Nationals

Roethlisberger sharp, Steelers top Redskins 27-12

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Roethlisberger sharp, Steelers top Redskins 27-12

PITTSBURGH (AP) Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, like just about everyone else, is impressed with Robert Griffin III's precocious talent.

Still, if the irrepressible Washington Redskins' rookie is the future, Roethlisberger very much remains the present.

And a bright one at that.

Roethlisberger easily outdueled Griffin on Sunday, tossing three touchdowns in a remarkably efficient 27-12 win that lifted the Steelers back over .500 (4-3) and right into the thick of things in a muddled AFC.

``It's fun having so many weapons and playing as a whole team,'' said Roethlisberger, who passed for 222 yards and spread his 24 completions to nine different receivers.

Heath Miller, Leonard Pope and Will Johnson - hardly big-play threats - all caught scoring tosses. Jonathan Dwyer churned for 107 yards in his second NFL start and Pittsburgh's defense never let Griffin get comfortable.

Griffin completed just 16 of 34 passes for 177 yards and a score while managing 8 yards rushing, finding little room to showcase his brilliance against a unit used to having its way when a youngster is calling plays in the other huddle.

``It is very frustrating,'' Griffin said. ``You want to go out, be successful, execute plays and have everything work for you and then when you have a day like today when you have almost nothing work for you.''

Griffin got little help from his receivers. The Redskins (3-5) dropped 10 passes and the Steelers kept the NFL's top rushing team under wraps despite playing without injured safety Troy Polamalu.

Washington ran for a season-low 86 yards while Griffin's longest run came on a 7-yard sprint in the first quarter.

``He wasn't running all over the place,'' Pittsburgh linebacker Larry Foote said. ``The front seven got challenged by (Steelers coach) Mike (Tomlin) all week and they delivered.''

Something the Steelers didn't do over the season's first month, when they lost three road games - two on the final play - and heard the usual rumblings about being old, slow and over.

Funny how quietly those concerns become after holding one of the NFL's most explosive offenses in check.

``This is our story and we're writing it,'' Foote said.

Something Griffin is trying to do in the nation's capital. The second overall pick in last April's draft has taken the league by storm, his dazzling playmaking turning the moribund Redskins into one of the league's more compelling teams.

It all came to a crashing halt on a wet, raw day at Heinz Field.

Washington did its best to create space for Griffin, at one point sending him out as a wide receiver. He sprinted down the sideline but was flagged for pass interference while trying to grab Josh Morgan's wobbly pass, another mistake by the Redskins on an afternoon full of them

``I guess it was just a bad day for us,'' Washington wide receiver Leonard Hankerson said. ``We didn't make those plays.''

Even a pregame surprise from veteran linebacker London Fletcher didn't help. Fletcher overcame head and hamstring issues to play in his 232nd consecutive game, the longest active streak in the NFL. His presence, however, did little to buoy Washington's floundering defense against the balanced Steelers.

Roethlisberger continued to thrive in new offensive coordinator Todd Haley's system, while Dwyer, starting in place of injured Rashard Mendenhall, became the first Steelers running back to top 100 yards in consecutive games in four years.

Dwyer insists he's only holding Mendenhall's spot until the veteran returns, though he's certainly made a convincing argument that he deserves more playing time.

``I knew if I stayed patient, my opportunity would come,'' Dwyer said.

While Dwyer seized his moment, the Redskins squandered it. For all of Griffin's eye-popping numbers, the team needs to do some serious work in the second half of the season to be considered a serious playoff contender.

They might have to do it without their best cornerback, at least for a bit. DeAngelo Hall was ejected in the fourth quarter after getting in the face of an official, needing to be held back by teammates in an animated display that is sure get some attention at the league office.

Hall declined to talk about his tantrum and the Redskins are only too eager to move on.

``We lost the game, that's all that matters,'' Griffin said. ``You're judged by wins and losses. I feel as bad as anyone else in that locker room right now.''

NOTES: Washington TE Chris Cooley, re-signed by the team last week after Fred Davis was lost for the season with a torn Achilles, played sporadically. He did not catch a pass but was targeted once by Griffin ... The Steelers improved to 400-253-2 since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, the most by any NFL franchise during that span ... Pittsburgh S Ryan Clark left in the third quarter with a concussion and did not return.

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Washington Nationals announce the addition of a bullpen cart

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Washington Nationals announce the addition of a bullpen cart

Sean Doolittle has gotten his wish - the Washington Nationals will now have a bullpen cart for the remainder of the 2018 season. 

In a release on Thursday, the Nationals announced that they will unveil a the WGL Energy Bullpen Cart on their upcoming Friday night game against the Miami Marlins. The cart will be at all remaining home games at Nationals Park.

Both the Nationals’ pitchers and opponents will be able to utilize the cart to enter a game as a reliever. The cart will transport the relief pitcher from the bullpen to their dugout instead of the traditional long trout out to the mound. 

Players are not required to use the vehicle if they do not want to. 

Earlier this season, Doolittle was the first National ever to use the bullpen cart at Chase Field, against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Afterward, he noted that although he had less time, he was not out of breath and “loved it.”

In addition to the Diamondbacks and the Detroit Tigers, the Nationals are the third active team to have a bullpen cart. Per the release, this is the first season that the bullpen cart has been used in MLB since 1995.

MORE NATS NEWS:

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Redskins vs. Jets Preseason Week 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

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Redskins vs. Jets Preseason Week 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

After a fight-filled start to joint practices between the Redskins and Jets, the Skins' 2018 NFL preseason schedule continues Thursday night at Fed Ex Field against New York. 

Week 2 of the NFL preseason still doesn't provide a lot of answers to questions about team performance, but it begins to reveal the depth the Redskins could have this season.

One storyline that won't be taking place, is the return of former Redskin Terrelle Pryor, who told reporters after Monday's practice he won't be playing in the game.

The Redskins have bigger things to worry about though, like who will replace rookie Derrius Guice, who's now out for the year with a torn ACL.

The Redskins also have one less name in the fight for receiver depth as well, after Robert Davis suffered a season-ending leg injury as well. 

Ahead of Thursday's preseason matchup, here's everything you need to know to watch.

REDSKINS vs. JETS, PRESEASON WEEK 2

Who: Washington Redskins vs. New York Jets

What: Game 2 of the 2018 NFL Preseason

When: Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, 8:00 p.m. ET

Where: Fed Ex Field, Landover, MD

TV Channel: ESPN

Live Stream: Watch ESPN

Radio: Redskins Radio Network

Point Spread: Washington, -3

Over/Under: 39.5

Weather: 90 degrees, partly cloudy

REDSKINS vs. PATRIOTS TV SCHEDULE:

5:00 PM: Redskins 100
5:30 PM: Redskins Nation
6:00 PM: Best of the Sports Junkies
7:00 PM: Redskins Kickoff Live

REDSKINS 2018 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

Week 1: Thurs., 8/9, vs. New England Patriots, 7:30 p.m. (L, 26-17)

Week 2: Thurs., 8/16, vs. New York Jets, 8:00 p.m. (ESPN)

Week 3: Fri., 8/24, vs. Denver Broncos, 7:30 p.m. 

Week 4: Thurs., 8/30, vs. Baltimore Ravens, 7:30 p.m. 

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