Redskins

Vilma gives Saints 'D emotional lift against Bucs

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Vilma gives Saints 'D emotional lift against Bucs

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Inspired by Jonathan Vilma's return, New Orleans' porous defense found a way to keep Tampa Bay out of the end zone, then did it again to preserve the Saints' second straight win.

Drew Brees threw for 377 yards and four touchdowns, however Sunday's 35-28 victory over the Buccaneers wouldn't have been possible without a third-quarter goal-line stand and another stop to end the game.

``I don't know how much better we got. I know we won the game. That's always a positive,'' safety Roman Harper said. ``We were always finding ways to lose a game, and now we're finding ways to win a game.

With Vilma playing for the first time while appealing a season-long suspension for his role in the Saints bounty program and Brees shrugging off an early interception that led to Tampa Bay's first touchdown, New Orleans (2-4) took another step toward turning around its season following an 0-4 start.

Vilma provided an emotional lift, if not any game-changing plays. Brees extended his NFL record for consecutive games with at least one TD pass to 49 and launched a 95-yard scoring drive that put the Saints up 14 points after the defense stopped four straight Bucs running plays from the New Orleans 1 late in the third quarter.

Safety Malcolm Jenkins began the sequence by hustling across the field to stop Tampa Bay's Vincent Jackson from scoring on a 95-yard reception. LeGarrette Blount was stopped for no gain on three straight carries from the 1, then defensive end Cameron Jordan chased Josh Freeman out of bounds for a 4-yard loss on a quarterback keeper to prevent the Bucs from tying the score.

Twelve plays later, Pierre Thomas scored on a 5-yard run to make it 35-21.

``All of the sudden, they're about to tie the game, and Malcolm - an unbelievable individual effort to run Vincent Jackson down, and then a goal-line stand,'' Brees said.

``Now in their mind, they're thinking: `Hey, we went for it on fourth down because now we've got them pinned back and we're just expecting to stop them and have them punt it to us and get great field position.' But we had a different plan in mind. We get one first down, a big play, and all of the sudden we're going down and making it a two-possession game.''

Despite missing a third-quarter field goal and failing to get anything out of the longest offensive play in franchise history, Tampa Bay (2-4) still nearly found a way to get the game into overtime.

Freeman, who threw for a career-best 420 yards and three touchdowns, marched the Bucs from their own 19 to the New Orleans 9 in the closing seconds.

On the game's final play, Freeman rolled to his left before throwing to Mike Williams for an apparent tying touchdown. But the receiver had been pushed out of the back of the end zone before coming back into the field of play. So, instead of heading to OT, the reception was wiped out by a penalty for illegal touching.

Bucs coach Greg Schiano said he didn't see what happened.

``It really doesn't matter. If it's called, it's called. You live with it. There's nothing you can do about it,'' Schiano said. ``So whether he did, didn't, we'll see it on tape. That's life.''

Brees was 27 of 37 and threw TDs passes of 17 yards to Marques Colston, 9 yards to Darren Sproles, 48 yards to Joseph Morgan and 20 yards to David Thomas to overcome the New Orleans defense yielding a season-high 513 yards.

Vilma, who has a hearing on his appeal scheduled for Oct. 30, finished with one quarterback hit but no tackles.

``I tried to not let my emotions get the best of me,'' Vilma said. I didn't want to put myself in a situation where I was going to hurt the team or anything like that, so I tried not to be overexcited.''

Teammates said it was good to have him on the field.

``Having him back just, emotionally, really made a difference in this game,'' interim Saints coach Aaron Kromer said. ``We were trying to get him in in certain packages, and we had a couple of linebackers go down early in the game.''

Vilma was very business-like, answering questions while getting dressed in the locker room. He said he wasn't sure how many snaps he played, but that he felt fine and believed he was in good enough condition to play an entire game.

The ninth-year pro said he had always believed he'd get an opportunity to play this season.

``Most people didn't, but it was a long, drawn-out process, and for good or bad, it ended up this way and I was able to be back on the field with my teammates. That was a great feeling,'' Vilma said.

Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has been appointed as arbitrator for Vilma's appeal, as well as the hearings for three other players facing suspensions of various lengths.

``I think it's a good first step for Paul to be the neutral arbitrator,'' said Vilma, who played mostly in passing situations on Sunday. ``We expect that he's going to do things in a neutral capacity, which will allow us to cross-examine some of the witnesses and allow us to see the evidence, if there is any evidence.''

