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Chiefs waste record-setting rushing day in defeat

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Chiefs waste record-setting rushing day in defeat

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Jamaal Charles seemed to be happy with himself. Peyton Hillis had to feel vindicated, and embattled offensive coordinator Brian Daboll finally had a reason to smile.

Imagine how they would have felt if the Chiefs had actually won.

Even while playing out the string in a season lost long ago, Kansas City managed an offensive output that should go down in franchise history. Charles ran for 226 yards on Sunday, Hillis had 101 and the Chiefs piled up 352 yards on the ground against the Colts' backpedaling defense.

If not for a miserable effort by quarterback Brady Quinn, two turnovers in the red zone and a stuffed attempt at converting fourth down, the Chiefs might have won another game.

Instead, the Colts scored late in the fourth quarter for a 20-13 victory.

``We had a feeling we could run on them,'' Charles said. ``When Peyton did a good job running the first half, I thought, `Man, Peyton's getting off. I got to do some, too.' So I felt like I had to go out there and run the ball as well.''

The Chiefs certainly ran the ball well.

Their total was the third-best in franchise history, trailing only a couple of games in the 1960s, when teams generally ran the ball with more gusto than they do these days.

Not a bad day to put in the history books, except that it came with an asterisk: It's the most yards rushing in a losing effort in NFL history, eclipsing the 320 yards the 1944 edition of the Cleveland Rams ran for in a loss to Washington.

``We wanted to be able to run the ball and it turned out we were able to run it,'' Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said, who gave his players Monday off to celebrate the holidays.

We're disappointed,'' he added, ``as we have been many times this year.''

Thirteen times, to be exact. The Chiefs (2-13) and are tied with Jacksonville for the league's worst record heading into their season finale next Sunday against Denver. Kansas City also holds the tiebreaker for the No. 1 draft pick by virtue of their strength of schedule.

That's one positive to come out of a disastrous season.

Another one has been Charles.

After missing nearly all of last season with a torn left ACL, the former All-Pro running back has been better than ever. He's run for 1,456 yards, the seventh-best season in franchise history, and can break his own single-season-high set in 2010 with 12 yards against the Broncos.

His big game against the Colts, in which Charles surpassed 750 career carries, also qualifies him for the NFL record for yards per carry. Charles is averaging 5.82 yards on 770 attempts, which far surpasses the 5.22 yards that Jim Brown averaged in 2,359 attempts from 1957-65.

``Records are meant to be broken, and I always try to break records,'' Charles said. ``Breaking Jim Brown's record, it's one of the most special of all time to me because, listening from the past, he was one of the best running backs of all time.''

Charles has gone over 200 yards rushing twice this season, and three times in his career, which also sets a franchise record. He also has the three biggest games in Chiefs history, and his 84-yard touchdown run in the third quarter gave him three 80-plus runs this season.

``He's super-fast, he's tough. He's a scary sight for a defensive guy,'' Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson said. ``He opens up a lot of things for the offense. He's a key player.''

Some of Charles' running room was no doubt thank to Hillis, the former Browns bruiser who has been a disappointment since signing as a free agent in the offseason.

He bullied his way for 101 yards on Sunday, his best game since Dec. 24, 2011.

The thunder-and-lightning combination gave the Chiefs their first duo of 100-yard rushers since Oct. 7, 1991, when Christian Okoye and Harvey Williams did it against Buffalo. It's a feat that has only been accomplished six times in the 53-year history of the Chiefs.

``You can't go back and say, `We should have run the ball more,''' Charles said. ``Losing by seven points, it didn't have nothing to do with us running the ball.''

It had to do with Quinn's inefficient game, poor execution in clutch situations and a defense that had played well all afternoon failing to get off the field late in the fourth quarter.

It also had to with Daboll's offense, which has been historically inept, failing to get into the end zone despite one of the most productive ground games in franchise history.

