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Texans lead Bears 10-6 through 3 quarters

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Texans lead Bears 10-6 through 3 quarters

CHICAGO (AP) Arian Foster made a diving catch in the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown, lifting the Houston Texans to a 10-6 lead after three quarters against the Chicago Bears on a rainy Sunday night at Soldier Field.

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler did not return in the second half after suffering a concussion. Cutler took a big from Tim Dobbins in second quarter. Dobbins was whistled for a personal foul on the hit, but Cutler, who was slow getting up, stayed in the game until being ruled out at halftime.

Jason Campbell, who replaced Cutler at quarterback, connected with Brandon Marshall at the Houston 10 for a 45-yard reception after two stalled drives in the third quarter. The Bears had to settle for a 24-yard field goal by Robbie Gould to cut the Texans' lead to 10-6.

The Bears' defense forced two three-and-outs for Houston in the third quarter and controlled field position.

Houston forced four turnovers in the game, and Chicago cornerback Tim Jennings picked off two of Matt Schaub's passes in the wet conditions.

With the teams tied at 3 midway through the second quarter, Justin Forsett broke a 25-yard run to the Chicago 3 to set up the only touchdown of the half.

Foster had 94 yards on 22 carries after three quarters, and Schaub was 11 of 21 for 79 yards.

Chicago was threatening late in second quarter, but Cutler's pass to Marshall was intercepted by Kareem Jackson at the Houston 28. It was Cutler's second interception of the game.

Cutler had a dismal first half, completing 7 of 14 passes for 40 yards. The Texans held Chicago to 99 yards of total offense.

After the Texans went three-and-out on the opening possession, they got the ball back when former Bears defensive back Danieal Manning jarred the ball loose from tight end Kellen Davis. Dobbins returned the fumble 32 yards, but an unsportsmanlike penalty pushed the ball back to the Chicago 43.

Shayne Graham capped a 41-yard drive with a 20-yard field goal.

The Texans forced another turnover when Michael Bush fumbled after an 11-yard run to the Houston 27. Glover Quin forced the fumble and Bradie James recovered.

Chicago, which leads the league in takeaways and turnover differential, got the ball right back on Jennings' interception at the Houston 45.

Manning also intercepted Cutler's pass at the Texans 10 to stop another Bears drive.

Early in the second quarter, Jennings picked off Schaub at the Houston 48 and returned it 10 yards to set up a 51-yard field goal by Gould. The Bears had a chance to take the lead, but Brandon Marshall dropped Cutler's pass in the end zone.

It was Jennings' league-leading eighth interception

Chicago lost rookie defensive end Shea McClellin to a concussion in the first quarter.

Both teams are 7-1 and in first place, with the Bears leading the NFC North and the Texans atop the AFC South. The lone loss for both teams came against the Packers.

The Bears and Texans each feature strong defenses. The Texans have not allowed a touchdown rushing and J.J. Watt leads the NFL in sacks. The Bears have allowed only one TD rushing and Charles Tillman forced four fumbles in a 51-20 blowout against Tennessee last week.

Tillman's status had been up in the air after he told Chicago radio station WSCR-AM that he might not be available because his wife, Jackie, is due to give birth. But he played.

The Texans played without tight end Owen Daniels because of a back injury. Daniels, Houston's second-leading receiver, was limited in practice on Friday after sitting out the previous two days.

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NBA offseason grades: With Kawhi Leonard, Raptors shined most in Atlantic Division

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USA TODAY Sports

NBA offseason grades: With Kawhi Leonard, Raptors shined most in Atlantic Division

Here is a look at how the 2018 NBA offseason went for teams in the Atlantic Division...

Toronto Raptors, B+

2017-18 finish: 59-23, 2nd round of playoffs
In: F Kawhi Leonard, G Danny Green, C Greg Monroe
Out: G DeMar DeRozan, C Jakub Poeltl, C Lucas Nogueira

The Raptors had one of the more consequential offseasons of any NBA team this year. First, they fired Dwane Casey, the 2017-18 NBA Coach of the Year, following a season in which they won 59 games. Then, they pulled off the biggest trade of the summer, a deal that featured two perennial All-NBA players. They let go of DeRozan and brought in Leonard in return. If they hadn't parted with DeRozan and Casey, they may have gotten an A. But it's hard to tell how much better they will be following the deal and Leonard does bring with him some concerns based on his quadriceps injury and the fact he has only one year left on his contract. The Raptors do, however, also get points for re-signing point guard Fred VanVleet.

Boston Celtics, C

2017-18 finish: 55-27, conference finals
In: C Robert Williams, G Brad Wanamaker
Out: C Greg Monroe

One year ago, the Celtics flipped nearly their entire roster and brought in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. This year, they mostly stood pat and didn't add much of anything in free agency or trades. Their biggest acquisition was Williams, who they took 27th overall in the first round of the draft. The Celtics will hope they improve from within. They re-signed Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes, and should get Irving and Hayward back from injuries. They should have plenty of talent to compete for an NBA Finals berth, but as far as this offseason goes, they didn't do much.

