Redskins

Cutler shakes off injury, Bears beat Lions 13-7

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Cutler shakes off injury, Bears beat Lions 13-7

CHICAGO (AP) Jay Cutler's been seeing this all season, a rerun on an endless loop, and he's not ready to change the channel.

Not when the defense is performing like this. And not when the wins keep piling up.

``Unbelievable,'' Cutler said.

Actually, it's the norm this season.

Cutler returned after bruising his ribs, and Brian Urlacher made a key fumble recovery to help the Chicago Bears beat the Detroit Lions 13-7 Monday night for their fourth straight win.

``Those guys are playing so well, flying to the ball, stopping the run,'' Cutler said. ``They're tough against the pass, they're tough down at the goal line. You can't say enough about the way they're coming together.''

It was certainly not an easy night for the NFC North leaders, particularly their quarterback, but they came away with the win after a week off and possibly buried Detroit (2-4) in the process despite getting a major scare along the way.

That happened in the second quarter when Cutler was sacked by Ndamukong Suh and wound up going to the locker room to have his ribs examined.

Cutler came back to start the second half and was 16 of 31 with 150 yards and a touchdown in the game, and although he said he was feeling ``all right'' afterward, he acknowledged he wasn't at full strength during the game.

``But we had to fight through it,'' he added.

They did just that, and with the defense locking down the Lions, the Bears (5-1) prevailed. It was a huge blow for last-place Detroit, a team many expected to contend for the division championship after making the playoffs last year for the first time in more than a decade.

``It's tough,'' Calvin Johnson said. ``We had a great week of practice last week and it just didn't translate. It just didn't translate to the field today.''

Even when the Lions had chances, they blew them, turning the ball over four times. The biggest came early in the third quarter, when Joique Bell fumbled at the goal line with the Bears leading 13-0.

Urlacher recovered and Chicago hung on from there, sending Detroit to its fourth loss in five games.

Brandon Marshall caught six passes for 81 yards and scored a touchdown on Chicago's first possession. Matt Forte ran for 96 yards, and with the defense doing its part again, Chicago never really was threatened in this one.

It was a rough night for the Lions, with Matthew Stafford going 28 of 46 for 261 yards after leading the late charge in last week's win over Philadelphia. Johnson had trouble shaking the Bears' Charles Tillman and finished with three catches for 34 yards. He dropped a deep pass over the middle on the game's first possession even though he was wide open.

``Calvin is one of the best players in the league,'' Bears coach Lovie Smith said. ``It's hard for Detroit to win games without him being productive. That's why you need a guy like Charles Tillman that can match up on him. It made them go look at other ways to get the ball down field. That's going to lead up to wins most of the time, when we can get that kind of effort out of Charles.''

The Lions lost receiver Nate Burleson for the remainder of the season to a broken right leg in the third quarter on a hit by Tim Jennings after a catch, another blow for a team that's reeling again after pulling out a dramatic win.

``There is a lot of season left,'' Stafford said. ``We got a chance to play back home next week and play a tough Seattle team. It's a short week for us but honestly I'm glad it's a short week. I don't want to be sitting around thinking about this one too much longer.''

There weren't many scares for the Bears, with one big exception. They were leading 10-0 in the second quarter and had just taken over at their 26 when Cutler, who had his helmet ripped off on a hit by Suh after a run last year at Soldier Field, got driven to the turf by him on an 8-yard sack. He came up kneeling and holding his head as trainers tended to him, then ran to the sideline.

Jason Campbell came in for one play, but Cutler returned right after that and threw an incomplete pass on third down before Chicago punted. But after Julius Peppers recovered a fumble by Mikel Leshoure to stop a Lions threat, Campbell was behind center while Cutler was having his ribs examined.

Marshall apparently took issue with the hit even though Smith and Cutler did not, posting on Twitter, ``A Suh. What u did to Jay wasn't cool. Great players don't have to do that.''

Cutler, like Smith, thought it was clean. When he trotted onto the field to start the second half, some fans cheered.

They were really roaring moments later when Stefan Logan fumbled trying to catch Adam Podlesh's punt. Zack Bowman recovered it for Chicago at the 27, and that led to a 21-yard field goal by Robbie Gould to make it 13-0.

The Lions lost Burleson after a 16-yard catch near midfield on the next possession but drove all the way to the 1 before Bell turned it over, keeping the shutout going. D.J. Moore extended it when he picked off Stafford near the goal line in the closing minutes. The Lions spoiled the shutout when Stafford connected with Ryan Broyles on a 12-yarder with 30 seconds left, but it was another big game from a defense that's been dominating all season.

