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Rams secure NFC East sweep, sack Washington to move to 4-1

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A steady rain and a third trip to the East Coast in the past four weeks could not slow the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday as they defeated the Washington Football Team 30-10 at FedEx Field.

Quarterback Jared Goff started fast, leading three consecutive touchdown drives. Wide receiver Robert Woods flew past the defense for a 56-yard score. And two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald went to work in the backfield with three sacks, one of two Rams players with three sacks.

The Rams improve to 4-1 and completed a sweep of the NFC East. They’re primed to begin division play next Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers (2-2) in prime time. The Rams are in second place in the NFC West behind the Seattle Seahawks (4-0), as they attempt to reclaim the division title after winning it two consecutive seasons before the 49ers won the division and conference last season.

QB Breakdown: Goff continues to roll this season and played catalyst to another fast start Sunday. Goff completed 21 of 30 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns, with an interception. He also rushed for a 2-yard score. He went 7-of-7 on the Rams’ opening touchdown drive and has now completed 20 of 21 (95%) of his opening-drive passes this season. Goff kept the defense on its heels on that opening drive, utilizing two tight ends, two receivers and two running backs in the passing game.

On the first play of the second quarter, Goff completed a deep pass to Woods in stride for a 56-yard score, which was his second touchdown pass of 50-plus yards this season, tying him with Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert for the most 50-plus yard touchdown passes this season. In 2019, Goff had only one 50-yard touchdown pass all season.

Promising Trend: The Rams’ defense dominated at every level. Washington gained only 108 total yards behind quarterbacks Kyle Allen, who was knocked out of the game in the first half, and Alex Smith. Donald had three sacks, which amounts to his fifth career game with three sacks and his first since Week 16 of 2018. Linebacker Troy Reeder started in place of Micah Kiser who was inactive because of a groin injury, and also had three sacks.

The Rams had seven sacks as a team, with outside linebacker Jachai Polite getting the other one, tied for the most in the McVay era. The Rams also had seven sacks in 2018 against the 49ers and twice in 2017 versus the Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals. In the secondary, safety Jordan Fuller returned after missing two games because of a shoulder injury and had two pass deflections. Safeties John Johnson III and Taylor Rapp and cornerback Darious Williams also had pass deflections.

Eye-popping Next Gen Stat: Goff’s 56-yard touchdown pass to Woods in the second quarter was his first passing touchdown of 30-plus air yards since Week 4 of 2018.

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Cowboys QB Dalton out for game after hard hit

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A Dallas Cowboys season that has been bad has gotten worse.

Andy Dalton, starting his second game for an injured Dak Prescott, was forced to the locker room in the third quarter against the Washington Football Team after taking a big hit from linebacker Jon Bostic on a third-down scramble.

Dalton went straight to the locker room for further examination; Bostic was ejected from the game.

Dalton was replaced by rookie Ben DiNucci, a seventh-round pick, who saw one series of action in last week’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

Before the injury, Dalton completed 9 of 19 passes for 75 yards. He was sacked three times and lost a fumble on the Cowboys’ first possession that led to a safety. He had one pass intercepted on a throw that was behind Ezekiel Elliott and tipped into Cole Holcomb’s hands for the turnover.

The Cowboys’ third quarterback, Garrett Gilbert, who joined the team last week, is inactive. Tight end Blake Bell was a quarterback at Oklahoma, so he could be the team’s backup.

The last time the Cowboys had to use three quarterbacks in a season because of injury came in 2015. Tony Romo started and finished just two games as he suffered a twice-broken right collarbone. The Cowboys also had Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel and Kellen Moore, their current offensive coordinator, start games in that 4-12 season.

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Lewis Hamilton overtakes Schumacher with record 92nd F1 win

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Lewis Hamilton powers to victory in the Portuguese Grand Prix to become Formula One’s record all-time race winner.

Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has become Formula One’s record all-time race winner with a dominant 92nd career victory at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver took the chequered flag a huge 25.592 seconds ahead of second-place team-mate Valtteri Bottas on Sunday, and 34.5 seconds clear of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen for his eighth win of the season.