Philadelphia 76ers, D+

2017-18 finish: 52-30, 2nd round of playoffs
In: F Wilson Chandler, C Mike Muscala, G Zhaire Smith, G Landry Shamet
Out: G Marco Belinelli, F Ersan Ilyasova

Where do we begin? This summer was about as dramatic and bad as it could get for the Sixers. First, they had to fire their general manager because of a burner Twitter account scandal. Then, they struck out miserably in free agency with LeBron James and Paul George, and in trade talks for Leonard. After that, Smith - their first round pick - hurt his foot. And along the way, Ben Simmons has been dating a Kardashian, flirting with the curse that has claimed many pro athletes before him. Philly did re-sign J.J. Redick and Johnson, and the Chandler trade was nice, but all in all it was an offseason that fell way short of the Sixers' expectations. That said, they can still get way better next season based solely on their young players taking another step.

New York Knicks, B

2017-18 finish: 29-53, missed playoffs
In: F Mario Hezonja, F Kevin Knox, F Noah Vonleh, C Mitchell Robinson
Out: F Michael Beasley, G Jarrett Jack, F Kyle O'Quinn

It's been a while since the Knicks had an offseason to write home about and this one is no exception. There was nothing they did that would flirt with an A-grade. However, the early returns on their draft are excellent. Knox and Robinson were both standouts in the Summer League and offer fans a little bit more hope about the team's future. As long as Kristaps Porzingis can return this season safe and sound from his ACL tear, the Knicks could take a step forward in 2018-19.

Brooklyn Nets, C+

2017-18 finish: 28-54, missed playoffs
In: F Ed Davis, F Kenneth Faried, F Jared Dudley, 
Out: F Dante Cunningham, G Nik Stauskas, C Jahlil Okafor

The best news about the Nets' offseason is that their trade with the Celtics, the one that stripped them of years of first round picks, is finally over. Next year, the Nets will have a first round pick. This summer, they once again didn't add any major pieces in the draft, but seemed to make some smart moves in free agency. The Davis deal is solid and Faried may benefit from a change of scenery. More baby steps for Brooklyn.

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Jamaal Charles headlines a group of Redskins running back tryouts

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USA Today Sports

Jamaal Charles headlines a group of Redskins running back tryouts

Jamaal Charles used to be among the best running backs in the NFL, and maybe the Redskins hope to turn back the clock. 

Washington is dealing with a number of injuries at the running back spot, and to get through two more preseason games, the team is bringing in a number of veteran runners for tryouts. Charles is the biggest name coming in for a test drive with the Redskins, as ESPN reported. Former Giants RB Orleans Darkwa is also getting a tryout, per multiple reports. 

How did Washington get to the point where the team needs to add more backfield options in mid-August?

First, Derrius Guice injured his knee in the preseason opener. He will miss the season. 

In the second preseason game, Samaje Perine, Byron Marshall and rookie Martez Carter got hurt. Perine should be back in a week or as he suffered only a sprained ankle. Marshall could miss a month, making a roster spot flimsy, and Carter was waived due to his injury. 

That means the Burgundy and Gold only have Rob Kelley, Kapri Bibbs and Chris Thompson active for practice, and remember, Thompson is working back from a broken leg last November. He hasn't played yet in the preseason, and might not go at all until Week 1 in Arizona.

Add all of that together and the team was forced to bring in veteran options, if for nothing else than to get through the remaining two preseason games.

Back to Charles.

From 2009 to 2014, Charles put up absurd numbers. He approached 2,000 total yards from scrimmage in both 2013 and 2010, and put up more than 1,700 total yards in 2012. It's worth adding that Charles found great success with Alex Smith when both were playing in Kansas City. Just saying. He was undeniably great, and probably won thousands of people thousands of dollars as a fantasy football MVP.

That time appears to be over though.

In the last three seasons, injuries have robbed Charles of his burst and elusiveness. Last year, he couldn't break through in the Denver backfield despite being healthy for 14 games. He rushed for just under 300 yards. 

Redskins fans will have unfortunate memories of Darkwa.

In an ugly Week 17 loss last season in New York, he busted a 75-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage and finished the game with 154 yards. Last season was the best of his career for Darkwa, he ran for more than 750 yards and averaged 4.4 yards-per-carry. He's only 26 years old and, coincidentally, played college football at Tulane with Rob Kelley

By adding Guice in the second round of the NFL Draft this spring, the Redskins thought they addressed their need for a talent boost at the RB position. With Guice out for the year, the position looks about the same as it did in 2017. 

Adding Charles and Darkwa seem unlikely to change that, at least significantly. And that's if either of the veteran runners even make the 90-man roster. 

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