In the news:
Bears offense looks good in Oakland
Quarterback Jay Cutler led five first-half scoring drives to help the Chicago Bears beat the Raiders 34-26 in an exhibition game in Oakland.
The Associated Press
OAKLAND, Calif. – Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears look ready to start the regular season. The Oakland Raiders look ready for a quarterback controversy.
Cutler led five first-half scoring drives, Matt Forte gained 109 yards from scrimmage and the Bears beat the Raiders 34-26 Friday night in their final big dress rehearsal for the regular season.
Cutler and Forte connected on a 32-yard touchdown pass, former Raiders running back Michael Bush added two touchdown runs and Alshon Jeffery caught seven passes for 77 yards as the Bears (2-1) took a 27-0 lead in the first half.
Cutler was 12 of 21 for 142 yards.
Chicago’s top performers are likely to play sparingly — if at all — in the exhibition finale next week against Cleveland.
A week after falling behind 23-0 in the first half against New Orleans, the Raiders (1-2) looked equally inept at the start against the Bears as they were outgained 222-34 in less than 20 minutes.
Matt Flynn, a former Seahawk, threw two passes that were intercepted from a mere six attempts before being pulled in favor of Terrelle Pryor in the second quarter to the delight of the crowd.
“We were very frustrated with how we performed,” Flynn said.
Pryor finished 7 of 9 for 93 yards passing and led the Raiders to 20 points on five drives.
Jets take Holmes off PUP list
NEW YORK – Santonio Holmes’ comeback appears closer than it did a few days ago.
The 29-year-old receiver was moved to the New York Jets’ active roster from the physically unable to perform list. The move means Holmes has been cleared by team doctors to practice and has passed his physical. He is not expected to play in the team’s exhibition against the New York Giants on Saturday night.
Holmes has been sidelined since September with an injured left foot.
Meanwhile, rookie Geno Smith will start at quarterback against the Giants. Smith is competing for the starting job with veteran Mark Sanchez.
• The Pittsburgh Steelers bolstered their injury-plagued backfield with a trade, acquiring running back Felix Jones from Philadelphia for linebacker Adrian Robinson.
Jones, 26, gives the Steelers needed depth at running back. Rookie Le’Veon Bell is sidelined with a sprained right foot and is out indefinitely.
• Robert Griffin III, quarterback for the Washington team, joked about his $10,000 fine for wearing an “Operation Patience” T-shirt before an exhibition Monday against Pittsburgh. The shirt is considered unauthorized apparel.
Griffin was introduced at a luncheon shortly after an auction that raised money for charity.
“Those auctioneers did a good job,” Griffin told the crowd. “I would’ve given them 10 grand, but the NFL took it away from me this week.”
• Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak said the league has upheld defensive end Antonio Smith’s three-game suspension.
Smith was suspended for the last two exhibition games and the regular-season opener for hitting Dolphins guard Richie Incognito with the Miami player’s helmet.
• A cousin of ex-New England tight end Aaron Hernandez pleaded not guilty to a contempt charge after being accused of refusing to testify before a grand jury that indicted Hernandez, 23, in the killing of a friend.
Tanya Singleton entered her plea on a criminal contempt charge during a brief court appearance in Fall River, Mass.
The grand jury Thursday indicted Hernandez on first-degree murder and weapons charges.