198 Comments

Bears Lose Their Eighth. (Rapid Fire)

| December 14th, 2015

Bears started awful and their comeback fell short. This season now OFFICIALLY becomes about next season. Rapid. Fire.

  • Robbie Gould didn’t miss the game-tying field goal because of the conditions. He missed the game-tying field goal because he pushed the ball right. And Robbie – being a scratch golfer – knows what’s going on. He has the yips. The question is how long do the Bears wait to see if he comes out of them.
  • And no, this game isn’t on Robbie. But that’s the less important note. Bears now have a serious question mark at a position they didn’t expect.
  • Jay Cutler is terrific. With his receiving corps decimated and offensive line no-showing Sunday, he kept his team alive and gave them a chance to win. Love to see Jay play with some healthy receivers.
  • Shea McClellin was horrendous. He was in position to make multiple plays and allowed backs to run over him. Bears need to address this position on day one of the draft.
  • Kyle Long. Sheesh. Give you a pass, buddy, but you don’t get many.

  • Now Matt Forte can’t catch the ball?
  • Don’t understand the Bears defensive approach to start the game. Kirk Cousins didn’t have a difficult throw in the first half.
  • Josh Bellamy. Catch the punt.
  • Sherrick McManis has now proven he doesn’t belong playing professional corner in the league, right? Can we abandon this experiment? Bears aren’t deep enough in the secondary to drop starting corners.
  • Eddie Goldman should have watched what Terrance Knighton did today. That’s his future.
  • Now that the bubble screen has been sniffed out by opponents and is no longer in the Bears arsenal, can you name a single discernible element of Adam Gase’s offense? Outside of the Rams game – where screens went exclusively for 70 yards – the Bears offense has thrived when Cutler breaks the pocket and makes a play.
  • Zach Miller is a heck of a player. Would love to see him heathy next year, playing alongside the full collection of Bears receivers.
  • Bad snap. Full protection breakdown. Cutler sidearms a screen that goes for a first down. Probably my favorite play by Cutler all season.

Dissecting these games is a bit pointless. The truth of the Chicago Bears in 2015 is they don’t make enough plays. The reason is they don’t have enough playmakers. Every game they play is a coin flip. Add more talent, season the young talent and complete another year of this program and one would expect the Bears to win more games than they lose in 2016.

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  • Joecashflow

    Time to pick up the chips and move to,another table. Never should come down to a field goal. Not alot of good in that game besides AJ and JC. I did like that jump grab by Cutler for a screen and first down.

  • Scharfinator

    Pretty good rapid fire this week, I have to agree. Jay played lights out. Zach is a keeper. Goldman is a keeper. Shea has become a disaster.

    Also, on the 2nd (I think) Washington touchdown, we rushed 3 linemen on about the 10 yard light. What was the thought process here? You can’t give a team that much time to get open in a short field.

    • BearDown100393

      When was Shea ever good?

      • Scharfinator

        Mediocre is very different from disastrous..

  • SC Dave

    Gotta say Shea sure is frustrating. It’s odd he can be in the right place so often and so rarely *finish* the play. Just too physically soft?

    • MB30SD

      Just not a good nfl-caliber player my maings. Glad the blinders are finally off. The guy just isn’t good mate. It really is that simple.

      • The GP

        He doesn’t come downhill, doesn’t stick the player – and often is a leg short. He’s real fast for a lineman, a bit slow for a linebacker. But he’s too small to play the edge, the guy should have played where Young is playing now – but even in the perfect tween situation he has no rush moves worth a damn so Fangio put him inside.

        Jordan Mills humiliated him and overall the guy is just NCAA all the way.

        • Irish Sweetness

          He’s calling the adjustments, right? Wrong ones.

          • BillW

            Great point. Is he calling things right? Need a samurai type in there

        • MB30SD

          he needs to be helping paaaaw out on the farm next year… or someone else’ problem. This D needs a total stud (or two) in at IMLB.

          Check what fangio did with two. I’ll settle for just one next year.

      • SC Dave

        You can call it blinders if you wish. I was simply assuming that the coaching staff knows more than we do. And I still assume that.

        • Johnnywad

          They do. There just isn’t a real ILB on the roster. So of course he gets the public vote of confidence. He’s a fine back up. He’s just not the goddam killer missile we need there.

      • Sactowns#1

        That’s what not taking roids will do for you.

    • CanadaBear

      I’m OK if he’s a backup next year for the vet min. Other than that, he has to go. I truly can’t remember a Bears LB getting run over so frequently.

  • The GP

    Here’s a positive:

    Cutler just didn’t play good. He played really really well. He moved when he had to, bought time with his legs and make some great throws. He missed a few he should have hit, but overall he posted a 117 and looked terrifically effective. Despite having shit blocking in the 1st half, really stupid awful blocking.

    So hat’s off to Cutler for that game.

    • BearDown100393

      Cutler got hammered that first half and dinged up his hand. Still hung in there and did enough to keep his team in the game.

    • DaCoaches Mustache

      How many deep balls did he miss though? over/under throwing open dudes.

      • SC Dave

        The long ball has been missing most of the season.

  • Thompson Way

    This was perfect for the Bears. All these games are close, and the Bears are competitive! We were never going to go all the way this year, and with this being Fox’s first year, a losing record is going to help out great come the draft. Now we also have the excuse on letting Robbie Gould walk next year. The guy can’t send the ball out of the endzone on kick offs when the Bears truly need it. See ya Robbie…

    • SC Dave

      Been posted more than once that draft position is not all its imagined to be.

  • BillW

    Great rapid fire Jeff. Hits every important point.

    I want to add it was enjoyable watching Jay live yesterday. I don’t exactly know how to describe “pocket presence” but I know I saw it consistently (well, except for a guy coming unblocked to his back side)

  • The GP

    Dump the slumping kicker, and get some better guards and put Hroniss in the gym. The scheme is there, the plays are there, the blocks don’t get sustained well enough or driven hard enough. Leno is a keeper.