Hamilton had equalled Ferrari great Michael Schumacher’s record 91 wins at the previous race at the Nuerburgring.

He also took an extra point on Sunday for the fastest lap to extend his huge championship lead to 77 points over Bottas with just five races left in the coronavirus-affected season.

Hamilton is within reach of equalling Schumacher’s record of winning seven championships.

He took a record-extending 97th career pole position, starting ahead of Bottas and Verstappen on a track being used for the first time in F1.

“I only ever dreamed of being where I am today,” he said after the race and a long hug with his father Anthony, who managed his early career.

“I didn’t have a magic (crystal) ball when I chose to come here (Mercedes) – and all we have ever tried to do is make the most of it every single day. We are all rowing in the same direction.

“I have got my dad here which is amazing and my step-mum Linda – and Roscoe (his dog) – so it’s a very special day. It’s going to take time to sink in, but I was still pushing coming across the line.”

On the team radio, he emotionally told Mercedes that it was “such an honour to work with you” and his race engineer Peter ‘Bono’ Bonnington replied, saying: “It’s the same here, an honour, genuinely.”

After the race, Hamilton added: “I really owe it all to these guys for their teamwork, continually innovating and pushing the barrier ever higher every year.”

Lewis Hamilton in action during the race [Rudy Carezzevoli/Reuters]

He had cramp, he said, in his right calf in the closing stages of the race.

“Lifting my foot down the straight, it was pretty painful. I could feel it pull, but I had to get through it. It is what it is.”

His Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff, who has helped guide Hamilton to five of his world titles and the team to an unprecedented six in a row, said: “Who would’ve thought when we started this project in 2013? It’s almost a surreal number of wins.

“From Lewis, it’s his absolute passion and energy and its everything he puts into the sport – and the talent and the ability. He’s just standing out.”

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc finished fourth with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly fifth at the Algarve circuit near Portimao that was hosting Portugal’s first Grand Prix in 24 years.

Sainz was sixth with Renault’s Esteban Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo eighth and ninth.

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel took the final point for Ferrari.

Lance Stroll, who missed the last race and then tested positive for COVID-19, was the only retirement of the afternoon with the team reporting floor damage.

Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the race on the podium [Rudy Carezzevoli/Reuters]

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NFL Week 7 fantasy football inactives watch: Who’s in and who’s out?

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To help you set your fantasy football lineups and to avoid starting a player who won’t be in the lineup, we’ll post fantasy-relevant updates and analysis here as NFL teams release their inactives, typically about 90 minutes before kickoff. Any rankings cited in this column come from our ESPN Fantasy staff ranks.

Refresh often for the latest information.


Note: The Tampa Bay-Las Vegas game originally scheduled for Sunday night has been moved and is currently scheduled in the 4 p.m. window. In a corresponding move, the Seattle-Arizona game has been moved to Sunday night.

4 p.m. ET games

Offense

Tyler Eifert, TE, JAX: Neck — OUT
Impact: James O’Shaughnessy didn’t do much when he filled in after Eifert’s injury last week.

Chris Thompson, RB, JAX: Illness — OUT/IR
Impact: He has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. His limited fantasy value may be usurped by Devine Ozigbo, just off the IR.

Sammy Watkins, WR, KC: Hamstring — OUT
Impact: Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman both see increased fantasy value.

Tyrod Taylor, QB, LAC: Chest — Questionable
Impact: Justin Herbert has been strong since taking over for Taylor, who might not start again this season, even when 100% healthy.

Justin Jackson, RB, LAC: Knee — Questionable
Impact: Expected to play and should see more work than Joshua Kelley.

KJ Hill Jr., WR, LAC: Hip — Questionable
Impact: Just as well if he sits, as Keenan Allen appears to be at full strength.

Bryan Edwards, WR, LV: Ankle — OUT
Impact: Hasn’t been ready for a month now, which means job security for the trio of Henry Ruggs III, Nelson Agholor and Hunter Renfrow.

Julian Edelman, WR, NE: Knee — Questionable
Impact: What else is new? Edelman is questionable. Edelman will almost certainly play.

