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Sunday's NFL Capsules

Sunday's NFL Capsules

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Counted out by their own coach six weeks ago, the Washington Redskins and Robert Griffin III are on the brink of their first division title in 13 years.

Griffin threw a pair of touchdown passes in his first game back from a knee injury, Kai Forbath set the NFL record for consecutive field goals to begin a career, and the Redskins held on to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 27-20 on Sunday for their sixth straight win.

Nick Foles drove the Eagles to the Washington 5 before his intentional grounding penalty ended the game.

The Redskins (9-6) can clinch the NFC East with a victory over Dallas at home next Sunday. They haven't won it since 1999 and last reached the playoffs in 2007. A loss and they still have a chance at a wild-card playoff spot.

Trying to play spoiler, the Eagles (4-11) fell short in what could've been Andy Reid's last game coaching the team at home. Reid is unlikely to return to Philadelphia for his 15th season next year.

SAINTS 34, COWBOYS 31, OT

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Garrett Hartley kicked a 20-yard field goal in overtime, and New Orleans damaged Dallas' playoff hopes.

Drew Brees threw for 446 yards and three touchdowns and led a drive to the winning kick. The Saints lucked out before the winning kick when a fumble by Marques Colston rolled forward about 20 yards to the Dallas 2. Jimmy Graham recovered.

The Cowboys lost despite rallying for two touchdowns in the final 3:35 of regulation. Tony Romo, who threw for 416 yards and four scores, hit Miles Austin for the tying touchdown with 15 seconds left in regulation.

The playoff hopes for the Saints (7-8) ended with Minnesota's win against Houston.

The Cowboys (8-7) play the Redskins next Sunday for the NFC East title, but only Washington has a chance for a wild-card spot if it loses.

COLTS 20, CHIEFS 13

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Andrew Luck threw for 205 yards to break the single-season rookie record, and his touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne late in the fourth quarter put Indianapolis in the playoffs.

Luck surpassed Cam Newton's year-old record of 4,051 yards passing by a rookie in the second quarter, and then came through in the closing minutes. He marched Indy to the Chiefs 7, then found Wayne in the back of the end zone on third-and-goal for the go-ahead score.

It was the seventh time Luck has rallied his team to victory in the fourth quarter.

Darius Butler returned an interception 32 yards for a TD in helping the Colts (10-5) join the 2008 Miami Dolphins as the only NFL teams to win at least 10 games after losing 14 or more the previous season. The Chiefs are 2-13.

BENGALS 13, STEELERS 10

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Josh Brown kicked a 43-yard field goal with 4 seconds remaining to put Cincinnati in the playoffs and eliminate Pittsburgh from postseason contention.

Brown missed a 56-yarder earlier in the quarter, but earned a second chance when Reggie Nelson picked off Ben Roethlisberger and returned it to the Pittsburgh 46 with 14 seconds remaining. Andy Dalton hit A.J. Green for 21 yards on the next play, setting up Brown's game-winner to put the Bengals in the playoffs for consecutive years for the first times since 1981-82.

Dalton completed 24 of 41 for 278 yards and two interceptions for the Bengals (9-6), who snapped a five-game losing streak to Pittsburgh (7-8).

VIKINGS 23, TEXANS 6

HOUSTON (AP) - Adrian Peterson rushed for 86 yards, falling far short of the 2,000-yard mark, yet helping Minnesota keep its playoff hopes alive.

Christian Ponder threw a touchdown pass, Toby Gerhart added a score and Blair Walsh kicked three field goals.

The loss kept the Texans (12-3) from clinching home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

Peterson had his lowest rushing total since getting 79 yards on Oct. 14 in a loss at Washington. He has 1,898 this season and needs 208 yards to break the NFL single-season rushing record held by Eric Dickerson.

The Texans failed to score a touchdown for the first time since 2006.

RAVENS 33, GIANTS 14

BALTIMORE (AP) - Joe Flacco threw for 309 yards and two touchdowns as Baltimore won the AFC North.

The Ravens (10-5) led 24-7 at halftime and cruised to the finish behind a short-handed defense that harassed quarterback Eli Manning and limited New York (8-7) to 186 yards.

Baltimore scored touchdowns on its first two possessions and amassed a season-high 533 yards - including 289 in the first half alone. The victory ended a three-game skid for the Ravens and assured them of a home playoff game in the first weekend of January.

The defending Super Bowl champion Giants (8-7) can't win the NFC East, but still have a chance to make the playoffs as a wild card.

BRONCOS 34, BROWNS 12

DENVER (AP) - Denver won its 10th straight game as Peyton Manning threw three touchdown passes for the 72nd time of his career.