    Miller is a baller. Meredith, Bellamy – get a fucking job. Something else.

    • BillW

      Ditto your Leno comment. I didn’t notice him at all yesterday. Too focused on the right side. Left side seemed clean.

      While Meredith and Bellamy are weak, I figure there just aren’t enough good receivers in the league to think your 5th and 6th best are going to be reliable

      Speculation pregame on the score about using Matty wide and Langford in the backfield. Consensus was it was simply too late in the season to add that to the offense

      • Irish Sweetness

        Don’t forget we have Jock-squeeze Rodgers coming back. Perry. That 230lb rugby convert on the PS, Lasike I’d like to see. He says he loves to block – not carry the ball – he loves to block.

        • The Ghost of Super Bowl XX

          don’t forget Tayo.

    • Sactowns#1

      The coaching and play calling sure aren’t there. That’s for sure.

  • Doc Nitty

    Guess who’s beard just earned them a “random” terrorist screening at the Seattle airport? Kinda nice actually. First time I’ve been touched like that in some time.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Dude, really? Can’t rock the man-hair? It’s like that here. People think you’re homeless/dangerous/dirty if you have a beard.

      • That Guy

        I have a little peach fuzz myself and have not been “randomly” chosen. But I also am clearly Jewish, not Muslim.

        • MB30SD

          i was going to tell you a funny story about my brother, an orthodox jew, and Tefillin at the childrens museum.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Jewish pervert standing in a children’s museum. Every time a kid walks by, he points at his tefillah and says: “hey kid, y’wanna buy some sweets?”

            (Bada-tish!)

            Thank you, thank you, I’m here all week.

          • MB30SD

            that’s lovely irish. hahaha

        • Irish Sweetness

          A Jewish ISIL supporter – they’ll never see it coming.

        • Doc Nitty

          My beard flows and flows

    • BillW

      Congratulations (?)

    • MB30SD

      the movement is over doc, be on the frontside of the downflow and shave that shit maings.

      new beginnings all around. Have a blast with your brother, be safe, enjoy your time, do things I would definitely do.

    • don’t listen to mb. let it grow.

      • Doc Nitty

        I won’t and it will.its already a good eight inches long at the chin.

    • willbest

      Get a sub 5 year old. You don’t even get the full body scan just the metal detector. But don’t go through with the wife. The wife “randomly” gets to take the kids through every time.
      *sigh* Just one more thing the cultural diversity of Islam has brought to our shores. I remember being able to meet people at the gate. We have spent $250 billion on TSA alone since 9/11

  • Doc Nitty

    For a mostly JV squad, it has been a surprisingly entertaining season.

  • That Guy

    Sucks to be out of playoff contention. We’ve got 5 wins. Most (including myself) were predicting 6 wins for the season. If Bears finish out 2/3 they will exceed expectations. If those two are Minny and Detroit, then we get to finish at .500 in the division. The other is Tampa Bay, coached by Lovie (though almost nobody still on the team played for him).

    Still, two division opponents and a former coach. I think there’s enough ammunition there to keep the team motivated. Particularly next week against Minny. Winning that game means we’re in contention to go .500 on the season game 15 and in the division in game 16 either way.

    Relevant football in December. That’s all any of us were asking for in August.

    • MB30SD

      This NB. get your old handle back!

    • BillW

      3 more losses would be very disheartening. I don’t expect that but I didn’t expect to lose to both sf and wash. So all three of these games are winnable and lose-able.

      In that sense alone they are very important games indeed. We know we need more talent. But this team went from 0-3 to 5-6. Can’t move backwards now.

    • The Bucs have almost as many 2012 Bears (Lovie’s last year in Chicago) as the Bears do.
      Bears: Jeffery, Forte, Cutler, Gould
      Bucs: Melton, Conte, Wright,

      • TBC

        You forgot McClellin.

        • CanadaBear

          You really are a Bears fan.

          • TBC

            They are just so much fun!

  • Irish Sweetness
  • willbest

    For Irish… No we aren’t out of the playoff hunt yet but now we need a lot of games to break our way. We need to win out. Minny needs to lose out, and Atlanta needs to lose to Carolina again, and only 1 team in the NFCE can make it to 8 wins. You aren’t talking about any individual game that is out of the question, but collectively it would add up to somewhere around a 2% chance

    • SC Dave

      The least likely event would be the Bears winning out.

      • willbest

        Well 2 of the last 3 are on the road.

        • SC Dave

          That should help our odds some.

    • willbest

      I will say the upshot about making the playoffs as the #6 seed is we wouldn’t have to play any games in soldier field and if we did finish 8-8 it would be with a 6-2 road record. And one of those losses was with Clausen under center.

  • MB30SD
  • BillW

    Sort of amusing at the game. The annoying Staley the Bear mascot had a D sign in his right hand and a photo of Gary Fencik in his left. D-Fenc(ik) . I had to explain it to several people sitting around me including my younger son.

    1985 is in fact ancient history

    • willbest

      30 years of stuff is a lot to cram into a brain and expect people to remember the finer details of things. Suppose it does make it a positive for the next Bears team to win. Amos, McPhee, Goldman, won’t have to suffer being compared to the 85 bears D. Well only from half the fan base

  • TBC

    “So many teams could have traded for Cutler in the spring and nobody did. Texans, Rams, Bills would all be no doubt playoff teams with him.”

    -dabearsblog

    How can you include the bills in that? Tyrod Taylor has a considerable statistical edge over cutler in the passing game and he has rushed for 371 yards and 3 TDs.

    • wreckinball

      His contract is awful
      He doesn’t play well enough to justify it

      • Taylor’s contract is awful? Really?

