331 Comments

Rapid Fire: Short-Handed Bears Fall at the Death to Denver, Move to 4-6

| November 23rd, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 5.45.03 AM

Photo screenshot from Chicago Tribune.

There’s an old maxim in the NFL repeated ad nauseum in press conferences across the league: injuries are not an excuse. In a league with a hard salary cap not allowing for depth at any position, injuries are absolutely an excuse. If the Bears were at full strength yesterday, they win. Simple as that. With Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffery, Eddie Royal, a heathy Pernell McPhee and even Antrel Rolle (see below) the Bears would now be heading to Thanksgiving at .500. This roster is not deep enough to beat good teams short-handed.

Rapid fire…
  • Marquess Wilson will be a valuable part of the 2016 Bears as their fourth receiving option.
  • Worst game Jay Cutler played this season and it unsurprisingly came against the league’s best defense with all his receivers hurt. And he STILL took the team down the field at the end and gave them a chance to win it.
  • Cutler’s beautiful throw to Langford in the end zone is an easy touchdown for Matt Forte. Those are the kinds of plays Langford must learn to make. And he will.
  • There should be no run option on the final two point conversion. It should not even be available. Not against that front.
  • What was the fourth and eight call with ten minutes to go? Jeremy Langford and Martellus Bennett both looked like they had no idea where to run their routes.
  • Adam Gase has done a fine job this year with the quarterback and handling the injuries. He’s done a poor job in the red zone.

  • Rarely do I question a player’s commitment but I question Martellus Bennett’s. He never wins a contested ball and yesterday – when his quarterback continued believing in him – he dropped passes that were just lapses in concentration. If Bennett had some of Zach Miller’s heart he’d be an All Pro.
  • Play of the game? Osweiler hitting Latimer for the touchdown on third and eight. I’m no Matt Bowen but I’m pretty sure Kyle Fuller played the wrong technique there. Why would you let the receiver to your inside?
  • Tracy Porter continues to move his way onto the “guys who will be part of 2016 defense” list.
  • Over last four games Bears are allowing 17.5 points per game. With this defensive personnel that’s an astounding stat.
  • If Antrel Rolle plays,  Demaryius Thomas doesn’t score the opening touchdown. Chris Prosinski whiffing on that tackle cost Bears seven points.
  • Pat O’Donnell. You disappoint me, sir.
  • If you don’t see where the arrow is pointed for this franchise, you’re choosing not to see it. The Bears have become a tough, determined football team. When the men match the mentality, look out.
Reflection ends here. Short week. Packer week. If the Bears want to keep a glimmer of playoff hopes alive, they MUST win Thursday night.

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  • Trac

    Injuries are not an excuse and if grasshoppers had machine guns, birds wouldn’t mess with them Jeff. The Bears play calling at key moments in the game was their undoing, it happens. I still love the direction this team is headed.

    Oh yeah, I almost forgot Jeff. I…told…you…so! Hahaha. Za pain, Za pain.

    • DaBearsBlog

      Saying injuries are not an excuse is just silly. Look at the record for backup QBs this season. They win like 5% of their starts. It’s quite hard to call plays when your entire receiving corps isn’t on the field.

      • BearDown100393

        The Bears lost to a team playing a rookie QB starting his 1st NFL game while replacing an injured future HOFer. And on the road at that. Losing teams make excuses. Winning teams don’t.

        • Trac

          Jess!!! Theees!!!

        • chitownproud85

          THIS. I love how so many people are acting like the Broncos WERE NOT playing with Brock Os23432423;lkjdf at QB and without one of their top 2 receivers. Jeff just pointed out how backup QBs win like 5% of their starts. Guess what, Jeff – Brock is a backup. lol

          • BillW

            Not your typical backup. Being groomed for the spot means he’s more likely starter material

            Besides no one is saying it’s an excuse. But it is one of the reasons. There’s a difference

        • BillW

          Winning teams don’t make excuses because…. well, they won. (just joking around)

          • BearDown100393

            LOL, well maybe Belichick might whine a bit after a win…. !

        • Bears would have had a much better chance of winning this game if Peyton played, because he’s been turning it over 2-3x per game.

          Honestly, the only reason Peyton wasn’t benched about 5 weeks ago is his name.

          • BearDown100393

            According to the author of today’s post, the backups only have a 5% chance of winning. Now if that is taken as being true (and I have no idea if it is or is not), the Broncos odds of winning had they started Manning (if he was healthy enough) yesterday’s game would have been less than 5%?

      • BillW

        Jeff I am with you on this. I hear commentators this time of year saying it’s a war of attrition. That’s true but how can that be good for football? Obviously it’s the same for every team but there is an element of randomness in injuries. I’d like to see randomness removed as much as possible.

        • Irish Sweetness

          Walter Payton never had ‘random injuries’. He just warmed up properly, and stretched everything that needed to be stretched, and built up the muscles that held your bones together. That kind of information is clearly not handed down, looking at injury reports these days.

          • CanadaBear

            Walter was literally one in a million. Not exactly standard issue that anyone can train themselves to become.

          • BillW

            To that point, I recall a particular cut he made once that would have ripped anyone else’s groin to shreds. It was un-human.

            Obviously he’s exceptional. Then we have Alshon…

  • chitownproud85

    This was a mercy killing. Now we can end the madness and just enjoy this team for what it is – on the rise and dangerous. Thanksgiving night…please hurry.

    • Big Mike

      Beating the Packers in Lambeau would be enough good cheer for the rest of the season

      • chitownproud85

        Yup. No one is going to want to play these Bears – they are a tough out, and even when they struggle for long stretches, you have to be prepared, because they will not lie down and die. Cuttys record against GB be damned – there is no way they are looking at that game and NOT thinking – “oh shit”

  • Big Mike

    I’m excited to feel bummed out about losing to a 7-2 team, with the best defense in the league, playing with the 2016 4th WR, a special team WR, a practice squad WR, a rookie RB and a safety who wasn’t on the team 2 weeks ago. Yeah there were mistakes. If the run on the 2pt play was a check down by cutler, it’s because he didn’t trust any of his receivers to get open. Bad decision. 2nd interception, was a fluke.

    Kyle Long played amazing. Von miller made 1 play all day and he had to shift over to Leno’s side to make it. Cutler had time, he showed amazing footwork climbing the pocket and bouncing out to have a clean lane. Other than the blown assignment between McClellin and Jones on the touchdown pass early, the defense looked sharp.

    It’s a game we could have won, yes. Last year we might have lost this game by 30.

    • BillW

      Your first sentence says it all my friend. It’s a huge sign of progress

  • TBC

    After further review,

    The Bears still suck!!!

    -TheBigCheesy

    • TBC

      ….but the packers might be even worse

      • BillW

        Cheesy, Re-register. . You just have to one time verify by clicking a link they send to your email. What would packer week be without you? .

        • CanadaBear

          Better.

          • Johnnywad

            Well played sir. My favorite post today. A single word.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Cheesy, even you have to have a semi thinking about the Bears +8.5.

  • That throw to Langford was such blatant PI. The defender grabbed Langford’s arm so he couldn’t use it to catch the ball. I was at the game with my buddy from work, who’s a huge Broncos fan and spent all day bitching about the refs, but even he admitted that was obvious.

    • BillW

      Your opinion on the hit Brock took after giving himself up? It seems to me it was as Cam Newton claimed – he hasn’t earned that call yet.

      • I thought it was legal. Had to touch him down, didn’t go for the head.

        • BillW

          I thought it fell under the category of “unnecessary” which I have seen used unevenly

          • yeah, it probably could have been called, but the defender didn’t do anything to try and hit him hard, was just making sure they touched him down. No shoulder or head blow.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Is that when he threw himself backwards onto the ground? That was such a pussy move it deserved a spear in the chest for its femininity.

    • Jokey

      The one Jeff mentioned in the end zone?

      • BillW

        I will say the refs have a tough job and I do think at times they have a split second to think “do I really call this and influence the game – or not call it and let them play”. Of course it should be called if it’s that blatant.

        AZ got an easier FG to win last night on a call almost never made. Probably the right call (simulating a snap count by the defense) but the defensive guy said he was making a defensive call. (Just coincidentally in the same voice and cadence of Palmer – yeah, right.)

        Still it takes guts to make that call and not all officials have that in them for some reason.

      • yeah. He says Langford should have caught it. He couldn’t get his arm up because the defender was holding it down.

  • On that 2 point conversion, the Bears should have stuck with the jumbo goal-line setting featuring Mitch Unrein at FB. No confusion what you’re doing when you line up there, but the Bears had just run it for 3 yards. Run it right back for 2, it was the only thing in the red zone that worked all day.

