Redskins

Discipline issues contributing to Chiefs losses

Discipline issues contributing to Chiefs losses

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Romeo Crennel isn't sure why the Chiefs decided to start playing Dance Dance Revolution on the turf of Heinz Field with a national television audience watching on Monday Night Football.

He is sure he didn't like it.

The Kansas City coach said Tuesday that he plans to speak to his team about discipline issues that cropped up during an overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, including one instance in which the Chiefs were flagged for a group celebration on a touchdown that didn't happen.

``It was a surprise to me,'' Crennel said of the sudden celebrations.

Perhaps the Chiefs were simply channeling their inner Fred Astaire, or auditioning for ``A Chorus Line,'' since there might be several of them searching for jobs come January.

The personal foul-inducing dance occurred early in the third quarter.

Steelers backup quarterback Byron Leftwich, pressed into service following a shoulder injury to Ben Roethlisberger, threw an incompletion that was initially ruled a fumble.

Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston picked up the bouncing ball and ran 21 yards for a touchdown that would have given his team a 16-10 lead. The second-year pro started gyrating in the end zone, and was quickly joined by veteran Derrick Johnson, safety Eric Berry and a handful of others.

Whistles were blown. Flags were thrown.

Then a video review determined it wasn't a fumble, giving Pittsburgh the ball back, along with the sobering news that the person foul penalty would still be enforced. The Steelers got a free first down out of the deal, one of three caused by Kansas City penalties.

``I'm going to emphasize to the guys those kinds of penalties are hurtful to the team,'' Crennel said, ``and we don't need them, and then we'll see if we need to sit people or not.''

It wasn't even the first instance of taunting by the Chiefs, though.

There was the time that wide receiver Dwayne Bowe stuck out the ball at chasing Pittsburgh defenders as he trotted into the end zone for another would-be touchdown. Another brief celebration ensued, only for a holding call on Branden Albert to nix the precious points.

``It's always frustrating when you think you have a touchdown pass, and all of a sudden you see a flag on the field,'' said Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel, who started again in place of injured Brady Quinn. ``It is unfortunate and it's always tough to overcome that.''

Then there was the dancing following the sack that knocked Roethlisberger from the game.

It might have been the most humorous moment of the night.

Houston and fellow pass rusher Tamba Hali sandwiched the Steelers' quarterback on the first drive of the third quarter. The two linebackers left Roethlisberger lying in a heap, and offered up their best homage to the 1980s hip-hop duo Kid `n Play with a well-executed collaboration.

That dance wasn't received well, either.

``So 2 defenders can choreograph the Kid and Play dance after a sack, but we can't do jack together when we score a TD?'' Browns tight end Benjamin Watson asked on Twitter.

The discipline issues, which contributed to six penalties for 76 yards and left Kansas City 2 for 13 on third downs, overshadowed what might have been the Chiefs' best game of the year.

Sure, they managed to stage a franchise-record comeback to defeat the New Orleans Saints - still their only victory of the season - but that's increasingly looking like a fluke. Against the Steelers, the Chiefs put together a game plan that shut down the Pittsburgh offense, allowed Cassel to manage the game, and kept Kansas City within striking distance in the closing minutes.

Cassel's interception in overtime - the Chiefs' NFL-leading 30th turnover of the year - ultimately allowed Shaun Suisham to kick the winning field goal for Pittsburgh.

``We're disappointed about the final result, but I really think our team played a much more competitive game overall than we have been playing,'' Crennel said. ``We had some opportunities to win the game, but there are things we have to polish up and get correct so we can win the game.''

The Chiefs came out of the game with several notable injuries.

Wide receiver Jon Baldwin landed on his head while trying to make a catch, and Crennel said he will be evaluated further on Wednesday for what could be a concussion. Tight end Jake O'Connell sustained a high ankle sprain, defensive tackle Dontari Poe bruised his knee, and offensive guard Jon Asamoah has a hand injury.

Crennel said he isn't sure about their status for Sunday's game against Cincinnati.

Crennel also wouldn't commit to a starting quarterback for the Bengals game because Quinn still hasn't been cleared following the concussion he sustained three weeks ago against Oakland.

``Brady said that he is ready to go, and I'm sure he is excited about the possibility, but at this point, I can't make a determination until I can find out exactly what the prognosis is for him,'' Crennel said. ``I'll find out and then we'll go from there.''

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Redskins schedule preview: Week 16 vs. Titans

Redskins schedule preview: Week 16 vs. Titans

We’re previewing every game of the 2018 season with a look forward and a look back. Up today, it’s the game against the Titans. 