        • wreckinball

          Cutlers
          Don’t know about Taylor’s

          • Johnnywad

            Cutler is outplaying his contract this season.

          • wreckinball

            Don’t agree but he’s obviously playing better than last year and replacing him is not a priority
            He is a middle if the pack QB now
            The bottom 16 would offer for him if not for the contract
            NFL is all about winning
            Those teams obviously didn’t agree with you end of last year
            We’ll see this year

          • Johnnywad

            Hell, I didn’t agree with me at the end of last year. I’m going to chalk a lot of it up to Trestman and Co. Can’t imagine playing with a coach and defense like that.

            Whatever the case, he’s playing very well this year and his contract becomes more favorable as time passes. I really doubt they look to move him. He would be the best value at the position to come available in the league. That’s a bad spot to trade from.

          • wreckinball

            He’s 32 never been a consistent winner and has attitude or at least perceived attitude problems
            Next year would only be a one year thing but I still think there will be no takers

          • Cutty of Olivet Nazarene

            it’s sad when guys take “attitude” angles from 2009 and ascribe them to 6years later when, in fact, every single coach and player has told you otherwise.
            He even played good soldier while Trestman and Emery were assfucking this team from the inside out.

      • DaBearsBlog

        His contract is downright cheap now.

      • willbest

        FFS. I expect this kind of nonsense when he was paid $22 million last year because people can’t comprehend time. But for the love of all that is holy, the only QB’s playing better than Cutler while making less than him and not on rookie deals are Carson Palmer and Andy Dalton.

        • CanadaBear

          Pretty sure you’re wasting your time.

    • They have to design a specific offense around him and his limitations as a passer. They’ve done a good job of it, to their credit, but the limitations are still very much there.

      • TBC

        How do we know they don’t prefer that specific offense? They have done pretty well for themselves. They have more points and yards than Chicago and Taylor missed more time than Cutler.

        And you’re also assuming that Adam Gase hasn’t designed a specific offense for Cutler…which I believe is a little naive because everyone is (rightfully) giving him credit for limiting Cutler’s turnovers.

        The problem this year for buffalo has been the regression of the Defense. The 2014 bills would have been a real force with this offense that they are running with Taylor and McCoy. The Bears defense is actually outperforming the Bills defense in 2015.

        • Every player has strengths and limitations, but Taylor is very limited as a passer. He doesn’t read defenses well, so they give him basically 1-2 simple reads to make and he takes off running if they’re not there.

          It’s a similar offense to what Kaepernick ran in SF (same OC) when he had success in his early years (and put up similar numbers). When you try to make Kaepernick grow as a QB and be a pocket passer, you saw what happens. Ditto with RG3.

          Certainly Taylor has played well this year, but I would argue teams prefer to build over QBs like Cutler than guys like Taylor. Taylor’s playing style guys don’t have the longevity and remove a lot from the playbook due to their limitations in the pocket, and most of them never develop as pocket passers because they end up relying on athleticism instead.

          The Bills hope Taylor can develop as a pocket passer like Cam and Russell Wilson have. But more of that playing style QB never reach that point (see Vick, Michael) because it’s easier to rely on athleticism than focusing on the little things that are required to become good pocket passers.

          • TBC

            I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with you, but a lot of concerns you’re laying out here are longterm concerns. We’re only talking about inserting Cutler on this 2015 bills team. How can somebody definitively say that Cutler makes the bills a playoff team when the statistics suggest otherwise? The point you made about Greg Roman is an important one. Greg Roman had great success early with kaepernick and so perhaps Taylor really suits him. He might not have been able to get success out of Cutler. You know, how Cutler’s first 5-6 coordinators in Chicago failed with him?

  • BillW

    On a dreary Monday after a Bears loss it’s great to come on here and read what most everyone has to say. But I have a brutal week ahead of me (so I can take some time off over Christmas) and I need to avoid the temptation to check in a lot. Too tempting to comment or ask questions and get the perspective I love to get here.

    I’ll catch up later tonight. Just wanted I guess to say again how valuable this blog is to true Bear fans.

    (The Bills would rather have Tyrod Taylor? Hey – I’m a statistician and one thing true professionals realize is you can’t always go by raw statistics. Unless you have an agenda.)

  • CanadaBear

    I thought Cutler played a decent game overall but it would be nice if he could hit guys in stride or hit them at all downfield. Missed a bunch of open receivers way down the field. Not like the loss is on him but if he hits one or two of those …

    • he did hit some of those. Jeffery had 2 big catches down the field, the return man got one down the field.
      But yeah, his deep ball accuracy is never terribly good. Probably his biggest flaw as a QB now that he’s no longer chucking a couple passes into tight coverage every game.

      • CanadaBear

        Even those that he hit were jump balls. Doesn’t seem like he ever hits a guy in stride.

        • Johnnywad

          Yesterday probably had a lot to do with getting hammered early. Can’t speak to the rest of the season.

          • SC Dave

            It seems generally true that he’s not quite putting the ball where it needs to be.

          • willbest

            It wouldn’t surprise me if there is some sort of unreported injury he is playing through. His passing game has been a little off the last month, and it doesn’t help that his receivers drop perfectly good passes

        • willbest

          It was rainy yesterday, but I have felt that his deep ball has been on the wane from last season as well.

  • CanadaBear

    Hey MB and any others on here that played college ball, what’s the deal with the Beloved coming out flat most weeks? Is that on the coaches? The players? Both? It’s beyond frustrating they come out flat as a pancake and have to play catch up the rest of the game.

    • Johnnywad

      I’m beginning to think Fangio is far better at adapting to the game in front of him than generating a good game plan ahead of the game. The D seems to look like shit early then settle down as the game progresses.

      • CanadaBear

        It seems like the entire team is flat to start games. You make a good point about Fangio.

