Wizards

NFL Today, Week 11

NFL Today, Week 11

SCOREBOARD

Monday, Nov. 19

Chicago at San Francisco (8:30 p.m.). Jason Campbell is set to start for the injured Jay Cutler and the NFC North-leading Bears (7-2), while the NFC West-leading 49ers (6-2-1) hope to have quarterback Alex Smith starting after he sustained a concussion last week in a 24-24 tie with St. Louis.

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STARS

Passing

-Matt Schaub, Texans, threw for a career-high 527 yards and five touchdowns and completed a franchise-record 43 passes as Houston edged Jacksonville 43-37 in overtime.

-Tom Brady, Patriots, had 331 yards passing and three touchdowns as New England routed Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts 59-24.

-Robert Griffin III, Redskins, threw four touchdown passes and ran for 84 yards in Washington's 31-6 victory over Philadelphia.

-Chad Henne, Jaguars, set a career high with four touchdown passes and threw for 354 yards in relief of an injured Blaine Gabbert as Jacksonville fell to Houston 43-37 in OT.

-Peyton Manning, Broncos, threw three touchdown passes for the sixth time in seven games, leading Denver to its fifth straight win, 30-23 over San Diego. He also won his 148th regular-season game to tie John Elway for second on the career list for starting quarterbacks, and threw his 423rd TD pass to move into second in NFL history.

Rushing

-Doug Martin, Buccaneers, ran for 138 yards on 24 carries in Tampa Bay's 27-21 victory at Carolina.

-LaRod Stephens-Howling, Cardinals, rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries in a 23-19 loss at Atlanta.

-Marcel Reece, Raiders, had 103 yards rushing on 19 attempts in Oakland's 38-17 loss to New Orleans.

-BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Bengals, ran for 101 yards and a TD to help lead the Bengals past Kansas City 28-6.

Receiving

-Andre Johnson, Texans, caught 14 passes for 273 yards and a score in Houston's 43-37 overtime victory over Jacksonville.

-Justin Blackmon, Jaguars, made seven catches for 236 yards and a TD as Jacksonville fell to Houston 43-37 in OT.

-Dez Bryant, Cowboys, had 12 receptions for a career-high 145 yards and a touchdown in Dallas' 23-20 overtime win over Cleveland.

-Rob Gronkowski, Patriots, caught seven passes for 137 yards and two TDs - giving him 10 scores, the first tight end in NFL history to have that many in three straight seasons, as New England routed Indianapolis 59-24.

-Calvin Johnson, Lions, had five catches for 143 yards and a score in Detroit's 24-20 loss to Green Bay.

Special Teams

-Julian Edelman, Patriots, returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown in New England's 59-24 win over Indianapolis.

-Dan Bailey, Cowboys, kicked a 38-yard field goal with 6:07 left in the extra period after making a tying kick with 2 seconds remaining in regulation to lead Dallas past Cleveland 23-20.

-Nick Folk, Jets, kicked a pair of 51-yard field goals, becoming the second in franchise history with two kicks of at least 50 yards in the same game, helping New York top St. Louis 27-13.

-Jay Feely, Cardinals, made all four of his field-goal attempts and an extra point in a losing cause as Arizona fell to Atlanta 23-19.

-Janoris Jenkins, Rams, blocked a 26-yard field-goal attempt in the first half of St. Louis' 27-13 loss to the New York Jets.

Defense

-Aqib Talib, Patriots, had a 59-yard interception return for a touchdown in his debut with New England, helping his new team to a 59-24 win over Indianapolis.

-Von Miller, Broncos, had three sacks and two forced fumbles in Denver's 30-23 win over San Diego.

-Captain Munnerlyn, Panthers, returned an interception 74 yards for a score in Carolina's 27-21 overtime loss to Tampa Bay.

-Malcolm Jenkins, Saints, took an interception 55 yards for a touchdown as New Orleans topped Oakland 378-17.

-John Abraham, Falcons, had two sacks to help lead Atlanta to a 23-19 victory over Arizona.

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MILESTONES

Houston's Matt Schaub threw a career-high five touchdown passes, completed a franchise-record 43 passes and finished with 527 yards in the air, second-most in NFL history, in the Texans' 43-37 overtime win over Jacksonville. Warren Moon also threw for 527 yards for the Houston Oilers in December 1990 in Kansas City, while Norm Van Brocklin holds the record with 554 for the Rams in 1951. ... Drew Brees finished 20 for 27 for 219 yards in New Orleans' 38-17 win at Oakland, extending his own records by throwing a touchdown in his 53rd straight game and completing 20 passes for the 46th straight game.

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STATS

Tony Romo was sacked a career-high seven times, but Dallas beat Cleveland 23-20 in overtime to win for the first time in six games when the Cowboys quarterback is sacked at least five times. ... St. Louis fell to the New York Jets 27-13 and failed to force a turnover for the fifth straight game - tying the NFL's longest such slump since 1950, according to STATS LLC. ... Houston finished with franchise-record 640 total yards in a 43-37 overtime win over Jacksonville. ... Oakland fell to New Orleans 38-17 for its third straight loss. The Raiders have allowed 135 points in those defeats - the most in a three-game span for the franchise since allowing 141 in the first three games in 1961. ... New England's 59-24 win over Indianapolis equaled the team mark for points set in a 59-0 win over the Tennessee Titans on Oct. 18, 2009.

