210 Comments

Across The Middle With Andrew Dannehy

| November 4th, 2015

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• Before getting into football talk, I want to thank everyone who for their kind words after the passing of my father. It was obviously a difficult week, made more difficult by the Bears.

• We all want to believe the Bears are a drastically different team because they have John Fox leading the way instead of Marc Trestman, but in their last two games they have played almost exactly like they did under Trestman. I get there is a lack of talent, but they have just as much as the Lions and the Vikings, there’s no excuse for them to lose either of those games the way they lost them.

• If the Bears and the Vikings were to swap quarterbacks, the Bears would have the first pick of the draft and the Vikings would win the Super Bowl.  Don’t listen to what you read on Twitter, Bridgewater is bad. Meanwhile, there aren’t 10 quarterbacks in the league who are better than Jay Cutler right now. There may not even be five.

• So, why did Adam Gase decide to take Cutler out of the game for most of the first half? Look at the Bears first six games and they were at their best when Cutler was moving around and making things happen. I get that he didn’t think they could block the Vikings’ front four, but by continuously throwing slip screens, he gave them no chance. As soon as he stopped doing that, the Bears started moving the ball. It isn’t difficult to figure out.

• The Bears need to do something to generate pass rush. Is it time to try either Christian Jones or Shea McClellin outside on passing downs? Or time to play an extra defensive back and have one of them blitz? Rushing four isn’t going to work when Pernell McPhee is the only one who can beat a block.

• The Vikings aren’t a particularly good team but they’re a bad matchup for the Packers. Don’t be surprised if they split with them.

• Speaking of the Packers, you saw the formula again on Sunday night. If the Bears build a great defense, they will beat the Packers. That’s their only shot. If the current defensive rankings were to hold up, the Packers and Rodgers would be 7-11 against teams with top-10 scoring defenses over the last four years. That includes two wins this year, against a Seattle team that they played without Kam Chancellor (and they might not be that good anyway) and a Rams team with Nick Foles actively trying to lose the game.

This Still Doesn’t Make Sense

Sherrick McManis lost his job for a reason, why was he back on the field? The Bears threw in UDFA Bryce Callahan and the youngster looked pretty good until sustaining a concussion late in the game. At that point, the Vikings went right at McManis and, of course, scored a touchdown.

McManis was turned inside out by Lance Moore. That was enough to tell us he isn’t an NFL cornerback. Alan Ball played well before he was injured and Tracy Porter has plenty of experience playing in the slot. Once Callahan went down, putting Porter in the slot and Ball outside was clearly the Bears best option. But they didn’t. They went back to McManis and he showed them he is still awful. What did they expect?

Player of the Week

Alshon Jeffery is going to get paid. I still don’t know if it’s going to be the Bears who do it — I’d bet on a franchise tag for this season — but he is going to get a monster contract if he ever reaches free agency. He made monster catch after monster catch against a pretty good secondary.

Goat of the Week

Adam Gase. I don’t want to harp on one thing too much, but he had a bye week and that’s the best game plan he could come up with? One that takes his best player out of the game? Seriously?

Bold Prediction for Week 9

Cutler is going to set new career highs in passing yards and touchdowns. The game is going to be high scoring and the Chargers pass defense has been bad lately.

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  • Blur of Ions

    Great article. I agree with the Bold Prediction, if they unleash Cutler for the game he has a great opportunity to do a lot of damage against that secondary.

    • I think they’re going to try to run and keep the clock short. Basically the GB game plan.

      This secondary has 0 chance of stopping Rivers, and SD has arguably the worst run defense in the NFL. Langford and Carey are going to combine for 30+ carries, IMO.

      • Irish Sweetness

        The SD secondary is making stars of opposing QBs too, ratings wise, so Cutty should have a good day if he can remain upright?

        Do we have a Center yet?

        • CanadaBear

          I think it’s Slauson until the rook gets back.

      • TomC

        (Longtime lurker finally speaking up:) I generally find Mr. Wood’s pronouncements refreshingly rational, so I’m curious if this is an endorsement or just a prediction. Because the strategy of limiting the other team’s possessions makes zero sense. If every time you have the ball, you sit on it for 10 minutes and punt, and every time they have the ball, they score in 30 seconds, you have not increased your chances of winning. (The best illustration of this I ever saw was the wildcat-era Dolphins against the P. Manning Colts on a Monday nighter 5 or so years ago—the Dolphins won TOP by over 2-1 and still got blown out.)

        If you think your points per possession are going to be much less than your opponent’s, then the only way to win is to steal a possession or two via a fake punt or onside kick and to play very risky defense hoping for a turnover. I am not holding my breath for Foxy to adopt either of these gambits.

        • I think it’s a valid strategy if you’re going against a team you think is going to score most of the time they have the ball. The goal is to still score yourself and to limit the number of possessions so the game doesn’t get out of hand and you have a chance in the 4th quarter.
          It mostly worked against GB, the game was one possession almost the entire time. The offense moved the ball and scored on most possessions, and it kept the defense fresh, which allowed them to get a few stops as well.
          Of course, it leaves little room for error, which was why 1 turnover basically ended any chance Chicago had to win. You don’t rack up a lot of explosive plays either, so the offense needs to be methodical and avoid mistakes (penalties, sacks) that put you in bad down/distance situations.
          Chicago was great at that against GB, but hasn’t been very good at it since. Too many 3rd and longs, and when your strategy is to try and run off a 10+ play drive, you’re not likely doing that consistently enough if you’re in 3rd and 7+ half the time (like they have been this year.

          • BillW

            I’m no expert but I wonder if a QB sitting on the bench for long periods gets enough out of rhythm and/or impatient that it has at least some negative affect on their offense. I recall that was the theory at one time but have no idea how valid.

          • CanadaBear

            I think once they get smacked again it’s all systems go.