NOTES: Jackson had seven receptions for a Bucs-record 216 yards. ... Lance Moore had nine receptions for 121 yards for the Saints. ... It was Kromer's last game as interim coach. Assistant head coach Joe Vitt returns from his suspension this week and will lead the Saints in Sean Payton's absence the rest of the season.

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Redskins vs. Jets Preseason Week 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

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Redskins vs. Jets Preseason Week 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

After a fight-filled start to joint practices between the Redskins and Jets, the Skins' 2018 NFL preseason schedule continues Thursday night at Fed Ex Field against New York. 

Week 2 of the NFL preseason still doesn't provide a lot of answers to questions about team performance, but it begins to reveal the depth the Redskins could have this season.

One storyline that won't be taking place, is the return of former Redskin Terrelle Pryor, who told reporters after Monday's practice he won't be playing in the game.

The Redskins have bigger things to worry about though, like who will replace rookie Derrius Guice, who's now out for the year with a torn ACL.

The Redskins also have one less name in the fight for receiver depth as well, after Robert Davis suffered a season-ending leg injury as well. 

Ahead of Thursday's preseason matchup, here's everything you need to know to watch.

REDSKINS vs. JETS, PRESEASON WEEK 2

Who: Washington Redskins vs. New York Jets

What: Game 2 of the 2018 NFL Preseason

When: Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, 8:00 p.m. ET

Where: Fed Ex Field, Landover, MD

TV Channel: ESPN

Live Stream: Watch ESPN

Radio: Redskins Radio Network

Point Spread: Washington, -3

Over/Under: 39.5

Weather: 90 degrees, partly cloudy

REDSKINS vs. PATRIOTS TV SCHEDULE:

5:00 PM: Redskins 100
5:30 PM: Redskins Nation
6:00 PM: Best of the Sports Junkies
7:00 PM: Redskins Kickoff Live

REDSKINS 2018 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

Week 1: Thurs., 8/9, vs. New England Patriots, 7:30 p.m. (L, 26-17)

Week 2: Thurs., 8/16, vs. New York Jets, 8:00 p.m. (ESPN)

Week 3: Fri., 8/24, vs. Denver Broncos, 7:30 p.m. 

Week 4: Thurs., 8/30, vs. Baltimore Ravens, 7:30 p.m. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS

 

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Ozuna homers, Cardinals beat Nationals for 8th straight win

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Ozuna homers, Cardinals beat Nationals for 8th straight win

Marcell Ozuna homered and Austin Gomber tossed six shutout innings to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-2 win over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night.

St. Louis has won a season-high eight straight. The Cardinals, who are 18-9 since the All-Star break, captured their sixth successive series after taking the first three of the four-game set.

Daniel Murphy homered in the ninth for Washington, which has lost four in a row and seven of nine to fall below .500 and nine games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves in the NL East. The current skid began with a loss to the Cubs on a two-out, walk-off grand slam.

Ozuna homered in the second inning, his 14th of the season and his first since July 30.

Gomber (3-0), in his fourth start of the year, gave up three hits, struck out six and walked four.

Bud Norris pitched the ninth to pick up his 23rd save in 27 opportunities.

Harrison Bader and Yadier Molina added run-scoring hits for St. Louis, which improved to 19-9 since Mike Matheny was fired and replaced by interim manager Mike Shildt.

St. Louis infielder Matt Carpenter extended his on-base streak to 33 games with a walk in the fifth. It's the longest current streak in the majors. Carpenter left the game in the seventh after he was hit on the hand by a pitch from Matt Grace, but X-rays were negative.

Jeremy Hellickson (5-3) left in the fifth inning after colliding with Bader on a play at the plate following a wild pitch. Hellickson gave up three runs, two earned, on three hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out two and walked two.

Bader, who had three hits, also made a diving catch of a liner off the bat of Bryce Harper in the fourth.

The Cardinals, who have an NL-best 12-2 mark in August, remain one game behind Philadelphia for the second wild card spot. They are four games behind Chicago in the NL Central.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg threw a simulated game on Wednesday. He threw around 70 pitches and could be ready to return early next week, manager Dave Martinez said.

Cardinals: LHP Brett Cecil was activated from the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday. Cecil, who had been sidelined with inflammation in his right foot, pitched four scoreless innings in four appearances with Triple-A Memphis. LHP Tyler Webb was optioned to Memphis.

UP NEXT

RHP Tanner Roark (7-12, 4.12) will face RHP Luke Weaver (6-10, 4.66) in the finale of the four-game series on Thursday. Roark has won his last four decision, Weaver is 1-4 with a 5.13 ERA in nine career games against NL East foes.