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GOOD GRABS

Houston's Andre Johnson caught 14 passes for 273 yards, while Jacksonville's Justin Blackmon made seven catches for 236 yards in the Texans' 43-37 overtime win Sunday - marking the first time in NFL history opposing players each had more than 200 yards receiving in the same game.

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SWINGS

Cincinnati beat Kansas City 28-6 on Sunday to get to .500 at 5-5, and are eyeing back-to-back postseason appearances for only the second time in franchise history. Meanwhile, the Chiefs have dropped seven straight games in a single season for the first time since Oct. 5-Nov. 23, 2008.

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STREAKS

Dallas extended Cleveland's road losing streak to 12 games on Dan Bailey's 38-yard field goal with 6:07 left in the extra period to give Dallas the 23-20 win - after Bailey made a tying kick with 2 seconds remaining in regulation. ... Cleveland's Phil Dawson extended the NFL's longest active field goal streak to 25 by hitting from 51 and 47 yards in the Browns' 23-20 overtime loss Sunday. He's 19 of 19 this season. ... Rams QB Sam Bradford has been sacked in 26 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NFL, according to STATS LLC.

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GROUNDED EAGLES

Philadelphia fell to Washington 31-6 on Sunday, giving the last-place Eagles (3-7) their longest single-season losing streak (six) since dropping seven games in a row to end the 1994 season.

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MR. VERSATILITY

Robert Griffin III completed 14 of 15 passes for 200 yards, including touchdown passes of 6, 49, 61 and 17 - one in each quarter - in Washington's 31-6 win over Philadelphia. His 93.3 completion percentage is the highest by a QB with at least four TD passes since San Francisco's Steve Young in 1994. Griffin also ran 12 times for 84 yards and was again serenaded with chants of ``RG3.''

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STAYING LATE

Houston beat Jacksonville 43-37 on Sunday, winning an overtime game for the first time at Reliant Stadium and improving to 2-7 in the extra period in the team's history. The Jaguars have lost three road games in overtime this year.

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UPS AND DOWNS

Josh Freeman threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Clark in overtime to cap Tampa Bay's 27-21 comeback win over the Carolina Panthers, the Buccaneers' fifth in their last six to pull into playoff contention. Meanwhile, the Panthers have lost seven of eight. ... Andrew Luck was 27 for 50 for two touchdowns and 334 yards and set an NFL record as the first rookie with five 300-yard games in Indianapolis' 59-24 loss at New England - but he also threw three interceptions.

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STRUGGLING QBs

Detroit's Matthew Stafford threw two interceptions and lost a fumble in the Lions' 24-20 loss to Green Bay. One of the interceptions was returned 72 yards by Packers safety M.D. Jennings for a go-ahead score in the third quarter. ... Atlanta's Matt Ryan threw a career-worst five interceptions, but became the first quarterback since Green Bay's Bart Starr in 1967 to win a game - 23-19 over Arizona - despite throwing five INTs with no touchdowns, according to STATS LLC.

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SIDELINED

Jacksonville's Blaine Gabbert left the Jaguars' 43-37 overtime loss to the Houston Texans in the first quarter with a bruised right elbow. Gabbert, who has struggled this season, was injured when he was hit Danieal Manning and fumbled on Jacksonville's first drive. He was replaced by Chad Henne. ... Philadelphia running back LeSean McCoy left Philadelphia's 31-6 loss to Washington in the fourth quarter with a concussion. McCoy was taken off the field on a cart after staying down following a 7-yard run with less than 2 minutes left. ... Kansas City wide receiver Dwayne Bowe left against Cincinnati with a neck injury and left tackle Branden Albert left with a back injury. Also Bengals cornerback Terence Newman was sidelined with a concussion. ... Atlanta cornerback Asante Samuel injured his right shoulder in the first quarter in the Falcons' win over Arizona. ... Denver running back Willis McGahee hurt his right knee early in the second quarter when he was tackled by San Diego defensive back Quentin Jammer, and did not return.

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SPEAKING

``I'm tired of talking about Robert. Nothing's going to change; Robert's going to go out there and be special. That's the gift that he has, he's a special guy. He brings that kind of `specialness.' I don't know if that's a word, but he brings it to our offense.'' - Washington's Santana Moss on teammate and rookie Robert Griffin III, who completed 14 of 15 passes for 200 yards, including touchdown passes of 6, 49, 61 and 17 - one in each quarter, in a 31-6 win over Philadelphia on Sunday.

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Dwight Howard shares his first health update since back surgery

Dwight Howard shares his first health update since back surgery

Three weeks removed from back surgery to take care of his nagging gluteal injury, Dwight Howard rejoined the Washington Wizards for their Tuesday night contest with the Atlanta Hawks inside State Farm Arena. 

