From Comcast SportsNetLANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- Russell Wilson raced ahead to throw the final block on Marshawn Lynch's go-ahead touchdown run, and the Seattle Seahawks finally had a victorious road show.Robert Griffin III's knee buckled as he tried to field a bad shotgun snap, leaving the Washington Redskins an offseason to worry about their franchise player's health.The last rookie quarterback standing in the NFL playoffs is Wilson -- the third-round pick who teamed with Lynch on Sunday to lead the Seahawks to a 24-14 victory over the Griffin and the Redskins.Lynch ran for 132 yards, and Wilson completed 15 of 26 passes for 187 yards and ran eight times for 67 yards for the Seahawks, who overcame a 14-0 first-quarter hole -- their biggest deficit of the season -- and will visit the top-seeded Atlanta Falcons next Sunday."It was only two touchdowns, but it's still a big comeback and in this setting and the crowd, it's a marvelous statement about the guys resolve and what is going on," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. "It's not about how you start but how you finish."Seattle will be riding a six-game winning streak, having left behind any doubts that the team can hold its own outside the Pacific Northwest. The Seahawks were 3-5 on the road in the regular season and had lost eight straight road playoff games, the last win coming in December 1983 against the Miami Dolphins.The day began with three rookie quarterbacks in the playoffs, but No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck was eliminated when the Indianapolis Colts lost 24-9 to the Baltimore Ravens earlier in the day.Lynch's change-of-direction, 27-yard touchdown run -- with Wilson leading the way with a block on safety Madieu Williams near the goal line -- and a 2-point conversion gave the Seahawks a 21-14 lead with 7:08 remaining."Marshawn always tells me, Russ, I got your back, no matter what,'" Wilson said. "So I just try to help him out every cone in a while when he gets downfield."Then came the play that essentially put the outcome to rest.On the second play of the Redskins' next possession, Griffin's heavily braced right knee buckled badly as he tried to field a bad shotgun snap on a second-and-22 at Washington's 12-yard line. He lay on the ground, unable to recover the ball as the Seahawks pounced on it.Griffin walked off the field under his own power, but the Redskins announced he would not return. After a few minutes, Griffin walked back to the sideline and watched the end of the game. The extent of the injury was not immediately known.Griffin was playing in his third game since spraining his right knee about a month ago against the Baltimore Ravens, and he had been looking gimpy since tumbling backward following an ill-advised sidearm throw in the first quarter.Nevertheless, he stayed in the game. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said he didn't pull Griffin because the quarterback wanted to continue."I think I did put myself at more risk," Griffin said. "But every time you get on the field, you're putting yourself on the line."Griffin was scheduled for an MRI to determine the extent of the injury.Having recovered the fumble, the Seahawks kicked a short field goal to give them the insurance they needed. Fellow rookie Kirk Cousins, subbing for Griffin, was unable to rally the Redskins in the final minutes.Griffin, the No. 2 overall pick and last year's Heisman Trophy winner who set several rookie quarterback record this year, finished 10 for 19 for 84 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He also had five carries for 21 yards, including a laboring 9-yard run that made him look 32 years old instead of 22.The loss ended a seven-game winning streak for the Redskins, who recovered from a 3-6 start to win the NFC East.The Redskins opened the game threatening to make a mockery of the NFL's top scoring defense. Simple toss-to-the-right stretch plays netted 8, 9 and 18 yards for Alfred Morris in an 80-yard drive, and tight end Logan Paulsen barreled into linebacker Malcolm Smith after a catch to highlight a 54-yard drive.Both possessions ended with 4-yard touchdown passes: one to Evan Royster for his first NFL TD catch and the other to Paulsen. The Redskins led 14-0 in the first quarter against a team that allowed a season-low 15.3 per game in the regular season, but Griffin had tweaked the knee on that second drive.The Seahawks responded by getting Lynch involved more and scoring on three consecutive drives to pulled within a point at halftime. Steven Hauschka, who injured his left ankle during the first half and had to relinquish kickoff duties, nevertheless sandwiched field goals of 32 and 29 yards around a 4-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Michael Robinson.The Seahawks were poised to take the lead on the opening drive of the second half, moving the ball to 1-yard line with a pair of nice runs by Lynch and a leaping catch by Golden Tate.But Lynch fumbled on second-and-goal from the 1, the ball popped loose and was recovered by defensive lineman Jarvis Jenkins. Then, on their next drive, the Seahawks drove to Washington's 28 before a sack forced a punt -- rather than a long field goal attempt by an injured kicker.With the Redskins' offense struggling, however, the Seahawks had more chances to take the lead -- and finally did on the 79-yard drive capped by Lynch's touchdown run.The playoff meeting between the two teams was the third, but first outside Seattle. The Seahawks won 20-10 in January 2006, and 35-14 in January 2008. Those were the last two postseason games played by the Redskins.Seattle had outscored opponents 193-60 in its final five games of the regular season. But they were 3-5 on the road and had lost eight straight road playoff games. Their only road playoff win came in their first postseason road game, Dec. 31, 1983, at Miami.And now they have another.