        • Huge Bear’s Penis

          just a thought on Fangio – maybe there are so many weakness on D that he just doesn’t know game to game what the opposing team is going to try to exploit.

          • CanadaBear

            Well, there is that!

    • Sactowns#1

      Coaching. Your first two drives should already be mapped out. You should have already run through them in practice multiple times. Doesn’t look like this is being done. Also, coming out and calling run, run pass every game tends to suck the wind out of your sails when the other team knows for sure you’ll be going run, run, pass.

      • CanadaBear

        The players don’t exactly seem energized when they come out. Frustrating as hell.

    • MB30SD

      the pro game is so diff canada. All biz… or at least a ton more.

      HS was ALL emotion and ALL love, college was a lot less emotion and a bit less love, gotta believe the pro game is all biz.

      But, yeah… coaches AND you make your own culture. What I mean is, if your D is full of badasses and you’re winning a ton and kicking people’s asses, it’s MUCH easier to get everyone continuously fired up. Something to play for, hope of playoffs, hopes of the big game, just getting out there and beating people up. Football is so much fucking fun when you’re kicking your opponents ass every week. Check the vids for the panthers and all the dancing and showboating they’re doing. that team is having a BLAST being badass.

      It’s always super contagious when for everyone when one or more units beats ass.

      Much much harder when you’re struggling with less than good talent and you have nothing to play for,,, AND it’s the NFL. When you suck it must really feel like a job.

      That’s my $.02 anyway.

      • SC Dave

        This… the Panthers are a really fun team this year. W a y more so than the dominant Belichik teams.

        Cam could tone it down a bit, but the balls to little kids schtick makes the rest worth putting up with.

    • Doc Nitty

      I think that’s at least partially on the home fans. Loud boisterous fans go a long way towards amping up a team. Soldier field has none. Go to a Seahawk game or any college game and you’ll see what I mean.

      They don’t seem to have that problem as much on the road.

  • willbest

    My feeling on Cutler was that while he had the ability to win a SB, he never demonstrated the consistency to put 4 games in a row without making you rip out your hair. He has done that this year. He has proven he can be the Joe Flacco right place right time, good supporting cast guy.

    • Cutty of Olivet Nazarene

      name a quarterback that did it with wrong place, wrong time and no supporting cast 🙂
      team game.

    • wreckinball

      He’s middle of the pack
      There are numerous middle of the pack QBs who have won the SB though with the right cast
      But he’s not going to carry anyone to a SB

      • willbest

        What QB does? At a minimum you have to beat 2 great teams.

        • wreckinball

          Oh there have been a lot of QBs in that category
          Most are HOF or will be

          • willbest

            Then it shouldn’t have been hard for you to put a name and Super Bowl out there.

          • Huge Bear’s Penis

            we learned yesterday that wreckinball has no time for names and he either can’t count to 12 or doesn’t know what a dozen means.

          • wreckinball

            Really seriously dude you think Cutler is top 10 or elite?
            Is this Jays family and friends site?
            I don’t get it
            Go to ESPN look up QBR and you’ll see he’s in the middle
            I have little time to type out the 15 plus QBs who are better

          • Huge Bear’s Penis

            Never claimed he is elite, but if someone calls you out on a comment you better be able to defend what you are saying, and so far your explanations are severely lacking. If you can’t back up your shit then go back to the yahoo message boards.

          • wreckinball

            Jesus how about Peyton Manning
            Tom Brady
            Aaron Rodgers
            None of those teams win with a mediocre QB
            Dilfer McMahon mediocre but teams would have won with average joe
            WTF is up with the dumbass replies

          • willbest

            No they don’t, but then neither of those QBs win without serious contributions from their defense and special teams.

            The Packers got 11 turnovers in their playoff run, including 2 pick-6. They had to ride their running game over Philly and if their defense hadn’t picked the Bears off 3 times, that game would have turned out differently. As would the Falcon’s game without all those turnovers.

            As for Brady, I am assuming you aren’t referring to the early 2000s when it was the D dominating things. So I guess you mean last year’s run where he had Gronk and still managed to throw 2 INT and need a defensive stop to win the game.

  • Sactowns#1

    I lay this loss squarely at the feet of the coaches. Gase has no creativity in his play calling. 1st down? You can guarantee the Bears will run the ball. These guys coach scared, continually punting from the other teams 40 yard line even though theyre down 2 scores.
    And to those who still applaud the BMarsh trade or even make excuses for it, you are idiots. You have zero proof to support your “locker room” theory. So we have locker room harmony now and 5 whole wins!? Dumbest trade in recent NFL history. By FAR!

    • Johnnywad

      He’s easily one of the five best receivers in the game. Plays a complete game, blocking and all.

      But there has to be something very negative to having him suit up. He’s on his fourth team in nine seasons. Talent like that doesn’t bounce around unless there’s a real problem.

      • Sactowns#1

        More unsupported theories and conjecture.

        • CanadaBear

          How is it unsupported? Talent like that doesn’t get traded numerous times unless there is something toxic.

          • Sactowns#1

            Jimmy Graham will be on a new team next year. He must be a problem.
            You know who’s a real trouble maker, Ryan Fitzpatrick. That guy must be causing havoc on every team he goes to. Whats that, like 5 teams now? Jeesh.

          • CanadaBear

            Ryan Fitzpatrick is not one of the top QB’s in the league. if he was he would not have been bounced around the league. Graham has been traded once.

          • Huge Bear’s Penis

            and traded because the Saints had shot themselves in the foot with cap issues.

          • Sactowns#1

            Why cant anyone admit it was a DUMB trade and stop making excuses? Please look at where the Jets are today and where the Bears are. It was a dumb move and the proof is in the tasting of the pudding.