    • Scharfinator

      Yeah, I’d have called the EXACT same play. If you’re going to run, load that box and be physical.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Now that’s fair point – if you’re going to go for it in that situation, then go for it, properly. That means either a defensive tackle carrying the ball, or blocking for the carrier. Or an extra TE, or whatever, but show some commitment to the task at hand. Bill Walsh understood it, Ditka just copied him, but everyone seems to have forgotten about winning at the POA.

  • I’ve seen a lot of praise for Osweiler and bashing of Cutler in the media from yesterday. Don’t they realize that game is an absolute blowout if you switch teams?

    Cutler was under pressure all day and, outside of one stupid throw, was really good. Osweiler had clean pockets all day and made a grand total of one play (a 1st down run) when pressured.

    Otherwise Osweiler only did very simply QBing things, but he did them well. He threw from clean pockets to wide open receivers. Was obviously coached not to take risks and turn the ball over, and he did his job there.

    But he didn’t have a single play where I thought “Wow, that was a difficult play to make.” As soon as he was pressured at all he pulled his eyes down and the play was dead; that’s why the Bears got 5 sacks despite having a bad pass rush. And every single throw he made was to somebody open. All pretty easy throws too, I was surprised they didn’t use his big arm to take more shots down the field.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Osweiler almost lost them the game with that delay of game call at the end. The media sees 2 INTs beside Cutty’s name and out come the daggers. Carson Palmer threw one of the worst interceptions you’ll ever see against Cincy, but not a word will get mentioned.

      As soon as I heard it was Crock’s birthday though, I feared the worst.

    • CanadaBear

      As you well know, history is written by the winners.

    • willbest

      Cutler wasn’t under pressure the whole time. I recall thinking quite a number of times, “why does he still have the ball” and then I realized it was because the only reliable receiver he has is Miller and he might not even be out there this play. Quite frankly, I am surprised there weren’t more coverage sacks. If Ware had been there, Cutler might have missed the GB game.

      The offense had been digging rather deep holes for the Broncos defense all season. So the offensive game plan against the Bears was “don’t lose” made easier by our crappy defense. They didn’t go down field because they didn’t need to.

      And really that was the difference between losing to the Broncos and beating the Rams. Oz hit his open guys, and Foles didn’t.

      • SC Dave

        Totally agree on the time thing. Cutler had lots of time on many plays

        Totally disagree on the crappy defense thing. What part of 17.5 points per game over the last four did you not understand?

        • willbest

          For serious?

          We got the chargers after they lost their elite WR, a couple o-line guys the week before, and the rest of the receivers were banged up. Plus they were dropping like flies during the game. Chargers were bringing people out of the stands to play they were so injured. And two weeks later (after their bye) they put up a whopping 3 points on the Chiefs

          Rams – The 31st ranked offense in points and yards (49ners being the worst team) and whom is only averaging 13 ppg against non-NFCW opponents

          Broncos – the 19th ranked offense playing a QB who had never taken a meaningful snap in the NFL before without their #2 WR, playing a game where both teams were working to burn clock for the majority of it.

    • SC Dave

      Cutler absolutely was not under pressure all day.

      • he moved around to avoid it, but had very few clean pockets from what I saw

  • BillW

    Four Feathers grossly misunderstood me yesterday. Not that I care about him but to be clear to all, I am in no way saying I don’t want Fox as HC now. His work in turning this team around has been phenomenal. They fight to the end. They believe in him, the other coaches, and themselves. He is clearly the right man for this job.

    All I was pointing out is that some feel his game day coaching leaves something to be desired. I’m hardly the first person to say that. And so there are some that think in a couple years when the Bears are ready for the last step it might take a different coach to get them there.

    I’m not sure yet if I believe that myself but I can see why people do. It’s not exactly the same as kicking on 2nd down but passing up the fg was a a shaky decision.

    Saying that doesn’t mean I wish we had a different coach.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Fox was an idiot on that particular call, and it cost us the game. Fuck it. But don’t be sorry for disagreeing with FF. He logs on when drunk and says stupid stuff. Unlike me, who does it sober.

      Has anyone mentioned Fox not being the guy? I don’t think so. But there’s a time to go for a TD, and there’s times to just kick the damn FG. And that’s the last time I’ll mention it in this paragraph.
      Fox can stay, for many reasons, but he has a touch of the Lovies about him in his game-management. This was on him, and nobody else.

      • willbest

        I wouldn’t go that far. I doubt Fox dialed up a defensive play that said leave Thomas wide open. Or shank the punt or throw the ball into double coverage. There were enough execution fails up to that point where he shouldn’t have even been making that decision.

    • Sactowns#1

      Fox is far too conservative (2 point conversion call) in his play calling. I kind of liked the 4th down try because it’s the first ballsy call he’s made all year.
      The call that absolutely KILLED ME was punting when we were on Denvers 45 yard line or so. Our punter stinks and we gave up on a makeable 4th down to flip the field a whole 20 yards. Pathetic.

      • Johnnywad

        That was a package of plays sent in to Cutty. He audibled into a run based on the look he got. Bennett missed the call and didn’t block as he was supposed to. Who knows what happens if Bennett sets his block, but the play was up to Cutler according to Brad Biggs.

  • Martellus Bennett’s day is easy to predict after the first 2-3 offensive drives. If he’s been heavily involved and has a few catches already, he gets locked in and plays well. If he hasn’t, he tunes out.

    • MB30SD

      we need to trade that cat. guy’s a tool.

      • I think so too, but look at what Davis to the broncos went for.

        Not much. It’s almost better just to have him if we’re only gonna get like a 6 out of it.

        • MB30SD

          Yeah but he’s a cancer. Different kind than my maings bmarsh, but a cancer all the same. Hate the mail it in guys. (I’m still looking at you Hester you dumb vagina)

  • Overall playoffs were always talk of an overexcited fan base after one dominant win. Bears are going to lose at GB on Thursday and then have a semi-bye week to get healthy before facing a manageable stretch to end the season. Finish it out 3-2 or 4-1, for a final record of 7-9 or 8-8, and that’s a good year 1.

    • BillW

      You are probably the only one on this board to be able to state the Bears will lose to the Packers without catching hell

      • Go ahead and give me hell, I don’t care. It would take a 2013 Shea-breaking-Rodgers-esque miracle for any other result.

        Bears fans might not like saying it, but I think deep down most know it.

        • Irish Sweetness

          Actually. no. Woodsy. For the first time in I don’t know how many years, I actually EXPECT to beat them this week. I’d swap in Meredith instead of Wilson, though, he’s like tits on a bull. And I’d bring in a tackle or a guard to do whatever you need Martellus to do … in case Jay gets the urge to throw him the ball.

          Question : is Uni getting the #1 TE looks? If so, they should be given to Miller. If the ball has to go to the TE, it should be Miller, and that should be obvious to Gase.

          • They both had 6 targets. Bennett played 63 snaps to Miller’s 53.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Jesus, do you sleep? I hope Cutty plays favorites with Miller and he becomes Cutty’s new BFF.

          • somebody posted snap counts on Twitter

          • Huge Bear’s Penis

            I was starting to think you had some Draft Kings/Fan Duel insider information.

          • BillW

            Not asking you to look it up, but I wonder how many of those were two TE sets?

        • BillW

          Not sure I know it. Won’t be surprised if they lose is as far as I will say.

    • Irish Sweetness

      We might lose, but we’ll cover the spread!

      If Alshon is back, we have a definite chance of winning straight up. Our defense seems to be improving. And how about Gaston in for Goldman, permanently?

      Considering who we were playing against, I thought Jay’s pocket was generally very clean – are GB anywhere close to that rush?

    • MB30SD

      100%

      Fuck GB

  • Irish Sweetness

    Rapid fire should at least reference the 600lb gorilla. And not to harp on it, but this is the first post-game thread …. but in no way known do you pass up the chance to kick a FG when you’re only a score behind with 11 to play. If it’s a defense you’ve been bullying, then fine, but this is Denver. It’s not 2 minutes left, it’s 11. so be it. Green Bay next, and an +8.5 start for the Bears unbelievably.

    Rapid Fire?

    Fox screwed the pooch, and all of the other good stuff he did … just isn’t as monumental as that decision.

    But nowhere on this team am I as exited about anybody as much as Jay Cutler. When you need to score … he’s money. We’ve been unlucky at the end of games, or thru bone-headed calls like yesterday (FG), but Jay has not been found wanting, and he’s doing it with a limited palette of colors.

    • you’re down 8 there, a FG means you still need a TD. No issues with going for it.

      In retrospect, it looks bad, but that was the closest they’d been to the end zone all day and a FG wouldn’t have helped (at the time).

      Plus they should have gotten the ball back in good field position, only the defense couldn’t stop a mediocre running team from running all over them.

      • BillW

        We can discuss this all day. That’s what is great about football. My take was you eliminate the need for a 2 point conversion which given our red zone issues is not a small thing

        Plus as you say even if you get the td and the 2 you still need a score to win. . Lots to consider but of course had they made it every one – even Denver fans would call Fox gutsy.

