Money Where My Mouth Is: Three Picks for Week Five

| October 8th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 3.01.04 PM That’s more like it. The Dolphins crashed and burned. The Bears were never going to be beaten by more than a field goal. Detroit was every bit the equal of Seahawks in Seattle. 3-0, over the hump and back in the saddle again.

Chicago Bears +10 over Kansas City

Didn’t understand the line when it was released. Don’t understand it now. Usually that means I’m lost but I just don’t see this game as particularly lopsided and that’s an awful lot of points. More to come tomorrow…


Packers always score a boatload of points at home. But I like them at 27 or below for two reasons:

  • This Rams defensive front can be hell for Aaron Rodgers to deal with for four quarters, especially Aaron Donald in the middle. Rodgers won’t have any time to look down the field for big strike, quick point plays. No big plays means points will take longer to score.
  • Todd Gurley. That was a “wow” performance from Gurley a week ago and I expect him to get better week-to-week. Want to keep Rodgers off the field? Feed Gurley.


Niners are dead. They are the worst team in football. They have the worst quarterback in football. And they are going to play the eventual Super Bowl champion in primetime? No chance.

Record: 6-5-1 (+$40)

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All-22 Tweets: Kyle Fuller vs. Oakland

| October 7th, 2015

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Four Tweets after studying Fuller (and only Fuller) on the coaches tape.

  • He played a flawless first half, blanketing four or five different players. Never targeted. Not once.
  • Lost Crabtree on key play in the Q3 & responded two plays later by dislodging a huge 3rd down pass at goal line. Saved TD.
  • Showed terrific closing speed for tackles all afternoon. And was aggressive with contact. Didn’t miss a tackle.
  • Unbelievable to think this was same guy who looked like he couldn’t play a few weeks ago. Played like top corner Sunday.

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Across The Middle with Andrew Dannehy

| October 7th, 2015

• Sitting in the Kapow Terrace in the north end zone, my favorite part of watching the game in person was watching Cutler go through his reads and the way he moved in the pocket. The touchdown pass to Martellus Bennett was 100 percent Cutler. The way he manipulated the defense was brilliant. That’s why the fourth quarter interception didn’t make sense. He was one step ahead all game and all he needed to do was go to his next read and he would have found Eddie Royal all by himself, likely for a touchdown. He had done it all game, why not on that play?

• All three of Cutler’s interceptions this year have been on passes attempted to Bennett. Is that coincidence? Bennett’s lackadaisical attitude on passes headed his way has to drive the coaching staff nuts.

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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Telling Stats, McPhee’s Defense, Around the League & Travel Distances!

| October 6th, 2015



  • Bears are currently 7th in yards allowed per game (309) and 5th in passing yards allowed (189.8). Considering the lack of consistent pass rush and deficiencies in secondary personnel, these are remarkable statistics.
  • The ten teams leading the league is total rushing attempts are a combined 13-27.

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  • Turnovers remain the most important stat in the sport. Not a single team in the top 12 in turnover differential is under .500.

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Law Firm of Cutler, Porter & Gould: Rapid Fire Reaction to the Bears Finally Getting on the Board

| October 5th, 2015

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It was only one win but it felt like six. Thoughts:

  • This was the classic Jay Cutler performance, even without proper usage of his legs. He moved the team up and down the field, behind a makeshift offensive line and without his top wide receiver. He threw one stupid pass. But with the game on the line and the ball in his hands he drove the Bears to their first victory of the season.
  • Cutler continues to be a winning quarterback when the Bears play defense. The model isn’t brain surgery, folks. Cutler is not a shootout-type quarterback. There are only about five of those in the league and he isn’t one of them.
  • Losing Will Montgomery can’t be overstated. NFL teams have collapsed under the weight of losing their starting center. But the Bears used their third round pick on center Hroniss Grasu this year. If he’s not moved into the starting lineup this week, one wonders how far off the kid is from playing?
  • Still not sure I understand Matt Forte picking up 25 carries while Rodgers and Langford total 3.
  • Hated how John Fox handled the ends of both halves. In the first half, once the Bears sack Carr on first down, Fox has to use the first timeout. He gave away a clear scoring chance. At the end of the game, who plays for a 49-yard field goal? I don’t care how good Robbie Gould is kicking right now – and he might be at his career best – there was far too much time to get ultra-conservative with the game on the line.

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FrontRowTickets.com Game Preview: Carr & the New Look Raiders Come to Chicago in Week Four

| October 2nd, 2015

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“Oakland wants to run the clock down here…they’re going to go hurry up though.”

