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busy off-season for Nashville • Absender: jinshuiqian0713, 16.09.2019 08:09

WASHINGTON - The NFC East title could very well hinge on whether the Philadelphia Eagles or Dallas Cowboys slip up against the lowly Washington Redskins.The Eagles (9-5) go first with a Saturday visit to Washington. Then the first-place Cowboys (10-4) head to the nations capital a week later for their season finale.Philadelphia holds the tiebreaker over Dallas, but thats moot if the Cowboys win out. The Eagles have lost two in a row and could very well end up with 11 wins and no trip to the playoffs, even though their record would be at least three games better than the winner of NFC South.If we win 11 games and its not good enough to get in, shame on us because we didnt win the right games, Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly said. Thats the bottom line. Thats what this whole deal is all about, and we know it going in.Few are expecting much resistance from the Redskins (3-11), who have lost six straight and just made their fifth starting quarterback change this season. Theyve lost their past three games by 22, 24 and 11 points.But strange things sometimes happen: Washingtons signature win this year came on a Monday night in October at Dallas, and the Redskins top offensive output came when they gained 427 yards in a 37-34 loss at Philadelphia in September.Weve got to play in a crucial situation, and somebodys got to rise above it and make a play. Unfortunately, we were unable to do that against Philadelphia, first-year Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. It was obviously a very good game, but we came out on the short end of the stick, which isnt good enough.Heres more to notice as the teams convene on the last Saturday before Christmas, when disgruntled, gone-shopping Redskins fans will leave more room in the stadium than usual for the familiar vocal contingent from Philly:QB TRIALS: Mark Sanchez knows what its like to be hurt, and what its like to have people questioning his competence. Maybe Robert Griffin III could use him as a role model.Sanchez has had a revival of sorts in Philadelphia after four challenging years with the New York Jets. Hes kept the Eagles afloat as the starting quarterback while Nick Foles recovers from a broken collarbone.Win, lose or draw, I am in a great opportunity and I cant ever forget that, how fun this is, Sanchez said. And usually when I am feeling like that, I am playing pretty well.QB TRIALS, PART 2: That said, Sanchez needs to do more than just keep the Eagles afloat if theyre to repeat as NFC East champs. Hes 3-3 as a starter with 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions. In fact, Philadelphias team passer rating (82.6) is substantially lower than the Redskins (89.9).Griffin regains the job in Washington after Colt McCoy was placed on injured reserve this week with a sprained neck. Gruden hasnt set the bar particularly high, citing Griffins ongoing struggles to get a grasp on the fundamentals of drop-back passing.I dont expect perfection from him, Gruden said. But we want to see improvement.THE SEASON FOR GIVING: The Eagles have a league-leading 34 turnovers this season after giving the ball away just 19 times in 2013.A costly fumble by tight end Brent Celek was the turning point in Sundays loss to Dallas, and Sanchez ranks last in the NFL in interception percentage.We have to take ownership of this thing, and it starts with the quarterback, Sanchez said. I have to be a lot better.A TIMELESS STRATEGY: The Eagles held the ball for only 18 minutes each in consecutive losses to Seattle and Dallas, which means their defence has been on the field for 84 of 120 minutes in the past two weeks.Of course, Kellys up-tempo, no-huddle system has never translated into a ball-control offence, but holding the ball for a total of 36:09 in two games is taking things beyond the extreme.Still, the coach insists he cares more about the number of plays rather than the amount of time they take up.The time of possession thing, I dont understand that concept, Kelly said.SACK CITY: Griffin might want some extra padding. The Eagles have 47 sacks, second-most in the league. Linebacker Connor Barwin leads the way with an NFC-leading 14 1/2.The Redskins have been sacked 53 times, second-most in NFL. Theyve allowed at least five sacks in six straight games. Griffin has been taken down on 16 per cent of his pass plays, the most for any quarterback with at least 100 drop-backs.A lot of people want to pin it on the line, some people want to pin it on the quarterback, the offensive co-ordinator, the head coach, whatever, Gruden said. But its a combination of things.