217 Comments

Bears Fall Short in Indy: Rapid Fire

| October 10th, 2016

Hard game to get emotional about. But there’s things to talk about so let’s talk about them.

  • Brian Hoyer played a terrific game for a backup quarterback. But when your team racks up 500+ yards and scores only 23 points, it’s time to start asking why. Hoyer doesn’t extend plays with his legs. He doesn’t throw the ball to the Bears best player (for some bizarre reason). And…he’s just limited. Jay Cutler wins Sunday’a game. And I happen to believe he wins it by a couple of touchdowns.
  • Hoyer dinks and dunks. His drives take 10-12 plays to get into the end zone. Those drives can be derailed entirely by one mistake or penalty. Penalties told the story of the game.
  • John Fox, through five games, is having a rough season. Challenges, timeouts, personnel decisions…etc. One has to wonder if he has any feel for this roster right now. Sadly, Fox can’t be properly evaluated until the actual team is on the field.
  • Why would you bench Bryce Callahan? Let the kid learn on the field. He was playing a solid game yesterday.
  • Terrific performance from Cameron Meredith. The fumble was bad, and cost the Bears the game, but his emergence was far more significant.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , , ,

121 Comments

Match-Ups That Matter: Bears at Colts

| October 6th, 2016

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-10-02-39-am

I have Tweeted incessantly for the last three years about the disaster that is the Indianapolis Colts. They were given football’s greatest gift, a franchise quarterback directly on the heels of a franchise quarterback. And what have they done to support him? Nothing. Under the regime of Jim Irsay (who is as much to blame as anyone), Ryan Grigson (who might be the league’s worst GM) and Chuck Pagano, the Colts have failed to build Andrew Luck either an offensive line or a defense. They’ve signed fading veterans in free agency, drafted speedsters they don’t need and let supremely talented players – *cough* Jerell Freeman *cough* – walk out the door for no reason. This last item came to head in London where Freeman’s replacement, Sio Moore, was so bad he was thrown out of the team plane over the Atlantic Ocean.

On to the game…

BRIAN HOYER VS. THE HYPE

Yep, it’s a thing.

  • Hoyer is well-aware that his performances over the last two weeks are not just those a back-up quarterback filling in while the starter’s thumb is in a sling. Hoyer doesn’t have a lot more time left in this league and if he continues to deliver 300-yard, no interception efforts, and more importantly win, it will make the decision to pull him off the field a very difficult one for John Fox.
  • The Colts defense is one of the worst in the league and Hoyer is going to be tempted to throw the ball down the field with more frequency than he did last Sunday. But not succumbing to those desires is exactly what’s enabled him to play efficient football. Not having Kevin White running go routes down the field may make this a bit easier.

Read More …

Tagged: , , ,

120 Comments

Across The Middle — Week Five

| October 5th, 2016

ct-haugh-brian-hoyer-jay-cutler-spt-1003-20161002

After parading my son around the house while playing “Bear Dowwwwwnnn Chicago Bears…” my wife gave me a puzzled look and said: “The Bears won?”

“Of course they did,” I replied.

To which she asked one question: “Jay Cutler is going to get fired, isn’t he?”

I had to think for a second, but I could only come to one answer: “Probably.”

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , , ,

506 Comments

Bears Get on the Board, Beat Lions in a Snoozer: Rapid Fire Reaction

| October 3rd, 2016

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 02: Jordan Howard #24 of the Chicago Bears tries to break away from Devin Taylor #98 of the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field on October 2, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The argument I made all offseason as to why the Bears would be more competitive in 2016, especially within the division, was because they were already competitive within the division LAST season. Yes, they went 1-5. But both Detroit games and the home Vikings game were complete coin flips. The only time a division opponent clearly outclassed them was in Minnesota, a game the Vikings needed and Bears didn’t.

Yesterday the depleted Bears weren’t just better than Detroit. They dominated them. If their special teams show up, the game is never close. Other thoughts…

  • Brian Hoyer is going to be the story this week. Nobody thinks less of Hoyer than I do but that kind of efficiency will excite John Fox in the tape study sessions. He dinks and dunks, sure, but the offense looked like a real offense for the first time this season.
  • So why so few points? Well, Hoyer is why. Alshon Jeffery will be reduced to basically the third option as long as Hoyer is playing quarterback. Hoyer is a timing/crossing route quarterback. Jeffery is a downfield home run hitter. There were a few moments yesterday where Jeffery was isolated in man coverage and Cutler would have unquestionably tossed a jump ball for him. Hoyer (a) doesn’t think that way and (b) can’t physically do it.
  • And so begins the Jordan Howard era? 23 for 111. 4.8 average. He’s big. He’s quick. He’s tough to bring down. And against Detroit he showed his versatility in the passing attack. Jeremy Langford’s role changed yesterday.
  • The offensive line is improving every single week.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , ,

333 Comments

Across The Middle – Week Four

| September 28th, 2016

i

I’ve tried to calm myself down and think about the loss to the Cowboys logically. But I can’t help but come to the same conclusion I came to while watching the game: this team is suffering from coaching malpractice.

