Redskins

Titans edge Steelers 26-23 on Bironas' 40-yard FG

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Titans edge Steelers 26-23 on Bironas' 40-yard FG

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Coach Mike Munchak likes his football history, and he told his Tennessee Titans how the 1993 Houston Oilers started 1-4 before winning 11 straight to reach the playoffs.

One win down.

And that's enough for Tennessee right now.

Rob Bironas kicked a 40-yard field goal, his fourth of the game, as time expired, and the Titans edged the Pittsburgh Steelers 26-23 on Thursday night to snap a two-game skid.

Matt Hasselbeck also threw for 290 yards and a touchdown, Tim Shaw blocked a punt and Chris Johnson ran for 91 yards in his second-best performance this season.

Hasselbeck said the Titans (2-4) know a turnaround like Munchak and his Oilers' teammates had in 1993 can still be accomplished.

``We can write our own history,'' Hasselbeck said. ``Until the season's over, we get to decide how we play.''

The Steelers (2-3) head home with a lengthy injury list and even more questions after they lost their third straight road game this season and fifth in six games dating back to the end of last season.

With so many fans wearing Steelers jerseys and waving Terrible Towels in the stands, LP Field felt more like Heinz Field South. A fan even ran onto the field waving a yellow towel between the third and fourth quarters before being tackled by security.

The homey atmosphere didn't help the Steelers, who have lost at Denver, at Oakland and now to the team that had allowed more points than any other NFL team. Pittsburgh was the first team not to score at least 30 points against Tennessee.

``Obviously, we need to look at everything, but I doubt that the process itself is an issue,'' Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said. ``We have to coach better. We have to play better. We have to finish better in these settings.''

Ben Roethlisberger threw for 363 yards and a touchdown, and passed Terry Bradshaw as the Steelers' career passing leader. But Roethlisberger couldn't drive the Steelers close enough after Hasselbeck and the Titans tied it up with 4:19 left, and Tomlin sent Shaun Suisham out to kick a 54-yard field goal for the lead. Suisham, who beat Philadelphia last week, watched this kick fall short of the crossbar.

``We just shouldn't have put him in a situation to kick such a long one,'' Roethlisberger said.

Suisham had given Pittsburgh a 23-16 lead by kicking his third field goal, a 52-yarder, earlier in the fourth.

Tomlin tried to ice Bironas with a timeout just after a low snap might have knocked the Titans' kicker off his pace. Bironas simply waited it out and connected for the game winner even with another low snap.

``It's kind of like Kevin Costner in ``For The Love of the Game,'' where he clears the mechanism,'' Bironas said. ``You go out there, and you're in the zone.''

The Titans held the ball more than their opponent for the first time this season at 30 minutes, 3 seconds. The Steelers outgained Tennessee 412-359 on offense, and the NFL's fifth-stingiest defense sacked Hasselbeck three times and intercepted him once.

But Johnson, criticized heavily the past five weeks for hesitant play, outran the Steelers running backs all by himself.

``You want to go out there and make plays and show everybody what type of team you are,'' Johnson said. ``That you are not coming out there to let them run us over.''

The Steelers sat safety Troy Polamalu and his injured right calf along with linebacker LaMarr Woodley (hamstring). But the injuries started piling up from the very first offensive snap, as first center Maurkice Pouncey hurt his right leg and missed the rest of the game. Right tackle Marcus Gilbert hurt his right ankle in the second quarter. Doug Legursky stepped in for Pouncey, while rookie Mike Adams replaced Gilbert.

Baron Batch ran for a 1-yard TD after Ike Redman hurt his right ankle after catching four passes for 105 yards. Rashad Mendenhall, who made his season debut last week, hurt his Achilles. Safety Will Allen went out briefly with a stinger as well. Ryan Clark also went to the sideline briefly.

``We just didn't do what we had to do,'' Clark said.

Now the Titans can rest up and see if Jake Locker might be back Oct. 21 when they visit Buffalo. They eased the constant criticism with a big victory over a perennially good team. Munchak said they really needed this win badly.

``We need to enjoy this one,'' Munchak said. ``It's only one win. We know that. But it's a great win for us at this point in the season when we needed to play and show people really what we're all about.''

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Notes: The game-winner was Bironas' second this year and set a franchise record with his 11th overall. ... Titans cornerback Jason McCourty had an interception, the fifth of his career and first this season. ... Tomlin is 3-2 against the Titans. Tomlin now is 15-6 in October. ... Tennessee has won two of its last three home games against Pittsburgh. ... Titans cornerback Tommie Campbell hurt his ankle on punt coverage and did not return.

