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Seattle's problems in loss more than just Wilson

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Seattle's problems in loss more than just Wilson

SEATTLE (AP) Perhaps it should have been expected that if Seattle rookie quarterback Russell Wilson was going to endure an ugly performance early in his first season, it would be on the road against San Francisco's stellar defense.

What wasn't expected in Seattle's 13-6 loss to the 49ers on Thursday night was a number of dropped passes, some at critical moments, and a Seahawks defense that was gashed on the ground for the first time this year by the running of Frank Gore.

But it was another unimpressive offensive effort and some frustration began to show.

``We are going to come back Monday and watch this film, and we are going to be real critical,'' Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate said. ``We have to figure something out. It is not over, the season is not over. We still have a long way to go. We can't let this set us back.''

Wilson finished just 9 of 23 passing for 122 yards and one careless interception. He completed just 3 of 10 in the second half for 19 yards.

Sometimes when Wilson made a good throw, his receivers didn't make the catch. They finished with five drops.

There was backup running back Robert Turbin dropping a wheel route in the first quarter inside the 49ers' 15. Evan Moore juggled and dropped a throw down the sideline in the second quarter and Tate dropped a pair of passes, including a third-and-2 pass that would have given Seattle a key first-down on the opening drive of the second half.

``That's my focus now, just how can we fix it, how can we keep moving forward, how can we get some more completions when we need it,'' Wilson said. ``How can we keep the ball rolling, keep first downs going.''

Seattle coach Pete Carroll gave his team the weekend off after a trying stretch of five games in 25 days, three of them on the road. Seattle (4-3) returns to action on Oct. 28 at Detroit then plays consecutive home games against Minnesota and the New York Jets before arriving at its bye week.

While improving an offense that is averaging just 16 points per game will be a priority when the team returns next Monday, another will be making sure the Seahawks run defense is fixed.

San Francisco had just 58 yards rushing at halftime - and 54 of that came in the first quarter. They finished with 175 yards rushing. San Francisco's 117 yards rushing in the final 30 minutes marked the first time Seattle allowed a team to run for more than 100 yards in the second half since Dec. 26, 2010, in a loss at Tampa Bay.

Seattle's run defense allowed an opponent to top 100 total yards rushing for the first time this season. Gore's 131 yards were the most by an individual rusher against the Seahawks since Dallas' DeMarco Murray ran for 139 yards in Week 9 of last season, a span of 14 games.

Most of San Francisco's running success came in the second half and on quick-hitting inside traps where Seattle's defensive line was unable to clog gaps and give its linebackers freedom to make tackles.

The Seahawks had not allowed a run longer than 23 yards all season until Gore's 37-yard dash in the third quarter. Safety Earl Thomas saved a touchdown by making a shoestring tackle on that play. Gore also had bursts of 20 and 18 yards against a defense that had allowed just two runs of 20 or more yards all season entering Thursday night.

The fact Seattle held San Francisco to just 13 points and still felt the night was a defensive disappointment exemplifies the standard to which Carroll holds the Seahawks.

``It was a heck of a night by our defense, but I'm still frustrated that we didn't stop a couple of things. If we stop a couple of things, the game doesn't go like that. Now, it still was going to be close because we didn't score much, but we need to play better in the running game,'' Carroll said.

Gore has long tormented the Seahawks; he now has four games of at least 130 yards rushing against Seattle. And his numbers could have been even higher if not for bruised ribs that sidelined him for much of the fourth quarter.

``They attacked us where we didn't think they were going to attack us. They were able to sustain drives and controlled the clock a bit. It was disappointing because we didn't stop the run like we wanted to,'' Seattle linebacker Leroy Hill said. ``But there's nothing to be embarrassed about. Holding them to 13 points is nothing to be embarrassed about. It was a hard-fought game. It was how we thought it was going to be. But in the run game, we could've been better.''

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Online:http://bigstory.ap.org/NFL-Pro32 andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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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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USA Today Sports Images

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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