58 Comments

Super Bowl Preview Volume V: Game Prediction

| January 29th, 2015

superbowl

It has to happen.

You can listen to any sports radio show in the country and hear hundreds of analysts breaking down the nuances of this wonderful Super Bowl match-up. (And it is a wonderful match-up.) But for me, the most amazing moments of Super Bowl XLIX will be after the game has been played. Because then, on the stage at midfield, commissioner Roger Goodell and NBC’s Dan Patrick will hand the Lombardi Trophy to Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick. Then those same gentlemen will hand the Super Bowl MVP trophy to Tom Brady.

It will be the glorious conclusion of all this deflation of football drama. And it will present the Kraft, Belichick, Brady trio the grandest stage in all of television to smugly address a suspect public and antagonistic media. Sports are always great theatre. No Super Bowl postgame scenario will have ever been more drama laden.

New England Patriots 24, Seattle Seahawks 16

PS.

I can’t get the images of the Seahawks v. Packers game out of my head. Seattle was awful for the entirety of regulation. No pressure. No passing game. Penalties galore. And after Green Bay had gifted them the lead late their “legendary” defense allowed Aaron Rodgers to walk down the field for the field goal. (Don’t legendary defenses NOT do that?) Two things I believe: (1) If Seattle had settled for a field goal in overtime they would have been beaten by Rodgers and (2) I believe the best team in the NFC is home right now. The Patriots don’t allow fake field goal touchdowns or onside kick recoveries. They are too well-coached for that.

Tagged: ,

183 Comments

Super Bowl Preview Volume III: Gambling Guide

| January 28th, 2015

old_flamingo_hotel_vegas

Here are four fun bets for Super Bowl Sunday…

COIN TOSS

Heads or Tails.

If you’ve never bet the coin toss for a Super Bowl, you need to. And not to encourage gambling but it’s actually a fun way to get kids into betting on sports! You don’t need an offshore website or guy with a little notebook at the corner of the bar. You just need a friend. Go to your friend before the game. One of you take heads. One of you take tails. Put $5 or a drink on it. It is a 100% foolproof way of giving yourself a boost of adrenaline before the game begins.

Prediction: Tails. Many believe it never fails.

SHORTEST TOUCHDOWN RUN

From PFT piece:

Over-Under on Super Bowl XLIX’s shortest touchdown: 1.5 yards.

Over: +115 (lay $10 to win $11.50).

Under: -135 (lay $13.50 to win $10).

This prop boils down to one question: Will there be a one-yard touchdown in the Super Bowl?

This is a GREAT Super Bowl prop because it involves a wide range of factors. But ask yourself this question: how many touchdowns do you believe will be scored Sunday? 3? 4? This prop relies upon plays being run from the one yard line and whilst a pass interference in the end zone is not unlikely with these two aggressive secondaries, the odds simply aren’t there.

Prediction: Over.

Read More …

Tagged: , , ,

224 Comments

Super Bowl Preview Volume II: Final ‘Audibles’ of the 2014 Football Season

| January 27th, 2015

audibles

THREE THOUGHTS ON THE GAME ITSELF

  • The outcome of Seahawks v. Packers disguised the story of Seahawks v. Packers: Seattle’s complete lack of pass rush. If Aaron Rodgers had mobility the game would never have been in question (and let’s be honest, it should not have been in question anyway). Tom Brady’s two Super Bowl losses to Tom Coughlin and the Giants had a similar theme. The Giants pressured him. They pressured him consistently. If the Seahawks don’t they will need to score a lot of points to win this game.
  • Who is Richard Sherman covering? The Patriots have no issue not throwing the ball out wide so are the Seahawks going to allow their best cover man to be relegated to Brandon LaFell all evening? The middle of the Seahawks defense can be attacked and I would expecte Edelman and Gronk to live there most of the night.
  • Steve McNair still holds the Super Bowl record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 64. I expect the Seahawks to try and break that record with Russell Wilson. Pete Carroll can say whatever he wants but he learned a week ago his quarterback is at a severe disadvantage when chasing the game. Pats will want to be aggressive on the edges. Expect Wilson to take advantage of that and hit them for some zone read runs.

Read More …

Tagged: , , ,

130 Comments

Rich Campbell’s Ernie Accorsi Interview is Must Read

| January 24th, 2015

accorsi

Been a long time since DBB has dedicated space to a single piece but Rich Campbell’s interview with Ernie Accorsi is one of the most insightful football pieces I’ve read in a long time. There is tremendous detail regarding the hiring processes, the relationship between Ted Phillips & George McCaskey, why this opportunity at this time was perfect for Ryan Pace and the difference between Chicago and other football markets.

Some of my favorite stuff was a look inside the Giants offices. An excerpt:

What did you admire about John from your experiences with him with the Giants?

“His office (as defensive coordinator) was right next to mine, so we interacted. In a lot of places, the GM and the coach are at two different ends of the building. We were right beside each other, and (Fox) happened to be in the office next to mine. We interacted every day. First of all, he’s just a great football coach. Second thing, he has a way with people. He’s not going to lock himself in the office and draw up plays and be aloof. Players love to play for him.

“When we lost him, Mr. Mara actually said these words, and they were printed. When we lost him and he became head coach of Carolina, Wellington Mara said, ‘I feel much the same as I did when (Vince) Lombardi went to Green Bay.’ He said that.

“I’ll just give you an anecdote about John. We’re going to play Minnesota in the NFC championship game (in 2001). They have Randy Moss, Cris Carter, Robert Smith, Daunte Culpepper, and they’re scoring a million points a game. Now, all week they already scored 50 touchdowns in my apartment while I was trying to sleep.