        I just hope showing Denver he was gutsy was not part of the decision

        • Irish Sweetness

          I’d use ‘stupid’ instead of ‘gutsy’.

          • BillW

            For what it is worth, Hampton was with you all through The Final Word last night. Visibly pissed.

          • It’s bold when it works, foolish when it doesn’t.

      • Irish Sweetness

        But on 4th? You kick a certain FG …. or you take a chance against maybe the best D in the league with a run/pass. We had forced three and outs, Crock is not Tom Brady. It was the wrong call when he made it, and it was the wrong call in hindsight.

        • They hadn’t been inside the 15 yard line all day before that drive. Kick a FG and they still need to get the ball back and score a TD, something they hadn’t come close to doing all day until that drive.

      • willbest

        I don’t get this “you still need a TD” logic. You are speaking as if the kick or 2pt are automatic. You don’t just need a TD, you need the 6 AND 2. If you kick the FG then you just need the 6.

        Plus kicking the FG keeps you within 1 score if the Broncos get a FG and prevents you from having to get a 2pt conversation on one of your 2 scores if they score a TD.

        If you want the moneyball analysis the question is what gives you most points. A FG from that distance has to be worth 2.9+ points. Where as a 7-8 yard pass play against that defense with no sure handed Forte, no Jeffery, and Bennett playing… inconsistent, has to have an expected point return below 1.5.

        And then to complete the analysis. What are the Broncos expected points starting on the 8 rather than the 22.

        • BillW

          “You don’t just need a TD, you need the 6 AND 2. If you kick the FG then you just need the 6.”

          That’s right – and then you need 3 somewhere in regulation/OT. You need two scoring plays (6 and the 2 are two separate plays in the red zone – where we struggle) and then still another trip down there.

          That is, a TD from the 4 and then a “TD” from the 2. Two “TDs” inside the 5. We’re not good at that.

          Again – don’t want to beat a dead horse (bronco…horse…)

          But I suppose the thinking is get 6 there and if you don’t get the 2 you can get 3 easier in regulation than 6 later given how hard it was to get down there.. So I do see both sides of this. I personally like the odds better the other way but I’m just a fan.

          Besides – I really love “ripping” John Fox and getting FF all up in arms. That’s just the 24 caret meatball in me.

    • CanadaBear

      Irish, no offense but when you preface a statement with not to harp on it, and then you harp on it ad nauseum, it kinda defeats the purpose of prefacing the statement. We get it, you hated the call. You bitched about it for about 2 dozens posts yesterday. Let it go man.

  • MB30SD

    almost winter guys, do yourself a favor and get onea deez: http://uncrate.com/stuff/burton-x-playboy-centerfold-snowboards/

    • Scharfinator

      These strike me as “I don’t ever want to get laid by any girl I go snowboarding with.”

      • willbest

        A confident man can pull off anything.

        • Scharfinator
          • willbest

            Isn’t that Justin Beiber… the guy that cute piece of tail Selena Gomez keeps writing songs about? Seems like he is pulling it off just fine.

          • Scharfinator

            If he is who you look up to, we do not need to continue this conversation.

          • willbest

            You seem to be projecting. At no time did I assert admiration for the guy. Just pointing out that despite being a fruit, he has success in that particular area. Which further bolsters my point, that women will over look a lot of deficiencies if you excel in other areas. Confidence being one such.

          • Scharfinator
          • SC Dave

            I would expect it has more to do with money.

      • MB30SD

        Fuck dems! The cool chicks will totally get it my maings

  • Huge Bear’s Penis

    I wanted Fox to go for the TD instead of the field goal at the time. My thinking was that if we got it we would either be tied or down by only 2. With our defense we would then need to get a stop. At the time I thought if by some miracle we got a stop it would be with less than 2 minutes to go, and then only need a FG to win. At the time it was the closest we had gotten to the end zone so you got to take the chance. The problem is that sometime throughout this year we all found a somewhat irrational faith that Cutler can drive down the field, at will, at the end of every game no matter what defense he is going against or who is receivers are. I understand that you got to get points mentality by kicking the field goal, but since we hadn’t sniffed the end zone all game i thought we needed to take the shot.

    • BillW

      I like your rationale. Good explanation of that side of the issue.

      The fact we are discussing this is another sign of progress.

      I’ve been big on “signs of progress” these last few weeks. Not getting ahead of things, but I do expect a nice finish this year. Even with a loss to GB making us 4-7, we can win 4 of the last five and finish a very positive 8-8.

    • Johnnywad

      Bingo. Well said HBP. I agree.

  • BillW

    “I’d be shocked if Cutler isn’t the starting QB in 2016. Would be colossally stupid decision by Bears if he’s not.” Jeff

    I’ll go one further. I want him to retire a Bear. That run yesterday epitomized what it means to be a Bear. Very McMahon-like. And he’s a better QB than McMahon ever was.

    I was absolutely wrong in saying I wanted him gone during the off-season because of him being a “story” or “distraction” etc. I never saw this coming. I have no idea what the coaches did to bring him on board with not forcing the ball and not making bad decisions. I didn’t think that could be fixed. We are ten games into the season – a large enough sample size to say this is for real.

    And another point Jeff has made in the past – other QBs throw INTs and the defense makes a stop so it doesn’t hurt. So Fangio deserves some partial credit as well.

    I don’t want to try to explain it. I am enjoying it.

    • BillW

      I just imagined Cutler working with Gault, Silky D, Sweetness, Suhey, and yes even Morehead. With that offensive line and that defense. Wow.

      • Scharfinator

        Cutler probably could have even survived playing in the 80s. I wonder how many present day QB’s could – with so many less protections.

        • willbest

          You are just saying that because he doesn’t get any protection now. The problem is neither were his receivers, so those tight throws he makes would all be incomplete because the receiver would have gotten jacked.

          • Scharfinator

            “You are just saying that because he doesn’t get any protection now.” Exactly…. not sure of your point?

          • willbest

            Playing in the 80s is a 2 part problem. 1) you have to be able to take the hits; 2) you have to make better decisions with your throws because your receiver is also taking those hits. Jay has demonstrated some weakness with the latter.

    • Scharfinator

      Does anyone know what happened with the first pic? Was it just a bad decision?

      The second pic was unfortunate and it is hard to blame Cutler for it. What I find so interesting is that the truly elite guys don’t typically bounce the football off the back of their own line into enemy hands. Is there something they do in the protections? Sheer inherent luck? Hard to say.

      • CanadaBear

        To me it looked like a bad decision and a half assed effort from Q. The other TO was Cutler getting the Von Miller treatment and Denver recovered it.

      • BillW

        Moot point but it was changed to a sack/strip/recovered fumble

        • BillW

          Moot to everyone except fantasy players

        • Huge Bear’s Penis

          i figured it would be changed. i thought the ball was knocked out of his hand before he could make the pass, but i did not see a good replay cuz i wasn’t paying attention.

    • Irish Sweetness

      He’s starting to look better than Mac. He is this year. I have to admit that.

      25-0 as a starter won’t beat though.

  • FourFeathers

    I really do not understand what is wrong with a minority of Bear fans. Here we have a new coach in John Fox who is the best thing to happen to this franchise since the arrival of Mike Ditka in 1982. Seriously. We have one of the absolute best coaching staffs in football and the PERFECT people on the field to preside over the rebuilding of this broken franchise in combination with Ryan Pace doing his job well. The Bears have won 4 games and otherwise been very competitive despite a virtual talent crisis on the field. My Lord, we have played the bulk of our games with street players being the primary target at wide receiver. Our offensive line is comprised of precisely TWO players of note in Long and maybe Slausen. What we have at defensive end is a joke by NFL standards for winning. We lack credible inside linebackers. McClellin has actually FINALLY progressed under Fox and Fangio. We have a 5th round rookie at safety, and washed up old man and nothingness at the other safety. And at cornerback we have Fuller on one side and street players at the other. And on special teams we have something called Mariani returning punts!

    Yet despite all of this, the Bears were competitive with the Denver Broncos on Sunday. A team that is among the top 5 teams in the NFL and with the league’s best defense by most measures. And yet, people are RIPPING John Fox?!? How in the hell does that work?!?

    • BillW

      You are over-reacting. That’s all.

      • BillW

        NOBODY – not even Irish – is “ripping” Fox. At worst some are ripping his decision. But generally some are questioning his decision. Take a breath – there is no controversy here.

        • Trac

          Yeah, he’s not the boss of us. Hmmp! Who does he think he is? Obama? Hahahaha.

    • Huge Bear’s Penis

      pointing out faults IS not ripping, pointing out historical ISSUES about Fox’s game day decisions is not ripping. Would we WANT him not to make the same mistakes WE have seen him make for years WITH other organizations, ABSOLUTELY. the entire COACHING staff has done a great JOB, but no ONE is above critique. WOW capitalizing random WORDS is fun, i SHOULD do it more OFTEN.

