Seattle has no time to enjoy win with 49ers next

Seattle has no time to enjoy win with 49ers next

SEATTLE (AP) A normal Monday might allow for the slightest bit of appreciation for the rally the Seattle Seahawks pulled off in the final moments, another fourth-quarter victory this season after striking out too many times a year ago in similar situations.

With a game just a couple of days away at division rival San Francisco, there was no time for the Seahawks to relish their stunning comeback win over New England.

``We have a big competition this week in who is going to prepare the best,'' Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.

To that end, the Seahawks were quickly putting aside their 24-23 win over the Patriots on Sunday and quickly looking ahead to Thursday night's showdown at San Francisco. Both Seattle and San Francisco have 4-2 records and are part of a three-way tie with Arizona on top of the NFC West.

The game plan for the 49ers was being drilled less than 24 hours after the Seahawks scored 14 points in the final 7:31, capped by Russell Wilson's 46-yard touchdown pass to Sidney Rice with 1:18 left that gave the Seahawks the lead.

``When it counted most we played our best,'' Carroll said. ``We put up a bunch of yards in the fourth quarter ... we didn't allow a third down conversion by their offense in the last five. We kicked the ball well. We returned the ball well. We protected well, threw and caught it and all that well. We used the clock very well defensively when we had our chance. I'm really fired up that we finished so well against a really, really good football team.''

Seattle has made a sudden change in its ability to close games from the struggles of a year ago. Six times in the 2011 season, the Seahawks found themselves within one score in the closing minutes, yet went winless in all six situations. Five of those six losses were by six points or less.

Faltering late a season ago brought changes in how Seattle practices. The 2-minute offense has become an emphasis.

The results are noticeable. In wins over Green Bay and New England, the Seahawks scored in the final 90 seconds to win, albeit controversially in the win over the Packers.

``It's a much-improved aspect of our football team and it's with a first-time quarterback so we're excited that we'll continue to get better, continue to focus on it and make it a great priority in the program,'' Carroll said.

There was some unwanted attention that came Seattle's way after cornerback Richard Sherman popped off in the moments after the game about the Patriots and feeling the Seahawks were disrespected nationally. Sherman later posted a picture on his Twitter account showing him getting in Tom Brady's face after the end of the game. Sherman and Brady had been talking at times through the game.

``It's not a shock for us. We believe we have a great ballclub and we believe we can play with anybody,'' Sherman told reporters in the locker room after the victory. ``NFL Network and all of these pundits think they know everything and we keep shutting them up week, by week, by week, by week. They thought (New England) was the greatest ball club to step on the earth. They're 3-3, .500. I don't know what great ball club is 3-3.''

Many fans felt Sherman's rant was disrespectful toward the three-time Super Bowl champion. Carroll believed it was his confident cornerback being a little too exuberant in the moments after the victory.

``I think (Sherman) was really excited about what had just happened and I was too. And in the heat of the moment, everybody was kind of having a blast and in that, that directed some attention to Tom Brady, who we all know is a great player and we all respect the heck out of him and probably why there is follow up to that. But that's stuff that is going to happen sometimes,'' Carroll said. ``I think as we grow as a young team we'll figure out where things fit and don't fit best.''


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The 2018 salaries of five Redskins become fully guaranteed today

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The 2018 salaries of five Redskins become fully guaranteed today

It may be the 18th of March but today could be like Christmas for five Redskins players.

The Redskins decided to use today, four days after the start of the league year, for some contract triggers. In this case, the triggers are all 2018 salary guarantees (some teams will pay out roster bonuses on trigger dates, but the Redskins rarely use that type of structure).

Here are the players whose have guarantees that kick in today 4 p.m. All data is via Over the Cap.


CB Josh Norman, base salary of $13.5 million becomes fully guaranteed—This was a window for the Redskins to move on from Norman if they were not happy with his performance after two seasons. He is 31 and he had no interceptions last season, leaving some to wonder if the Redskins might think about releasing him. But it never was a consideration.

TE Jordan Reed, $8 million of his $8.25 million salary becomes fully guaranteed—No, I’m not sure why they are leaving that $250,000 out there non-guaranteed. Fans thought that the Redskins might move on from Reed due to his injury issues. But, as with Norman, it never was a consideration.

S D.J. Swearinger, $3 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—This is a mere technicality, Swearinger wasn’t going anywhere after helping to solidify the safety position.


RB Chris Thompson, $1.996 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—His rehab is going well and after last year Thompson’s two-year, $7 million contract extension signed last September looks like a good deal for the team.

