Rams' Zuerlein can't wait for Sunday

Rams' Zuerlein can't wait for Sunday

ST. LOUIS (AP) Sunday afternoon can't come soon enough for St. Louis kicker Greg Zuerlein.

The rookie made his first 15 field goal attempts this season, including a franchise-record 60-yarder, before missing three in a row last Sunday in a 17-14 loss at Miami.

Zuerlein, who failed to connect from 37, 52 and 66 yards, took blame for the defeat, saying that he simply, ``didn't do my job and it cost us the game.''

The week has gone by slowly for the high-energy Zuerlein, who can't wait to redeem himself against the Green Bay Packers.

``You try and put it behind you and forget about it,'' Zuerlein said. ``Or else it might harm you in the future. You really want to get back on the field as quick as you can. You want to show everyone that you can bounce back.''

The hottest kicker in the NFL has no reason to sulk. His string of 15 in a row to start his career fell one shy of the NFL record set by Garrett Hartley of New Orleans in 2008-09.

Zuerlein even makes noise when he fails. He had the distance, but missed wide left on what would have been a league-record 66-yarder as time expired against the Dolphins. Zuerlein's kick hit the net guarding the playing field, clearing the end line by at least 5 yards.

``I really thought I could make that kick,'' he said. ``All of those kicks were makeable. I just didn't do it.''

Zuerlein was drafted in the sixth round after a stellar career at the Nebraska-Omaha and Missouri Western. He hit 21 in a row his senior year at Missouri Western, including nine from 50 yards or farther.

The Omaha native came out firing this season. He set a Soldier Field record with a 56-yarder in a 23-6 loss to Chicago on Sept. 22. A week later, he went 4 for 4 and twice set a franchise record for longest field goal with kicks of 58 and 60 yards in a 19-13 win over Seattle. He became the first NFL player to hit on attempts of 50-plus and 60 yards in the same game.

Still, he remains haunted by the failures against Miami.

``You never totally get over it,'' Zuerlein said. ``When you are sure that you can make those kicks and you don't, it's not a good feeling.''

Zuerlein, now 15 for 18, says he was ready to make amends for the misses seconds after Sunday's contest ended. He has had a good week in practice and is champing at the bit.

St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher likes that Zuerlein has such high standards.

``He's taken responsibility for it, but he's not taking it hard,'' Fisher said.

The 24-year-old has excelled in all facets of the kicking game. Of his 29 kickoffs, 17 have been touchbacks.

Zuerlein says he made a 74-yarder in practice during college. He has his sights set on the NFL record of 63 held by Tom Dempsey, Jason Elam, Sebastian Janikowski and David Akers.

``I knew I could kick in this league,'' Zuerlein said. ``It was just a matter of getting the opportunity.''


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Wizards release 2018-19 preseason schedule, including two games vs. Knicks

Wizards release 2018-19 preseason schedule, including two games vs. Knicks

The Wizards released their 2018-19 five-game preseason schedule on Tuesday and it looks quite a bit like last year's did.

Once again, they will play the New York Knicks twice, once at home and once on the road. And once again, they will host the Guangzhou Long-Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association.

It all begins on Oct. 1 when the Wizards host the Knicks. Three of their five preseason games will be played at Capital One Arena.

Here is the full preseason schedule:

10/1 vs. Knicks

10/5 vs. Heat

10/8 at Knicks

10/10 at Pistons

10/12 vs. Guangzhou Long-Lions

The preseason schedule release comes on the heels of the full 82-game regular season reveal. That came out last week. You can see it here.


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    D.C. artist turns her love for the Washington Capitals into works of art

    @tkopaintings on Twitter

    D.C. artist turns her love for the Washington Capitals into works of art

    Local artist Taylor Kampa has taken her love for the Washington Capitals and turned it into works of art. 

    You can find paintings done by Kampa of Alex Ovechkin, Tom Wilson, Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie, John Carlson and Braden Holtby on display at Circa Chinatown – a restaurant neighboring Capital One Arena – along with other D.C. celebrities.

    A professional artist for the last decade, Kampa told NHL.com that the pictures were "passion projects," and took about eight hours to finish. She became a fan of the Caps after she began dating her now-husband back in 2009.

    Her work has even caught the eye of The Great Eight. After posting a video to Instagram of her painting Ovechkin hoisting the Stanley Cup, the Conn Smythe Trophy winner liked and commented on it. 

    "I almost died," Kampa said.

    "It has been amazing sharing something that I am excited about that resonates with the people in my city," Kampa said. "I've been painting these portraits for a long time, so it's awesome to have them seen by so many people."

    Kampa will also create paintings for the Capitals foundation's annual Casino Night fundraiser next year.