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Giants rout Eagles 42-7 but miss playoffs

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Giants rout Eagles 42-7 but miss playoffs

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The New York Giants rediscovered their pride and dignity in the final weekend of the regular season.

The playoff berth that appeared to be a formality for the defending Super Bowl champions after 6-2 start, however, eluded them.

Despite getting a career-best five touchdown passes from Eli Manning, New York's playoff hopes ended Sunday minutes after a 42-7 win over the Philadelphia Eagles when Chicago beat Detroit 26-24.

``It's frustrating and it will be for some time,'' Pro Bowl guard Chris Snee said. ``I believe we're a better team than 9-7, but there is no ground to stand on. That's our record and the way we played the last two weeks, we don't deserve to be in the playoffs.''

The Giants had control of their playoff destiny until late in the season when they were blown out by playoff-bound Atlanta and Baltimore in what were no-show efforts. It gave Washington and Dallas the inside track for the NFC East title, and the Redskins won it Sunday night.

New York entered the final weekend needing a win, losses by Chicago and Minnesota and a tie or loss by Dallas to earn a wildcard spot.

While they did their part, the Giants will be cleaning out their lockers on Monday.

``The first thing is you don't ever rely on anybody else in this business,'' coach Tom Coughlin said. ``You've got to take care of your own business. We certainly had our chances. That will be the No. 1 thing I'll talk to the team about.''

Eagles coach Andy Reid seemingly won't get that chance, at least with the Eagles.

A little more than an hour after Reid finished his worst season (4-12) with the team, three people familiar with the decision told The Associated Press that his 14-year tenure as coach was over.

Reid was scheduled to meet with owner Jeffrey Lurie on Monday to discuss his future and an official announcement will come afterward, according to one person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because a final agreement hadn't been reached. That person said there's a chance Reid might remain with the team in some capacity.

Reid is due to make $6 million in 2013 in the final year of his contract. He said he wants to coach next year, but it's possible Lurie could persuade him to take a season off and perhaps help out in the front office in an ``advisory'' role.

Eagles spokesman Derek Boyko denied several reports that Lurie had already fired Reid, saying they were ``absolutely, 100 percent'' untrue.

``I've been doing it a long time. I have respect for Jeff Lurie. I go in eyes wide open,'' Reid said. ``Either way, I understand. Whatever he chooses will be the right thing. He always does things for the best interests of the Eagles.''

The Giants have much to consider after missing the playoffs for the third time in four years in what has become all-or-nothing seasons. They won the Super Bowls in 2008 and '12 but they have also been a postseason spectator more than they would like.

``It happens that way,'' defensive captain Justin Tuck said. ``I've been 10-6 and not made the playoffs. You've got to win the ones you're supposed to. That's why the division games mean so much. If we'd won the division games, we'd still be in the driver's seat.''

This marks the seventh straight season the Super Bowl champion has failed to win a playoff game the following year.

Manning did his part to keep the Giants in the chase hitting 13 of 21 for 208 yards. He threw touchdown passes of 3 and 38 yards to rookie Rueben Randle, a 15-yarder to David Wilson and a 24-yarder to Victor Cruz just before halftime for a 35-7 lead. He became the first Giant to throw five TD passes in a game since Phil Simms in 1980. Manning's fifth score was a 1-yard pass to fullback Henry Hynoski in the fourth quarter.

``It hurts,'' Manning said. ``Each year you want to make the playoffs to give yourself an opportunity to win a championship; 9-7 last year was good enough. It wasn't good enough this year and we knew it wouldn't be.''

Ahmad Bradshaw, who rushed for 107 yards and passed the 1,000-yard mark for the second time in his career, also scored on a 1-yard run.

Starting for the first time since a concussion against Dallas in early November, Michael Vick threw a 7-yard touchdown to Jeremy Maclin for Philadelphia. Vick finished 19 of 35 for 197 yards and one interception before being replaced by Trent Edwards.

``We came, we stunk it up and we lost,'' defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins said. ``It was terrible. No heart.''

NOTES: About 400 residents of Newtown, Conn., attended the game. Among them were a few families who lost children in the massacre this month, the Giants said. One was the family of Jack Pinto, the 6-year-old boy buried in a Cruz jersey. ... Bradshaw finished with 1,015 yards rushing. ... Manning fell 52 yards shy of his fourth straight 4,000-yard passing season. ... Giants S Stevie Brown's 48-yard return gave him 307 yards in interception returns this season, extending his Giants' single-season record. ... Eagles safety Colt Anderson led the team with 10 tackles.

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Rebounding issues arise again in Wizards' season opening loss to the Miami Heat

Rebounding issues arise again in Wizards' season opening loss to the Miami Heat

Realistically, the Miami Heat had no business even being in position to win on Thursday night in the Wizards' 2018-19 regular season opener.

They shot just 39.2 percent from the field, compared to 46.9 percent for the Wizards, and had 19 turnovers. 

The Heat were on the second night of a back-to-back, having lost a tough one to the Magic the night before. They were missing a host of rotation players, including two of their regular starters.

Yet, the Heat pulled out a 113-112 victory to stun the Opening Night crowd at Capital One Arena simply because they out-hustled the Wizards. They out-rebounded the Wizards 55-40, including a 22-7 margin in offensive boards. Those 22 offensive rebounds were tied for the most allowed by the Wizards since 2012.

"Rebounding the ball is really why we lost the game," Wizards guard John Wall said. "That's really where they killed us."

Miami's advantage on the glass allowed them to put up a whopping 16 more shots. That led to 27 second chance points compared to just 10 for Washington.

It was the central theme of the game, so naturally it played a role in how it was decided. After Wall forced a miss by Dwyane Wade on a fadeaway attempt in the closing seconds, Heat big man Kelly Olynyk was right there to catch the ball and scoop it in for two.