Any team missing their three best defensive players and starting quarterback is going to struggle. Add to the fact that those three defensive players were all playing in the front seven and they were going against the team with the best offensive line in the league and a blowout makes sense.

But I don’t give a shit about any of that.

The Bears should’ve been blown out several times last year, but they weren’t.

They weren’t because they fought.

They weren’t because they either had a sound game plan or adjusted well.

They weren’t because their coaching was a legitimate advantage.

That isn’t the case right now and I’m not sure what the answer is.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , ,

215 Comments

MATCHUPS THAT MATTER: BEARS AT COWBOYS

| September 22nd, 2016

optimism-harrytrumansmall-1024x717

There is only one match-up that matters this week.

DOWELL LOGGAINS & JOHN FOX

VS.

COMMON SENSE

Objectively speaking, the Bears chances of having a meaningful season took a massive hit with their dismal, injury-laden performance Monday night against the Eagles. But with news breaking that both Jay Cutler and Eddie Goldman will only be missing a few games, might there be room in the hearts of Bears fans for the slightest bit of optimism?

Come on. You know you want to.

If there is such room, John Fox and Dowell Loggains can’t have a third straight howler. What can they do?

  • Get the ball out of Brian Hoyer’s hand quickly. The Bears have a signature weakness on the offensive side of the ball: pass protection on the edges. So of course the offense has consisted of almost EXCLUSIVELY dropping Jay Cutler into deep pockets and forcing an historically fragile quarterback to scramble around. There are two flat out moronic elements at play here.
    • The Bears spent the entirety of the 2015 season cultivating a short passing attack; utilizing the bubble screen as a de facto run game to keep downs and distances manageable. This attack may not have been the most exciting in league history but it led to their quarterback playing one of his most efficient and consistent seasons.
    • The Bears have three, three, THREE wide receivers who are tailor made to this kind of attack. Alshon Jeffery is monstrous. Eddie Royal displayed Monday night what he’s capable of in the open field. And Kevin White’s speed would make every reception a potential big gain.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , ,

470 Comments

Across The Middle – Week Three

| September 21st, 2016

920x920

As I rewatched the Bears with my son in my arms, I looked down at him, he looked up at me and I knew he was thinking: “Why should I sign up for this?”

At this point, it’s a legitimate question: Why should anyone be optimistic about the Bears? And at this point, it’s hard to find an answer. I’d like to tell you it wasn’t as bad as it looked on Monday night, but that would be a lie. It was every bit that bad and probably a little worse.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , ,

220 Comments

Across The Middle: Preseason Week Four

| August 31st, 2016

EP-160828885

Admin Note: the five things I wish the Bears had columns will return Thursday & Friday.

John Fox made it very clear: Preseason games are just more practice and should be evaluated and valued as such. So why won’t people listen?

Like most people, I’m sure, my Twitter timeline was full of people freaking out over how the Bears were practicing on Saturday. Fox told the world before the game that it wasn’t crucial.

“It’s not the season. They call it preseason for a reason, it’s to evaluate, put your players in positions, take a look at players,” Fox said last week before the game. “We put a lot of stock in practice as well.”

After the game, his attitude was the same saying “we got a chance to look at some young guys and make some evaluations. That’s what preseason is for.” He later referenced preseason as “practice games” and spoke multiple times about playing players in different positions.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

414 Comments

Ten Thoughts on Chicago’s 2016 Draft & Aftermath

| May 1st, 2016

tempdraft-gallery-total_cover-v2-043016--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

(1) The Leonard Floyd pick will be the most heavily scrutinized moving forward but he will actually have little pressure on him in 2016. With Houston, Young and McPhee already situated at OLB, Floyd will be able to assimilate into Vic Fangio’s defense by doing what he does best: getting after the quarterback.

(2) Cody Whitehair is ready to play right now and the Bears should start him at left guard immediately. What does this mean? It means the team should follow the old offensive line maxim and play their best five. Leno. Whitehair. Slauson at center. Long. Massie.

(3) No, I’m not confident Hroniss Grasu is the future at center for the Bears. And that’s fine. You’re allowed to swing and miss in the name of athleticism. Giving him another season to develop, with Slauson at center, is probably the best thing for him.

(4) I like Pat O’Donnell. I really do. But North Dakota State’s Ben LeCompte – who accepted the Bears invite to camp – is a special player and a special kid. Don’t be surprised to see an actual competition emerge this summer. (The Bears didn’t go out and invite the best punter in the land to camp for no reason.) Read this piece on one of the best punting performances I’ve ever seen.

(5) I won’t be surprised to see Jonathan Bullard have a more productive Bears career thanFloyd and that’s not knocking Floyd. Bullard is a grinder. Staying away from all the draftspeak, Bullard just made life horrible for offensive linemen and he went up against some terrific ones in the SEC.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

© Da' Bears Blog