Capitals

Lions know winning is the way to get respect back

Lions know winning is the way to get respect back

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) The Detroit Lions have opened themselves up to being criticized, failing to meet relatively high expectations so far.

Since barely beating St. Louis in Week 1, Detroit has dropped three straight games.

That isn't what anybody envisioned.

``You're a great team one week and the worst in the league the next,'' quarterback Matthew Stafford said Wednesday. ``That's the way the NFL is and that's why you can't get too high or too low. We started 5-0 last year, we had to battle our way to 10-6 to get into the playoffs.

``It's a humbling business.''

The Lions began the season with high hopes, and not just from within their locker room. Most of their players are back from last year's team that broke the franchise's 11-season playoffs drought.

Detroit hasn't been able to repeat its formula for success from 2011.

Stafford and Calvin Johnson haven't connected on one touchdown - they had eight together through four games a year ago - and Detroit's defensive front isn't harassing QBs to help its secondary as it did early last season.

To make matters worse for the Lions, they're the first NFL team since at least 1940 to allow teams to score on a kickoff and punt return in consecutive games.

And, it's not going to get any easier.

Detroit (1-3) will have a hard time avoiding a five-game skid with two tough road games coming up against teams that are tied for the lead in their divisions: Philadelphia (3-2) on Sunday and Chicago (4-1) eight nights later on Monday Night Football.

Since a strong start last season, the Lions have lost 10 of 16 games, including an NFC wild-card game at New Orleans.

Defensive end Cliff Avril said it is way too early to write off the team.

``So much can change in the next 12 games, for us especially,'' Avril said. ``We feel like we have a great team. We feel like we can go do some things - proving to the league and everybody else that thinks negative of us wrong.''

In a Pro Football Weekly report earlier this week, an anonymous general manager and a person described as a talent evaluator ripped the Lions on both sides of the ball, saying the offense is one-dimensional and Ndamukong Suh is overrated, and said the front office has taken too many chances on players with off-the-field issues.

``That fired me up,'' center Dominic Raiola said. ``Taking a shot at the Lions' organization, that ain't right.''

The Lions know the only way to quiet the critics is to win.

``That's the only thing that we're judged on,'' coach Jim Schwartz said.

Detroit's coaches and players, though, got a bit of perspective about how important wins and losses are in life.

Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills, who lost all four limbs in Afghanistan, watched practice from a terrace overlooking the indoor practice field. Mills went to the field level after the practice and told stories and cracked jokes while surrounded by several players, including safety Louis Delmas, who was checking out his motorized wheelchair.

``I'll let you take it for a spin,'' Mills told Delmas.

Offensive tackle Jeff Backus was in awe with Mills' attitude, saying he and other soldier are true heroes - not professional athletes.

``It was inspirational to see what he has gone through and to still have his mentality,'' Backus said. ``To serve your country and lose all your limbs and to still be upbeat, it's truly amazing.''

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Follow Larry Lage on Twitter:http://twitter.com/larrylage

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Capitals vs. Canucks: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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Capitals vs. Canucks: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Washington Capitals (3-2-2) head to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada after an overtime/shootout loss against the Florida Panthers last Friday. 

The Caps are determined to avoid the devastation they felt in the first period when they gave away four goals to the Panthers. They will need to focus in the power plays and avoid penalties at all costs.

Many fans were looking forward to the reunion with former player Jay Beagle, who is now centerman for the Canucks, but he is unfortunately out on injury. However you can look out for Caps Nic Dowd, who will have his own homecoming game against his former team. 

Here is everything you need to know about Capitals vs. Canucks which takes place at 10:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington.
 

CAPITALS vs. CANUCKS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals vs. Vancouver Canucks, Game 8 of the 2018-19 NHL Regular Season

Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

When: Monday, October 22 at 10:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: The Capitals vs. Canucks game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports Washington Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Capitals vs. Canucks on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.

Radio: Caps 24/7 Radio, 106.7 The Fan FM

CAPITALS vs. CANUCKS SCHEDULE

9:00 PM: Caps Faceoff Live
9:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live
10:00 PM: Capitals vs. Canucks
12:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live

CAPITALS vs. CANUCKS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Lars Eller, F, Capitals: In his last game, he had a three-point night with three assists. He is a messaive help and shined within the trio of Vrana and Connoly on Friday.

Tim Schaller, F, Canucks: He was struggling in the preseason but came back with a vengeance. He assisted with a penatly kill and is a key component in fourth line. 

MORE CAPITALS NEWS:

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Wizards vs. Trail Blazers: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Wizards vs. Trail Blazers: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Wizards head to the West Coast to open a road swing against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.

Wizards (0-2) are looking for their first win when the head into Portland to face Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers (2-0).

After this game, the Wizards have a tough stretch ahead of them before playing in D.C. again, playing at: Golden State, Sacramento, LA (Lakers) and Memphis.

WIZARDS vs. TRAIL BLAZERS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Wizards vs. Miami Heat, 2018 NBA regular season Game 3
Where: Moda Center, Portland, Ore.
When: 10:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: The Wizards vs. Trail Blazers will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)
Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Trail Blazers on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the new MyTeams App.
Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

WIZARDS vs. TRAIL BLAZERS TV SCHEDULE

8:30 PM: D.C. Sports Live (LIVE)

9:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)

9:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE)

10:00 PM: Wizards @ Portland Trail Blazers (LIVE)

WIZARDS vs. BLAZERS INJURY REPORT:

Wizards: Dwight Howard remains day-to-day with a back injury.
Trail Blazers: None

WIZARDS vs. BLAZERS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Bradley Beal, Wizards: After becoming the Wizards franchise leader in 3 points on Saturday, it is likely Beal will have a lot to prove to help the team get its first win.

Otto Porter, Jr., Wizards: Porter has had a slow start, so will he take more shots in Portland?

Damian Lillard, Portland: The Blazers' star is leading the way this season averaging 28.5 ppg and 6.5 assists per game. 

WIZARDS vs. BLAZERS SERIES HISTORY 

Number of all-time Meetings: 111 games
Regular Season Record: Blazers lead 57-54
Last Meeting: Wizards won 106-92 in December 2017