Redskins

Bradford has 2 TDs to lead Rams over Bucs 28-13

201212231301468724172-p2.jpeg

Bradford has 2 TDs to lead Rams over Bucs 28-13

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The St. Louis Rams are getting accustomed to Janoris Jenkins doing special things when the rookie cornerback gets his hands on the football.

Jenkins scored his fourth touchdown of the season Sunday, returning a first-half interception 41 yards to help the NFL's youngest team stay in the running for a winning record with a 28-13 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

``I'm just trying to make plays for my team and just trying to be accountable,'' said Jenkins, a second-round draft pick who has scored on three of his four interceptions and also returned a fumble for a TD. ``Every man has got to do his job, and I just want to be able to do my job for these guys I'm out there with.''

Jenkins took advantage of receiver Mike Williams slipping to the ground to pick off Josh Freeman's sideline throw. He did a tight-rope act to stay in bounds, then took off up the field.

The Rams weren't surprised where he wound up.

``I just turn and block, just like in practice. I don't even have to look, and then I turn around and see him in the end zone,'' defensive end Chris Long said. ``He's a special talent, a dangerous player when he's got the ball in his hands.''

St. Louis (7-7-1) won for the fourth time in the past five games, with Sam Bradford throwing for a pair of touchdowns and Steven Jackson rushing for 81 yards and one TD to move within 10 yards of reaching 1,000 for the eighth consecutive season. Tight end Lance Kendricks scored on an 80-yard reception and finished with four catches for 119 yards.

A victory in next week's finale at Seattle will give the Rams their first winning record since 2003.

That's a huge step for a team that won two games in 2011.

``We've got seven wins now,'' first-year coach Jeff Fisher said. ``I don't think many people thought we would do that, but we've got a chance to get eight, so that's what our focus is.''

Bradford connected with Kendricks on the first play of the third quarter to build on a 14-6 halftime lead. The Rams' defense did its part, too, with four interceptions and five sacks.

The offense turned two of the turnovers into touchdowns.

Despite the victory, the Rams were eliminated from playoff contention. But with a winning record still within reach, players were in a festive mood after the game.

``Obviously it's frustrating,'' Bradford said of not making the playoffs. ``That's why you play the game. You play for the opportunity to win championships. You obviously can't do that if you don't get into the playoffs, so it's a little bit disappointing.''

It's nice, though, to still have something to play for next week.

``This is a chance to finish out on a winning note and a chance to be undefeated in the division,'' Fisher said. ``If we're able to do that, I'd say then we can jump into the offseason with optimism for next year.''

Tampa Bay (6-9) turned the ball five times and was stopped on downs twice inside the Rams 10 en route to its fifth straight loss. The Bucs also had five turnovers the previous week in a 41-0 loss at New Orleans.

Freeman completed 30 of 54 passes for 372 yards and one TD, however, the Bucs simply were unable to overcome his mistakes.

The fourth-year pro has thrown eight interceptions in the past two weeks after only having three passes picked off over the previous eight games.

``I've got to take the blame as the quarterback,'' Freeman said. ``Saints game, this game, not really the brand of football I want to play.''

NOTES: Tampa Bay outgained the Rams 429 yards to 285. ... Bradford was 13 of 27 for 196 yards, one interception and no sacks - ending a stretch in which the St. Louis quarterback was sacked in a league-high 30 consecutive games. ... Freeman has thrown for 3,843 yards, a Bucs single-season record.

---

Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Quick Links

NFC East Update: Division race tightens as Redskins stumble, Cowboys surge

mccoy_prescott_usat.jpg
USA Today Sports

NFC East Update: Division race tightens as Redskins stumble, Cowboys surge

When the sun came up Sunday morning, the Redskins held a two-game lead in the NFC East and looked to have a clear route to a division title. 

By the time the sun went down, a lot changed. 

Washington lost at home in a crazy game to Houston, but big picture, the more important outcome was the broken leg for Alex Smith. The Redskins now turn to backup Colt McCoy, and while the Burgundy and Gold remain in first place, their lead shrunk.