Notes: The Bears were in line for their first shutout since they beat Miami 16-0 on Nov. 18, 2010, until Broyles' TD. ... The Lions signed CB Justin Miller and released LB Doug Hogue before the game. ... Detroit actually had more yards than Chicago - 340 to 296.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Roster competition, Brown vs. Pryor

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Roster competition, Brown vs. Pryor

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, June 23, 33 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins  and NBC Sports Washington.

Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Defense—NFL coaches and others like to tell you that competition determines who wins roster spots in the league. And that may be true to an extent. But many roster spots are predetermined by a player’s contract situation and/or draft status. It is unlikely that an undrafted player like Fish Smithson will win a roster spot over Troy Apke even if the former outperforms the latter in every way during training camp. Apke was a fourth-round pick and they aren’t going to give up on him in favor of an undrafted player. It would cost $3.2 million in dead cap to cut Stacy McGee and only $150,000 to move on from Ziggy Hood so McGee will win a “competition” that is even remotely close. (Offensive projection here)

Redskins will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor at training camp—While this is something that could add a little spice to the Jets’ visit to Richmond, don’t look for much of anything to happen. Zach Brown might give a little extra shove to Pryor here and there but he’s not going to do anything that will draw blood or even cause a deep bruise. If nothing else, a big hit on Pryor would invite retaliation by the Jets on Josh Doctson or Paul Richardson. And that might lead to more retaliation and you end up with a brawl like the Redskins and Texans had a couple of years ago.

Trent Williams very much of approves of Smith and Guice—Williams is going into his ninth NFL season and he has yet to be on the winning side of a playoff game. He thinks that Alex Smith and Derrius Guice can help change that. 

The curious case of Alex Smith and the NFL Top 100 list—I normally greet this list with a big yawn and this year was no exception. But I do find the omission of Smith, who led the NFL in passer rating and was third in adjusted net yards per attempt, odd. In an update to this post, the NFL released the names of the top 10 players and Smith is not on it. He shouldn’t be, but he should be somewhere on the 100, perhaps in the middle of the pack. The only Redskins player to appear on the list was Trent Williams at No. 57.

The Redskins' best players who are 25 or younger—It’s likely that nine players who are 25 or younger will line up as starters for the Redskins this year. I don’t have a rundown of how that compares to the rest of the league but it’s notable that in the last two years six of them have replaced players who were either approaching age 30 or over it. I’ll engage in some speculation here and say that five of the young players—Daron Payne, Derrius Guice, Preston Smith, Jonathan Allen, and Montae Nicholson—are good enough to potentially make a Pro Bowl at some point in their careers. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Timeline 

Former Redskins defensive tackle Dave Butz was born on this date in 1950. 

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 33
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 47
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 70

The Redskins last played a game 174 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 78 days. 

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GM Brian MacLellan: Capitals are close to re-signing John Carlson

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USA TODAY Sports

GM Brian MacLellan: Capitals are close to re-signing John Carlson

DALLAS—The Caps are “really close” to signing star defenseman John Carlson to a long-term extension, GM Brian MacLellan said Friday night.

“We’re getting closer,” MacLellan said following the first round of the NHL Draft. “Hopefully we can get it done here over the next few days. We’re really close.”

Earlier in the day, the Caps cleared significant space under the salary cap ceiling by trading Philipp Grubauer and Brooks Orpik to Colorado for a second round draft pick (47th overall). 

That space will now be used to lock up Carlson, who could become the best defenseman on the open market if he were to reach it.

MacLellan met with Carlson’s agent, Rick Curran, here on Thursday night.

MacLellan did not divulge any figures, but it’s expected that Carlson’s new contract could come in at eight years and $8 million per—or perhaps a bit more. 

He earned $4 million last season.

Carlson had a career year in 2017-18 and was critical during the Caps' run to the Stanley Cup. He led all defensemen in the regular season with 68 points (15 goals, 53 assists). The 28-year-old also skated a career-high 24:47 per game.

MacLellan has long said that re-signing Carlson was the Caps’ top priority this offseason. And now it looks like that could happen within days, assuming the talks do not hit any snags.

“We’re going to do our best to sign John,” MacLellan said. “We’ve said it all along. We waited until the end of the year. We’ve had discussions. We’re close and hopefully we can close the deal here over the next 24 hours.”

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