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RG3 leads Redskins over Eagles 27-20

RG3 leads Redskins over Eagles 27-20

PHILADELPHIA (AP) With one more win, Robert Griffin III can be called a playoff quarterback.

Now that's an adjective he won't mind.

Griffin threw a pair of touchdown passes in his first game back from a knee injury and the Washington Redskins held on to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 27-20 on Sunday to close within a victory of securing their first NFC East title in 13 years.

Known as much for his running as passing, Griffin had a season-low 4 yards rushing. But the rookie quarterback made several big throws to lead Washington (9-6).

``That's why they call me quarterback,'' Griffin said. ``It's not abbreviated with a running quarterback before that or whatever else anyone wants to say. They call me quarterback because I lead the team. I'm supposed to go out there and throw the ball.''

Counted out by their own coach six weeks ago, the Redskins can clinch the division with a victory over Dallas at home next Sunday. The game has been flexed to prime time by the NFL.

The Redskins haven't won the division since 1999 and last reached the playoffs in 2007. They could still get in as a wild card with a loss, but would need help.

``We're already on to the next one,'' Griffin said. ``You don't have to celebrate wins at this point of the season. You just know what's ahead of you and all that is for us right now is the Cowboys.''

Kai Forbath set the NFL record for consecutive field goals to begin a career to help the Redskins win their sixth straight win.

It wasn't over until Nick Foles was called for intentional grounding on the final play from the Redskins 5.

Trying to play spoiler, the Eagles (4-11) fell short in what could've been Andy Reid's last game coaching the team at home. Reid is unlikely to return to Philadelphia for his 15th season next year. The Eagles, who are missing the playoffs for the second straight year after coming in with huge expectations, finish at the New York Giants.

``I have nothing to tell you on that,'' Reid said. ``I'm the coach right now.''

A sprained right knee forced Griffin to miss last week's win at Cleveland. Coach Mike Shanahan limited the play calls, taking out the designed run options for Griffin.

``Anytime you wear a brace, it's going to restrict your motion,'' Griffin said. ``It didn't slow me down by any means.''

Griffin was 16 of 24 for 198 yards. He did throw the first interception made by the Eagles in nine games. They hadn't picked off one since Week 6 against Detroit before Colt Anderson intercepted Griffin's tipped pass in the fourth quarter.

That set up a 17-yard TD run by Dion Lewis that cut Washington's lead to 27-20 midway through the fourth.

The Eagles held on defense, forced a punt and started their last drive at their 15. They were at the Washington 17 when Foles bounced a pass to Jeremy Maclin, who was open in the right corner of the end zone on third down. Foles then hit LeSean McCoy for a 12-yard gain on fourth-and-2 to the 5 with 11 seconds left. After an incompletion where Evan Moore dropped a pass near the goal line, Foles was called for grounding, and the last second was automatically run off the clock.

``In that situation, the clock is the most important thing,'' Foles said. ``I didn't feel like anyone was open and was just trying to make a play. I just have to make sure the ball gets to line of scrimmage. That's on me.''

While the Redskins celebrated, the Eagles ran off the field to a chorus of boos.

There was talk in Philadelphia leading up to the game whether fans would give Reid a cheerful send-off. The crowd didn't acknowledge him when he took the field before the pregame introductions, but some chanted ``Andy! Andy!'' in support when he left.

``We have great fans,'' said Reid, who gave a slight wave as he walked into the tunnel. ``I understand the situation. I appreciate everything.''

Griffin was injured late in the fourth quarter of an overtime win against Baltimore two weeks ago. Fellow rookie Kirk Cousins stepped in and led the Redskins to the tying and winning scores in that game and then a victory at Cleveland.

But having RG3 back, even if he was limited, was a boost for the Redskins.

``He's a guy we count on to lead us,'' receiver Santana Moss said. ``He's a born leader and he came in here with that mentality. We are very fortunate to have him.''

The Redskins and Eagles were both 3-6 when they met last month. Before that game, Shanahan suggested the playoffs were out of reach and it was time to play out the string.

It may have motivated his players. The Redskins haven't lost since, beating the Cowboys, Giants and Ravens in the process.

``They know what it means,'' Shanahan said. ``They've been working toward this opportunity to win the division. We haven't accomplished anything yet.''

The Redskins went up 20-10 on the opening drive of the third quarter. Griffin threw a 29-yard pass to Pierre Garcon to get it started and Alfred Morris ran in from the 10 for his 10th TD.

Griffin's perfectly thrown 22-yard TD pass to Moss in the left corner of the end zone put the Redskins ahead 27-13 late in the third.