Raheem Mostert, RB, SF: Ankle — OUT/IR
Impact: JaMycal Hasty and Jerick McKinnon will split RB duties …

Jeff Wilson Jr., RB, SF: Calf — Questionable
Impact: … with Tevin Coleman possibly rejoining the team next week.

Defense

Jeremiah Attaochu, DE, DEN: Quad — OUT

Myles Jack, LB, JAX: Ankle — OUT

Maliek Collins, DT, LV: Shoulder — Active

Adam Butler, DT, NE: Elbow — Questionable

Kwon Alexander, LB, SF: Ankle — OUT

Jimmie Ward, S, SF: Quad — OUT

Jaquiski Tartt, S, SF: Groin — OUT

Sunday night game

Seattle Seahawks

Jamal Adams, S: Groin — OUT

Arizona Cardinals

DeAndre Hopkins, WR: Ankle — Questionable
Impact: Late-week practice, albeit of a limited nature, does point to Hopkins being able to go on Sunday night.

Jordan Phillips, DE: Foot — Questionable

Kylie Fitts, LB: Hamstring — Questionable

Dre Kirkpatrick, CB: Foot — Questionable

Official Sunday inactives should begin coming in at approximately 11:30 a.m. ET for the early games and 2:30 p.m. ET for the late games.


1 p.m. ET games

Offense

John Brown, WR, BUF: Knee — OUT
Impact: Gabriel Davis will fill in for Brown and could deliver some value.

Dawson Knox, TE, BUF: Calf — OUT/IR
Impact: Tyler Kroft can play, but Lee Smith must also sit as a result of Knox’s positive COVID-19 test.

Curtis Samuel, WR, CAR: Knee — Active
Impact: Keith Kirkwood could still see some action.

Joe Mixon, RB, CIN: Foot — OUT
Impact: Giovani Bernard could return huge value as he takes over the majority of Mixon’s workload.

John Ross III, WR, CIN: Illness — Inactive
Impact: There’s just no value here, as Tee Higgins has stepped up big time.

Austin Hooper, TE, CLE: Appendix — OUT
Impact: David Njoku and Harrison Bryant will split time in an effort to replace the ill tight end.

Aaron Jones, RB, GB: Calf — Inactive
Impact: Jamaal Williams is ready to have a huge day.

Robert Tonyan, TE, GB: Ankle — Active
Impact: Marcedes Lewis/Jace Sternberger fade into the background.

Michael Thomas, WR, NO: Hamstring — OUT
Impact: Tre’Quan Smith, Marquez Callaway and Deonte Harris are all the WRs that Drew Brees has to throw to this week.

Sam Darnold, QB, NYJ: Shoulder — Active
Impact: Still a lot to be desired in the WR department, though.

Jamison Crowder, WR, NYJ: Groin — Inactive
Impact: Denzel Mims was activated from IR and could see some extra targets.

Sam Ficken, K, NYJ: Groin — Inactive
Impact: Sergio Castillo, recently signed to the practice squad, is the team’s emergency option.

Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, WSH: Hamstring — OUT/IR
Impact: Dontrelle Inman should see a significant bump in value.

Isaiah Wright, WR, WSH: Shoulder — OUT
Impact: Cam Sims and Robert Foster might enter the WR mix.

Defense

Takkarist McKinley, DE, ATL: Groin — Active

Matt Milano, LB, BUF: Pectoral — Active

Josh Norman, CB, BUF: Hamstring — OUT

Tre’Davious White, CB, BUF: Back — Active

Eli Apple, CB, CAR: Hamstring — Active

Donte Jackson, CB, CAR: Toe — Active

William Jackson III, CB, CIN: Concussion — OUT

Karl Joseph, S, CLE: Hamstring — Active

Tyler Lancaster, DE, GB: Shoulder — OUT

Preston Smith, LB, GB: Shoulder — Active

Kevin King, CB, GB: Quad — Inactive

Darnell Savage, S, GB: Quad — Inactive

Mike Hilton, CB, PIT: Shoulder — OUT

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