- When is the last time the Bears, six games through a season, had someone in the top ten in the league in passing yards (Cutler-4th), rushing yards (Forte-7th), catches (Forte-1st), receiving yards (Jeffery-T6th), sacks (Willie-1st) and interceptions (Fuller-T1st)? This season may be laden with individual errors but it also has been defined by exceptional individual performances to this point.
- Have you looked at Jay Cutler’s numbers these days? He’s completing 68.1% of his passes for 1,676 yards, 13 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Two of the three quarterbacks ahead of him in yardage have thrown more interceptions and all three have been sacked AT LEAST five times less.
- Through six games the Bears are tenth in the league against the run. Last year they ranked 431st.
CAMPBELL ON THE COACHES
“It was simply just hard work and their preparation,” Trestman said. “I know there was a lot of extra time spent, Reggie with the linebackers, up through Saturday and into Sunday to get them ready. Their meetings went very well, just talking to Reggie (about) the times that they were in together at different times that were unrelated to the team being together. But just overall very, very good cooperation with everybody to get it done, and the guys who weren’t playing were certainly helpful as well.”
Trestman specified that Herring and the fill-in linebackers spent extra time meeting at the team hotel over the weekend, but of course the preparation extends back to the offseason program, training camp, etc. And even beyond that, the Bears’ personnel department deserves credit for identifying players such as Jones and Sharpton, who possess the mental and physical capability to contribute.
No question the coaches deserves a lot of credit. But Darryl Sharpton also deserves to continue seeing the field. No linebacker on the Bears has looked as explosive as Sharpton did Sunday.
THE RODGERS FAKE SNAP FROM PETER KING
Here is the segment on the Rodgers play from MMQB:
You are there.
“On the line! On the line! Clock! Clock! Clock!”
Aaron Rodgers throttled his hand in a pass-spiking motion one, two, three times, looking over the Miami defense as the seconds ticked away in the final minute in Miami.
“I was looking at Davante Adams,’’ he said from the Packers’ bus, on the way to the Fort Lauderdale airport late Sunday afternoon, “but he wasn’t looking at me. In a situation like that, you want to make eye-contact so he knows something might be coming. But not this time. He didn’t know what I was going to do.”
Ball at the Dolphins’ 16. Second-and-six. Miami up 24-20. No timeouts left for Green Bay. Randall Cobb split left. Jordy Nelson in the right slot. Adams wide right, just outside the numbers.
Adams, the rookie from Fresno State, had never been on the field with Rodgers in this situation. “But I’ve been trying to get him more involved in the offense,’’ Rodgers said. “He’s good—going to be good. I told him before the game I was going to get it to him on the first play of the game today. ‘If I see you open, it’s coming.’ I got it to him [for a five-yard gain on the first play of the day].’’
“I saw the corner on that side [Cortland Finnegan], at the last second, back off to about 12 yards off Davante. And I’m thinking there, ‘They’re giving us free yards.’ ” Actually, Finnegan was about eight yards off to start, then walked back to make it about 11. The cushion was just too tempting. But Rodgers knew if he threw to Adams, and Adams didn’t get out of bounds, the game’s over. Did Adams know? You’d think he would, but a rookie?
The snap. Nelson was locked in place, thinking spike. The Dolphins played dead too. Rodgers got small, like he was throwing the ball into the ground.
While moving back and to his right, Rodgers looked at Adams, who, a bit startled, saw Rodgers looking at him and ran two steps off the line. The ball was on him immediately at the Miami 14. Finnegan, also stunned, ran ahead to stop Adams.
“How about that!’’ John Lynch, the FOX announcer, says on TV. “In the home of Dan Marino, he pulls the Marino!” Dan Marino once fake-spiked and threw a touchdown pass to Mark Ingram (the dad, not the son) to beat the New York Jets.
Adams and Finnegan met at about the 11, and Adams, smartly, was already making tracks for the sideline. But all Finnegan had to do was tackle Adams in-bounds. He could have walled him from the sideline and forced him to stay in. But no. The veteran failed to make a veteran move.
Adams was in Finnegan’s grasp as they wrestled near the sideline. He got to the four-yard line before being shoved out.
The play started with Rodgers wanting to get a few free yards. He got 12. And a chance for potentially two throws into the end zone to try to win the game. “Andrew Quarless was telling me during the game that when he was matched up with 53, Jelani Jenkins, he thought he could win. He said, ‘I don’t think that guy can cover me outside,’ ” Rodgers said. Thing was, now it was a different linebacker, Philip Wheeler, on Quarless. Rodgers went there anyway. With Quarless split wide right and running a quick out just past the goal line, Wheeler slipped and Quarless didn’t. The ball was right in his hands. Perfect. Touchdown. Packers win.
“The only way to build trust with your receivers,’’ Rodgers said, “is to trust them to make plays. Work with them, practice with them, show them if they work hard you’re going to them. I told Davante, ‘I’m really proud of you.’ ”
What receiver wouldn’t want to play with Aaron Rodgers?
Here’s a fact: THE PLAY WAS IDIOTIC. There is no way the reward of that play (yardage) is worth the risk (game over). If Cortland Finnegan doesn’t absolutely blow the play – as mentioned above – Rodgers would be absolutely crucified by the national media on Sunday night and Monday morning. Finnegan has one task: don’t let Adams get out of bounds. And not only did he let Adams out of bounds but he seemed to escort him to the sideline. But now it being dressed up as another example of Rodgers’ genius and the beautiful relationship he holds with his receivers. (They don’t seem to share this once they leave Green Bay, by the way.)
Rodgers is an immensely talented quarterback. He’s arguably the most talented quarterback in the sport. But if you don’t see that his career has been more than touched by luck, you’re choosing not to see it.