    • Sactowns#1

      The “best coaching staff in the league” wouldn’t have cost us -2-3 wins

      • Johnnywad

        The Bears never would have even had a sniff at those two to three games under Lovie or Trestman with this roster. Fox is the only reason they even had the opportunity to lose them in close fashion.

        • SC Dave

          This

        • Irish Sweetness

          Ahhh, but the roster is Pace’s job. I don’t think anyone is calling Fox a bad coach, he’s not. But he lost us that game.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Because he lost us the game with a no-brainer decision. Except he went the other way.

      The 5th round rookie at safety was our leading tackler on Sunday and is one of our best players.

      Our Inside backers and DL are wanting though.

  • willbest

    Columnist look for who is to blame. They shouldn’t do that. Here is a column about who is to blame
    1) Bennett no heart
    2) Fox taking the ball out of his best player’s hands when it matters the most
    3) Gases-Cutler-Bennett-Langford for miscommunication on the critical play
    4) The punter

  • Jokey

    I don’t read the game day threads so I’m sorry if this horse is dead but was the 2 pt. conversion more bad call or bad execution? I think former, anyone think latter? The guy who made the tackle was free but it’s not like he prevented Langford from trotting through a gaping hole.

    • willbest

      It was a bad call. In fact, Fox is probably lucky people are focused on the 4th & 8 vs. FG bit. Because there is just no excuse for Langford (who had been struggling against the Broncos D all day) to run it up the gut against that defense. If Carey were still there I might say okay because his run style was more effective against that team, but calling the run took the game out of your best player’s hands, and if you are going to do that, then your misdirection had better work.

      • BillW

        Let’s be fair; it was 4th and 4. And I think Cutty said he checked to a run.

        • willbest

          Fair enough. I just recalled it being 4th and longer than you would run

          • BillW

            Agreed

      • Jokey

        Yeah, I wanted to see the qb/hb rollout that we used to convert a key 3rd down last week. It probably would have been covered though.

    • BillW

      Good question. Someone (JWood?) said they should have run the same play as the TD. I also think he would have been short even if the guy didn’t come free.

    • Johnnywad

      Biggs said Cutty was given a package of plays to choose from based on what the D showed him. He audibles to the run but Marcellus didn’t get the memo and ran a route rather than setting a block on the dude that hit Langford from the edge. Don’t know if its true or not but wouldn’t surprise me a bit

      • Irish Sweetness

        Fucking Martellus.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Both, Jokey. Both.

  • Viva

    FUCK THE PACK

  • Viva

    RODGERS…

    • MB30SD

      Dead

  • CanadaBear

    Looking ahead, it seemed to me that erin was suffering from a loss of confidence during the 3-game losing streak. Even with the win in Minny nothing was going to restore Erin’s confidence like a game against the Beloved. I’ve never seen a QB attempt and complete more insane throws against the Bears. You can just tell by looking at him when they play the Beloved. Unless Shea does it again, it looks like another long game on Thursday.

    • Fat Eddie might be back too

      • CanadaBear

        Honestly I think Lacy is wildly overrated. If he didn’t play for the team with one of the all-time best QB’s I think he’d be just another big banger with a short shelf life

        • I don’t think he’s great either. Heck, Carey might be better, but he does give them that short yardage converter, and that’s important to balance out their pass attack.

          Starks is more of a slasher, but they would prefer Lacy.

        • Bender McLugh

          Completely agreed

    • Irish Sweetness

      The Packers beat us last time because of a few insanely good throws from Vadgers. The kind of throws he may not repeat this week because they were so good.

  • CanadaBear

    One thing lost in the loss is Langford absolutely looks like a step down from Forte. I certainly understand if the Bears move on from Forte but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be a set it and forget it replacement like a few thought just a week ago.

    • Huge Bear’s Penis

      Don’t forget Forte had his fair share of poor games throughout his career too. Would a healthy Forte have had more success against the Defense? who knows.

      • CanadaBear

        No doubt Forte has had some tough games but I do think Forte would have had more success yesterday, esp in the passing game. You’re right though, who knows? Certainly not a great game for Langford.

        • I think at this point Forte is superior overall, but Langford still is more violent and explosive. Would be nice to havr both . Give Cutty/ Gase toys to play w

      • Irish Sweetness

        He has also dropped TD passes, so there’s that too.

    • Scharfinator

      I think the first two games for Langford showed how well he could do against a type of defense. I think this past game showed how poorly he could do against another kind.

      • Bender McLugh

        Play calls had something to do with his performance as well though. Can’t do much when the D sees the run telegraphed. Block for him and he’s a beast, just like Forte. Gotta work on his catching, which should improve.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Has anyone put up a 150 yard, 2 TD performance against the Broncos?

    • SC Dave

      I certainly didn’t last week, and I certainly don’t now.

      My preference would be to keep both. We should have *three* good RBs.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Why? Because he was up against the Broncos? He put up 230 the other week, no?

      Gurley put up 44 yards on us. Is he a bum ? No. Neither is Langford, he’s faster and niftier than Forte. But Matt is gone next year, for better or for worse.

  • BillW

    Haugh thinks going for it on 4th and 4 was the wrong call.

    Rosey thinks it was the right call.

    So there must have been a third option we’re not considering – because I can’t accept one of them being right.

    • willbest

      Fake the FG and run it in.

      • BillW

        Of course! Brilliant!

  • Scharfinator

    What’s that saying about excuses? Oh yeah! They’re just like assholes, everyone has them and they all stink!

    • that’s why i use baby wipes – so my bum won’t stink. why wouldn’t you want yer bottom to be as clean as it could be?

      • Scharfinator

        They also have toilet paper with aloe vera treatment. Good after a day of wings.

        • MB30SD

          Eww

          • Scharfinator

            It’s not … wet like you’d think. 🙂

          • Huge Bear’s Penis

            bunch of pansies. Real men use sand paper, pine cones or corn cobs. LOL

  • willbest

    I think Biggs is on to something with the 10-15 scripted plays giving the Bears defense fits. In poker they say play the man not the cards.
    The ultimate goal in poker is to be unpredictable. And if you have days to prepare and carefully craft you can be unpredictable and thus exploit the Bears defense. The problem for the opposing OC is when they run out of script they are no longer unpredictable, and in the heat of battle resort to their natural tendencies. This is where the experienced HC/DC come in to give the Bears the best chance as shutting down the opponents. The problem is the Bears D isn’t good so we rarely see sacks and takeaways, but it does mean that over 80 yards they are able to force a punt or FG with regularity.

    • BillW

      I was thinking along the same lines after reading the 10 thoughts (which curiously doesn’t mention the 4th down call. Probably for the best since there is no right or wrong answer.)

      We have to remember we don’t have a stellar defense talent wise. There are weaknesses in all three levels. So perhaps rather than Fangio trying to guess which weakness the opponent is trying to exploit, he let’s it play out and then adjusts.

      I dont’ know if that makes any sense at all, but it’s not a coincidence that we have given up TDs on opening drives I think 5 out of the last 6 games.

      • Irish Sweetness

        And not scoring in the third quarter -at all – hurts you. Though we got a FG in the 3rd.

    • CanadaBear

      The last two games there were defensive breakdowns on the first drives. Gurley and Thomas totally uncovered by about 10-15 yds. That’s not on the DC. Not to mention a street FA missing the tackle on Thomas.

  • A lot of attention paid to going for it on 4th down. I have no issue with that call.
    Here’s what I do have an issue with: if you’re going for it on 4th down, don’t pass on 2nd and 3rd down. Use one of those to catch them off guard (probably better on 3rd down) with a run, which makes 4th down more manageable.

  • BearDown100393

    Is it true “you are what your record says”?
    Okay….
    2014 after 10 games, the Bears were 4-6 (1 win against Vikings, 2 losses against Packers)
    2015 after 10 games, the Bears are 4-6 (loss against Packers, loss against Lions, loss against Vikings)

    So what is to be celebrated? The team was expected to lose more than 6 after 10? Or as fans, are we content with less lopsided scores?

    And what is the goal here on out? Throw out sentiment and rhetorical bravado for a moment, does anyone believe this is a playoff bound team at 4-6? Do the next 6 games mean anything beyond pride & glory? Does winning now hurt the future of the team? Or does it develop and grow young talent for the future?

    Management and the coaching staff have some serious decisions to make here. There are a lot of deficits in this roster right now.

    • Huge Bear’s Penis

      • BearDown100393

        Sure. And this is still a losing team no different record wise as to last season. Is that good enough?

        • Huge Bear’s Penis

          no it is not good enough, but we are not having teams drop 50 on us every other week like last season. Also, you asked the question “Does winning now hurt the future of the team?” which implies you think we should lose for a higher draft pick, which is the wrong way of thinking for an organization and a fan. thats a loser fucking mentality.

