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Falcons make big statement in 34-0 rout of Giants

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Falcons make big statement in 34-0 rout of Giants

ATLANTA (AP) Maybe now, the Atlanta Falcons will get a little respect.

Certainly, no one can accuse them of lacking a quality win.

Not after the pounding they gave the defending Super Bowl champions on Sunday.

Matt Ryan threw three touchdown passes and the defense handed New York its first regular-season shutout since 1996, carrying the Falcons to a 34-0 rout of the Giants with the playoffs approaching.

``They have the hardware and they have the history,'' Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud said. ``This is a good benchmark game to play against a championship-caliber team.''

The Falcons (12-2), who have already clinched the NFC South, moved a step closer to home-field advantage throughout the conference playoffs. One more win - next Saturday at Detroit, or the regular-season finale at home against Tampa Bay - would ensure that any postseason contests before the Super Bowl are held at the Georgia Dome.

Despite their lofty record, Atlanta has received plenty of criticism for struggling to beat inferior opponents. A 30-20 loss to last-place Carolina the previous week only seemed to reinforce the notion that the Falcons are headed for another short stay in the playoffs. They have yet to win a postseason game since Ryan took over as the quarterback in 2008, going 0-3.

``We love the haters, man,'' said Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel, who had the first of two interceptions against Eli Manning. ``The haters keep us going. So keep your hate coming. We love it. It makes us play with a chip on our shoulder.''

For the Giants (8-6), it was a miserable performance when they had control of their own destiny, at a time of year when they normally play some of their best football. They dropped into a three-way tie for the NFC East lead when both Washington and Dallas won.

``Atlanta was very, very good. We were very, very bad,'' New York coach Tom Coughlin said. ``There's no excuse for what happened here.''

Julio Jones caught a couple of scoring throws from Ryan, who broke his own franchise records for completions and passing yards in a season. Matty Ice finished 23 of 28 for 270 yards.

Manning, on the other hand, was 13 of 25 for 161 yards, leaving him with a dismal 38.9 rating - his worst since a Dec. 23, 2007, win at Buffalo.

The Giants went 0 for 3 on fourth down and also missed a short field goal, putting them in a vulnerable position heading into next Sunday's game at Baltimore.

``We know that we can overcome losses and we can bounce back,'' Manning said. ``The team has good leadership and veteran guys and we understand the importance of this next game. I think the mindset will be good and we'll have a great week of preparation and go out there and take our best shot.

The Falcons extended the NFL's longest active streak since consecutive defeats to 49 games, going back to the 2009 season.

``Our focus was heightened from other weeks,'' coach Mike Smith said. ``We've got a lot of great leaders and mentors in that locker room. They took the message from the meetings and took it out on the field.''

After thoroughly dominating the Giants, the Falcons have surely sent a resounding message to the rest of the league: beware of this team in the playoffs.

``Last week everybody was talking smack about us,'' defensive end John Abraham said. ``We just continue what we're doing.''

Manning threw his first pick on the second play of scrimmage, setting up a quick, 16-yard touchdown drive for the Falcons. Coughlin made a curious call late in the first half, passing up another short field-goal attempt when his team was almost 2 yards shy of the marker. Samuel batted down a short pass intended for Victor Cruz, sending Atlanta to the locker room with a 17-0 lead and all the momentum.

``I was thinking we needed to engender a lift for our sideline,'' Coughlin said. ``That did not work out either.''

Nothing did.

It was all Falcons after Lawrence Tynes missed a chip-shot kick from 30 yards, ruining an impressive second possession by the Giants. Atlanta took it 80 yards from there, with Ryan going to Harry Douglas on a 37-yard gain for the biggest play. Then, on third-and-11 from the 12, Ryan went to his favorite target, Tony Gonzalez, for a 12-yard touchdown.

``We have two games left and we have to win those two games,'' Manning said. ``What else happens after that, we don't know and can't control.''

Early in the second half, the Falcons blew it open on Ryan's 40-yard touchdown pass to Jones down the left sideline. Finally, after a drive that used up more than 9 minutes in the fourth quarter, Ryan went to Jones for a 3-yard TD.

The Giants turned it over one more time in the closing minutes, finishing off their first shutout in the regular season since a 24-0 defeat at Philadelphia on Dec. 1, 1996. The performance came just a week after they put up 52 points on the New Orleans Saints.

