Nationals

Cardinals lose 19-16 to Bills in overtime

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Cardinals lose 19-16 to Bills in overtime

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Arizona kicker Jay Feely made a tying 61-yard field goal and, just as improbably, missed a 38-yarder that would have given the cardiac Cardinals another pull-it-from-the-ashes victory.

Had the Cardinals not had so many mistakes before that emotionally-draining sequence, it would never have come down to those two kicks.

Arizona lost a chance to win in regulation when Feely's 38-yard attempt was tipped, then the game when Buffalo's Rian Lindell made a 25-yarder in overtime that gave the Bills a 19-16 win over the Cardinals on Sunday.

The final dramatic swings came from the legs of the two kickers. The loss, from the Cardinals' perspective, came from all those dropped passes, missed assignments and mental mistakes leading up to another climactic finish at University of Phoenix Stadium.

``We have to make some plays earlier in the game so we're not living on the edge,'' Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said. ``We have been good about being able to finish out those ... and we have won a heck of a lot more than we haven't, but the stress of it is pretty tough for everybody.''

Arizona (4-2) had developed a knack for pulling out victories, particularly at home, by making the big plays at the end.

The Cardinals entered the game with an eight-game home winning streak, second-longest in team history, and had won seven straight home overtime games, the longest streak in NFL history.

Arizona didn't seem like it would get another shot against the Bills (3-3), unable to protect quarterback Kevin Kolb - again - or get much of anything going downfield.

Despite all the early mistakes and a rib injury that knocked Kolb out in the fourth quarter, the Cardinals fought their way back.

John Skelton, active for the first time since spraining his right ankle in the opener against Seattle, took over for Kolb in the closing minutes after he was sacked and gingerly walked off the field. After Feely's franchise-record 61-yard kick with 1:09 left, Skelton hit Larry Fitzgerald on a 28-yard pass to set up the potential winning kick at the end of regulation.

Arizona's chance to win it in regulation fluttered away when Feely's 38-yard attempt hit the left upright after Buffalo's Alex Carrington got a hand on the ball.

Playing in their sixth overtime in nine home games, the Cardinals forced the Bills to punt on the first possession of overtime, seemingly setting them up for another how'd-they-do-that win.

Instead, Jairus Byrd cheated in on an inside route to Rob Housler and intercepted Skelton's pass, returning it 29 yards to Arizona's 6-yard line. Lindell split the uprights two plays later to give the Bills a sigh-of-relief win.

``You go from on top of the world to feeling about as low as you can feel when you have an opportunity to come through and you don't, regardless of how it happened,'' said Feely, whose previous career best was a 55-yard field goal.

The Bills limped into the game, beaten up physically and mentally after giving up 1,201 yards and 97 points their previous two games.

They got off to a miserable start, too, when Fred Jackson fumbled on the first play from scrimmage and Arizona recovered at Buffalo's 33-yard line.

The Bills held Arizona to a field goal and didn't back down in a defensive struggle, getting a pair of interceptions from Byrd and five sacks, including one on Kolb for a safety in the first quarter.

Pretty? Certainly not. But it was a win, one the Bills desperately needed before the season spiraled away from them.

``It wasn't pretty at times, but it was a gut check and that might go a long way for our football team,'' Bills coach Chan Gailey said.

Buffalo was coming off a 45-3 loss to San Francisco after giving up a franchise-record 621 yards.

Instead of heading home from the Bay Area, the Bills opted to stay the week at an Arizona resort in hopes of healing and regrouping.

The time together in the desert seemed to do them some good.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, who grew up in nearby Gilbert as a Cardinals fan, was unspectacular, but steady, completing 18 of 32 passes for 153 yards.

Buffalo did most of its damage on the ground, with C.J. Spiller getting 88 yards on 12 carries, including a 10-yard touchdown run, and Jackson adding 53 yards, with a 1-yard scoring run.

The defense harassed Kolb all day before knocking him out on a sack with just over 2 minutes left in regulation. Kolb threw for 128 yards on 14-of-26 passing, with an interception and a 9-yard scoring pass to Fitzgerald in the second quarter.

The Bills were just as good against Skelton, holding him to 45 yards on 2 of 10 passing with the one big interception by Byrd in overtime.

``We were away from the distractions and it was just us here in Arizona,'' Byrd said. ``It was a chance for us to soul search, get corrected what we needed to get corrected without the distractions of being at home. it was great for us mentally for us to be able to regroup.''

Notes: Fitzgerald joined Randy Moss as the only players under 30 to reach 10,000 yards receiving. ... Mario Williams had two sacks for the Bills after getting 1.5 the first five games.... Buffalo safety Da'Norris Searcy left with an ankle injury early in the third quarter. ... Cardinals S Kerry Rhodes was carried off the field with a back injury with 5:41 to play in regulation.

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Nationals Roundup: Washington splits four-game stand with Diamondbacks

Nationals Roundup: Washington splits four-game stand with Diamondbacks

The Washington Nationals moved to 33-38 after splitting the four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend. Now, Bryce Harper and the rival Philadelphia Phillies come to town for a four-game stretch that can prove vital to Washington and the team's better play.