Denver (12-3) pulled into a tie for first place in the AFC with Houston, which fell 23-6 to the Vikings.

Manning finished with 339 yards on 30-for-43 passing. Von Miller was in on two sacks for the Broncos, the second of which knocked Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden out of the game with a right shoulder injury.

If Denver defeats Kansas City at home next week and Houston loses at Indianapolis, the Broncos would be the AFC's top seed.

SEAHAWKS 42, 49ERS 13

SEATTLE (AP) - Russell Wilson threw four touchdown passes to move into second place for TD passes by a rookie, Marshawn Lynch scored twice, and led by their rocking crowd Seattle clinched a spot in the NFC playoffs with a rout of San Francisco.

Wilson threw TDs to Lynch, Anthony McCoy and two in the second half to Doug Baldwin to give him 25 for the season, one shy of Peyton Manning's record of 26. Lynch added 111 yards rushing and a 24-yard TD run on Seattle's opening drive that set the tone.

Richard Sherman returned a blocked field goal 90 yards for a touchdown and added an interception for the Seahawks (10-5).

Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers (10-4-1) struggled with the deafening noise echoing around CenturyLink Field, making for a miserable 49th birthday for 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.

BEARS 28, CARDINALS 13

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Chicago's defense scored two touchdowns to keep the Bears' playoff hopes alive.

Charles Tillman returned an interception 10 yards for a score, the third pick he's brought back for a touchdown this season and the eighth overall by Chicago, one shy of the NFL record. Zack Bowman returned a fumble 1 yard for another Bears score.

Brandon Marshall caught six passes for 68 yards and a TD, breaking the Bears franchise record for yards receiving in a season in the process.

Chicago (9-6) snapped a three-game losing streak and won for just the second time in seven tries. The Cardinals (5-10) lost for the 10th time in 11 games.

PACKERS 55, TITANS 7

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Aaron Rodgers threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, Ryan Grant scored twice and Randall Cobb set a single-season franchise record for net yardage.

The Packers (11-4) moved up to the No. 2 seed with Seattle's victory over San Francisco. Green Bay finishes the regular season next Sunday at Minnesota, and a victory would give the Packers a first-round bye.

It was the first time the Packers have scored more than 50 points since 2005.

Jake Locker was sacked seven times and picked off twice, and Tennessee (5-10) scored with 1:39 left to avoid the shutout.

PATRTIOTS 23, JAGUARS 16

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Tom Brady overcame a rough start by throwing two touchdown passes for playoff-bound New England.

Brady threw two interceptions in the first quarter, the second helping the Jaguars (2-13) build a 10-0 lead.

But the Jaguars faded in the third quarter for the fourth consecutive week, lost for the 11th time in the last 12 games and set a franchise record for losses in a season.

Brady hooked up with Wes Welker for a 2-yard score on the second play of the fourth quarter, putting the Patriots (11-4) ahead 23-13.

CHARGERS 27, JETS 17

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - San Diego sacked Greg McElroy 11 times, ruining the quarterback's first NFL start, and Philip Rivers threw two touchdown passes for the Chargers.

McElroy, the third-stringer who was starting for the benched Mark Sanchez, moved the offense for the Jets (6-9) early but faced pressure all game.

With a chance to get New York back into it with less than 5 minutes remaining, McElroy was sacked by Shaun Phillips and lost the ball. Phillips recovered and San Diego (6-9) sealed the win.

Rivers had touchdown tosses of 37 yards to Danario Alexander and 34 yards to Antonio Gates.

PANTHERS 17, RAIDERS 6

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Cam Newton threw for 171 yards and a touchdown and ran for 60 yards and another score as Carolina won for the fourth time in its last five games.

The Panthers (6-9) held the Raiders to 189 total yards and 12 first downs in a game featuring several shoving matches, plenty of heated exchanges and six unnecessary roughness penalties - including one that sidelined Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer for the day.

Even Newton drew a flag after bumping an official with his chest for what he perceived as the latest in a series of late hits by Raiders defenders. He was not ejected.

The Panthers built a 14-3 lead at halftime. Newton accounted for 231 of the 271 yards.

RAMS 28, BUCCANEERS 13

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Sam Bradford tossed a pair of touchdown passes and rookie cornerback Janoris Jenkins scored his fourth TD of the season.

Bradford connected with Lance Kendricks on an 80-yard scoring play on the first play of the third quarter. The Rams (7-7-1) intercepted Josh Freeman four times, turning three of the turnovers into TDs, including Jenkins' pick and 41-yard return early in the second quarter.

Steven Jackson rushed for 81 yards and one TD, moving within 10 yards of reaching 1,000 for the eighth consecutive season for the Rams. Tampa Bay fell to 6-9 after its fifth straight loss.

