.

3. T.J. Oshie, Capitals

Osh just plays the game so dang hard.

So it should come as no surprise that he delivered in his team’s biggest game of the season to this point. Oshie, of course, scored the game-winning goal on the power play midway through the second period.

It was No. 77’s second tally of the series. He also directed six shots at the Columbus net and made a couple of hits...all from a player who's been fighting through injury the past few weeks.

Agree? Disagree?

Let us know what you think in the comments.