  • Irish Sweetness

    The Chargers are letting passers go plus 100 in ratings. Beatable, but Rivers could conceivably rip us apart in the secondary. I heard on the game last week that Fangio blitzes less than anyone – that’s never good.

    I see Carolina are only allowing a 64.5 rating to opposing QBs. League-low. Vadgers is up against it again this week. Cam is rated about 30 below Rogers though.

  • Huge Bear’s Penis

    If Forte is out this week, does anyone how Langford does in pass protection?

    • Irish Sweetness

      He might be better than Carey? I’d like to see Lasike get promoted off the PS – 5’11 232, loves to block, a load to bring down on a swing pass.

      • Langford whiffed on a blitz pickup last week in the 4th quarter, to the point that he didn’t even recognize the guy coming and attempt to block him.

        People knock on Carey for this. It’s hard to say. He’s barely been asked to do it in the NFL, but to the best of my knowledge he’s done it perfectly every time when called upon (about 10/10, including preseasons and regular season last year). So maybe he’s never asked to do it because he sucks at it in practice, I dunno. Game sample is too small with Carey to make any real conclusions.

        Based on what I’ve seen of them in preseason and regular season over the last 2 years, I think Carey is a better RB than Langford. But it’s a tiny sample size with both, so it’s hard to say. I think they’re both capable of being solid NFL RBs, and I would be content with them as the top 2 for the Bears next year.

        • CanadaBear

          You and I really don’t agree on Carey. He hasn’t even been active most games. I think his lack of speed is the issue but he doesn’t seem to have much wiggle either. We’ll probably see a bunch of both of them. Should be interesting.

          • he’s definitely not fast. And he’s inactive this year because he doesn’t do special teams, so he won’t be a RB3, and the current coaching staff prefers Langford.

            I still think he’s looked like a solid rotational NFL RB in the limited chances he’s had in the NFL, but it’s a tiny sample size, so it’s hard to say.

          • CanadaBear

            We might find out Monday night. You’re right that we haven’t seen enough of him to really know if he has the goods. Why is he so bad at ST’s? You’d think a RB would be good at it. Can’t tackle, can’t get off blocks?

          • I think the speed comes into play there. On ST you’re running 40-70 yards downfield, and that’s not his strength. Carey (ideally) is a between the tackles runner who will consistently get those tough yards and help you stay ahead of the chains. He’s not winning races to break off long runs.
            In a Langford/Carey duo, Carey would be more of the thunder to Langford’s lightning, though Langford has run with better power this year than I expected.

        • Irish Sweetness

          Perry looked great in the PS, losing him was a shame. Carey looked good as a runner too. I like all our backs, but I want a look at this Lasike guy – even just as a blocking FB who’s there to pound it when required.

  • Trac

    Why in thee world wouldn’t the Bears do everything reasonable to keep Jeffery on the roster? ALSHON ain’t going anywhere. I could see the Bears franchising him until they get to see what’s under Whites hood.

    Andrew, good thoughts my man.

    • if they were planning on giving Alshon a monster extension, why would they spend a top 10 pick on a guy who plays his position?

      And why wouldn’t they give him a big extension last summer, instead of having to give him a significantly bigger one next year? The closer to FA a guy gets, the more expensive he gets, even if he doesn’t have a great contract year (which Alshon is right now).

      I think Andrew is right that they franchise him for next year, but IMO if White looks good next season Alshon is not a Bear in 2017.

      • Bender McLugh

        My guess is because teams need more than one top-tier pass catcher in today’s game, and the drop off after White-Alshon is BIG on this team.

        • do they? How many teams have more than one top-tier pass catcher?
          Off the top of my head, Green Bay and, uh…

          You could argue Washington, Denver, New York Jets, and New York Giants too. That’s about it. But IMO Decker’s not a top pass catcher, and neither is the #2 in Denver (he only exploded when catching passes with Peyton, not anything more than a solid #2 WR in PIT), and Cruz hasn’t been a top guy for a while.

          And honestly, I’m not sure if Cobb is capable of carrying a passing attack. He’s struggling to do it this year even with Rodgers throwing to him. The only teams that had 2 true #1 guys have let one of them walk (Houston, Chicago). Atlanta had 2, but Roddy White got old.

          • Bender McLugh

            I think you just proved my point, maybe possibly

          • Bender McLugh

            Firstly I should say none of this WR business matters if the O-line blows, and for that matter the D-line…..

            I think of two years ago Denver with Welker & Thomas (& Thomas), GB last year with Cobb & Nelson, the Pats with Gronk & Edelman and before that with Edelman-Welker-Gronk. I think it’s a huge leg up on offense if the team has two very reliable WRs, even if one of those is the TE. I don’t think Black Uni counts as a reliable receiver this year – Bennett is no where near the level of Gronk and his difficulties staying on the same page with Cutty have been discussed here alot.

            Not to say that trading Alshon away won’t return several players/picks to the Bears that could be used to better the team in other areas and then find another reliable/very good WR somewhere else to replace him. In my book this would be okay, except I really like Alshon (which is irrelevant) and finding another very solid WR of his level is difficult.

          • Irish Sweetness

            But if those receivers have Gabbert and Mallet as their QBs, they all disappear.
            Why shouldn’t we aim to have three top receivers PLUS the best running back PLUS the best OL and DL and LBs and DBs ? We have a bunch of cash so why not play AJ across from White? If we let him go then we have to ask ourselves what salaries are for. If we’re serious about super bowl runs then receivers we’ll need.

            Finding a Lawrence Taylor with the first pick is where it starts for me. Offense only gets you to the show.

          • Bender McLugh

            This. Completely agreed, need the defense studly again to win the big dance.

          • Ososfan

            I believe Steelers, Raiders, Bengals, Cardinals…..