DE Terrell McClain, $3.25 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—If the Redskins sign a top free agent D-lineman or draft on early in the draft they could be in a numbers crunch. That new acquisition would be guaranteed a roster spot along with Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis, Stacy McGee, and Anthony Lanier. That makes five and the Redskins kept six last year. Ziggy Hood is a favorite of the coaching staff but he has no guaranteed money left on his contract. That could tip the sixth spot in favor of McClain if he is on the roster at the close of business today. If they release McClain after today, they would take a cap charge of over $2 million. It seems unlikely that anything will happen but it’s something to keep an eye on.

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


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It's hard to tell after three games how the Wizards and Pacers would match up in the playoffs

It's hard to tell after three games how the Wizards and Pacers would match up in the playoffs

The Wizards crossed off an important goal on Saturday night by beating the Indiana Pacers and therefore securing the season series. If the teams tie with the same regular season record, the Wizards will get the higher playoff seed. As of today, that would mean home court advantage in the first round.

Though the Wizards have beaten the Pacers in two of their three matchups this season, we only know so much about how they would match up in the playoffs. The first game between them didn't feature Pacers All-Star Victor Oladipo and John Wall didn't play in any of the three games. The Pacers were without both Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis on Saturday night.

Given the Pacers underwent so much change over the summer, there is no real data to go off of from before this season. They are a completely different team with Oladipo leading the way and Paul George now in Oklahoma City.


There are reasons to believe, however, that the Wizards would fare well against the Pacers over the course of a seven-game series. For one, they figured out how to slow Oladipo and his teammate Bojan Bogdanovic on Saturday night. Both had killed the Wizards in previous matchups.

Oladipo was held to 18 points, over five points below his season average of 23.5. He had four turnovers, shot 7-for-16 (43.7%) and finished a -18 in a game the Pacers lost by seven.

The Wizards had some success with Tomas Satoransky guarding Oladipo. Satoransky is 6-foot-7 with long arms. He was able to recover on several occasions to alter Oladipo's shots.

Satoransky and Bradley Beal also did a good job keeping pace with Oladipo on the fastbreak. The Pacers had only four fastbreak points in the game. Oladipo is especially dangerous in the open court.

“We just made sure that we were aggressive with him and made sure he saw a lot of bodies in the paint," Beal said. "The last game, he got a lot of easy ones in transition. We just made sure that we got back on the shot, loaded to the ball and forced the other guys to attack.”

For Bogdanovic, it was about limiting open shots from the perimeter. Bogdanovic had 11 points, three below his season average and had four turnovers. Beal and Otto Porter stripped Bogdanovic for steals and Marcin Gortat took a charge on one play in the third quarter.


But it was all about taking away the outside shot. Bogdanovic only hit one shot in the first half and it was a three. The only reason he got it off is because Kelly Oubre, Jr. lost his balance backing up. That gave Bogdanovic the window he needed. Otherwise, Oubre helped frustrate the former Wizards small forward. So did Gortat and Ian Mahinmi, who did a good job covering their teammates off screens.

The Pacers are an average offensive team, ranking 16th in points per game and 14th in offensive rating. They are better defensively, ranking ninth-best in opponents points per game and 12th in defensive efficiency.

If the Wizards can limit Oladipo and Bogdanovic, the Pacers' two leading scorers, they should have a good shot at beating the Pacers in the playoffs. Beyond them, the Pacers are thin in the scoring department. Turner only averages 13.6 points and no one else beyond him can consistently make an opposing defense pay for mistakes. Conversely, several Wizards players have given the Pacers major trouble through three games this season.

Gortat, who had 18 points and eight rebounds on Saturday, has averaged 13 points and eight rebounds on 57.7 percent shooting against Indiana. Kelly Oubre, Jr., who had 16 points in 18 minutes, has averaged 15.5 points and is shooting 50 percent from the field.


In addition to those guys, Markieff Morris, Porter, Mike Scott, Mahinmi and Satoransky are all shooting over 50 percent against the Pacers. Satoransky is shooting 71.4 percent through three games.

The Wizards have the pieces to counter what the Pacers do best. Indiana is seventh in three-point percentage, but the Wizards are the best team in basketball in opponents three-point percentage. The Pacers are built around an All-Star guard, but the Wizards have two All-Star guards. The Pacers have a collection of talented wing players, but so do the Wizards.

"Hypothetically, I do like Indiana," Beal said. "I like how we match up with Indiana and I feel like there is a lot of stuff that we can take advantage of. In a lot of categories, I think we can win them."

Add it all up and the Wizards have every reason to feel confident if they see the Pacers in the posteason. Keep that in mind because they very well could meet up in the spring.

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