Redskins

Bears looking to get offense untracked

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Bears looking to get offense untracked

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) Quarterback Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears offense struggled enough against Carolina to elicit boos from Soldier Field fans, and receive a poor review of their inconsistency a day later from coach Lovie Smith.

Cutler got sacked six times in the first half and has been sacked 11 times in two games, while the running game bogged down in the second half after a fast start Sunday against a Panthers team with one victory.

``We realize we didn't play our best ball, but we're not going to apologize for the win,'' Smith said Monday. ``We're going to take it.''

Cutler had only 80 passing yards heading into the fourth quarter before coming on to hit 12 of his last 14 passes for 106 yards for a final quarter passing rating of 122.0. He came into the game leading the NFL in fourth-quarter passer rating at 125.0.

The slow start was startling given the emphasis the Bears placed the previous week on starting fast. And now their schedule is going to become far more difficult. After their game in Tennessee on Sunday, only one more game is against a team currently with a losing record.

``I told those guys (teammates) it was a boo-worthy performance if you will,'' Cutler said. ``It was pathetic offensively what we put out there. It wasn't up to standard, product-wise. We have to get better, we know that, our fans know that. Luckily enough we got out of there with a win but the first half is nothing to be proud of.''

While the Bears are trying to reach the halfway point with a 7-1 record, the defense has scored 42 of their 143 points with six touchdowns. This comes in a season when it had been assumed the offense would be able to carry an aging defense at times.

About the only consistent part of the offense has been wide receiver Brandon Marshall, whose 50 catches through seven games are 13 more than any Bears wide receiver had for the entire 2011 season.

The Bears went to quicker quarterback drops by Cutler in their no-huddle offense at game's end to pull out the win with Robbie Gould's last-second 41-yard field goal, but Smith doubts they'll be resorting to anything like that to spark the offense in the future.

``It is about execution most of the time, but we're not going to change what we believe in or anything like that,'' he said. ``We are going to do it better, but again, we're not going to apologize for being 6-1 and not playing our best game and getting a win.''

The offense continues to play without wide receiver Alshon Jeffery due to a fractured hand, but his return after two contests away seems unlikely.

``I mean were not worried,'' Cutler said. ``I don't think you can hit the panic button offensively. We just need to keep getting better. We have to keep looking at our mistakes, keep improving and keep trying to work on things week-in and week-out. It's never easy in this league.''

Smith added that the offense's success so far can be measured by more than yardage and even points.

``Our offense has allowed us to get to a 6-1 record,'' he said. ``... I'm looking at ball security and each week what does it take, what do we need our offense to do in order for us to win the football game. I've been pleased with that or we wouldn't have six wins.

``Now, are we going to make a jump and will we have to rely on our offense to carry us a few football games and will we be able to do that? Yes. I think that is when you will really see what we truly are as an offensive team.''

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Redskins vs. Jets Preseason Week 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

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Redskins vs. Jets Preseason Week 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

After a fight-filled start to joint practices between the Redskins and Jets, the Skins' 2018 NFL preseason schedule continues Thursday night at Fed Ex Field against New York. 

Week 2 of the NFL preseason still doesn't provide a lot of answers to questions about team performance, but it begins to reveal the depth the Redskins could have this season.

One storyline that won't be taking place, is the return of former Redskin Terrelle Pryor, who told reporters after Monday's practice he won't be playing in the game.

The Redskins have bigger things to worry about though, like who will replace rookie Derrius Guice, who's now out for the year with a torn ACL.

The Redskins also have one less name in the fight for receiver depth as well, after Robert Davis suffered a season-ending leg injury as well. 

Ahead of Thursday's preseason matchup, here's everything you need to know to watch.

REDSKINS vs. JETS, PRESEASON WEEK 2

Who: Washington Redskins vs. New York Jets

What: Game 2 of the 2018 NFL Preseason

When: Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, 8:00 p.m. ET

Where: Fed Ex Field, Landover, MD

TV Channel: ESPN

Live Stream: Watch ESPN

Radio: Redskins Radio Network

Point Spread: Washington, -3

Over/Under: 39.5

Weather: 90 degrees, partly cloudy

REDSKINS vs. PATRIOTS TV SCHEDULE:

5:00 PM: Redskins 100
5:30 PM: Redskins Nation
6:00 PM: Best of the Sports Junkies
7:00 PM: Redskins Kickoff Live

REDSKINS 2018 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

Week 1: Thurs., 8/9, vs. New England Patriots, 7:30 p.m. (L, 26-17)

Week 2: Thurs., 8/16, vs. New York Jets, 8:00 p.m. (ESPN)

Week 3: Fri., 8/24, vs. Denver Broncos, 7:30 p.m. 

Week 4: Thurs., 8/30, vs. Baltimore Ravens, 7:30 p.m. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS

 

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Ozuna homers, Cardinals beat Nationals for 8th straight win

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Ozuna homers, Cardinals beat Nationals for 8th straight win

Marcell Ozuna homered and Austin Gomber tossed six shutout innings to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-2 win over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night.

St. Louis has won a season-high eight straight. The Cardinals, who are 18-9 since the All-Star break, captured their sixth successive series after taking the first three of the four-game set.

Daniel Murphy homered in the ninth for Washington, which has lost four in a row and seven of nine to fall below .500 and nine games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves in the NL East. The current skid began with a loss to the Cubs on a two-out, walk-off grand slam.

Ozuna homered in the second inning, his 14th of the season and his first since July 30.

Gomber (3-0), in his fourth start of the year, gave up three hits, struck out six and walked four.

Bud Norris pitched the ninth to pick up his 23rd save in 27 opportunities.

Harrison Bader and Yadier Molina added run-scoring hits for St. Louis, which improved to 19-9 since Mike Matheny was fired and replaced by interim manager Mike Shildt.

St. Louis infielder Matt Carpenter extended his on-base streak to 33 games with a walk in the fifth. It's the longest current streak in the majors. Carpenter left the game in the seventh after he was hit on the hand by a pitch from Matt Grace, but X-rays were negative.

Jeremy Hellickson (5-3) left in the fifth inning after colliding with Bader on a play at the plate following a wild pitch. Hellickson gave up three runs, two earned, on three hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out two and walked two.

Bader, who had three hits, also made a diving catch of a liner off the bat of Bryce Harper in the fourth.

The Cardinals, who have an NL-best 12-2 mark in August, remain one game behind Philadelphia for the second wild card spot. They are four games behind Chicago in the NL Central.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg threw a simulated game on Wednesday. He threw around 70 pitches and could be ready to return early next week, manager Dave Martinez said.

Cardinals: LHP Brett Cecil was activated from the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday. Cecil, who had been sidelined with inflammation in his right foot, pitched four scoreless innings in four appearances with Triple-A Memphis. LHP Tyler Webb was optioned to Memphis.

UP NEXT

RHP Tanner Roark (7-12, 4.12) will face RHP Luke Weaver (6-10, 4.66) in the finale of the four-game series on Thursday. Roark has won his last four decision, Weaver is 1-4 with a 5.13 ERA in nine career games against NL East foes.