          • Steelers: possibly, but need to see it sustained from Bryant.
            Raiders, Bengals, Cardinals would be more in the 1 top guy and then some good ones category to me. All have one stud and then a couple options who are solid #2s.

          • Irish Sweetness

            We made Detroit our bitches when Peanut was on CJ.

            Plan to have 4 x #1-quality receivers, anything less is for losers.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Pittsburgh. Brown is obviously a #1, but Martavis is big enough and fast enough to act like one, he’s only just gotten back like Ben. They love Wheaton too. Pittburgh will explode offensively in the coming weeks, at backable odds too. Not against the Raiders though.

          • yeah, PIT might, but not until Bryant shows it for sure. I thought about including them.

          • BerwynBomber

            Cobb’s not a #1. I don’t even know if Nelson is but he was, by far, their best deep threat as well as Rodgers’ top third down target.

            James Jones? Good salvage piece. Adams? Decent when healthy but at best a #2 ceiling. Their TEs are less than average.

          • BerwynBomber

            DET has two better WRs than GBs, even when GB’s are healthy. And we had best in the league the last two years.

          • Jordy is a better WR than Tate for sure, maybe better than Megatron at this point. Megatron has not looked like himself since the injuries last year.

        • Irish Sweetness

          Yeah. Carson has Fitzy, Floyd and Brown. AJ, Kevin and A.N. Other sounds lethal if we can plug up that line. Cutty with time plus those receivers ? Long, bountiful drives aplenty.

          • Fitz hasn’t been a top WR in 3 years. I think having 3-4 good guys is more sustainable than 2 top ones.

          • Irish Sweetness

            He looks like one this season. Eyeball test. I’ve seen about half their games. But Floyd is good too, and Brown is fast. They have another dude who’s good, forgotten his name.

          • yep, he has been this year. But still that offense is more a bunch of really good guys than 2 great ones. I think that’s the better formula, though of course you can never go wrong with too much talent (except when finances and egos get in the way).

          • Bender McLugh

            disagree, Fitz is still playing at a #1 WR level, the team finally has caught up with his talent again.

      • Trac

        Because as a GM, you can’t cross your fingers and hope White comes back from his injury as a top skilled WR. They can always trade Alshon down the road if they have to.

        • Huge Bear’s Penis

          also despite the recent number of Rookie WR making huge contributions, pretty sure historically you can’t rely on them making great impacts their first year. Plus White was report as being very raw when he was drafted.

  • “Meanwhile, there aren’t 10 quarterbacks in the league who are better than Jay Cutler right now. There may not even be five.”

    I was thinking about this earlier this week. QBs I would clearly take over Cutler right now for this year (so any age considerations ignored): Rodgers, Brady, Dalton, Cam.

    QBs who are possibly playing better than Cutler, but it’s close enough that I might group Cutler with them: Brees, Palmer, Rivers, Carr, Eli, Ryan, Wilson, Ben.

    Statistically, Cutler’s not up there with those guys, but that’s mainly because his TD percentage is so low (though his yards per attempt is also not very good).

    • Irish Sweetness

      I don’t think Meg Ryan has been better than Cutler, he’s just had better help from his team. Plus, some crappy teams have beaten the Falcons, and they were 10-7 against the Titans. Cam’s rating is about 78. Brees just threw for 7 TDs. Newton couldn’t do that in a dream.

      I’ve got :

      Tier 1: Brady, Manning, Ben, Vadgers, Brees.

      Tier 2: Rivers, Dalton, Ryan Cutler, Wilson, Palmer, Romo.

      Tier 3: Cam, Luck, Mariota, Tyrod. Tannehill.

      Tier 4: Everyone else.

      Maybe Rivers and Brees should switch places .. but Rivers is a shnuck.

      • Cam has been working with worse situations than Cutler-both on OL and skill position players-and doing a great job. People who watch film more than stats have him in the MVP conversation, kind of like Cutler in 2011.

        • Irish Sweetness

          Did Cam lose his first two centers? His #1 receiver before week 1? Cutty’s RG moved to RT and was replaced by a bum, and he effectively has a new LT and LG. AJ and Royal have been banged up and missing. Cam is a one-trick pony until he breaks an 80 rating.

          • his #1 WR went down for the season. His OL is possibly the worst in the NFL. He has a good TE to throw to and that’s about it.

          • AlbertInTucson

            And he has Ted Ginn to drop TD passes.

          • Ososfan

            Gotta disagree with you there. Can has no one. His best WR went down before the season started and his Oline is not very good.

          • Irish Sweetness

            He is up against it weapons wise, but he’s not the reason they’re unbeaten anyway. I don’t get the love.

      • Bender McLugh

        I would swap Cam & Rivers, Cam is putting it together again this year with a competent team around him.

        And if Steve Smith Sr. was still on Carolina Cam could definitely put up 7 TDs.

        • Irish Sweetness

          Rivers has a rating about 30 higher than Cam’s, and he’s at about 69% completions. I don’t like him, but he’s good.

      • BerwynBomber

        Dalton is having a much better year than you think.

      • BearDown100393

        IMO Palmer should switch with Manning. He is currently rated #1 in total QBR. Manning is near the bottom. It is what it is.

  • I don’t get the McManis move either. Alan Ball must have done something to seriously piss the coaches off. Either that or they’re hiding some injury with him.

  • Bender McLugh

    I didn’t know the 4 letter did a Forte piece for E:60.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xt8rCMHGxLY&feature=youtu.be

    • Bender McLugh

      1. – his Dad’s fro in college is awesome.
      2. – love how Matty gives shit to a kid at his camp for wearing Cheese shorts

  • “in their last two games they have played almost exactly like they did under Trestman.”

    I’m gonna disagree a bit on that one. The results might be somewhat similar as the last 2 games of last year, but the approach is drastically different.

    The on-field results won’t change much this year (though the blowout losses will drop significantly), but the guys they’re doing it with will. Last year they sucked while trying to contend with a bunch of old guys. This year they are (less) bad with a lot of younger guys playing roles.

    I did a piece on this at the bye. Their offense hasn’t changed much (though it’s getting younger now with Leno and Grasu establishing key roles on the OL), but the defense has gotten a lot younger, even though a lot of the young “talent” from the last regime has been shipped off. Most of that difference is that 30-33 year old veterans have been replaced by younger veterans.

  • Couldn’t agree more about Gase. IMO the conservative game plan in the 1st half cost them the game.

    Whereas the conservative game plan late against Detroit cost them the win, and I pinned that on Fox, I’m pinning this one on Gase.

  • “Is it time to try either Christian Jones or Shea McClellin outside on passing downs?”

    When Vic Fangio was first hired and I studied what he did defensively in San Francisco, I thought both Jones and McClellin profiled best as SAM OLB, the position Acho is currently playing. Acho is a solid guy against the run and in coverage, but he offers absolutely nothing rushing the passer. IMO he’s an ideal top backup and STer.

    That SAM position requires incredible diversity to play effectively, as you have to be able to man up on TEs, hold strong against the run, and rush the passer. Jones and McClellin both have the physical tools to do all those things, and their positional backgrounds in college and Chicago last year both set them up for that spot, not ILB.

    I like the idea of sliding Jones outside in nickel looks and plugging in Jonathan Anderson at ILB.

    • MB30SD

      so much this. Jones athletic abilities haven’t been tapped yet really. I hope it all clicks for him and/or fangio finds a spot that’s a better fit for him. I like your plan.

      • of course, Jones is still looking a bit lost at ILB, so adding more positional responsibilities mid-season is probably not a good idea.

        • MB30SD

          right, I just did the eye test on the kid in college and he looked like a man among boys. I just want to see him given the chance to show his full potential.

  • TheBigCheesy

    Da Cutler Blog

    • BearDown100393

      Mile High Beat Down

      • TheBigCheesy

        Irrelevant Tangents Daily

        • BearDown100393

          Like trolling a Bears site?

          • MB30SD

            JUST like that.

            Cheesy, you’ve regressed miserably. Pull it back together son.

          • Scharfinator

            He’s dealing with the worst performance of Vadgers career.

  • Beating GB isn’t just about having a good defense. It’s about having a great pass rush, with 3-4 guys who can hit the QB on any given snap.

    Combine that with a road game (when the crowd noise forces GB into silent counts) and they lose. Like against BUF last year, or SF/SEA in past years, or Denver this year (or Carolina next week?).

    • BearDown100393

      What is up with Rodgers lately? Looks awfully mortal these days.

      • teams that were able to limit GB last year did it by taking Jordy away and forcing other guys to beat them. Jordy is gone this year.

        And their OL-which stayed healthy and was incredibly good last year-is banged up. It’s a tough combo.

        • Bender McLugh

          so no reliable 2nd receiver is what you are saying……..eh?

          • Irish Sweetness

            Jones and Cobb? Davante Adams? Lacy? They’re no bums. Although their TEs are.

          • AlbertInTucson

            “Although their TEs are.” Because they can’t play the Bears EVERY week.

          • BerwynBomber

            Jones actually was a bum. Lacy is surprisingly decent out of the backfield but he is no Forte as a receiver. Not even close really.

            Cobb is one of the best slot guys in the league, but emphasis on “slot” guy. Adams was a good rookie but he looked like #2 ceiling at best and he has done nothing for them this year.

          • AlbertInTucson

            Adams has been listed as “Questionable” for every game since week 2, I believe.

          • BerwynBomber

            Yeah, he’s given them nothing this year. At this point I think they miss their rookie Ty Montgomery more than they do Adams. (I believe Montgomery sat out against DEN because of an ankle.)

          • he has plenty of reliable weapons, just no top guy to consistently make plays even when the defense is keying in on him.
            But really it’s probably the OL more than the weapons, I’d guess.

          • BerwynBomber

            I wonder if the O-line isn’t, at best, average and just had one excellent year in last year. Both their Ts are nothing to write home about.

          • Bulaga is really good when healthy. Bakhtiari is technically excellent, but struggles against guys who can overpower him (I want to see McPhee go against him a LOT on Thanksgiving).
            But their interior OL, when healthy, is easily the best in the NFL IMO.

          • TheBigCheesy

            this is an impressively accurate comment

          • outside of Chicago, GB is easily the team I know most about. The website I first wrote for was mostly GB fans, though it was technically an NFCN site.

          • You said teams need two top options. I disagreed. The top teams in the league have one top option with multiple solid ones after that.
            Financially, that makes the most sense. It’s tough to make it work paying two WRs/TEs like top performers, especially if you have a QB throwing to them and taking up 12-13% of the cap.
            Of course, the Bears could do that with Alshon/White since White’s rookie deal runs 3 more years. And I’d be in favor of giving Alshon a front-loaded deal since they have the cap space next year.
            I’m just saying very few teams invest in getting two #1 WRs, so if the Bears were convinced Alshon was part of their core last year they likely wouldn’t have drafted White, IMO.

          • Bender McLugh

            I agree to an extent – the top teams seem to have always had two very reliable receivers, where as Alshon is the only one on the Bears this year because BUni seems to have disappeared. I just think there’s nothing wrong with the Bears keeping Alshon to have this luxury once White comes back, especially considering your point about White’s rookie deal.

          • oh, I would have no problem with them keeping Alshon around. I just don’t think they planned on having him long-term, otherwise they wouldn’t have drafted White IMO.

        • BerwynBomber

          Lacy has been very inconsistent for them as well. And by way of comparison, our O-line has looked better than theirs this year.

          • MB30SD

            the few plays I watched, that dude is a load man.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Carolina should be even harder on him.

