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Lovie Smith Returneth: Tampa Bay Bucs at Chicago Bears Game Preview

| November 20th, 2014

They won a game. My lord of lords, they have won a game. Did they beat a rookie quarterback playing in frozen conditions for the first time in his entire existence? Maybe. Do the Buccaneers come to town with a head coach and quarterback desperate to show the Soldier Field faithful and Halas Hall hierarchy what they’re missing? Absolutely. So…

Why do I like the Chicago Bears this week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

A SUNDAY TO LEGITIMIZE ANOTHER SUNDAY

The Bears victory over the Minnesota Vikings means nothing if they lose Sunday. These two games, the first destination on Marc Trestman’s road map to retain his job, are a package deal.

Winning both enables the Bears to play a game with at least some meaning on Thanksgiving Day in Detroit. You might argue the stench of back-to-back embarrassments against arguably the league’s two best teams is too overwhelming to overcome no matter what happens against lower level competition. That’s a fair argument but I think a misguided one. The Bears returning to national television with an opportunity to even their record at 6-6 is a significant step for an organization left for dead two weeks ago. From 6-6, with 3 of their final 4 at home, Trestman and company can begin selling a run of the table to the locker room. Whether they achieve that goal or not is relatively unimportant. Believing there is a goal to be achieved means the players will be severely motivated in December.

Losing Sunday to the Bucs, one of the league’s worst teams, will hurt Trestman terribly in Chicago. If this offense can not find motivation against their former coach they will never find motivation. And if they can’t beat the two-win Bucs at home there will be nothing the coaching staff can say in the locker room to convince players this season has any possible reward.

How Will Lovie Approach Jay?

APP-GALLERY--CUTLER-LOVIE

Tampa’s defense isn’t particularly good. They take the ball away only slightly more (+1) than the Bears and give it away at the same clip. They are bottom third of the league in sacks and live down near the bottom (with the Bears) in opposing passer rating.

So maybe asking the headline, “How will Lovie approach Jay?” is a bit like asking how a blind man will approach the Brown line train at Diversey. What options does he have? He sticks out his cane and hand and feels his way on board. Lovie will stick out his Gerald McCoy and Michael Johnson and hope they make life difficult for Cutler.

But there is some reason for optimism after the Bucs win in Washington, which is being described with optimism in the Tampa media:

If nothing else, it’s a sneak preview of the type of team Smith wants the Bucs to be.

Against Washington, the defense had six sacks, 11 hits on the quarterback, seven tackles for losses, three takeaways and a score on cornerback Johnthan Banks interception return for a touchdown.

Are there other schematic options? Does he know blitzes that will make life specifically uncomfortable for Cutler? Does he know coverages Jay hates seeing? Does he know ways of disguising coverages that had consistently confused Cutler during their time together? Not only what Lovie chooses to call but also what he chooses not to call may tell us a lot about where he views the weaknesses in Cutler’s game.

THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH

#1 Mike Evans

Will the Bears defend Evans with the toughness they displayed against Julio Jones or the fatuousness exhibited against Jordy Nelson? The Bears have two solid cover men. They need to let those men cover. If I see Fuller or Jennings let Evans run by them a single time, hoping one of these awful Bears safeties will – for the first time this season – understand their assignment in the coverage, I may very well scream.

#2 Jared Allen

Was Allen’s performance against Minnesota a burst of energy against a former employer or the beginning of a highly-paid defensive end putting together a season in Chicago?  Bucs left tackle Anthony Collins has battled a foot injury for the last month or so and neither he nor right tackle Demar Dotson have played particularly well in pass protection. (Last week against Washington Dotson was a penalty machine.) If Allen plays with the same energy this Sunday he could mount a multi-sack performance.

#3 Major Wright

Isn’t it always fun to watch Major Wright?

Marc Mariani, Come on Down!

Is the Chris Williams experiment over? Can it be? A note for Mariani: If you catch the ball more than a yard deep in the end zone, stay there.

PERTINENT NUMBERS OF MEANINGFUL RELEVANCE

  • In the Bucs last five games they have scored 17 points three times and lost all three games. They have only scored more than 17 and lost once all season long – at New Orleans in Week Five. So if the Bears score 18 points there is a good chance they’ll win.
  • Bucs are in the bottom six rushing attacks in the NFL…but does that matter? Denver, Detroit and Arizona are also in the bottom six. What is surprising is that Lovie “Get off the bus running” Smith’s Bucs are 31st in the league in rushing attempts. Expect them to abandon run early and attack the vulnerability of the Bears defense: secondary.

A NOTE ON BUCS V. REDSKINS

This is one of the most difficult game tapes to watch all season. The Redskins were unwatchable. The Bucs weren’t all that better. But I wanted to see what upset DeSean Jackson enough to take out his frustrations on Instagram:

epic

The reason why? I counted six times on tape where Jackson was wide open, including two deep balls where he’d cleared the defensive backs by 3-4 yards. Wide receivers have been the league’s prima donnas for years but think about their role in an offense. They can execute their job to absolute perfection and go completely unrewarded because they are reliant on a single guy getting them the ball. Robert Griffin’s teammates don’t believe in him. And if you don’t think this is residue from his self-serving entrance into the sport, you’re not paying attention.

What does this have to do with the Bucs? The Bears are going to have open receivers. And they should have a lot of them.

FINAL SCORE PREDICTION

Chicago Bears 27, Tampa Bay Bucs 17

Tagged: , , , ,

  • Trac

    Firsty! The bucs are closer to for 1st place in their division than us. Yes at 2-8, they are fighting for their division. Smh.

    • SC Dave

      Yeah, only two game out

  • Big Mike

    Flying in for the game from DC. I like the idea of playing to be 6-6 on Thanksgiving. I have a sick feeling about having had my confidence in this team ripped away. Same talent on this team that started the season. Should be able to put up 30+ against TB. Should’ve put up 30+ against the Vikings. This offense is like a sports car running on bad tires. All smoke, sizzle, sound and fury, but no go. The defense is what we thought it would be.

    GO BEARS.

    • Viva

      Enjoy yourself at the game, Mike.

      • Big Mike

        Absolutely!. Bad weather games is what being a diehard fan is about.

        • Trac

          Yes, I love bad weather as well. Brings back great memories. Did I ever tell you about the blizzard of ’79? What a snow storm. My buddy and I were in snow mobile heaven for months.

          • Bender McLugh

            that snow storm was epic, remember it vaguely now though…….

          • Big Mike

            I was a senior in HS at Gordon Tech. The public schools closed a bunch of days. We soldiered on. I think the school was closed 2 days.

          • Cormonster

            40 something degree rain is going to be brutal on Sunday. Impossible to stay warm in those conditions. I would take 10 degree snowy weather any day. Stay as warm as you can and have a good time. Bear Down!

          • Big Mike

            We’ve got the good gear. Rain repellant on the outside. Thinsulate and rum on the inside. Rain is the worst.

          • Cormonster

            I work outside for a living, and I have an easier time staying warm working all day in a 10 below blizzard than 40 degree rain. Hope your gear holds out.

          • Big Mike

            Trying to stay positive.

          • BillW

            Temps should be around 50; so not a miserable cold rain; just a miserable rain.

          • SC Dave

            Just stay dry and its all good

  • BillW

    Rain and more rain predicted. Skilling said several inches possible. Big winds too. Will be a big test for the newer sod. Sloppy conditions would slow the pass rush. Field goals and even extra points will be challenging.

    As a result I have very little feel for this game. I felt they’d come together for a victory last week. I think they are humbled enough to realize that was a step not a solution. So I expect they keep up the focus and improvement

    My prediction therefore is 21-20 bears.

    • Viva

      Sloppy footing favors the guys who know where and when they are going…(Offense). Our O line is better than their O line. We win they lose.

      • Big Mike

        Lovie is a proficient at rainy, muddy games. I hope the Bears can tough it out. This group does not project toughness. 🙁

  • BearDown100393

    I do not know how the Bears defense feels about Mel Tucker. But should the defense be interested toward helping save Tucker’s job, this is the game to do so. As BillW mentioned, the weather forecast for Sunday is downright brutal. I enjoy watching “weather games” but only in the man cave!

  • Viva

    Bears 34
    Bucs 17

    • GPLDAN

      FUCK BUCS!

      • Viva

        FUCK YES

  • Viva

    Trestman is 0-3 against Gym Shorts coached (or coordinated) teams. Every time I think about that, it makes me want to throw up.
    Losing this game against Lovie will provoke more of this:
    DAVE TOUB FOR HC.

    • Toub fits the Bears M.O.
      They never hire actual NFL HCs.
      You should probably send over a mock media interview to Toub so he can practice before the Emery interview.

      • Viva

        I was pushing Toub when they hired Trestman for one and only reason : he consistently applies a game plan to exploit the weaknesses of his opponents.

      • Cormonster

        I think John Harbaugh was a special teams coach before he made Baltimore a perennial playoff team with a Super Bowl win recently.

  • Bear Down in Tampa

    It’s actually a Sunday to Legitimize another Thursday….after this Sunday Bears will play back to back Thursday night games.

  • GPLDAN
    • CanadaBear

      Good reminder why I live on Vancouver Island.

    • Huge Bear’s Penis

      i always wondered – what do they do with all that snow when they remove it? Where do yo put it? is there some snow mountain they build and have a temporary ski resort?

      • CanadaBear

        I’m guessing they truck it to Lake Erie.

        • Trac

          Aha! Now we know the real reason why water levels are rising. hee hee.

          • CanadaBear

            Those damn egghead scientists have been exposed!!!!!!!!!! Where I used to have a house in the mts, they just plowed constantly and let it pile up. Usually by December the snow in my yard would be up to my waist. It would stay at that depth until the middle of April or later. The snow at the bottom of the pile would basically be an ice/snow mix due to melting and re-freezing. Some crazy heavy shit if you were moving it the old fashioned way (Jack Armstrong).

          • SC Dave

            good one

      • wreckinball

        They dump it in the lake

      • Trac

        In philly they make giant snow ball mounds for the fans.

    • Brrr.
      In L.A. it’s a brisk 75. Even had to throw on a thermo, then I took it off cuz it got to warm.
      Los Angelenos are walking around in sandles and Hawaiian shirts sipping pina coledas.

  • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

    If we lose to Lovie, at home, I may walk away from this sport forever.

    • Trac

      But what an amazing story we’ll be able to tell our grandchildren Doc. You can’t buy memories like this. hahahahaha

      • GPLDAN

        “I was a Bears fan when even Cubs fans had more hope than we did. Luckily, the blight came and the sand washed it all away.”

    • CanadaBear

      Be careful there Doc. This team is capable of losing to any team in the league. The worst part is it wouldn’t be shocking.

    • GPLDAN

      It would seal Trestman’s fate. For sure.

      The existential angst, at the least that I feel – comes in a variety of ways:

      1. Even if Cryptkeeper is sent back to Canada, Emery will probably hire another stooge.
      2. Even if Emery gets sent back to the Naval Academy to be a strength coach, Teddy will hire another loser.
      3. Even if Teddy gets fired by George, he’ll probably hire another pencil pusher who knows shit about football.
      4. Even if Ginny dies, the family may not sell to a real owner.
      5. Malcom Gladwell is not wrong when he says Football is too barbaric to be allowed to exist much longer. The CTE issue will – eventually – bring the sport to an end. It has to.

      So it really does feel like we’re Roman soldiers and Joaquin Phoenix is our Caesar.We know we’re fucked, we know this empire is going to end because it’s run by schmucks, but we fight on knowing our deaths will be both vain and inconsequential.

      The level of ennui in this town is bad. Every shift on sports radio seems to acknowledge the lack of give-a-shit for this club. I quit the blog but got bored even though I should have stayed quit like MB. I press on thinking there will be sunnier days, but like McConoughey in Interstellar I am burdened with the knowledge that it is all going to end, and sooner than we thought. It’s difficult to get psyched waiting for this regime to get the boot and a new one to come in when you believe in your heart that even the new owners aren’t going to be Robert Kraft.

      It’s funny to think that the Wall Street Journal wrote an editorial in 1994 making fun of Robert Kraft for counter-offering $175M for the team outright. Because today’s Pats value is $2.8B. That’s about $0.8B higher than the Chicago Bears. Mismanagement indeed.

      • CanadaBear

        Come on GP, admit it, you’re a lifer with the Beloved. Almost all of us here fall into that category. I try not to look at the big picture because it’s just too depressing. One good thing about being a Cubs fan, all your other teams are that much easier to root for.

        • GPLDAN

          I am a lifer. It’s true. I am the Roman soldier about to get gutted by the Gauls. I know I’m fucked, but I keep on watching, because being a Bears fan is all I’ve ever known or cared about in sports.

          I couldn’t stand Lovie, so I want to see him lose and the Bears win. But I also want Trestman gone. So, maybe wreckinball is right. Let’s end in a 0-0 tie and they call the game over gross patheticness.

          • CanadaBear

            I’m afraid if we get 6 wins Nessman stays and Tuck and Camel go. I’ve always liked Lovie but hope we kick his ass. It’s not in my DNA to root for a Bears loss (or tie).

          • SC Dave

            And if Trestman stays with 6 wins, we might as well get 14.

          • If I had some guarantee that Trestman would be gone after this season, I would root for the Bears.
            But Emery is looking for any little excuse to keep Trestman, and getting to about 8-9 wins, I could hear it now, “Well, Trestman has shown character and strength; Trestman has pulled the Bears from the abyss, and as such deserves another chance in 2015” etc etc.
            As such, something dramatic must happen. The Pats and Pack put us on the ledge. The Bucs will have to tip us over for real change to happen.
            As such, my head WANTS the Bucs to win for this change to happen, but my heart will be rooting for the Bears on game day. I won’t be able to help myself get excited if Forte rips one off or if Cutler throws another bomb to Alshon while Lovie gazes up at the clouds.

      • Trac

        I think the McCaskeys must be snobs.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKMbdfbpWvg

      • TheBigCheesy

        This is the stone cold truth. The gospel according to GPLDAN

        • TheBigCheesy

          I think the nfl is fucked.

      • BearDown100393

        The future of the NFL sayeth, “Let there be flags”.

  • wreckinball

    A tie. Why not for a Lovie/Trestman McCown/Cutler duel?

  • Trac

    You guys wanna know how excited I am about the game this weekend? This excited…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Xv_laDGSEI

  • wreckinball

    This game is definitely the dog of the week. Only Bears fans are interested because I don’t think there are any Bucs fans.

  • The Ghost of Crown

    Rainy weather predicted? I predict a healthy dose of this guy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WL9T0G4vPM

    • CanadaBear

      Awesome! A great reminder that we don’t have to pass 40 times/game. Had to laugh the other day reading Brad Biggs mailbag. The first question was why doesn’t everyone else see what that doofus sees, Matt Forte isn’t very good. He went on about he can’t do short yardage, he isn’t fast, can’t do this, can’t do that, etc. Of course, Forte is on pace for over 2000 yds from scrimmage and could become the 3rd member of the 1000 rushing/1000 receiving yds in 1 season. Gotta love some Bears fans. They’re like other football fans only dumber.

      • Trac

        Unfortunately when Mattay has a good day recently, we tend to lose the game.

        • CanadaBear

          How nuts is that? Only the Bears could rack up over 900 yds total in 2 games and manage to score only 38 pts (1st GB game and BiQueens game last week).

        • The Ghost of Crown

          I think that’s kind of deceiving though. In a couple of games Matt would have a bunch of catches and Marshall/Jeffery would have 3 or 4 a piece. Bears have to get Marshall and Alshon involved early just like last week..
          Bears should duplicate what they did against Minnesota:
          8-10 catches a piece for Marshall and Alshon
          5-7 catches for Matt and at least 25-27 carries.

  • BerwynBomber

    Pats re-sign Blount. Watch out there, Barb. He might be just enough of a locker room cancer to upset your dreams of another Lombardi trophy.

    • lol, Perfect. Old Billicheck hates FF.
      I don’t know who’s worse with HBs, Billichick, Shannahan or Sean Payton.
      They all seem to believe in dime-a-dozen backs in heavy committees. I guess if your QB is Brady or Brees it doesn’t matter as much.

      • SC Dave

        That last sentence.

      • Barb UMihai Mar

        They all appreciate the running game. Plus the ST value of these HB is important.

    • Barb UMihai Mar

      Nonsense. He has a cancer before he went to the Pats and a cancer after that. But not while.
      That kind of tells you how good they are. By signing him Blount becomes a Belichick devotee. He’s gonna run over people like it’s his last snap. Just like Gray does.

  • BerwynBomber

    Bears should win this game easily. But given the nature of our O — big stats/big turnovers/average points — we will probably manage to keep it close for three and a half quarters. Only concern is that TB has two small forwards (like we do) playing WR so they could jump ball us also. But a) Tiny Tim and Fuller are competent-to-good corners, and b) Lovie-coached teams never strike fear into opponents from the offensive side.

    Bears 20-10.

  • BillW

    The “several inches” of rain prediction I mentioned was not true. I heard that from someone and believed it. Jeffrey Skilling’s brother said 1 to 1.5 inches. Still a lot. Temps in the low 50s but the wind may be strong.

    On another point – how could the Bears increase the value of the franchise? I’m not sure given revenue sharing what makes one (well established) team like the Patriots that much more valuable than the Bears? Where does that previewed value come from?

  • We need to pull a Billichick.
    Put Fuller on Evans at all times. Hate to break it to you guys, but he is now their #1WR, and is posting monster numbers. Gotta have Fuller on him. It will be an epic rookie battle.
    Leave the S help out Jennings with V-Jax.
    The rest, do so as you wish – as Jeff mentioned, the Buc’s running game is practically non-existent due to a sorry Oline.
    I would be a little worried about Sims (A Forte-knock off) and their TEs (cuz it’s the Bears), but priority #1 should be Evans and Vjax.
    If McCown can beat us with the rest, well, that’s on Tucker and the front 7.

    • And if Fuller can’t handle Evans one-on-one, put the S over him, and leave Jennings one-on-one.
      And if that doesn’t work, well, we’re fucked.

      • GPLDAN

        You rush 4 against McCown because he’s prone to make the fuck-up and throw the pic. I think Tucker will hold back on the blitz and hope Allen can get home like he did last week.

        • Matt Bowen talked about how Allen can dominate bad OTs (like Khalil), but gets stonewalled by better talent.
          From what I’ve read, Bucs do have bad OTs, so I think Jeff’s prediction that Mullet Man has a big game will materialize, which means, less calls for blitzing.

          If things start going south, the logical step would be to blitz, but that assumes “rational coaching”, something I’m not confident we have.

          • GPLDAN

            I have yet to see Fuller or Jennings come from the corner. And when Vereen comes, he may as well hold up a giant sign from 10 yards back saying “I’m blitzing” so the OL has even MORE time to adjust.

          • If Fuller/Jennings come from the corners, that means Conte/Vereen on Evans or Vjax.
            NO THANKS.
            Unless Jennings blitzes from the nickle (something he was very good at before), I don’t really want to see the corners blitzing.
            I’d rather anyone else blitz, esp Shea since that’s supposed to be his “strength”

          • GPLDAN

            Shea has strengths?

          • “air-quotes” as in Trestman has nice “hair”.

          • Bender McLugh

            thought Jennings had a corner blitz either last game or game before, and was surprised to see it too

    • EnderWiggin

      If I am first in waiver priority, why do I have to wait until tomorrow am to get my add? Probably typical, but still.

      • That depends. I’m assuming you’re probably claiming Griffen or someone like that. If that’s the case, it’s because he was let go on Tues. Those that are let go on Tues/Weds are free on Fri.

        That’s just the way ESPN is set up. All the other guys you should be able to claim (the guys with the green +)

    • Barb UMihai Mar

      you can’t just do shit like that if you’re not prepared to do it. I’s a process.
      for example Belichick had Revis go one on one against Gronk every day of training camp.

      I’ve been praying for a nickel D with man coverage across the board from last year. It didn’t happen and it isn’t going to. The proof it was never part of the plan is the decision to play Jennings as the slot CB, instead of Tillman or Fuller, guys better suited to fight TEs.

      So… it’s zone, after zone, after zone, after zone, …….

  • GPLDAN

    If you go help shovel the stadium out today in Buffalo, they give you a free ticket to the game and pay you $10/hr. It’s that nuts.

    • SC Dave

      Nice. That’s a lotta work.

      • Huge Bear’s Penis

        NFL said they will not play on sunday.

  • GPLDAN

    Detroit is shutting the water off on it’s own people, but the Lions think they are disrespected by the nation.

    http://www.freep.com/story/sports/nfl/lions/2014/11/20/detroit-lions-new-england-patriots/19324585/

    • Trac

      Free water for evra one? This is why the Muslims love Michigan. They thrive in poverty stricken areas.

      • Just a Guest

        Oh boy.

        • Trac

          It’s true. Research it. My point is that this country needs to solve it’s problems.

          • CanadaBear

            Poverty and hopelessness is the gateway to illegal behavior and embracing new religions. When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.

          • Trac

            This is my point. If we don’t find a way as a nation to mend fences, other elements will hijack the poor areas. It’s a big reason why gangs thrive. Johnny wad thinks I’m being intolerant but let me tell you, there is no religion as intolerant as Islam.

          • CanadaBear

            As you know, I’m not religious at all. I think the vast majority of Muslims are no different than anyone else. However, the radical elements of the religion are crazy and violent. I find the fundamentalists of other religions to be just as unbending and willing to take away your rights. Esp any rights that don’t line up with their way of thinking. Most other fundamentalists (Christian, Mormon, etc) are just as radical, just not as violent.

          • SC Dave

            Well, Muhammad was a bit more violent than Christ, after all.

          • GPLDAN

            Trac Wack –

            Did you know that the golf courses and even Joe Louis arena owe the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in back payments for water, but the city is only choosing to shut the water off on it’s poorest elements?

            Betcha didn’t know that.

          • Trac

            Yeah, I’m really surprised GP. Never would have expected such injustice from the municipality. Aren’t you glad we just gave the govt. control of our health care too. Before you know it cities will find a way to impose fees to businesses when it rains. Oh that’s right, they already just did that in Maryland.

          • johnnywad

            I don’t disagree with the fact that some would try to establish Sharia law. Nor do I really care. It’ll never happen here. Your post just wasn’t smart.

            First. You don’t say shit like that. Even if you think it, its not bright to say it out loud.

            Second. I can only guess you’ve never been to Michigan. For starters, it isn’t impoverished. Detroit is. The state isn’t. I’m guessing you’re thinking of Detroit. Even that’s wrong. There is a large Muslim contingent in Dearborn, a suburb of Detroit. Its not Manhattan, but it isn’t impoverished. Oddly enough, there is also a large Orthodox Jewish community right there as well.

            I’ve lived in Michigan since ’85 and have been all over the state. The only place a Muslim presence is visible, is Dearborn.

            Your post is just wrong.

          • Trac

            Dearborn is in Michigan right?

            http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/zieve/070111

            I disagree and I think that it’s interesting how Islam is defended while Christianity is railed and maligned in certain parts of the country now. Everything about Islam conflicts with democracy. That’s my opinion.

          • johnnywad

            Right. So say Dearborn. Not Michigan. You live in Texas right? Is the state overrun with George Bush or does he just live in Crawford?

            For the record, I’m Christian. Guess what, Christianity doesn’t need to be defended. Either you believe or you don’t. Why do you care what anybody else thinks? Nor am I defending Islam, or Judiasm, or Hinduism, etc. I’m tired of all of it. Do your own thing. Extremists of any variety skew the perception. I’m trying to make the point that your post is misguided because its wrong on virtually every “fact” in it.

          • Got news for you, Trac.
            MOST religions thrive on the poor. That’s why Nietzsche called Christianity “Slave morality” (literally a religion spread by slaves, women, children and generally the poorer class to keep the powerful pagan’s in check).
            Or, you can go by Marx’s “religion opiate of the masses” (masses implying a bunch of poor dumb asses).
            Or Hitler’s “Christianity/religion is useful”.
            I can’t really think of a popular religion off the top of my head started by the powerful.
            I guess you don’t need to if you control the economy.

      • johnnywad

        Jesus Trac. You dumbass.

      • Saudi Arabia is poor?
        Not according to “Canon Ball Run”

      • Blur of Ions

        Is this a joke? Are we allowing casual racism on the blog now Jeff? Keep your redneck bullshit to yourself, moron.

        • Trac

          Racism? Find new material please. I guess it’s my turn. See ya boys!

    • CanadaBear

      Check out this story from the same paper. Nothing like minding your own business (drunk but harmless) when the cops go out of their way to provoke you into an arrest. I have a bunch of friends that are/were cops but this type of shit makes me nuts.

      http://www.freep.com/story/news/nation/2014/11/20/new-smyrna-beach-florida-taco-bell/19320627/

  • Trac
    • CanadaBear

      Because he said nice things about Lovie? You guys just love to kick the Bears best players in the nuts.

      • Trac

        No, I just think that’s weird coming out with that right before the game. Save it for the post game. You know me Canada. I have a strong admiration for Lovie.

        • CanadaBear

          Me too. One reason so many around here like to hate on #54, Devin and Lance is the stupid comments they’ve made in the press. Almost always they were just being honest. Possibly wrong or misguided but honest. Of all the shit these guys have said, Hampton has said shit 10X’s worse. To me, he’s a legitimate asshole. And I still like him because he was a Bears great. Back in the day the media was all about sports and not the off field, TMZ BS. Most of us didn’t know anything about their off field demeanor and when we found out they were not great guys, you just shrugged and said oh well.

          • Just a Guest

            The media has been asking loaded questions all week of Trestman about Lovie and McCown and asking other players about McCown and his relationship with Cutler. Lance and Peanut seem to all too eager to gush and gush and the other players like Bennett and Bushrod are obvious to what is going on. It feels dirty.

          • CanadaBear

            Lance and Peanut played for him for most of their careers and genuinely love the guy. Most of the other players either didn’t play for him, only played for him for a short time or they were part of the some of the worst O’s in the league.

          • Just a Guest

            I guess I feel like they are all too happy to go into it and the media is all too happy to ask these loaded questions.

          • Cormonster

            Canada, wondering if I could get your opinion on a topic off the blog (FB).

          • CanadaBear

            Hey Cor, I sent you a response.

          • Cormonster

            Thanks Canada.

  • Bears-4-Ever

    I find myself struggling to actually give a damn about this game.

    Bears = 31
    TB = 17

    We should win this one.

    Bear Down and fuck Lovie.

    Did he inspire his players when he was the Bears HC?…Obviously. When the chips were down, did he get out coached by the opposition and fail to adjust accordingly? Absolutely. He wasn’t a “great” coach. Is he better than what we have now? Probably but it doesn’t mean he’d be doing any better with the squad we have now. Stop sucking this guy’s ass…he’s not deserving of it. The SB Ring is all that matters in the end and at that goal he failed miserably.

    • Big Mike

      No the ring is not all that matters when evaluating coaches. Same bullshit with QBs. Jim Kelly, Dan Marino etc no ring. Lovie was a better Head Coach. It was time for him to go, but he was still better. He got more out of what he had than Trestman has. That’s the job of the Head Coach. Get the most out of what you have.

      • GPLDAN

        Mike,

        I’m fairly confident in saying: You’re probably a better coach than Marc Trestman. When comparing to zero, any positive integer is greater.

  • So, I was thinking about the Cutty Thread. I’m not going to re-open old wounds, but I pondered which QBs I would prefer instead of Cutty-badger (for various purposes):

    1. Luck. No brainer. Not only for now, but for the next 20 years. Honestly, he might not be all that different than Cutler right now, except he’s more of a threat in the run, and seems more durable. But his future seems limitless.

    2. Peyton. No brainer, but this is strictly a 2-season win now move. We all assumed the window was 2-seasons anyways.

    3. Brady. See above.

    4. Peyton. See above.

    5. Rodgers. I don’t need to explain this.

    6. Roethlisberger. We’re getting into murky territory, but he’s PROVEN he was won when it matters.

    7. Wilson. He’s just deadly efficient.Plus he can run for 100, which kills GB. He’s almost the anti-cutler.

    8. Rivers. I can see how some would prefer Cutler here. I’m not one of those.

    9. Alex Smith. Again. Want a “game-manager” who can go toe-to-toe with Brees in the playoffs? Also, can run.

    ———–maaaaybbbbe category————-

    10. Bortles. Yup, Johnny will blow a gasket, but this is purely a future move. Cutler has 8 years on him and still lead him in turnovers even in his 2nd year in the same scheme with PB weapons everywhere.

    11. Eli. MAAAAAAYBE. He looks a lot like Cutler, except with two SB rings.

    12. Flacoo. See above (1 ring)

    13. Romo. More efficient than Cutler, but quite possibly a bigger choker.

    The rest of the QBs IMO come with as much baggage or questions as Cutler, unless you’re willing to argue that a Tannenhill, Cam or Johnny Football are better. I’m not quite there yet.

    Needless to say, we’re not getting any of those 9-13 QBs, but we do need to find one of those templates in the draft. Let’s be honest. We’re going to have to luck (pun intended) like the Seahawks, GB or even Pats (Saints sorta lucked it too), etc.

    • johnnywad

      Well said. I don’t know if I agree with some of these, but the concept is sensible. You can’t just whip yourself up a good new QB. 32 teams are looking for them 24/7/365 and there are only a handful that pan out.

      Phil did what needed to be done with him. People can bitch about the money all they want, but somebody would have paid him that much, so what choice is there? There’s a difference between overpaid and expensive. Cutler is making what the market would bear.

      The only cheap, good quarterbacks, are on their rookie deal. How many of those are there in the league right now? Maybe 3? This problem is complex.

      • Yup. That’s why I’m not on the “Dump Cutler” bus. Same with “Dump Emery” bus.
        OK, replace him with WHOM?
        If you can show me a QB or GM who would make me feel better than Cutler and Emery, go for it.
        But to paraphrase Angelo – there’s no QB/GM tree.
        DC/HC however are much easier to find. There’s always at least ONE quality HC candidate every off-season, and call me a homer, but I think the Bears are still a very lucrative landing spot for most coaches (as long as Emery doesn’t put any restrictions on aforementioned candidate).

        Another possibility at QB is taking a chance on a “re-tread” (not Clausen).
        Two that come to mind: Bradford and Locker.

        Both are more injury prone than busts, though it’s difficult to distinguish the dancer from the dance because of inj. I think they would be worth kicking the tires on, if they’re willing to come in for cheap.

        • wreckinball

          Great If Bradford or Locker would come in as backup and cheap I’m not sure they are there yet Good idea though

          Bears can’t dump Cutler His contract alone precludes a trade and his cap value precludes being cut

          They can’t even use a high draft pick on QB because their D sucks

      • BerwynBomber

        They should have franchised him. And if you are not a serious post-season team you are better off developing talent, including at the QB position.

    • wreckinball

      Mostly agree

      Would add Kap Stafford and Ryan Kap could be debatable

      Would subtract Bortles but it is hard to judge him so soon on such a shitty team

      • Yeah, Bortles and Carr are a bit of a mystery, but we’re likely going to have to gamble on a QB along those lines in the up-coming drafts.

      • Also, I’m not sold on any of those.
        Kap seems like a one-read-and run QB, though he’s excellent at that.
        Ryan struggles, esp in big moments.
        Stafford (besides being a bit inj prone) seems to make as many bone-headed mistakes as Cutler. Remember all those times he melted down vs the Bears? It was Cutler-esque vs GB.

        • wreckinball

          Cutler locks in At least Kap has the run option

          Stafford has done a nice impersonation of bad Jay at times but IMO he’s one step up

          Cutler struggles in big moments Matty Ice has accomplished a lot more

          • BerwynBomber

            I think Cutler and Stafford are a wash but Stafford seems to be turning into a clutch guy so we’ll see. That aside, I might still take Stafford if only because of age, but they often seem like the same guy and Cutty has looked better than pie face in the past.

    • BerwynBomber

      Rodgers fifth? Yowza.

      I like your list but I’d arguably add Ryan, Foles, Stafford and Tannenhill to it.

      The other damning thing about Cutty is his absurd salary. Or to put it another way, if you are a GM who would you rather have Jay Cutler and his salary or Mark Sanchez and his? I’m guessing nearly every GM in the league would say Mark Sanchez. (Sanchez is on a one-year contract for 2M)

      Cutler’s salary is a killer, although the same (to a degree) can be said about Romo and Flacco.

      • Well, Vadgers is still a Packer, so he can’t be #1.

        But I wasn’t exactly going off a strict order, though after #5, it’s not as much as a slam dunk.

  • Carr and Mack-daddy look like the real deal.
    I’m interested in how they perform on prime-time.

    Will the Raiders join the Lions in 0-16 infamy?
    I hope not. I want that distinction to remain solely to the Lions.

    • Cormonster

      Hey Butch, in case you didn’t see this on the last thread, Here’s an amazing video of the greatest rushing performance in college football history by Melvin Gordon last Saturday. Nebraska’s run
      defense has been pretty stout this year, which makes this performance
      all the more impressive. This guy has the potential to be a future star
      in the NFL. Trac even got a little wet in the pants over the size of Gordon’s guns.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMD_iQr9q7s

      • Oh, hey, I was going to comment on it. I just saw it before the Raider game.
        He looks very impressive. Explosiveness. Vision. Balance. Patience. Good swivel and stiff arm.
        He’s missing the long-speed. Sometimes he gets caught from behind.
        I see that he does the Arian Foster TD celebration. Maybe that’s who he looks up to.
        I can’t imagine another player winning the Heisman, though admittingly I haven’t kept up too much with college.

        I think he’ll def go first round (esp if he blows up the combine and can catch and block a bit).

        Also, the video production was pretty good too. Might have to check out the other vid that dude posts.

        • Cormonster

          Melvin is supposedly 2nd in the Heisman race behind Mariota of Oregon, but if he has a couple more big games I don’t think he can be denied the trophy. If Wisconsin wins the next two, the big game will be the Big Ten Championship against Ohio State. Like I mentioned before, Gordon seems to have his biggest, most impressive games against the top opponents. I’m sure he would be the front runner if the WI coaches didn’t shit the bed against LSU and Northwestern in the two losses.

  • wreckinball

    Carr can definitely wing it

  • BerwynBomber

    Bears were insane not to sign old man Woodson two years ago when the Pack cut him loose. He would have been imminently better than any safety we have and we could have had him for a song. And unlike Peanut and Briggs, he has stayed healthy. Dude’s a freak to be playing so well at 39.

    • Woodson also could have given us the inside dope on Cutler’s weaknesses, not to mention leadership.

      • BerwynBomber

        Poor Cutty.

        Woodson, I believe, leads the Raiders in tackles this season, which is fucking crazy at his age. Granted, it is the Raiders. But still. I think he had three TFLs tonight.

        Anyway, nice to see the silver and black get off the schnide but damn what a crap franchise. Davis’s son, who looks like he could star in Dumb and Dumber, might be as bad as the old man was in his final years. Wonder if they will move to San Antonio.

  • Barb UMihai Mar

    the Bears will beat the shit out of the Bucs. It seems obvious to me.

  • GPLDAN

    Christ the Chiefs are such a Disappointing team

    • I think the Raiders just came out inspired. Rainy soggy, at OAK, Chiefs just got off a big win, maybe peaking forward a bit to that Donkey game, a bunch of Raider HOFs on the sideline, prime time, etc etc.

      Then, they got “Reid-ed”. They needed to give the ball more to Charles in Charge in the last two drives. I don’t know how many times Reid has apologized for neglecting Charles, but it’s been a lot.

      Same shit he pulled with McCoy in Philly. Baffling.

      Hopefully, Tresty takes note.

  • From one of my fav writers – Evan Silva, RotoWorld. It’s FF slanted, but very detailed regardless.
    I find that writers for gambling and FF sites tend to be more in depth.

    Tampa Bay @ Chicago

    I own a ton of Jay Cutler shares and was as pleased as anyone to see him back rolling in last week’s win over Minnesota. Cutler did throw a pair of WTF picks, but was lethal targeting Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall at the intermediate and vertical levels, picking apart overmatched Vikings LCB Josh Robinson. At the same time, I think this week sets up as a potential trap for FanDuelers considering twirling Cutler. Whereas Vikings coach Mike Zimmer made the mistake of playing Chicago’s plus-sized wideouts in constant man coverage, you can be sure Lovie Smith’s Buccaneers will show them heavy Cover 2 zone. A “see-it, throw-it” quarterback as opposed to an anticipation passer, Cutler has long preyed on man coverage and struggled against zone. No one knows this better than Lovie after spending four seasons as Cutler’s head coach. Cutler is a fantasy QB1 squaring off with a Bucs team that ranks 30th in Football Outsiders’ pass-defense DVOA, but I wouldn’t invest big money in him this week. … Matt Forte is a much safer bet with plenty of upside against Tampa. The Buccaneers have played leaky run defense over their last two games, coughing up 213 yards and a touchdown on 48 carries (4.44 YPC) to Falcons and Redskins running backs. As Chicago is a six-point favorite, this is a game where flow should work to the advantage of Forte and allow the Bears to control the ball. Forte is a shoo-in top-three RB1 in Week 12.

    Cutler’s target distribution over his last six games: Jeffery 57; Marshall 54; Forte 53; Martellus Bennett 37; Dante Rosario 11; Marquess Wilson 4. … Jeffery was a man amongst boys against Minnesota, physically manhandling Robinson. With 100-plus yards and/or a touchdown in six of his last eight games, Jeffery is a mid-range to high-end WR1 against the Bucs, who may again be without LCB Alterraun Verner (hamstring), or have Verner back at less than full strength. … Marshall showed no signs of ankle problems in last week’s win over the Vikings, scoring two touchdowns and parlaying seven receptions into 90 yards. Expect the Bears to attack the Bucs in three-receiver sets, positioning Marshall against 5-foot-11, 188-pound CB Isaiah Frey in the slot. Frey is a former Bears practice squad player. Marshall knows him well. … Keep an eye on Wilson, the Bears’ promising sophomore wideout who returned from I.R./recall in Week 11 to play 74% of Chicago’s offensive snaps. Wilson only saw four targets against Minnesota, but has a bright future in the league if he can stay healthy. I think he’s worth stashing in 16-team leagues for the fantasy stretch run. 22-year-old Wilson should be owned in all Dynasty leagues. … Bennett has barely been a factor in the Bears’ passing game of late, but the Buccaneers allow the fifth most receptions (55) and 11th most yards (588) to tight ends. Even if Martellus’ early-season production has proven a mirage, he is a top-12 tight end option in Week 12. Lovie’s Cover 2 is exploitable by tight ends.

    In Week 12, Josh McCown travels back to his old stomping grounds to face a Bears defense that has allowed a 14:1 TD-to-INT ratio and 73.1% completion rate to opposing quarterbacks over its last four games. Teddy Bridgewater did struggle against Chicago last week, but Minnesota’s smallish rookie passer has been struggling against everyone. Expect a stronger performance from McCown, who has fairly consistently moved Tampa Bay’s offense in his two starts since the benching of Mike Glennon. During that span, McCown is 42-of-66 passing (63.6%) for 589 yards (8.92 YPA), four touchdowns, and two interceptions, with 47 rushing yards. McCown has shown an obvious bond with rookie Mike Evans and is worth streaming as a QB1 in this favorable matchup. … McCown’s target distribution over his last two starts: Evans 18; Vincent Jackson 17; Austin Seferian-Jenkins 10; Charles Sims and Bobby Rainey 6; Louis Murphy 5. … Evans’ pace stats have reached 74-1,272-12 with an up arrow. Josh Gordon recently told Nate Burleson he was going to “tear this league up.” Evans already is. … One week after seeing nine targets from McCown and logging a 5-30-1 receiving line, Seferian-Jenkins saw one target in last week’s win over the Redskins. The Buccaneers played a season-low 52 snaps on offense, which may have contributed. “ASJ” remains in play as a Week 12 streamer. The Bears have allowed the most fantasy points in the league to tight ends.

    V-Jax has been a major fantasy disappointment, and his target total dipped to four last week, an indication the Bucs are calling fewer plays for him. We’re delving into non-quantifiable narratives here, but it wouldn’t surprise me if McCown tried to “get him going” against a soft Bears pass defense. A perimeter receiver in Tampa’s offense, 6-foot-5, 241-pound Jackson will do battle with 5-foot-8, 185-pound Bears LCB Tim Jennings and rookie RCB Kyle Fuller on Sunday. Jackson’s price has dipped enough on FanDuel that I think he’s worth serious consideration as a tournament play. He’s a boom-or-bust WR3 in season-long leagues, albeit with upside in this matchup. … Rookie Charles Sims took over as the Bucs’ primary back in last week’s win over Washington, playing 63% of Tampa’s offensive snaps and finishing with 16 touches. Rainey “started,” but was reduced to a 37% player and only handled the ball six times. Keep in mind Doug Martin (ankle) resumed practicing this week and could further muddle the Bucs’ backfield, but Sims is trending toward flex viability in 14- and 16-team leagues. “He’s looking better and better,” coach Lovie Smith said in his post-game press conference last week. The Bears play middling run defense, ranking 15th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric and permitting 4.10 yards per carry to opposing tailbacks. Rainey looks safe to drop in 12-team leagues.

    Score Prediction: Buccaneers 24, Bears 23

    • “The Bears play middling run defense, ranking 15th in Football Outsiders’
      DVOA metric and permitting 4.10 yards per carry to opposing tailbacks”
      I’ll take it! Of course, opponents may not run as much because
      “[the] Bears defense that has allowed a 14:1 TD-to-INT ratio and 73.1%
      completion rate to opposing quarterbacks over its last four games”

  • BearDown100393

    The Bucs should have signed Urlacher for just this one game.

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