Washington Football

Russell Wilson soars as Seahawks rout Bills 50-17

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Russell Wilson soars as Seahawks rout Bills 50-17

TORONTO (AP) Seattle Seahawks tight end Zach Miller breaks into a big chuckle when reminded about how many NFL teams passed up on drafting Russell Wilson.

``Yeah,'' Miller said. ``Good for us.''

Make room, RGIII and Andrew Luck. Wilson, the third-round draft pick out of Wisconsin, is making a case to be included in the rookie of the year conversation. And he's bringing the Seahawks along with them on a remarkable ride as part of a late-season playoff surge in which they've won five of six.

Wilson had a near-perfect first half in which he ran for three touchdowns and threw for another in leading the Seahawks to their latest blowout victory, a 50-17 rout of the Bills in Buffalo's annual game in Toronto on Sunday.

Coming off a 58-0 win at home over Arizona last week, the Seahawks became the NFL's third team to score 50 points in consecutive weeks, joining the Los Angeles Rams and New York Giants, who both did it in 1950, according to STATS LLC. And Seattle's 108 combined points matched the third-best total, which had been set by the New England Patriots only last month.

``I'm blessed to be a Seahawk. This is the team that I wanted to come to,'' said Wilson, the Wisconsin product who had to wait until the 75th pick in the draft to be selected. ``So it's a pretty great situation for me.''

The Seahawks (9-5) are in the thick of the playoff race. And they're still in the running to challenge for the NFC West title, preparing to head home for a showdown against division rival San Francisco next weekend.

Wilson directed five straight scoring drives in helping the Seahawks build a 31-7 lead. And then the defense took over by forcing three consecutive turnovers to start the second half, including safety Earl Thomas scoring on 57-yard interception return.

The Bills (5-9) bumbled their way out of playoff contention for a 13th straight year, and extend the NFL's longest active playoff drought.

And questions about coach Chan Gailey's job security are once again being raised.

``We played poorly and we looked extremely bad,'' Gailey said. ``When you don't play well, the buck stops with me. I understand that.''

The Bills' defense had a meltdown. After Buffalo had allowed its past four opponents 254.25 yards offense and 16.75 points, the Seahawks had bettered that by halftime, when they scored 31 points and racked up 329 yards.

The offense wasn't much better.

Down 31-17 at the half, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick opened the third quarter by turning the ball over on the Bills first three possessions - two interceptions and a lost fumble.

``It went downhill from there fast,'' said Fitzpatrick, who worried how the performance would reflect on Gailey. ``We played poorly and it reflects poorly on him. It just eats me up.''

Fitzpatrick went 21 of 38 for 217 yards with a 20-yard touchdown to Stevie Johnson. C.J. Spiller had 103 yards rushing and scored on a 14-yard run.

It wasn't lost on the Bills' critics that they passed up three chances to draft Wilson in April.

Gailey acknowledged he had shown interest in Wilson, but was concerned that, at 5-foot-11 and 206 pounds, he might be too small to succeed at the NFL level.

Turns out that hasn't been a problem.

Wilson's 4-yard touchdown pass to Zach Miller was his 21st of the season. That ties Cam Newton (2011) for the second-most by an NFL rookie, and is five behind the record set by Peyton Manning in 1998.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is so impressed by how quickly Wilson's grasped the offense, that he's giving the quarterback a freer rein.

``I'm just thrilled that he's been able to continue to grow,'' Carroll said. ``For a time, we were just trying to get the offense going and not screw it up and make sure he could keep growing. Well, we're past that now.''

Running back Marshawn Lynch had 113 yards rushing and scored on a 13-yard run in his first game against his former team. Defensive end Chris Clemons had 2 1/2 of Seattle's three sacks.

The Bills dropped to 1-4 in regular-season games at Toronto since the series began in 2008.

The Bills and Toronto-based Rogers Communications are closing in on a deal to extend the series, which expired after this game.

Torontonians might want to reconsider after this. With 5:20 left, fans in one end zone began chanting ``Let's Go Blue Jays!''

NOTES: Korean pop star PSY performed his hit ``Gangnam Style'' at midfield during halftime. ... The announced crowd of 40,770 was well below the downtown domed Rogers Centre's capacity of 54,000. ... Spiller reached 1,000 yards rushing for the first time in his career, and needed only 154 carries to get there. That's the third fewest carries of any player to reach 1,000 since 1991, according to STATS. Then-Falcons QB Michael Vick reached that plateau on 117 carries in 2006, while Tennessee RB Chris Johnson needed 151 carries in 2009. ... The Seahawks wore their third uniforms - ``wolf grey'' jerseys and pants with green numbers and names - for the first time since introducing them this offseason.