McCoy was back in the lineup after missing the last four games with a concussion. He had 45 yards rushing. Michael Vick was inactive, though he was cleared to play after missing five games with a concussion.

Forbath hit field goals of 45 and 42 yards in the second quarter. The second was his 17th straight, breaking Garrett Hartley's record for consecutive field goals made to start a career.

NOTES: Shanahan has 174 wins, including postseason. He tied Mike Holmgren for 11th all-time in NFL history. ... Morris ran for 96 yards. ... Redskins had a season-high five sacks. ... Only two other times Griffin had less than 10 yards rushing were in losses to Atlanta and Pittsburgh. ... Foles finished 32 of 48 for 345 yards, one TD and one interception.

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Trade to Caps potentially offers Jerabek what he never got in Montreal

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USA TODAY Sports

Trade to Caps potentially offers Jerabek what he never got in Montreal

Defenseman Jakub Jerabek is really happy about the opportunity to play with the Washington Capitals, but it could have come at a better time. The trade came with his parents already on their way from the Czech Republic to visit him.

“It was crazy days past three days because I had my parents on the way to Montreal and they didn't know so it was a big surprise for them,” Jerabek told reporters Saturday after his first skate with the team.

A native of the Czech Republic, Jerabek signed his first NHL contract with the Montreal Canadiens in May 2017. After spending some time in the AHL and struggling to consistently earn a spot in the Canadiens’ lineup, he knew a trade was possible.

“My family, maybe we expected some trade. When its come with Caps and it was Washington, I was really happy.”

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Jerabek said he came into the NHL with no expectations and was simply happy for the opportunity, but it is fair to wonder if he was not just the least bit frustrated with how he was utilized by Montreal.

For a player with experience playing for the national team, the Czech league and the KHL, getting only 25 games with a bad Montreal team seems a bit low.

“In first two weeks, I didn't know what's going on because the coaches just told me that I played well, but we just make some competition between the [defensemen] and that I have to wait for my next chance,” Jerabek said. “It was hard, but now I'm happy down here.”

Washington now offers a very different opportunity. In need of help on the blue line, Jeraebek has the chance to earn consistent playing time for a team on pace to reach the postseason.

Jerabek will not play in Saturday’s game against Buffalo, but he was hopeful he would be in the lineup for Monday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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For now, Jerabek and head coach Barry Trotz are unclear as to what his ultimate role on the team will be. With eight defensemen now on the roster, Trotz cautioned any lineup decision could not be rushed because of the trickle-down effect it will have on the other players.

“You always look at chemistry and all that with your group depending how high that player goes up the lineup, it affects different people,” Trotz said. “In a forward group, if you get a guy that you all of a sudden stick on the first line, there's four other guys that are bumped down and one guy's bumped out.”

The addition of Jerabek, however, offers the Caps another defenseman who can quickly move the puck out of the defensive zone, something the team has struggled with immensely throughout the season. Though he shoots left, he also said he is comfortable playing on the right said and has played there regularly over the past few years. That provides the lineup with some flexibility on the third pair behind Matt Niskanen and John Carlson.

As for Jerabek’s parents, they will be arriving in Washington on Saturday.

“I tried to figure out the situation with them to get them to here and they will come today,” he said. “So I'm really happy.”

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

Instead of visiting the White House when they come to Washington this week to play the Wizards, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors plan to hold an event with D.C.-area kids.

Their invitation was rescinded by president Donald Trump following a back-and-forth between the two sides last year. After the Warriors won the title, they openly questioned whether they should follow the tradition given many of the players and coaches disagree with his policies. Trump took the opportunity away before they came to a final decision.

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The Warriors' event will be closed off to the media and held at an undisclosed location. It is set for Tuesday, the day before they play the Wizards at Capital One Arena. The Warriors had the option of holding a ceremony with other politicians in the Democratic party, but decided that would send the wrong message. 

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," coach Steve Kerr said. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The Warriors are the first NBA team to make this choice since Trump was elected president. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers held their celebration with president Barack Obama in November. They did so just days after Trump was elected and LeBron James questioned at the time whether he would visit the White House with Trump in office.

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Sports teams visiting the White House goes back to the mid-1800s. The first World Series title team to visit was the 1924 Washington Senators. By the 1960s, NBA teams were going and by the 1980s NFL and NHL teams made it a tradition.

Entire teams snubbing the White House is unusual, but many players have turned down the opportunity. In the NBA, some famous cases include Larry Bird in 1984 and Michael Jordan in 1991, according to Rolling Stone.

Perhaps the Warriors start a trend, or maybe it will be a one-off thing. Regardless, the alternative they chose is a respectable one. 

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