NOTES: The Giants wore ``SHES'' decals on their blue helmets in honor of those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Also, Cruz dedicated the game to 6-year-old victim Jack Pinto, a big Giants fan. ... New York's last shutout loss came in the playoffs after the 2005 season, a 23-0 setback at Carolina. ... Ryan has thrown for 4,202 yards and 27 touchdowns this season.

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Redskins vs. Jets Preseason Week 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

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Redskins vs. Jets Preseason Week 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

After a fight-filled start to joint practices between the Redskins and Jets, the Skins' 2018 NFL preseason schedule continues Thursday night at Fed Ex Field against New York. 

Week 2 of the NFL preseason still doesn't provide a lot of answers to questions about team performance, but it begins to reveal the depth the Redskins could have this season.

One storyline that won't be taking place, is the return of former Redskin Terrelle Pryor, who told reporters after Monday's practice he won't be playing in the game.

The Redskins have bigger things to worry about though, like who will replace rookie Derrius Guice, who's now out for the year with a torn ACL.

The Redskins also have one less name in the fight for receiver depth as well, after Robert Davis suffered a season-ending leg injury as well. 

Ahead of Thursday's preseason matchup, here's everything you need to know to watch.

REDSKINS vs. JETS, PRESEASON WEEK 2

Who: Washington Redskins vs. New York Jets

What: Game 2 of the 2018 NFL Preseason

When: Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, 8:00 p.m. ET

Where: Fed Ex Field, Landover, MD

TV Channel: ESPN

Live Stream: Watch ESPN

Radio: Redskins Radio Network

Point Spread: Washington, -3

Over/Under: 39.5

Weather: 90 degrees, partly cloudy

REDSKINS vs. PATRIOTS TV SCHEDULE:

5:00 PM: Redskins 100
5:30 PM: Redskins Nation
6:00 PM: Best of the Sports Junkies
7:00 PM: Redskins Kickoff Live

REDSKINS 2018 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

Week 1: Thurs., 8/9, vs. New England Patriots, 7:30 p.m. (L, 26-17)

Week 2: Thurs., 8/16, vs. New York Jets, 8:00 p.m. (ESPN)

Week 3: Fri., 8/24, vs. Denver Broncos, 7:30 p.m. 

Week 4: Thurs., 8/30, vs. Baltimore Ravens, 7:30 p.m. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS

 

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Jeff Green happy to reunite with head coach Scott Brooks on Wizards

Jeff Green happy to reunite with head coach Scott Brooks on Wizards

The city of Washington, where he grew up near and was a star in college at Georgetown University, isn't the only factor that makes joining the Wizards familiar for Jeff Green. He is also reuniting with his former coach, Scott Brooks, who now leads the Wizards.

Long ago, Brooks was cutting his teeth on the sidelines while Green was finding his way on the court. When Green was a rookie on the Seattle Supersonics in 2007, Brooks was a 42-year-old assistant coach. The team moved to Oklahoma City the following year and by late November of 2008, Brooks was the head coach after P.J. Carlesimo was fired.

Brooks helped oversee Green's first four seasons as an NBA player and Green remembers those days well.

"He looked way better than he does now," Green joked.

Brooks, now 53, has a knack for taking playful shots at those he works with, whether that be players, fellow coaches or the media. Green is clearly on that level and feels comfortable ribbing his head coach, knowing he can both dish it out and take it.

All jokes aside, Green is still appreciative of the tutelage he received from Brooks back in the day.

"Scotty was my No. 1 guy, he’s always been, but when I first stepped foot on an NBA floor, he was there for me. He was a coach with Seattle when I first got into the league," Green said.

The NBA has taken Brooks and Green to very different places in the seven years since they split ways. Green left for the Celtics and has since played for the Grizzlies, Clippers, Magic and most recently the Cavaliers. Brooks stuck around with OKC through the 2014-15 season before he was let go. After taking a year off, he joined the Wizards.

Much has changed in Brooks and Green's lives. They have lost and gained jobs. Their families have grown. Now, they are back on the same team and Green is excited about it.

"We’ve been close and tight ever since. We never lost contact. So, I’m looking forward to being coached by him again. I know he’s going to put us all in great positions to succeed. We just have to do our part on the floor," Green said.

Green spoke with Brooks on the phone before deciding to sign with the Wizards as a free agent in July. His presence was one of the many reasons he felt Washington was a good fit.

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