Redskins

Texans knock out Cutler, beat Bears 13-6

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Texans knock out Cutler, beat Bears 13-6

CHICAGO (AP) The Houston Texans created turnovers and played solid defense to beat the Chicago Bears at their own game.

The big question now for coach Lovie Smith and the Bears is how long will they be without quarterback Jay Cutler.

Arian Foster finished with 102 yards rushing and a touchdown catch, and the Texans intercepted Cutler twice before knocking him out of the game with a concussion on their way to a 13-6 victory on Sunday night.

That injury was the biggest development on a night when the Texans prevailed in a showdown between two of the NFL's best teams.

Cutler took a helmet-to-helmet hit late in the second quarter from Tim Dobbins, and coach Lovie Smith said, started experiencing symptoms at halftime.

``He took a lot of hits, more than he needed to take,'' Smith said.

Will Cutler be available next Monday night at San Francisco?

``We're hopeful, but you can't go that far,'' Smith said. ``We just know he had symptoms, which started clearing up after the half. When a guy doesn't finish the game, you've just got to go with that right now.''

It was a better night for the Texans.

``I think we showed them we can win any game, any situation, any time, any place, tough weather conditions, tough place on the road, a very good football team,'' defensive lineman J.J. Watt said. ``We won, so say what you want.''

The Texans (8-1) had four takeaways against a team that came in with a plus-16 turnover differential, and Dobbins delivered the biggest blow when he drove his helmet into Cutler late in the second quarter.

Foster was the only reliable offensive option on either side, particularly in the first half when he ran for 85 yards and made a sprawling catch for a 2-yard touchdown to put Houston ahead 10-3.

Otherwise, neither team got much going on a soggy night. The Texans were outgained 249-215, but they did just enough to come away with the win. Now they're tied with Atlanta for the league's best record after the Falcons were upset by New Orleans.

``It's huge for us, we were 7-1 going in, to come out 8-1 in a hostile place, given the weather and the team we were playing, that's a tough group to go against,'' said Matt Schaub, who threw for just 95 yards and was picked off twice by Tim Jennings.

Andre Johnson, Schaub's top target, had just four catches for 35 yards with Charles Tillman on him. Former Bear Danieal Manning helped set the tone, forcing a fumble by Kellen Davis on Chicago's first play from scrimmage and picking off Cutler later in the first quarter.

Cutler completed just 7 of 14 passes for 40 yards with two interceptions in the first half and was seen in street clothes after the game being driving off on a cart by team officials. Jason Campbell threw for 94 yards in the second half.

``You never want to lose anybody, especially our starting quarterback,'' receiver Brandon Marshall said. ``He is our leader, he is the heart and soul of our offense so we definitely want him to have a quick, speedy recovery.

``In the meantime, Campbell is more than capable. There was no heads hanged down when Jay was down. There was no complaining. We understand we have a starting quarterback in the backup so we're fortunate to have him. There will be no drop off in our offense.''

Marshall had 107 yards receiving, but also dropped a pass in the end zone. Matt Forte never got going, running for 39 yards for Chicago (7-2).

But the biggest sequence came when Cutler got hurt.

The Texans were leading 10-3 on a lunging 2-yard touchdown catch by Foster. A scrambling Cutler took that helmet-to-helmet hit from Dobbins after throwing a pass on third down at midfield late in the first half.

There were offsetting penalties on the play. Cutler got called for an illegal forward pass because he was beyond the line of scrimmage and then got drilled by Dobbins, who was called for unnecessary roughness.

Cutler stayed in and the drive ended with his second interception. Kareem Jackson picked off a pass intended for Marshall in double coverage at the Houston 27.

``It's tough,'' Campbell said. ``That what defenses try to do.''

Was it a cheap shot?

``He caught him right under the chin,'' Campbell said.

Smith wouldn't say if the concussion occurred on that play, adding, ``He took a lot of hits, more than he needed to take.''

He also said Cutler wanted to keep playing but added, ``The decision was made for him.''

Cutler was in for the final drive of the half, but Campbell started the third quarter, sending a big chill through Soldier Field.

After all, the Bears crumbled last season after Cutler injured his thumb, spoiling a 7-3 start. They went into a tailspin with Caleb Hanie and finished 8-8, costing general manager Jerry Angelo his job.

