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Coughlin, Giants focus on strong finish after loss

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Coughlin, Giants focus on strong finish after loss

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) After going through all the ugly details of the Giants' debacle at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons, New York coach Tom Coughlin delivered a message of hope to the defending Super Bowl champions.

If the Giants (8-6) win their final two games, they will be back in the playoffs either as the NFC East champion or a wild card.

While it sounds simple, Coughlin admitted Monday that he didn't believe Jon Berger after the team's senior director of football information explained the postseason scenario to him while on a plane. So he had him recheck it.

For the Giants, ironically, it's the same scenario as a year ago. Win the last two, play on. The question, though, is this: Can this talented team once again find that elusive consistency and become a postseason force? Especially after losing 34-0 to Atlanta?

New York closes against Baltimore (9-5) and Philadelphia (4-10).

``Your back is against the wall,'' Coughlin said. ``You don't have any choice. What we really want is right there for us. There is only one way to get it and it's not like playing like we did yesterday.''

The Giants can clinch at least a wild card berth this weekend by beating the Ravens, along with receiving help from several different teams. They could also be eliminated if they lose in Baltimore, and have several things not fall their way elsewhere.

But the easier way to look at it, is to gaze at the big picture across two weeks:

Win the last two. And leave no doubt. Simple.

Of course, it's hard to figure which team will show up because the Giants have had Coughlin scratching his head of late. They posted impressive wins over Green Bay and New Orleans, but also lost to Pittsburgh and Washington with a lot on the line. The also didn't meet expectations against Cincinnati.

And then came Atlanta.

Sunday's game was about as bad as it gets. New York, which scored 52 points against the Saints the week before, was blanked for the first time in the regular season since 1994. The offense had three turnovers and failed on three fourth-down tries.

The defense didn't help. It failed to cause a turnover, in fact, allowed 394 total yards, including 129 yards rushing, and missed 18 tackles.

It was a game very much like the dismal effort New York had in losing to the Redskins, 23-10, last season to fall to 7-7. All in all, that was a no-show effort that everyone thinking the team wasn't going anywhere.

But just as quickly, the Giants turned things around, won their final two in the regular season, clinched the NFC East, and won four playoff games en route to a Super Bowl title.

Two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning said that while the situations are different, he's excited the Giants control their playoff destiny.

The key, first, is to make the playoffs.

``In is in,'' Manning said. ``You always want to win the division, that is always kind of the goal at the beginning of the year because that is the only way to ensure that you make the playoffs. But ultimately, it is about getting into the playoffs. If you win these two games, you are in.

``Whether you are division champs or wild card, it doesn't make a difference.''

While last year's late-season run is something to draw upon, defensive tackle Chris Canty said the Giants have to fix the problems before time runs out. If they do, history could repeat.

``There's no doubt,'' Canty said. ``We have the talent and the ability in this locker room. Confidence comes from demonstrated performance, and this football team can do it. We demonstrated it before. So there's no question about it, that we can perform at the level that we would need to in order to be where we would want to be.

``It's just a matter of the guys in this locker room making the decision that we're going to do that.''

In terms of manpower alone, it won't be easy. Cornerback Prince Amukamara (hamstring), running back Ahmad Bradshaw (knee) and safety Kenny Phillips (knee) all didn't play vs. Atlanta. Starting guard Chris Snee hurt his hip Sunday and rookie Jayron Hosley, who filled in for Amukamara, hurt his ankle.

Bradshaw, who hopes to return to the starting lineup this weekend, said many of his teammates asked him if he noticed anything missing while watching on television.

``Right now, we're inconsistent and that's just something we've gotta work on,'' he said. ``Like I said, we play better when our backs are up against the wall. Playoffs start now and that's how we're looking at it. We lose and we'll be home for the playoffs. So we've got to keep fighting, keep our spirits up.

``That was a down game yesterday and hopefully, (we) get everybody healthy for this week and get going.''

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Redskins vs. Jets Week 11: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

Redskins vs. Jets Week 11: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

At 1-8, the Redskins have several changes to make if they hope to end the season on a high note. That has started by making a change at quarterback, as interim head coach Bill Callahan has named rookie Dwayne Haskins the team's starting QB for the rest of the season.

Haskins will make his first home start this Sunday, as the Redskins host the 2-7 Jets. The rookie will hope to end a 13-quarter touchdown drought the Burgundy and Gold are currently in, as Washington has not punched it in the end zone since their Week 6 victory in Miami.

Second-year running back Derrius Guice, who hasn't played since Week 1, returns on Sunday. The LSU product should help the Redskins in multiple ways, taking some of the load of veteran Adrian Peterson and also in the passing game as well.

New York is coming off their second victory of the season, defeating their cross-town rival, the Giants, 34-27.

The Redskins lead the Jets in the all-time series, 8-3, but New York has won the past two contests. Here's everything you need to know.