WALTHAM, Mass. – Marcus Smart is no different than the average NBA fan this summer when it comes to Oklahoma City free agent-to-be Kevin Durant.
Durant, the runaway valedictorian of this summer’s free agent class, will begin to officially hear overtures for his services from NBA teams on Friday, the first day of free agency.
The former league MVP has a short list of teams that he’s reportedly considering, with the Celtics being among those to make the cut for meeting with Durant shortly after the free agency period begins. Others include his current team Oklahoma City as well as Golden State, the Los Angeles Clippers, Miami and San Antonio.
Boston has had a longing for some of the top free agents in past years, but to be on the short list of teams for player of Durant’s stature, is somewhat surprising.
“They (Celtics) want him just as bad as the other teams that he’s meeting with,” a league executive told CSNNE.com who is not among the franchises slated to meet with Durant in the coming days. “The fact that they’re on the short list is a huge feather in the Celtics’ cap.”
Smart is well aware that Boston has an uphill climb when it comes to landing Durant, a player he used to watch when he was at Oklahoma State and Durant was starring for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“Any team would love to see Durant; his type of caliber of player on their team,” Smart said on Tuesday during his basketball camp at Brandeis University. “We’re not the ones who make that call. We just sit back and wait and whatever decision that the front office makes we’re ready to run with it.”
Among those decisions was to keep the current group intact on draft night when there were a handful of potential moves that the Celtics could have made.
“He’s trying to keep this core group together and keep us together as a team,” said Smart who added, “It’s hard. Like I said, you have to give credit to Danny (Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations) for doing the things that he does. We trust in him; we believe in him.”
Smart, entering his third season, was among the player names thrown about as potentially being on the move on draft night.
I asked him what that was like, while still being such a relatively young player.
“To be honest, hearing your name in the trade rumors is a good thing,” Smart said. “Just because it lets you know other teams want you; that other teams are trying to get you. It’s a good and bad thing. Especially you been in a city for so long, you connect with the people, the fans, the community, the organization, you’re like, ‘dang!’ But at the same time, it lets you know you are a valuable person.”
A. Sherrod Blakely can be followed on Twitter: @SherrodbCSN
The downright mania around Steven Stamkos is reaching a fever pitch with the clock counting down to July 1 and unrestricted free agency, and doubly so with former Tampa Bay GM Brian Lawton stoking the Boston fires on Monday by lumping the Bruins in with Tampa Bay and Toronto as potential favorites to land the top free agent big fish out there. Unfortunately I have heard absolutely nothing about Stamkos harboring a desire to play in Boston, and there’s no reason to believe the Black and Gold have anything resembling a legit shot to land the Lightning center this weekend.
With that in mind, here are five reasons why Stamkos won’t be picking the Boston Bruins as his NHL destination of choice when the moment of truth comes, likely on Friday.
1. Going in the wrong direction
The Bruins are headed in the wrong direction at this point. Let’s say the Bruins sign Stamkos to a $10-11 million per season contract for seven years, and immediately plug him into the lineup. Things might work out financially for the 2016-17 season, and perhaps the Stammer Hammer on the PP is enough to get the Bruins back into the playoffs. They are still a deeply flawed team even with Stamkos, and the giant $11 million cap hit is going to make it impossible to keep everybody with Torey Krug, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak all looking at new contracts over the next calendar year. That doesn’t even mention trading, or signing in free agency, a potentially expensive defenseman, and replacing Loui Eriksson on the right wing if he walks on July 1 as well. The Bruins could theoretically sign Stamkos at the end of this week because they have $20-plus million in cap space, but they would immediately be in cap trouble once again with a roster that’s still nowhere near a Cup contender. Signing a shiny, skilled sniper off the free agent market isn’t a good strategy to build the Bruins back up into Cup contender, and it could actually set them back even further than they already sit at this point.
