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Sanchez, Revis want to remain with Jets

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Sanchez, Revis want to remain with Jets

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Mark Sanchez wants to stay right where he is. So does Darrelle Revis.

The two players are among the New York Jets' biggest uncertainties heading into next season. Sanchez comes off a miserable year and Revis is recovering from a serious knee injury while also having a sticky contract situation.

``Until I'm told differently, I'm a Jet,'' Sanchez said Monday as the Jets cleaned out their lockers. ``That's what I always thought would happen. I don't see anything different. I just want another crack at this thing.''

Whether he gets that opportunity remains to be seen. The 2009 first-round pick had his worst season since his rookie year, throwing 18 interceptions and getting benched for a game late in the season. Sanchez appeared to lose his confidence as the season wore on and questions about his ability to lead the team became more frequent.

Sanchez didn't hesitate when asked if he believes he can be the team's starting quarterback again.

``No question,'' he said. ``Absolutely.''

Some believe Sanchez might be best suited for a change of scenery, to leave the pressures of New York and start over with another franchise. But that will be a tough task for whoever replaces Mike Tannenbaum, who was fired as the team's general manager Monday.

Sanchez is due $8.25 million in guarantees next season after having his contract extended last offseason. He would cost the Jets a $17.1 million salary cap hit next season if he is cut, but New York could spread that amount over the next two seasons if he is released after June 1.

The salary cap hit would still be a costly $8.9 million even if the Jets do find a willing trading partner. So, there's a good chance Sanchez will be back next season to compete for the starting job, possibly with a veteran brought in who could present a viable challenge.

``I've got confidence in Mark,'' Revis said. ``It was a tough year for him. The only thing you can try to do is just lift him up as much as you can and be positive around him. ... I just think he has to just focus on football.''

One player who likely won't be back is Tim Tebow.

Tebow was expected to be a key part of the offense after he was acquired from Denver in a trade last March. Instead, he had no impact and was never a serious challenger to Sanchez for the starting job. Tebow was leapfrogged by third-stringer Greg McElroy when Sanchez was benched, and is expected to be traded or released during the next several weeks.

Tebow said all the right things during his one season with the Jets, doing all he could to hide his frustration at his lack of playing time. He was the NFL's most sought backup, though, attracting large crowds of media every Wednesday and Friday - the days he spoke in front of his locker. His presence, many assumed, provided too much of a distraction for Sanchez.

``I'm not going to make any excuses about anything like that,'' Sanchez said. ``He worked his butt off while he was here and he tried to come in and help this team. That's all I'm going to say about that. He's a good teammate.''

Having watched from the sideline most of the season with a torn ligament in his left knee, Revis was disappointed the Jets were labeled by many as a ``circus,'' led by the hoopla surrounding Tebow. There were also the comments by anonymous players throughout the season that annoyed Revis, saying his teammates need to ``keep things positive around here.''

Meanwhile, Revis expects to be ``100 percent ready'' by the time next season begins, but there are obvious concerns. Revis was considered the best cover cornerback in the league at the time of his injury, and he'll need to prove he hasn't lost a step and is healthy enough to be a top player again. A new contract might also depend on it.

``Right now, I'm not even focused on that,'' he said. ``I've got to get this knee back to 100 percent. That's all I'm focused on is rehabbing and we'll go from there.''

Revis considered holding out of training camp because he was expecting an extension, but instead reported on time. Tannenbaum and the team talked about wanting Revis to retire someday as a member of the Jets. Whether a new general manager feels the same will dictate Revis' long-term future.

``I definitely want to be here,'' Revis said. ``This is where I live. This is the team I got drafted by.''

Despite a 6-10 season that ended with three straight losses, Revis thinks the Jets could get back to their winning ways quickly.

``We're not far,'' he said. ``It's just this year there was a lot of stuff going on. ... The season kind of spiraled into turmoil from injuries, and I think we couldn't really bounce back from that.''

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3 reasons why the Caps lost to the Lightning

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USA TODAY Sports

3 reasons why the Caps lost to the Lightning

After a rough start, the Caps battled back to make a game of it against Tampa Bay, but ultimately fell 4-2 to the Lightning. Here's why.

