Redskins

Seattle gets tested, holds off Rams 20-13

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Seattle gets tested, holds off Rams 20-13

SEATTLE (AP) Fueled by their frenzied fans, the Seattle Seahawks closed out a perfect run at home.

Hope they enjoyed it. Unless the NFC playoffs get thrown for a loop, the Seahawks won't be back until next season. Then again, with the roll the Seahawks are on, it's not inconceivable that somehow the breaks fall in their favor and they get one more home game.

``I'm really proud. I'm proud of the organization, I'm proud of the fans, I'm proud to be part of the movement that we made in the three years that we've been here,'' Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. ``Eleven-and-5 is a good season, that's a big season when you're coaching in the NFL and playing in the NFL.''

Russell Wilson tied Peyton Manning's record for most touchdown passes by a rookie with 26, and his 1-yard TD run with 1:39 left gave Seattle a 20-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday and an 8-0 home mark for the Seahawks.

Seattle (11-5) had hopes of winning the NFC West entering the day, but needed Arizona to pull off a stunning upset of San Francisco. For a while, it looked plausible with Arizona holding an early 6-0 lead and trailing just 7-6 at halftime. But San Francisco pulled away in the third quarter and with it went Seattle's hopes of being any more than just the No. 5 seed with a road trip for the first round of the playoffs.

Seattle will travel to Washington for the first round of the playoffs next Sunday.

``I'm so excited, I'm ecstatic. It's a great opportunity,'' Wilson said. ``We've got 11 wins so far in the regular season, and now the whole season starts over. The mindset doesn't change, though. Go 1 and 0 every week. Continue to compete throughout the week.''

Wilson capped his remarkable first regular season by joining Manning in the NFL record books. And that was before he led the Seahawks on a fourth game-winning drive in the final minutes of regulation or overtime this season.

Wilson finished 15 of 19 for 250 yards and his 10-yard touchdown pass to Michael Robinson in the third quarter pulled him even with Manning for the rookie TD record. He added another 58 yards rushing, while Marshawn Lynch finished with 100 yards on 18 carries, his 10th game of the season reaching the century mark. Golden Tate had three catches for 105 yards.

Once again, Wilson found a way in the fourth quarter. Starting at his 10 with 5:11 left, Wilson took Seattle 90 yards in 10 plays. After Tate recovered a fumble by Lynch on the second play of the drive, Wilson found Tate for 44 yards, racing to the St. Louis 29, putting the Seahawks in prime position to close out a perfect home record.

Wilson was given the shot at the rookie TD record by himself on second-and-goal from the 1. All his receivers were covered, and Wilson was left to scramble in for his fourth rushing touchdown of the season and another game-winning drive.

``He deserved a chance to try to get it. We needed to get in the end zone one way or another,'' Carroll said. ``We thought it would be an easy way to get in, but they covered it, they did a nice job. So, he scrambled his way in.''

Wilson's numbers when compared with Manning's record-setting 1998 season are startling. Manning had 182 more pass attempts than Wilson and threw 28 interceptions compared to Wilson's 10. Still, Manning didn't have the complement of players around him that Wilson does in Seattle.

``The football team has really sparked throughout the whole entire season, the coaching staff has done a really great job of preparing me and it's a whole team effort,'' Wilson said.

St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford tried to put together a final drive, converting one fourth down and getting to the Seattle 29 with 40 seconds left. But on fourth-and-10, Bradford forced his throw and Richard Sherman stepped in front for his eighth interception of the season. Wilson took a knee and Seattle headed for the playoffs winners of five straight and seven of eight the second-half of the season.

The interception capped a perfect week for Sherman, who won his appeal of a four-game suspension for using banned substances and will be available in the playoffs.

``I think we needed this test heading into the playoffs to help us know how it's going to feel in the playoffs, to know it's going to be a grind every week, it's going to be tough opponents every week, and it's only going to get tougher,'' Sherman said.

Bradford was 25 of 42 for 242 yards and a touchdown pass to Austin Pettis. Greg Zuerlein kicked field goals of 25 and 39 yards. Steven Jackson also went over 1,000 yards rushing for the eighth straight season, becoming just the sixth player in NFL history to accomplish that feat.

The Rams were trying to finish with a winning record for the first time since 2003. Still it was a noteworthy turnaround Jeff Fisher put together in his first season with the Rams, going from 2-14 to the verge of a winning season.

``I'm very, very proud of the professional approach that the guys took, not only all year, but this year in preparation and understanding that this is a difficult place to play, understanding what we needed to do to win the game,'' Fisher said. ``I'm disappointed that we fell short, but it was a tremendous effort by our guys and they have nothing to be disappointed about.''

NOTES: Lynch finished with 1,590 yards rushing, the third-highest total in Seahawks history. ... Seattle led the NFL in scoring defense at 15.3 per game. ... St. Louis tied a franchise record with 52 sacks, including six on Sunday. Chris Long had three sacks.

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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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    Redskins will reportedly sign Mark Sanchez as backup QB

    Redskins will reportedly sign Mark Sanchez as backup QB

    Mark Sanchez is reportedly set to join the Washington Redskins in advance of the Week 12 Thanksgiving day game against the Cowboys, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

    A devastating, season-ending injury to Alex Smith in Week 11 pushed Colt McCoy into the starting quarterback position, and without a third quarterback in-house, the Redskins had to sign a late replacement.

    Sanchez, who last played for the Bears during the 2017 season,  spent four seasons with the Jets after the team selected him out of Southern Cal with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

    Sanchez led the Jets to two AFC Championship games, but will ultimately be remembered for the "butt fumble" in a 2012 Thanksgiving day blowout loss to the New England Patriots. Sanchez's first game with the Redskins will take place exactly six years after the infamous moment.

    Sanchez has appeared in 77 games in seven seasons, starting 72. He's thrown for over 15,000 yards and has tossed 86 touchdown passes, while also throwing 86 interceptions.

    McCoy will start for the Redskins on Thursday in Dallas and is expected to be the starting quarterback for the rest of the season, with Sanchez serving as his backup and safety net.

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