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Belichick not impressed by blowout win over Texans

Belichick not impressed by blowout win over Texans

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) To hear Bill Belichick glumly address reporters on Monday, you'd think the Houston Texans blew New England out in the regular season - and not the other way around.

``There were several things in that game that went our way, but I don't think that's really that significant at this point,'' the Patriots coach said in a conference call. ``I don't think you can overanalyze that game.''

The Patriots beat the Texans 42-14 on Dec. 10, when Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes. The Patriots led 28-0 midway through the second quarter and held Arian Foster to 46 yards on 15 carries.

Still, Belichick did his best to dismiss any comparison between that game and the second-round playoff game on Sunday that will determine a berth in the AFC championship game.

``I don't think anybody cares right now whether he gained 145 yards or 45 yards,'' Belichick said of Foster. ``It's more about what we have to do as a defense to handle the plays that they run. ... The stats and the score and all that, I don't think anybody really cares about that.''

Houston lost three of its last four regular-season games to cede the No. 2 seed and the playoff bye to the Patriots. But the Texans beat the Cincinnati Bengals 19-13 in the opening round of the playoffs to earn a rematch in New England.

Offensive lineman Logan Mankins said keeping the team from getting overconfident is one of Belichick's strengths.

``He's great at serving up humble pie,'' Mankins said on WEEI. ``I don't think Bill's overlooked any team ever. You know he's going to have us working hard this week and trying to get ready.''

Quarterback Tom Brady said in his weekly radio appearance on Monday that the Dec. 10 game won't have any bearing on what happens Sunday.

``It was a big win for our season; it was a big win at that time,'' he said during his weekly radio appearance on WEEI. ``But this game is going to be entirely different, and I think we've got to be able to put just as much preparation into the game as we did before.''

Brady said Belichick is sure to bring up the 2010 season, when the Patriots beat the Jets 45-3 in December in Foxborough but - despite having the NFL's best record - lost to them in the playoffs. The Patriots weren't overconfident; they just played badly, Brady said.

``I'm sure Coach will talk about that this week,'' he said. ``I think that's a great example. The reason we lost that game wasn't because we beat them, whatever, four weeks before. It was because we (stunk) in the game.''

Mankins said the loss to the Jets was a learning experience that should eliminate any danger of the Patriots becoming overconfident.

``We're definitely not taking this team lightly,'' he said. ``We know they're very good.

``If you've been around long enough and played enough teams multiple times in a season, you know the second time is always tough. They know you and you know them. They're going to know you're tendencies, you know theirs. The second time around is usually a dogfight. It's always a lot closer than the first game.''

The Patriots missed tight end Rob Gronkowski for the December game. But the Texans were also depleted by injuries: starting tackle Derek Newton, tight end Garrett Graham and linebacker Brooks Reed all sat out. But they played in the postseason win against the Bengals, and should be ready for this weekend.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

The Capitals are the Eastern Conference Champions!

After dispatching Tampa Bay in Game 7, the Caps claimed the conference crown for just the second time in franchise history. But they're not done yet. Now it's on to Vegas to face the Golden Knights for the Stanley Cup.

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir break down the Caps' win over the Lightning and look ahead to the matchup with the Knights.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—OTA report, fans excited about young D-line

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NBC Sports Washington

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—OTA report, fans excited about young D-line

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, May 25, 62 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington

Trades, misses and mistakes explain Redskins' dead cap—This post does a good job of outlining where the Redskins’ dead cap came from. It should be noted that dead cap is a part of the cost of doing business in the NFL and the Redskins have done fairly well managing it this year. Only about a dozen teams have less dead cap on the books than the Redskins $5.2 million. 

Tandler's Take—The best- and worst-case scenarios for the 2018 Redskins—I received some comments saying that my worst-case scenario, a 6-10 finish, is not low enough. Since we’re talking about events that won’t begin to happen for about three and a half months, I can’t really argue with them. But it’s just hard for me to see them dropping more than a game from last year when they were hit harder with injuries than any other team in the NFL. 

Pre-OTAs Redskins player one-liners, defense—An extension for Matt Ioannidis seemed preposterous a year ago, now it seems like a good idea. How many sacks for Lanier? When will Ryan Anderson get his first sack? Plus offensive player one-liners here

Redskins OTA practice report—QB Alex Smith sharp—You can’t tell everything from OTAs, but you can tell some things. Taking another look at this post, I gave a good, detailed look at the session, but I didn’t really mention the overall feel, which was fun and energetic. 

Tweet of the week

Certainly, Derrius Guice is the fan favorite of the rookie class. But the great reaction to this tweet shows that there is plenty of love for Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen, last year’s top pick. 

In 2016, the starting defensive line consisted of Ricky Jean Francois, Chris Baker, and  Ziggy Hood. The top reserve was Cullen Jenkins. They all had their good qualities and made some plays. But Baker was the youngster of the group and he turned 30 during the season. It clearly was a group on the decline. 

Two years later, the picture is quite different. Payne and Allen lead a younger group that will get better over the next few years. Matt Ioannidis, Anthony Lanier, Tim Settle, and Stacy McGee should round out the group. McGee is by far the senior member of the group at age 28. None of the others have celebrated his 25thbirthday yet. 

Fans should perhaps temper their optimism with the knowledge that potential doesn’t always develop into performance. But unlike years past there is something to look forward to. 

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  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

Timeline  

Days until:

—Minicamp (6/12) 18
—Training camp starts (7/26) 62
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 76

The Redskins last played a game 145 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 107 days. 

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