Fox announcer Buck does double duty

Fox announcer Buck does double duty

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Joe Buck experienced the ultimate San Francisco sporting Sunday.

The Fox Sports announcer worked a unique doubleheader, calling the late afternoon NFL game between the San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants and the nighttime NL championship series opener between the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals.

And he even made the trip from game to game in the most San Francisco way possible - on a trolley.

``It's exciting. It's fun,'' Buck said. ``But this is a footnote not the focus of the day.''

Buck left Candlestick Park at 4:32 p.m. after the Giants beat the 49ers 26-3. He arrived after the 7-mile trip at AT&T Park at 5:04 p.m. - more than 10 minutes before the scheduled first pitch.

``I've been looking at the clock ever since kickoff, trying to judge when the game would end,'' Buck said by phone from the trolley. ``It turned out to be a lopsided game and they ran out the clock at the end.''

Buck had always been slated to call the NLCS with Thom Brennaman set to call the football game with lead analyst Troy Aikman. But when the Cardinals staged their improbable ninth-inning rally to beat Washington 9-7 in Game 5 of their division series on Friday night, Buck got the chance to do the double with the NLCS opening in San Francisco instead of the nation's capital.

``We scrambled things together in the last few days,'' Buck said.

With Fox's national doubleheader football game featuring a rematch of last year's NFC title game also in San Francisco, Buck decided to broadcast both games.

Buck said the fact that his baseball partner, Tim McCarver, had experience doing play-by-play on local broadcasts made this possible because he could go solo at the start if need be.

``If he does a half-inning of a long series, so be it,'' Buck said. ``It's fun, it's different, it's unique. So let's go for it and see what happens.

McCarver said he found out Saturday night that he could be alone at the start of the baseball game. He prepared himself for the possibility and also made sure to keep track of the football game during the afternoon.

``I'll pay more attention to the football game today prior to the first game of the NLCS more than I've ever paid attention to a football game before any postseason series in my career,'' he said. ``Play by play is not new. I just haven't done it in 15 years. It's been a while.''

McCarver was alone for the pregame show, but Buck made it to the booth for the start of the game.

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Lamar Jackson becomes first QB to rush at least 70 yards in five straight starts

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Lamar Jackson becomes first QB to rush at least 70 yards in five straight starts

With Lamar Jackson under center for the past five games, the Ravens offense’ has relied on his legs to move the ball. The rookie quarterback has struggled at times throwing the ball, but utilizing the read options, Jackson has had no such problems making an impact. 

On Sunday against the Buccaneers, Jackson had 100 yards rushing going into the fourth quarter. With that, he became the first quarterback in NFL history to rush for at least 70 yards in five straight starts.  The streak started with a bang in the Ravens 24-21 win over the Bengals when Jackson rushed for 119 yards  It was followed by games of 71 and 75 yards against the Raiders and Falcons and a 67-yard game in Week 14’s loss against the Chiefs. 

He knows the risks running quarterbacks face,  but winning is his No. 1 priority. 

"I’m going to put it all on the line," Jackson said in an interview with ESPN. "I want to win. I hate losing. I hate that feeling. You have to deal with it the next week. So, I want to win regardless. If it happens, it’s going to happen. I’ve been good so far.”

Coming into Week 15, the Ravens were fourth in the NFL in rushing yards. The team has rushed for at least 190 yards since Jackson took over.

At feat that hasn’t been achieved since the Steelers did it in 1976. With Jackson continuing to dazzle defenders, Baltimore will continue to maintain its dominance in the ground game. 


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It was ugly and boring, but the Redskins won a wild and important game in Jacksonville

It was ugly and boring, but the Redskins won a wild and important game in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE -- The Redskins played one of the ugliest games of the NFL season on Sunday, but they got an extremely important win, and in the end, that's all that matters. 

Across the league, offenses are getting more inventive and creating new ways to move the football through the air. That didn't happen in Jacksonville.

What did happen was a gutty performance from fourth-string quarterback Josh Johnson, a great pass rush, and an opportunistic defense combined to grind out a victory. 

The team overcame some mistakes and proved they will still play for head coach Jay Gruden. There's a lot to unpack, let's dive in. 

1. Not Too Bad:

Josh Johnson played well on Sunday, finishing with 151 passing yards and completing 16 of 25 passes. He connected with Jeremy Sprinkle for a late touchdown to tie the game, and never made the kind of killer mistakes that often bury a team playing backup QBs. 

2. Beast Mode: 

The Redskins defensive front played a monster game, sacking Jags QB Cody Kessler six times. Ryan Kerrigan and Jonathan Allen each logged two sacks on Kessler, and Kerrigan moved into second place all-time on the Redskins sack list. Now with 82.5 sacks, Kerrigan trails only Dexter Manley on the Washington franchise list. The defense also limited the Jags to under 200 yards of total offense. 

3. Secret Formula:

The formula for the Redskins when they got out to a 6-3 start was fairly simple; control time of possession and win the turnover battle. That worked on Sunday. The Redskins won the clock battle and forced two turnovers from Kessler. The late interception from Fabian Moreau was a huge play for the Redskins, as it kept the Jags from a field goal attempt when the game was tied at 13 with less than five minutes remaining. Then a good drive from Johnson led to the game-winning 36-yard field goal from Dustin Hopkins. 

4. The Curse Continues:

Penalties have been killing the Redskins for weeks, and Sunday's game was no different. The team finished with six penalties for 48 yards, and on a number of first down plays, flags brought the gains back. Morgan Moses added to his league-leading penalty total, a title that nobody wants. The Redskins offensive line is a mess due to injuries, playing their 10th guard of the season, but still, the pace of penalties demands attention and correction. 

5. Not so Special:

 The Redskins defense didn't give up any touchdowns, but the Redskins special teams did. Late in the first half, Maurice Harris got the mistake train rolling when he tried to field a punt with the sun directly in his eyes. Rather than just letting the ball go, Harris attempted a backward over-the-shoulder catch. It didn't work. He muffed the punt and had to retreat about 10 yards to fall on the football. From there, the offense went 3-and-out and had to punt. Then that punt got returned for a touchdown, with a remarkable missed tackle from Byron Marshall. Seriously watch this.