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Justin Blackmon

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With Matt Forte out, Kahlil Bell gets a job!


 With Matt Forte out, Kahlil Bell gets a job!

NFL:

Running back Kahlil Bell tweeted Saturday that he’s back with the Chicago Bears. The Bears looked to sign another back after starter Matt Forte went down with a high ankle sprain Thursday against theGreen Bay Packers.

“I’m taking my talents back to Chicago,” Bell wrote. “So happy to be back. Never wanted to leave.”

The Bears later confirmd the signing in a news release. The team waived safety Jeremy Jones to make room on the 53-man roster.

Steve Slaton reportedly worked out with the Bears on Saturday, but the Bears were leaning towards Bell, according to CBSSports.com’s Jason La Canfora.

Chicago Tribune reporter Vaughn McClure tweeted that Bell will sign a a one-year deal for the league minimum.

“Let’s make this clear: I never wanted to leave Chicago in the first place,” Bell said, according to McClure.

Bell was cut by the Bears in August after he declined to take a pay cut from $1.26 million to $700,000. He didn’t catch on with another team.

The Bears needed someone if Forte misses an extended period. And Bell is more familiar with the surroundings in Chicago than Slaton, for example.

Truth is, however, they now need Michael Bush to stay healthy.

 


Packers sneak past Bears with smart efficient gameplay


 Packers sneak past Bears with smart efficient gameplay

NFL:

On a night when defenses dominated the NFL’s most storied rivalry, the Packers got creative — and it worked.

Punter Tim Masthay and backup tight end Tom Crabtree combined for a touchdown on a fake field goal in the second quarter, and the Green Bay Packersrattled and robbed Jay Cutler in a 23-10 victory over the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on Thursday.

Cutler threw four interceptions, including a pair to Tramon Williams. Facing a fierce Packers pass rush all night, Cutler was sacked seven times, including 3½ for Clay Matthews. New Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall was held to two catches for 24 yards.

“Clay was incredible,” Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “Defense causing turnovers, if they play like this we’re going to be hard to beat.”

The Bears also lost running back Matt Forte to an ankle injury.

After Williams collected his second interception, Rodgers finally found the end zone in the fourth quarter, hitting Donald Driver for a 26-yard touchdown and a 23-3 lead.

Driver, who barely played in the Packers’ season-opening loss to San Francisco, did a celebratory dance in the end zone, recalling his stint on the “Dancing With the Stars” reality television show.

But Rodgers threw an interception to Tim Jennings and the Bears finally cashed in. Facing fourth-and-7 at the Green Bay 21, Cutler threw a touchdown to Kellen Davis, cutting the lead to 23-10 with 6:49 remaining. But the Bears couldn’t mount a comeback as Matthews and the Packers kept turning up the heat.

Rodgers finished the game 22-of-32 passing for 219 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

He got roughed up, too, getting sacked five times. Green Bay got a scare when the NFL MVP appeared to hurt his right arm early in the game, but he stayed in.

Cutler was 11-of-27 passing for 126 yards.

Earlier in the week, a confident Cutler wished the Packers’ defensive backs “good luck” in trying to match up physically with a new-look wide receiver corps led by Marshall. Stalked by Williams for much of the night, Marshall didn’t see much of the ball. And he couldn’t convert his one big opportunity, dropping a potential touchdown in the third quarter.

Forte provided much of what little offense the Bears could muster before leaving the game in the third. He appeared to twist his right ankle while being tackled by Charles Woodson.

Mason Crosby hit three field goals for Green Bay, including a 54-yarder in the fourth quarter.

The biggest play of the night, though, came from the unlikely tandem of Masthay and Crabtree.

With the Packers facing fourth-and-26 on the Chicago 27 late in the second quarter, Masthay, the punter who also functions as the holder on field goals, and Crosby appeared to line up for a field goal attempt.

But Masthay took the snap and flipped the ball to Crabtree, who ran through a huge hole and streaked all the way to the end zone.

“That’s a gutsy call,” Rodgers said. “It worked out.”

Cutler then threw an interception to Williams near midfield with just over a minute left and the play was upheld on a replay review, giving the Packers one last chance to score. Rodgers marched the Packers into scoring range, and Crosby hit a 35-yard field goal.

Cutler then threw his second interception of the night late in the third, this time to Woodson, and the Packers appeared poised to score when Charles Tillmanpunched the ball away from Jermichael Finley and recovered the ball for the Bears.

