Redskins

Louisville can claim Big East by beating Rutgers

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Louisville can claim Big East by beating Rutgers

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) A rough November for Louisville still can end positively for the slumping Cardinals.

A victory at first-place Rutgers (9-2, 5-1) on Thursday night would not only snap a two-game losing streak, but give Louisville (9-2, 4-2) the Big East championship and the conference's berth in the Orange Bowl. The Cardinals hold all the tiebreakers: so a win and they're in.

Over the past two weeks, Louisville has looked like anything but a team that controlled its own destiny.

Louisville lost to Syracuse on Nov. 10. In the Cardinals' triple-overtime loss to Connecticut on Saturday, star quarterback Teddy Bridgewater broke his wrist. The setback knocked Louisville out of the Top 25.

With their reprieve, coach Charlie Strong wants the Cardinals focused on what they can win, not what they have lost.

``What we really have to understand is we have a chance to go win a conference championship,'' Strong said Monday. ``We have a chance to go play in a BCS bowl game and also have a chance for a 10-win season.''

With the Big East's first-ever championship game coming next season, Thursday's contest will serve as a de facto title contest.

Though Strong said he didn't expect this game to carry such importance when the season started, he knew it was a possibility as Louisville and Rutgers entered the month unbeaten in league play.

Disappointed as the Cardinals were after Saturday's loss because of the missed opportunity to tie the Scarlet Knights - who fell 27-6 at Pittsburgh - they were consoled by remaining within a game of the league leaders.

``After the game we were wrapping everything up and coach gave us a little light by saying that Rutgers lost,'' wide receiver Damian Copeland said.

Having Bridgewater available is another ray of hope in Louisville's quest to end its slump.

Bridgewater broke his left wrist while being sacked by Connecticut linebacker Sio Moore in the second quarter but returned with a cast on it to rally Louisville from a 10-0 deficit in the fourth and force overtime. He threw an interception in the third OT to set up the Huskies' game-winning field goal in a 23-20 victory.

Though the injury prevents the sophomore from taking snaps under center and eliminates Louisville's play-action options, he can direct the offense from the shotgun, pistol and offset formations. Senior Will Stein, who relieved Bridgewater while he was being treated and took a snap from under center near the goal line in overtime, could be used as well.

``These past two practices he's just been going through his reads, just relaxing and trying to get back as close to 100 percent as he can,'' Stein said of Bridgewater.

No matter who plays quarterback, Louisville needs a better rushing attack than it has shown the past two games. The Cardinals have combined for 75 yards during the losing streak, including just 27 on Saturday.

``We have to run the football, that's who we are,'' Strong said. ``If you look at Saturday, we were not effective at all.

``We have to get our run game going. You're going to have to move people and just come off and attack people and make sure we have the right plays called. It's about doubling guys and just moving them out of the way.''

Louisville also aims to stop a couple other troubling streaks against Rutgers. The Cardinals have trailed in the past eight games and Saturday was their second straight in which they fell behind early.

Their most recent deficit carried last more than three periods and put Louisville on the brink of being shut out before Bridgewater rallied the Cardinals in the fourth quarter to set up overtime. That's not a luxury they can afford at Rutgers and with so much on the line.

At least the Cardinals know they can win in New Jersey. Louisville has won the past two against Rutgers including a 40-13 rout in Piscataway two years ago.

Making it three in a row depends on how well the Cardinals can put their recent struggles behind them. In spite of everything that has happened, they still can achieve their preseason goal of winning the conference.

``Our confidence isn't shaken,'' Strong said. ``We've won nine games and have dropped the last two, but confidence is not an issue. But you always want to talk about confidence because when you go on the road. ... you have to walk in there knowing you can win the football game.''

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Redskins at Jaguars Week 15: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

Redskins at Jaguars Week 15: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

Things have gone downhill fast for the Redskins.

