Redskins

Redskins lead Seattle 14-13 after 3rd quarter

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Redskins lead Seattle 14-13 after 3rd quarter

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) Robert Griffin III threw two 4-yard touchdown passes in his first career playoff game to give the Washington Redskins a 14-13 lead over the Seattle Seahawks after the third quarter of their NFC wild-card game on Sunday.

Griffin capped the Redskins' only two drives of the first quarter against the NFL's top-rated scoring defense with short tosses to running back Evan Royster and tight end Logan Paulsen.

The Seahawks allowed 15.3 points per game this season and the 14-point deficit was their largest of the season.

Seattle rallied with 13 points in the second quarter, including rookie Russell Wilson's 4-yard TD pass to running back Michael Robinson.

Steven Hauschka's 32-yard field goal with 12:05 remaining put the Seahawks on the board and he added a 29-yarder as the half expired.

The right-footed Hauschska was playing with a left ankle injury and limped off the field to the locker room.

Seattle maintained its offensive efficiency starting the third quarter, driving 69 yards to the Redskins 1, but Marshawn Lynch fumbled and Washington's Jarvis Jenkins recovered.

After forcing a Redskins punt, Wilson moved the Seahawks to the Washington 28, but overthrew Doug Baldwin in the end zone. Wilson was sacked on the next play, moving the ball back to the 37. With Hauschka limited, Seattle punted.

Griffin was 10 of 17 for 84 yards, but after the first quarter he threw for only 16 yards plus an interception. The Redskins quarterback also ran three times for 12 yards.

On the second drive, the rookie fell awkwardly while backpedaling on a pass and came up limping, but stayed in the game. He sprained his right knee in Week 14 and sported a brace for the third straight game.

Wilson led three consecutive scoring drives in the second quarter, though Seattle settled for two field goals on its two other red zone trips. The Seahawks rookie finished 9 of 14 for 123 yards and also ran for 35 yards.

Lynch rushed 14 times for 79 yards, including for 41 on the drive which ended with his fumble. In the second quarter he scooped up a Wilson fumble and raced for 19 yards, leading to the Seahawks touchdown.

Rookie Alfred Morris, the league's second-leading rusher, had 72 yards - 34 of them on four carries during Washington's opening drive that resulted in the TD pass to Royster.

Paulsen's touchdown catch finished off an 11-play, 54-yard drive in 5:58.

Washington's offense slowed in the second quarter with two drives resulting in a punt and an interception by Seattle Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas.

Seattle was moving the ball in the first quarter, but a promising drive ended when the Redskins' Stephen Bowen and London Fletcher combined to sack Wilson on third-and-2. It was one of two sacks for the Redskins in the quarter.

Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons suffered a knee injury in the third quarter. The team said his return doubtful.

The playoff meeting between the two teams was the third, but first outside Seattle. The Seahawks won 20-10 in January 2006, and 35-14 in January 2008.

Those were the last two postseason games played by the Redskins, who entered the playoffs on an NFC-best seven-game winning streak.

Seattle has won five straight, outscoring opponents 193-60, but finished the season with a 3-5 road record and has lost eight straight road playoff games. Their only road playoff win came in its first postseason road game, Dec. 31, 1983, at Miami. The streak is the second longest in the NFL behind Detroit.

Washington, NFC East champions and No. 4 seed in the conference, became the first team since the Jaguars in 1996 to reach the playoffs after starting 3-6. The Redskins went worst-to-first after finishing last in the division for four straight years.

This was the second playoff game in NFL history with two starting rookie quarterbacks.

Last year in the first rookie QB meeting, T.J. Yates led the Texans to a 31-10 victory over Andy Dalton and the Bengals.

Wilson tied Peyton Manning's 1998 NFL rookie record with 26 touchdown passes. Griffin set the league mark for yards rushing by a rookie quarterback (815) and had the best single-season rookie passer rating in NFL history (102.4), followed by Wilson (100).

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The case for - and against - the Redskins signing Colin Kaepernick

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USA Today Sports

The case for - and against - the Redskins signing Colin Kaepernick

Don't look in this space for an argument that the Redskins - who are reportedly signing Mark Sanchez as Colt McCoy's backup - should, or should not, sign Colin Kaepernick.

This space will lay out reasons why the Redskins should, and should not, consider signing Colin Kaepernick. 

It's not a binary decision. In fact, it's just about the opposite. 

Any debate about Kaepernick often gets bogged down in differing political view points. This is not the place for that. Rather, here is an attempt to make the case for or against Kaepernick from a football perspective. 