          • BillW

            To BearDown678910:

            Again, I believe winning as much as possible is a huge part of the process. Worth far more than moving up a few draft slots by losing.

          • BearDown100393

            I’d agree that would make sense if developing younger talent presently. And I think the Bears are now right now.

          • BillW

            Ah, good. We have found common ground. Intersting discussion (seriously.)

          • BearDown100393

            Actually I agree with just about everyone’s opinion between the seasons. I’m simply putting it out there in terms if it can be proven objectively? IMO this is the hardest component toward football because it is that much different compared to other numbers driven sports such as baseball.

          • BearDown100393

            I don’t think any NFL team can really tank on purpose based on the nature of the game and short lifespan of player and coaching careers. However does management see it the same way on the long arm? I honestly don’t know. What really matters is what Bears ownership and upper management think. Personally I think they want to win as much as possible short and long term. Does winning in the short term (when playoffs are not realistic) damper long term success (draft order), perhaps.

          • CanadaBear

            Does Suck for Luck sound familiar? Indy totally tanked that season.

          • SC Dave

            Yeah, I mean, it sure has helped the Lions, eh?

    • BillW

      The goal is to win a Super Bowl. Any season that gets you tangibly closer to that goal is a success. That is the big difference between 2014 and 2015 despite having the same record. We all knew that was a dysfunctional team that had no prayer of competing for the grand prize.

      This one is a highly functioning team with talent needs in several places.

      THAT is what is being celebrated. Being on the right path.

      Winning as much as possible is a huge part of that process. Worth far more than moving up a few draft slots by losing.

      • BearDown100393

        So the “you are what your record says you are” is not true. Or it only applies when winning?

        • BillW

          You are RIGHT NOW what your record says you are. Your record today by itself tells you nothing about where you will be.

          • BearDown100393

            “Where you will be” is presumptive. That is not objective. As fans sure, we want to assume this team is performing better. The end result is the same. 4-6. The coaching was a disaster last year. So does that mean the players were better to over compensate? Or was the schedule easier than last year? If the coaching is better, the players are better (?) (or are they performing substandard to last season) and the record is the same, how can the future now be that much more optimistic? By measuring more palpable losses? I’m not deliberately trolling here, really I’m not. I’m trying to understand the logic with some actual statistical evidence to point things are going in the right direction.

          • BillW

            By your logic a team that is 3-7 at this point is worse than the 2014 Bears. I can name you team that was 3-7 and at that moment didn’t look very good, but turned out OK in a couple years.

            The 1983 Bears.

          • BearDown100393

            An entirely different league back in 1983. The NFL has a different CBA and salary cap.

          • BillW

            I’m trying to address your original question. Is the record itself all that is necessary and sufficient to tell you about a football team’s ability? The answer most woudl say is no.

          • BearDown100393

            The question operates on accepting the premise that a team’s quality is directly correlated to its record. I’m interested in a discussion based on actual statistical evidence pointing that the team is on the right path. I’m trying to steer away from the emotional responses. Off the record, does last season seem better? Well yeah, I think it does. But is it actually? That part is much harder.

          • BillW

            Sounds like a job for JWood. My hypothesis is that there a negative correlation between the difference in the median margin of loss and the record year to year.

            This year’s record is bound to improve over last year and our median margin of loss is bound to be lower.

            That of course only works with probably 5-6 losses at least. Once you get in 2-4 loss territory, the answer is already there, You’re a good team.

          • BearDown100393

            I think your hypothesis would be supported. It would definitely be interesting.

          • CanadaBear

            If you can’t tell things are different this year compared to last year, I question your football acumen.

          • BillW

            To further that point – do you think they will end up with 4 wins, 5 wins, or more than 5? If more than 5, why do you think that?

          • BearDown100393

            This team is inconsistent. One week shows improvement. Other weeks not so much. This is not a playoff bound team. So I’m only interested in its future beyond this season.

          • BillW

            I don’t share that view either. Yesterday was a big step up in class from the Rams and Chargers and we held our own. That’s improvement even if not a W.

            The first three games we had no basis. Knew they’d be tough and being without Cutty for half of it made it impossible to tell where we were. Then we won a couple close ones and lost a couple close ones – then won another close one and then dominated a team nowhere the level of the team we played close yesterday.

            So I actually think they have shown steady improvement throughout the year..

            Perhaps you simply want to believe but don’t’ want to get your hopes up without something tangible to hang onto. And if you didn’t see how ’85 happened I can see that. If all you know if dashed hopes that came with every post Ditka coach, I get it.

            Hang in there BearDown! I sense this is similar to 1983 (82 was a strike year so you almost can’t count it.)

          • EnderWiggin

            “I’ve got good news and bad news, fellas. The good: We are going to the playoffs next year. The bad: Most of you won’t be here”

          • BearDown100393

            That is a fan response based on emotion and not evidence. Also designed to simply shutdown the conversation.

          • CanadaBear

            See Evan”s reply up above.

          • BearDown100393

            I did. You added nothing. But thanks.

          • CanadaBear

            And you are being intentionally obtuse. thanks for playing.

          • CanadaBear

            How’s this, you can’t seem to tell the difference between a team that quit and a team that is trying their damnedest to win.

          • BearDown100393

            Only interested in statistics actually pointing toward measurable improvement. But thanks anyway.

          • Huge Bear’s Penis

            if you are only looking for statistics pointing to measurable improvement, all you have to do is compare point differentials between last year and this year, or defensive/offensive rankings. From where i am sitting it appears that you are actually just trolling.

          • BearDown100393

            Okay. GO BEARS! Happy?

          • BillW

            Fair enough maybe. And your question is indeed an intersting one.

            What do you think? Do you think this team is the really no better right now than the 2014 Bears after 10 games?

          • Trac

            Way to pull rank there Canada. Hahaha

          • CanadaBear

            Seriously, how can this even be a legit question?

          • BearDown100393

            Seriously, you have added nothing but subjective bias.

          • CanadaBear

            And you have done nothing but be obtuse. So I guess that makes us about even. You seem to be looking for some all important stat that defines everything. It doesn’t exist.

        • Cutty of Olivet Nazarene

          “you are what your record says you are” is just some coach speak from some coach. It goes no deeper than that season and those chances for success at that time.

    • CanadaBear

      If the Beloved wanted to tank the season they would have continued to clean house after trading Allen and Bostick. Intentionally losing down the stretch to mediocre teams would undermine the coaching staff and demoralize the players. I do think Pace is a huge upgrade from PE but there are no guarantees when it comes to draft picks. The best thing for everyone involved is to keep balling to the best of their abilities.

    • remember giving up 50+ points in back-to-back weeks last season?

      remember the coaches visibly giving up on the coaches last season?

      remember our 3rd and 4th stringers staying competitive with one of the league’s top teams last season?

      remember giving up 50+ points in a game this season?

      remember the coaches visibly giving up on the coaches this season?

      remember our 3rd and 4th stringers staying competitive with one of the league’s top teams this season?

      So while the record says we’re the same team, those questions prove we’re not.

      • BearDown100393

        And still 4-6. So by not getting blown out every week, you are content. Fair enough.

        • Huge Bear’s Penis

          you don’t seem to understand that it is not as cut and dry as a record. If we were a good team for the last 2 years then of course the blog would be blowing up and pissed off with a 4-6 record, but we sucked on epic proportions on every level of the organization for the last 2 years. So while no one is truly content with being 4-6, we as educated fans can see the tremendous differences between last season and this season. Therefore, it is easy to put a positive spin on this season

          • BillW

            Yes – implicit in all the optimism is the fact that 4-6 NEXT year will not be greeted with the enthusiasm it is this year.

        • BillW

          One more try:
          It’s a journey. And you measure progress by moving forward versus slipping backwards. 50+ losses move you back. Playing a top 5 team to nearly the last play is progress.

          No one is content but most of us are encouraged that we CAN get to the destination. No one had that feeling after 10 games last year.

          I’m getting your point and I’d wish you’d try to get mine and others.

          • BearDown100393

            I do get the point. The parameter set was strictly record based. This isn’t personal by any means. Is measuring a loss by point differential acceptable to this fan base even if the ultimate current end result is identical?

          • BillW

            Again, ONLY when progress is being made (and most of us beleive it is) AND THEN when we actually see that progress (which could come as soon as Thurs night but more reasonably with a playoff push next year.

            But you say “ultimate end result”. It’s a 16 game season, not 10. We are not at the ultimate end result yet

          • BearDown100393

            No we are not at the season’s conclusion. The parameter was measuring the 1st 10 games for 2014 and 2015.

          • BillW

            Then try to think of it this way. A man climbing a mountain meets a man on his way down after giving up. they both stop and chat a while and then continue on. They are both at the same spot when they chat but their journeys are not complete. It doesn’t matter that they were once at the same spot – it’s the direction they are going that matters.