That score proved to be the go-ahead points as just 0.2 seconds remained on the clock. All night, the Wizards made plays on defense, only to have the Heat save themselves with second looks.

The Wizards had no better explanation postgame other than Miami simply tried harder.

"They out-hustled us," forward Jeff Green said.

"Rebounds come down to whoever wants it the most and tonight they wanted it more than we did," forward Otto Porter Jr. said.

It sounds simple, and perhaps it was indeed that easy to explain. But there were other factors at play, some in their control and some not.

For one, the Wizards were missing their best rebounder, Dwight Howard, who sat out with a strained piriformis muscle. Even at 32, Howard remains one of the best rebounders in basketball and would have made a significant difference. 

It would have been nice to have him, a 280-pound giant in the paint to match up with Hassan Whiteside, one of the most physically imposing centers in the league.

With Howard out of the mix, the Wizards turned to Ian Mahinmi and Jason Smith, but they each stumbled into early foul trouble. Head coach Scott Brooks had no other option than to go small with guys like Green and Markieff Morris at the five-spot.

Brooks wants to employ that strategy more often anyways, but not by necessity. And sure enough, it was Green and Morris on the floor when Olynyk broke loose for the final deciding play.

"The last rebound, we definitely need to put most of the ownership on me and Jeff because we were the biggest guys," Morris said. "I think that might have been the easiest layup of the game right there."

"I was surprised I was open," Olynyk admitted afterwards. "It kinda just popped open and I was kinda just standing right there."

Though many factors were at play, the Wizards' struggles rebounding the ball came down to the simple fundamentals of boxing out their opponent. As they learned last year, it's tough to be consistent when you can't take care of the little things that separate wins and losses. 

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After his buzzer beater, Kelly Olynyk is becoming one of D.C.'s top sports villains

After his buzzer beater, Kelly Olynyk is becoming one of D.C.'s top sports villains

Kelly Olynyk has done it once again to the Washington Wizards. 

The Miami Heat center ripped the heart of the Wizards just when it looked like it was going to be a new chapter for the team.

After leading a team to a 113-112 victory over the Wizards once again, he is starting to become one of the biggest sports villains in Washington D.C.

Olynyk hit a go-ahead layup with 0.2. second left to sink the Wizards in their 2018 season opener. Dwyane Wade had the first chance to win it for the Heat. He missed, but Olynyk was there for the rebound and uncontested layup.

For those that need a reminder this is not the first time Olynyk has torched the Wizards. 

Back in Game 7 of the 2017 Eastern Conference Semifinals, Olynyk, then the Boston Celtics' backup center, went off for 26 points, 14 coming in a tense fourth quarter. The loss ended the Wizards' chance to get to the Conference Finals that year. It would have been the first time they reached that mark in the John Wall-era of the franchise.

Olynyk was also guilty of getting under the skin of Kelly Oubre Jr. The Wizards forward was sent to the floor following a big screen set by Olynyk. Oubre sprang to his feet and shoved Olynyk, leading to a minor scuffle. Oubre was ejected from the game and suspended for the following game.

With a reputation like that, Olynyk is starting to etch his name down on the wrong side of D.C. sports lore.

Who does Olynyk join among the ranks of most disliked athletes inside the D.M.V.? Here's our list:

Sidney Crosby

To the vast majority of Washington, D.C. sports fans, no one will ever be a bigger villain than Sidney Crosby. His rivalry with Alex Ovechkin is a major part of this, but being on the winning side more often than the Washington Capitals plays just as big a part. Crosby's Pittsburgh Penguins eliminated the Capitals in three different Eastern Conference Semifinal series before Washington finally broke through last season.

Also it's Crosby. His incessant whinning and cockiness are overwhelming. 

Jaroslav Halak

At the time he was just an average goalie for the Montreal Canadiens, but by the end of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Jaroslav Halak was public enemy No. 1 in the nation's capital.

Against a Capitals team that won the Presidents Trophy, Halak stood on his head as the No. 8 seed Canadiens faced elimination with the Caps up 3-1 in the series. He had 37 saves in Game 5, an incredible 53 saves in Game 6, and clinched the series with 41 saves in Game 7. He allowed just three goals in those three games, and sent the Capitals packing earlier than expected.

Had it not been for Halak, the first Washington Capitals championship might have happened well before June 2018.

Jerry Jones

He owns the Dallas Cowboys. Need we say more? 

Jonathan Papelbon

For years Jonathan Papelbon was on the Philadelphia Phillies. That alone would be enough to be on the bad side of D.C. sports fans.

Then he came to Washington, as a member of the Nationals, and tried to choke-out Bryce Harper

An insider job? We think so. 

Albert Haynesworth

Albert Haynesworth drew a seven-year, $100 million contract with the Washington Redskins. He ended up playing less than two seasons. 

He was so bad that NFL.com has listed him as one of the worst free agents signings in league history.

There are two things Albert Haynesworth is remembered for in Washington, D.C.
1: Taking a lot of money from the Redskins
2: This video 

Pete Kozma

Only on this list because some believe that Pete Kozma is the sole reason the Washington Nationals did not win a championship in 2012.

Aside from a three-run home run and then the game-winning runs in Game 5 of the NLDS, there has not been another chapter in the Kozma vs. Washington D.C. rivalry.

The real villain in all of this should be the Nats' pitcher, Drew Storen. He had a two-run lead before coming into the ninth in a winner-take-all Game 5. He gave the Cardinals four runs.

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So now that I've gone and depressed your day away, re-living terrible D.C. sports nightmares, just know that Olynyk is squarely on this list and just re-affirmed that with his latest buzzer-beater. 

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