DOLPHINS 24, BILLS 10

MIAMI (AP) - Reggie Bush caught two touchdown passes and scored on a short run for Miami.

Six minutes after they won, the Dolphins (7-8) were eliminated from playoff contention when Cincinnati beat Pittsburgh.

The Bills (5-10) came into the game assured of missing the playoffs for the 13th consecutive year.

Bush's first TD catches of the season covered 17 and 12 yards.

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Ravens training camp preview: How effective of a season can Matthew Judon have?

Ravens training camp preview: How effective of a season can Matthew Judon have?

Rostered outside linebackers: Matthew Judon, Jaylon Ferguson, Tyus Bowser, Aaron Adoeye, Chauncey Rivers, Marcus Willoughby, John Daka.

If there was one position of “need” the Ravens didn’t address this offseason, it was outside linebacker.

The Ravens instead added to their interior defensive line and inside linebacking corps, but didn’t add a notable free agent or draft pick at outside linebacker. Instead, they’re set to run back the group from a year ago. 

The team ranked 21st in the NFL a year ago in sacks with 37, but second in quarterback knockdowns. Essentially, the team dialed up pressure more than anyone else in the league but didn’t get home enough. Now, they're hopeful they've fixed that problem.

And if there is a trickle-down benefit to the outside linebackers of those additions elsewhere, it’s that the Ravens’ outside linebackers should have more one-on-one matchups on the outside. Notably, that includes Matthew Judon. 

He finished the year with 9.5 sacks a season ago and had 33 quarterback hits — more than three times the second-place finisher on the roster. And now, he’ll play on the franchise tag in his fifth season in the league. As the team’s top pass-rusher, he’s got a lot of pressure on his back entering the 2020 season. 

RELATED: HOW MUCH WILL THE ROOKIE LB's MAKE AN IMPACT ON THE DEFENSE?

If Judon is able to become an upper-tier pass-rusher this season, he’ll not only boost the Ravens’ defense, he’ll cement his monster contract that appears on the horizon, whether that comes from the Ravens or another team. 

But while Judon is the headliner of the Ravens’ edge rushers, in terms of success of the team this season, he might not be the most important part of the front seven. It might end up being whoever lines up across from him. 

Judon has shown the ability to be a No. 1 pass-rusher in the NFL, and with the benefit of an improved defense around him, it’s reasonable to assume he can repeat his 9.5 sack performance — or better it — in 2020. That shouldn't be the worry.

Where the true test will come, however, is who lines up as the second outside linebacker on the depth chart. 

Pernell McPhee had three sacks last season, but missed a majority of the season with a torn triceps. The team used rookie Jaylon Ferguson, who had 2.5 sacks, and Tyus Bowser, who had five sacks, in his absence.

With Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams and Derek Wolfe on the defensive line, it’s reasonable to assume that the Ravens’ outside linebackers will get more favorable matchups. 

And if Judon and the host of other outside linebackers are able to get more one-on-one matchups, the Ravens’ could wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks in 2020. 

So while the Ravens didn’t address their outside linebacker position this offseason, the additions elsewhere on the roster should provide the benefit that position group needed.

Stay connected to the Ravens with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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Report: NFL to cut preseason in half, taking away Ravens first and fourth preseason games against the Bills and Redskins

Report: NFL to cut preseason in half, taking away Ravens first and fourth preseason games against the Bills and Redskins

According to a report from ProFootballTalk, the NFL has scrapped its first and fourth preseason games this season and cut the preseason in half. 

The Ravens were scheduled to play the Bills at home on Aug. 14 to open the season, then end the preseason on Sept. 3 against the Redskins. 

RELATED: TRAINING CAMP PREVIEW: INSIDE LINEBACKER

Now, the Ravens’ tentative preseason schedule will have one road game, at the Cowboys on Aug. 22, and home against the Panthers on Aug. 30. 

According to the report, the move was spurred on by two factors: Firstly, that road teams would have trouble moving that many bodies and risk spreading COVID-19. Secondly, that no team has had on-field workouts this summer. Now, with training camps scheduled to start on July 28, teams will have more time to prepare for the season. 

The move came with coronavirus cases continually rising in the United States a day after Dr. Anthony Fauci said new cases could reach 100,000 per day if more preventative measures were not taken. On June 30, the U.S. had 46,042 new cases, the second-highest total since the pandemic began.

Baltimore is still set to report to camp at the end of the month, as is the rest of the NFL. With the new preseason schedule, they’ll have about three weeks to prepare for the first on-field game action of the season. 

The Ravens haven’t lost in the preseason since Sept. 3, 2015, when they lost 20-19 to the Falcons. 

Stay connected to the Ravens with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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