            The man going up might not make it either, but I like his chances better than the man going down.

          • EnderWiggin

            Is that your parable? Wonderful!

        • by being competitive and giving me hope for the future.

          we didn’t know what we were going to see coming into the season. the fact that we’ve been given football games we enjoy watching is a positive first step on the road back to respectability.

          besides, you can’t go 10-6 without losing 6 games. you know that

        • SC Dave

          BD, the big difference is that it’s actually FUN watching the Bears this season.

          And yes, it’s purely subjective, but I don’t give a rat’s ass.

          • Irish Sweetness

            I think this we can all agree on, Dave.

    • willbest

      This team isn’t going to implode down the home stretch to finish 5-11. It will finish with 7-9 wins, while not having been blown out of the water in any game that Cutler finishes.
      Problems that we have solved
      1) Life after Forte
      2) Life after Bennett
      3) Life after Bushrod

      Bonus – while 2/3rds of our D wouldn’t make most teams 53-man roster, they now have solid experience to perform in backup positions should we find better players to play in front of them.

      Down side to this season – we are going to be a top candidate for Hardknocks.

      • SC Dave

        1) Um, not yet we haven’t
        2) Uni needs to be gone; Miller *may* be viable
        3) Not sure what we have solved there, but I’ll go with that one

        Bonus: Definitely going with that one. Maybe the best thing of all.

        • Irish Sweetness

          1. Dave, Dave, Dave. Langford – at this point – is as good as, or better than Matt Forte. Carey is useful. Senorise Perry has serious burst (to anyone who watches pre-season). Jock-squeeze is dual-purpose. When Matt walks at season’s end, there’s nothing to stop us drafting a quality back somewhere. People make much of Matt being 99% of the offense his whole career. You know what? He was 99% of shit. It didn’t really matter. Matt Forte’s career didn’t really matter. He has a 3.9 yard carry average, you can tart that all up all you want, but his career is going in one direction and it’s not up.

          2. Jesus Christ, didn’t you see him last week? That was a fluke?

  • Cutty of Olivet Nazarene

    I held off on posting yesterday at a certain point because my frustration level was too high. It was tough watching a team whose quarterback had just had a great run on 3rd down not just get the 4 inches on 4th down. I can think of 2 handfuls of teams that would have gone for it and they all happen to be playoff teams this year. It was tough watching Christian Jones, Fuller, Young, Prosinski and Acho play that badly. Prosinski? Fucking white pussy. I give him a pass though because it’s not his fault he’s on the field, it is the organization’s fault. I give Mitch Unrein a pass too because even though he got embarrassed at every turn at helped make Ronnie Hillman look like Barry Sanders I don’t know who the fuck he is so I can’t get mad.

    I liked how the team fought for the most part. I was disappointed that Miller wasn’t targeted more especially in the red zone and for easy completions on early down. I was disappointed in the insistence on Langford runs from under center that continually got 1 yard instead of more Carey from the gun that got 3 to 5 yards.
    I was disappointed that we couldn’t stop the run or the pass more often and let Brock Osweiler march down the field like Rodgers. The one at the end of the first half was a fucking killshot. That Denver team with Osweiler would lose to almost every team in the league if it were not for that D. Denver’s defense was insane and they tightened up tremendously in the red zone where Gase seemingly lost all realization of what Denver was trying to do defensively.
    I know we don’t have NFL talent out there at several positions but I also know that the coaches know that very same thing. I’m not going into 2013 and 2014 and the differences but there are many. At one point we lined up Mariani, Bellamy, Wilson and Meredith on the field at the same time IN THE REDZONE or right near it. Where the fuck was Miller? Why not use the fucking guys that give you the best chance to be successful?? Bennett is dead to me as well. What a fucking pussy compared to how awesome and deserving he thinks he is and how huge he actually is and how dominating someone like that should be but is NOT.
    I’m done for the day. The guys have heart but are lacking serious NFL skill everywhere.

    • Scharfinator

      I agree.

      With the Langford/Carey thing, Carey got hurt in the 3rd (I think 3rd). He didn’t come back.

    • The GP

      Waffle to Bears:

      https://imgflip.com/i/um2jf

    • Bennett, both the Bennetts, are quixotic at best, lackadaisical and annoying at worst.

      I would never have those types on my team. Every one has a bud who you really wonder if he’s insane. He’s cool, up until he does some crazy shit like take a bat to a cop car in the middle of the night.

      Can’t have those guys around.

      In the words of Samurai Mike, “Can’t do it.”

      • MB30SD

        Agree

  • Huge Bear’s Penis
    • willbest

      The only surprising thing is that this didn’t happen sooner.

      • The GP

        stale pickle

      • BillW

        Like you said – why now? Curious – makes me actually wonder if Cutty is hurt somewhat and Fox dreamed of seeing Clausen play again.

        • Viva

          No there was another team sniffing around…trying to claim him off our practice squad.

          • Irish Sweetness

            I would have signed him in a second if I was another team.

    • beninnorcal

      Do we still have Fales?

      • willbest

        Yes he is being elevated off the practice squad.

    • SB dreams over.

    • BillW

      Pickle spears or pickle slices?

    • BillW

      Link says another team expressed interest in Fales and so they promoted him to avoid him getting poached.

      Cutting Clausen the logical move. Let’s see if any QB needy team picks him up. I think he played himself out of football.

      • BillW

        Likely the Ravens / Trestman looking at Fales.

      • Cutty of Olivet Nazarene

        or to force a trade for Fales (which would be insane) for a very very late round draft pick? Or to do Jimmy a favor to see if he could get picked up?

      • Last year the Patriots, no less, tried to poach Fales off our practice squad, so we promoted him. Def got my attention since they have Garrapolo and some guy named Brady.

        Fales doesn’t look like much to me, then again, QBs are a total fucking mystery. I can spot the really bad ones, but it’s hard to predict the really good ones outside the Luck/Elway/Marino prospects, and even Marino had his detractors, (mainly that he was Manziel, a coked up partier).

    • BearDown100393

      David Fales should have started against Seattle instead of Clausen. This should have happened much earlier.

  • beninnorcal

    Beardown, you are way off about this team. I’m not happy with the loss either and you are correct regarding playoff possibilities. But, as Canada noted below, how do you not see the difference between this club and the ’14 club? Furthermore, the ’15 club is playing competitive ball after a house-cleaning. As Yonny noted, half the names are un-recognizeable.
    My point is, you’re evaluation of the ’15 Bears is a bit premature and cherry-picked. Regardless of what fans think, we will be winning some more games this year, probably some against superior foe. We won’t end up with 5 wins like last year. But if we did, who cares? Meaningless re-building year but good to see some heart on the team inspite of that.

    • BearDown100393

      I simply pointed out both seasonal records after 10 games were identical. That is not cherry picking. That is fact. All that was requested was objective evidence toward improvement. What was generally received was subjective accolades. So be it. Moving on.

  • TBC

    I have to say that the Chicago Bears are playing some decent football, and my favorite player of all time is acquitting himself quite well, which is disappointing for me as he is not nearly as entertaining this year as he was for the last 3 or 4.

    For that reasons, I can’t really mock you this time as you embrace the sentiment your “blogfather.” The arrow is pointing up, guys!

    Unfortunately, I have heard that before…

    http://dabearsblog.com/tag/innocent-climb

    • beninnorcal

      Why can’t you have your old handle back?

      • Huge Bear’s Penis

        i said it in a previous post. The “Troll Elimination Protocols” have been enacted on this site, it’s still a work in progress since it does not take into account ‘Guest’ accounts

      • TBC

        I don’t know maybe I could. I haven’t tried, i just assumed not since it’s already taken (by me). I no longer have access to the email account i used to make that login name. Not really concerned about it either way, although this guest thing is pretty laborious. Might just have to give up and find better uses of my time (gasp!)

        • The GP

          please do

          • Dunno. In this modern age, it’s “Death, Taxes, and Trolls.”
            Or, venereal disease. You’re bound to come down with one, and Cheezy is like the Chlamydia of VS. Relatively benign and fills our troll checklist.

            (That should be his new handle. Cheezy Chlamydia)

          • MB30SD

            ewwwwww… sounds like something they might offer at the hotdog on a stick at the mall

          • SC Dave

            Not the mall. Lambeau.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Herpes dogs ?

          • Irish Sweetness

            I don’t consider Cheesy a troll, he posts here more than most.

            Cheesy is like herpes simplex, he’s not going anywhere.

    • You should change you’re handle to “TBD” as in “To be determined” if GB is actually any good.

      Or

      TBTFRoP as in “To be terminated first round of playoffs”

      • TBC

        How about “TBDWAofOSTitNWEWtDARoHStPMbP”?

        As in:

        “To be determined whether any of the other shitty teams in the North will ever win the division again, regardless of how shitty the packers might be playing.”