"Physically, I'm a lot better than I was before the surgery. The nine games I played, I basically played on one leg. So, you know, I'm just happy that that's out the way and I can rehab and get ready for the second half of the season," Howard told NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller. 

During those nine games, the 33-year-old averaged 12.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, while shooting over 62% from the floor. 

Howard is no stranger to back surgery. In 2012, the then Orlando Magic center underwent a procedure to repair a herniated disk which ended his season and took him out of Summer Olympics (London) participation. 

The veteran now deals with a slow recovery process before returning to basketball activities. 

Right now, the only I can do for rehab is just walk. Anybody who has had back surgery, they understand that. You know, for the first month and a half, you can't lift weights. You can't run. You can't do anything but basically walk. 

Howard plans to remain in Atlanta for rehab. Three weeks ago, Washington said it would re-evaluate Howard after two or three months. 

"Every day I try to sit down, and you know, spend at least an hour visualizing, you know, getting healthy, but also returning to the court."

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Wizards fold late, fall to Trae Young and Hawks in Trevor Ariza's debut

Wizards fold late, fall to Trae Young and Hawks in Trevor Ariza's debut

The Washington Wizards lost to the Atlanta Hawks 118-110 on Tuesday night. Here are five observations from the game...

1. When the Wizards smashed the Lakers on Sunday night and John Wall dropped 40 points, the team's social media naysayers collectively yawned, 'Let's see them do the same against Atlanta on Tuesday.' Sure enough, those people were right.

Wall and the Wizards did not bring anything close to the same energy against Atlanta that they had vs. L.A. Because the Hawks are terrible, the Wizards were able to hang around until the fourth quarter, but Atlanta pulled away with 36 points in the final frame.

There was plenty not to like about this game from the Wizards' side of things. They shot just 33.3 percent from three (13-for-39) and missed 11 of their 36 free throw attempts.

Wall had one of his worst games. He shot just 33.3 percent from the field and went 3-for-11 from three to the tune of 15 points and six assists. He played only 26 minutes due to foul trouble.

It wasn't as lopsided as their worst defeats this season, but this ranks up there with some of the Wizards' most inexcusable losses of the year so far. Even after making trades to shuffle their bench and team chemistry, the results remain the same. They let a bad team sneak up on them once again.

2. Trevor Ariza made his debut and essentially picked up right where he left off in 2014. He ended up with 19 points, eight rebounds, four assists and six steals, making a noticeable impact on both ends of the floor. His six steals tied a career-high.

Ariza went 4-for-11 from three with just about all of them on wide-open looks. Ariza was excellent  in his last tenure in D.C. at drifting away from the defense and making them pay from beyond the arc. Wall and Bradley Beal seemed to remember that, as they consistently found him for outside shots. 

The Wizards' overall defensive effort was up-and-down, as they allowed 35 points in the first quarter and 118 for the game. But Ariza was mostly not to blame, as he played smart and measured defense. With the exception of an early play where Kent Bazemore hit an open three, he did a good job closing out on perimeter shots.

The trade of Kelly Oubre Jr. for Ariza may ultimately prove short-sighted, and many fans seem to strongly disagree with the decision. But those are the things we should see over the course of the season that show why Ariza could be an upgrade in the short-term. He will play solid, structured defense with few mistakes or lapses in focus.

3. The fans who paid the price of admission in Atlanta to watch the referees go to work got their money's worth. It was hard to hear Steve Buckhantz with all the whistles.

Seriously, there were so many fouls. The two teams combined for 61 of them. Four Hawks players had four fouls or more and four Wizards players had five or more. That included Markieff Morris, who fouled out in only 17 minutes.

Even clean plays were fouls, like this one. Jeff Green got way up to deny Alex Len, only to have a foul called.

4. Otto Porter Jr. remains out with a right knee contusion, making this the fourth straight game he has missed. He hasn't missed five consecutive games since his rookie year.

With Porter out, head coach Scott Brooks rolled with Jeff Green to start alongside Ariza. Ariza is slated to be in the lineup moving forward, so that pushed out Satoransky, who had made eight straight starts.

Satoransky ended up playing mostly as a backup shooting guard with Sam Dekker at small forward. Chasson Randle, who was recently brought back on a non-guaranteed contract, backed up Wall at point guard. Though that may have had something to do with his defensive matchup on Trae Young, it was surprising.

Ian Mahinmi also got some burn after three straight DNP-CDs. That may have been due to the presence of Len, who is a lot to handle for small-ball fives.

Speaking of big men, Dwight Howard made an appearance on Tuesday. He didn't play, but sat on the bench with the team for the first time since his back surgery.

5. All of those lineup mentions should highlight one notable exclusion. That is Troy Brown Jr., who continues to be on the outside of the rotation looking in. Even with Porter out and Oubre now gone, Brown isn't in the mix.

Brown's inability to get playing time remains a head-scratcher. Yeah, he can't shoot, but he can do so many other things, things that the Wizards need. Whenever he gets spot minutes, he contributes with his passing, rebounding and defense. 

The fact he isn't playing a lot could be expected, as he was drafted outside the lottery by a deep, veteran team. But to not play at all, even when injuries pave the way? That's tough to understand.

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