Wizards

Capsule Jaguars at Titans

Capsule Jaguars at Titans

JACKSONVILLE (2-13) At TENNESSEE (5-10)

Sunday, 1 p.m. CBS

OPENING LINE - Titans by 5 1/2

RECORD VS. SPREAD - Jacksonville 7-8; Tennessee 6-9

SERIES RECORD - Titans lead 20-16

AP PRO32 RANKING - Jaguars No. 31; Titans No. 26

LAST MEETING - Jaguars beat Titans 24-19, Nov. 25

LAST WEEK - Jaguars lost to Patriots 23-16; Titans lost to Packers 55-7

JAGUARS OFFENSE - OVERALL (31), RUSH (30), PASS (22)

JAGUARS DEFENSE - OVERALL (31), RUSH (31), PASS (24)

TITANS OFFENSE - OVERALL (25), RUSH (21), PASS (21)

TITANS DEFENSE - OVERALL (25), RUSH (23), PASS (26)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Jaguars can finish .500 in AFC South with win. Jaguars have won three of past four in series. ... Chad Henne threw for 349 yards in only start at Tennessee with Miami on Dec. 20, 2009. He had two TDs and one interception with 108 passer rating in last game vs Titans. Henne threw for 348 yards last week, ninth career game with 300 yards or more. ... Maurice Jones-Drew has 76 touchdowns, second-most among active players. Jones-Drew averaging 124 yards per game in past five games with Titans. ... Montell Owens totaled 119 yards from scrimmage last week. ... Justin Blackmon leads NFL rookies with 786 yards receiving and second among rookies with 58 catches. ... Marcedes Lewis needs five catches for 50 in season for second time in career. He had 58 in 2010. ... Paul Posluszny has team-high 129 tackles. ... Jason Babin had 12 1/2 sacks with Titans in 2010 and tied for third in NFL with 37 1/2 sacks since 2010. ... Rashean Mathis has six career interceptions against Titans. ... Derek Cox has four interceptions this season, tied for career-best. ... Titans have won three of four at home against Jaguars. ... Jake Locker has thrown for 300 yards or more in two of past three home games. ... Chris Johnson needs 13 yards to reach 1,200 for fourth time in career. ... Kenny Britt has four TD catches in past three games against Jaguars. He has career-best 43 catches this season. ... Kendall Wright leads rookies with 62 catches, second-most by rookie in franchise history. Bill Groman had 72 in 1960. ... Titans had season-high seven sacks in last game against Jaguars. ... LB Zach Brown had 10 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks in last game against Jaguars. .. Jason McCourty has career-high four interceptions this season.

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

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Otto Porter Jr. begins 2018-19 season with way too few shot attempts in Wizards' loss

Otto Porter Jr. begins 2018-19 season with way too few shot attempts in Wizards' loss

The initiative to get Otto Porter Jr. more attempts from three this season is not off to a great start.

That right there is called an understatement. Because it would be one thing if Porter only took a couple of them, but he literally took zero against the Heat on Thursday night in the Wizards' 2018-19 regular season opener.

Yes, one of the NBA's best three-point shooters didn't even get off a single attempt from long range. That is simply hard to justify, especially after a preseason in which the team had a stated goal to shoot more threes than ever before.

It wasn't just threes. The often deferential Porter was even more gun shy than normal. He only took seven total shots in the 113-112 loss and topped out at just nine points.

Porter, in fact, had just one field goal attempt until there was 1:19 remaining in the first half, when he got two of them on the same play thanks to a rebound on his own miss.

Porter still affected the game in other ways, per usual. He had 11 rebounds, three steals and three blocks and finished +1 in +/- rating.

But for Porter to reach the next level as a player, he has to add volume to his efficient scoring numbers.

"We will look at the film and figure it out," head coach Scott Brooks said. "It's not like we go into the game wanting to only shoot 26 threes [as a team] and Otto shoot zero."

Brooks continued to say the problem is a combination of several things. More plays could be called for Porter and his teammates could look for him more often.

But ultimately, it's up to Porter to assert himself and take initiative. Granted, that may have been easier said than done against the Heat, who boast one of the best perimeter defenders in basketball in Josh Richardson. They are a scrappy team with athletic and hard-nosed defenders on the wing.

For Porter, though, that shouldn't matter. Ultimately, his share of the offense is up to him. The ball is going to swing around often enough for him to create his own opportunities.

Porter only taking seven shots is a bad sign considering Thursday was a better opportunity to get shots than he may receive in most games. The Wizards added Dwight Howard this summer and last season he averaged 11.2 shots per game, 3.4 more than Marcin Gortat, whom he replaced in the starting lineup.

It won't be easy, but the Wizards need Porter to take matters into his own hands.

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Despite late penalty, Todd Reirden doesn’t want to see Nathan Walker change his game

Despite late penalty, Todd Reirden doesn’t want to see Nathan Walker change his game

The Caps looked like they were in good shape in the third period on Wednesday. With a 3-2 lead in the final frame against a New York Rangers team that had played the night before, Washington looked like they were starting to wear down the blue shirts and tilt the ice in their favor.

But everything changed just before the midway point of the period.

Nathan Walker, in the lineup for the first time since Oct. 4, chased down Neal Pionk behind the Rangers net as Pionk went to collect the puck. Walker put his arms around the Rangers’ defenseman to slow him up and he was called for holding.

“That was the safest thing possible for me to do is to wrap him up and take him in the corner like that,” Walker said to NBC Sports Washington on Friday. “Personally, I didn't think it was a good call on the ref's side, but that's the way it goes.”

Just over a minute later, Chris Kreider deflected a shot that was going wide past Braden Holtby for the power play goal to tie the game at 3.

A third period mistake that tied the game from a player in and out of the lineup could have been a devastating moment for Walker, but head coach Todd Reirden was adamant after the game that he did not want Walker to lose his aggressiveness or change the way he plays as a result of Wednesday’s mistake.

“I insert him to be aggressive and his intensity was something we needed,” Reirden said. “I thought he won a lot of puck battles earlier in the game and at different points. He's pursuing the puck trying to force a turnover and it ends up as a call against. That's I think a tough call in that situation, but we're able to pick him up and if there's a guy on our team that we want to rally around and try to come back for, it's someone like that with a work ethic and just commitment and dedication and how he is as a teammate.”

Luckily for Walker, the Caps were still able to get the win thanks to Matt Niskanen’s overtime goal. Those were nervous moments for him watching as the team tried to overcome his mistake.

“It's definitely nerve-wracking for sure,” Walker said. “You kind of feel like you're the reason why they got back into the game. I personally thought we were all over them in the third period up until they got that goal. I think we still played really well, but obviously the play with the lead is a lot nicer than playing tied up 10 minutes to go in the third. It was nerve-wracking, but it was good that the guys came through and we got the two points at the end of the day so that's the main thing.”

The fact that Walker’s mistake did not end up costing the team will make it easier for Reirden’s message to sink in. It’s his aggressiveness that makes him valuable. One mistake should not make him change that aspect of his game.

Said Reirden, “It's something that if he stops hunting pucks and creating havoc up ice then he's just a very average player that's going to find himself in and out of the league.”

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