-Something Chris Simms actually said while calling Raiders v. Browns


If you’re looking for a single reason to be excited for Bears v. Raiders, this is it. Mack rarely moves off left side of the defensive line (if at all) and that means a showdown between two of the best young players in the sport for sixty minutes. Mack has the advantage of being a pass rusher for the last half decade while Long has been a tackle since Labor Day. If Long consistently wins this battle it will reaffirm the belief of many that he’s destined to be one of the best tackles in the sport for years to come.


  • Feed Amari Cooper and feed him a lot. It is rare to see a young wide receiver as polished and versatile as the young man from Alabama. Derek Carr is just as comfortable throwing him a quick fade on first-and-ten from his own 20 as he is throwing him a slant on third-and-goal at the one with the clocking winding down on a victory. Cooper embarrassed Joe Haden in Cleveland and the Bears don’t have a defensive back anywhere near Haden’s league.
  • Play with balance. Even when the Raiders were nursing a substantial lead against the Browns they managed to mix in the pass with some effectiveness. After the Browns got within 7 of them late in the fourth quarter Sunday, here was their drive (the fumbled punt by Cleveland cost them the gain):

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  • Run the power game with Latavius Murray. Murray reminds me an awful lot of Frank Gore. He’s not only big and strong but he’s got real explosiveness once he get through the initial hole. He’s hell for any secondary to deal with in the open field.
  • Sit their safeties back and make opponents throw underneath. One reason tight ends have had such success against the Raiders (see Bears of intrigue) is that neither Charles Woodson nor Nate Allen are capable of covering anyone. Both are far more comfortable 15-20 yards off the line of scrimmage, playing a center field role. One would imagine this approach will change against James Clausen as giving Clausen any easy throws is a schematic mistake. No throws are easy for Clausen if there’s a defender within five yards. (If Cutler plays, expect Woodson to sit deep and rely upon his proven track record of reading Cutty’s eyes.)


They come….

Raid, raid, pillage and plunder!

…young and hungry…

Raid, pillage, pillage, raid!

…a western horde…

Plunder, pillage, raid!

…ascending to the top of the hill…

Raid. Pillage. Plunder.

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Money Where My Mouth Is: Three Picks for Week Four

| October 1st, 2015

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Another 1-2 week has left me reeling through three weeks of the season. Gave the Ravens too much credit (and didn’t deduct enough points for Marc Trestman’s involvement in their organization). Didn’t give the Bears defensive coaching staff enough credit. Nothing is over. Nothing. I shall rebound.


If you get an opportunity to watch the replay of Bills v. Dolphins from Sunday, spend the hour and do so. It felt like, from the opening whistle, we were watching the last game of the Joe Philbin era in Miami. The offense was useless. The defense made Tyrod Taylor look like Roger Staubach. The coaching staff didn’t make a single discernible adjustment over the course of 60 minutes. And they’ve completely lost the plot with their use of Suh.

Are the Jets great? No. But their defense is capable of wrecking this game for the Dolphins and I can’t see Tannehill getting this group to three touchdowns.


Full report on this selection will be available in tomorrow’s game preview.


Let’s look at the Seahawks first three games. They were humiliated defensively in week one by Nick Foles and a Rams offense that have gone AWOL since. They were somewhat lifeless at Lambeau Field, losing by double digits in a game that never felt that close. Sunday, at home against Jimmy Clausen, they were entirely unimpressive. So how are they double-digit favorites against ANYBODY? Not only do I think this game is close, I wouldn’t be surprised if Detroit has a chance to win late.

Record: 3-5-1 (-$260)

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Across The Middle with Andrew Dannehy

| September 30th, 2015


Note From Jeff: We are going to keep experimenting with the Wednesday space until Andrew feels right. Today is a massive tone change. Hope you like it.

• Oakland rookie receiver Amari Cooper has been awesome this season, which should make Bears fans excited about Kevin White’s potential. Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel does some great pre-draft work  having scouts rank the players. Cooper came in as the top-ranked receiver totaling 12 first-place votes and 88 points, while White received seven first-place votes and 82 points, way ahead of the rest of the field.

• It sure looks like Mel Tucker is coaching the Bears special teams. Players make mistakes that lead to big plays on the field, but when different players keep making the same mistakes, it’s a sign that the coach isn’t doing a good enough job of coaching them. The Bears allowed two 40-yard kick returns in Week 1 and have allowed return touchdowns in consecutive weeks. This comes after last year when the one thing they did better than anyone else was cover kicks, leading the league in average allowed yards per return.

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