The case to sign Colin Kaepernick

  • The Redskins need a quarterback. Alex Smith broke his leg and Colt McCoy needs a backup. Of the available free agents out there, Kaepernick has by far the best stats and resume. As Chris Thompson explained of Kaepernick, "He made it to a Super Bowl." When he last played in 2016, Kaepernick had 16 TDs against just four INTs in 12 starts. 
  • Kaepernick has familiarity in the West Coast offense, and once backed up Alex Smith and played with Vernon Davis. 
  • Redskins QB coach and passing game coordinator Kevin O'Connell worked on the 49ers staff with Kaepernick.
  • Multiple Redskins players, including Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson, said that the Nike pitchman deserves another chance in the NFL. 

The case not to sign Colin Kaepernick

  • Kaepernick hasn't played in the NFL for nearly two full seasons. He hasn't practiced in a professional setting for more than a year. The Redskins are competing for the NFC East title. If they have to go to a backup QB, they want somebody that is game ready. It's hard to think Kaepernick fits that bill today. 
  • Earlier this season, Redskins CB Josh Norman had some choice words for Kaepernick after Panthers safety Eric Reid spoke out against the NFL Player's Coalition. Norman is an active particpant and leader on the Player's Coalition, a social rights group that Kaepernick distanced himself from. Putting Norman and Kaepernick in the same locker room might create some friction for a first-place team. 
  • At 6-4, the Redskins are in first place in the NFC East and should still be able to win games with McCoy at quarterback. Regardless how one feels about Kaepernick's activism, it will create a side show for any organization that brings him in. Cable news outlets like CNN, Fox News and MSNBC will descend on the Washington locker room should Kaepernick get signed. 

 

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    Holtby is back, but Copley will start

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    Holtby is back, but Copley will start

    The Capitals take on the Montreal Canadiens to finish off a four-game road swing on Monday (7:30 p.m., NBC Sports Washington). Washington has won two of its first three games on the trip and look to take win No. 3 in Montreal.

    Here are four things to watch:

    Braden Holtby is back, but Pheonix Copley will get the start

    The Caps reassigned Ilya Samsonov to the Hershey Bears on Monday signaling that Braden Holtby will be back in the lineup for Monday’s game, but Pheonix Copley will still get the start.

    Copley has been impressive on the road trip getting all three starts thus far with a .922 save percentage and 2.01 GAA. It says a lot that even with Holtby back, the Todd Reirden is still willing to put in Copley. Per Isabelle Khurshudyan, Reirden said he wanted to get Holtby back into his routine before starting him.

    No Oshie, no Kuznetsov

    T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov were both injured in Wednesday’s game and will be out of the lineup in Montreal.

    Here is a look at the lines from the morning skate:

    Alex Ovechkin – Lars Eller – Tom Wilson

    Jakub Vrana – Nicklas Backstrom – Andre Burakovsky

    Chandler Stephenson – Travis Boyd – Devante Smith-Pelly

    Dmitrij Jaskin – Nic Dowd – Brett Connolly

    Dmitry Orlov – John Carlson
    Michal Kempny – Matt Niskanen
    Christian Djoos – Madison Bowey

    It is important to remember that when the Caps finally get healthy, they will have two extra forwards on the roster. While the Caps can afford to keep two, most teams typically only carry one and Washington may look to trim one of those extra forwards in the coming weeks. That makes games like this one where more players are getting into the lineup and getting more minutes because of Oshie and Kuznetsov’s absence critical for those players who may or may not be fighting to stay on Washington’s roster.

    Todd Reirden remembers

    The last time these two teams met, things did not go that well for the Caps. Washington had a 4-3 lead late in the third period, but the Canadiens would score three goals in the final 3:04 of the game to win it 6-4.

    Reirden has not forgotten about that game and called a fake goalie interference challenge late in Colorado on Friday just so he could remind his team to finish strong.

    “It was a situation where a few weeks ago we had the lead and let it go against Montreal and it was something that we discussed with our team,” Reirden said following Friday’s game.”

    Reirden reminded the players about how that game ended as a way to motivate them in Colorado. How much more will he remind them about it on Monday in a rematch against the Canadiens and will it lead to a stronger finish for Washington?

    Max (Power) Domi

    Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin has been widely criticized for many of the moves he has made while with the Canadiens. It appears this summer, however, like he may have done something right.

    Bergevin acquired forward Max Domi from the Arizona Coyotes for Alex Galchenyuk. It is a deal that looked decidedly one-sided in favor of Arizona, but let’s take all of the context out of it for one moment and just look at how Domi is performing right now. He looks like a tremendous player.

    Domi has already racked up 10 goals in just 20 and comes into Monday on a nine-game point streak, a streak that started on Nov. 1 in the game against Washington. He has far and away been the team’s top offensive threat this season and leads Montreal in points with 24, seven more than second-place Tomas Tatar.

    Speaking of Tatar, he is also someone the Caps will have to look out for as he has seemingly settled in with his new team and has six goals in his last six games.

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