Archives for posts with tag: Bears

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  • How the Steelers managed to pull out a road win with third string QB in Charlie Batch (hadn’t thrown a TD in 800 Days) is incredible. Pittsburgh’s own sideline could not even believe they pulled this off.
  • Joe Flacco is not an elite quarterback.
  • The Jets are in real trouble. How can you go back to Sanchez at this point, New York has done a great job at ruining an already emotional fragile QB since training camp. If they play McElroy and he wins a few games, they’ll play their way out of a good pick.
  • Arizona better move Heaven and Earth to bring in a QB this off-season: Mike Vick, Carson Palmer, Phillip Rivers. Think about how good the NFC West could be if the Cards brought in Rivers and Gates in from a San Diego rebuild, creating one of the most talented divisions in football, instantly making Arizona a top contender with San Francisco.
  • Rams/Niners has quickly become a must see game for next season. One tie, two overtimes, and now controversial call to boot. The best part of this game is when the camera shows Harbaugh standing on the sideline with this “how does this guy know what I’m calling, GET OUT OF MY HEAD!” look to Jeff Fisher.
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Kinda like this face

  • The Bears defense is not getting the same breaks that saw them quickly become one of the top scoring defense in NFL history. You know when your watching a Pats game or a old Manning/Colts game and the announcers are just gushing over the fact that Brady or Peyton have completed passes to 10 different receivers and how the teams have to account for everyone on the field, well, Jay Cutler would probably tell you that stat is stupid and quit wasting his time. Yesterday, Cutler targeted Brandon Marshall 14 times to the next highest in Matt Forte’s three! Eric Weems and Earl Bennett had one catch apiece as the only other receivers to catch a pass. How Mike Tice is still the Bears coordinator leads you to believe he’s got dirt on someone in that organization.
  • The San Diego Chargers of 2013 will not look anything like the Chargers we saw yesterday. As one of the prime candidates to move to L.A., a complete house cleaning could be on the way. If they announce a move saying they will sign a lease for the new AEG stadium in downtown L.A. and are staying in San Diego until the project is finished or a temp move to the Rose Bowl, the team is going to have little support from fans during any such move. A new general manger and head coach might want to rid themselves of costly veterans like Rivers, Gates and Quentin Jammer. Trading Rivers and Gates could bring in a huge hull for a rebuild.
  • Of course all of this will become more apparent when they hire a coach. If its a Jon Gruden, Jack Del Rio or Andy Reid, Rivers probably stays. If they decide to go with  Oregon’s Chip Kelly, they could clear house see if Kelly can hack it on the NFL level, building a winner for a potential new stadium.
  • Andrew Luck’s face is going to be all over the place his summer after his legend grew in Detroit yesterday.
  • The Jovan Belcher situation is fucked up and that’s all you can say on the topic. Anybody who can sit there and say there’s some great “Ah-Ha” moment in all of this is a moron. This is deeply complicated issue and to say this stems from gun laws in America or concussions or ‘roid rage and that’s it, is seriously ignorant.
  • Spurs Greg Popovich’s lone mistake in sitting Duncan, Parker and Gibnobli was not coming up with some great fake injuries, would have liked to see “Tim Duncan, Out (Paper-cut)”.
  • To have a Hall of Fame without the best hitter of all-time (Pete Rose), the best home-run hitter of all-time (Barry Bonds) and pitcher of all-time (Roger Clemens) should really look to get out of Hall of Fame business. What kind of operation are they running over there. How is anyone in the future going to aspire to make it to the HOF if all the best people aren’t in it! Anyone that can sit there and say that besides the random miracles in baseball (Boston comeback down 0-4, random perfect game) that watching Bonds at-bat for that 3-4 year period was not the most compelling baseball you had ever seen never really watched the game in the first place, and Bonds walked most of the time!
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Pretenders:

Atlanta Falcons (10-1)- When coach Mike Smith took over the Atlanta Falcons, running the football was the key to their initial success. Signing Michael Turner away from San Diego allowed the Falcons, despite a shaky offensive line and rookie QB from Boston College to start building a winner. Soon, 300 plus carry seasons were the norm for Turner who seemingly allowed Atlanta to set and forget their running back position for years.

Well it seems like the flames have finally went out on Michael “the Burner” Turner. Turner, after a career 1585 carries in 9 seasons (a majority coming in the last five seasons) has only three carries for over 20 yards this year, with two of those in the first few weeks.

There has been two direct results of the Falcons being woefully under-prepared for their 29 year old running back falling apart. First, QB Matt Ryan, who was always known for his ability to take what the defense gives him and call the game accordingly (game manager), Atlanta now has Ryan playing like he’s leading the 2007 Patriots. In 11 games, Ryan is averaging 39 pass attempts per game (4 more than his career high), he has 3,425 passing yards (3rd highest of his career), and his 429 pass attempts is more then he threw in 16 games in 2008 and 14 game in 2009.  Ryan has also been sacked 21 times this season (4 off his career high), his offensive line does not have a ton of overly athletic players and was not built to drop back 40-50 times a game. Teams like the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers have defensive ends that will make life very difficult on Atlanta’s tackles come playoff time.

Secondly, the Falcons have begun more and more to rely on the diminutive Jacquizz Rodgers. Rodgers will forever be remembered by college football fans for when he ran all over the Southern Cal team with four NFL linebackers and the Trojans had no answer for him. But putting your faith in a player who’s 5’6, 196 pounds without Barry Sanders speed can be a scary proposition.

Atlanta has also had the luxury of having one of the easier schedules in the league. The Falcons have wins over KC, Denver (Peyton had half an arm at the time), SD, Carolina, Dallas, Oakland, Philly, Arizona, Washington, and Tampa Bay. They really struggled for wins against ‘Zona, Oakland and Dallas. Their one loss came against the New Orleans Saints (31-27 in New Orleans), who have a replacement head coach! With upcoming games against the Saints again, the Giants, and Tampa it’s entirely possible the Falcons lose three of the next five games and lose their bye week and are playing on wild card weekend.

Chicago Bears (8-3)- Da Bears are another team that have been getting a lot of help from their schedule this season. Their only win against a playoff team came in Week One versus Indy (Andrew Luck was making his first career start). All the other games versus playoff teams against Houston, Green Bay and San Francisco, the Bears barely made it interesting.

If Matt Forte has to miss any significant amount of time, Chicago is in serious trouble. Putting more pressure on Jay Cutler and the 32nd ranked passing offense just simply is not an option. Cutler has some how been held to eye popping 177.2 yards per game. In the era of the 5,000 yard passers are the norm, Cutler has somehow erased all memory of playing with any receiver not named Brandon Marshall, targeting Marshall 124 times to the next Bears receiver in Earl Bennett’s 40.

If there was ever an outlier stat that shows the inmates are running the asylum, this is it! I don’t think there’s a coach out there that would go in to the season thinking “If i can get my receiver the ball 300 times, despite constant double teams and the opposition knowing our quarterback doesn’t go anywhere else, we’re gonna win this thing baby!”. Lance Briggs, Brian Urlacher and Charles Tillman have more interceptions for touchdowns (5) than Earl Bennett, Devin Hestor and Kellen Davis have receiving touchdowns (4).

The teams that make the playoffs are the ones that don’t turn the ball over often. Expecting the Bears defense to create those same opportunities in the playoffs will be much harder to come by. If the Bears have to play from behind, teams are going to double down on Marshall and force Cutler to throw to players he either has no trust in or has a real disdain for.

The Bears offensive line has allowed Cutler to get sacked 26 times already, missing a start and parts of games already, they haven’t done a good job protecting the quarterback and we have seen teams like Houston (13-6) and San Fran (32-7) grind Chicago’s offense to a halt. Don’t have faith in Chicago, I mean there quarterback barely does.

Indianapolis Colts (7-4)- Every season usually has some story about a tragedy that happens in one of the organizations that bands them together and putting trivial personal achievements aside for a bigger goal. See saw this a few seasons ago in Cinncy, when defensive coordinators Mike Zimmer’s wife passed away and Cinncy played all out for a grieving coach.  Another example, how the passing of Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s wife helped bring both sides together to end the lockout last year. Sometimes a tragedy can put thing in prospective for a greater good.

This is clearly the case going on in Indy. Colts coach Chuck Pagano has given his team a reason beyond playing personal accolades and try to bring joy to a man that had to fight for his life. Having the a quarterback mature beyond his years has helped a bit too. The Colts are 7-4 despite giving up 273 points against and only scoring 230 points.

Next week they play Detroit, which is a game that could go either way, same with the Titans game, then probably lose to Houston. After the next three weeks they could be sitting at 8-6 or 7-7 then play KC and probably Houston’s second unit to lock up the wild card at 9-7 or 10-6.

The love affair with Andrew Luck will be in full force wild card weekend, where every analyst will be none stop hammering his story on us, turning the Colts into a title contender rather then what they’re, a team that never thought they’d be in this position and lacking experience in a lot of important positions. Indy will have to play either in Baltimore, In Denver versus Peyton Manning and all the drama that goes with that or in New England who dropped 59 on them two weeks ago. Don’t buy into Indy being this season New York Giants as all the talking heads will want you to believe.