        • BerwynBomber

          I don’t know, Irish. CAR’s D is certainly tough as nails but DEN’s looks best in the league.

          • Irish Sweetness

            64.5 Ratings to opposing QBs, 69 allowed by Denver. Should be interesting.

    • Irish Sweetness

      It was more than that with Denver. Even when he stood in there, all his targets were man-covered, nowhere to go. He could have run with it more than he chose to.

      • CanadaBear

        He didn’t seem too keen to run against Denver. Not sure why.

        • Irish Sweetness

          It’s that vagina.

          • MB30SD

            I wish he had and my boy brandon marshall (the linebacker) would have taken his goofy google eyed head off.

  • Bender McLugh

    Any interest in snagging Randle after he was cut by Dallas? I didn’t think his injury was that severe, seems he got cut for being a jerk.

    • CanadaBear

      After McDonald and Rat, I’m guessing it’s semi-choirboys for the rest of this season.

      • Bender McLugh

        yeah I have to believe that too, unfortunately. Randle has some serious upside.

    • he’s hurt, so won’t be able to play while Forte is out, and has character issues.
      Bears have been dumping guys like that, not acquiring them.

    • No thxs. Dude is a super moron . Kinda wanna see if Carey has anything

    • Irish Sweetness

      Ixnay on the Randle.

  • Speaking of Cutler, I was breaking down his quarterly stats and found something interesting and entirely different from what I expected.
    1st quarter: 39/52 (75%), 8.1 ypa, 2 TD, 0 INT, 111 rating
    2nd quarter: 24/42 (57%), 6.3 ypa, 2 TD, 1 INT, 82 rating
    3rd quarter: 25/44 (57%), 7.0 ypa, 0 TD, 1 INT, 69 rating
    4th quarter/OT: 42/71 (59%), 6.5 ypa, 4 TD (+1 rushing), 2 INT, 95 rating
    I was looking into this assuming it would show he’s been way better in the 4th quarter than others. And in the sense that he’s made more plays for TDs, he has.
    But in reality his 1st quarter has been miles better than any of the other. No INTs, way better completion percentage and yards per attempt. I was shocked by that.

    • BerwynBomber

      Not surprised. The Woodson and Matthews picks were going to keep him from having top of the league 4th Q #s, whereas our O always seems to hum in the 1st Q, which is a welcome change from last year.

      • it’s not just the TDs and INTs though. That’s why I looked at other stats besides just the rating. The completion percentage and YPA are both really good in the 1st quarter and pretty poor after that.

        For comparison’s sake, the NFL’s leader in completion % (min 100 attempts) is Big Ben at 71%. Cutler in quarters 2-4 is at 58%, which would be 29th of 32 QBs with 100+ attempts.

        For YPA, 8.1 ranks 5th, right between Tom Brady and Russell Wilson. 6.6, his average after the 1st quarter, puts him ahead of only Kirk Cousins, Sam Bradford, Andrew Luck, and Ryan Mallett, and behind such luminaries as Blake Bortles and Colin Kaepernick.

        • BerwynBomber

          I gotcha. Cutty’s overall YPA is way up from last year and was actually near the top of the league after the first few games of the season.

          Bortles will be a decent QB. His PR is up this year and should continue to rise the next couple of years. He is just cursed to being playing for a god awful franchise. Mariota is facing that same degree of difficulty.

        • SC Dave

          Game planning, perhaps? Oh yeah, I forgot. The game plans are to be blamed for all losses, except when Pickles plays.

          • It would seem the game plan has mostly been excellent to start. It was awful last week. I understood the thinking, but MIN was clearly ready for it, and they kept doing it for 1.5 quarters when it was obviously not working.

    • MB30SD

      it’s the diabeetus data. Starts the game on all cylinders, then wares down as the game takes a toll.

      We need gase to put instill a Snickers infusion strategy and execution plan ASAP!

      • except that hasn’t been the case for most of his career. Let’s look at 2009-15 (ie all his Chicago games)

        1st: 63%, 6.7 ypa, 26/23 TD/INT, 81 rating
        2nd: 61%, 7.3 ypa, 42/25 TD/INT, 88 rating
        3rd: 62%, 7.1 ypa, 23/18 TD/INT, 84 rating
        4th/OT: 60%, 6.9 ypa, 48/32 TD/INT, 85 rating

        So that leads me to believe it’s not a diabetes thing. Makes me think Gase is game-planning well for early in the game to attack opponents.

        • MB30SD

          God I love facts. haha

          thank you sir. I was kiiiind of kidding since I HAVE to believe that have a full staff just making sure that the diabeetus isn’t a factor for out $100M investment.

          • Trac

            With a capital G to boot. Have you been schmoozing with NB on the sabat? But you did forget to insert a blank for the “o”. Hee hee

          • MB30SD

            you start every sentence with a capital boys and girls, or you gets the ruler!

          • Trac

            Uh huh.

    • Cutty of Olivet Nazarene

      game tape doesn’t lie. Stats can.

      • very true. I just assumed 4th quarter would be his best by a mile.

    • BillW

      Overall the 3rd has been problematic for the Bears. I believe point wise and point differential too.

  • MB30SD

    slight tangent… turns out robin williams killed himself because he knew what was coming. Autopsy revealed he had the exact same thing as my mom.

    Good call robin, you took the much better way out (and I would never usually say that about suicide) and I have to say it was a brave choice to make. RIP.

    • Bears-4-Ever

      One of my best friends Dad jumped off a bridge when he found out he had only months to live with a brain tumor. As my friend said, “He went out his way and he didn’t want to die like that.” I don’t blame anyone for doing that nor will I judge them. Let the “Big Man” handle that. My Uncle Gus’ second cousin was in the mob, (no names), He put a hit on himself when he was diagnosed with Liver Cancer. Some folks don’t want to let fate dictate how they go out…

      • The GP

        A self-hit? Does the assassin get to collect his fee in that case?

