Redskins

Titans set NFL mark routing Jags 38-20 in finale

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Titans set NFL mark routing Jags 38-20 in finale

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Mike Munchak believes he's the man to coach Tennessee back to the playoffs.

His case: two wins in his final three games along with some young talent that helped the Titans become the first in NFL history with two players scoring twice each on returns.

Mike Mularkey's argument for keeping his job in Jacksonville may be a bit tougher, especially after what happened in the season finale.

The Titans rallied with Darius Reynaud scoring on consecutive punt returns and rookie Zach Brown returning two interceptions for touchdowns Sunday in routing the Jaguars 38-20.

``Obviously, I feel I'm the guy for the job,'' Munchak said. ``I feel like we're going to get this thing going ... 9-7 a year ago, 6-10 not happy. But I think we're getting the right guys here, we're doing it the right way, so yeah obviously I think myself and the staff feel good about the direction we're going.''

Titans owner Bud Adams will make the final decision. Jaguars owner Shad Khan has yet to put his stamp on Jacksonville, and general manager Gene Smith and Mularkey both could be gone after the team lost 12 of its final 13 games. It was the worst season in franchise history yet the Jags landed only the No. 2 pick in the draft.

Mularkey talked about how hard he and his assistants worked this season, and he defended their effort by pointing out the Jaguars played hard every week.

``There has been no give-up, there has been no quit by any of these guys,'' Mularkey said. ``I give them credit. I think they can walk out of this locker room, whatever their record is, with their head up knowing that they did everything they could.''

Still, Mularkey has lost 20 of his last 23 games as a head coach dating back to Buffalo, and these Jaguars lost eight games by 16 points or more.

``This is the worst season I've ever been a part of, and it's extremely disappointing,'' Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny said. ``To finish the season the way that we did with some of those plays it's outrageous. The whole thing was very disappointing because we came into this year with such high hopes and we felt like we had a special group of guys that could do some things.''

The Titans (6-10) head into the offseason with optimism despite being outgained 375-221 in total offense with the Jaguars holding the ball for more than 32 minutes. They also set a franchise mark for most points allowed in a season, giving up 471 points.

``We have a lot of work ahead of us, but it's nice to end up with a win,'' Munchak said.

The defense did sack Chad Henne seven times while picking him off three times. They did drop three other chances at interceptions before Brown picked off a pass and ran it back 79 yards for a TD. Reynaud followed with a 69-yard punt return just before halftime taking a 21-14 lead in the span of 75 seconds.

Then Reynaud got the scoring started after halftime, returning a punt 81 yards after the Jaguars went three-and-out to open the third. Two plays later, Tommie Campbell deflected a Henne pass to Brown, who ran it back 30 yards for a 35-14 lead.

``The first one I dropped it, but coach told me that he was going to throw me another one,'' Brown said. ``I was just waiting for me. He threw it to me two times.''

Reynaud also became the first player in franchise history to return two punts for TDs in a game and tied an NFL mark with 13 others.

Jacksonville led 14-7 with Henne tossing a 5-yard TD pass to Jordan Shipley and a 30-yarder to Justin Blackmon until the Titans defense started catching the balls they got their hands on.

``We had total control of what we were doing and we were moving the ball, so it's on us,'' Henne said.

The Jaguars made Keith Toston the fifth different running back to start a game this season, and he had a career-high 66 yards on 12 carries by halftime as the Titans missed tackles and dropped three would-be interceptions. Toston finished with 74 yards.

NOTES: Reggie Bush was the last to score on two punt returns in a game on Oct. 6, 2008. ... The Titans' previous mark for most points allowed in a season was 460 in 1983 as the then-Houston Oilers. ... This was the 17th time in Tennessee history with multiple return TDs in a game. ... The Titans also had three return touchdowns Sept. 23 in an overtime win over Detroit. Reynaud had a 105-yard kickoff return in that game. ... Jaguars TE Marcedes Lewis had a career-high 103 yards receiving.