REDSKINS vs. JETS WEEK 11

Who: Washington Redskins (1-8) vs. New York Jets (2-7)

What: Week 11 of the 2019 NFL regular season

When: Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, 1 p.m. ET

Where: FedExField, Landover, Maryland

TV Channel: FOX

Live Stream: Stream on FuboTV, Pregame and postgame coverage streaming on NBCSportsWashington.com

Radio: Redskins Radio Network

Spread: Redskins, -1.5

Over/Under: 38.5

Weather:  43 degrees, cloudy

REDSKINS vs. JETS TV SCHEDULE:

8:30 a.m.: Pro Football Weekly

9:00 a.m.: Redskins Talk: Week 11

10:00 a.m.: Inside the Redskins

11:00 a.m.: Redskins Coaches Show

11:30 a.m.: Redskins Nation

12:00 p.m.: Redskins Kickoff Live

4:00 p.m.: Redskins Postgame Live 

REDSKINS 2019 SEASON SCHEDULE:

Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 8, Redskins at Eagles (L, 32-27)

Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 15, Cowboys at Redskins, (L, 31-21)

Week 3: Monday, Sept. 23, Bears at Redskins, (L, 31-15)

Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 29, Redskins at Giants, (L, 24-3)

Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 6, Patriots at Redskins, (L, 33-7)

Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 13, Redskins at Dolphins, (W, 17-16)

Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 20, 49ers at Redskins, 1 p.m. (L, 9-0)

Week 8: Thursday, Oct. 24, Redskins at Vikings, 8:20 p.m. (L, 19-9)

Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 3, Redskins at Bills, 1 p.m. (L, 24-9)

Week 10: BYE

Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 17, Jets at Redskins, 1 p.m.

Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 24, Lions at Redskins, 1 p.m.

Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 1, Redskins at Panthers, 1 p.m.

Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 8, Redskins at Packers, 1 p.m.

Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 15, Eagles at Redskins, 1 p.m.

Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 22, Giants at Redskins, 1 p.m.

Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 29, Redskins at Cowboys, 1 p.m.

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Scott Boras is once again in place to control the Nationals’, and baseball’s, offseason

Scott Boras is once again in place to control the Nationals’, and baseball’s, offseason

The calendar has once again put Scott Boras into the spirit. 
 
Coming holidays have nothing to do with his joy. He’s giddy, revved, his premium salesman self again because the regular season is over, which means free agency has begun.
 
Annually, Boras has a large grip on the market and the Nationals’ future. This year, he’s in a white-knuckle place. Boras represents both Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg. He also represents starter Gerrit Cole. Those three are the top free agents -- by a wide swath -- this offseason, putting Boras in a place of leverage he may always talk from but likely has this time.
 
The Nationals have long felt Boras’ influence, on both good and bad fronts. He convinced Nationals founding principal owner Ted Lerner that Max Scherzer was worth $210 million and, more importantly, a seven-year commitment when other teams did not believe that to be the case. The contract has been a coup despite its hefty numbers. But, Boras also provided underwhelming veterans to the Washington roster. Matt Wieters and Jeremy Hellickson are among those who come to mind.
 
This time around, he has curious clients. They’re different. Neither is Bryce Harper in flamboyance or age. Both have established relationships with the Nationals. The vetting process is unnecessary and even an exchange of numbers is probably well in the past. Two huge, but somewhat reticent, stars coming from the same team after winning the World Series will be new for everyone.
 
Rendon has used his own leverage on Boras. Back in spring training, when Rendon told NBC Sports Washington negotiations with the Nationals “hit a wall,” he also made clear how he perceived the agent-player relationship when it came to him and Boras. 
 
“What everyone has the misconception of is they think that we work for Scott,” Rendon said. “Like, no. That’s not the way it works. Like, I’m telling him how it’s going and you can ask him. We’ve gotten (into) some jibber-jabbers before, too. Like, I’m paying him. Nah, [debates] don’t fly with me.”
 
Move to Media Day at the World Series. Rendon was asked if he thought Boras would be busy this offseason. He quickly answered, “yeah,” then added this poke.
 
“He’s about to be even richer, too, probably,” Rendon said. “Must be nice.”
 
Strasburg undermined one of Boras’ prime tenets in 2016 when he signed an extension early. Washington had to trade back-end opt-outs as the cost of keeping Strasburg from the open market. Negotiations then worked from spring training into the first month of the season. Strasburg wanted nothing to do with them until both sides were very close to an agreement.
 
“I pretty much told Scott to kind of leave me alone as much as possible,” Strasburg said then. "To be honest, it’s hard to block something like that out. It’s your future and your kid’s kids future, too. I think one thing that kept me centered, kept me focused, was why do I play this game. Bottom line was I play this game because I’m a competitor.”
 
The deal gave Mike Rizzo a chance to crow a tad.
 
“I think we had a discussion with Scott,” Rizzo said then. “He works for the players. I think this was player-driven -- the agreement. I think that Stephen wanted to be here and he expressed that to Scott. We hammered out the best deal that we could.”
 
Strasburg agreed with that sentiment at the time, before the World Series, before he found a formula for good health which allowed him to lead the National League in innings pitched in 2019. It's one of the tenets which makes Washington hopeful Strasburg will return.
 
“I think what they believe in and what I believe in kind of coincide,” Strasburg said of the organization.
 
Strasburg chose to exercise his first opt-out opportunity. However, what he listed as causes for signing the extension -- level of comfort, opportunity to win, quality of life outside of baseball -- remain in place. The wrinkle is Boras will be working the open market with both of the top-tier pitchers under his guidance. 
 
Typically, competition between agents to define the market can drag out free agency. This offseason, Boras will simultaneously be handling the clients whose markets play off each other. Strasburg’s numbers will influence Cole’s numbers. Their age -- Strasburg is a little more than two years older -- should be the defining point for gap in payment and years. Boras will argue up Strasburg in order to later obtain more money for Cole. Waiting could be beneficial to both players and laborious for fans.
 
Boras is again in command no matter the ultimate process. Washington’s most pressing issues are in his hands. The league’s most in-demand players are in his hands. So is the future. Juan Soto, a client of the Boras Corporation, becomes a free agent in 2025.

 

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