          • CanadaBear

            I hated the trade when it took place. I thought Pace/Fox were taking the easy way out and not dealing with him. I gave Pace a pass because he was new on the job but was really surprised that Fox wasn’t up for the challenge. If a straight shooter like Fox, who as far as I know doesn’t play mind games, doesn’t want to deal with him that says a lot.

          • Johnnywad

            Because I’m not sure I agree. It’s not about excuses and being dumb. Pace seems to be pretty damn intelligent. I doubt he woke up one morning and just said “Fuck it. Today I’m going to trade what may be our best player for a ham sandwich. Cuz I’m feeling saucy.”. There absolutely must be a good reason.

          • Bender McLugh

            Would the beloved be better this year with BMarsh? Of course.

            Was it BETTER top trade him? Yes, it was. End if story.

            This has nothing to do with me & you & others honestly wanting him to still be a Bear despite the bullshit, it was just the right move for the team to make.

        • Johnnywad

          You mean outside of every team he’s played for saying he’s a problem and trading him? Then why are they all trading him? They’re all dumb?

    • FantuzPhysics

      Supposedly it was about money, but clearly BMarsh is worth his contract. They then went WR in round 1 when we all know we needed a linebacker. Still, picks 2,4,5 and potentially 3 look good.

      • it was never about money. Off-field concerns only. It had to happen.
        Why have people still not accepted this?

        • MB30SD

          jes

          not so much off-field, more in-lockerroom

          • Huge Bear’s Penis

            off field, like insisting on doing a TV show that the Front Office did not want him to do.

          • Sactowns#1

            You mean the show he’s still doing? The one where they show highlights of his team winning games?

          • Huge Bear’s Penis

            just one of the reasons, Bears front office had a problem with it. Jets do not. I don’t know why you and others are still bringing it up, it is pointless. He is gone, move on. It is just like people getting pissy about “we should have drafted”. Nothing we can do about it now. Personally i feel the coaching staff and front office had their reasons, we will never know all those reasons, no use getting your panties in a bunch over it.

          • CanadaBear

            He now lives in the same area where they shoot the show. Not sure why this doesn’t compute for you Sac. It was never about his production and had everything to do with his selfish behavior.

          • Bender McLugh

            Didn’t he have a buddy in the locker room that would offset his Bullshitt?

    • MB30SD

      come on my maings. You know me, I loooooooves me some bmarsh. He is def one of my very fav modern bears, but he wasn’t working on this team anymore.

      Now, I am WAY with you about the fucking ham samich and a fucking diet zer coke we got for him, but that’s on pace and I have no idea if there was a stronger market for him, or pace got everything he could.

      • Cutty of Olivet Nazarene

        BMarsh is a great teammate when things are going well FOR HIM. He admitted that he goes super negative when he either doesn’t perform, is hurt or doesn’t feel he gets enough touches in a loss. His rationale is that if he is on a team that is losing a game and he’s not being thrown to all the time then the team is not doing enough to win and he fucking loses his shit. His words not mine.
        Brandon is healthy this year and they are winning and even when they don’t win he gets his TD’s which is totally OK with him (see 2012 Bears).

        with that being said, he’s one of the biggest badass WR’s I’ve ever seen and it’s shitty that it couldn’t work.

      • Bender McLugh

        Yep

    • In regards to 1st down, they have run it on 213 of 361 plays this year, 59%. I thought that would be higher.
      The bigger problem might be that they’re only averaging 3.65 yards per 1st down run; that’s awful.

      • Anonymous

        +3.5 on a 1st down run is awful? What is the league average?

        In terms of criticizing the play-calling … meh.

        Gase is doing just fine. Cutler has arguably never played better for the Bears and it is highly doubtful that impression is exclusive of the fact that Gase is the OC.

        • League average for runs is usually slightly over 4 ypc. That includes runs in short-yardage and goal-line situations, where the average is much lower.
          Bears are at 3.65 on 1st and 10. Looking around the league, the best teams are up in the 5 to 5.5 range, the worst are between 3.4 and 3.7. Bears are one of 6-7 bottom teams in that regard.

      • Huge Bear’s Penis

        does that 3.65 yards per 1st down take into account all the penalties?

        • no, it is only on plays that get recorded in the statistics. Penalties don’t.

    • SC Dave

      Nowhere near as dumb as the Olsen trade…

      • CanadaBear

        That was a pisser. One of the reasons I still dislike Martz. Replace him with Man of Moolah. FML.

        • Bender McLugh

          HA

      • Bears-4-Ever

        Wow! can I say AMEN!?

        I miss Marshal in a Bears Uniform and I think he could have been the tipping point on many games we lost this season so far. For real.

        But the Olsen Trade has nothing to do with who is calling the shots right now. Can the Bears “of today” be that stupid twice? I am hoping they can learn from mistakes like that.

    • willbest

      You need to at least be within 4 yards to go for it on 4th down. Otherwise you can’t sell yourself.

      I find it amusing that you are complaining about too much running on first. Perhaps they can tone it down a bit, but I doubt it is that much more than 60/40 which is acceptable to me. What bothered me the most about the final drive was lining up on 2nd and 10 with 2 timeouts with an empty backfield. At least pretend like you are going to run, or even better do run and catch them offguard and get 5 yards.

      You got rose goggles on BMarsh. He has been traded 3 times for being disagreeable.

      • Anonymous

        Same crowd that is complaining about too much running is probably the same was that complaining about not enough under Martz, which of course led to us replacing him with smashmouth specialist Tice.

        No thanks. Gase is doing fine.

        • Sactowns#1

          You must like a 6 win season.

    • Bender McLugh

      Kevin White not injured changes everything with trading BMarsh.