Marshall missed a huge opportunity earlier in the third, when Cutler found him streaking wide open in the end zone — but the wide receiver couldn’t haul it in, and the Bears had to settle for a 45-yard field goal by Robbie Gould that cut the lead to 13-3.

The Packers were coming off a 30-22 home loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Green Bay struggled to stop the 49ers’ balanced offense and came into a short week of preparation still looking for answers in the secondary.

On offense, the 49ers’ dominant defense held the Packers to seven points in the first three quarters before a late rally attempt came up short.

Chicago came into the season with high expectations for a beefed-up passing attack, and the arrival of Marshall was a hit right away. Renewing his partnership with Cutler from their days with the Denver Broncos, Marshall caught nine passes for 119 yards and a touchdown and the Bears put up 41 points in their season-opening victory over Indianapolis.


Fred Jackson out at least a month!


 Fred Jackson out at least a month!

Per ESPN:

The Buffalo Bills not only got blown out Sunday but top running back Fred Jackson is out for at least one month and receiver David Nelson is gone for the rest of the 2012 season, sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

An MRI exam completed on Jackson’s right knee Monday revealed nothing conclusive, a source familiar with result told Schefter. It likely will be 7-10 days before a timeline is established for his return but a source estimated that the running back will miss at least a month.

Nelson, meanwhile, tore the ACL in his right knee Sunday, a league source told Schefter. Before his injury, Nelson had two catches for 31 yards Sunday. He was the team’s second-leading receiver in 2011, finishing with 61 receptions for 658 yards and five touchdowns.

Both players were injured in the Bills’ 48-28 Week 1 blowout loss to the New York Jets.

Jackson, who went on injured reserve last November with a broken right leg, went down with 11:07 left in the first half Sunday when he ran for 7 yards and was hit hard by LaRon Landry. Jackson went down immediately and stayed down for a few moments while he was checked by trainers before walking on his own to the sideline.

C.J. Spiller replaced him and got the Bills on the scoreboard, zipping past a few missed tackles by Landry and Bart Scott and scooting into the end zone for a career-best 56-yard score. Spiller finished with a career-best 169 yards rushing.

Jackson finished 2011 with 934 yards and six touchdowns. He has rushed for at least 900 yards in each of the last three seasons, including 2009 when he had a career-best 1,062 rushing yards.


Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers


Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers

By SBRForum.com

Chicago got a big win in Week 1 of the NFL season, beating the Colts by 20 points. Now on a short week, the Bears must turn right back around to face their hated rival, the Packers. NFL odds favor the home Packers by -6 in this game, and the Bears are surely capable of getting a cover, and even a win on Thursday night.

Jay Cutler looked outstanding against the Colts, and the Bears new additions of Brandon Marshall and Michael Bush accounted for three of Chicago’s touchdowns on Sunday. Cutler threw for 333 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. The other touchdown was thrown to rookie Alshon Jeffery.

Now against a much stronger Packers, the Bears will have to buckle down on defense, and continue their stellar offensive play. Chicago’s defense only allowed 63 rushing yards to the Colts, and I expect Chicago to hold Green Bay down in the run as well. It’s not like Green Bay runs a lot, but if they can take away the run game, it will give them an easier time defending the pass attack.

Chicago has won only one out of the last seven games facing the Packers, so they will be eager to get at Green Bay. Last season, Chicago really didn’t get a fair chance at beating Green Bay last season. Also, the Bears haven’t really had a solid chance against the Packers ever since Cutler went down in the NFC Title game two seasons ago. Chicago has a better shot at beating the Packers on Thursday then they have had in a long time. With Greg Jennings looking doubtful for Green Bay, Chicago might have a leg up before kick off even happens.


Joe Flacco and the Ravens completely destroy the Bengals!


 Joe Flacco and the Ravens completely destroy the Bengals!

Per Yahoo!:

The Baltimore Ravens‘ new no-huddle offense gave the Cincinnati Bengals no chance to win.

Joe Flacco threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns, Ed Reed took an interception 34 yards for a score, and the Ravens rolled to a 44-13 victory Monday night to extend their home winning streak to 11 games.

Flacco and the offense worked this summer on running plays without a huddle, and when it came time to put the new scheme into action, the results were almost flawless. The Ravens amassed 430 yards, didn’t commit a turnover and punted only twice.

”That tempo really helped us out because those guys can really get to the passer and really create a lot of pressure,” Flacco said. ”I think the fact that we were able to go up-tempo and kind of keep those guys on the field took its toll on them.”

After letting an early 14-point lead dwindle to 17-13, the Ravens pulled away by scoring 24 straight points in just over six minutes.Ray Rice ran for 68 yards and two short scores, but instead of dominating the Baltimore attack in his usual fashion, the running back took a back seat to Flacco.

”Obviously, everything went pretty well for us tonight,” Flacco said.

Not so for the Bengals, who made the playoffs last year without beating a team that qualified for postseason play. In this one, Cincinnati once again came up short against a high-caliber opponent.

”That certainly wasn’t what we expected to have out there today,” coach Marvin Lewis said. ”We got outplayed and we got outcoached.”

Although the 44 points were only 11 fewer than the Ravens mustered in two games against Cincinnati last year, Lewis insisted Baltimore’s no-huddle attack wasn’t the difference.

”I wish I could say it was the no-huddle,” he said. ”I think it’s an effective thing for them, and it’s something they’ll continue to do, but I don’t think it really bothered us.”

The loss sure did.

”They just outplayed us,” defensive tackle Domata Peko said. ”They just beat us today, and we’ve got to get better.”

Flacco watched the final eight minutes of the blowout on the sideline after going 21 for 29 in Baltimore’s ninth consecutive victory in the AFC North. The Ravens were the only team in the division to win an opener.

And while the offense certainly was impressive, Baltimore’s defense also excelled in its first game under coordinator Dean Pees. Playing without injured NFL Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs – who had 14 sacks last year – the Ravens dropped Andy Dalton four times.

Not only that, but Baltimore turned two turnovers into touchdowns over a two-minute span. After Reed’s touchdown return, 37-year-old linebacker Ray Lewis forced a fumble that was recovered by Lardarius Webb, setting up a 1-yard touchdown run by Rice to make it 41-13 with 13:41 remaining.

Lewis and the Baltimore defense are used to carrying this team, but now the offense seems ready to do its part.

”Joe kind of got us into a rhythm and always kept their defense off balance,” Lewis said. ”We’ve practiced against this offense all offseason, so to see it now, when everything’s real, I think you have to take your hats off to how hard we worked as a team.”

Reed’s jaunt with a pass tipped by Cincinnati receiver Brandon Tate put the diminutive safety in the NFL record book. Reed has 1,497 yards in interception returns, eclipsing the previous record of 1,483 yards by Rod Woodson. It was Reed’s seventh career score on a pickoff return.

Dalton went 22 for 37 for 221 yards, and BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushed for 91 yards and a score in his Cincinnati debut.

Dalton went 4 for 5 for 56 yards in the opening drive of the second half, and although the drive stalled at the Baltimore 1, Mike Nugent kicked a 19-yard field goal to get the Bengals to 17-13.

Flacco brought the Ravens right back, throwing a bit of Rice into the mix with excellent results. Rice caught a screen pass for 18 yards and ran for 13 more during an 89-yard drive in which Flacco went 5 for 7 for 73 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dennis Pitta.

After a 40-yard field goal by Ravens rookie Justin Tucker made it 27-13 with 1:13 left in the quarter, Reed struck exactly one minute later.

Flacco went 12 for 15 for 183 yards in the first half to stake Baltimore to a 17-10 lead.

Flacco set the tone for the shootout on the game’s first offensive play, throwing deep to Torrey Smith for a 52-yard gain. That set up a 46-yard field goal by Tucker, who won the job in training camp from Billy Cundiff.

Baltimore quickly forced a punt, and Flacco went back to work. He completed a 16-yarder to Jacoby Jones on a third-and-15, tossed a 1-yard pass to Rice on a fourth-and-1 and watched from the backfield as Rice completed the 12-play, 63-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown run behind a fine block by fullback Vonta Leach.

”It was really fun for me. I barely got hit tonight,” Rice said.

After Dalton got Cincinnati to 10-3 with a 76-yard march that ended with a field goal, Flacco capped an 82-yard drive by splitting two defenders with a 34-yard touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin.

The Ravens finally punted with 6 minutes left in the first half, and Dalton used the rest of the time to move the Bengals to their lone touchdown. The Bengals twice converted fourth downs on the 81-yard march, the last one a 6-yard run into the end zone by Green-Ellis on a fourth-and-1.


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