Washington turned in their worst performance of the season this past Sunday, falling to the lowly New York Giants 40-16 at home, marking four straight losses following a 6-3 start to the season. Quarterback Mark Sanchez, who was making his first start since 2015 in place of the injured Colt McCoy, did not last three quarters before he was benched for Josh Johnson. The team had signed Johnson, who had last thrown an NFL pass in 2011, just four days prior. Johnson had to play Madden in order to learn his teammates names.

Surprisingly, there is still a path to the playoffs, even with the team on their fourth quarterback of the season. On Sunday, they travel to Jacksonville for a clash with the Jaguars, a team that was just a few plays away from a Super Bowl berth earlier this calendar year. The Jaguars have been one of the most dissapointing teams in the NFL this season in terms of their preseason expectations, but present a tough challenge for the Redskins this Sunday nonetheless.

Here's everything you need to know...

REDSKINS vs. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS WEEK 15

Who: Washington Redskins at Jacksonville Jaguars

What: Game 14 of the 2018 NFL regular season

When: Sunday, Dec. 16. 1:00 p.m ET

Where: TIAA Bank Stadium, Jacksonville, Florida

TV Channel: CBS

Live Stream: Watch Now with fuboTV -- TRY A FREE TRIAL

Radio: Redskins Radio Network

Point Spread: Jaguars, -7

Over/Under: 36

Weather: 63 degrees, mostly sunny

REDSKINS at JAGUARS TV SCHEDULE:

11:30 AM: Inside the Redskins
12:00 PM: Redskins Kickoff Live (MyTeams App)
1:00 PM:  Redskins at Jaguars (CBS)
4:00 PM: Redskins Postgame Live (MyTeams App)
5:00 PM: Redskins Overtime Live (MyTeams App)

Click here to access NBC Sports Washington's Channel Finder 

REDSKINS 2018 REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE

Week 1: Sun., 9/9, @ Arizona Cardinals (24-6, W)

Week 2: Sun, 9/16, vs. Indianapolis Colts (21-9, L)

Week 3: Sun., 9/23, vs. Green Bay Packers (31-17, W)

Week 4: BYE

Week 5: Mon., 10/8, @ New Orleans Saints, (43-19, L)

Week 6: Sun., 10/14, vs. Carolina Panthers, 1:00 p.m. (23-17, W)

Week 7: Sun., 10/21, vs. Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m. (20-17, W)

Week 8: Sun. 10/28, @ New York Giants, 1:00 p.m. (20-13, W)

Week 9: Sun., 11/4, vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1:00 p.m. (38-14, L)

Week 10: Sun. 11/11, @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1:00 p.m. (16-3 W)

Week 11: Sun., 11/18, vs. Houston Texans, 1:00 p.m. (23-21 L)

Week 12: Thu., 11/22, @ Dallas Cowboys, 4:30 p.m. (31-23 L)

Week 13: Mon., 12/3, @ Philadelphia Eagles, 8:15 (28-13 L)

Week 14: Sun., 12/9, vs. New York Giants, 1:00 p.m. (40-16, L)

Week 15: Sun., 12/16, @ Jacksonville Jaguars, 1:00 p.m. (CBS)

Week 16: Sat., 12/22, @ Tennessee Titans, 4:30 p.m. (CBS)

Week 17: Sun., 12/30, vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

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Wizards completing new trade to directly acquire Trevor Ariza from Suns, source confirms

Wizards completing new trade to directly acquire Trevor Ariza from Suns, source confirms

The Washington Wizards are set to trade Kelly Oubre Jr. and Austin Rivers to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Trevor Ariza, NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig has confirmed.

The news was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

News of the newly structured deal for Ariza comes after a whirlwind night of trade reports that initially had Ariza slated to end up in Washington before a miscommunication about the players involved ultimately scuttled a three-team deal between the Wizards, Grizzlies and Suns.

Effectively, the Wizards are poised to do the deal without involvement from Memphis.

The veteran Ariza signed a 1-year, $15-million deal with Phoenix as a free agent this offseason. He is set to come to Washington for his second stint, after having played for the Wizards from 2012 to 2014.

This story is developing. Check back to NBCSportsWashington.com and the MyTeams app for more.

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