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Colts' momentum stopped cold by Patriots

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Colts' momentum stopped cold by Patriots

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) It wasn't pretty and the Indianapolis Colts know it.

Now all they can do is try to bounce back after an embarrassing 59-24 loss at New England on Sunday.

The Colts had four turnovers, and two of Andrew Luck's three interceptions were returned for touchdowns. Interim coach Bruce Arians said the mistakes the rookie quarterback made were just technical errors.

``Both pick-sixes he was throwing right to the exact perfect read,'' Arians said Monday. ``They were technical errors. If he was throwing to the wrong guys, into coverage, those types of interceptions, then you would worry about it.''

For Luck, it's simple. He wants to learn from the mistakes.

``Especially not repeating any of the mistakes that you made,'' Luck said. ``I think that goes for any game or any practice you're in, you're going to watch the film and realize, `OK where did the wheels come off and why,' and make sure we don't do that again.''

Luck sat down with quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen to critique the film.

``You think about it until after you watch the field with Clyde,'' Luck said. ``Once you sit down and watch the film, the critiquing and the criticism, and once that happens, you sort of flush it and realize it's on to the next one. If this was the last one of the season and you're done, it would sting a lot more.''

Arians reminded Luck that Peyton Manning did the same thing during his first trip to New England back in 1998. The Colts lost that game 29-6 and Manning threw three interceptions, one of them returned for a touchdown.

``I basically told him in the fourth quarter that he was no different than the guy you replaced in his first trip up here,'' Arians said. ``It was almost like deja vu.''

New England tied the game at 14 early in the second quarter on a 68-yard punt return by Julian Edelman and then took a 21-14 lead a minute later on a 59-yard interception return by Aqib Talib. At the start of the fourth quarter, Alfonzo Dennard returned an 87-yard interception to the end zone to make it 45-17.

``You can't give good teams two pick-sixes,'' Luck said. ``You can't score on the first two drives and then sort of peter out. You can't make mistakes because elite teams like the New England Patriots will beat you with them.''

Still, life in Indy has been exciting and inspirational of late. The Colts are fighting for a playoff spot and playing for their leukemia-stricken coach, Chuck Pagano. This is a young team, and even rookie receiver T.Y Hilton said he knows how important it is to forget about the last game in the NFL.

``You have to,'' said Hilton, who tied the franchise record for a rookie to have three games of 100 or more yards receiving. ``Every loss we've had we find a way to bounce. Right now, we have to bounce back and we're at home and you know how we play at home.''

The only time this season Indy has lost back-to-back games was early in the season when they lost to Pittsburgh and Washington to fall to 1-2. After the Colts host Buffalo on Sunday, they host Tennessee, go on the road to Kansas City and play the Houston Texans twice.

``You realize it's just one loss,'' Luck said. ``It doesn't count any more or any less in the column and realize that we're still in a decent position, I think that some other teams would like to be in. Our goals are still obtainable.''

What's the key to bouncing back and becoming successful?

``Staying Chuckstrong,'' Hilton said, referring to Pagano. ``If he's fighting, we're fighting and we have to fight back.''

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Bruce Allen to Oakland? Why the Redskins executive could be heading west

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Bruce Allen to Oakland? Why the Redskins executive could be heading west

The Raiders made a major move on Monday when they fired General Manager Reggie McKenzie, and while that’s interesting on its own, it might be of particular interest for Redskins fans. 

Jon Gruden, in his first year of a 10-year, $100 million contract, proved that he has full control of the Raiders football operations by getting rid of McKenzie. 

For any student of history, it’s easy to point out many ties between Gruden and Washington’s Bruce Allen. 

Gruden and Allen worked together for years both in Oakland and in Tampa. Allen and Gruden got fired in Tampa, and a few years later, Allen got the top football job with the Redskins. Once a coaching vacancy opened up in 2014 and with Jon Gruden retired, Allen hired his brother Jay Gruden to be head coach. 

Speculation obviously points to a possible reunion for Allen and Gruden in Oakland, and on Monday night, NFL Network reported that the Redskins president will be on a short list to possibly get that job. 

Ian Rapoport reported that Allen, along with Mark Dominik and Jimmy Raye, are potential candidates for the new Raiders vacancy, and that Jon Gruden has final say on who gets that job. 

Beyond their time working together, Allen also owns a house in California. It’s also worth pointing out the Redskins are more than 30 games below .500 with Allen in charge of personnel for the better part of the last decade. 

The Raiders are schedule to leave Oakland and move to Las Vegas in 2020. 
 

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All signs point to T.J. Oshie returning to Capitals lineup vs. Red Wings, not official yet

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All signs point to T.J. Oshie returning to Capitals lineup vs. Red Wings, not official yet

ARLINGTON, Va. -- As the Washington Capitals took to the ice Monday at MedStar Capitals Iceplex for the first time since returning from a three-game road trip, T.J. Oshie joined them, but he did so wearing a red jersey. The color Oshie was wearing is significant not because of his fashion but because of what it means for his status.

A light blue jersey indicates a player is a non-contact participant in practice. The fact that Oshie was in his regular red means that he was full-go on Monday, and it is a good sign that he could be able to return for Tuesday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings.

Oshie has missed 11 games after suffering a concussion after a takedown by Winnipeg Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey on Nov. 14. It was the fifth concussion of Oshie’s career.

“I feel like each time it gets more and more frustrating,” Oshie said to reporters after practice. “But I stuck with it. Some good workouts and skates with [strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish] and [Brooks Orpik] was here all week, so I had some company. I had a lot of support from the guys behind me asking me, texting me seeing how I'm doing, so those kind of things kind of get you through it. Plus, the holidays, family in town, I spent time with the girls at home and [my] wife. It was a good little break.”

When an injury keeps a player from skating, their typical progression starts goes from off-ice workouts, to on-ice workouts, to being a limited participant in practice, to a full participant and then to returning to the game lineup. Oshie had been skating with Nemish during the team’s road trip and has evidently progressed to the point that he was able to step right into practice on Monday without the need for the non-contact jersey.

Not only was Oshie a full-participant, but head coach Todd Reirden was seemingly not concerned about easing him back in. Oshie skated on the top line alongside Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. He also took part in drills on the team’s first power-play unit.

“He's a special player in all aspects of the game, but certainly in the power play for us in that diamond spot,” Reirden said. “He does a really good job on the entries in terms of controlled entries. When we do have to dump pucks in, he's great on recoveries. His work ethic and instincts to be able to win puck battles, I just think it increases our whole intensity of the way our power play recovers pucks.”

Everything that happened on the ice Monday was a positive sign for Oshie’s recovery, but both he and Reirden said only that he was a “possibility” to play in Tuesday’s game.

“I've been hoping to play for a week,” Oshie said. “I'm hoping to play [Tuesday]. We'll see, see what the training staff says, see what the doctors say, see what the coaches say.”

Reirden added: “The plan was for him to go through practice today, and we'll see how he does later this afternoon and re-evaluate [Tuesday] morning as he continues to get closer to getting cleared to play."

Based on how Oshie progressed directly to full practice and by how much he was utilized during practice, every indication is that Oshie will be back in the lineup Tuesday at Capital One Arena.

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