Player Notes:

Stephen Strasburg gave up six runs over five innings on nine hits over five innings in a loss to the Diamondbacks on Saturday. His ERA is now 3.75 with 115 strikeouts in 96 innings with a 1.06 WHIP, but can rebound Thursday against the Phillies.

He's not yet 21, but Juan Soto is playing like he's been in the league for years. The outfielder went 2-for-4 with his 11th homer on Saturday. He now has 41 RBI on the season to go along with an OPS of .885 over 62 games.

Adam Eaton went 3-for-3 with an RBI, two walks and a run scored in the Nationals’ lopsided 15-5 win on Sunday. The 30-year-old outfielder is fully healthy, hitting .280/.365/.398 with 41 runs scored, 19 RBI and five steals in 302 plate appearances.

Superstar Anthony Rendon went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer and three runs scored in the Sunday win, which included his 16th longball of the season. He'shitting .321/.415/.660 with 52 runs scored, 50 RBI and one stolen base across 246 plate appearances this season.

Injuries:

SP Jeremy Hellickson: Shoulder, out indefinitely 

RP Justin Miller: Shoulder, out indefinitely 

1B Ryan Zimmerman: Foot, could return mid-June

RP Koda Glover: Elbow, out indefinitely 

RP Austen Williams: Shoulder, out indefinitely 

C Kurt Suzuki: Clavicle, sidelined

RP Kyle Barraclough: Biceps, 10-day IL

Coming Up:

Monday 6/17: Nationals vs. Phillies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park

Tuesday 6/18: Nationals vs. Phillies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park

Wednesday 6/19: Nationals vs. Phillies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park

Thursday 6/20: Nationals vs. Phillies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park

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Source: Rotoworld

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Now that the Lakers got Anthony Davis, could the Knicks and others turn to Bradley Beal?

Now that the Lakers got Anthony Davis, could the Knicks and others turn to Bradley Beal?

With all but one of the brick-and-mortar movie stores closed down, there are really only two instances that you hear the word 'blockbuster' these days: when describing Marvel movies and for the type of trade we saw this weekend between the New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers.

The Anthony Davis deal is a blockbuster trade in every sense. It is big in the number of pieces involved and because Davis is one of the best players on the planet.

It is important because it could immediately vault the Lakers into title contention. And it provides a new superteam for the league to revolve around and for people to loathe with the Golden State Warriors currently licking their wounds.

But it is also the type of deal that will have major consequences around the league, one that will affect far more than just the teams at the top. It will force a collection of other teams to redraw their blueprints.

The obvious ones are the Knicks and Celtics, the two teams most closely linked to Davis in trade rumors. Now, it is New York that has more urgency, if not desperation, to strike in free agency. Boston to regroup and will probably need to ponder other trades if they want to reassert themselves in the Eastern Conference.

The Davis trade would be a major deal no matter the year, but it is fascinating to evaluate in the context of Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson's injuries. The league went from being very predictable to a wide open pasture of possibilities.

Now, the Warriors are good still but are also a beatable team. A window of NBA parity is cracking open and surely the Lakers won't be the only team to pounce.

Houston, Philadelphia and Oklahoma City are always aggressive and will clearly be thinking big. Portland and Denver could see this as the year to go all-in.

Not all teams looking to make a splash will have money to spend in free agency. That points to an aggressive trade market this summer, but there is arguably one big problem. After Davis, it doesn't seem likely many other stars will be available.

Teams seeking stars via trade have enjoyed plenty of options in recent years between Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, Paul George and Jimmy Butler. The formula is generally fairly simple: an All-Star player on an underachieving team with the end of his contract in sight. Recently, the supply has met the demand.

But currently, few fit that description. There are some like Mike Conley Jr. of the Grizzlies, and Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside of the Heat. But none of those players are All-Stars in their prime.

All of that makes it easy to connect the dots to the Wizards and Bradley Beal. They are in an interesting spot, needing to decide whether to retool for playoff contention or take the long view and undergo some degree of a rebuild.

Beal, as their best player, is the catalyst. There are logical reasons to keep him or to trade him. He is one of the best players in franchise history, is only 25 and he's on a team-friendly contract in the era of the supermax. But the Wizards are going to have a tough time improving their roster with John Wall's Achilles injury and contract, which starts at 35 percent of the salary cap. 

The Wizards have held a stance of not wanting to trade Beal and still do. They also likely wouldn't make such an important decision without a long-term team president in place.

But that won't stop teams from calling and there is already speculation around the league about whether Beal will be dealt. One front office executive told NBC Sports Washington that Beal could be the top prize in the trade market if made available now that Davis is gone. 

For a lot of these situations, trades are more likely when a player is entering his walk year. Beal is signed through the 2020-21 season and, even if he grows unhappy, will say the right things.

He won't create necessary drama. And, if you take him at his word in a February interview with NBC Sports Washington, he wouldn't request a trade himself.

Also, there is a reason to believe keeping Beal wouldn't hurt their ability to rebuild through the draft. With the new lottery system, bottoming out doesn't offer the guarantees that it used to. And even with Beal playing all 82 games last season, the Wizards still lost 50 of them and finished with the sixth-best odds.

Just like some have argued the Wizards have reasons to trade Beal, they also have reasons not to. But that won't stop other teams from picking up the phone.

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