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Seahawks use Lynch, strong finish to snap skid

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Seahawks use Lynch, strong finish to snap skid

RENTON, Wash. (AP) Pete Carroll called it a textbook example of how the Seattle Seahawks want to close out a victory, with the ball in their hands and the final seconds ticking away.

``Finishing'' is one of the terms the Seahawks' coach constantly preaches. And his team's 30-20 win over Minnesota on Sunday was a pretty good definition of what Carroll wants to see.

``Finishing is huge in this program, the awareness of it, the concept of it what it takes to finish is a big deal to us. ... We put together a really good finish to this game and that really was the story to me,'' Carroll said Monday. ``There are issues that we have and stuff that we're working on, but we put together a great fourth quarter on defense and on offense and owned the football and controlled the football game.''

Thanks to the running of Marshawn Lynch, overshadowed at times by Adrian Peterson's big day, the Seahawks (5-4) were able to control the ball for nearly all of the final 12 minutes, never giving Minnesota a chance to rally.

Lynch rushed for 124 yards, including 69 in the second half. While his running allowed Seattle to control the clock, its defense made adjustments to try and contain Peterson, who finished with 182 yards.

Seattle scored on two of its final four possessions, but it was the last one that proved most impressive. The Seahawks took over with 5:27 left following an interception and never let Minnesota see the ball again. The Seahawks ran 11 plays, converting a pair of fourth-down attempts. The last fourth-down conversion was a 6-yard pass on fourth-and-4 to fullback Michael Robinson out of the backfield.

Russell Wilson then took a knee at the Minnesota 9, concluding one of Seattle's more impressive drives that didn't result in points.

``We wanted to finish the game on offense and we didn't want to give them a chance,'' Carroll said.

Peterson was the story early because of his dynamic performance that included 144 yards rushing in the first half. But Lynch was equally good in a different way. While Peterson carried just five times in the second half, Lynch was handed the ball 15 times and told to grind out yards and eat up clock. Lynch had just one run that went for more than 10 yards - a 23-yard run when he carried tacklers and helped set up his 3-yard TD in the third quarter - but he accomplished what Seattle wanted.

The Seahawks had 21 minutes of possession in the second half and of the final 11:49 of the fourth quarter, Minnesota held the ball for just 56 seconds.

Some of Peterson's yards were just his remarkable ability. Carroll noted that was the case on his 74-yard run on the second play of the game when Peterson slipped between two defenders at the sideline with a piercing cut and found open field only to be tracked down at the 1.

But there were issues with defenders filling in the wrong gaps that gave Peterson a free run into the secondary.

``He made a lot of guys miss, but we did not fit our runs well at all at times. There were a bunch of them that we did, but there were a half-dozen plays that we didn't and we took advantage of them and made the most of it,'' Carroll said. ``He was very, very quick and very decisive in his runs and made the most of the opportunities that he had and we were lucky to get him down a couple of times.''

Instead of trying to make slowing down Peterson more complicated, the Seahawks simplified things in the second half. Multiple players noted the decision to return to their base defense. While Peterson had one big run in the second half - among the few carries he had - Seattle also stopped Peterson three times for no gain or a loss of yardage.

After carrying the Seahawks through the early part of the season, Seattle's defense has now given up at least 20 points in three of the past four games. And if Christian Ponder had been at all effective throwing the ball, the Vikings would have become the fourth straight team to top 300 total yards against the Seahawks.

``That's why finishing is so important,'' Carroll said. ``We did all of the right stuff to get out of that game with a big win for us at the end.''

Notes: LB K.J. Wright and OT James Carpenter (concussions) will both be following league protocol this week for returning, Carroll said. He did not know if either would play Sunday vs. the Jets. Wright's status is of concern in that he's the starting outside linebacker and the backup at middle linebacker. ... SS Kam Chancellor sustained a thigh bruise late in the game.

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1.16.18: Rick Horrow sits down with Paul Tagliabue, former NFL commissioner

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USA TODAY Sports

1.16.18: Rick Horrow sits down with Paul Tagliabue, former NFL commissioner

By Rick Horrow

Podcast editor: Tanner Simkins

Rick Horrow sits down with Paul Tagliabue, former NFL commissioner, and takes you through the biggest stories in sports business.

  • LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST HERE.
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    • Ahead of this weekend’s big matchups, the NFL and Intuit Inc announced that as part of their multi-year official sponsor partnership, Intuit TurboTax Live will serve as the first-ever presenting sponsor of both the AFC and NFC Championship Games. As a part of the sponsorship, TurboTax Live branding will be featured during the 2019 AFC and NFC Championship Games as well as within ancillary programming and content across league broadcast and digital media platforms. “We’re proud to have Intuit as the NFL’s first-ever presenting sponsor for both AFC and NFC Championship games,” said Renie Anderson, NFL Senior Vice President, NFL Partnerships, Sponsorship and Consumer Products. “Intuit has a longstanding reputation as a leader in the financial and accounting software industry that NFL fans recognize and trust this time of year.” Beyond the presenting sponsorship of both 2019 AFC and NFC Championship games, Intuit also becomes the NFL’s official sponsor for financial and accounting software, as well as tax preparation services.
    • This year’s Indianapolis 500 “will pay special tribute” to Mario Andretti and the 50th anniversary of his only Indy 500 win in 1969. According to the Allentown Morning Call, Andretti’s 50th anniversary celebration will include a “commemorative logo that will be used on the cover of the race program, on special merchandise and other places to celebrate the anniversary,” and the “coveted bronze badges that have long served as credentials that allow garage and pit lane access will feature Andretti.” Beginning May 1, the IMS Museum “will feature a special Andretti section devoted to his entire career.” Because Andretti is “still so involved in IndyCar Series racing,” he will “be around IMS almost all of May.” IndyCar CEO Mark Miles said that he "hopes to make a formal announcement” about a new series title sponsor next month; NTT Data reportedly is in talks as a potential replacement for Verizon. Andretti Autosport, home of rising IndyCar star Zach Veach, will obviously be front and center throughout the May celebration.
    • Thuuz Sports, using their custom designed algorithms to measure real time global event excitement, determined that the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints were the most exciting teams throughout the NFL regular season. The Kansas City Chiefs’ record-setting game with the Los Angeles Rams was the most exciting regular season game of 2018. In terms of most exciting teams, the Eagles and Saints were the only teams to have eight games register as “GREAT” on the excitement scale. KC had seven Great Games make the list, while three non-playoff teams – Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Tampa Bay – joined the Rams with six Great Games each. The measurement scores were done on a 0 to 100 scale and take into consideration game pace, team parity, play novelty, momentum shifts, social buzz, and historical context. Coming soon: Thuuz’ evaluation of this year’s thrilling NFL post season matchups, as well as Super Bowl LIII.

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Capitals vs. Islanders: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Capitals vs. Islanders: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Making his return to Capital One Arena, Barry Trotz will lead his New York Islanders against the Washington Capitals. 

It will be the first time Trotz sees the Stanley Cup banner in person and the second time that he will go at odds with his former team. 

But as things stand for both teams, they are going in opposite directions. The Isles are one of the hottest teams in the league, winners of 12 of their last 16 contests.  Washington quite possibly has hit their post-Stanley Cup hangover, and is 4-4-2 in their last 10. 

These two teams met up earlier this season and they already gave Trotz his ring, but the Caps got the victory. With the way the two teams are trending right now in the Metro division, Trotz may get his revenge. 

Here is everything you need to know about the Friday night game, which takes place at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington.

CAPITALS vs. ISLANDERS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals vs. New York Islanders Game 47 of the 2018-19 NHL Regular Season

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington D.C.

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: The Capitals vs. Islanders game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington

Live Stream: You can live stream Capitals vs. Islanders on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.

Radio: Caps 24/7 Radio, 106.7 The Fan FM

CAPITALS at ISLANDERS TV SCHEDULE

6:30 PM: Caps Faceoff Live
7:00 PM: Caps Pregame Live
7:30 PM: Capitals vs. Islanders
10:00 PM: Caps Postgame Live
10:30 PM: Caps Overtime Live
11:00 PM: D.C. Sports Live

CAPITALS vs. ISLANDERS INJURY REPORT:

Capitals: Christian Djoos (leg, Injured Reserve)

Islanders: Thomas Hickey (upper body, day-to-day), Andrew Ladd (lower body, Injured Reserve)

CAPITALS vs. ISLANDERS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Braden Holtby, G, Capitals (17-10-2, 2.80 GAA): Holtby missed the past two games for Caps due to an eye injury he suffered on Jan. 12 against Columbus. His status is still up in the air for this matchup, but in the past 150+ minutes (2.5 games) without Holtby the team has allowed 12 goals.

Alex Ovechkin, F, Capitals (33 G, 19 A, 52 Pts): As much as the defense has struggled, so has the offense. Four goals in the past three games is all the Caps can muster, with one of the four coming off of the stick of Ovechkin. He has not been the reason for the lack of the offense, but Ovi needs to get them out of the funk. 

Robin Lehner, G, Islanders (13-7-3, 2.16 GAA): Dominating is all that Lehner has been doing for the Isles as of late and is a huge part of their comeback. When he's made it on the ice, the team has won nine of their last 10. His GAA is tops in the NHL and his save percentage (.928) is second. Not a good recipe for a Caps team that has trouble finding the net. 

CAPITALS vs. ISLANDERS SERIES HISTORY

Number of all-time Meetings: 252 (37 postseason)

All-Time Series Record: Capitals lead 124-115-13

Regular Season Record: Capitals lead 108-94-13

Playoff Record: Islanders lead 21-16

Last Meeting: Caps win 4-1 OT (11/26/18)

Last 10: Capitals lead 6-4

MORE CAPS NEWS: