FrontRowTickets.com Game Preview: Packers. Thanksgiving.

| November 25th, 2015

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“Turkey: A large bird whose flesh, when eaten on certain religious anniversaries has the peculiar property of attesting piety and gratitude.”

-Ambrose Bierce


  • Green Bay’s defense hasn’t been great this season but they are actually ranked 8th in the league in points allowed per game. They are not in the top 20 of total yards, rushing yards or passing yards surrendered so what’s the reason for this anomaly? Turnovers. Packers are +8 on the season.
  • A defense’s touchdown-to-interception ratio is a stat I’ve begun paying attention to in recent weeks and the numbers really are quite telling. The two best ratios in the league are 8-10 (Denver) and 12-15 (Carolina). The worst ratio is New Orleans’ 28-4. Packers are 13-11, right near the top of the sport. (Bears among the worst at 19-5)
  • An interesting statistical tidbit from The Guardian (of all places):

By nearly every other quarterback’s standards Rodgers is having a brilliant season but he is not quite clicking with some of his receivers and his completion rate for the last three games stands at 52.1%, 57.4% and, on Sunday, 47.1%. Over that same same spell he has still thrown eight touchdowns and just one pick – he is Aaron Rodgers after all – but the fact that the chemistry between quarterback and receivers isn’t quite there (he has the lowest completion rate of his career in 2015) may cause trouble come the playoffs.

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Across The Middle With Andrew Dannehy

| November 24th, 2015


• How many Bears players would start for Denver? Three? Four? Five, at most. Jay Cutler, Kyle Long, Marty Bennett and maybe Adrian Amos. Pernell McPhee could when he’s healthy, but he was a shell of himself yesterday. And, really, that’s it. But they could’ve won the game because they have a coach who wouldn’t let them quit and a quarterback who just kept coming after them.

• The anti-Cutler crowd didn’t waste any time, deeming him a failure again. Of course, they’re crazy. Cutler was great. How many times did he move around and find someone down field? That was their entire offense. Their quarterback had to make something out of nothing every time he dropped back. And it nearly worked against the best defense in the league. The same defense that held Aaron Rodgers to 77 yards passing. Cutler was the best player on the field.

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Rapid Fire: Short-Handed Bears Fall at the Death to Denver, Move to 4-6

| November 23rd, 2015

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Photo screenshot from Chicago Tribune.

There’s an old maxim in the NFL repeated ad nauseum in press conferences across the league: injuries are not an excuse. In a league with a hard salary cap not allowing for depth at any position, injuries are absolutely an excuse. If the Bears were at full strength yesterday, they win. Simple as that. With Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffery, Eddie Royal, a heathy Pernell McPhee and even Antrel Rolle (see below) the Bears would now be heading to Thanksgiving at .500. This roster is not deep enough to beat good teams short-handed.

Rapid fire…
  • Marquess Wilson will be a valuable part of the 2016 Bears as their fourth receiving option.
  • Worst game Jay Cutler played this season and it unsurprisingly came against the league’s best defense with all his receivers hurt. And he STILL took the team down the field at the end and gave them a chance to win it.
  • Cutler’s beautiful throw to Langford in the end zone is an easy touchdown for Matt Forte. Those are the kinds of plays Langford must learn to make. And he will.
  • There should be no run option on the final two point conversion. It should not even be available. Not against that front.
  • What was the fourth and eight call with ten minutes to go? Jeremy Langford and Martellus Bennett both looked like they had no idea where to run their routes.
  • Adam Gase has done a fine job this year with the quarterback and handling the injuries. He’s done a poor job in the red zone.

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FrontRowTickets.com Game Preview: Welcome to the Brock!

| November 20th, 2015

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The Bears now have a chance to find .500 by beating Brock Osweiler at home. A win would thrust them into playoff consideration and create Must See TV on Thanksgiving night at Lambeau. And so the season continues for one of the most entertaining Chicago Bears teams in recent memory.


In Denver I ate a hot dog once

It was bigger than expected

The stuff they piled on was fine

The dog itself neglected

Don’t sell me on your franks, dear sir

Because they’re wrapped in bacon

The wiener is the thing, kind sir

The other shit is fakin’

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Money Where My Mouth Is: Three Picks For Week Eleven

| November 19th, 2015

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I’m back…BOOM…back in the New York groove!

I’m back…BOOM…back in the New York groove!

Took three dogs and all three dogs won outright. That’s what you call a good week of gambling, much needed after the disaster known as Week Ten. This season it’s becoming increasingly difficult to figure out who plays football well and who doesn’t. But one thing is certain: the Giants are winning the Super Bowl.


Crossroads game for the Raiders. They are in the thick of a playoff race in the AFC but coming off two tough losses to two good teams in Pittsburgh and Minnesota. The Lions are putrid. On a Sunday where the Packers couldn’t do anything right the Lions still gave them every chance imaginable to walk away with a victory. Could be nuts but I think Raiders win big.


Romo returneth. If the Cowboys don’t win Sunday, their season is over. Simple as that. The fact that their season is not over at 2-7 is borderline insane but that’s life in the NFC East.


Okay, so I continue to watch the Seahawks play football every week. And every week I continue to be like, “eh, there ain’t much there”. So why are they laying 12.5 points against anyone, anywhere? The 12th man? They don’t have too much impact when the first eleven are mediocre. I’ll take the points.

Season Record: 16-12-2

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Across the Middle With Andrew Dannehy

| November 18th, 2015


• I honestly don’t know what to make of the Bears win over the Rams. I want to feel great about it, but I’m scared. Are we sure the Rams aren’t just terrible? It reminds me of last year when the Bears beat Atlanta 27-13, largely because Atlanta’s receivers couldn’t catch. This time it was largely a matter of the Rams quarterback not being able to throw. The Bears deserve credit because they were supposed to be among the worst teams in the league and they’re clearly not. But we won’t really know if this team is good until after Thanksgiving.

• The Bears defensive line hasn’t gotten enough credit for keeping Todd Gurley in check. I found it interesting that they played Jarvis Jenkins almost strictly as a pass-rusher – only eight snaps against the run, He was replaced by Mitch Urein and Bruce Gaston.

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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Around the League, Three Bears Thoughts, Boomer on Catches, Cutler Update!

| November 16th, 2015


Around the League We Go!

  • Through nine games, Jeremy Langford has only 100 yards less from scrimmage than Melvin Gordon.
  • Someone in the Browns organization needs to walk down to the head coach’s office and tell him playing Josh McCown is no longer an option. I’ve never believed Johnny Manziel’s ability would translate to the pro game but losing down the stretch with McCown does the team zero good. (Manziel was quietly good in that Steelers game yesterday and Manziel isn’t quietly anything.)
  • Tom Brady is full of magic. That’s the only way I can explain it.
  • Giants should be 8-1. They’ve only played one poor game all season. I wouldn’t want to be walking into the Meadowlands in January once this group puts it together. (They are also +12 in turnovers this season. They are secretly good.)
  • The NFL got what they wanted by changing the extra point rule. They made kickers way too relevant on Sundays. (And they’ve delayed at least 7-10 of my piss breaks.)

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Bears Dominate Rams on the Road: Rapid Fire Recap

| November 16th, 2015


Did anyone see this coming? Did anyone see the Bears going into an opposing stadium and thoroughly dominating the home team? Seriously. Any home team. The Bears were underdogs by more than a touchdown and played like Super Bowl contenders. It was impressive. Rapid fire…

– Jeremy Langford is a star. Speed, toughness, the works. If you wondered if Matt Forte was returning in 2016, you can stop wondering. Langford and Carey are a solid 1-2 punch in the backfield.

– Jay Cutler just continued to do what he’s done all season, except Sunday he was able to pile up some stats to support his excellent play. What’s been most remarkable about Cutler’s season is he is doing all this with a makeshift offensive line and without his receiving corps ever being healthy at the same time.

– Shea McClellin looked as good at middle linebacker as he’s looked all year – attacking the line of scrimmage and tackling in the hole. Easy to see what Fox and Fangio like so much about him at the position.

– McClellin’s strip of Tre Mason remind you of anyone? Sure as hell did for me.

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