        • In my objective analysis, the Packer’s aren’t good enough.
          If I were a Pack fan, I would never be able to trust McCarthy in a big game, or Capers to coach up talent on D.

          Look at ARIZ. They’re QB is playing at higher level than Rodgers right now, plus they actually have WRs like Fitz, Brown, Floyd, etc.

          They’re D is both talented and well coached.

          Oh, and Arians is smarter than McCarthy.

          That to me is more of the SB caliber. Packers vs them or Carolina esp on the road wouldn’t end well.

          • BillW

            Arians smarter than McCarthy. And most if not every coach in the NFC. That hurts to type it.

          • Johnnywad

            And Arians doesn’t look like a pig. So he also had that working for him.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Arians looks a bit like a pig, with glasses. He is Peppa Pig’s father, George.

            Yeah, the Cards were my NFC pick last year and this year. Palmer really is lights out.

        • BillW

          I will say one thing – the Packers are always in the playoff conversation. Whether that is because of or in spite of coaching is an issue I’d be debating strongly if I was a Packer fan. I do believe the loss last year in the NFCC was on McCarthy’s play calling – trying to end the game with too much time left – and Rodgers for not checking out of one or more of those plays.

          But they were in the NFCC again. And picked by many to be there again this year.
          But it’s tough to have high expectations dashed. I worry I’ll feel that the next several years with the Cubs.

      • MB30SD

        I like the second better, and it’s true as a bonus.

  • I’m shaking my head muttering, much like after the Queens/Kitty game, “We should’ve won.”

    We’re giving Fox somewhat of a pass for a few reasons.

    1. We’re still recovering from the worst coaching in NFL history in Tresty.
    2. Injuries.
    3. First year, talent, yada yada yada

    But we could’ve WON those games, and personally I am a bit underwhelmed. This is why I half-jokingly refer to Fox as Albino Lovie. You never leave a game thinking, “Wow, What a call!”

    We’ve upgraded from a Gremlin that explodes on impact to a nice reliable Toyota Camry. On the FWY, we pass by Ferraris and Vipers, and only dream.

    But I’ll tell you this much. If we keep losing these close games in 2016, I say promote Gase and cut Fox.

    Hell, if Gase is going to get a HC gig next season, I say do it in 2016.

    In some ways, Fox has already accomplished his mandate.

    He has already rebuilt this franchise into respectability while laying down the foundation for future growth.

    That’s his specialty, the rebuild, and although I wouldn’t mind him at HC next season, if I had to choose, I’d go with Gase cuz with Gase I do sometimes leave with, “Wow. What a call!” and I feel like the old conservative Fox sometimes tells him to let off the pedal, “Whoa there, sonny. This Camry can only go 90mph.”

    Well, we should continue using old reliable, but once we save enough mula, or get that next promotion, time for an upgrade.

  • WP34

    Can’t wait until Victory Friday.

    • willbest

      My liver might not be able to handle a Victory Friday. Winning in GB, on Farve night, knocking the packers out of the top spot and hopefully robbing them of a playoff home game, while preserving the Bears all time winning record against Packers (at least for another year).

      • WP34

        I’m in.

      • Scharfinator

        What a wonderful Black Friday that would be. No one could try to drag you out to a store at 4 AM because you’re too blitzed to function. I appreciate the strategy. 🙂

  • willbest

    I am somewhat relieved that Jay Cutler is doing well enough to be back next year. If he left Chicago in disgrace I would have to buy my wife a new jersey and who the hell is that going to be?

    • Johnnywad

      Prosinski?

      • SC Dave

        Well, I suppose you’d get something for the rarity factor.

  • Cutler’s not going anywhere next season. So funny, cuz we were trying to give him away at the start of the season, and now I’m sure the Texans/Browns/Rams are kicking themselves in the nuts.

    My official Cutty meter, the Cutlomatic, has now moved back from skeptical to agnostic. It won’t go back to “believer” till week 10, 2016

    (Cutler did well the first year under Dr. Death too).

    Truth is, EVERY team needs a D to withstand 1-2 turnovers a game, and we’re not there yet, and to Cutler’s credit, he’s keeping it closer to 1 INT per game.

    I’ve seen Brady/Palmer make about as many boneheaded INTs as Cutty this year (less Brady than Palmer), and I think they’re playing the best at QB this year (Yay, FF!)

    Cam is another creature all together.

    • willbest

      D needs to get you the 1-2 takeaways to make up for the 1-2 giveaways you are going to invariably have. As our D averages something like 0.6 takeaways per game, the 2 giveaways per game we have been averaging has been a problem.
      2016 though… its hard not to put the cart before the horse. AFCS and NFCE. With SOS games most likely against the Rams and Falcons (how is it the Bucs are looking like the second best team in the South). Rams, Texans, Philly, and Redskins all have QB issues to address this off season.
      In the division the Lions just nuked their front office, and who knows if the coaches are going next. The offense is a mess and CJ is in decline. AP is going to be 31 and won’t have a full year to rest up for next season. I know he is a physical freak but the odds are in the rest of the division’s favor.
      Packers get Nelson back though. That will be a bit of a bummer.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Yeah, takeaways are not a thing with us as they were under Lovie. That’s for the Superbowl run though, right?

    • AlbertInTucson

      The second one, Palmer just heaved one up for grabs last night

  • BillW

    If Thursday is Sunday then today is Thursday..

    Do we get Andrew tomorrow which is really Friday and a game preview Wednesday which is Saturday?

    • Johnnywad

      Thank God today is already Thursday. Cuz I’m done, tired, and just don’t give aa shit this week

  • So unibrow Flacco went down. Holy cow. I can’t remember such carnage at the QB position since like the 90s.

    Data, or anyone else, is this the most starting QBs that have gone down to injury in the past 25 years?

    That’s not even counting the usual starting QBs who are benched for ineptness.

    It’s been a crazy year at QB. Those in Da Blog FF league have been scrambling all year for that 2nd QB.

    • DaMurph

      Think a cause could be their comfort level? With all the new rules protecting the passer could they possibly be less cautious and aware? It sometimes seems they take the hit in hopes of getting the 15 yards. Just saying, in a time of QB protection they are getting their asses kicked.

      • Yeah, it’s a strange year for that. I remember one year when a bunch of QBs went down early, then the NFL started putting all these safeguards in place, but it’s been somewhat brutal on QB this year.

        Maybe it’s just attrition over years. Flacco, Roth are big, but over the years have taken shots, and it’s only a matter of time before someone hits the sweet spot.

        But Romo, Luck, Cutty, Kap?, Hoyer, McCown, Landry Jones, Peyton, Bradford, have all missed a few games or have been injured enough to affect their game.

        Kinda strange.

        • Sactowns#1

          It’s strange that so many backup QB’s have fared rather well in their roles. SF is .500 behind a new QB. Texans backup played like a stud. Steelers had a 3rd stringer come in and lead them to a W. It’s random.

          • SC Dave

            But wait! Jefe told us that backups only win 5%!

          • willbest

            I suppose that is how you define backup. The guy in SF got the job because the starter was benched. That is a bit different than a Pickles or the two guys that ran up 7 losses in Dallas.

  • Trac

    Still don’t get Jeff’s title to this thread. It’s an odd use of words. What am I missing?

    • BearDown100393

      The Bears season went the way of Alderaan.

      • Trac

        Aaaah…

    • DaMurph

      Sheeesh, first we have to explain hot dogs and now this! hehehe!

      • Trac

        Have I been in Texas too long Murph?

        • DaMurph

          Obviously! Hahaha

        • Hey, I don’t get it either.
          I get the “short-handed” part.
          “fall at the death”? I assumed that was some broadway play.

          • fall at the death = lose at the very last moment

  • Bears-4-Ever

    “What was the fourth and eight call with ten minutes to go? Jeremy Langford and Martellus Bennett both looked like they had no idea where to run their routes.”
    I’m not sure what the Play call was Jeff…I’m only sure of what it SHOULD HAVE BEEN…a Robbie Gould Field Goal. Plain and simple, over 10 minutes left and you could have a for sure 3 Points…those for sure 3 Points would have made the Bears Last TD a game winner…end of story.

    DUMB EGOTISTICAL CALL by Gase/Fox…DUMB.

    • willbest

      Well you don’t know what would happen after the FG. Maybe they get a solid return. Maybe they 3 and out. Maybe they march the field for a TD.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Okay … ceteris paribus …. all things being equal ….. we are only changing from the inexplicable … to a FG …everything after that FG then happens as it did.

        It so obviously cost us the game that I fail to see how that’s not universally accepted. No biggie, I’m not paid top coach the team, it’s his call and his alone. But it was the wrong one, in this case. And likely, it put us out of the playoff race.