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Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Washington Football Team has noticed the Red Wolves movement from fans

Washington Football Team has noticed the Red Wolves movement from fans

The Washington Football Team has announced that it will not have a new moniker until the 2021 offseason at the earliest, but that hasn't stopped fans from giving their input on what the franchise's new name should be.

As part of the process for selecting a new name, Washington has asked for fans to send in their suggestions. On Monday, the team's official account shared a submission from one fan named Sarah, who is in favor of the name 'Red Wolves.'

"Once I saw it, I really fell in love. I really love the idea of Washington Red Wolves," Sarah wrote. "I have been a fan of the team since I was born, so that's over 26 years, and my dad has been a season ticket holder for a while. Can't wait for what's next."

Out of all the potential name suggestions, Red Wolves is the suggestion that has arguably gained the biggest following amongst the Washington fanbase - at least on social media.

In polls taken by NBC Sports Washington, the Washington Post and popular fan account formerly known as @RedskinsToday_, Red Wolves was the overwhelming favorite.

RELATED: MAKING THE CASE FOR RED WOLVES AS WASHINGTON'S NEW TEAM NAME

Monday's post from Washington was the fourth fan submission the team has shared on its official Twitter account. However, the post on Monday was a little different than the first three.

The suggestion from Sarah was the first post the franchise shared that suggested a specific name; the first three fan responses Washington shared were generic and didn't have one individual favorite name.

The fans have made their voice heard, as Washington has received over 5,000 responses of potential name suggestions. 

While this may mean a whole bunch of nothing (this is just Twitter, after all), Washington has now officially acknowledged the Red Wolves movement from fans.

And for those that desperately want Washington Red Wolves to be the team's name from 2021 and on, that's good news no matter what way you look at it.

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Capitals could sit Lars Eller even if he is cleared in time for Game 1 against the Islanders

Capitals could sit Lars Eller even if he is cleared in time for Game 1 against the Islanders

The Capitals may be without forward Lars Eller in Wednesday's Game 1 against the New York Islanders even if he is cleared by the NHL in time to play. That was the thought of head coach Todd Reirden on Monday who expressed he would have to make a decision to avoid any possible injury that could keep him out longer.

Eller left the bubble in Toronto for the birth of his second child. He is now back in Toronto under quarantine in his room and cannot leave until he tests negative four times over a four-day period, per NHL protocols. It is unclear when Eller took his first test. If it was Monday, he will not be ready in time for Wednesday's game. If it was on Sunday, there's a chance he could be cleared to play by Wednesday.

"The NHL will be the ones that decide that, have the overall final call on it," Reirden said.

But even if Eller just manages to clear before the 3 p.m. game time on Wednesday, there's a chance he still may not play.

While under quarantine, Eller is not allowed to leave his hotel room at all.

"He’s not allowed to leave his hotel room, so he hasn’t been doing any exercise outside of his room and until we’re told differently that will be how it is," Reirden said.

That could be a problem.

RELATED: CARLSON MAKING STEPS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

Eller first left the bubble on Aug. 5. By Wednesday, he will have gone a week without being on the ice or being able to exercise, beyond whatever he can do in his room. Typically in these situations, players get a practice in before getting back into the game lineup and Reirden made it clear on Monday that he may have to consider sitting Eller for Game 1 to prevent any sort of injury after missing a week.

“I think it’s something you have to consider is the player hasn’t been on the ice," Reirden said. "He obviously plays a huge role on our team and if you remember a few years ago the success and kind of the X factor that he was for our team when we won against Vegas. So I think it’s important that we handle this situation and make the proper the decision to give this player the best chance to be able to, if it’s not Game 1, then he’s ready to go for Game 2 and he’s as close to healthy in terms of conditioning-wise, he’s ready to go on the ice and be able to add the things he can add and do it safely so that we can have him for an extended time here in this playoffs because he is definitely a big factor in our team success.”

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If Eller is out, Travis Boyd will likely play in his place. Boyd centered the third line in Eller's absence in the last two round robin games.

Luckily, that is the only real question mark down the middle for Washington. Nicklas Backstrom, who missed a practice last week but played against the Boston Bruins on Sunday, said Monday that he had "no concerns" in terms of his status heading into the playoffs.

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