        • Bears-4-Ever

          I would assume so if you are getting paid per job. Target wouldn’t matter.

          • MB30SD

            yikes! scary maings.

  • BerwynBomber

    Cutty is 13th in QBR and 19th in PR, which averages out to about 15th/16th in the league.

    His receiving corps has been seriously compromised so he should receive extra credit there and he has looked excellent in the two-minute drill. And most importantly, his TOs are way low, especially by his standards.

    All in all, he is definitely having a much better year than last year but the top 10 or top 5 thing is a stretch.

    • MB30SD

      there’s no extra credit in professional football BB.

      agree on the rest

      • Sactowns#1

        great minds think alike. haha

    • Sactowns#1

      There was no extra credit on this test young man.

      • MB30SD

        BOOM!

  • MB30SD

    I think I’m getting another one soon fellas. I want a puppy: https://www.google.com/search?q=jimmy+choo+the+english+bull+terrier&espv=2&biw=1280&bih=685&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0CDIQsARqFQoTCKySvJaX98gCFYJMiAoda0AC7Q

    Give me the yay nay… I know it’s a HUGE responsibility and expense, but men need dogs. Right?

    • Bears-4-Ever

      You should really look into the Humane Society and try and adopt a dog from there. Pure Breeds are great. But Puppies are a LOT of work and need huge amounts of attention/training and pure breeds are expensive. My last 4 Dogs were all rescued or humane society dogs and all but one were older Dogs from 6 years up. Older dogs, especially ones that had good owners previously are usually House Broken already. If not, it’s never too late to crate train a dog regardless of age.

      $50.00 and they will neuter them for you. It’s a great deal and more importantly, you’re giving a dog a second chance at a happy life. It’s a win-win.

      • Scharfinator

        Agreed. Got 3 and all are adopted in some fashion. One is even a “designer” dog who lost his home.

      • MB30SD

        Totally get it and agree with everything you said B4E, just found my soulmate of dog species. Everyone should adopt, but going to have to leave that to the better people than me out there… like you and that bastige Scharf.

        • DocNitty Ellipsoids Ornamental

          This too, but mostly that.

      • DocNitty Ellipsoids Ornamental

        This.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Cats. Free. Self-respecting. Self-cleaning. They have souls. Brilliant.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Good for you B4E !!

    • Scharfinator
      • MB30SD

        1. Fuuuuck you, you bastige!

        2. I love huskeys, but it’s 72 avg here maing. not very fair. the last two summers were brutal. live in SD most of my life and Ive never felt heat like the last two years. Buying a snow dog just isn’t cool (see what I did there).

        3. EBT are the best dogs evah! I will never get another breed. they are mischievous pains in the fucking balls, but they have personalities like no other dog.

        • Scharfinator

          http://ezvetpetcare.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Alaskan-Malamute1.jpg

          JUST LOOK AT THE SIZE OF HIM!

          I agree overall though, Malamutes – and most of the larger, cold weather dogs (huskies, shepherds), are a bunch of work. Heat is tough on them, they are really intelligent (see destructive, willful, but awesome when trained), and just big motherfuckers.

          • MB30SD

            yeah, I’m not a fluffy dog guy either… like dogs with really short hair for some reason (maybe because I shave my dome?). Vizlas, EBTs, Jack Russles, etc…

            that and I’m not looking for a shaggy fucking horse maing! haha

          • DocNitty Ellipsoids Ornamental

            Sure you do.

          • MB30SD

            shave my dome? I shave EVERYTHING doc… everything.

            Want me to text you a pic of my shorn taint?

          • DocNitty Ellipsoids Ornamental

            No, god no, I believe you about the taint. It’s the dome I’m questioning.

          • MB30SD

            Youuuuumotherfucker!

            Well yeah, I shave it cause it won’t grow any more. Been like that since my late 20s maing. too much dick juice.

          • DocNitty Ellipsoids Ornamental

            Okay fine. Send me a pic of your next ladies taint and we’ll call it good. Sheesh.

          • MB30SD

            I will, then will tell you after you’ve told me how hot it was, that it was in fact mine. NTTAWWT

          • SC Dave

            THERE you go!

          • SC Dave

            Shave only the dome, mang?

          • MB30SD

            Dave, you shave it all too huh? Good for you my brother. no one wants a disco bush in their face, right?

    • Cutty of Olivet Nazarene

      I’d recommend you go in a different direction. Straight baller…..
      http://www.savannahcat.com/public/index.php?page=breeder&id=14&type=country

      • MB30SD

        Hahahaha, FUUUUUUCK that noise.

        You don’t want me to get a cat, you want me to get a mildly domesticated version of an african killer… and they’re only $20k. SMH

        My ex wanted one way back. We went to a breeder. they are insanely beautiful, but at $20k+ and with that wild blood… not the best for a family with two babies.

        Sup man… things ok?

    • CanadaBear

      How old are they when you can safely leave them alone in the house? Something to think about. Our little bundle of joy still fucks with stuff when she’s pissed about being left behind and she’s a little over 3.

      • MB30SD

        Totally canada… and bullys are notoriously horrible with that. They think they’re children and should be taken everywhere. That said, I will be taking him into the office with me so he’ll only be left alone when I’m on dates…. oh, shit!

  • BillW

    Wow – I can’t fathom any suggestion that the Bears aren’t a vastly better TEAM under Fox than Trestman. The Trib had a great article today though (not Haugh, I think Campbell – can’t get the link easily) that sort of brought up the same point. Said Fox will be tested since it is quite possible they could be 2-9 going into December

    At some point they almost have to acknowledge the lack of talent – not literally but by making moves. How can McMannis still be on the team?

