NFL Capsule: Steelers at Bengals

NFL Capsule: Steelers at Bengals


Sunday, 8:20 p.m., NBC

OPENING LINE - Steelers by 1 1/2

RECORD VS. SPREAD - Pittsburgh 1-4; Cincinnati 2-3-1

SERIES RECORD - Steelers lead 52-32

AP PRO32 RANKING - Steelers No. 15; Bengals No. 20

LAST MEETING - Steelers beat Bengals 35-7, Dec. 4, 2011

LAST WEEK - Steelers lost to Titans 26-23; Bengals lost to Browns 34-24





STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Steelers have won four in row against Bengals and nine of last 11. They've gone 11-2 at Paul Brown Stadium since its opening, winning 10 of last 11. That includes 2005 playoff victory when Bengals QB Carson Palmer tore up left knee. ... Steelers 0-3 on road this season. They haven't dropped their first four road games in season since 2006, when they lost at Jacksonville, San Diego, Atlanta and Oakland. Pittsburgh went 5-3 on road last year. ... Steelers converting 51.9 percent of third downs, best in league. ... Ben Roethlisberger 14-2 in games played in his native Ohio - 7-1 in Cleveland and 7-1 in Cincinnati. Overall, Roethlisberger 13-4 career against Bengals with 24 TDs and 17 INTs. ... LB James Harrison needs 1 1/2 sacks to surpass Keith Willis and Joey Porter for second-most in franchise history. Harrison has 59 sacks. Jason Gildon holds club mark with 77. ... Rookie NT Alameda Ta'amu will serve first of his two-game suspension. The fourth-round pick arrested over weekend. ... Rookie Mike Adams expected to start at RT in place of Marcus Gilbert, who has injured left ankle. ... Steelers 31st in rushing. RBs Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles tendon) and Isaac Redman (ankle) were limited in loss at Tennessee last Thursday. ... Bengals trying to avoid first three-game losing streak since 2010, when they finished 4-12. ... It's Bengals' second prime time game of season. They opened with 44-13 loss in Baltimore in a Monday night game. ... Cincinnati 0-5 against Pittsburgh and Baltimore over last two seasons. ... Bengals converting only 26.7 percent of third down plays. ... WR A.J. Green has TD catches in his last five games. Green's 43 catches match Giants' Victor Cruz for third in NFL. He leads league with 628 yards, 6 ahead of New England's Wes Welker. ... Bengals have sold out their three home games, one more than all last season.


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Capitals deal Philipp Grubauer and Brooks Orpik ahead of the draft

NBC Sports Washington

Capitals deal Philipp Grubauer and Brooks Orpik ahead of the draft

DALLAS—The Capitals have dealt backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer and veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik to Colorado for a second round pick, the team announced shortly before the NHL Draft kicked off Friday at American Airlines Center.

GM Brian MacLellan was widely expected to deal Grubauer, a 26-year-old who wanted the opportunity to be a No. 1. As a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who was also coming off a strong season, Grubauer was due a significant raise.

“We would like to thank Brooks and Philipp for all of their contributions to our organization,” MacLellan said in a statement. “Philipp has been a consummate professional and a great teammate and we wish him all the best.”

Trading Orpik, on the other hand, was a bit unexpected, particularly considering how much 37-year-old’s play and leadership meant to the Caps during their run to the Stanley Cup.

By dealing Orpik, MacLellan shed the 37-year-old’s $5.5 million cap hit for next season—an important development given the Caps’ tight salary cap situation and the number of key players who need new contracts. John Carlson, Michal Kempny and Jakub Jerabek are unrestricted free agents, while Tom Wilson, Devante Smith-Pelly, Travis Boyd and Madison Bowey are restricted free agents.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Avalanche are expected to help Orpik land or a preferred spot, whether via trade or buyout. By taking on Orpik in the deal, Friedman reported, the Avs only had to give up one pick.

“Brooks,” MacLellan continued, “was a great leader and a tremendous role model for our young players in his four years with our organization. This was a difficult move, but the one we felt we needed to make in order to give some flexibility moving forward.”

Will moving out Grubauer and eliminating Orpik’s cap charge allow MacLellan to re-sign Carlson, who's set to become the top defenseman on the free agent market? That’s unclear—even with the salary cap ceiling going up to $79.5 million—but it sure helps the Caps’ cause.

Dealing Orpik also opens up a spot for a young and inexpensive defenseman such as Christian Djoos or Madison Bowey to take on a bigger role in 2018-19.

Without Grubauer, the Caps are likely to turn to Pheonix Copley as their backup next season. And if Copley, who is due to earn the NHL minimum of $650,000 next season, starts the year in Washington, that allows 2015 first round pick Ilya Samsonov to take the reins in Hershey.

The second round pick the Caps received in exchange for Grubauer and Orpik is the 47th overall selection.

MacLellan is expected to speak to reporters following the first round later Friday night. The Caps currently hold the 31st overall pick.


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Bryce Harper will compete in Home Run Derby, but only on one condition

USA Today Sports

Bryce Harper will compete in Home Run Derby, but only on one condition

It’s happening.

When the 2018 All-Star Weekend comes to Washington, D.C. in the middle of July, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper will compete in the 2018 Home Run Derby, but only on one condition: He has to be a member of the 2018 National League All-Star Team.

Though Harper is having a down year, only hitting .213 thus far, he leads the NL in home runs with 19.

In the June 18 update of All-Star game voting, Harper sat second among all outfielders with just north of 1,000,000 votes.

That means he’s not only going to make the All-Star team, but he’ll likely start in the outfield.

Harper, a five-time All-Star, competed in the Home Run Derby once before. He was the runner-up to Yoenis Cespedes in 2013, losing by just one long ball, 9-8.

The 2018 Home Run Derby will take place on July 16 at Nationals Park.