“Finally we get to Friday, and I bump into Fox, and Fox says, ‘You’ve been ducking me all week.’ I said, ‘I don’t want to talk to you. I’m afraid of what you’re going to tell me.’ He said, ‘We may just shut them out.’ And we did (41-0). I thought we had a chance to win because we could score, but I thought we were going to win 45-38. He said, ‘We may just shut them out,’ and we did. And John doesn’t say that kind of stuff … to be boastful or bravado or anything like that.”

To read the entire Tribune piece, and you absolutely must, CLICK HERE AND DO IT.

Tagged: , , ,

415 Comments

Saying Everything I Want to Say About Jay Cutler & Then Going Dark on the Subject

| January 23rd, 2015

cutlermail

(1) Jay Cutler throws interceptions. He has started 119 games. He has thrown 130 interceptions. If you think having Cutler throw fewer passes is going to result in fewer interceptions, you’re just not paying attention. Cutler, if he plays all 16 games in an NFL season, should be expected to throw between 14-18 interceptions.

(2) Throwing interceptions does not automatically equate to losing. Eli Manning has thrown 185 interceptions in 167 starts. He’s also won two Super Bowls. Joe Flacco has thrown 90 picks in 112 games but raises his game in the postseason. These two quarterbacks are big game hunters. They raise themselves up at the big moment. They are only allowed to play in the big moments because they have complete teams.

(3) When has Jay Cutler ever had a complete team? Honestly ask yourself that question without any bias. When has he had a better than average defense, offensive line and skill guys? Not great. Just better than average. The teams Jay Cutler has played on have required him to carry them and he’s not that guy. I wonder if Pace and Fox will recognize that and do in 2015 what the Cowboys did in 2014: take the pressure off their mistake-prone quarterback.

(4) What turning the ball over DOES mean is sustained postseason success is unlikely. Eli has had a couple brilliant postseason runs. He’s barely gotten to the postseason otherwise.

(5) People say Jay Cutler is not a winning player. Well, factually, he is. 61-58 as a starter (44-38 as Bear). He has also only had one season where he’s been more than a single game below .500. (The Bears just completed that season.) You know who isn’t a winning player? Matthew Stafford. Is he being run out of Detroit for being 7 games below .500?

(6) Over his last three seasons with Lovie Smith as head coach and the combination of Martz/Tice at offensive coordinator, Jay Cutler was 27-13 as a starter. Interesting that when the team played solid defense he was not drawing “not a winning player” label.

126794x

(7) Jay Cutler is never going to be a rah rah leadership type. Remember when he used to shout at offensive coordinators (like Tom Brady) and shove offensive linemen (like Phil Rivers) and get angry when receivers ran the wrong routes (like Peyton Manning) and get lambasted by the national media for it? Well, he stopped. Now you get Jay Cutler, the father. Watch a Ravens or Giants game and find me the moments Eli and Flacco display these emotions Bears fans want from Cutler. You can watch every snap of their careers. You won’t find any.  Their emotions never change. This is not to say a quarterback shouldn’t be be a rah rah type. This is to say you don’t necessarily need this attribute to win.

Read More …

Tagged: ,

383 Comments

Audibles From the Long Snapper: Making Scoreons Happen, Prestigious Jobs, Marshall & More!

| January 22nd, 2015

audibles

DBB Coins a New Term

From Twitter, yesterday:

Many like to use the phrase “meatball” to describe a certain kind of fan. In Chicago I am going to refer to those people as “Score-ons”.

It is on all of us to make this phrase happen.

BIGGS, BEARS, BAD JOB?

Because I tend not to forget and choose to hold others accountable, from the opening of a New Year’s Eve piece in the Tribune by Brad Biggs:

In announcing the massive housecleaning Monday at Halas Hall, President Ted Phillips called the Bears’ head coaching job prestigious.

He stands nearly alone in that opinion in light of a Tribune poll of NFL front-office employees and coaches who ranked the Bears barely above the Raiders in terms of attractiveness.

Quarterback concerns left the Jets at the bottom, but the Bears job wasn’t considered much better even with Jay Cutler, the passer in whom they have invested so much money and whom Chairman George McCaskey said he is a fan of personally and professionally. Elsewhere, Cutler is classified as a coach killer.

The Bears landed an in-demand (young) GM, a head coach who has been to two Super Bowls, the best defensive coach on the market and an offensive coordinator who interviewed for just about every head coaching vacancy. Rumors have it that if the Bears job were prestigious, Vince Lombardi would have climbed out of his grave and agreed to a five-year, $35 million contract.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , ,

136 Comments

Bears Hiring Adam Gase as Offensive Coordinator

| January 22nd, 2015

gase

Two things on this hire.

  • Adam Gase has never actually called plays. He has never told his quarterback to run “X right wide 7 triple diaper dance.” The system in place between he and Peyton Manning was Gase sending in a handful of options to Manning and Manning making the decision at the line of scrimmage. Gase made suggestions. He did not make calls. Should this be a cause for concern? No. Because, and I shall repeat this often, the Bears will be running John Fox’s offense. He is a head coach, not just a defensive-minded head coach. (Spoiler alert: this will not stop fans from placing all their blame on the OC moving forward.)
  • Notion that Gase and Brandon Marshall can not co-exist is poppycock. If the Bears are planning to move on from Marshall – and I’m not sure how that works financially – fine. But if they let a talent such as Marshall’s leave the organization because two adult males can’t get along, they are wrong to do so.

Tagged: ,

© Da' Bears Blog