Redskins

Texans playing Lions for a spot in the playoffs

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Texans playing Lions for a spot in the playoffs

DETROIT (AP) The Houston Texans have put themselves in a position to be the NFL's first team to seal a spot in the playoffs and to move a step closer toward earning home-field advantage in the AFC.

Houston (9-1) has won four straight and is 4-0 on the road this season, giving the Texans a great shot to be in consecutive postseasons for the first time.

``It shows the progress we've made,'' said tight end Owen Daniels, who has been with the franchise for seven of its 11 years of existence. ``A few years ago, it took us until the end of the season to get that ninth win. We're at that ninth win already.

``We're trying to stack `em up, but it's good that those are possibilities this early in the season.''

Houston needs to win at Detroit (4-6) on Thursday and have a handful of teams lose, or tie, to earn a postseason bid by the end of the weekend.

The Lions, meanwhile, will have to pull off a string of upsets against a slew of good teams to reach the franchise's goal of making it to consecutive postseasons for the first time since the mid-1990s.

Just when it looked like Detroit was living up to the hype generated with last year's breakout season by winning three of four games to climb back .500 earlier this month, the Lions lost two in a row. And that has made last season seem more like an aberration than the start of successful run for a floundering franchise that hit rock bottom in 2008 as the NFL's first 0-16 team.

``We're not thinking about playoffs or anything else,'' Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. ``We're thinking about the Houston Texans and that's plenty for us to think about right now.''

Like all good teams, the Texans have proven they can win even when they don't play well.

Houston trailed the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars last week at home by 14 points in the fourth quarter before rallying for a 43-37 win in overtime.

The Texans' defense, which has been among the NFL's best all year, struggled until it made stops when they were needed. It didn't hurt that quarterback Matt Schaub and receiver Andre Johnson had career-best games.

Schaub connected on 43 passes for 527 yards passing, both totals tying for second most in league history, and Johnson set a personal best with 273 yards receiving. His franchise-record fifth touchdown pass was a screen to Johnson, who did the rest on a 48-yard score for the game-winner.

``You just never know in this league week to week what kind of game you're going to be in and we got caught in a shootout type of game with a lot of offense,'' Houston coach Gary Kubiak said. ``We were fortunate enough to find a way to win.''

Detroit did enough to lose 24-20 to the Green Bay Packers last week at home, where it had plenty of opportunities to get a much-needed win. The Lions' woes were made worse by a significant injury and distraction.

Left tackle Jeff Backus couldn't finish the first half because of a hamstring injury, which seemed to be in his right leg, and his 186-game starting streak that includes every game of his career is expected to end Thursday.

``It's hard to replace a rock that's been there for 12 years,'' said veteran center Dominic Raiola. ``It's just different without him out there.''

Detroit drafted Riley Reiff with the 23rd pick overall this year, planning to groom him as player to eventually replace Backus. The rookie might have to take on defensive end J.J. Watt, who ranks among NFL leaders with 11 1/2 sacks and leads all defensive linemen in the league with 11 passes defended.

Houston, though, won't have to worry about No. 2 receiver Titus Young taking advantage of one-one-one coverage because the Lions announced Monday he would be inactive because of his ``unacceptable'' behavior during the game against the Packers.

``When you're a player, it's your job to make the team happy,'' Schwartz said. ``It's not the team's job to make you happy.''

Lions fans have not been happy when it comes to Thanksgiving Day results.

Detroit has lost a franchise-record eight straight on the holiday - by an average of three-plus touchdowns - and has only one victory in the past 11 games in its annual showcase after winning nine of 12 games from 1989-2000.

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The NFL fills in the blanks on the Redskins' schedule tonight

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The NFL fills in the blanks on the Redskins' schedule tonight

Since the 2017 regular ended we’ve known who the Redskins will play this coming season and we have known where the games will be played. Tonight we find out the when. 

The NFL schedule will be released tonight at 8 p.m. The NFL will fill in the blanks beside all of the prime time games, the Thanksgiving Day games and the Sunday doubleheader and night games. 

Last year, the Redskins were coming off of an 8-7-1 season where they just missed the making a second straight playoff appearance. Kirk Cousins was becoming one of the more recognizable names in the NFL and the schedule makers thought they would be enough of a draw to warrant five prime time slots. They were scheduled for a Sunday night, two Monday nights, and two Thursday nights, including a first-ever home game on Thanksgiving. 

The Redskins may not be as attractive a prime time candidate this year. They went 7-9 and Cousins is gone, although replacement Alex Smith is fairly well-known. It’s nearly a given that two NFC East games will be on prime time. That has been the case every year but one since 2012. We will see what will happen beyond that. 

The prime-time games that the Redskins do have will start a bit earlier than they have in the past. The league announced yesterday that Monday night games will move up from 8:30 p.m. ET to 8:15 p.m. ET and Thursdays will move from an 8:25 p.m. start to 8:20 p.m. Sunday night games move up from 8:30 p.m. to 8:20 p.m.

There has been speculation that the Redskins will play on Thanksgiving, perhaps at Dallas or against another opponent in the night game. That would make three years in a row on Thanksgiving for them. That is not without precedent although it would be unusual. Besides the Lions and Cowboys, who host Thanksgiving games annually, only two teams played in three straight Thanksgiving games. The Bears played every Thanksgiving from 1979-1981. The Cardinals also played three straight, but there is an asterisk there since they hosted the game instead of the Cowboys in 1975 and 1977. In between they played at Dallas on Thanksgiving. 

The availability of FedEx Field should not cause any schedule alterations. There are some events scheduled for the venue but concerts by Taylor Swift and Beyonce & Jay-Z, an international soccer game, and the Maryland-Texas college game are all going to be done before the start of the NFL season. 

Here are the Redskins regular season opponents. 

Road

  • Cowboys 
  • Giants
  • Eagles
  • Cardinals
  • Saints
  • Jaguars
  • Titans
  • Bucs

Home

  • Cowboys 
  • Giants
  • Eagles
  • Packers
  • Panthers
  • Colts
  • Falcons
  • Texans

The preseason opponents were announced earlier this month.

More Redskins

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

 

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Game 4 Capitals at Blue Jackets Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

Game 4 Capitals at Blue Jackets Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

With a thrilling double-overtime victory in Game 3, the Capitals are right back in the series. Trailing the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1, the Caps will look to even up the series at 2-games apiece before returning to Washington for Game 5.

As the Caps take the ice for Game 4, you can be certain that Braden Holtby will be the man to lead the team in net. His stellar performance in Game 3 resolidified him as the team' starter and ended whatever goalie tandem there was between him and Philipp Grubauer.

What: Washington Capitals vs. Columbus Blue Jackets, Round 1, Game 4

Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 4 will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 4 on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME?

The Capitals take on the Blue Jackets in Game 4 on Thursday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m. ET in Columbus. Columbus currently leads the series 2-1.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME ON?

Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 4 will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:30 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 7:00 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:30 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:30 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:30 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
7:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:30 p.m. — Capitals at Blue Jackets
10:00 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:30 p.m. — Caps in 30

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME?

Capitals-Blue Jackets Game 4, 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.

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME?

Here are the Caps' projected lines:

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

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

Braden Holtby with Philipp Grubauer as backup.

Scratches: Travis Boyd, Andre Burakovsky (upper-body), Shane Gerisch, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek

CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS 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.

SEE THE CAPITALS VS. BLUE JACKETS FULL SERIES SCHEDULE HERE

CAPITALS SCHEDULE