  • FantuzPhysics

    If you look at this year’s team vs. last year’s it is clear we are doing better:

    http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/chi/2015.htm
    http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/chi/2014.htm

    2014: Us 1.68 pts/drv, Opp 2.38 pts/drv
    2015: Us 1.85 pts/drv, Opp 1.87 pts/drv

    So we are more efficient and are playing better defense. If Fox et al. can swing the balance in our favor in 2016, we should go above .500 .

  • Cutty of Olivet Nazarene

    Penalties and -1, 0 and 1 yards on 1st downs are the killers. That and letting TE’s rape your LB’s and Safeties all game.
    I’d really like to see some 4-7 yard first down pass plays that don’t involve a screen. I just don’t know why it can’t happen. Then a strong run on 2nd out of the gun to convert first downs early in the drive or allow for a much shorter 3rd down and distance.

    I couldn’t even count how many 7-14yd pass plays were ripped off on our D yesterday. At one point Cousins was like 12 of 13 and guys were open by several yards each time.

    • Sactowns#1

      no no no. We must run on every single first down. lol

    • SC Dave

      The penalties were some real killers early.

      Although we certainly got away with the one Jay threw while past the line of scrimmage.

      • Scharfinator

        Not so – apparently if the QB has any part of his body (back foot in this case) behind the line when he releases, it is okay.

        • SC Dave

          Hmm… anotber qb- coddling rule change,.perchance? It should, of course, be the other way around like tds. But wait, that would make sense!

          • willbest

            Its probably easier to determine (in real time) if some part of the player is behind then line than the consistent with TD plane rule, the ball left the hand of the QB before breaking the LOS plane.

    • willbest

      Who are you throwing to 4-7 yards down field?

      • Cutty of Olivet Nazarene

        Miller, Alshon, Royal, Forte

        • willbest

          You mean when Forte did his Langford impression? Plus they aren’t always there. And I don’t know why Royal didn’t get more targets this week.

          • Cutty of Olivet Nazarene

            you can’t tell me that a quick roll out pass to the slot guy or someone dragging right across the middle wouldn’t be perfect. Forte dropped that one but for the most part the Bears leave low hanging fruit on the tree all game and they do it for the sake of a predictable run on 1st down.
            It is sad to not see them take a few yards here and there and defy conventional playcalling.

            Make the other team try to keep their footing. Why does it have to be our corners and LB’s slipping all over the place as they give up easy early down pass plays and first downs. Gase did not make the Skins sweat at all in that first half.

  • Here’s my theory on the Bears this year: the coaching staff is an asset against top-level teams and a liability against mediocre or bad ones.

    Here’s why: against top-level teams, they know they’re outmanned, and they come up with ways to make up that deficit and give themselves a chance to win. Against mediocre or bad teams, they think they are just as good or better, so they go into the game with the mentality of not losing a winnable game.

    Playing not to lose vs. playing to win makes all the difference in the world.
    You can’t really prove this, but here’s some numbers.

    Bears have played 11 games with Cutler this year (so I’m excluding ARI and SEA, there’s no amount of coaching that can overcome Jimmy Clausen). In those 11 games, they have gone 5-6 with an average point differential of 0.8 points.

    5 of those games have come against upper-echelon teams: Green Bay (2x), Minnesota, Kansas City, and Denver. All are 8-5 or better at this point in the season and clear playoff teams. In those 5 games, the Bears are 2-3 with an average point differential of -1.6 points. All 5 games have been decided by 1 score.

    Their other 6 games have been against teams that are not good. Oakland, Detroit, San Diego, St. Louis, San Francisco, and Washington. All are below .500. In those 6 games, the Bears are 3-3, with an average point differential of +4.5. All of those games but 1 have been 1 score games. Remove the fluke blowout over St. Louis, and they have a point differential of -1.4.

    So ignoring the one fluky blowout win over St. Louis, the Bears perform at a basically identical level against the best teams in the NFL as they do against mediocre or bad teams.

    Why, you might ask? Coaching. The coaches bridge the talent gap between them and the good teams, but fail to provide the same advantage against others because they don’t think they have to and focus instead on avoiding big mistakes.

    • CanadaBear

      Playing down to the level of competition.

      • SC Dave

        Or up. Is this the parity the league likes?

        • Anonymous

          Agreed. I would say “up”. Competitive games against the likes of WAS and OAK is probably as it should be (and still a step in the right direction).

    • Bears-4-Ever

      I hate to say this but you make a lot of sense and it’s rather scary to think a coaching staff would “play it safe” rather than focusing on every opponent and play to win. You would/should think that coaches would plan to win regardless of the other teams talent or lack there of.

      • Look at first few drives yesterday. Offense came out playing super conservative with runs, screens. Didn’t let Cutler open it up until they were down 14 (and lo and behold, that’s when the offense started working).

        Defense came out playing soft, giving up easy throws underneath. Adjusted to take that away after 2 easy TD drives and WAS offense did little for the rest of the day.

        The coaches went in with the mentality that they were going to make Washington beat them instead of going out and beating Washington. It cost them 14 points in a game they lost by 3.

        • SC Dave

          You might even go a little higher than 14 given the cost of lost opportunities.

        • Anonymous

          But then again, the more “open” offense working is also after the opposing secondary has inched forward after the conservative play-calling.

          There are a couple of reasons why Cutler is working on a career low INT percentage, and one of the biggest is the coaching. I try to keep that in mind when questioning Gase.

          Bottom line, we are sub-500, competitive team that has raised its game against better opponents.

          And just a clarification: the only truly elite team we have faced this year is AZ, though DEN and SEA might be close. But GB is a paper tiger, MIN is still maturing and KC kind of blew when we caught them.

          • There is truth to that. Gase has done a great job working with Cutler and getting him to play smarter football, and a strong commitment to the run helps there. But I’d argue mixing it up throughout the game would be more effective.

    • Sactowns#1

      As I said yesterday, the coaching staff has been exposed. They coach scared and call a game like a bunch of btchs.

