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WASHINGTON REDSKINS (7-9)LAST SEASON

Injuries and inconsistent play on both sides of ball kept Redskins from staying competitive in NFC wild-card race. Without consistent running game and behind often patchwork offensive line Jace Sternberger Jersey , quarterback Kirk Cousins still threw for 4,000 yards with 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Defense was bigger issue against run and pass. Loss of rookie defensive lineman Jonathan Allen hurt pass rush and run defense, so opposing QBs carved up secondary. Cousins is gone, replaced by Alex Smith, and Redskins President Bruce Allen is tweaking defense. Inside linebacker Zach Brown was bright spot and led NFL in tackles before missing final two games and will return. Team is counting on big season from cornerback Josh Norman and growth of Quinton Dunbar after pass defense struggled in 2017.THEY NEED: RB, WR, LG, DL, LB, S Dexter Williams Jersey , CBTHEY DON’T NEED: OT, TE, K, P, LSPOSSIBLE FIRST PICK: DT Vita Vea, Washington; CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State; S Derwin James, Florida State; DT Da’Ron Payne, Alabama; ILB Roquan Smith, Georgia; RB Derrius Guice Rock Ya-Sin Jersey , LSU; DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, AlabamaOUTLOOK: Running back is top priority, even if not in first round. Redskins have so many holes to fill on defense they should go that side of ball in first round after top three picks last year started building process. Replacing traded linebacker/safety hybrid Su’a Cravens, bolstering defensive line and finding defensive backs will be on docket. First draft without help of former general manager Scot McCloughan, who has fingerprints on 2017 picks despite being fired in March; he helped build list of prospects. Super Bowl MVP-turned-senior VP of player personnel Doug Williams will rely heavily on new director of college scouting Kyle Smith, son of A.J., for insight. With Alex Smith signed for foreseeable future, Redskins are in win-soon mode, so this crop’s success or failure could be make or break.— HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Texans moved closer to clinching the AFC South by bouncing back from last week’s loss with a win over the Jets.Now they’ll try to get banged-up players DeAndre Hopkins and Lamar Miller healthy before visiting the Super Bowl champion Eagles next week. A win could leave open the possibility of getting a first-round playoff bye.The Texans (10-4) have won nine of their last 10 games after opening the season 0-3 to give coach Bill O’Brien 10 regular-season wins for the first time in his five years with the team. It’s the first time the Texans have had 10 wins in the regular season since setting a franchise-record with 12in 2012.“It’s great. I think 10 wins is hard to do in this league,” O’Brien said. “I give our players and our coaching staff a ton of credit. Our players have worked very hard to get to this point in the season. There is a long way to go here.”The Texans led by 13 at halftime before the Jets rallied to take a 22-19 lead with 5:00 left in the fourth quarter. Deshaun Watson then connected with DeAndre Hopkins on a 14-yard touchdown to put the Texans on top http://www.clevelandbrownsteamonline.com/anthony-zettel-jersey , and they added a field goal after that to secure the 29-22 victory.Hopkins injured his ankle in the fourth quarter and had to be helped off the field by teammates. But he returned after that and the injury doesn’t appear serious.Miller could be more of a concern after he hurt his ankle in the first quarter and returned for a series in the second before sitting out for the rest of the game. O’Brien said he doesn’t think the injury is “major,” but that he’d know more next week.With Miller out on Saturday, Houston’s only other active running back was Alfred Blue. Blue, who has been used this season to spell Miller, was ineffective against the Jets, finishing with nine carries for 6 yards.If Miller is limited next week, the Texans could look to D’Onta Foreman to pick up the slack. Foreman was put on the active roster from the physically unable to perform on Dec. 4, but has been inactive in the two games since.Foreman has been out since Nov. 19, 2017 when he tore his Achilles tendon after running for 327 yards and two touchdowns in his rookie season. O’Brien said they put him on the active roster because they thought he’d be able to help the team this season. He’s been participating fully in practice, but it’s unclear if he’s ready to contribute in a game.Another concern for the Texans this week is finding a way to better protect Watson. The second-year quarterback was taken down six times Saturday and has been sacked 52 times this season http://www.detroitlionsteamonline.com/jahlani-tavai-jersey , most in the NFL.“There is no doubt that there were too many sacks, absolutely no doubt about it,” O’Brien said. “But … I don’t put all of that on the offensive line. Some of that is offensive line, some of it is route running, some of it is holding the ball too long, things like that. Some of it is play calling, and so hopefully we can get better.”Despite the sacks Watson had another solid game, throwing for 294 yards and two touchdowns. It was the most yards he’s thrown for since finishing with 375 yards passing in a win over Dallas on Oct. 7.His performance on Saturday made him the first player in NFL history to have at least 5,000 yards passing (5,291) http://www.houstontexansteamonline.com/kahale-warring-jersey , 40 TD passes (43) and 700 yards (705) rushing in his first 21 games.On a day the Texans had trouble running the ball, Watson reveled in being able to lead the team to the comeback win.“I just like the ball in my hands,” he said. “Like they say, just give me an opportunity to make a play. I think I can make it. Be smart, try not take any unnecessary hits and protect myself. I feel like with the ball in my hands, I can give the team a lot of energy and this offense can go.”Despite their impressive turnaround to reach double-digit wins so beginning the season 0-3, the Texans know they’ll have to maintain focus.“That’s awesome, but our goals are still ahead of us,” Hopkins said. “We can’t sit here and celebrate 10 wins. We expect to win like this with the guys we have in this locker room.”

#199433 by zhangzk

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