Why was a ref pulled from the Saints game?

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Why was a ref pulled from the Saints game?

From Comcast SportsNetCHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The NFL has removed a replacement official from the New Orleans-Carolina game because it discovered he's a Saints fan.Side judge Brian Stropolo has been replaced by an alternate, Tim Keese. The NFL made the decision Sunday morning just hours before kickoff."He was replaced because of the information that surfaced disclosing that he is a Saints fan," league spokesman Michael Signora said.The league will look further into the matter. It received several phone calls and emails about Stropolo, who is from New Orleans and posted several photos of himself in Saints gear tailgating at a preseason game on his Facebook page.Stropolo's Facebook page has since been taken down.Stropolo worked the Week 1 NFL opener, a nationally televised game between the Cowboys and the defending Super Bowl champion Giants.ESPN was first to report the news.Panthers general manager Marty Hurney declined comment on the situation, calling it "a league matter."The NFL locked out the regular officials in June after their contract expired. Negotiations with the NFL Referees Association broke down several times during the summer, including just before the season, and the league is using replacements for the first time since 2001.Back then, the lockout lasted for one week of the regular season before a settlement was reached. This is the second weekend the replacements are being used, and the NFL has drawn up a five-week schedule for using them if the labor dispute is not resolved.Last week, there was one major error by the replacement officials, when they awarded Seattle an extra timeout in the final minutes of a game at Arizona. The Cardinals held on to win and the crew's referee admitted the mistake after the game.

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Redskins Playbook: One stat where Rob Kelley is way better than Ezekiel Elliott

Redskins Playbook: One stat where Rob Kelley is way better than Ezekiel Elliott

The point here is not to suggest Robert Kelley is a better running back than Ezekiel Elliott. Both players were rookies last season, Elliott drafted in the top five out of Ohio State and Kelley undrafted out of Tulane. 

Elliott led the NFL in rushing, gaining more than 1,600 yards and averaging more than 5 yards-per-carry. Kelley did not take over the Redskins No. 1 RB job until mid-season, and while he didn't even rush for 1,000 yards, he gained 700 yards in nine starts and averaged more than 4 YPC.

There was one stat, however, where Kelley stood out. Pro Football Focus provides the baseline.

The statistic stands out for Jordan Howard, a star rookie runner for the Bears. Howard ran for more than 1,300 yards last season on 252 carries to get to his 40 misses. 

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

Elliott's run totals were much, much higher. The Cowboys star ran the ball 322 times, resulting in 36 missed tackles. Kelley ran the ball just 168 times, and made 35 defenders miss. 

Using basic math, Elliott made a defender miss about every 8.9 carries. Kelley made a defender miss about every 4.8 carries. 

Redskins coaches talked repeatedly about Kelley's vision and ability to make defenders miss as a big part of his ascension to the top running back spot. Ends up, they were right. 

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Kevin Gausman gets first win since May in Orioles 3-1 win against Blue Jays

Kevin Gausman gets first win since May in Orioles 3-1 win against Blue Jays

TORONTO -- In his final start before the calendar changes, Kevin Gausman made sure he didn't finish the month of June without a win.

Gausman won for the first time in four starts, Mark Trumbo hit an RBI double and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-1 on Tuesday night.

The Orioles won their third straight and improved to 8-2 against the Blue Jays this season. Toronto is 12-20 against AL East opponents.

The Blue Jays have lost five of seven.

Gausman (4-7) allowed four hits in 5 1/3 innings, his first scoreless outing of the season, winning for the first time since May 31 against the Yankees. The right-hander came in 0-3 with a 9.20 ERA over his previous three starts.

"He was really working the bottom of the zone," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He pitched a lot with his fastball early and went to some other pitches the second and third time around ."

Gausman said he's made an effort to mix up his arsenal in recent starts.

"Earlier in the season I got way too fastball-happy in some counts," he said. "That's really something I'm trying to do better, mixing up my pitches, moving up and down and in and out, just trying to keep these guys off balance."

Michael Givens pitched 1 2/3 innings and Darren O'Day worked the eighth. Brad Brach gave up a two-out homer to Troy Tulowitzki in the ninth but held on for his 14th save.

Gausman snapped his winless streak against his favorite opponent: he's 2-0 with a 1.99 ERA in four starts against the Blue Jays.

"He's got a great arm," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He was hitting his spots for the most part, just enough off speed stuff to keep you honest."

Jose Bautista reached on a bloop single to begin the Toronto first, but the Blue Jays didn't get another hit off Gausman until a one-out single by Kendrys Morales in the fifth.

"I get the best view of everybody who gets on that bump," Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said, "and (Gausman) attacked that zone."

Gausman left after Bautista singled and Martin walked. Givens began his outing with a wild pitch, advancing the runners, then got Josh Donaldson to line out sharply to third. Justin Smoak walked to load the bases but Givens struck out Morales to end the threat.

MORE ORIOLES: 2017 MLB POWER RANKINGS

The Orioles did all the scoring they would need with a two-out rally against Joe Biagini in the first. Jonathan Schoop singled and Jones walked before Trumbo lined a two-run double to center.

Jones made it 3-0 with an RBI single in the third.

Biagini (2-7) allowed three runs and walked a season-worst four in 5 1/3 innings, losing for the fifth time in six starts.