Redskins

NFL Capsule: Giants at Falcons

NFL Capsule: Giants at Falcons

NEW YORK GIANTS (8-5) At ATLANTA (11-2)

Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX

OPENING LINE - Falcons by 1

RECORD VS. SPREAD - New York 6-5-2; Atlanta 7-5-1

SERIES RECORD - Giants lead 11-10

AP PRO32 RANKING - Giants No. 6 (tie); Falcons No. 5

LAST MEETING - Giants beat Falcons 24-2, Jan. 8, 2012

LAST WEEK - Giants beat Saints 52-27; Falcons lost to Panthers 30-20

GIANTS OFFENSE - OVERALL (9), RUSH (15), PASS (9)

GIANTS DEFENSE - OVERALL (25), RUSH (22), PASS (27)

FALCONS OFFENSE - OVERALL (8), RUSH (28), PASS (4)

FALCONS DEFENSE - OVERALL (20), RUSH (23T), PASS (16)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES: Giants hold one-game lead over Washington and Dallas in NFC East, while Atlanta has already clinched NFC South title. ... Falcons can wrap up home-field advantage throughout conference playoffs if they win and both Green Bay and San Francisco lose. ... David Wilson of Giants became first player in NFL history to rush for more than 100 yards and have more than 200 yards in return yards in victory over Saints. His 327 all-purpose yards set franchise record. ... Atlanta has lost back-to-back games only three times in Mike Smith's five years as coach, all during 2009 season. ... New York 3-0 vs. NFC South this season. ... Falcons WR Julio Jones is 3 yards away from 1,000 yards receiving on season. WR Roddy White (1,140) has already reached 1,000 yards for sixth straight year, while TE Tony Gonzalez (831) has shot at milestone. ... Gonzalez has longest active reception streak in NFL (191 games). ... Giants have topped 40 points three times, and have surpassed 35 points two other times. Atlanta has not given up more than 31 points in a game. ... Falcons 32-7 at Georgia Dome over last five seasons. ... New York has lost its last two road games. ... Falcons RB Michael Turner rushed for only 14 yards on seven carries against Carolina, second-lowest output of his Atlanta career. Only time he gained less yards in game was final appearance of 2009 season, when he left with injury after rushing for 7 yards on one carry. ... Stevie Brown has broken Giants' single-season record for interception return yards with 259 on seven picks. ... Atlanta has scored seven touchdowns on drives lasting four plays or less. ... Falcons P Matt Bosher on pace to break his franchise record for net punting average. He is at 41.4, far ahead of the mark he set last season (38.9).

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

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Fans, Redskins pay tribute to longtime NBC Sports Washington reporter Rich Tandler

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NBC Sports Washington

Fans, Redskins pay tribute to longtime NBC Sports Washington reporter Rich Tandler

NBC Sports Washington lost an important piece of its family this week when longtime Redskins reporter Rich Tandler died on Tuesday. He was 63.

Tandler joined NBC Sports Washington in 2011. He began his writing career in his 40s after working in restaurants and created his blog, Real Redskins, in 2004, which became the longest-running blog on the team. He also wrote three books on the Redskins and posted an estimated 2,300 consecutive “Need To Know” posts, becoming a must-read for Redskins fans as part of their morning routine.

“We’re devastated to learn of the loss of one of our most loved and valued media members, Rich Tandler of NBC Sports Washington,” Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder said in a statement. “His dedication to covering the Redskins over the past 14 years has made him an irreplaceable presence among our media corps, and he will be in our hearts. Our thoughts are with his family, our family at NBC Sports Washington, and the entire Redskins community. He will be truly missed.”

The team will hold a moment of silence for Tandler before its game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday and will keep his regular seat on press row empty. On Wednesday, Redskins quarterback Alex Smith offered his “thoughts and prayers to his family.”

“Rich’s kind and warm nature made him a good friend and an especially close colleague to many of us at NBC Sports Washington,” NBC Sports Washington General Manager Damon Phillips said in a statement. “His passion for his work and the Redskins was inspiring and made him a critical part of many of our successes over the past seven years. This is a very big loss for the sports community. Our thoughts are with his family and his many friends.”

Fans, Redskins players, fellow reporters, and friends of Tandler paid tribute to him on social media.

“Incredibly saddened by the sudden passing of NBCSW’s Rich Tandler. He was a great talent and an important voice in the DC sports community. Our thoughts are with his wife @MissSkeetersmom, his family and his family at @NBCSWashington,” Washington Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis wrote on Twitter.

 

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Dwight Howard improving, but status still unknown entering Wizards' season opener

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NBCSW

Dwight Howard improving, but status still unknown entering Wizards' season opener

Dwight Howard may play in the Wizards' regular-season opener on Thursday night against the Miami Heat, but the team will not know until the day of the game and likely won't announce the decision either way until head coach Scott Brooks addresses the media about two hours before tipoff.

Howard only has three practices under his belt but has made significant progress throughout this week after missing all five of the team's preseason games due to a strain in his piriformis muscle.

Head coach Scott Brooks said Howard has looked good in those three practices but has a lot of missed time to make up for.

"I think he's definitely winded at times, but that's part of it," Brooks said.

Brooks added that Howard is not getting the same lift when jumping that he's used to. Howard, 32, is used to playing above the rim and his vertical leap is an important part of his game.

The Wizards play their first two games at home, the second on Saturday against the Raptors. They then embark on a Western Conference road trip beginning with the Blazers on Monday.

Brooks said Howard will "definitely" make that trip with the team, which gives a good indication of how close he is to returning to game action. When Howard is ready to play will be left up to the team's medical staff.

If Howard does miss time, the Wizards are expected to rely on his backup Ian Mahinmi as the starting center. Jason Smith would then become the No. 2 center on the depth chart, though they could use forwards like Markieff Morris or Jeff Green at the five-spot.

Howard signed a two-year free-agent deal worth $11 million to join the Wizards in July.

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