    The article also wondered about how Fox feels about Denver’s success without him; and how Fox was in the playoffs 4 years in a row.

    Tough times ahead that will hopefully just be another step forward ultimately.

    For me, no more Jefferson’s style 50+ point games and not naming a coach-shover captain is enough to avoid any wondering about Fox vs Trestman.

    • BerwynBomber

      Agreed. And on the D side there is no way we have overall the talent that MIN does.

      Andrew and Blogfather wish to attribute ANY and EVERY positive in this season to Cutler and Cutler alone. And though Jay has obviously improved his play, the reality is that the D has gone from historically bad to below average, the O line has been surprisingly good (considering the injuries), and the coaching is light years better. A combination of those three things and Cutler’s improved play have made us noticeably more competitive this year.

      • positives this season:
        1) Gase is turning from an unknown to a good OC
        2) To go along with that, he has Cutler playing best football of his career. Whether that means he’s CHI QB for next 2-3 years or simply has more trade value, that’s awesome. And speaks well for his ability to develop the QB of the future (should he stick around for another year or two).
        3) Young players emerging: Leno, Long at OT, Grasu, Wilson, Amos, Goldman, Sutton. Not all stars, but all at least solid players.
        4) McPhee emerging as a building block on defense.

        Negatives this season:
        1) Too many Emery guys, especially on defense, not living up to draft status/expectations. Shea, Bostic, Fuller, Vereen, Greene. That’s 2 1sts, a 2nd, and 2 4ths from the past 3 years, and out of it they have a 6th from Bostic, 2 guys gone, and 2 marginal starters, at best.
        2) Fox is still too conservative, and that will cost the Bears key games when they are ready to compete.

        Still, the biggest positive to me is that they seem to have the coaches in place to develop guys.

        • MB30SD

          Wow, that second #2 is B-R-U-T-A-L. So so bad.

          I didn’t even think it could get any worse than JA. SMFH.

          • #2 is equally true for Lovie. He cost the Bears many games throughout his tenure, including at least 3 in 2008, when they went 9-7, and at least one in 2011, when they went 8-8. So Lovie’s stupidly conservative coaching late in games cost the Bears at least one playoff spot.

            Fox is cut from the same cloth. He’s basically Lovie, but at least he hires better coordinators. Well, on offense and defense.

          • MB30SD

            Oh god. you don’t need to hand ’85 the gas to piss on his favorite fire. sigh.

            The difference is, I honestly don’t think that lovie is an intelligent man, I think fox is.

            And you don;t have to tell me about that dip shit lovie. sigh… again.

        • Bear Down in Tampa

          And Fox is who he is at this point. It’s not like he’s gonna pull a Riverboat Ron on us.

        • Irish Sweetness

          Stick Fangio in the negatives … no blitzing is not acceptable.

    • the record for this year will end up very similar as last year, but the feeling around the team could not be more different. That’s the progress for now.

      • TheBigCheesy

        The record in 2013 was worse than the record in 2012, but the feeling around the team was more positive in 2013, was it not?

        I’m not disagreeing with what you’re saying. I’m agreeing with what you’re saying, but I’m asking you if that really means anything. It could just be hollow optimism.

        • That’s a good point. Fan feelings are not always accurate; in fact I’d probably say they are often wrong. I spent all offseason this year hearing from a bunch of blowhards about how this was a playoff team.
          Personally, I don’t know that the feeling following 2013 was better than 2012. I’d say I felt roughly the same about those two teams, that they were fringe playoff teams who needed to improve in the offseason to get better.
          Across the fan base, 2013 was probably a bit better feeling, because everybody loves a good offense and the Bears were coming off a year where they finished 2nd in scoring.

          • TheBigCheesy

            Yes. 2013 was much different feeling than 2012. And I think for most fans, different (specifically that type of different – high-scoring offense) was positive. I think when it’s different, it’s easy to get excited about the problems you’ve solved (rotten locker room chemistry) while ignoring the possibility that new weaknesses might arise (conservative play-calling).

          • I’m not expecting the Bears to magically transform into SB winners. I’ve already said that I don’t think Fox will win a division title (assuming no Rodgers injury) or SB (Rodgers injury irregardless) in Chicago.
            To be fair, a better feeling than last year is not a high bar to set. The entire franchise was in disarray on and off the field and was a national laughingstock. Now they’re at least competitive and on their way (I believe) to being average or better within a year or two.

          • MB30SD

            Shhhhhhh… I hate to tell you this, but…

            …you’re a Bears fan dude.

          • TheBigCheesy

            I have really enjoyed watching them play the past couple of years, so…

          • The GP

            You have to listen to blowhards AND Cheesy.

            You need new friends, Data.

          • TheBigCheesy

            “with trolls like these…”

          • just some people on Twitter who are a little too bullish on the Bears, especially in the offseason. It happens.

            I figured the Bears would be up around 7 or 8 wins, but with the last 2 tossup games both going against them, I’m thinking more 5-6 now.

            I think they win one of then next 2, then lose to DEN and GB before finishing the year with some momentum and winning 3 of the last 5.

    • I’m guessing McManis is still on the team for ST purposes. He’s a solid player there, and they need all the help they can get.

      I’m also guessing (hoping) that it will take more than 1 in-game injury going forward for him to get on the field on defense.

  • BillW

    And the Fox Lake cop was a crook who stole thousands from the youth program he was involved in; he knew he was about to get caught so he very carefully staged his suicide to look like a murder.

    All the resources that went into the hunt for the “killers” and the grand funeral with cops all over the country attending. The shame his family must feel. What a scumbag coward.

    • The GP

      He didn’t even make it to six figures on the embezzlement.

      He thought small.