2. Krejci would have to be dealt
The Bruins would need to move heaven and Earth to make Stamkos happy. Okay, so maybe not heaven and Earth, but they would have to find a taker for playmaking center David Krejci. The Tampa Bay Lightning scorer is leaving the Bolts, and looking for a team where he can play center after battling with Tampa coach Jon Cooper over his playing position for the last couple of seasons. Going from Krejci to Stamkos would clearly be an upgrade on paper, and on the ice where Stamkos is one of the most electrifying players in the entire league. But there’s no guarantee Krejci would be willing to waive his no-movement clause to accommodate the Bruins bringing in his replacement, and that could blow up in Boston’s face if they make the signing before clearing out Krejci. Imagine if the Bruins are stuck with an unhappy Krejci who knows the Bruins want to move him, and an unhappy Stamkos that’s playing out of position because the Bruins once again didn’t get all their ducks in a row. That would be just another disastrous scenario for the Black and Gold where not enough attention was paid to the details. Speaking of those details, Brett Connolly and Stamkos are fairly good friends after their time in Tampa Bay. So non-tendering Connolly certainly wouldn’t have won any points with a player in Stamkos they’re allegedly attempting to woo.
3. Ontario is home
People need to realize that part of what’s going on here is Stamkos harboring a dream to go home to Ontario, and be the player that’s going to lift his Maple Leafs back to a proud, winning organization. There are pictures all over the Internet of Stamkos wearing Maple Leafs gear as a kid, and he’s said to those close to him that he wants to play in a real hockey market where the NHL is king. That was never the case in Tampa Bay where he still flourished, became a leader and developed into one of the most well-liked superstars in the entire league. But Stamkos now has a chance to go to the biggest hockey market that the NHL has to offer, and that’s Toronto where were Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre is a certified sports event. It doesn’t matter which team is in town, the Leafs get top billing on Hockey Night in Canada, and those Leafs players are splashed all across TV sets throughout Canada. Boston is a great hockey market, and an Original Six city that boasts its own considerable amount of hockey history. But it doesn’t compare to Toronto for an Ontario kid that grew up worshiping the Leafs, and now potentially has a chance to go home and lead that franchise to glory. There’s no just contest there when you think about it.
4. Julien is not Obi Wan Kenobi
There are many that think Claude Julien holds some kind of special bond with Stamkos, and that is going to be the key to getting him with the Boston Bruins. I’m sure that Stamkos appreciates that a classy guy like Julien visited him in the hospital after he gruesomely broke his leg in Boston, and they have forged a good player/coach relationship during their time at Team Canada events. But people are portraying this as Julien being some kind of Obi Wan Kenobi figure that’s going to wave his hand, and use some kind of Jedi mind trick on Stamkos to get him to sign on the dotted line with the Black and Gold. This is probably one of the most ridiculous theories in this entire Stamkos-to-the-Bruins propaganda that’s floating around. The truth of the matter is that Stamkos’ offensive numbers would take a dive in Claude Julien’s system, and that he wouldn’t be the top center in most situations while giving way to Patrice Bergeron at important moments. I don’t think that is what Stamkos has in mind when signing with a team, whether it’s Toronto or Tampa, or somebody else. It’s nice to hold out hope that the Bruins are going to land a big fish despite being a star-crossed franchise that’s very much in the middle of a painful reloading process. But some of these are delusions more than reasonable scenarios based on what might actually happen.
5. Bruins aren’t on the list
Don’t believe me? Well, here’s the most damning piece of proof. TSN’s ultimate hockey insider Bob McKenzie was on the phone with TSN Radio out in Edmonton on Tuesday morning, and was asked about the Stamkos sweepstakes right out of the gate. He labeled Detroit, Buffalo and Toronto as the three favorites to land Stamkos in free agency, and Bobby Mac never even mentioned the Bruins during a lengthy, information-filled discussion with numerous follow-up questions. Other teams like the Canadiens were tossed into the mix for discussion purposes, but at no point were the Black and Gold even a glint in McKenzie’s eye during his comments. All due respect to Lawton, but it’s like I said earlier: there is a 0.0 percent chance that Stamkos signs with the Bruins on July 1 if he ultimately leaves the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Joe Haggerty can be followed on Twitter: @HacksWithHaggs
The Red Sox made the demotion of Eduardo Rodriguez official on Tuesday, sending him to Pawtucket and recalling reliever Pat Light from Pawtucket.
Light was briefly with the Sox earlier this year, allowing two runs in one inning during a game in Atlanta in April. He has 2.05 ERA in 26 1/3 innings with the PawSox, with 13 walks and 32 strikeouts, and hasn't allowed a run in 12 innings, dating back to May 21.