Week 16 December 22 or 23, Nissan Stadium (the date of the game will be determined no later than Week 8 in early November)

2017 Titans: 9-7, Second in AFC South, lost in the divisional round 

Projected 2018 wins per Westgate SuperBook: 8

Early line: Redskins +5.5

Key additions: CB Malcolm Butler, DT Bennie Logan, RB Dion Lewis

Key losses: DT Sylvester Williams, RB DeMarco Murray

Biggest questions: 

  • QB Marcus Mariota improved from his rookie year and had a solid 2016. But he regressed last season. In which direction is his career headed?
  • After head coach Mike Mularkey took the Titans to the second round of the playoffs he was summarily fired. Will they regret making to switch to Mike Vrabel?

Series history

The all-time series between the two teams is tied a 6-6; the teams split six games when the franchise was the Houston Oilers and they have gong 3-3 since the move to Tennessee. 

Series notables

The first time: October 10, 1971, RFK Stadium—The Redskins offense didn’t score a touchdown but that often didn’t matter when George Allen was the head coach as they still won 22-13. Washington’s scoring came on five Curt Knight field goals and on an 18-yard interception return by defensive end Ron McDole. That touchdown came on one of five takeaways by the Redskins defense. 

The last time: October 19, 2014, FedEx Field—Quarterback Kirk Cousins was struggling in the first half, losing a fumble and throwing a head-scratching interception. With the Redskins trailing the 2-4 Titans 10-6, Jay Gruden decided it was time for a change and Colt McCoy came in to play QB in the second half. 

Things clicked immediately as McCoy threw a short pass to Pierre Garçon, who turned upfield and rolled in for a 70-yard touchdown. It was back and forth in the second half and the Redskins were trailing 17-16 when they got the ball on their own 20 with 3:14 to play. McCoy led a 10-play drive that consumed all of the remaining time and culminated in a 22-yard Kai Forbath field goal to win it 19-17. 

The best time: November 3, 1991, RFK Stadium—To win nine straight NFL games to start out a season, you need solid blocking, accurate passing, hard-hitting tackling, inspired play calling, crisp execution and, as was the case today, a little bit of luck. Chip Lohmiller kicked a 41-yard field goal for Washington to give the Redskins a 16-13 overtime win over Houston. Darrell Green’s interception at the Houston 33 set up the kick. All of that, however, would not have happened if not for Oiler placekicker Ian Howfield. 

After Houston tied the game on a one-yard run by Lorenzo White with 1:42 left in the game, Brian Mitchell fumbled the ensuing kickoff, giving the Oilers prime field position. Howfield came in for a 33-yard field goal attempt with one second left. It appeared that the winning streak would end at eight. “You don’t exactly give up, but you’re not far from it,” said Andre Collins. 

The snap was perfect as was the hold, but Howfield’s kick was wide right. 

On Houston’s second offensive play of overtime, Oiler quarterback Warren Moon got bumped as he threw an out pass and Green picked it off. Three Ernest Byner runs preceded Lohmiller’s game-ending kick. 

The worst time: October 30, 1988, Astrodome—Washington entered the contest riding a three-game winning streak and appeared to be rounding into form to defend their Super Bowl title. Warren Moon threw three touchdown passes to Drew Hill, however, and the Redskins took a 41-17 whipping that wasn’t even as close as the final score would indicate.

Redskins schedule series

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS  and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS  and on Instagram @RichTandler

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NBA Draft 2018: Maryland basketball's Justin Jackson drafted by Nuggets, traded to Magic

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USA Today Sports

NBA Draft 2018: Maryland basketball's Justin Jackson drafted by Nuggets, traded to Magic

Maryland basketball had two players drafted in one night for the second time in three years Thursday night when the Denver Nuggets picked Justin Jackson with the No. 43 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Jackson was subsequently traded to the Orlando Magic as part of a deal that brought the No. 41 overall pick, Kentucky's Jarred Vanderbilt, to Denver.

After his freshman season, in which he averaged 10.5 points and six rebounds a game while shooting 43.8 percent from beyond the arc, Jackson declared for the draft without an agent, but elected to return to Maryland for his sophomore season. But he'd play just 11 games before being shutdown for the year with a torn labrum. His draft stock was hurt, but obviously not totally erased.

He had surgery in January and ended up being the first Terp to declare for the 2018 NBA Draft back in March. Though Jackson's recovery kept him out of the NBA Combine, teams were still intrigued by what they'd seen from him in the past to be willing to take a flyer.

A 6-foot-7 forward with a 7-foot-3 wingspan, Jackson has the skill to play anywhere between the two or the four in the NBA, and the length to guard all kinds of players.

With Kevin Huerter headed to the last-place Atlanta Hawks, Maryland basketball's two draftees are slated to join last season's two worst teams in the Eastern Conference.