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Seahawks coach Pete Carroll full of optimism entering the bye week

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is full of optimism entering the bye week, his team now 3-1 and coming off consecutive impressive victories.

But it was a declaration about what this Seahawks team could become that was surprising even for the always-positive head coach.

“We just have to go out there and keep doing it, one day at a time, one week at a time,” Carroll said Monday.

The Seahawks arrived at the bye following a 27-17 win over the New York Jets on Sunday, a game that Seattle dominated more than the final score indicated. And now Seattle gets two weeks to get a number of its key players healthy. Wilson will continue to get rehab on his sprained left knee and sprained right ankle during the bye week, and is expected to have more of his mobility back.

The timing of the bye should also help Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, Jarran Reed and Nick Vannett get healthier or be able to play when Atlanta visits Seattle on Oct. 16.


Washington has climbed to No. 5 in this week’s AP Top 25, but it’s smarting from consecutive losses to Oregon

SEATTLE (AP) — Even as Washington has climbed to No. 5 in this week’s AP Top 25 , there is another number taking precedence this week.

Twelve — and that’s the number of Washington’s consecutive losses to Oregon. The number has grown every year since 2003 and will continue to linger over the Huskies football program until its losing streak to the Ducks is finally snapped.

This week presents what could be Washington’s best chance to end the losing skid against the Ducks. The Huskies are coming off a thorough dismantling of Stanford 44-6 on Friday night — one of its most impressive victories in years — while the Ducks are wounded, having lost three straight after an 18-point loss at Washington State.


Mariners fall short despite being again in contention for the playoffs heading into the final weekend

SEATTLE (AP) — Two years ago, the Seattle Mariners went into the final weekend of the regular season with a chance at the playoffs but then missed the postseason. Then at the end of 2016, Seattle was again in contention for the playoffs only to fall short heading into the final weekend.

But once again, there is a buzz and optimism that Seattle could be on the cusp of being a breakout team next season.

“We’re not the same old Mariners. We’re not,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “I think if people watched us closely this year, and the personalities of the team, got to see the team, they’d realize that this is a different group. … We laid a foundation and we’ll build upon that.”

Seattle heads into the offseason still with the longest playoff drought in baseball — now at 15 years — but the belief it will be ending soon. Seattle was equal parts entertaining and infuriating in posting an 86-76 record that put them on the outside of the AL playoff picture.


Trump: ‘Horrible’ that coach lost job over on-field prayers

UNDATED (AP) — A Washington state high school football coach who lost his job for praying on the field says it’s “cool” that Donald Trump expressed support for him during an event in Virginia.

Former Bremerton High School coach Joe Kennedy is suing the school district, saying it violated his religious rights.

Kennedy, a former Marine, was in the audience at an event hosted by the Retired American Warriors political action committee Monday. When someone asked about religious freedom in the military, Trump mentioned seeing a news report about a high school football coach and that “they’re going into battle.”

Trump expressed surprise upon learning that Kennedy was present and asked him recount his story. Trump called it “horrible.”

In a statement emailed by his lawyers, Kennedy said Trump is taking religious liberty seriously.


Wade’s Bulls debut highlights Monday NBA preseason slate

UNDATED (AP) — Dwyane Wade was in Chicago and Tim Duncan wasn’t with San Antonio as players and teams around the NBA began adjusting to new circumstances Monday.

The Oklahoma City Thunder played for the first time since Kevin Durant’s departure, losing to Real Madrid in Spain. Frank Vogel made his Orlando coaching debut against Memphis, which played its opener under David Fizdale.

The first full night of exhibition action featured seven games, including the first Wade played as a professional for anyone but the Miami Heat. The 14-year veteran and Chicago native signed with his hometown team in the offseason and was the first Bulls player introduced before scoring six points in their 93-91 loss to Milwaukee.

Duncan retired after last season, but the Spurs will wait at least one more game to gauge what they will look like without their longtime stalwart. They left LaMarcus Aldridge, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Danny Green, Patty Mills and newcomer Pau Gasol behind when they traveled to Phoenix to face the Suns.


Giants, Blue Jays, Orioles grab playoff spots on final day

UNDATED (AP) — The San Francisco Giants, Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles grabbed the last three playoff spots Sunday, and the October matchups are set.

Neat and clean, and no need for all sorts of tiebreakers. It opens Tuesday night when the Orioles visit Toronto in the AL wild-card game.

“All we asked for is an opportunity, and right now, we have an opportunity,” Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones said after a 5-2 win over the New York Yankees.

On Wednesday night, aces duel as Madison Bumgarner starts for the Giants vs. Noah Syndergaard and the New York Mets at Citi Field in the NL wild-card game. On Thursday, the best-of-five AL Division Series begins: David Ortiz and Boston at Cleveland, and the wild-card winner at Texas. And on Friday night, Clayton Kershaw starts Game 1 for the Los Angeles Dodgers at Washington, and the NL wild-card winner plays the best-in-the-majors Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.