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org___Follow Joseph White on Twitter: Adnan Januzaj Belgium Jersey . Just ask last seasons Supporters Shield winners, the New York Red Bulls, who were resoundingly defeated last weekend by a rampant Vancouver Whitecaps in a match which produced two contenders for MLS Goal of the Week from Sebastian Fernandez and Pedro Morales. Dries Mertens Jersey . -- Max Gilbert captured his first pro victory at the Tour Championship of Canada. Malone will become an unrestricted free-agent and as per the collective bargaining agreement, the Lightning will be responsible for two-thirds of the remainder of his contract over twice the length of the rest of the deal. Youri Tielemans Jersey . MLS Commissioner Don Garber and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez also will attend the session, which was announced Monday. The league has discussed placing its next two expansion teams in Miami and Atlanta. Jan Vertonghen Jersey . Howard hit a three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Philadelphia Phillies to a 6-3 win over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night. NASHVILLE -- Nashville desperately needs better offensive players for new coach Peter Laviolette, and the Predators believe they took a very small gamble with the chance for a big reward by signing veteran forwards Mike Ribeiro and Derek Roy to one-year contracts. General manager David Poile called signing Ribeiro a great opportunity to add a talented, experienced and creative centre Tuesday when he introduced the veteran at a news conference. Ribeiros contract is worth $1.05 million after being bought out of the final three years of a $22 million contract by the Coyotes recently. "He knows hes living day to day," Poile said of Ribeiro. "Hes on a one-year contract." Ribeiro has 202 goals and 454 assists in 865 career regular-season games but had only 16 goals and 31 assists in 80 games for the Coyotes last season after his new deal. Arizona general manager Don Maloney said Ribeiro had "real behavioural issues" they could not tolerate, and that kept Ribeiro available until he and his agent called Poile last week. Ribeiro and his wife even paid for their own airfare, flying to Nashville to spend the past four days in town. The 34-year-old centre said Tuesday that he was separated from his wife during the season and rarely saw his children. Once the season ended, he said he went to work on his personal life and now has his head clear. He and his wife are looking at buying a house in Nashville. "Im really glad I have a chance to come here and to prove to everyone that I can still play, and that I am a good person and that Im committed to my family but to the team too and to do well," Ribeiro said. "And Im glad that I have a chance to do that." Poile said the Predators did their "due diligence" by talking too former teammates, coaches, managers and others.ddddddddddddThe general manager also talked to Ribeiros wife during their visit to Nashville. That made the Predators comfortable with signing Ribeiro. Roys deal is worth $1 million. He had nine goals and 28 assists in 75 games for the St. Louis Blues last season. He has 177 goals and 315 assists in 666 career regular-season games, but he said in a conference call Tuesday afternoon that he has spent this summer working in Toronto after dealing with knee and shoulder injuries. He hopes to regain the form that saw him score more than 63 points in four straight seasons in Buffalo. "Its been a tough few years bouncing around, and hopefully this is going to be good for me and I know that," said Roy, who has been with Dallas, Vancouver and St. Louis over the past two seasons. Its been a busy off-season for Nashville after missing the playoffs for a second straight year. The Predators not only replaced Barry Trotz with Laviolette, they also swapped a couple players to Pittsburgh for James Neal and signed Olli Jokinen. Roy will help replace centre Mike Fisher, who is out up to six months after rupturing his Achilles tendon this summer. Poile said the Predators could have up to six new forwards once the season starts, which should help a team led in scoring by defenceman and captain Shea Weber last season. "These are significant additions to change the way our team has played," Poile said. Notes: The Predators have signed Viktor Arvidsson, their fourth-round draft selection in June, to a three-year, entry-level contract. Arvidsson, 21, took part in the teams development camp last week, and he ranked ninth with 40 points in the Swedish Hockey League in the 2013-14 season. ' ' '

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