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Rams defense faces challenge against Seahawks

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Rams defense faces challenge against Seahawks

ST. LOUIS (AP) It's the St. Louis Rams' turn to try to figure how to stop an opponent that has been on a nearly unprecedented scoring binge.

The Seattle Seahawks have averaged 50 points per game in the past three weeks, the most points in a three-week span since the 1950 Los Angeles Rams.

``I don't think I've ever come across a team that's scored 50 points a game three consecutive weeks, and then faced them in the fourth,'' Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. ``So, if we hold them to under 50 (points) is that good?''

St. Louis is coming off its fourth victory in five games on the strength of five turnovers at Tampa Bay, including four interceptions. The Rams have 17 on the season, ninth best in the league, but are second worst in fumble recoveries with just four.

Defensive end Chris Long noted that turnovers do not serve as a prerequisite for a victory, while adding it would obviously make the task easier against the Seahawks.

He believes the Rams' offense can score enough points and the defense can limit Seattle enough for St. Louis to win.

But when someone pointed out that the Buccaneers' offense wasn't playing as well as the Seahawks, Long said you can't compare the Seahawks' recent output to anyone in the league.

``No one is ... on the planet. The best offense on the planet,'' he said. ``We're just going to have to prepare the best we can for it and try to slow them down a little bit.''

Seattle coach Pete Carroll had no explanation for his team's recent scoring prowess.

He said no singular event or person's play turned his team from one that had to scrap for victories - five of its first seven wins were by a touchdown or fewer - into one that outscored its past three opponents 150-30.

He said the difference has been the maturation of his rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, the health of his wide receivers and luck.

``No, I think we've been very fortunate,'' he said. ``But we go into every game hoping we can score a touchdown and then we just try to get another one if we do. I don't have any big claims. If you want me to make a claim about how we can't be stopped, I can't do that because we don't have a clue about that one.

``We're just going to try to make a first down and get in the end zone once and try to get there again.''

The Seahawks have also relied on a stingy defense - tops in the league in points allowed with 15.5 per game - and the second-ranked rushing offense with 161.7 yards a game.

Fisher said the difference between the Seahawks of late September, when the Rams beat them at home 19-13, and now are numerous.

``It's a much improved team,'' he said. ``The offense is much more explosive and I think that's because of the quarterback play.

``You've got to get them into third down. You've got to win on early downs and win on third downs and get off the field, if possible.''

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Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard out against Wizards

Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard out against Wizards

The Wizards will catch a break on Saturday night when they host the Toronto Raptors in the second game of their regular season, as Raptors superstar Kawhi Leonard is being held out due to rest.

Leonard, who has been dominant so far for the 2-0 Raptors, is being limited in back-to-backs after he missed 73 games last season due to a quadriceps injury. The Raptors played the night before against the Celtics.

With Leonard out, the Raptors will likely rely on C.J. Miles and O.G. Anunoby at the small forward position. Shooting guard Delon Wright is also out with a shoulder injury.

Though Leonard and Wright are out of the mix, Toronto still has plenty of talent including All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry. Lowry is averaging 21 points, seven assists and 3.5 rebounds through two games. 

Serge Ibaka has been their third-leading scorer with 15 points per game to go along with 6.5 rebounds. They also acquired Danny Green in the Leonard deal and he's off to a strong start with 12.5 points and five rebounds per game.

Leonard's absence may be noticed more on the defensive end, as he is one of the best in the NBA on the perimeter. That could make things a bit easier for Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr.

The Wizards and Raptors next play on Nov. 23. That game is in Toronto.

 

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'It's a house divided': The Redskins-Cowboys rivalry is affecting these 'Skins' families

'It's a house divided': The Redskins-Cowboys rivalry is affecting these 'Skins' families

Zach Brown is a fearless player. Turns out, Zach Brown's dad is pretty fearless, too.

That first statement is one you can confirm by watching the Redskins linebacker play each time he takes the field, often times hurt.

The second statement, on the other hand, was confirmed earlier this week in an interview between Brown and JP Finlay about the Washington-Dallas rivalry.

"It got under our skin, knowing we got swept by them [last year]," the defender told Finlay after a weekday practice. "You just hate to go back home and hear them talk so much trash."

The leader of the brave "them" who actually taunt a 250-pound LB following a loss? Oh, just Brown's father, who's a diehard Cowboys supporter.

"My dad was giving it to me," he said while looking back on the 2017 season. "I said, 'Don't worry about it. Next year's gonna be a different movement.'"

"I'm gonna talk trash at the end of this season," Brown added. "It's a house divided."

Adrian Peterson knows what Brown's talking about. The Texas native even went as far as to break down exactly how his own house is divided.

According to him, 75-percent of his family are all about the Cowboys, 10-percent are looking for him to put up good numbers in a 'Boys victory and the final 15-percent have converted to the burgundy and gold.

Rookie corner Greg Stroman can relate as well. The Virginia kid who'll be making his debut in the series he's very familiar with said his grandma and her relatives fall on both sides of the matchup.

Stroman does have one advantage over Brown and Peterson, though. Unlike the two veterans, he was able to get his entire family's rooting interests in order for Sunday, at least.

"They all bought in now," he said.

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