With Campbell now in the mix, the Bears believe they could at least survive, and that theory could be put to the test in a big way with a game at San Francisco next Monday night.

``If I have to play, of course, during the week I will get those practice reps and get the guys used to (me),'' Campbell said. ``And they will get used to me as a quarterback, until Jay is ready. That's something that we have all week to get ready for. We don't have to work that out during the middle of the game.''

Notes: Bears DE Shea McClellin left with a concussion in the opening minutes. ... Texans TE Owen Daniels was out because of a back injury. He was limited in practice on Friday after sitting out the previous two days.

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Final 2018 NFL Mock Draft Predictions: Pundits, analysts project Redskins pick

Final 2018 NFL Mock Draft Predictions: Pundits, analysts project Redskins pick

The 2018 NFL Draft is almost here.

It is time to finalize your final mock drafts and finish fine-tuning your big boards.

The NFL's biggest offseason event takes place in Dallas  in a little under 48 hours, there's still a lot of uncertainty about what the Redskins plan to do with their first-round pick.  

With that in mind, the guys of Redskins Talk podcast decided to ask those who follow the team closest - local media - to take a guess at who the team will take with the No. 13 overall pick.

40 different media members chimed in with their picks, and here's who they see going to the Burgandy and Gold: 

Final 2018 NFL Draft Redskins Predictions

— Larry Michael, Voice of the Redskins: Defensive player or trade down
— John "Cakes" Auville, 106.7 The Fan's The Sports Junkies: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU - "Guice will look nice in a Redskins uniform"
— JP Flaim, 106.7 The Fan's The Sports Junkies: Vita Vea, DT, Washington
— Jason "Lurch" Bishop, 106.7 The Fan's The Sports Junkies: Derwin James, S, Florida State - "could be the Sean Taylor of this draft"
— Eric "EB "Bickell, 106.7 The Fan's The Sports Junkies:: Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
— Matt Valdez, 106.7 The Fan's The Sports Junkies: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
— Matt Cahill, 106.7 The Fan's The Sports Junkies: Derrius Guice
— Craig Hoffman, 106 The Fan: Vita Vea
— Chad Dukes, 106.7 The Fan's Chad Dukes vs. The World: Derrius Guice
— Brock,106.7 The Fan's Chad Dukes vs. The World: Derrius GuiceVita Vea
— Chris Russell, 106.7 The Fan: Tremaine Edmunds
— Nick Ashooh, 106.7 The Fan: Vita Vea
— Andy Pollin, 106.7 The Fan: Vita Vea - "if he's a bust, we can call him 'oy Vita Vea'"
— Adam Epstein, 106.7 The Fan: Vita Vea
— Chris Cooley, The Team 980:: Trading down for Da'Ron Payne
— Kevin Sheehan, The Team 980 Radio: Da'Ron Payne
— Scott Linn, The Team 980: Vita Vea
— Bram Weinstein,The Team 980: Vita Vea
— Brian Mitchell, NBC Sports Washington: Da'Ron Payne
— Chick Hernandez, NBC Sports Washington: Vita Vea
— Santana Moss, NBC Sports Washington: Da'Ron Payne
— Michael Jenkins, NBC Sports Washington: Da'Rony Payne or Vita Vea
— Rich Tandler, NBC Sports Washington: Vita Vea
— JP Finlay, NBCSW Redskins Insider: Vita Vea
— Pete Hailey, NBC Sports Washington: Minkah Fitzpatrick
— Mitch Ticshler, NBC Sports Washington: Vita Vea
— Troy Machir, NBC Sports Washington: Vita Vea
— Ajay Atayee, NBC Sports Washington: Da'Ron Payne
— PFT Commenter, Barstool Sports: Vita Vea
— Barstool Nate, Barstool Sports: Trade up to take Baker Mayfield -"all eyes have to be on us, that's the Redskins way"
— Brent, Burgandy Blog: Minkah Fitzpatrick
— Sherree Burruss, Sports reporter, NBC4 Washington: Tremaine Edmunds
— Diane Chesebrough, USA Today: Vita Vea
— Kareem Copeland, Washington Post: Vita Vea
— Erin Hawksworth, WJLA: Minkah Fitzpatrick
— Jake Kring-Schreifels, Redskins.com: Vita Vea
— Lake Lewis, USA Today: Vita Vea
— Moises Linares, NBC Telemundo: Tremaine Edmunds
— Thom Loverro, Washington Times: Derrius Guice
— Ken Meringolo, Hog's Haven: Vita Vea
— Matthew Paras, Washington Times: Vita Vea - "he's a very large human, and the Redskins need one of those"
— Michael Phillips, Richmond Times Dispatch: Tremaine Edmunds
— Chad Ryan, Redskins Capital Connection: Derrius Guice - "he might have a higher ceiling than Saquon Barkley"
— Fred Smoot, former Redskins CB: Vita Vea
— Rick Snyder, Washington Post: Vita Vea
— Dimitri Sotis, WTOP: Derrius Guice
— Marc "Nigel" Sterne, producer at Tony Kornheiser Show: Shane Tripuka, P, Texas A&M
— Matt Terl, Washington City Paper: Darrius Guice -"and I will be miserable"
— George Wallace, Sports Director at WTOP: Vita Vea
— Ben White, Chief Economic Correspondent at Politico: Minkah Fitzpatrick
— Chris Worthy, REDSKINS GM (@chris_worthy): Vita Vea