The first period

To put it simply, this game was lost in the opening period. Washington was the better team for the second and third but they could not overcome the 3-0 lead they spotted the Lightning in the first. Beyond the goals, the Caps just did not play well. Even the simplest of plays looked difficult as Washington struggled to get the puck out of their own zone, gave up numerous turnovers and scoring chances and just looked overmatched. Braden Holtby also looked shaky allowing three goals on just eight shots. Usually he is able to cover up some of the mistakes the defense makes it front of him, but he was not there to bail the team out on Tuesday in what was a really rocky start.

RELATED: CHECK OUT THE 3 STARS FROM CAPS-LIGHTNING

Taking a penalty 34 seconds into the game

Entering Tuesday’s game, Tampa Bay boasted the second best power play unit in the league. Playing a disciplined game is part of every game plan, but that is especially true against such a dominant unit. Giving up a penalty just 34 seconds into the game was not an ideal start. The call itself was debatable. Brett Connolly was called for interference when he knocked over Dan Girardi in the offensive zone. The puck was just behind Girardi as he had lost control of it in his skates. The sticking point here is that Girardi no longer had possession and Connolly could have played the puck instead of the player. Most referees would probably let that go with the puck so close, but Connolly was not so lucky. Whether it was a good call or not, the Caps found themselves down a man and down a goal soon after as Brayden Point scored the power play tally.

A missed opportunity from Kuznetsov on one end, a goal for Nikita Kucherov on the other

Even after spotting the Lightning a 3-0 lead, the Caps made a game of it. Lars Eller struck on the power play in the second period and Alex Ovechkin pulled Washington to within one with about nine minutes left to play. Just over a minute later, Evgeny Kuznetsov stole the puck away from Nikita Kucherov, the frontrunner for league MVP this season, at the Tampa blue line giving the Caps a short 2-on-1. Defenseman Andrej Sustr was textbook on the play forcing Kuznetsov as far wide as he could go while still covering the passing lane and Kuznetsov elected to shoot from the faceoff dot rather than attempt the pass to T.J. Oshie.Andrei Vasilevskiy made a routine blocker save to deny what looked like a great opportunity to tie the game. As always happens in hockey, a failed opportunity on one end led to an opportunity in the other direction. Less than a minute later, Kucherov made up for his mistake by scoring a breakaway goal to put the game out of reach at 4-2.

MORE CAPITALS: KEMPNY EXCITED TO MOVE FROM LAST PLACE CHICAGO TO FIRST PLACE WASHINGTON

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3 stars of the game: Lightning strike 3 times in the first to burn Caps

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USA TODAY Sports

3 stars of the game: Lightning strike 3 times in the first to burn Caps

The first 20 minutes of Tuesday's game did not go well for Washington. The Tampa Bay Lightning scored three times in the opening frame and rode that lead all the way to the 4-2 win.

With the game heading towards a repeat of their blowout loss to Chicago, the Capitals rebounded in the second period to make a game of it as Lars Eller scored on a power play. Alex Ovechkin pulled Washington within one in the third period, but Nikita Kucherov slammed the door shut with a breakaway goal to extend the lead back to 2.

Here are the three stars of the game:

1. Brayden Point: Tampa Bay won this game in the first period when they took a 3-0 lead. Point scored two of those three goals. His first came at the 2:30 mark of the game. He retreated to the blue line on the power play believing Jay Beagle would clear the puck. When Beagle turned the puck over, he recognized it and immediately crashed the net, taking a Ryan Callahan pass in the slot and shooting it through the five-hole of Braden Holtby. On his second goal, Anton Stralman saw an opportunity on the Caps’ line change and passed the puck up to Point at the blue line. Point turned on the jets to get behind the defense and went five-hole again on Holtby to make the score 3-0.

2. Alex Ovechkin: After the first period, Washington slowly took this game over for much of the remaining 40 minutes. Ovechkin was a big part of that as he totaled an incredible 19 shot attempts for the game. Nine of those shots were on goal and he found the back of the net in the third period for career goal No. 594.

3. Tom Wilson: Through the first period, the Caps looked well on their way to a repeat of the 7-1 debacle they suffered Saturday in Chicago. They had nothing going in this game until Wilson drew a trip from Vladislav Namestnikov in the second period. Eller would score on the resulting power play giving Washington some much-needed life. The Namestnikov penalty was the 29th drawn penalty of the season for Wilson, which moves him into a tie with Matthew Tkachuk for the most drawn penalties in the NHL.