      • but they only do that against teams they think they should beat.

    • willbest

      I can’t find a fault with it. It also speaks to the Road-Home issue as well. They feel safer at home.

      • SC Dave

        You’d think they would be past THAT by now!

    • Blackhawks63

      Meh. The Bears aren’t a good team talent wise. That and the NFL is full of parity, so it’s not impossible to sneak a win or two. We have been FORTUNATE to get to five wins this season. There is so much work to be done to upgrade the talent everywhere. Fox, Fangio and Gase can only so much with what they inherited.

      • willbest

        We are a 2 point conversion and a bad kick away from 7-6. We are also 2 kicks away from 3-10. We aren’t fortunate we are a .500 team when Cutler starts and finishes.

        • Blackhawks63

          And my answer would be, so what. We are not “deserved” of a better record. The stark reality of our talent crisis says as such. The last thing we need is to deal in false hope, and one or two more fluky or very close wins doesn’t help our rebuilding program. This has always been the trap Chicago falls into. Get to 9 or 10 wins and then think you are on the cusp of being a Super Bowl contender. Then when you have an awful season following act all shocked.

          Hard, cold ruthless objectivity is what we need.

          • CanadaBear

            The two 9-7 records under Wanny never gave anyone I knew crazy thoughts about the SB or being contenders. Lovie only won 9 one year and nobody I knew was talking SB.

          • Blackhawks63

            That’s not true. I’m not talking about the opinion of the fans like you and me. Rather I’m talking the meatheads who traditionally have run things at Halas Hall pre arrival of Ryan Pace and John Fox. A 9-7 season was too often declared victory, and the thinking at Halas Hall that we were right on the cusp of great things. To highly detrimental impact.

            I want Pace (and Fox) to build this thing right. Hard cold objective ruthless approach.

          • CanadaBear

            Not sure where you’re going with this. I think we all can agree Mikey ran the ship aground.

          • Johnnywad

            Sounds like you’re talking about the budget deficit or terminal cancer.

      • oh, I agree they need better talent. But my question is why they compete just as well with top teams as they do with middling ones. To me that’s coaching.

        • Blackhawks63

          I cannot agree with this. There is a sea of parity in the NFL. A big lump of teams like the Bears, Lions, 49ers, Rams, etc. And over the course of a grueling 16 game season I am of the belief that a crisis in talent invariably catches up with you. So in our case it caught up to us against the 49ers and Redskins.

          I will also say this. We have beaten a couple of good teams by the hair of our chin. Green Bay had a lousy game versus us at Lambeau Field. But even then they were marching down the field and could have won during the last minute. Sobering reality is that if we played Green Bay 10 times in a row right now, they’d beat us 8 out of 10 times.

          • yep, that GB game was a coin flip. As has been every game Cutler started and finished with the one exception of St. Louis.
            Which is my point: why are the Bears playing even with good teams and bad ones?
            And my conclusion to that is coaching. I think they go into games against good and bad teams with different mindsets.

      • Johnnywad

        You’re Four Feathers aren’t you?

    • BillW

      I know we’re on a new thread but I just wanted to say that I got your point, even though it apparently went WAY over a lot of people’s heads.

      Usually thre is a correlation between the level of opponent and result. Sample sample size, but there appears to be n such correlation with the Bears, and that’s an NFL anomaly that is worth pondering.

  • TBC

    “Week after week confirms for me I’ll be as into this Bears off-season as any in recent memory. Feels like team ready to make a jump in 2016.”

    -dabearsblog

    Really looking forward to this Jeff. Your “innocent climb” piece before the 2014 season is still my all-time favorite. What a season that was.

  • The GP

    If Robbie makes these kicks & Bears win last two games, does it change your opinion of the team? It shouldn’t. They are middle of the road.

    Uh-huh.

    You watch football to see your team win. So while I would have still thought there was a long god damn way to Tipperary for this team to sniff the playoffs – it would have been more fun to watch the scrappy fight this team has shown translate into the fucking win column. But it didn’t, because the fucking kicker checked out on the team.

    It really is like some circle of hell watching the Bears. My SO said to me, it’s worse being a Bears fan in the last 25 years than it was to be a Cubs fan for the last 50. And she is right.

    • wreckinball

      It would be a lot better

    • willbest

      Really? A 7-6 Bears with a chance to jump the Vikings and claim the #6 seed Sunday wouldn’t have you punch drunk?

      We already beat GB at home once this season. We could do it again. to get to the division weekend. Now we probably get eviscerated by the Panthers but still that would have been an amazing turn around.

      • The GP

        I would love a 7-6 Bears wildcard team that went to Carolina and took it’s shot.

        But it’s always something with this club. Some crazy reason the fucking cart comes off the track.

    • AlbertInTucson

      “If Robbie makes these kicks & Bears win last two games, does it change your opinion of the team? It shouldn’t. They are middle of the road.”

      I’d still prefer to be relevant at this point in the season.

      • willbest

        Well if we beat the Vikings, and the Eagles don’t beat the Cardinals and the Giants don’t win tonight and against Carolina next week, we can pretend to be relevant the following week.

  • Cutty of Olivet Nazarene

    DaBearsBlog @dabearsblog
    I hope the weed and craziness causes Robert Nkemdiche to fall on draft night…right to the Bears.

    That kid is trying to kill himself left and right. That is not going to end well at all.

    • The GP

      He broke a window on th first floor, 15 feet up. He climbed THROUGH the window.

      He kept walking until he went Wile E. Coyote on that shit.

      Absolutely the guy should be a Bear. He’s like Manti Teo, but instead of a fake girlfriend inside his head to cover up his Peter Puffing – Robert has a fake Dragon inside his head telling him to Puff the Magic Dragon and fly!

  • AlbertInTucson

    “Bad snap. Full protection breakdown. Cutler sidearms a screen that goes for a first down. Probably my favorite play by Cutler all season.”