        • Huge Bear’s Penis

          there you go and ruin it by breaking out latin. I sometimes read your post with a very bad irish accent, which i admit probably sounds like the lucky charms leprechaun. and quoting latin just ruins it.

        • willbest

          I am on record that they should have kicked the FG. But it obviously doesn’t happen as is. There is a kick off, there is a different field position. There will be different play selections based on that field position, a different sense of urgency to make a stop, etc.

  • MB30SD
    • MB30SD

      sorry HBP… full credit given my maings. Just read down.

      • Huge Bear’s Penis

        i will let it slide this time.

        • MB30SD

          Mighty Christian of you sir!

          (You’re welcome trac!)

      • Trac

        Wait, I must be mistaken…did you just say you were sorry? Clearly that’s not what you meant. Hee hee.

        • MB30SD

          That’s bs maings. I *ALWAYS* apologize when I’m wrong… it’s just an exceeding rare event.

          Baaahahahaha

          • Trac

            Hee hee.

    • DaMurph

      Until he plays!

      • Trac

        Even though Jeff says preseason games are meaningless, I’ll bet you 2 dollars to a doughnut he’s recently referenced Fales amazing performance in a preseason game were he had a 134 qb rating. I betcha! Hee hèe.

        • Irish Sweetness

          Never understood that. Does Jefe expect players to rock up after the off-season … and what … get straight into the playbook and have a quick practice the night before the game? How can you not have pre-season?

    • Trac

      Irish has seen the light. He’s 100% on board with Cutty love.

    • Irish Sweetness

      See the teenage stache he was sporting on the sideline? So dreamy …

      (pees in pants a little bit)

      • MB30SD

        Ewwwww

  • Sactowns#1

    Jeff was 1 for 3 this week and it was the only one I liked, Dallas. Jets totally killed me this week but the Chiefs were a nice pick along with the Over in the Niners game. The under has hit 8 WEEKS IN A ROW on TNF and I jumped on that wagon a few weeks ago. Under in tonight’s game will put me in the positive!

    • Irish Sweetness

      Indy and Tampa covered for me but I didn’t make any money because Minny, Oakland and Chicago did not. Wussed out of backing Cincy +5, and I’m not chasing on Buffalo.

      Chicago +8.5 might be my only bet this week.

      • Sactowns#1

        Buffalo did it for me last night man.

  • The GP

  • StarkyLuv

    I said as soon as it happened. Cutler threw a PERFECT PASS to Langford. Who chose to keep running and for some odd reason, lean back towards the ball. All he had to do was TURN TOWARDS THE BALL and it was an easy TD. That hung over the entire game more than anything else. You don’t get easy TDs against Denver and that was one.

    • Well, he’s a rook. Gotta kinda expect stuff like that.
      Heck, didn’t Forte drop an easy TD earlier this year?

      We just don’t have a “go-to” guy in the redzone without Alshon.
      You would think a 6’7 260 beast at TE would be that guy, but Bennett is a buzzkill.

    • Shady

      I don’t know about easy, but yeah he could have had it.

      I thought Cutty played a quintessential Culter game. Flashes of brilliance, glimpses of the turnovers. I said it a few weeks ago, the way he’s moving around in and out of the pocket is MUCH improved. Ball security is something they need to work on with Jay, but the proverbial arrow is pointed with an UPWARD trajectory instead of the DOWNWARD trajectory. (HBP)

      • MB30SD

        Jetpacks.

    • SC Dave

      Well, there was the pass to Wilson that would have been an easy touchdown had it not been so grossly underthrown.

      • eh. even after wilson caught it, he could’ve kept running. he got tackled by the turf.

    • He did turn towards the ball. And when he tried to raise his right arm to make a catch, the DB trailing him grabbed the arm and held it down.

      • StarkyLuv

        No he leaned back towards the ball. He didn’t turn his whole body back towards the ball, which would’ve been a TD. And I’m surprised since he used to be a WR. I mean there’s a picture of him leaning back for the ball right there in the banner for this article. Noone is grabbing him. He simply never turned to make a play on the ball.

  • AlbertInTucson

    For the “Injuries ARE and excuse file…

    Buffalo 5-4 into tonight. is 4-1 when they have their top 3 offensive players (Taylor, McCoy Watkins) in the starting lineup.

    • willbest

      Watkins isn’t even their top 3 receiving options let alone top 3 offensive player.

      • Watkins is their best WR, when healthy (that’s the key)

      • AlbertInTucson

        Because he’s been hurt. That’s the point.

  • FF talk, carry on…

    Phew! Good job Watkins and Taylor suck moose wang together, or else I would’ve lost in FF against GP.

    It was a brutal week for me, the perfect storm of shit.

    Forsett breaks his arm. Cooper and Hurns decide to become crap and give me 1 point total.

    Luckily, I traded for the Panther’s D a few weeks earlier, and they carried me to victory!

    GP must be kicking himself. Don’t feel bad GP, just ask NB how he felt when I knocked him out of the playoffs! Bwhaha

    Meanwhile, Bears505 and Ender are making their move, while NB upset Trac who is now on the outside looking in.

    And Artoo of all people is in 2nd place. That’s one way to keep him starting his lineup lol

    • Shady

      Don’t sleep on Scoregasms.

      • haha, you played Waffle this week or you might’ve lost!
        Next week either you or Trac will be out of championship contention. Byes are gone, so that’ll be a good match.

    • I went into tonight down 15, I had McCoy, my opponent Blount.

      I checked for the 1st time all night with about 3 minutes left, I was up 0.5.

      On Pats last drive, Blount got 7 yards, so I’m down 0.2.

      McCoy with the catch (0.5ppr league) for a few yards on the last drive, I win!

      • haha. You play at NFL.com? I can’t do those .5 stuff, though in our league I give 2 points for every 5 catches, so it’s close to .5ppr.

        1point ppr is just ridicules.

        • I do ESPN, because the scoring is completely customizable and I can set it for what I think is best.

          • Yeah, that’s what I do to. Two qb, extra bench spot plus an IR. That IR comes in handy and a decent way to soften the blow of some injuries (I think Shady carried Romo all year on it).

          • I don’t have an IR slot in my league, I just do big benches (8 man). But I’m halping a buddy in a league that has 2 IR slots, it was really helpful early in the year for guys like Dez and Alshon.

          • Yeah, I have an extra bench spot plus the IR for guys like Dez, Alshon, Romo, etc.

            Two IRs is a bit too much. Sometimes, the FF gods are trying to tell you something lol

            Here’s kinda how it looks.

            http://games.espn.go.com/ffl/scoreboard?leagueId=835653&seasonId=2015

            I might change the waiver-wire next year. I wish it was like the NBA lottery where the sucky teams are more likely though not guaranteed to get priority.

            Then again, maybe I’m being self serving cuz I never get the choice waiver wire guys. I sorta have to guess who’s gonna get hurt like a week ahead of time lol

          • Irish Sweetness

            I’d like to see leagues where you start more players. My rosters are packed full of dudes that can score, or not, meaning you can have a bench full of points some weeks, while your opponents just have their dummies on the bench.

    • Irish Sweetness

      KC’s new back. Spencer Ware.

      You’re welcome.

  • Man, the Pats win today was impressive. They lost Dion Lewis, then Edlemen. Lafell was inj for most of the year. Then during the game Amendol and Dobson went down, and that’s not even mentioning their Oline like losing their PB LT Solder and a few others.

    They struggled tonight, but they just keep chugging along, though I wonder if it’s only a matter of time before all these injuries catch up with their O.

  • willbest

    So looking at the QB situation around the league, I wouldn’t let Cutler go for anything less than a pair of firsts.

  • Irish Sweetness

    Questions for the week :

    Why are Philadelphia favorites over Detroit … in Detroit ?

    Why are Carolina – an unbeaten team – dogs against Dallas?

    And guess who’s gone OUT … yes, The Beloved are +9 against the Fudge. Why?

    Has anyone watched Philly?

    • Sactowns#1

      Dude I have no idea. That Dallas line is the most confounding.

  • Irish Sweetness

    Okay boys, Happy Turkey day.

    What’s the general consensus on these games ?

    Detroit are at home, they’ve won two in a row. 44% on 3rd downs defensively(JAX lead with 46, Bears have 44% success stopping opp on 3rd down). Detroit’s pass D is poor, Philly’s is good. Philly have a +1 turnover differential, Detroit are -10. it’s hard to see how one could have any confidence in Detroit from a betting perspective. They’re just not very good. Mark Sanchez. I’m staying away from this game.

    Carolina look good against Dallas at 20/23. They have a whopping +13 turnover differential, Dallas have a whopping -9. The Panthers tick boxes everywhere defensively and offensively. Dallas haven’t impressed anywhere, but Romo is back … is that enough to overcome the gulf in performance? I don’t think so.

    I’m doubling Carolina with The Beloved +9, giving a just-under 3-1 double.

    Detroit-Philly is a banana skin.

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