``We turned the ball over, got penalties at inopportune times and gave up an easy touchdown at the end of the game, as well as miss a field goal,'' Crennel said. ``So when those kinds of things happen, it's hard, and until we can rectify that, that's what we have to deal with.''

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That time new Wizard Troy Brown dunked on No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley

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That time new Wizard Troy Brown dunked on No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley

Back in high school, the newest Washington Wizard Troy Brown was an athletic freak. So much so that Brown dunked over the No. 2 pick of the 2018 NBA Draft, Marvin Bagley III.

Playing at Centennial High School from Las Vegas, Nevada, the 15th overall pick went straight at the dominating 6-11 Bagley and posterized the man.

Now from the other side: 

Although both were merely kids at the time (an each a few inches shorter), still you cannot question the confidence and athleticism of the Wizards' top pick. 

Heck, Brown is still athletic.

Now Oregon never got the chance to play Duke this past season, but Brown will get two chances for another poster on his wall with Bagley now on the Sacramento Kings. 

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Now the Islanders' coach, Barry Trotz explains why he left the Capitals

Now the Islanders' coach, Barry Trotz explains why he left the Capitals

DALLAS — Hours after being named head coach of the New York Islanders on Thursday, Barry Trotz made his first public comments since stepping down in Washington earlier in the week.

And, from the sounds of it, his departure was mostly a business decision.

“Yeah, obviously, I love the D.C. area,” he told reporters on a conference call. “But when it came to the business aspect, from my standpoint, I felt that it wasn’t really sincere [given] what we did together. So I decided that it was better to just move on.”

“I thank the fans,” he added. “I’m glad we could get it done. I said we could get it done in four years, and we did.”

Although the value of his contract with the Islanders has not been publicly disclosed, Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman reported that Trotz is set to earn “at least $4 million” per year—or more than twice what he was earning in Washington.

A source told NBC Sports Washington earlier this week that Trotz, who directed the Caps to their first Stanley Cup two weeks ago, sought $5 million per season for five seasons. The five-year term, that source said, was a non-starter as far as the Caps were concerned, given the relatively short shelf life of NHL coaches and the fact that Trotz had already been in Washington for four seasons.

When it became clear that the sides weren’t going to close the considerable gap between their positions, Trotz offered to step down and the resignation was accepted, making the 55-year-old a free agent.

When “I got the [counteroffer], I guess I knew it was time to go in a different direction,” he said.

In New York, Trotz replaces Doug Weight, who was fired earlier this month along with GM Garth Snow. Lou Lamoriello, a longtime NHL executive, took over for Snow and immediately started a search for a new head coach.

Once Trotz became available, it didn’t take Lamoriello to zero in on the NHL's fifth all-time winningest coach. The two met, exchanged ideas and quickly realized that they had found a good fit in one another. Trotz said he's already reached out to the Islanders' star captain, John Tavares, who could become the biggest prize on the free agent market on July 1. 

And, like that, Trotz now is the coach of a Metropolitan Division foe. The Caps and Isles will face off four times next season, beginning with a Nov. 26meeting in New York.

It’ll be weird, for sure. But professional sports is a business. And all sides involved in the Trotz saga were served a painful reminder of that this week.

Asked if he felt wanted in Washington, Trotz said: “Well, I’ll leave that up to the Caps to answer that. I think, absolutely. We just won a cup together and so I don't think that was an issue. I think it was more principle.”

In the end, Trotz wanted to be compensated like one of the top coaches in the game. And now he will, settling in behind big market coaches such as Toronto’s Mike Babcock ($6.25 million per year), Chicago’s Joel Quenneville ($6 million) and Montreal’s Claude Julien ($5 million).

“It’s good to be wanted,” he said. “It happened really quickly because you go from one emotion of winning the cup to the next emotion of leaving the team that you just won the Cup with, and you have to make some quick decisions. I know the timing of it—end of the season, the draft coming up, free agency [and] all that—there was some urgency on that. Both parties knew that, so we went to work at it and got it done.”

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