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Carroll says Seahawks handled blowout properly

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Carroll says Seahawks handled blowout properly

RENTON, Wash. (AP) One thing Pete Carroll learned in his nine years at Southern California was how to handle blowouts. Once the Trojans got rolling in the middle of the past decade, there were plenty of lopsided scores.

So when he faced another blowout situation in the NFL on Sunday in Seattle's 58-0 rout against Arizona, Carroll felt his team handled the sometimes uneasy situation in proper fashion.

``You either have a sense for it or you don't and I do. I'm tuned in,'' Carroll said. ``I do know that it looks like the score just keeps going. This was a day yesterday where the ball just kept coming our way. It was a terrific day for us, but I understand, I get it.''

Seattle's romp was one of the biggest shutout victories in NFL history. According to STATS, LLC, with game information back to 1950, only New England (59-0 over Tennessee in 2009) and the Los Angeles Rams (59-0 over Atlanta in 1976) posted larger shutout wins.

And Seattle's victory very easily could have been worse. The Seahawks (8-5) kicked short field goals twice in the third quarter and set a new franchise record for most points scored on Leon Washington's 3-yard touchdown run with 2:32 remaining.

That late touchdown led to some criticism of Carroll on Monday.

``Every situation we talked through. What you're trying to do, and here is probably the key, what you're trying to do is make first downs. You're trying to get first downs and keep the football, with the sensitivity of the situation,'' Carroll said. ``You know you're going to run the football like crazy, which was awesome and we love to do that. We got a lot of things done yesterday and unfortunately on the other side that was a very hard day for those guys. I get it.''

One of Carroll's goals was to get backup quarterback Matt Flynn some significant playing time in the second half after spending the entire season on the bench behind Russell Wilson. For the final 25 minutes of the second half, Wilson got to be a spectator while Flynn played for the first time since Week 17 of last season with Green Bay.

Flynn threw nine times during the span of four drives in the third and fourth quarters. Six of the nine passes were called ``short'' by the official game book, and the one curious decision was Flynn's throw to the end zone on fourth-and-23 from the Arizona 33 halfway through the fourth quarter. The pass fell incomplete.

Seattle ran the ball 25 times in the second half.

``It was the first time Matt had gotten in a game and we just didn't have an opportunity, and he needs to play, he needs to get ready because he's one play away from leading this football team,'' Carroll said. ``In that instance and this is for years, I've always taken a look at what our special needs are. He needed to throw the ball a little bit. He threw the ball nine times. We threw the ball 22 times in the game. It was nothing. And if you noticed he threw a variety of things just so we could get some stuff on film. He got his feet wet, kind of.''

Now the challenge for Seattle is not letting the victory become a lingering hangover going to Toronto on Sunday to face the Buffalo Bills.

It's a possible trap game for the Seahawks coming off such a huge home victory and with a home showdown against San Francisco that was flexed by the NFL on Monday to be the Sunday night game that week.

If New England beats the 49ers this weekend, that game on Dec. 23 could be for the lead in the NFC West. But Carroll wasn't interested in entertaining thoughts of what lies a week ahead or the novelty of being the Sunday night game.

``Yeah, whatever, it's moved back a little bit,'' Carroll said. ``That's two weeks from now. We just stay in the hotel a little bit longer and then go play.''

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5 reasons the Capitals beat the Rangers in overtime

5 reasons the Capitals beat the Rangers in overtime

The Caps gave up a 2-1 and 3-2 lead, but ultimately came away victorious on Wednesday in a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers thanks to an overtime goal from Matt Niskanen.

Here are five reasons why the Caps won.

1. Djoos saves a goal

With the Caps already trailing 1-0 in the first period, they were about an inch away from going down by two. Luckily, Christian Djoos was there to make the save.

Yes, Djoos, not Braden Holtby.

A diving Jesper Fast got to a loose puck before any of the Caps defenders and beat Holtby with the shot. Djoos, however, was there to sweep the puck off the goal line and out, saving a goal.

That play turned out to be a two-goal swing as less than two minutes later, the Caps scored to tie the game at 1.

2. Carlson off the faceoff

The Caps emphasized the importance of the faceoff this week and worked on it specifically in practice on Tuesday. That practice turned out to be very prescient as Washington’s first goal of the night came right off the faceoff.

Nicklas Backstrom beat Ryan Spooner on the draw cleanly in the offensive zone, feeding the puck back to John Carlson. With the players all bunched up off the draw, Carlson benefitted from Brady Skjei standing right in front of Henrik Lundqvist. Carlson teed up the slap shot and beat Lundqvist who never saw the puck.

Of the five combined goals scored in the game, three were directly set up off a faceoff.

3. Hand-eye coordination

With the Caps on the power play, Fast tipped a pass meant for Carlson that looked like it was headed out of the offensive zone. Carlson reacted to the puck then stretched the stick and somehow managed to control the bouncing puck and keep it in the zone.

Fast charged Carlson at the blue line so he chipped the puck to Ovechkin in the office. Ovechkin managed to hit the puck just as it hit the ice and somehow beat Lundqvist with the shot.

Ovechkin was by the boards at the very edge of the circle. It was an amazing shot and it was set up by the great hustle play from Carlson. Both showed tremendous hand-eye coordination to control that puck.

4. Braden Holtby

Lundqvist entered this game with a 1.99 GAA and .939 save percentage, but he was outplayed by his counterpart from Washington.

Holtby had himself a night. He was particularly strong down low with the pads as he made a number of key pad saves throughout the game, particularly in the second period when he recorded 17 saves including a shorthanded breakaway save on Kevin Hayes as time expired.

Of the three goals Holtby allowed, the first he made a great save on Chris Kreider who looked like he had an empty net to shoot at. Mike Zibanejad would score on the rebound. The second goal came as a shot deflected off Devante Smith-Pelly and went right to Jimmy Vesey for an easy tap-in. The third was a deflection goal from Kreider to redirect a shot that was going wide.

Can’t blame Holtby for those.

5. Working from the office

The Caps had three power play opportunities on the night. They scored on two of them and those two goals looked pretty darn similar.

There was the one described above in which a hustle play by Carlson at the point kept the puck alive and he fed to Ovechkin in the office. The second goal came with Carlson on the point feeding Ovechkin in the office.

Those two goals give Ovechkin 232 power play goals for his career, tying him with Dino Ciccarelli for ninth on the NHL’s all-time list.

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Wayne Rooney converts ridiculous free-kick marking 10th MLS goal

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Wayne Rooney converts ridiculous free-kick marking 10th MLS goal

When England's all-time goalscorer signed on with D.C. United in June, the soccer community in the nation's capital was ignited. 

Shortly after the excitement came the questions. How much does he have left in the tank? Can he actually carry a struggling D.C. United squad? Is he up for the task? 

Wayne Rooney has responded. 

Through 18 MLS matches, the 32-year-old now has 10 goals. 

In the first half of Wednesday night's game against Toronto FC, Rooney broke a scoreless tie with this free-kick strike. 

DC United currently sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, on 44 points.

 

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