  1. Washington Redskins (6-4, 2-0) - Talk about a roller coaster game. The Redskins got down early to the Texans, trailing 10-0 in the first quarter, but fought all the way back. In the process, the team lost Smith for the season, but McCoy played well when he entered the game. A veteran in Jay Gruden's system, McCoy should be able to step in and run the offense without any hesitation. Will that be enough? What isn't being talked about in Washington: a suddenly slumping run defense. A huge game looms Thursday against Ezekiel Elliott and a surging Cowboys squad. Up next: Nov. 22 @ Dallas, 4 p.m.
  2. Dallas Cowboys (5-5, 2-1) - It seemed like the Cowboys season was over a few weeks ago after a humbling home loss on Monday Night Football to the Titans. Two weeks later, the script has flipped. Dallas won their second straight game on Sunday, holding off a late Atlanta rally and winning the game on a last-second field goal. Elliott went for 201 total yards from scrimmage and the Cowboys young defense continued to make impressive plays. Jerry Jones' team struggles on the road, but at home, the Cowboys are 3-1 this season. Up next: Nov. 22 vs Washington, 4 p.m.
  3. Philadelphia Eagles (4-6, 1-1) - Fans waiting for the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles to get it together might want to stop waiting. Philly got boat raced in New Orleans on Sunday, losing 48-7 and dropping to two games below .500. Carson Wentz threw three INTs in New Orleans and really, while the QB was bad in the Superdome, it's hard to pin the Eagles' woes on any one thing. The offense hasn't been very good, and the defense hasn't either. Sitting just two games back of the 'Skins and one behind Dallas, don't count the Eagles out yet. But don't really count them in either. Up next: Nov. 25th vs New York Giants, 1 p.m.
  4. New York Giants (3-7, 0-3) - Don't look now but the Giants might be the hottest team in the division. Or at least not the coldest team in the division. The Giants won their second game in a row on Sunday, a nail-biting 38-35 victory over Tampa. New York got out to a big lead before the Bucs crept back in it, but powered by four combined TDs between Saquon Barkley and Eli Manning, the Giants did enough. Simple arithmetic suggests the Giants are closer to a Top 5 draft pick than a playoff run, but hey, they haven't been eliminated yet. Crazy things happen in this league. Up next: Nov. 25th @ Philadelphia, 1 p.m.

 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

Quick Links

Five observations from Wizards' 119-109 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, including Dwight Howard's injury

Five observations from Wizards' 119-109 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, including Dwight Howard's injury

The Washington Wizards lost to the Portland Trail Blazers 119-109 on Sunday night. Here are five observations from the game...

Not good: It just keeps getting worse. The Wizards have been playing a sleepy, uninspired brand of basketball in recent games and on Sunday they met a Blazers team that does just the opposite.

The result was probably predictable. Though the Wizards edged the Blazers last month in Portland, this time they lost a game that was nowhere near as close as the final score suggested. 

Portland led by as many as 29 points and the Wizards only cut that down late when head coach Scott Brooks emptied his bench. He brought in a host of young guys who were hungry and just happy to be playing like Troy Brown Jr. and Thomas Bryant. Hopefully the starters, who have been missing those qualities, were paying attention.

These teams are currently on two entirely different trajectories. The Blazers are trending up, while the Wizards, who have lost two straight, are sliding quickly.

Washington is now 5-11 on the season. That's worse than their mark at this point two years ago when they mounted the famous comeback.

Howard hurt again: Things were already going terribly for the Wizards when they got much worse. Dwight Howard, who was coming off a huge game against the Nets, left in the second quarter after aggravating his strained piriformis muscle injury. 

Howard, of course, missed the first seven games of the year with the injury, which has also been referred to as gluteal soreness. We knew he was still dealing with discomfort when he came back and it has never really gone away.

The injury affects his ability to run and jump. He can't even sit on the bench because of the pain. The fact it's bothering him enough to leave a game is a really bad sign.

Too many fouls: Just like last game, Howard found himself entangled in foul trouble and this time he got started earlier. By the midway point of the first quarter, he had two. By the 5:30 mark of the second quarter, he had three.

At least against the Nets on Friday, Howard was effective when he was on the floor. This time, he couldn't find a rhythm. His time on the court was basically a wash.

These two games show just how easy it is for Howard to rack up fouls and how much it hurts the Wizards when he gets in foul trouble. 

Horrid start: The Wizards have had some lifeless stretches this season, far too often for the talent they have on the roster. The way they began this game was them at their absolute worst.

They just couldn't keep up with the Blazers, who were zipping the ball around the court to find open shooters. Portland built a 20-point lead in the first quarter, 32-12, as they shot 7-for-9 from three. The seventh was a wide open look by C.J. McCollum.

That's C.J. McCollum, as in one of the best shooting guards in basketball. Somehow the Wizards completely lost him and paid for it. Those are the types of plays that are hard to excuse.

Bright spots: If there were any positives to draw from this game, it was the play of Kelly Oubre Jr. and Tomas Satoransky. Neither shot the ball well, but their energy and effort were noticeable on a night when most of their teammates just didn't have it.

They were among the few Wizards players active on defense and closing out on the three-point line. They helped key a 13-0 run to end the first quarter and helped the team show some life in the second half when the game was already out of hand.

Oubre finished with 19 points, four assists, four rebounds, and three blocks. He was +14. Satoransky had 10 points, seven assists and was +22. If Brooks wants some more energy from his team, those two could provide it.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: