259 Comments

Ugly, Ugly, Ugly: Bears Beat Bucs & Inch Closer to .500

| November 24th, 2014

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Chicago Bears

Going into halftime I was fully prepared to write a “Marc Trestman Must Be Relieved of His Duties Today” column. That’s how lifeless the Bears were for thirty minutes. How thoroughly unmotivated they seemed. They would have enraged a surprisingly large and vocal crowd but the Soldier Field faithful were too bored to express anger.

Then they went into the locker room. Then they came out of the locker room.

I don’t know what Marc Trestman said to his football team. I don’t know the contents of Martellus Bennett’s MLK-inspired halftime tirade. But I do know Trestman had a tangible opportunity to display leadership. He had a chance to show the entire organization he was not only a capable leader of men but a capable leader of these specific men, in this specific locker room. And in Lovie Smith’s old locker room, Trestman delivered. If the Bears had played two second halves yesterday they would have beaten Tampa by 35 points.

Do these two wins mean a lot for the Chicago Bears? No. But they were the first essential destination on the Trestman road map to remaining the Chicago Bears head coach. Now the Bears play a month of games against NFC playoff teams (even though I don’t believe the Lions will ultimately make the postseason). Now the results are measuring sticks. Now the results matter.

More thoughts on Sunday’s win over the Bucs…

  • One has to believe Lovie Smith watched all of Josh McCown’s snaps as Bears quarterback in 2013. Then Lovie, a man who has coached football since two years prior to my birth, determined McCown was the man to lead the Tampa organization. How is that even possible? How is it possible Smith has so little feel for the quarterback position? Anyone who watched the games understood why McCown was successful. Lovie’s inability to coach the quarterback marred his tenure in Chicago. It’ll do the same in Tampa.
  • Understanding the opponent, one had to get a bit excited by the young Chicago defenders yesterday. Cornelius Washington played great. David Bass, who has a penchant for making game-changing plays, made another one. Kyle Fuller is going to be a wonderful cover corner and getting beat by Mike Evans will help his development. Paea, Ferguson and Sutton all contributed in the middle. The Bears should be committing to these young players down the stretch.
  • Stephen Paea should be on the Chicago Bears next year, along side Ego and Sutton.
  • When Chris Conte makes interceptions, they tend to be spectacular. I also thought he played excellent in run support. I’m a believer that when healthy Conte can be the Bears free safety.
  • Sad to see Lance Briggs’ tenure with the Bears come to the conclusion it is coming to. Briggs simply never embraced this organization since Lovie’s firing. Unfortunately many Bears fans will forget the years of dominance and remember these two years of cantankerousness and futility.
  • I want to see more Damontre Hurst.
  • Marquess Wilson catches the ball like a seventh-round draft pick.
  • Where is Brandon Marshall’s head? You can’t be fighting Wilson on the sideline for his drops when you’re committing penalties on every fifth down.
  • Of course the first time the Alshon Jeffery bubble screen works it is against Lovie Smith.
  • Yards were not easy for Matt Forte on the ground but he grinded out one of his more impressive performances of the year. Trestman made it very clear down the stretch he was going to rely on his running back, not his quarterback, to seal the victory.
  • New nickname: “Midfield” Mariani.
  • Pat O’Donnell had a somewhat shaky second half but his performance in the first half is the only reason the Bears weren’t down 20 points.
  • When did Robbie Gould stop making field goals?
  • Have to see the All-22 to understand Cutler’s performance but it sure seemed there was nobody open down the field. Couple that with issues in protection and you have the makings for a bland quarterbacking day.

Short work week here at the blog. There will be some material here later today and tomorrow, game preview Wednesday and then Bears at Lions Thursday morning. The March to .500 is here at DBB.

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  • Peanut FTW

    I think the Bucs sold out all game on the, play zone make them run to beat us bandwagon. Thanks to some inspired play from the D and a lousy QB on the opposing team, we were able to do just that.

  • Peanut FTW

    As far as Odonnell, I thought he could kick the hell out of the ball. One good punt in a game is not enough to make up for 2 poor and 1 awful punts. I mean, 20 yards really? There are not many times when I can realistically say I can do better than that getting off my couch but, honestly I can punt a football further than 20 yards, I think my kid probably can.

    • GPLDAN

      We shoulda kept with Tress Way.

      • BillW

        We should get an actual coach for the special teams.

      • I was going to name my FF team “The Young and the Tress-less”.

    • johnnywad

      With snow boots on. I proved it last winter when Podlesh was doing it.

  • FantuzPhysics

    I want to reiterate my comments from yesterday. O’Donnell is statistically the 2nd worst punter in the NFL in several categories. Who’s been better: Tress Way.

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/statistics/player/_/stat/punting/sort/grossAvgPuntYards

    • GPLDAN

      #emery_blown_pick

      • FantuzPhysics

        I think you have to give any rookie pick at least one whole season before you make any decisions on their future. That being said, I would fully expect the bears to bring in another punter next year to compete with O’Donnell in camp.

        • CanadaBear

          I think O’Donnell will be a decent punter but he’d better get his shit together. With PE’s history of not putting up with failed draft picks, he’s only got 3 more seasons to get it together or he might not get re-signed.

          • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

            Ha!

          • Scharfinator

            Zing! 🙂

        • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

          But how different is the Punter’s experience in college vs pros? It’s punting. What changes?

          • BillW

            Protection and rush schemes. Athleticism of the guys coming after you. Pressure. And I don’t recall where O’D came from, but the weather may have been a factor yesterday, if only mentally.

          • CanadaBear

            I think he played one year at a cold weather college and then transferred to Miami.

          • Cormonster

            Have to get rid of the ball a lot faster. I may be wrong, but I think a lot of college punters take an extra step before punting the ball.

  • GPLDAN

    What Tucker realized is that he has younger players that have some game. Washington is learning some technique from Allen and should split snaps with him. Allen should be a good teammate and mentor these guys. Christian Jones can be a real NFL linebacker, not like Shae who only pretends.

    David Bass made several key pre-season speed rush sacks, and *I* always anticipated he would spell at LE or RE, but with Houston able to play out there I guess they put him as expendable. That was a Basshole decision.

    Hurst is coming along as a bigger DJ Moore, and even Conte didn’t make once wince. They can get Vereen in there on dime or even nickel looks, and McMannis is ready to start. Get the youth rotation going – it works and it’s worked for the last 40 years I’ve watched football. I don’t know how many seasons I’ve watched in which moving into the youth movement and giving them heavy snap rotation paid off for a team to turn it around. A lot. A lot of teams.

    On offense – it just appears as if Cryptkeeper and Kromer have told Jay he’s not allowed to go deep unless they say so – end of story. So now it becomes the Forte watch. In Lovie’s Tampa 2, the back is going to endure a lot of punishment taking those dump balls again and again. Forte has had a lot of miles put on his odometer this season.

    • Bernsy

      Washington looked downright freakish on that one play where he chased McCown down from behind. LIke a cheetah chasing a springbok.

  • CanadaBear

    Uninspiring but much needed win. I swear the pre-game ritual for the Bears O is to smoke a big fatty right before leaving the locker room. Nobody is on the same page, constant pre-snap penalties, wrong routes, missed blocks, dropped passes, etc. Glad the D bailed them out in the 3rd Quarter. Nessman does not trust Cutler. Why else would he insist on running Matt with 9 in the box, play after play, after play in the last 6 minutes?

    • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

      To keep the clock moving?

      • CanadaBear

        I get that Doc but if you watched the game it was obvious Nessman wasn’t going to let Cutler throw a pass. A little play action would have iced the game. As it was, you knew Matt was going to take a beating and we’d keep kicking the ball back to them.

        • Bender McLugh

          Play Action against Lovie-2 coverage and bad conditions on a day Cutler showed he didn’t have great stuff…..seems Trestman played the safe card, much like any great team does in that situation in order to ice the game.

          • BillW

            Not sure how safe it was. Tampa was driving for a potential tying score. Relying on our defense (which did come through) and a shaky punter (who did NOT come through) didn’t strike me as safe. But it worked.

          • CanadaBear

            Gotta go with Bill on this one. We were lucky on the VJax fumble and occasionally McCown had a good stretch. Not to mention our punter is good for one or two shanks/week. Starting to go into the prevent O with 6 minutes left seemed foolish to me.

          • SC Dave

            To say nothing about how the receivers decided to drop the ball all day.

    • bloomie1937

      These are the responsibility of the staff. Tell Virginia to open that vault or sell out.

  • Bears-4-Ever

    We won! WOO-HOOOO!

    Would the “real” Bears please stand up…it was like watching two different teams play in the same game. The first half Bears were horrible but the second half Bears rocked and the turnovers were a flash of the bears of old! Maybe, we can have the second half Bears show up for both halves next week?

    On the Marshal thing. I didn’t see the whole exchange between BM and Wilson but it seemed to me the little slap was more like a “Come on man, Let’s get it together” than one out of anger. Fill me in for those who saw the whole ordeal.

    • CanadaBear

      To me it looks like a big brother, little brother tough love thing.

      • BillW

        Seemed benign at first but right at the end of the exchange Marshall looked pissed. The TV announcers said at first it was encouragement or advice and then I think Brenaman said “maybe not”.

        • CanadaBear

          Wilson finally had enough when BMarsh was waving his finger at him. He swatted his hand. That’s when BMarsh looked good and pissed. I know BMarsh is trying to mentor Wilson but it’s not like BMarsh had a great game yesterday (which included 3 penalties).

  • Jack Lacan

    Maybe the Bears will make the playoffs for “The Gipper”…

  • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

    As always, it is nice to get a victory. It’s nice to be on the other side as Lovie makes his half time adjustments. It’s nice to see the defense play some good ball for a change. It’s nice to see the takeaways. I missed seeing Lovie’s familiar jumbotron gaze since I had to listen to the game on the radio, but it’s nice to see Lovie leave a loser….Oh, and I’m happy to see the Lions begin their traditional second half plunge right on schedule.

    So I’m moderately happy this morning. I’m happy we’ll be playing for 500 on Thanksgiving. I’m happy the bears are playing on thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. I’m happy it’s a short week. And I’m happy it’s Thanksgiving. But I think I’ll reserve any playoff talk or season salvaging talk until after we beat the Lions on Thanksgiving. Until then, this is just a win we should have had against an inferior opponent.

    • Peanut FTW

      Oh I don’t think we will be in the hunt this year no matter what happens with our games. I mean Philly and Dallas are probably good for 3-2 at least, putting them with 11 wins and one spot gone. Leaving the last spot between the Seahawks, 9ers, Lions and us. Now, the Lions , we play twice and if we sweep that gives us the edge there. And if the 9ers only get to 10, we have the break but that Hawks team is pretty tough to see going 2-3 down the stretch.

      So our only remote chance would lie in winning out combined with a Seahawk collapse. Two unlikely scenarios.

      • Bernsy

        I posted on the last thread that the Dallas game was really tough to swallow because the Giants looked like they were going to pull it off and now both Eagles and Cowboys are 8-3. That really fucks up everything and essentially ended the season no matter what the Bears do now.

        • BillW

          If they finish 10-6 and miss the playoffs I will still consider the season a fantastic success.

          • Bernsy

            I would definitely agree.

          • Peanut FTW

            I would think of it as a good season, dunno if any team that allows b2b 50pts is in a fantastic success.

          • Bernsy

            meaning, they ran the table at the end and in almost any other season it would have meant run the table and made playoffs as a result.

          • BillW

            Well, if you want to get technical about it…
            What I meant I guess is given the b2b 50s, turning it around to finish 10-6 is fantastic. Maybe even COY material.

            That said – it’s a tall order.

          • Peanut FTW

            10-6 and the Offense shows up, maybe. 10-6 scraping by teams like we did on Sunday.. meh 🙂

        • Peanut FTW

          Sanchez could revert to form or there could be an injury to Romo or Wilson but outside of that, things got pretty well shut down.

          • Bernsy

            Sanchez had 1TD and 2INT’s and they still put 43 on the board and mopped up yesterday.

          • Peanut FTW

            Well, they will play teams that will actually stop the run and make him beat them.

          • Good luck trying to stop both McCoy and Sproles in that Offense.
            Would need a very dominant from 7.

  • huntinbare

    I would like to thank JC for his restraint yesterday. It was not one of his sharpest days and it was evident early as he struggled to find accuracy. Not forcing throws to covered receivers kept him off the turnover statline for ints. Although I do remember on that the defender dropped one that was an easy pick. He remained composed on a sloppy day and did not give the game away. Hope he is maturing .

    One thing I do not understand though…does it seem that most of the throws we make are to receivers that are coming back towards the line of scrimmage? I wonder why we do not see routes where the receiver catches a pass in stride as he is moving upfield. I am not thinking about deep throws here; but more the short/ midrange stuff that would be more angular.
    We had a bunch of 3rd downs that were less about 5 yds. and do not seem to be good at solving those battles. Maybe I am missing something here?

    • Bernsy

      Huntinbare, from the statline it looks like Cutler was 17-27 and there were 4 brutal drops. That would make him 21-27 or 78% completion rate. We all know that if 3 of those 4 are caught they are first downs and the drive continues instead of a punt.
      I was not impressed with Bennett. There were at least 2 times where Bennett has space on his guy and catches the ball in stride on 3rd down. Both times he is dropped by a guy from behind or on an angle that weighs 75lbs less than him. We pay our playmakers millions to make those plays. Jay has the biggest salary by far but that doesn’t mean that our top paid huge monster TE shouldn’t be able to break a few tackles from the nickel back to get 4 yds for a 1st down.

      • Peanut FTW

        I agree. I wasn’t overly impressed with Jay, but he did what was needed. Black Uni on the other hand fell pretty short of his mark. I felt like the Defense and Matty carried us through an ugly game which was a bit like the old days. In the end, it is a win.

        • Bernsy

          agreed, a win is definitely a win. Bennett did have that great catch downfield to set up that other score and blocked pretty well on one of Matt’s TD’s but you simply have to get those 2 first downs on 3rd and short. The play was designed to have a one on one matchup and to have our guy with momentum heading away from the defender. It worked but either the defender made a great play both times or Bennett just got chumped by a tiny DB or a little of both.

          • CanadaBear

            The one play the guy tripped him up by the ankle. It happens. Whenever they try to take him on high, he eats them up. The second one was really disappointing.

      • huntinbare

        Thanks…makes more sense when you add in the miscues….JC’s #’s improve significantly.I still am not pleased with the yards after catch and thought different patterns might help. May just all be dic tated by the type of D we see on each play.

  • bloomie1937

    In San Dego I rarely get to see my Bears. I’m just as glad this year. It is really hard to be a loyal fan while the tightwad McCaskeys own the team. they hired the cheapest available coach, and it really shows.They didn’t even try to hang on to Peppers.The product on the field is all one needs to get it. When defense meant something this was the proudest franchise around.

  • Bernsy

    I loved the use of Forte yesterday. In those conditions you just can’t take the shots you want down the field. Forte would have had an even better day but there was some brutal edge blocking by our tackles that left at least 25yds on the field.

    • Bernsy

      Bucs tried to take those shots and it cost them the game because that tipped Mundy INT was a bad pass but in dry conditions it’s probably a catch for a short gain.

  • BillW

    I’ve written something four times and deleted them all. I just don’t know what to say so it’s probably best to say nothing. I get this uneasy feeling at the end of failed seasons – and we’ve had a lot of them. That is, the coaches and players can turn things around – but always NEED to turn something around.

    If Trestman can’t figure out how to make the team offense perform in the first half I do hope he is fired. But MAYBE – just maybe – he will start figuring out that football is in fact a game of emotion too – and his “professorial” approach might be good for game planning and certain other situations, but it leads to the team being too laid back at the start of the games.

    What do I know? SOMETHING is still very wrong and it’s not Cutler or the receivers or any one person.

  • Sactowns#1

    I have no idea what this offense is. On the passing plays that werent screens or passes to the flats there seemed to be no plan. Whats the go to route on this play or that play? It seems there isnt one. You have to have some go to plays for recognized defenses. If theyre in zone you know Unicorn will be open in the seam if you run play x for example. I just dont get it. For as long as Jay has been in the league I would think he’d be able to recognize defenses and check into a different play every now and then.

    • BillW

      Jeff certainly epxressed that a few threads ago. I’ve read it in the press too. I’ll go deeper – I don’t think Trestman game plans well (if at all). I see run after run into the line assuming he’s setting up play action – and it never happens. They talk about rolling Jay out and I think I saw it once – with great success too. I’m sure I’m wrong because I only have a fans viewpoint, but I see him calling plays but not calling a game. Sort of like I would in a video game (“Well, let’s try this one now.”)

      Again, I’m sure I’m wrong in my assessment, but I’m not wrong in saying there is no rhythm to the offense at all.

      • Bernsy

        I love the rollout. Jay loves the rollout. The OL loves the rollout. The WR’s love the rollout. We love the result of the rollout. Keep rolling it out.

      • Sactowns#1

        I kept yelling for them to run play action or the opposite, run a draw. Its all so vanilla!

    • BerwynBomber

      The offense is still less than advertised. Credit Tucker and the D for basically winning the game yesterday.

      No more Rodgers or Brady left on the schedule so the 50 point embarrassments should be over but Brees and Romo aren’t chopped liver and the Dal and NO games could turn into 28-35 point shootouts. Don’t know if our O is capable of four or five drives sustained TD drives during the course of a game. Saw it the first half of the first GB game but that has been about it for the season. Yet Dal and NO will both be at Soldier so maybe those two teams lose their juice in the cold.

      • BillW

        It would help immensely if the offense played two halves of football.

      • I don’t see us sustaining drives either. I said this weeks ago (since the Panther’s game), but if a team sustains drives, even if they don’t score, it at least keeps our D off the field to rest and switches field position. That’s one of the reasons our D has seemed worse than it really is.
        How many times has our O gone 3 and out, punted (sometimes shanked), then the D has to defend a short field (One game I think the Bears had three 3andOuts in a row!).

  • Bernsy

    It was tough to watch the kid drop 2 passes yesterday that really impacted the game. I think Wilson will be good but with his ball skills expect way more out of him at this point. Inexcusable drops all day yesterday.

    • BerwynBomber

      Jay was off-target too. A combination of each in the first half: misses and drops. I suspect Wilson will come around but he is a third receiver and those positions can be a revolving door on most franchises.

      • Bernsy

        I hear you but if Wilson can be a productive 3rd WR for that little money for the next 2 years that would be awesome.

        • Scharfinator

          Agreed, I think we need to see how he’s playing at the end of the season as well. Breaking your clavicle can’t help your pass catching skills.

    • I think he’ll be OK. Just a little rust.
      Not everyone is a Josh Gordon.
      Playing WR, I know that a lot of it is about timing and chemistry with the QB (though obviously they were catchable balls). Knowing when the ball will get there, or about where, or how fast.

      I’ll give Wilson a few more games.

      But the one thing the other Bennett (Earl) did well was catch those one-two crucial balls. Wilson has to learn how to do that.

      It’s hard coming in cold like that. Wilson is used to seeing a lot of action and targets, and now he’s basically the fifth option getting maybe one-three targets a game. Wilson has to adjust his game accordingly.

      It’s like being asked to come off the bench and make a few threes right off the bat.

      • CanadaBear

        On the one drop, it was down around his knees and while he was trying to corral it, he kneed the ball and that was it.

  • Bernsy

    I also thought that Jay could have run some of those extended plays. He has to use his athleticism more. There were at least 2 times he could have taken off for a first down. I know other QB’s get lauded for keeping the pass play alive and throwing it but Jay needs to tuck that ball and run once in a while. That is huge momentum and confidence builder for him too.

    • BillW

      One in particular shocked me. It was so wide open and I don’t think I’ve ever seen Jay pass that up. Easy run and slide for a first down.

      • Bernsy

        I have to admit I did yell at my TV on that one. I know exactly the play you are referring to. Jay HAS to run for obvious first downs once in a while.

        • BillW

          That’s a game sense that a fan has that maybe some players don’t. On third down outside of FG range there is nothing more important than another first down (unless the clock is running out). Passing up a sure FD to possibly gain even 20 more yards is not worth the risk. To me that’s fundamental in any well executed offense.

    • I think both Jay and Trestman are VERY aware of his concussions/injury prone history.
      I do agree though. But if we lose to the Lions, I say he plays it safe. We’ll essentially be out, so no need for the extra risk.
      Let him learn how to throw from the pocket, like good QBs.

      • BerwynBomber

        Yep, I’d give Jay a pass there. Not a big fan of NFL QBs running unless you have a QB like Wilson, Kap or Tannenhill whose skill set is semi-dependent upon running.

        There’s a reason non-mobile guys like Brady and Manning are playing to their 40s. Frankly, Cheese fans should be holding their breath every time Rodgers takes off.

        • BillW

          I can’t disagree with the overall point – but in this one play in particular the FD was there for the taking without risk (unless he got a cheap shot). Plenty of room to run for the FD and slide before a defender got near.

          • I say let him run as long as we’re still in the play-off hunt (which we’re technically still in).
            But if we lose again, we’ll essentially be eliminated, so no need for Cutty to run anymore at that point to get a meaningless 1st down in a meaningless game.

  • Bernsy

    off to the east coast for a quick biz trip, happy thanksgiving, go bears! The Lions game will be tough but stranger things have happened. I predict huge games for Marshall and Forte against the Lions and a nice return by Mariani….and a lot of stuffing/potatoes/gravy/wine consumed by yours truly. Stay safe and have a great holiday.

    • BillW

      Have a great trip. Don’t know where you’re flying from, but hope the weather doesn’t bite you and you get back to your Thanskgiving destination. Snow falling kind of heavy up in the NW ‘burbs of Chicago so I assume O’Hare will have delays.

    • Reverse “Plane, Trains and Automobiles”?

  • BillW

    OK – so why not stir things up a little? Jeff says: I was fully prepared to write a “Marc Trestman Must Be Relieved of His Duties Today” column.

    They’ve gone 6 games in a row without scoring in the first quarter. What if that goes 7 or 8? What’s better – a second half turnaround or a game that doesn’t NEED a second half turnaround? It’s great IF Trestman inspired them to turn it around. But there are two problems with that:

    1. The obvious lack of readiness has to fall on the coach.
    2. There were indications from what I read that the PLAYERS inspired themselves to turn it around.

    It’s like in Major League: “F-you Jobo! I do it myself!”

    Isn’t it at least possible what we saw in the second half was an indictment of Trestman and not a positive sign? That the players were in effect saying “SOMEONE has to lead and it looks like the coach doesn’t want to “.

    • Scharfinator

      There was a really interesting statistic they displayed during the game yesterday. Lovie Smith, Mark Trestman, AND Ditka’s starting records with the Bears were *ALL* 12-14.

      Maybe we shouldn’t abandon ship quite yet.

      • BillW

        Yes – I thought the same thing. It may take two years for a new HC to find a style that is both comfortable to who they are and conducive to winning. As I said in an earlier post – this game may be an important step in that direction for Trestman (assuming he had a part in the halftime inspiration.)

        • BillW

          We’ll see Thursday. The players hate the short week I’m sure but I’m glad we get another game that quickly.

      • CanadaBear

        Good point but I’m pretty sure Nessman took over a better team than Iron Mike and Lovie.

        • GPLDAN

          One might argue that Dick Jauron handed Lovie a primed team with hot draft picks courtesy of Mark Hatley. Depends on your argument there.

          • CanadaBear

            Lovie developed Peanut and Briggs. #54 continued his development under Lovie. The entire D improved under Lovie. He led the league in takeaways during his 9-year run. Ditka won a SB. I see certain players developing under Nessman (Alshon and Long) but not the O. The D has taken a few steps back and ST’s have taken giant steps back.

          • the D has taken a massive leap back in talent. Some of the young guys are progressing there.

          • CanadaBear

            I have hope for Washington and Bass but so far it’s been just a play here or there. Same with Ferg and Sutton. I do see some improvement in the D but after 2 historic losses, there better be some improvement. At this point, I’d keep Tucker over Nessman.

          • Old broken romanian Jericho

            I wish teams would run slow developing pass plays and broken quarterback dropbacks every play so Washington could use his video game speed and body to chase guys down.
            Also, DeMontre Hurst is a pretty nice feel good story. Former practice squad guy making good in the NFL. Bass is the 7th round practice squad guy who is better than our first rounder in McClellin.

          • it wasn’t just that sack for Washington though. He also stuffed 2 running plays for a loss.
            I’ve been skeptical of him because he never really showed much in college, but he has INSANE physical skills. His combine numbers were equal to or superior to Clowney’s in every event, and everybody hyped how Clowney was this once in a generation athletic talent.
            If Washington is indeed putting it together, he would be the replacement to Jared Allen as the top pass rushing DE after 2015. That’s still a MASSIVE if and unlikely to happen, but at least he’s showing some semblance of development so far, which is better than nothing.

        • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

          Iron Mike and Lovie both had all-pro type players/coaches on the Defensive side of the ball when they took over. Lovie was a D guy so the offense never improved. Mike was an O guy, and he ended up bringing us home the Lombardi.

          Now Nessman takes over a unit with at least three all pro type players in Brandon, Forte, and Cutler. But he’s an offensive guy. I see him following Lovie’s path to mediocrity rather than Ditka’s path to stardom.

      • NewBearInTown

        I was curious about this. What was the feeling among fans at this point in Lovie’s second season? I was not yet a Bears guy at that point in history.

        • Peanut FTW

          Well, I dunno when his second season was exactly…. but Lovie inherited Lach, and at some point MB came along and Tommie Harris. So during the early- mid Lovie tenure he had a defensive lineup that would have started for nearly any team in the league.
          I don’t think the current bears roster has that. Maybe on offense with the exception of Cutler, if you had to take RB,TE,WR1,WR2 as a package deal. I dunno. But, point being I think the McCaskey’s tried to give Nessman the tools for an offensive team that they gave Lovie for a Defensive team but it isn’t working out so hot.
          My biggest reason for optimism is that the Denver offense can look fairly tame at times as well. Until it gets in a rhythm; so here is hoping our offense finds some rhythm.

  • BillW

    And reading through Jeff’s tweets – about the sound of the ball hitting the goal post.

    That sound takes me back about 50 years. Whenever I hear it, it reminds me of playing touch football on the street in my Chicago neighborhood as a kid. The ball would often hit a light pole and make that EXACT sound.

  • wreckinball

    Got two very ugly wins. I’m not very hopeful going forward. I cringe when the Bears are on National TV prefer the lonesome anonymity of early Sundays me and about 5 or 6 other fans at the sports bar

    • Anonymous Lurker

      You prefer that because you’re a huge pussy. Have some balls good sir.
      Do you think Green Bay fans stop and think, “gee, we’re really killing it in the regular season right now but we’ll be one and done when we get to the playoffs so what’s the fucking point?”
      No, they act like they are the smartest fans in the room, with the biggest cocks and actual superbowl rings on their fingers when in fact they are awkward older millennial and early 40 something mid level papermill managers and Wisconsin area highschool beat reporters.

      • GPLDAN

        This post has a Waffle feel to it. I’m going with a Waffle sock puppet here.

        • Old broken romanian Jericho

          lol, it’s my co-worker Billy. I’m looking right at him. We both hate wreckinball.

          • Old broken romanian Jericho

            hate is probably too strong of a word. I’m sure he’s a nice guy in person, he’s just a little cuntish on the blog.

          • I think the Bears are spiking the water-tanks at your work with Tradewind.

          • johnnywad

            Is he also Brian De La Puente’s dad?

  • GPLDAN

    Rich Gannon, who has been a vocal Cutler critic, again said some interesting things.

    Teams have identified that Cutler has real problems checking out of his primary guy on a given play. And they’ve mapped out by formation who Jay’s #1 is, because Trestman’s O isn’t very complicated. So they started running safeties to his #1.

    Jay REALLY struggles to find his #2 and #3, and he’s most comfortable when he decides that’s he not gunslinging it to his covered #1, to check off to his #4 which is usually his dump pass to Forte.

    So he stares down his 1, and then goes to Forte. Since he’s been getting his ass chewed for forcing the ball – ALL he is doing is checking down to his back.

    Bennet NEVER tested the seam. All Unicorn had early was button hook routes, because Jay wasn’t showing he could throw the crossing route. And when we needed the 1st down in the 2nd half, we threw that crossing route to Bennett and he didn’t hit him in stride, and he was tackled short of the mark.

    So basically, the way to counter this is to give Jay a smaller window to look into. Line up Trips right or left, roll him to that side, and let him pick between the short and deep route, because turning his head and picking up his #2 and #3 is basically beyond his skillset. Or so says Gannon.

    • NewBearInTown

      Interesting analysis, but it also rewards the defensive strategy discussed. The point of trips is to force the safety to one side of the field to deal with the overload. But the safety is already coming to that side of the field – no need to make it a sounder strategy.
      Plus putting the #1 in a trips formation shrinks the window for Jay to look at and the window for Jay to throw to. Makes it even more likely that a smart corner punishes Jay by jumping the #1 route and intercepting the pass.
      Then again, Gannon knows more about this stuff than I do.
      Another option is to have the #1 route be a crossing pattern (Trestman like those). He crosses toward the #2, so the receiver is essentially leading Jay’s eyes in the direction they need to go to make the next read.

    • BillW

      IF this is accurate (and these days with so much noise from so many web sites it’s tough to know who is just trying to get attention vs who really knows something) THEN it could help explain McCown efficiency vs Cutler last year. And it COULD explain the stuttering of the offense.

      I contend last year that someone was open on virtually every play. McCown, with a clean pocket, seemed able to go through the progressions faster or better than Cutler. Can’t “make all the throws” but he at least saw where the most likely completion was going to be.

      If it’s true that Jay is stuck on 1 and 4 without considering 2 or 3, that’s a sure stall for Trestman’s offense. And in his 9th year, I contend it’s impossible to fix. So MAYBE it’s Cutler not being a fit for this offense vs Cutler OR Trestman not being good.

      Ans so IF this is true, then you’d hope Emery / Trestman could see what Rich Gannon sees and start to make plans for Cutler’s replacement a couple years from now.

      • johnnywad

        Doesn’t every offense require the quarterback to progress through his reads.

        • BillW

          Of Course. Gannon’s point was that Cutler doesn’t do it. I have no way of knowing if that’s true or just stuff he’s saying to get an audience.

          My point is it appeared last year that MCown did with good efficiency (though the results may have been limited by his lack or arm strength or some other passing ability that makes him a journeyman.)

          And from that I suggest it’s possible that Cutler and Trestman simply don’t mesh. That it’s possible Trestman really does have a good offense but Jay is the wrong QB to run it.

          Again – what do I know? Not much at that level at least. I do know that even if all offenses require read progressions, not all offense are interchangable. There are still good offenses and not so good ones. while it appears that Trestmans’ offense this year is not so good, maybe it’s simply because Jay is going from 1 to 4 and ignoring 2 and 3.

          • johnnywad

            That’s not happening. He has too many games on his resume in which the ball has been very well distributed. There’s no way he’s made it this long in the league, put up the numbers he has, played some very good stretches of football, and can’t get off his #1 unless its to dump it off which just started this season. Doesn’t make sense.

          • BerwynBomber

            My take on what Gannon was saying is that Jay is weak at working thru his second and third progressions; not that he can’t ever do it or never does it.

            No surprise to me as I’ve always felt that Jay is slow at working through his progressions. It’s one of his weaknesses as his big arm is one of his strengths.

          • johnnywad

            That makes more sense.

          • That’s what I took from it.
            It’s not that he can’t ever hit Bennett as the 2nd, just that he doesn’t go through his progessions as quickly.
            In some systems (like the WCO), that’s almost death.
            Other systems it can be to some extent mitigated (like the 9ers – though it’s not as if the 9ers are a powerhouse O either)

          • GPLDAN

            The other big point Gannon made was that Jay is bad at crossing routes. When somebody is moving directly perpendicular to you, leading them in stride is huge and Jay is not that good at it. Which is why crossing routes are VERY limited.

          • Must have driven Martz nuts too! I think his entire O is based on crossing routes.
            That’s why Jay needs big WRs. He’ll throw it in the “vicinity”.
            While someone like Rodgers can use the Cobb/Nelson types who rely on precise routes and timing and their QB leading them.

          • You must admit though that in the past Cutler hasn’t dumped off that much.
            What might be happening is that in the past Cutler would FORCE it into double coverage. This would sometimes work, and not.
            This year, he’s NOT throwing it as much into double-coverage, but instead of going through his 2nd, he goes right to Forte or the flat.

            We need some numbers here though, and obviously, it’ll be difficult to decipher since we don’t necessarily know the plays.

            HOWEVER, Ganon DOES know the plays. He knows who the primary, secondary, etc, targets are, so really, he has the inside dope and can judge more accurately than us.

            He also performed at a PB level at QB, so his assessment should be taken seriously.

            And IMO, Gannon doesn’t strike me as a “hack journalist” trying get hits.
            Steve Young (and many other ex-QBs) have said similar things about Cutler.

          • BerwynBomber

            This isn’t surprising. I also think that everyone has been riding Jay’s ass so hard about the INTs that the Forte dump-offs have become like a tick.

            I don’t know if this is very smart long-term (and by long-term I mean the next year or two). Might be better to have bad gunslinging Jay than this ball control version. You can get away with the latter against the Minns and TBs of the world but eventually he might have to air it out against a DAL or an NO. Plus, I don’t know if Jay as Alex Smith is a natural fit.

          • The thing is that “Safe Jay” is still leading the league (or in 2nd) in turnovers at QB.
            That’s a scary thought.

          • BerwynBomber

            True. (And said the same yesterday — for all the check downs we still get, on average, the two to six risky Cutty passes every game.) And another reason we might as well turn him loose.

            I also think QB TOs might be down overall this year across the league (maybe JWood could confirm). But no one seems on pace for 30 INTs this year. And Jay’s bad #s aren’t thru the roof either.

      • I already stated that we do indeed need to start looking at other QBs.
        This is exactly what Washington is beginning to realize. RG3 can’t read defenses. He doesn’t go through his progressions. Gruden is seriously debating starting Colt McCoy.
        COLT McCOY!
        Why? Well, at least McCoy can go through his progressions. He’s vastly inferior to RG3 in nearly every way athletically, but what does that matter? If a QB can’t read defenses, go through his progression, and throw in rhythm (accurately), get one who can, or who can at least do those things better than the old QB.

    • SC Dave

      I have to agree; Jay has never really exhibited good vision.

    • That is interesting. And you show me a QB who can’t properly and quickly got through his progression (esp in a WCO), and I’ll show you a losing team.
      That’s one of the reasons Kap and RG3 weren’t on my “QB List”. They’re basically one-read chuck-and-duck QBs, with little accuracy (sound familiar?).
      However, their legs at least provide another threat the D must account for.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Don’t you know?
        Kap is “Great. With a capital G”
        Jim Harbaugh doesn’t understand why everyone doesn’t realize that.

  • GPLDAN

    Even if all power running comes from trapping across Long’s path – at least there is SOME power running possible.

    • Scharfinator

      I’d love to see us load up a power I and cram it down peoples throats. I’m not totally sure we have the personnel for it, but controlling the clock and punishing opposing D’s would be nice.

      • NewBearInTown

        That’s an old school football fan talking. Not too many teams running a base Power I offense anymore.

        • Joe the Plumber

          Joliet Catholic is.

        • SF does. DAL does.
          Both have incredible OLs.

          • Peanut FTW

            SF usually does more of a misdirection running game similar to Seattle, out of the pistol more than the I.

          • BerwynBomber

            SF and DAL employ full-time FBs in their sets? Not trying to be a smartass, I just don’t remember seeing a ton of that (but I don’t watch many SF or DAL games either). SF definitely deploys a power running game but I don’t know if it is the traditional power I.

          • SF runs a lot of power football. Dallas does a lot of smashmouth running too. So does SEA.
            Maybe not a full-time FB, but a decent amount. Let me go look up snap counts on PFF.

          • BerwynBomber

            Yeah I don’t know if any team in the league runs the Power I except in short yardage situations. Full-time FBs are as rare as white CBs.

          • SF has used a fullback on 195 plays. They have run it 329 times (including QB runs, many of which are called pass plays). That’s 59%, probably closer to 65% or 70% if I could remove QB scrambles.
            SEA doesn’t use a FB much (79 out of 345 runs, 23%).
            DAL doesn’t either (87 of 340 runs, 26%).
            The 2 teams who actually use FBs the most are Baltimore (189/259, 73%) and Cincinnati (204/290, 70%). (I should note I removed QB runs from both of those since those are almost exclusively scrambles and not called run plays).

          • BerwynBomber

            Interesting about SF. Genuinely surprised. And with Balt and Cincy. Yeah, you can’t remove QB runs with San Fran as they are often designed.

          • Old broken romanian Jericho

            double blog points if you can name the Cowboys Fullback

          • BerwynBomber

            Moose Johnston? He’s the last DAL FB I remember.

          • johnnywad

            Clutts?

          • AlbertInTucson

            That’s who I thought , too.

  • GPLDAN

    Flatbread has a speed game. He’s mister A-gap penetration. He will eat a slow center alive with his quickness, and that’s what happened. Tampa’s center got used by Stephen. I will watch the film Tuesday night, it should be interesting, I expect to see him lining up in the gaps and firing in before the center can get there.

    • Cormonster

      He should be able to eat up Dominic Riola for Detroit. That guy is old and slow and seems to have lost it like Garza.

      • CanadaBear

        He can still throw a cheap shot. Last play of the game yesterday, Lions doing a kneel down, Raiola hikes the ball and dives at a DLmen’s knees. They’re still the Lions. Hopefully our guys keep their heads on a swivel Thursday. Esp if we’re winning.

        • BerwynBomber

          I remember Hub saying Riola was a dirty player two or three years ago.

        • Cormonster

          Yeah, I seen that. What a chump move.

        • To Raiola’s credit, he did admit he took a cheap-shot.
          It’ll be interesting to see if the NFL fines him since technically it was legal. Hmmm

          • CanadaBear

            I see a fine for sure. Raiola’s been a dirty player his whole career.

          • Can the NFL fine players for legal plays?
            Has that happened? Can’t think of one occasion off the top of my head.

          • CanadaBear

            I’m not sure diving at someones knees is ever technically legal.

          • Olinemen are allowed to as long as no one else is engaged (don’t think he even got penalized).

            You see it all the time, esp on screens or with HBs diving low on incoming blitzers.

            I know the NFL WANTS to fine him, but that might be a slippery slope they don’t want to traverse. It’s more likely they change the rule somehow in order to fine such plays in the future, like with the Allen rule.

          • CanadaBear

            Did Allen get fined for that hit on The Chief?

          • CanadaBear

            Didn’t the washed up hillbilly get a fine when he blew up The Chief? Technically that hit was legal until they changed it in the off season.

          • AlbertInTucson

            They are turning a blind eye. That and the Jameis Winston shoving the official with it’s horrible excusifying from Jimbo Fisher and the SEC were more than a bit aggravating this past weekend.

    • That would explain why he’s been somewhat ineffective while inj.
      Like a Ferrari, Paea needs to be fine-tuned, or he ain’t effective. He’s got a different game than Ratliff.

  • Old broken romanian Jericho

    Can anyone explain, using science, how Bostic did not intercept that pass and how it didn’t even touch his hands or body and instead ended up in V-Jack’s breadbasket?

    • the same way one went straight through Conte against GB in week 17 last year. Madden glitch.

      • GPLDAN

        Clipping bug.

      • Old broken romanian Jericho

        lol, but that one with Conte actually went through his body. it passed through his fucking body.

      • The Matrix fucking us over again.

    • Peanut FTW

      That is usually when someone says, if they could catch the ball then they would be playing offense instead of defense.

    • CanadaBear

      He didn’t use his hands. He tried to cradle the ball running sideways and it went through the wickets (his forearms and biceps). I don’t think he even touched the ball. Uncanny!

      • BillW

        Very uncanny. To not even touch it seemed impossible. There was only a small window for the ball to go through without at least being deflected somewhat..

    • Bostic is BAD in coverage. Really bad.
      At least Bostic was in the same zip code, unlike in previous games.
      #glassHalfFull.

      • AlbertInTucson

        I believe that is the SECOND “How did he NOT intercept THAT!?” for Bostic this season.

  • BillW

    One of my favorite books from grad school was “How to Lie With Statistics”.

    Let’s stop the “Trestman has the same record as Lovie at this point” nonsense.

    Lovie 2004: 5-11
    Lovie 2005: 11-5
    Lovie 2006: 13-3 and SB appearance

    then we were supposed to “trust him” and it fell apart gradually.

    It’s not the record – it’s how did they get there and what direction are you going.

    This is NOT advocating for Lovie. It’s saying you can easily find coincidences in numbers that are meaningless.

    • BillW

      Let me expound. Not at all unrealistic to see the Bears finish 8-8 again. And so Trestman has the same record after two years that Lovie had. And so SB next year?

      Well, maybe. But there is no correlation between the two coaches.

      And I have to look up Wanny and Jauron. Why were they excluded? How about Neil Armstrong? I bet they were similar. Armstrong made the playoffs his second year.

      • BillW

        Sure enough – Ditka’s predecessor (Armstrong) was ALSO 12-14! Gee – why did they leave that out?

        Wanny was 13-13. Jauron 8-18.

        So starting 12-14 can lead you to a Super Bowl. Or not.

        • Scharfinator

          So then, would you agree, given the prevalence of different long term results after two seasons with different coaches, that the sample size is too small to pass judgment?

          • BillW

            Well, let’s see. Yes – if talking only about Bear coaches. No, if talking about all coaches over the history of the NFL.

            But my only real point isnot regarding Trestman – it’s the TV graphic whose purpose seemed to imply that Trestman is on the same course as the two more recent successful Bear coaches. Misleading at best. Dozens of examples of this in that book I referenced. Generally, you imply a conclusion without actually making it – and you cherry pick results to make your case.

            In summary – Trestman being 12-14 indicated nothing.

          • Scharfinator

            Heh, you aren’t just coming to the conclusion that the stat’s they show during a broadcast are useless, are you? 😛

          • BillW

            C’mon. It’s on TELEVISION! It must be true!

          • johnnywad

            My favorite…..the Bears are 4 and 16 (making up the numbers because I can’t remember) when Jay throws three or more interceptions. It pops up every time he has a bad INT. NEWS FLASH. All teams lose when the QB throws three or more pics. Stupid.

          • BillW

            Also – cause and effect. Many times that comes from being behind and being forced to throw and take chances.

            I’ve posted this before, but back in the days of running backs dominating the stat was teams that threw 40 times or more usually lost. Don Meredith said on MNF “then I’d throw it 39 times and sit on it.”

            (Obviously, they threw that much much because they were losing – they didn’t lose because they threw that much.)

    • Cormonster

      That book must be required reading for most journalists and all politicians.

    • AlbertInTucson

      More distressing is that Trestman is 10-14 since starting 3-0.

  • BearDown100393

    The defense played very well yesterday against a bad quarterback and an even worse overall offense. In other words, I finally got to see what Marc Trestman has claimed all season long during practice.

    • Peanut FTW

      I agree but even with all the other crap, I would have felt pretty good about the game if the O could have ran the 4 minute drill at the end better. If they get 2 1st downs and run the clock out there at the end; I would feel like they did their part in that game.

      • BearDown100393

        Very little rhythm to the offense. Watching Cutler take snaps sort of reminds me of trying to learn to swing a golf club during an actual round. Mental constipation overriding natural ability?

        • Peanut FTW

          He looks most comfortable when they are in hurry up or he’s moving in the pocket. When he sits in the pocket, het gets happy feet.

          • RenoBear

            I think it’s the years and years of hundreds of noggin knockers. He still sees ghosts in the pocket. He shook it off a bit last year, but from game one after slauson and garza went down, his pocket presence went down with it.. He does have some TERRIBLE happy feet I the pocket, it is the COMPLETE opposite of watching Brady, manning, Rodgers, Brees… Ummm well any good, confident QB really…

  • GPLDAN

    Shea McClellin has actually played well this season when he’s been healthy and the system utilizes his strengths. Speed, pursuit are unique.

    Again, Shea has strengths?

    I would propose there are a lot of things Shea sucks at, and a few things he doesn’t suck at. Not sucking at something is not a strength.

    • BearDown100393

      More of an asset now than Lance Briggs.

      • Peanut FTW

        True, at least Shea wants to be there.

        • johnnywad

          That’s because he knows he’s a few months away from not playing football anymore

          • If he’s cut, the Packers or Pats will pick him up and make him a probowler lol

          • johnnywad

            Shea and Julius sitting on Jays head together in Lambeau. Fuck that.

          • BillW

            If that happened then Emery is vindicated and the coaches are to blame.

          • RenoBear

            Unfortunately that’s probably completely true, not an lol …

      • GPLDAN

        Do you think Lance pulled his groin from just being out of shape?

        • Peanut FTW

          too much barbq is bad for your groin.

        • BearDown100393

          I don’t know. And I really don’t want to be arrogant enough to suggest that a potential HOFer might have pulled the chute on the Bears. Yet, when I went to training camp to watch practice, there was only one player on the entire team completely covered head to toe with baggy workout gear. And that was Mr. Briggs.

  • Sactowns#1

    Had Friendsgiving yesterday and it ended in boat races and flip cup. Good times. Next up. The thanksgiving movies Dutch, Scent of a Woman and Planes Trains and Automobiles. Any other suggestions?

    • Peanut FTW

      The Holy Grail, Supertroopers and Forty year old virgin.

    • Yeah, I really don’t know of any “Thanksgiving Movies” besides Planes…I think there’s one with Vince Vaughn (a comedy) – Oh, never mind, that’s an Xmas movie called “Four Christmases” (still might be worth checking out).
      Maybe “Silver Linings”? with DeNiro?

      • BillW

        Charlie Brown Thanksgiving?

        • Oh, yes, that’s a classic. But there doesn’t seem to be a lot of “Thanksgiving” movies, per se.

          • BillW

            Yeah – and even that one is far inferior to the Christmas and Halloween ones.

  • Bears-4-Ever

    Batten down the hatches Chi-town. The Michael Brown Indictment decision is being announced this evening here in St. Louis. Feelings are there will be no indictment.

    • GPLDAN

      There is a big protest forming in Daley Square. The paddy wagons are at the ready. The blue man group is on horseback.

      • Bears-4-Ever

        I find it rather sad that the number one thing that has come out of this whole tragedy is giving stupid people an excuse to be violent. Please understand I don’t think the peaceful protesters are stupid, it’s the rift-raft people that are only there to cause trouble and could not give a damn about Michael Brown…it’s those folks that need to go home or go to jail.

        Eventually, either way, the evidence from the Grand Jury will be made public and we can all know what happened. Until then be smart and keep an eye out for yourselves and you loved ones.

        • GPLDAN

          I think of it as akin to the guy who mailed anthrax just after 9/11.

          He was pent up and had all kinds of hysteria in his brain. He was just looking for an excuse to hatch a plot he had probably been working on for years.

      • Old broken romanian Jericho

        If that doesn’t sum up our current culture i don’t know what does. People gearing up for protests and possibly riots because of a decision coming down from the only group that has all of the information. It’s gonna be a long night on the south side.

        #tradewindandtacticalshotgun
        #don’t touch my fucking car i have to leave town at 6am

    • Old broken romanian Jericho

      I love how they have had the info all day and are holding onto it like a reality tv show reveal. Exclusive, 9pm ET only here on …………..

  • – When did Robbie Gould stop making field goals?

    Remember jn pre-season when I openly worried about Gould, going back to last season?
    Something is off with him. Mojo? DeCamillas gremlin?

    • CanadaBear

      It was a 54-yarder at Soldier, not exactly a gimmee. I think part of it is Nessman always goes for it on 4th down. The last FG try he had before the BiQueens game was in the middle of October. The snap from Cain was no bargain. It was right at O’Donnell’s butt. Gotta admit I am a little worried.

    • in the PS there were snap/holding issues. Rotating 2 different snappers and 2 different punters, so 4 different combos.

  • Bears linebacking corps the rest of season should be Shea, Bostic, Jones
    & a healthy Sharpton if possible. Time to see what they have. – Jeff

    I REALLY want to see Sharpton. The LBs didn’t just play solid when he was in, they played like 9ers LB in that game (granted, it was the Falcons).

    But the knock on him, and why he was even available, is injuries. Hopefully he can heal up and we can evaluate him further.

    • Cormonster

      I seen our boy Borland had a “pedestrian” game with only 8 tackles, including two TFL’s.

      My weekly Melvin Gordon update for you Butch. He had 200 yards rushing on 31 carries and 64 receiving on 4 catches, carrying Wisconsin to a 26-24 win at Iowa, who has shut him down in the past.

      He tied Ron Dayne for most rushing yards in a Big Ten season with 2,109, 11th all time. He was the fastest guy to 2,000 yards, having only 254 carries on the year. This week he should move up to 4th all time pretty easily, and doing it with almost 100 less carries than all the guys he’s going to pass this week. His 8.3 YPC is way better than all the other guys who reached 2,000 in a season. Only Larry Johnson is close with 7.7 YPC.

      IF Wisconsin beats Minnesota this week, he will have two more games to try and break Barry Sanders all time record of 2,628. Badgers will then play Ohio State for the Big 10 title, then the bowl game. IF all of this happens, and IF he averages close to his normal 191 yards per game, he will break Sanders record. It’s not probable, but possible. Sanders did it in 11 games, and Gordon will need 14 games to break the record, but Sanders had 90 more carries on the season than Gordon at this point. Check out some of the all time rushing leaders.

      http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/leaders/rush-yds-player-season.html

      • Yeah, it’s almost unfair that the 9ers have Bowman, Borland AND Willis (though the others are inj). Makes me wonder if it’s as much coaching as scouting (though Willis was a slam dunk IMO).

        That is crazy about Gordon. His receiving line is as impressive.
        That’s one of the reasons I held back on linking him to Jamall Charles, cuz Charles can run routes like Forte, and can turn any screen into a TD.

        Like I said before, if Gordon shows he can catch, and doesn’t totally suck at blocking, I think he’ll buck the trend and go in the top 10. I could even see some teams trading UP for him (though Trent Richardson has really fucked it up for many HBs).

        Just curious, but who is avg more per carry, Gordon or Sanders?

        Regardless, that is GREAT company. I always liked Sanders even though he was on the Lions. Had way too much class for that organization.

        • Cormonster

          Just so you know Borland is one of my all-time favorite college players. I watched almost every game of his 4 year career. Here’s some info on him. He’s from Ohio, but wasn’t recruited. He walked on at Wisconsin. During tryouts, he tried out for all kinds of different positions and impressed the coaches so much they gave him an immediate scholarship. He could long snap, punt, and he had the best leg on the team for long FG’s. He also had some of the best hands on the team.

          As a freshman and sophomore, he played outside LB in a 4-3, often rushing the passer on 3rd downs. He was disruptive as hell. He was named Big 10 Freshman of the year. As a junior, he moved to 4-3 middle linebacker and was 1st team all Big 10. After a coaching change, he moved to 3-4 inside linebacker as a Senior and was named Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year and 1st team All-American. He also is tied for most forced fumbles in college football history. But, he’s too short and too slow for most scouts so he slipped to the 3rd round. He just has a nose for the ball and making plays. I was pissed when I seen the 49ers got him.

          Gordon is rarely used as a receiver, but he looks like a natural when he does run routes. He’s also been a good blocker on pass plays. Rarely misses an assignment and stout at the point of attack.

          In Barry’s record breaking year he averaged 7.6 YPC, and Gordon this year is at 8.3 YPC. In their college careers at this point (Barry has 22 more carries than Gordon right now) Barry averaged 6.8YPC and Gordon is at 8.3 YPC, same as this season. The record for YPC in a career for any back with at least 400 carries is Mike Rozier with 7.2. Gordon is beating that mark by over a yard per carry.

          What makes Gordon’s numbers even more impressive is that teams are going all out to stop him with 8 or 9 men in the box. Wisconsin has had a terrible passing game most of this year.

      • AlbertInTucson

        But these Wisconsin backs never seem to translate to the next level.

        • Cormonster

          I totally agree Al, but Gordon is different. Personally, I never thought guys like Ron Dayne, Michael Bennett, or Terrell Fletcher were worth the high draft picks. Same with many others. I think Monte Ball will still be decent, maybe above average.

          But, I think Gordon is special, and he hasn’t been over-worked in college like some of the others. His combination of power and speed is exceptional, along with other traits. He can just explode though a hole, or stop and accelerate like no one Wisconsin has had before. Hence the reason I said a few posts back that he is going to be the best pro back from Wisconsin since Alan “The Horse” Ameche, another Kenosha hometown native. Side note: Alan is cousins or somehow related to the actor Don Ameche. Huge Italian population in Kenosha, along with Italian food that rivals Chicago. A couple other Italian actors from Kenosha include Al Molinaro from Happy Days and Daniel J. Travanti from Hill Street Blues.

          • AlbertInTucson

            No argument. Gordon LOOKS the part but promising Badger backs of late seem to have the same curse that has plagued Penn State backs since the days of Kijana Carter.

            I thought Al Molinaro had a better role on THE ODD COUPLE as Murray, the Cop. The Episode where he moves in with Oscar and Felix after a tiff with his wife is a riot.

            “The Horse” scored the winning TD inthe Sudden Death game in in 1958. He died young from the Big C, I believe.

            Don Ameche also had a brother, Jim, who had a nice radio career and wound up here in Tucson.

            Don, famous for playing Alexander Graham Bell, enjoyed nice film career revival with COCOON, TRADING PLACES and THINGS CHANGE.

            Hill Street Blues is STILL one of the best cop shows ever. Thinly disguised Chicago PD show. Never saw much of Travanti (Capt. Frank Furillo) after Hill Street other than a role in a so-so Sci-Fi, MILLENIUM with Kris Kristoferson and Cheryl Ladd.

          • Cormonster

            I learned about the “Horse” from reading a biography of Johnny Unitas as a kid, including the big championship game. I remember he started as a semi-pro sandlot player. The first Kurt Warner. I can’t remember the name, but the Colts also had a top receiver back then who featured prominently in the book. I don’t want to look it up. Was it Rick Berry? After Walter, Johnny was my sports hero as a young kid because of that book.

            I vaguely remember Al in the Odd Couple from reruns as a kid. I seen the AGB movie, but didn’t realize it was Don. I do remember him in Cocoon, but mainly Trading Places.

            My parents were big fans of Hill Street Blues, but I was too young to really understand what was going on most of the time. I thought it was supposed to take place in Chicago. The one thing that stands out to me is the undercover cop who always dressed like a scumbag or homeless guy. Travanti was good childhood friends with one of my best friend’s Mom (the Packer friend I’ve mentioned on the blog). I never met him, but whenever he was in Kenosha I guess they would get together.

            Another famous guy from Kenosha is Orson Welles. At least he was born there. One of my best friends lived in the house where Orson was born or lived in as a young kid. My buddy Jeff lived there for quite a few years. The house did seem to have a strange aura about it. Weird things would happen sometimes. Must have been ghosts. Just kidding.

          • AlbertInTucson

            RAYMOND Berry was the receiver with Johnny U. Rick BARRY was NBA.

            They never actually NAMED the city Hill Street took place in (unlike E.R. which WAS set in Chicago) but between the blue & white squad cars and the checkerboad pattern on the caps, it SCREAMED Chi-town. Interiors WERE, in fact, film on L.A. sound stages.
            I remember when Chicago PD went from black squad cars to the blue & white and the new pattern on their caps which the cops HATED because they thought it reminded people too much of cab drivers.

            Lee Marvin had a TV series in the ’50s, M SQUAD, in which he played a Chicago Homicide detective.

          • Cormonster

            Al, your a trivia machine and I love it. I was close with Berry. Once I read Raymond it clicked in my head and I realized my error. I grew up watching Chicago news, mainly WGN and CBS(?) with Bill Curtis and Walter Jacobson. I remember the police in Hill Street Blues looking like the Chicago police.

            I still have your movie recommendations. 12 o’clock High is next. Just need to find time to check out more of your suggestions. Winter is a good time to check out movies. The Bogart films will be the next ones. Thanks for your input.

          • AlbertInTucson

            Back then it was John Drury on WGN News, I believe, with Harry Volkmann on weather. Wendell Smith did a lot of the Sports when Jack Brickgouse wasn’t available.On the newscasts. CBS was Bill Kurtis (who lived in Oak Park) , Commentator, Walter Jacobson (who had a running feud with columnist , Mike Royko, who would always refer to Jacobson as “Skippy” from his stint as a Cubs batboy). Brent Mustberger left his Daily News sports column to become channel 2’s sportscaster until he was tapped by CBS to host tTHE NFL TODAY with Irv Cross, Phyllis George and Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder. After Brent, Bear, Johnny Morris stepped in on ch 2 sports with occassional help from then, ex-chearleader wifie, Jeannie.

            Raymond Berry was also head coach of The Patriots in 1985.

          • AlbertInTucson

            Orson Welles. A genius who peaked in his 20s. Mercury Theatre of The Air on radio, then Citizen Kane. Then he butted heads with the studio because they butchered MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS.

    • Sharpton has been hurt. Dunno when he’ll be back.

      I’ve been saying for weeks it should be Bostic at WILL, Sharpton (when healthy) at MIKE, and Jones at SAM.

    • P.S. trade a fourth for J-football? Let him sit behind Cutty for 2years and hope he matures?
      IMO, he can be like Russell Wilson IF he matures.
      That’s a big IF.

      • GPLDAN

        The Bears with Johnny Football. Tee hee.

        • We would have the most hated QB tandem eva!
          Might make Cutler more likable, too! It’s like standing next to an ugly person to look better.

          • BearDown100393

            “Perfect Strangers”

        • Also, I see you started Jonas Gray in FF lol
          #billichecked

          • CanadaBear

            There’s a prime example why I don’t play FF. I would fuck myself on a weekly basis.

          • GPLDAN

            #patfucked

          • I liked when they panned over to Jonas Gray on the sideline watching Blount go in for two TDs.
            Bill even made him suit up, just to get a close-up.

      • CanadaBear

        The media in Chicago would lose their minds.

  • AlbertInTucson

    “Protection issues.”
    Against TAMPA.
    Yeah, that gives me a LOT of confidence going into Detroit.
    The Lions registered ZERO sacks against the Pats, ergo….

    • CanadaBear

      The one thing we have going for us is every player on the Bears knows the Lions are a bunch of cheap-shotting donkeys and hate their guts. That should help a little bit.

      • AlbertInTucson

        It also seem pretty obvious that Megatron hasn’t been right of late. Now that I’ve said THAT, watch HIM go off on Thursday.

    • Cormonster

      The Lions really took a blow when Fairley got hurt. Him and Suh together were causing tons of havoc the first half of the season.

  • Interesting.

    “The Houston Chronicle reports Ryan Mallett (pectoral) is done for the season.

    Brutal. Mallett waited over three years for his chance to become an NFL starter, and it ends after two games, only one of which he was healthy for. Mallett’s reward for playing hurt in Sunday’s loss was
    60 minutes of bad film heading into the open market. It’s unclear if the Texans will turn back to Ryan Fitzpatrick, or perhaps go into full-on evaluation mode with fourth-round rookie Tom Savage. Heading
    into his age-27 season as a statue-esque pocket passer with only 79 career throws, Mallett is going to be a strange case in free agency.” RotoWorld

    • GPLDAN

      I put him on my FF team, so I totally fucked the kid.

      I should send him a Christmas Card and say sorry. My FF touch is heinous, I am the William F. Macy of FF players this year, aka the Cooler.

      • haha, and Ender is the “Moosh” from Goodfellas.
        He drafted AP. Oops!
        Then Muscle Hamster. Oops!
        Then Fred Jackson gets inj, and Gerhart gets passed up by Shoe-lace.
        Oh, and he also drafted Knoshown Moreno (also inj) and Carson Palmer!

        #EnderKissofDeath

        • NewBearInTown

          I thought I drafted Adrian Peterson this year. I remember being really upset about the lawsuit, and for all the wrong reasons.

          • Ender got AP for bargain too. For like $55.
            By comparison, I got Charles for like $67 (worth every penny).

            Then, the AP story hits later. Holy moly. And AP didn’t even qualify for the IR designation in our league, so Ender had to lose a bench spot the whole season.

            Dang.

      • Yeah, and of course Bradshaw gets inj on your team.
        Bradshaw and Shoelace are two good HBs.
        I don’t even think I can start Cam. It’s like when I started Tebus a few years back. Pucker my cheeks and hope for a 4rth quarter miracle.
        You def got the better end of that deal.

        • AlbertInTucson

          Credit here, too, please,I added Bradshaw 2 weeks before he went on the shelf.

  • GPLDAN

    It’s a shame that MB has retreated to the land of twenty something trim. I was going to tell him that Christoph Waltz has been cast as Blofeld in the new Bond flick.

    Yes, Spectre is back. Their base is going to even be under a volcano. Awesome.

  • Cormonster

    I checked the stats and Forte passed 1,400 total yards for the season on Sunday, his 7th straight year. Only Curtis Martin (10) and LaDainian Tomlinson (8) have started their NFL careers with more consecutive seasons with at least 1,400 yards from scrimmage.

    • Forte’s consistency is truly remarkable. I’ve never really thought of him as a HOF player, more of a “consistently good but rarely truly great,” but I wonder if his career numbers will end up being good enough to get him in.

      • Forte will have to continue this for at least 4 more years since he doesn’t really make that many “wow” plays like Adrian Peterson, McCoy, Jamaal Charles, etc.
        Forte continues to produce like this for at least 4 more years, and I think he can get into the HOF, though perhaps not on the first ballet.

        If Forte continues this pace for 6+ years (especially if he gets a ring), I think by that time it would almost be a given. No one would be able to deny his stats, impact or legacy.

        • Cormonster

          If Forte stays on this pace for just 3 more years he is top 10 all time in total yards. That will make him a lock for the HOF.

          • But HOF voters tend not to go by “Top” etc.
            Like Tim Brown for the Raiders.
            And look how long it took for Cris Carter.

            I know there’s more of a log jam, but I say 4 more to get in.
            6 more for ‘Lock”.

            A ring will help both. That’s just the way they vote.

      • Cormonster

        Forte gets overlooked because he’s never been on a good team and he’s never been overworked like past backs to put up the numbers that stand out. All he does is quietly average 108 yards per game throughout his career.

        Maybe the biggest factor is FF stats. Guys like Peterson, Tomlinson, and Faulk scored a lot more TD’s and had flashier plays. Peterson is probably the best running back since Barry. You know Forte averages the same amount per carry in his career (4.3) as Tomlinson and Faulk, who are both top 5 in total yards and certain HOFers. Curtis Martin was just a journeyman workhorse who only averaged 4 ypc in his career. I think Forte gets overlooked because he never leads the league in anything.

  • BerwynBomber

    Horrible news about Chiefs S Eric Berry.

    • I read that. That’s crazy to think about. So young and athletic, and still possibly comes down with cancer.

      He was my fav safety coming out of college (and the reason why Earl Thomas was picked at 14 and not earlier).

      He got injured one year, and now this. Just horrible luck.

  • Here’s what I never get (well, maybe because of cap hits).
    Why don’t teams do more ONE-for-ONE trades.
    Example.
    B-marsh for Mario Williams.
    The Bills DESPERATELY need a playmaker on offense (besides Watkins, the rook).
    Bmarsh can take Watkins and the entire receiver corp under his wing.
    Mario Williams can actually provide a pass rush for us vs Rodgers.

    They’re both pro-bowlers.
    Am I crazy?

    • NewBearInTown

      Cap hits are a factor, but I think the reason is that most teams build a lot of their roster (and coaching staff) around certain key players. So for us to trade B Marsh or for the Bills to trade Mario Williams would mean that the Bears offense and the Bills defense just both get complete makeovers.
      Now as I write that, I realize that teams seem to get by okay when key players are injured, but I believe my logic is sound.
      Also, key players are much less valuable in mid-season trades. Particularly on offense, it just takes too much for the player to learn a new offense and develop chemistry with the QB mid-season.

      • I was thinking more during the off-season.
        But yeah, I guess both team’s cap hit is prohibitive, esp for mega-stars with mega-contracts, but it would seem somewhat logical.
        The Bill’s D and Bears’ O will def get downgraded, respectively, but the reverse would be true too.

        I wish there were some “exemption” for such trade to maybe make the cap-hit less in such one-for-one trades. Might make the off-season more exciting too.

  • Shady

    Will Hill tweet in 3…2…1…

  • Blech

    “Now the results are measuring sticks. Now the results matter.”

    And they didn’t in week one, two, three …?

    “I’m a believer that when healthy Conte can be the Bears free safety.”

    He is the Bears’ free safety.

    • AlbertInTucson

      Sooner or later one of those shoulders is going to pop out on him again.

  • BerwynBomber

    Saints have a horrible defense. Hope Pitt and Balt reach the post-season. Both teams might be able to give NE and/or Denver a game.

  • NewBearInTown

    I am so ticked off at my FF bench right now. If I put the right defense up (or the right WR), I’m over 200. As it is, Butch v. me might be the highest scoring match of the season and unless I get some garbage safety points from the Ravens, the game is over.

    • That was one hell of a match. Match of the year. I was really sweating, esp when Forsett got that last TD.
      However, starting three players from same team can present a certain “ceiling” (unless it’s like the Donkeys, but even then…).
      The ironic part? I put in to get the Pack D and was seriously debating to start them, but you got them off waivers before me…
      You would have beat me by 1.

    • Now you’re going to have to hope either Sac or Shady lose next week, plus you gotta win too.
      You’re like the Cards of last year.

    • AlbertInTucson

      Second highest score in out league this week so, of course, we played the highest scoring team. Soooo snakebit this year. Left victory on the bench, too. Played Dan Bailey instead of Steve Hauschka.

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