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Need to Know: The best running backs the Redskins will face in 2018

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Need to Know: The best running backs the Redskins will face in 2018

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, July 18, eight days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The five best running backs the Redskins will face in 2018

This week we’ll be looking at the best of what the Redskins will face during the 2018 season. Today the running backs are up. They are roughly ranked 2017 rushing yards, although I did some juggling based on offseason moves and other factors. Prior to this, we looked at the best teamsreceivers, and quarterbacks

Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys—He actually finished 10thin the league in rushing yards behind two backs who will face the Redskins. Elliott gets boosted up the list because he was suspended for six games last year. He averaged 98 yards per game played and had he been able to play in 16 games he would have led the league in rushing yards with over 300 yards to spare. In three games against the Redskins, he has averaged 110 yards per game and he has five touchdowns. The Redskins’ revamped rushing defense will be tested twice.

Mark Ingram, Saints—He will be coming off of a four-game suspension for Redskins vs. Saints in Week 5. Will he be rested or rusty? If he’s in any kind of form, the Redskins defense will have to be on its game. Last year against Washington in the Superdome Ingram rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown on just 11 carries. 

Leonard Fournette, Jaguars—The rookie did surpass the thousand-yard mark, posting 1,040. Some pointed out that it wasn’t a consistent effort as he gained 310 yards, almost 30 percent of his total, in two back-to-back games in Weeks 5 and 6. That’s fine but he still is a difficult opponent with his combination of size and speed. I look for him to have a big breakout this year. 

Dion Lewis/Derrick Henry, Titans—Lewis averaged 5.0 yards per carry with the Patriots last year and Henry gained 744 yards while sharing time with the now-retired DeMarco Murray. Lewis will play a lot of third downs and will spell Henry sometimes early in games. That will leave the 6-3, 247-pound Henry fresh to grind up the clock if the Titans have a late lead. 

Jay Ajayi, Eagles—Nobody has quite figured out why the Dolphins dealt him to the Eagles in midseason, but Philly was more than happy to add him to the offense. Ajayi became a workhorse in the postseason with 42 rushing attempts and six receptions in three games. 

I do need to mention Giants rookie Saquan Barkley here. I have to think that the second overall pick of the draft will rank somewhere on this list but without seeing him in an NFL uniform yet it’s hard to rank him. He will be dangerous, no doubt. 

Best of the rest: Lamar Miller, Texans, Alvin Kamara, Saints, Ronald Jones, Bucs

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Timeline 

Former Redskins offensive tackle Geroge Starke, one of the original Hogs, was born on this date in 1948.

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 8
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 22
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 45

The Redskins last played a game 199 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 53 days. 

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A quick recap of Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game, including how your Nats did

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A quick recap of Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game, including how your Nats did

Tuesday evening's All-Star game was fairly uneventful until its later innings. The American League triumphed over the National League, 8 - 6, for their sixth straight All-Star game victory.

Despite fears of potential rain and inclement weather delaying the game, there were no unexpected stops in play. 

The AL started very strong offensively, with runs from Aaron Judge and Mike Trout in the top of the second and third innings, respectively. Jean Segura's three-run homer in the top of the eighth made victory look inevitable for the AL by the fifth. 

Max Scherzer, unsurprisingly, was well received among fans at Nationals Park. The Nats starter pitched the first two innings, giving up four hits. One was Judge's second-inning homer, but Scherzer remained unfazed and lighthearted. Four strikeouts made his performance commendable.

Bryce Harper did not get on as well, striking out in both of his at-bats. After Harper's Home Run Derby Win last night, there was chatter of him going for the MVP title as well. 

It didn't work out, but given Harper's consistent presence at the All-Star game, there's always another chance.

Elsewhere in the dugout for the NL, who rallied back from the three-run deficit, the kids were all right. Willson Contreras of the Cubs had a solo homer at the bottom of the third, the Rockies' Trevor Story had one in the seventh, and Christian Yelich added another in the eighth. A two-run homer by Scooter Gennett in the bottom of the ninth brought the game back to a 5-5 tie.

Jesus Aguilar struck out for the NL, and extra innings began.

In the top of the tenth, Alex Bregman and George Springer, both of the Astros, hit home runs almost immediately off of Dodgers pitcher Ross Stipling. Stop us if you've heard that one before.

With no outs, Michael Brantley took a sacrifice flyout to right field, and Jean Segura got in one more run to put the score at 8-5.

Though Joey Votto (Reds) hit one last home run in the bottom of the tenth, the NL couldn't quite make up the deficit.

After a late night, the American League will be going home happy.

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