      • can’t blame him. Tougher to catch when it’s nickels and dimes. And still enough to make his life appreciably better.
        Think about it: stealing 70k worth of stuff over 10 years is an extra 7k a year to you. In the context of my <100k a year budget, that's a lot. Enough to remodel the house, or buy a car, go on a nice vacation, etc. In the context of a multi-million police budget, that's peanuts and could easily be missed.
        But if you're trying to steal $70k a year, that's a lot more likely to get noticed. It does a lot more for you, but is much harder to get away with.

        • BillW

          And it’s tax free. Better than a 7K taxable bonus.

        • MB30SD
          • just make sure you put the decimels in the right places

          • MB30SD

            I was told there’d be no maths involved data.

            DOC!!!!

          • DocNitty Ellipsoids Ornamental

            Don’t look at me. I’m a professor. I don’t even know what 70k a year means!

          • MB30SD

            hahahahaha

          • Irish Sweetness

            Wasn’t that Richard Pryor’s idea in Superman II?

          • BillW

            Superman 3. But yes.

        • AlbertInTucson

          Or..

          “Pigs get fat. Hogs get slaughtered.”

          Unless you’re in Congress.

          • yeah, easier to get away with it when you’re the one who decides whether it’s legal or not.

  • FQD1911

    I will be at the game this Monday. If you know MB outside of here and are interested in linking up, hit him up to get my cell number. Hope to see some of y’all while I am in the area.

    #BearDown

    • Sactowns#1

      See you there. Murph is coming to town too. Plan on doing some brewery hopping on Sunday and Monday if you’re interested.

    • MB30SD

      so wait,

      * Murph is coming in sunday at 11ish
      * Sac, you’ll be down tomorrow?
      * FQ, when are you coming in again (left my phone downstairs)

      • FQD1911

        Tomorrow

        • MB30SD

          that’s right. Damn, you and sac taking some serious time off. Bastards!

          Aight, so hit me up saturday and we’ll hook it up ya’ll. I will be partying down town sat night with a big group (of chicks). We’ll be at a bar called Kettner Exchange by like 9ish. hit me up or just show up.

          … unless you wanna come check out north county a little. my work week is going to clear up a little after mid day thursday and I would be happy to show you guys around a bit if you uber up to me. lemme know.

      • Sactowns#1

        I’ll be there Sat AM.

      • SC Dave

        I should have fucking shown up. Just so there was a (nother?) old bitch around

        • MB30SD

          make that shit happen Dave, there’s still time.

  • MB30SD

    Oh hell yes!

    GP, it has two seats… nudge nudge, wink wink!

    http://uncrate.com/stuff/deepflight-dragon-submarine/

    also, I never thought I’d like anything from Hyundai, but this thing is badass: http://uncrate.com/stuff/hyundai-tucson-adventuremobile/

    • The GP

      You can bang chicks on the roof of your Hyundai.

      You get 45 extra blog points if she’s Korean.

      • MB30SD

        Hahahaha… I refuse. My brother’s ex is korean. Biatch

  • willbest

    In 2014, the Bears were 3-4 through 7 games but should have been 6-1. They are 2-5 this year, but should probably be 3-4. And lets not forget that last year’s game 7 ended with Marshall’s rant followed by the complete implosion of the team in games 8 & 9. Also, last year’s 4-3 Defense had better players than this year’s 3-4 Defense does and we are stuck with a bunch of guys like Houston, Young, and Fuller who don’t belong in this system.

    • but should have been 6-1? Seriously?

      They were crushed by MIA and GB. The BUF and CAR games were close, but they also won close games against the 49ers and Jets (both 1 score games).

      That team fell apart after the Carolina game last year, which was game 5. That 2nd half was when you clearly realized just how broken that team was and that the coaches in place were doing nothing to fix it.

      • AlbertInTucson

        6-1 isn’t even a stretch. It’s a fantasy.

      • willbest

        They should have beat Buffalo, Carolina, and Miami. They were all winnable games they pissed away with bad playcalling and just absolutely unacceptable mental mistakes.
        Outside of the Vikings loss, which of the 5 did the Bears beat themselves?

        • AlbertInTucson

          They definitely beat themselves in Detroit.

          • willbest

            There was not pick 6, returns for TD, turnover on their own side of the field. The worst you can say about the game is that Fox should have gone for the first down rather than be content to burn the lions TO.

          • AlbertInTucson

            Bad Jay threw away points.

            That game never should have even seen OT.

  • The GP
    • MB30SD

      Where. Are. The. Boobies.

      • Irish Sweetness

        I think people are depending on you MB. Tomorrow is Boobie Friday.

        • MB30SD

          Tomorrow is pre-boobies Thursday my man.

          • Johnnywad

            Not in Thailand. It’s alread pre boobies Thursday in Thailand. He’s closer to boobies Friday than us. Which is bullshit.

          • MB30SD

            I know, we have a reseller there. Bastards!

            That said, they’re also closer to next monday.

            WAIT… BASTAAAAARDS!!!

  • beninnorcal

    MB, regarding your thoughts on a new dog below- consider a Lab. I’ve had mine since he was a pup on ’08. He is an amazing dog. They are perfect family dogs, they love kids and kids love them. They are sporting hounds, love to swim, fetch, and just screw around. People say that Labs are about ‘food and fun’ this is highly accurate. Mine is also one hell of a guard dog, always on alert in our home.
    We don’t know what we’d be doing without Jedd, he’s a big part of our family. I don’t ever see myself not having a Lab ever again.

    • beninnorcal

      Forgot to mention that Lab pups are serious chick-magnets. Jedd still gets all kinds of attention everywhere I take him and he’s full-grown. Everyone loves him.

      • SC Dave

        Any dog is a friggin chick magnet. Girls are suckers for dogs. I think its in the primal DNA

      • MB30SD

        Thanks ben. Love labs, just not do me.

    • BillW

      Labs are great as you say. We have one. But you forgot to mention they shed very heavily

      Still worth it

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