    I prefer the bad snap he handled and turned into the winning TD pass to Forte against KC.

  • Blackhawks63

    So here’s the thing. Something we have all, deep down, known all season long despite the temporary high that came from some surprising wins. THE TALENT LEVEL ON THIS TEAM ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH. Duh ! I am a huge fan of John Fox, Vic Fangio, Adam Gase and company. But we have the following critical talent needs, and all of this can’t possibly be filled in one offseason.

    2 Defensive Ends – we have played street free agents at the position in 2015
    2 Inside Linebackers – pull the friggin plug already on McClellin and Jones in the offseason
    1 Safety – Rolle is old and useless
    1 Cornerback – Fuller is dubious at best and Porter is far from a certainty moving forward
    2 Offensive Lineman
    1 Tight End – given that Bennett will be dumped, Miller has a history of injuries
    1 Developmental QB
    1 Kicker

    Ryan Pace, roll up your sleeves and get to work this offseason. You have a crap ton to do. And yes, I do give you credit for a nice 2015 draft class.

    • FantuzPhysics

      assuming Alshon is kept and Forte is gone…I agreed with your list. We can certainly UDFA a kicker and address at least 1-2 of those needs in FA. So that leaves 6 picks to get the other players. Assuming Fales is locked in at backup QB, we can probably hit on 2-3 in the draft. I still think we are 2 full offseasons away. Again, ghosts of Angelo…

      • Blackhawks63

        I agree and think Pace/Fox need two more full offseasons to get this thing on a meaningful positive slope and where thinking playoffs and beyond can be reasonable.

    • willbest

      That isn’t really a Needs list so much as it is a Christmas List. Well it would be if you put Punt Returner on there, which I would argue is more important than at least 5 of guys you listed. Nobody has the perfect team. Where the Bears are desperate on Defense is 1 play making ILB and a wall at DE. Those are absolute musts if we want to go over .500. As for the rest of the list, obviously we need upgrades but we can make do with what we have if we need to.

      Robbie should be done in Chicago, that is a shame. Good kickers are surprisingly hard to find. Robbie will have a job next year either in a dome or down south if the Bears let him go.

      On offense we only need 1 lineman. Whatever your Tight End assessment is, Pace has his guys in Miller and Lee. He isn’t going to dump Lee next year. He gave up a draft pick for him.
      Leno isn’t the best at LT but he is handling it well enough that you can win with him there. He isn’t a long term solution, but we have enough pressing needs that its a luxury to address the position. The only hole we really have on offense right now is RG. We can solve that with a RT and putting Long back where he is all pro, or finding a quality guard and hope Long makes progress.

  • The GP

    Pot Roast did not “feel the love”, so he taunts Fox after destroying the O line and collecting his well deserved Hroniss Bonus.

    http://www.chicagofootball.com/2015/12/13/washingtons-terrance-knighton-motivated-facing-off-against-john-fox-bears/af1v31x/

    If we grade Pace the way most first year GMs get graded, on the big FA signing + 1st round pick – we got:

    FA; McPhee. Started strong, got injured – now doing nothing except collecting the benjis.

    Pick: White. Injured as soon as his helmet was fitted, never played – may not be the player selected anymore.

    He passed on Pot Roast, or didn’t make him an offer that Pot Roast felt “respected” his roastmaster general self.

    So there ya go. Is Pace a wunderkinder or a doof? After Phil Emery, a fucking talking cat looks good, but Pace needs to do better

    • Sactowns#1

      Emery got us a couple studs (Alshon, Long) Pace has gotten us NADA.

      • willbest

        Emery’s problem wasn’t finding studs. It was that he never found position guys and role players in the draft. If you get 2 franchise players out of every 3 drafts, that’s rock solid. But you also have to find the guys that are going to support them.

      • Goldman and Amos are 2 of the 5 best players on the defense right now.

        • willbest

          Isn’t that like being the tallest person in Cuck-e-cheese?

          • CanadaBear

            True dat but both players look like keepers.

      • CanadaBear

        Well PE was here for 3 years and Pace one. Alshon didn’t look all that good his first year and is still injured a lot. Long was a fantastic pic. Hard to imagine PE picked him. Fuller is right back in the meh category. PE picked Nessman when he had the reigning NFL coach of the year in his office looking for a job. I really hope you’re not making a case for PE just because Pace shipped out BMarsh.

    • you’d better grade the draft on a hell of a lot more than just 1st round pick. You know what a GM who hits in round 1 but sucks everywhere else is? Fired.
      Bears’ biggest problem is lack of depth. That’s from years of bad drafting, even though their last several 1st round picks are contributing (besides White, who’s hurt).
      A good draft needs 2-3 solid starters, and 2 more solid depth guys/STers. Takes way more than just a good 1st round pick.

    • Blackhawks63

      Only a complete moron judges an NFL General Manager and his draft class after only 1 season. And in your case, you aren’t even waiting until the conclusion of the season. So good news, you are eligible for DOUBLE moron points !

      Goldman, Langford, Amos all look promising and have had quality development years. White got hurt, and not a damned thing Pace, Fox, you or I can do about that. There is also nothing to get in the way of White fulfilling his promise in 2016 and beyond given that his recovery prognosis is excellent. Grasu was drafted to be a couple of season developmental project, who unfairly has been thrown into the frying pan early. If you look across the landscape of NFL offensive lines, the majority of quality Tackles, Guards and Centers took several years of development time to become quality contributors at this level. Perfect example is Slauson.

      Free agency is NOT a fix for a team in rebuilding. Teams have to build thru the draft. That said, the McPhee signing has been very big. He’s a quality young veteran who has fit in well and been clearly productive even though he is surrounded right now by too much garbage.

  • EnderWiggin

    New thread.

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