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Rodgers throws 2 TDs as Packers beat Jaguars 24-15

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Rodgers throws 2 TDs as Packers beat Jaguars 24-15

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) After three tough weeks on the road, the Green Bay Packers were finally supposed to have it easy. They were at Lambeau Field, their offense was clicking and, best of all, they had the Jacksonville Jaguars, the NFL's worst team.

So much for that.

Looking flat and out of sync much of the afternoon Sunday, the Packers needed another score from special teams, a 4-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to Donald Driver in the fourth quarter and a makeup field goal by Mason Crosby to hold off the Jaguars in a 24-15 win.

``I'm not sure what it was,'' offensive guard T.J. Lang said. ``Those guys came in and played with a lot of energy. I don't know if we underestimated them at all, but they're a talented team. We've just got to make sure that we're playing more consistent. We can't allow a team to come in here and play with more energy than we have at our home field. So we've got to get that fixed.''

It was the third straight win for the Packers (5-3) and their 16th in their last 17 games at Lambeau.

Blaine Gabbert had the first 300-yard game of his career, and Rashad Jennings and Cecil Shorts came up big in the absence of Maurice Jones-Drew, who missed the game with a foot injury. Jennings rushed for 59 yards and added another 56 yards receiving. Shorts had a career-best 116 yards on eight catches, including a 24-yard reception to set up Josh Scobee's 32-yard field goal that cut Green Bay's lead to 21-15 with 6:50 left.

But the Jaguars (1-6) also botched a punt that the Packers recovered for a touchdown, missed a two-point conversion, and came away with only one touchdown in three trips to the red zone.

It was Jacksonville's fourth straight loss.

``We're still finding ... one play here or there that's going to cost us a possibility to win that game. And that again happened today,'' Jacksonville coach Mike Mularkey said. ``I thought there was some progress. But that's hard to say on a loss.''

The Packers were without their two best receivers, with Jordy Nelson joining Greg Jennings on the inactive list with a hamstring injury. Charles Woodson also was on the sidelines, with a broken collarbone.

But the Packers are better equipped than most teams to overcome injuries, particularly now that Randall Cobb has emerged to join James Jones as a big-play threat.

Besides, this was the Jaguars the Packers were playing, not San Francisco or Pittsburgh.

``They're an NFL team, not to get that wrong. But the Jacksonville Jaguars stayed around in Lambeau Field,'' Jermichael Finley said. ``They were supposed to have been under the Frozen Tundra at halftime.''

Instead, they could have been tied had that two-point conversion not gone through Justin Blackmon's hands.

``I went against the rules by going for two that early,'' Mularkey conceded.

Still clinging to a 14-12 lead after Crosby's 32-yard field goal attempt bonked off the upright with less than two minutes left in the third quarter, the Packers finally found their rhythm on a seven-play, 52-yard drive that ended with Rodgers' TD pass to Driver.

``He's going to make the most of his opportunities,'' Rodgers said. ``We know what we get out of Donald. We know what kind of player he is, what kind of professional. And when he gets opportunities, he's going to make the most of them.''

The Jaguars marched to the Green Bay 12, only to stall on back-to-back incompletions by Gabbert. Scobee kicked his third field goal of the day, but then booted the kickoff out of bounds, giving the Packers the ball at their own 40 with less than 7 minutes left.

A quick three-and-out gave the Jaguars the ball back with a chance to make things interesting. After Gabbert's first two passes to Blackmon from midfield fell incomplete, they finally connected on the third try for a 6-yard gain. They went for it on fourth down, but the only player who got near the ball was Green Bay cornerback Tramon Williams.

The Packers padded their lead with 28 seconds left on Mason's 25-yard field goal, set up by a 38-yard pass interference call on Jaguars cornerback William Middleton four plays earlier.

``It's important when you don't play your best you can still come out with Ws,'' Rodgers said. ``We struggled on offense. You've got to give them credit. They had a good plan, they executed really well.

``But it's going to feel a lot better knowing tonight we're relaxing and we're 5-3 and we're right in the mix.''

NOTES: Scobee has now made 20 straight field goals, tying Mike Hollis' franchise record. ... Davon House's blocked punt was the first by the Packers since Sept. 29, 2003, and the first returned for a touchdown since Dec. 2, 1990. ... Rodgers' two TDs gave him 153 for his career, moving him past Bart Starr into second place on Green Bay's all-time list. ... Driver appeared in his 200th regular-season game, joining Favre as the only Packers to accomplish the milestone. ... Packers S Morgan Burnett had a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. ... After recording five sacks through the first six games, the Jaguars had two Sunday.

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Game 62: Capitals vs. Sabres Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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USA TODAY Sports

Game 62: Capitals vs. Sabres Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Buffalo Sabres

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Sabres will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Sabres game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME?

The Capitals (34-20-7) take on the Sabres (18-32-11) Saturday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Capital One Arena.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME ON?

The Capitals-Sabres game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Sabres
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:00 p.m. — Caps in 30

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME?

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Sabres game:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Defensemen
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Michal Kempny - Brooks Orpik

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME?

The Capitals-Panthers game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

CAPITALS-SABRES OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

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Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 24, 18 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The five highest-paid Redskins in 2018

Originally published 1/12/18

This is how the five highest-paid Redskins per their 2018 salary cap numbers stack up as of now. The list could change, of course during free agency and if a particular quarterback returns. Cap numbers via Over the Cap.

CB Josh Norman, $17 million—The Redskins do have a window which would allow them to move on from Norman. His $13.5 million salary for this year doesn’t become guaranteed until the fifth day of the league year so it would be “only” a $9 million cap charge to move on from Norman, who turned 30 in December. Don’t look for that to happen but the possibility is there.

OT Trent Williams, $13.86 million—He is one of the best left tackles in the business. Those of you out there who have advocated moving him to left guard should look at this cap number, which is way out of line for what a team can afford to pay a guard. At his pay, he needs to be playing on the edge.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan, $12.45 million—He has delivered double-digit sacks in each of the two seasons that his contract extension has been in effect. That’s good value in a league that values the ability to get to the quarterback.

TE Jordan Reed, $10.14 million—The Redskins knew that he might have a year like last year when he played in only six games when they agreed to Reed’s five-year, $50 million extension. They can live with one such season. If he has another one in 2018 they may rethink things.

G Brandon Scherff, $6.75 million—The fact that a rookie contract is No. 5 on this list is a good sign that, as of now, the Redskins’ cap is not top heavy like it was last year. The top three cap hits from Norman, Williams, and Kirk Cousins totaled $59 million, which was about 35 percent of the cap. This year the total cap numbers of the top three come to $43.3 million, 24.3 percent of the estimated $178 million salary cap.

Next five: OT Morgan Moses ($5.4 million), TE Vernon Davis ($5.33 million), DL Stacy McGee ($4.8 million), DL Terrell McClain ($4.75 million), S D.J. Swearinger ($4.33 million)

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 5
—NFL Draft (4/26) 61
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 197