You can listen to the whole podcast here:

RELATED: DOUG WILLIAMS SAYS TRADING UP IS UNLIKELY

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Wizards hope this time will be different in Game 5 on road

Wizards hope this time will be different in Game 5 on road

The Wizards were in a very similar spot and less than one year ago. After dropping the first two games on the road against the Celtics in the second round of the 2017 playoffs, the Wizards held serve to lock up the series at 2-2. They then lost in Boston in Game 5 and ultimately dropped the series.

This year the Wizards find themselves at 2-2 against the Raptors, this time in the first round. Again, they are on the road for Game 5, knowing it will be pivotal and could determine the series.

This time, they hope for a much different result.

"It's super important," forward Markieff Morris said. "Ideally, what we're looking for us to come back [to D.C.] up 3-2 with a chance to close it out on our home floor."

The Wizards value continuity more than most teams in the NBA. According to Basketball Reference's roster continuity chart, they are the only team in the NBA to retain 75 percent of their roster year-over-year in each of the past three seasons.

The Wizards have kept 82 percent of their roster from the 2016-17 season. Only three teams have held onto more players: the Spurs, Blazers and, ironically, the Raptors.

Continuity can have its pitfalls. It can breed complacency and, for certain personality-types, discord. Things can very easily go stale.

But in this case, the fact these players have been in this same scenario before and know very well how important Game 5 is could work to the Wizards' advantage.

"I definitely will bring it up. I won't dwell on it. Just bring it up. We have to do better," head coach Scott Brooks said. "Hopefully those experiences will pay for us and give us that toughness that we don't want to be on the losing side of it again."

If the Wizards didn't already know the importance of Game 5, they could look at the historical odds. Teams that win Game 5 in a seven-game series tied at 2-2 go on to win the series 82.8 percent of the time with a 164-34 all-time record. Teams that lead a seven-game series 3-2 go on to win the series 84.8 percent (251-45) of the time.

The Wizards could also look at the home/road numbers. When series are tied at 2-2, the home team has a 22-13 record in Game 5 since 2003 and a series record of 26-9.

The Raptors not only won the first two games of this series at home, but they tied the Rockets for the best home record in the NBA this season at 34-7. One of those defeats were to the Wizards.

Washington, however, has to get over a hump on the road in the playoffs. Though they have won eight consecutive home postseason games, they have lost six straight on the road. The last one they won was in Atlanta in Game 6 of the first round last year. They did not win on the road against the Celtics in the second round and as a result lost the series.

Morris and Brooks offered keys to breaking that streak.

"On the road, you've gotta really lock in," Morris said. "I was telling the guys yesterday that when you're up 20 it's only really 10 when you're on the road because they have the crowd to give them momentum in the game."

"We have to have a better start. We have to bring that edge on the road," Brooks said. "We haven't seemed to get into an offensive rhythm there. I thought the second game actually helped. We were down by 23 or so and then really started moving the ball and attacking their feet. Even though we didn't win the game, it gave us some confidence."

Brooks was referring to Game 2 wheN the Wizards outscored the Raptors 61-54 in the second half. They held Toronto to just two threes during that stretch, including zero in the third quarter.

That may have been a breakthrough. Now they have to do it for 48 minutes.

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