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Fantasy Football QB Rankings 2019 2.1

Fantasy Football QB Rankings 2019 2.1

With the preseason off and running it is finally time for fantasy football leagues to do the same. Andrew Luck's sudden retirement shook up the sports world and will absolutely alter fantasy football drafting strategies.

For a tiered breakdown of each fantasy football position, click below:

Quarterback
Running Back
Wide Receiver
Tight End

Quarterback always seems to be the murkiest position during fantasy drafts. There is always that one person that selects Aaron Rodgers, and now this year Patrick Mahomes, WAY too early and throws the remainder of the draft selections out of proportions. The best methodology is to select your quarterback as far back in the draft as possible. The dangers of selecting too early vary, and it's not worth it to blow that high of a pick on a player who puts up comparable stats to someone you can grab much later

TIER 1: Showtime

1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
2018 Stats: 5,097 Passing YDs, 50 Passing TD, 12 INT, 272 Rushing YDS, 2 Rushing TD, 2018 QB1
Previous Ranking: 1

TIER 2: Elite Starters

2. DeShaun Watson, Houston Texans
2018 Stats: 4,165 Passing YDS, 26 Passing TD, 9 INT, 551 Rushing YDS, 5 Rush TD, 2018 QB4
Previous Ranking: 2

3. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
2017 Stats: 3,296 Passing YDS, 33 Passing TD, 7 INT, 299 Rushing YDS, 2017 QB5
Previous Ranking: 4

4. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
2018 Stats: 4,442 Passing YDS, 25 Passing TD, 2 INT, 269 Rushing YDS, 2 Rushing TD, 2018 QB6
Previous Ranking: 5

TIER 3: Near Elite

5. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
2018 Stats: 3,725 Passing YDS, 26 Passing TD, 14 INT, 131 Rushing YDS, 2018 QB16
Previous Ranking: 6

6. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
2018 Stats: 4,924 Passing YDS, 35 Passing TD, 7 INT, 3 Rushing TD, 2018 QB2
Previous Ranking: 7

7. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
​​​​​​2018 Stats: 3,395 Passing YDS, 24 Passing TD, 13 INT, 488 Rushing YDS, 4 Rushing TD, 2018 QB13
Previous Ranking: 8

8. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
2018 Stats: 3,992 Passing YDS, 32 Passing TD, 5 INT, 22 Rushing YDS, 4 Rushing TD, 2018 QB8
Previous Ranking: 9

TIER 4: Late-round options

9. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
2018 Stats: 3,448 Passing YDS, 35 Passing TD, 7 INT, 376 Rushing YDS, 2018 QB9
Previous Ranking: 10

10. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
​​​​​​2018 Stats: 4,308 Passing YDS, 32 Passing TD, 12 INT, 2018 QB11
Previous Ranking: 11

11. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
Previous Ranking:
 12

12. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2018 Stats: 2,992 Passing YDS, 19 Passing TD, 14 INT, 2018 QB21
Previous Ranking: 13

TIER 5: Potential is there

13. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams
2018 Stats: 4,688 Passing YDS, 32 Passing TD, 12 INT, 108 Rushing YDS, 2 Rushing TD, 2018 QB7
Previous Ranking: 14

14. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
2018 Stats: 5,129 Passing YDS, 34 Passing TD, 15 INT, 98 Rushing YDS, 3 Rushing TD, 2018 QB3
Previous Ranking: 15

TIER 6: Backup Options

15. Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears

2018 Stats: 3,223 Passing YDS, 24 Passing TD, 12 INT, 421 Rushing YDS, 3 Rushing TD, 2018 QB15
Previous Ranking: 16

16. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
2018 Stats: 4,298 Passing YDS, 30 Passing TD, 10 INT, 123 Rushing YDS, 1 Rushing TD, 2018 QB12
Previous Ranking: 17

17. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
2018 Stats: 2,074 Passing YDS, 10 Passing TD, 12 INT, 639 Rushing YDS, 8 Rushing TD, 2018 QB21
Previous Ranking: 18

18. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
2018 Stats: 3,885 Passing YDS, 22 Passing TD, 8 INT, 305 Rushing YDS, 6 Rushing TD, 2018 QB10
Previous Ranking: 19

19. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
2018 Stats: 1,201 Passing YDS, 6 Passing TD, 3 INT, 695 Rushing YDS, 5 Rushing TD, 2018 QB28
Previous Ranking: 20

20. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
2018: Tore ACL in Game 3
Previous Ranking: 21

21. Nick Foles, Jacksonville Jaguars
2018 Stats: 1,413 Passing YDS, 7 Passing TD, 4 INT, 2018 QB35
Previous Ranking: 22

22. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
2018 Stats: 4,049 Passing YDS, 19 Passing TD, 10 INT, 2018 QB17
Previous Ranking: 23

23. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
2018 Stats: 4,355 Passing YDS, 29 Passing TD, 11 INT, 2 Rushing TD, 2018 QB14
Previous Ranking: 24

24. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
2018 Stats: 3,777 Passing YDS, 21 Passing TD, 11 INT, 2018 QB19
Previous Ranking: 25

25. Sam Darnold, New York Jets
2018 Stats:
2,865 Passing YDS, 17 Passing TD, 15 INT, QB26
Previous Ranking: NR

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‘We’re not robots’: Redskins react to Luck's retirement

‘We’re not robots’: Redskins react to Luck's retirement

The news came like a thunderbolt on a Saturday night across the NFL: Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was retiring at age 29. 

Just like that, one of the game’s great players, again dealing with a series of injuries he never seemed able to escape, is gone. Even his opponents empathized, including several Redskins players. 

“I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know what to think,” running back Adrian Peterson said. “Just goes to show the type of pain and what he was dealing with and mentally where he was, to retire at such a young age and with so much  to look forward top in his future.”

Luck, the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, one spot before the Redskins selected Robert Griffin III, left $64 million on the table by retiring. But he missed nine games in 2015 with a lacerated kidney and torn abdominal muscles and the entire 2017 season because of a shoulder injury. The last straw was an ankle injury that just wasn’t healing. On and off a constant cycle of rehabilitation for years, Luck had enough. The news leaked on social media during Indianapolis’ preseason home game Saturday night and Colts fans booed Luck as he left the field in street clothes. 

“We’re human beings. We’re not robots,” Redskins cornerback Josh Norman said. “You can’t turn us on, turn us off when you want….Yeah, they may see the numbers and how much we get paid. But you’ve also got to understand that’s it’s a livelihood where if something happens you can’t do something for the rest of your life. That is much bigger than the numbers and whatever else that they look at it. It’s the gift that we’ve been given and it’s also the curse.” 

Luck made a similar point in an emotional press conference after Saturday’s game while stunned Colts coaches, players and executives looked on. He cried. The sport he played with joy his entire life wasn’t fun anymore. Articulating that was difficult, especially on the eve of a season with such high hopes for the Colts and the fans’ boos still ringing in his ears. 

“I remember my teacher being like, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ I want to play quarterback in the NFL,” Redskins quarterback Case Keenum said. “They don’t tell you about a lot of the other things. Like fans booing you when you’re walking off the field for the last time. The injuries, the mental, the physical, the emotional toll it takes on you and your family….We get paid a lot of money and people have their opinions about us, but his family was probably at that game, too. It’s tough and I feel for him.”

Luck made 86 career starts, had a 53-33 record and led the Colts to the playoffs four times and the AFC title game in 2014. That same year he threw five touchdown passes in a Nov. 30 game against Washington. He made the Pro Bowl four times despite the years lost to injury. 

His final NFL season showed his greatness one last time for a Colts team coming off a 4-12 season. With Luck back, they went 10-6, finished second in the AFC South and won an AFC wild-card game. Luck might have had his greatest season. He had 4,593 passing yards with 39 touchdowns and set career highs in completions (430), completion percentage and passer rating (98.7). But back on the injury cycle again this summer, it was time to go.

“If you can’t go out there and put your heart and soul into this game then you probably shouldn’t be out there,” Redskins tight end Vernon Davis said. “I would be the same way if I was Andrew Luck. Kudos to him for being honest with himself, being honest with the organization, with the NFL and doing what was right.” 

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