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Across The Middle – Week 2

| September 14th, 2016

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The word of the day is perspective.

I like to think I’m as passionate a Bears fan as there is. I typically get nervous about the Sunday games on Friday and, when the Bears have a performance like they did against Houston, it ticks me off until the next Wednesday. But none of my common symptoms were there this week.

The reason is simple. The day after the Bears played their opener, my wife was scheduled to be induced and we welcomed the world’s newest Bears fan on Tuesday.

The Bears didn’t mean much to me last week and they don’t this week and I suppose that’s how it should be. But what happened last week shouldn’t mean much to you either. Just like the preseason, there’s a ton of instant reaction. But historically it hasn’t proven to be an indication of things to come.

Surely everyone remembers last season when the Rams beat the Seahawks and the 49ers thumped the Vikings? There were three playoff teams that lost to non-playoff teams last year and it seems to happen every year. Most of the teams in the league are still figuring out who they are the first three weeks of the season.

The Texans seem better than I thought (mostly because of Will Fuller) and the Bears have work to do. We knew the Bears wouldn’t be a finished product coming in. But what happened in Week 1 shouldn’t change your opinion of what kind of team the Bears have this year.

Coaches Have to Be Better

While I’m a big believer in the importance of winning in the trenches, the biggest area in which the Bears were out-classed Sunday was on the sidelines. John Fox single-handily cost the Bears a minimum of 11 points by not challenging two easy plays.

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Match-ups That Matter: Bears at Texans

| September 8th, 2016

Aug 20, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller (15) reacts after catching a touchdown pass against the New Orleans Saints in the first quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Houston is a difficult opponent for the 2016 Chicago Bears, at least as we understand this Bears team to be constructed. If the Bears are going to open with a road victory, one would think the following are areas where they’d need to be successful.

Administrative Note: There will be no more long-winded game previews this season. Instead Thursdays will be used to isolate a noteworthy match-up or two for the coming weekend and Friday will be completely devoted to the return of DaBearsBlog’s Weekend Show. The game prediction will be part of that show.


HOUSTON RECEIVERS

VS.

BEARS SECONDARY

  • DeAndre Hopkins is one of the best receivers in the sport and there is nobody in the Bears secondary who can match up with him one-on-one. If the Bears don’t get to Brock Osweiler, Hopkins will find holes down the field and end up with a double-digit catch, triple-digit yardage afternoon.
  • Brock Osweiler received mixed reviews this summer in Houston but one can’t overstate the pressure he’ll be facing in his debut in front of the home crowd. The guy is being paid a zillion dollars off eight okay performances for a stacked roster. The Texans believe they were a quarterback away from title contention a year ago and paid Osweiler to take them to the promised land. Is he any good? Nobody really knows. But there’s two ways the Bears can shake him early: (a) pick off a pass in the first quarter or (b) don’t allow him easy completions early to allow him to settle into a rhythm.
  • Will Fuller is good. Bears better hope he doesn’t announce his presence in the NFL Sunday.

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Turn the Beat Around: Burkett, Bears & Beyond (to Houston)

| August 22nd, 2016

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BIRKETT ON PRESEASON FOOTBALL

Dave Birkett of the Free Press wrote a perfect column outlining the meaninglessness of preseason football. Here’s the first few paragraphs

Between forced season ticket buys, unwatchable second halves and pointless season-altering injuries, there are few redeeming qualities to preseason football.

But the worst part about the exhibition exercise that the NFL puts its 32 teams through four or, in some cases, five times a year is the overreaction that comes with every game.

Sure, that happens in the regular season, too. That’s the nature of our instant-gratification society.

But you don’t need to be the 2008 Preseason Champion Detroit Lions to know which games matter and which games don’t.

KEVIN WHITE’S MINDSET

Adam Jahns with quotes from Cutler:

As for White’s drop, Cutler sounded almost happy it happened. Such plays lead to more dialogue between him and the second-year receiver.

‘‘He handles it well,’’ Cutler said. ‘‘He’s always the first guy to blame himself, no matter what the situation is, so I just try to keep him positive and keep him going. There’s no point or real time for us to dwell on it. We have to move on, and he does that well.’’

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FrontRowTickets.com Game Preview: Welcome to the Brock!

| November 20th, 2015

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The Bears now have a chance to find .500 by beating Brock Osweiler at home. A win would thrust them into playoff consideration and create Must See TV on Thanksgiving night at Lambeau. And so the season continues for one of the most entertaining Chicago Bears teams in recent memory.

THE GAME POEM

In Denver I ate a hot dog once

It was bigger than expected

The stuff they piled on was fine

The dog itself neglected

Don’t sell me on your franks, dear sir

Because they’re wrapped in bacon

The wiener is the thing, kind sir

The other shit is fakin’

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Across the Middle With Andrew Dannehy

| November 18th, 2015

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• I honestly don’t know what to make of the Bears win over the Rams. I want to feel great about it, but I’m scared. Are we sure the Rams aren’t just terrible? It reminds me of last year when the Bears beat Atlanta 27-13, largely because Atlanta’s receivers couldn’t catch. This time it was largely a matter of the Rams quarterback not being able to throw. The Bears deserve credit because they were supposed to be among the worst teams in the league and they’re clearly not. But we won’t really know if this team is good until after Thanksgiving.

• The Bears defensive line hasn’t gotten enough credit for keeping Todd Gurley in check. I found it interesting that they played Jarvis Jenkins almost strictly as a pass-rusher – only eight snaps against the run, He was replaced by Mitch Urein and Bruce Gaston.

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