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NFL Capsule: Falcons at Lions

NFL Capsule: Falcons at Lions

ATLANTA (12-2) At DETROIT (4-10)

Saturday, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

OPENING LINE - Falcons by 3

RECORD VS. SPREAD - Atlanta 8-5-1; Detroit 5-9

SERIES RECORD - Lions lead 23-11

AP PRO32 RANKING - Falcons No. 5; Lions No. 28

LAST MEETING - Falcons beat Lions 23-16, Oct. 23, 2011

LAST WEEK - Falcons beat Giants 34-0; Lions lost to Cardinals 38-10.

FALCONS OFFENSE - OVERALL (7), RUSH (28), PASS (5)

FALCONS DEFENSE - OVERALL (19), RUSH (24), PASS (17)

LIONS OFFENSE - OVERALL (2), RUSH (23), PASS (1)

LIONS DEFENSE - OVERALL (12), RUSH (18), PASS (11)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Falcons can clinch home-field advantage in playoffs with win. ... Atlanta has won two straight and four of six in series. ... Detroit has lost six straight, NFL's longest active skid, to seal 10th double-digit loss season in 12 years. ... Atlanta QB Matt Ryan had season-best 142.6 rating against Giants. ... Lions QB Matthew Stafford had 37.6 rating against Cardinals, lowest since rookie year in 2009. ... Ryan surpassed own Falcons single-season records with 357 completions and 4,177 yards passing. ... Stafford, ex-Georgia star, 63 attempts from breaking NFL single-season record (691) by Drew Bledsoe. ... Falcons WR Roddy White has NFC-high 550 catches since 2007 and 1,000-plus yards receiving for sixth straight year. ... Lions WR Calvin Johnson can break NFL record, set by Charley Hennigan in 1961, matched by Michael Irvin in 1995, with eighth consecutive game with 100 yards receiving. ... Johnson, former Georgia Tech star, can surpass Jerry Rice's single-season record of 1,848 yards receiving with 182 yards in last two games. ... Falcons RB Michael Turner has scored in five straight games. ... Detroit RB Mikel Leshoure seven rushing scores in last seven games. ... Falcons DE John Abraham has four sacks in last two games against Detroit. ... Lions DE Cliff Avril and Denver's Von Miller only NFL players with at least 20 sacks and eight forced fumbles since 2011.

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Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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For a January game, Wizards vs. Pistons has plenty of playoff implications

For a January game, Wizards vs. Pistons has plenty of playoff implications

Winners of six of their last nine games, the Washington Wizards have breathed new life into their season, now with revitalized hopes of making the playoffs. On Monday, they will get a shot at one of the teams standing in their way.

With a 2 p.m. tip-off on NBC Sports Washington, the Wizards host the Detroit Pistons in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee. The Wizards are 10th in the Eastern Conference and the Pistons are ninth.

With a win over the Pistons, the Wizards would move into a tie for ninth, just one spot out of the playoff picture. Though more than two months remain in the regular season, the Wizards can gain some valuable ground.

Whether that is on their mind going into the match-up depends on whom you ask.

"It's definitely too early to talk about it," head coach Scott Brooks said.

"I think there are some very important games [coming up] where we go head-to-head against the guys who are around us in the standings," guard Tomas Satoransky said, singing a different tune.

Satoransky doesn't just see an opportunity against the Pistons on Monday, he mentioned Friday's game against the Magic as well. Orlando is one spot behind the Wizards in 11th.

The standings are one thing. Even more important for the big picture is head-to-head records, which determine tiebreakers for playoff seeding. The Wizards are 0-1 against the Pistons, having lost in Detroit on Dec. 26. 

A win on Monday would tie the season series with only one meeting left, on Feb. 11. If the Pistons win on Monday, they would lock up the tiebreaker.

The Wizards have reasons to be confident going into this meeting with the Pistons. While they are playing their best basketball of the season, Detroit has been in a tailspin. Going back to Dec. 3, they are 7-18. Only the Cavaliers have more losses during that stretch.

In those 25 games, the Pistons have been 28th in the NBA in offensive rating (103.6) and effective field goal percentage (49.6). They have committed the third-most turnovers per game (15.6).

Injuries haven't been the reason, but the Pistons have a few to report entering Monday's game. All-Star center Andre Drummond missed their last game on Saturday with a concussion and is considered day-to-day. Guard Ish Smith is also day-to-day after missing Saturday's game with a groin injury.

The Wizards have a chance to beat a reeling team and gain some control of their playoff hopes. We'll see if they take advantage.

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That time Antonio Brown and Kyler Murray practiced together

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USA TODAY SPORTS

That time Antonio Brown and Kyler Murray practiced together

Thanks to Antonio Brown, we have the hopes and dreams of a splashy off-season for the Washington Redskins in one tidy four-second video.

Brown, the NFL’s best receiver, is angling for a trade out of Pittsburgh.

Kyler Murray is the reigning Heisman Trophy quarterback and a projected 2019 first round pick.

During the NFC Championship game, the Steelers wide receiver tweeted out a clip of him hauling in a deep pass from the University of Oklahoma product. Yes, that’s going to draw some eyeballs, perhaps especially from fans of a team with quarterback uncertainty and lacking offensive playmakers.

Another OU standout, wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown”, joined his cousin Antonio and Murray for the workout. This isn’t the first time all three shared a field.

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The best rolled thru today, appreciate you @ab 📞

A post shared by Kyler Murray (@kyler1murray) on

Marquise Brown, a true speed threat, could become the first wide receiver selected in the 2019 draft.

There’s no way for the Redskins to land all three. Even two seems highly unlikely considering the two prospects are projected first-round selections and acquiring Brown would cost a No. 1 and plenty more. It’s still cool to dream. Considering the quarterback concerns with Alex Smith, Jamison Crowder entering free agency and the need for more pieces regardless, even landing one of them would work.

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