355 Comments

Finding a Quarterback: What is Tyrod Taylor’s Ceiling?

| February 16th, 2017

Did the Buffalo Bills hold Tyrod Taylor back or was it the other way around? That’s the question I kept asking myself as I watched him play.

There were times where Taylor was Russell Wilson.

There were other times where I wondered if the Bills called conservative games because Taylor was their quarterback.

This same debate is prevalent among Buffalo media, who are radically divided on Taylor’s tenure with the Bills.

Buffalo GM Doug Whaley doesn’t like Taylor. Taylor was Rex Ryan’s guy and even though new Buffalo offensive coordinator Rick Dennison is said to be a fan of Taylor’s, Whaley isn’t like to care. Most signs point to the Bills opting out of Taylor’s lucrative contract and the 27-year-old hitting the open market.

He’ll get paidt for his play the last two seasons, with passer ratings of 99.4 and 89.6, but nobody really knows what they’re getting. He could be a quality player on the ascent or he could be a player destined for mediocrity.

Read More …

Tagged: , ,

153 Comments

Money Where My Mouth Is: Three Picks for Week Ten

| November 12th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 3.01.04 PM

Rumor is I made a few picks last week. I have no recollection of this but it has been brought to my attention by several associates. (I was not disappointed in the Rams pick. That game could have gone either way. But I just didn’t think the Packers would lose back-to-back games or that the Bears defense could hold the Charger offense to 12 points.) This week, a rebound…and a theme! Road dogs!

BUFFALO BILLS +3 AT NEW YORK JETS

Here’s why I like the Bills to win outright tonight:

  • When Buffalo’s had their starting quarterback and star wide receiver, they’ve been a different team. Both will be looking to make their 2015 statement in front of a national audience tonight and thrust their team into the playoff race.
  • Jets defense has hit a wall. The Patriots got them for 30, the Raiders got them for 34 and last week the Jags offense managed 23 and – most importantly – kept the game close throughout.
  • I know the coaching staffs are entirely different (including a swap) but the combined score of the Bills/Jets games in 2014 were 81-26.

CHICAGO BEARS +7 AT ST. LOUIS RAMS

St. Louis will be in the 20s. The Bears should be in the 20s. Points just seem too many for a team quarterbacked by Nick Foles.

DETROIT LIONS +11 AT GREEN BAY PACKERS

This has all the makings of a back door cover, especially against a defense that just allowed the Broncos and Panthers – two struggling offenses – 29 and 37 respectively. I’ll take the points.

Season Record: 13-12-2

Tagged: , , , ,

241 Comments

The 2015 NFL Season Begins Tonight

| September 10th, 2015

nfl season

Three Picks for Week 1

Steelers +7 over Patriots

Line just feels too high for a week one match-up between two fairly decent teams. Patriots 24, Steelers 21.

Bills +3 over Colts

My favorite mismatch of the first week is the Bills defensive line against the Colts offensive line. Andrew Luck is in the conversation for best player in the sport but I continue to argue that his coach is mediocre and the roster construction around him is poor. Bills win outright. Bills 16, Colts 14.

Cowboys -6 over Giants

Historically, nobody has been wronger about a team as I have about the New York Giants. So my instincts you should me to ignore my instincts entirely and pick them to win the Super Bowl. But not with that defensive roster and not with the questions along their offensive front. Cowboys 27, Giants 20.

Season Record: 0-0

 

Tagged: , , , , ,

170 Comments

Audibles From the Long Snapper: Play Calling Nonsense, Injuries on the O-Line & More!

| September 9th, 2014

audibles

Enough with the Play Calling

From Mark Potash’s column in the Sun-Times:

The other issue on Cutler’s second interception was Trestman’s play-call itself. Why not run on third-and-one? Matt Forte had gained 62 yards on 14 carries to that point, though he had been stopped for no gain on the previous play.

“Most of the time we do, but we have to have some balance to what we’re doing,” Trestman said. “And the fact that it was a two-down situation gave us an opportunity to get a big play, and we’re going to take an aggressive approach at times.”

Nothing is more tiring in the NFL than fans and media criticizing play calling after the fact. If Cutler throws the football away, nobody complains. If he gets the yard with his legs, the play is an absolute afterthought. If he completes the pass, HEAVEN PRAISED TRESTMAN IS  GENIUS!

Play calling is the single most overrated element of football games. When runs don’t work, people want passes. When passes don’t work, people want runs. Now all of a sudden the Bears should run on short-yardage when the number one criticism of Matt Forte’s career has been his inability to get first downs in short yardage AND the Bears are without their starting center and left guard?

You know why offensive – and never defensive – play calling are often the most criticized elements of football games? Because it is the element of the game the casual fan and media member believe they can do. Spoiler alert: they can’t.

I prefer to exit the realm of the hypothetical and put the blame where it belongs: on the guy who threw the ball to a defensive lineman.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , , , ,

266 Comments

Dismal Sunday Display Presents Opportunity for Santa Clara Salvation

| September 9th, 2014

levi

If the Bears had a rinky dink opponent on the schedule for Sunday (though I’m not sure those exist in the NFL any longer) there would be little they could do in Week Two to erase the disappointment of Week One. But they don’t. Instead they are traveling to Santa Clara, where they haven’t beaten the 49ers since the invention of the forward pass. They are opening a new stadium, in prime time, in front of one of the league’s rowdiest fan bases. They are playing the most difficult game, at least contextually speaking, on their schedule.

And if they win, week one is forgotten. If they win, the season is reborn. Hell, even if they play a terrific game and lose the conversation changes from the End is Nigh refrain currently singly somewhat proudly from the pages of the Chicago dailies to Bring on the Jets and the 2014 campaign!

Read More …

Tagged: , , ,

291 Comments

Offense Blows Home Opener: Rapid Fire Responses to a Terrible Loss

| September 8th, 2014

No picture. Nothing fun. Let’s get right to the thoughts…

  • Don’t blame the defense for this one. The Bears should never lose a game at home wherein they allow 20 points in regulation.
  • Jay Cutler was exhausting and terrible, I don’t care how many yards and touchdown passes he throws. (1) The interception to Kevin Williams is inexcusable. You don’t throw a pass halfway across the field, across your body, into traffic, when you need ONE YARD! You simply don’t do it if you’re a championship level quarterback. (2) The way he managed the end of regulation was deplorable. Why on 2nd and 1 from the Buffalo 19 is he throwing jump balls to covered receivers? Move the ball closer. Get the clock stopped. Give yourself three solid chances in the end zone. Instead he played like there was a twenty-five foot stone wall erected at the Bills 19. (3) He should have had 2-3 more interceptions over the course of the game.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , ,

577 Comments

Bills at Bears Opening Day Game Thread

| September 7th, 2014

bears bills

Five Final Thoughts

1. If the Bears manage a push from the interior of their offensive line they could be looking at an even more productive offensive outing. Success in the run game early will open up the whole of the play book.

2. If Bears commit more than four to the rush look out for E.J. Manuel hitting Scott Chandler quickly over the middle. This is still an area of the field where the Bears are susceptible to attack.

3. With the strength of the Bills offensive line being Cordy Glenn at left tackle, look for Lamarr Houston to make a greater impact today than Jared Allen.

4. There are only two ways to limit Sammy Watkins damage: tackling and pass rush. Tackling contains him in the screen game. Pass rush restricts his ability to do damage over the top.

5. Remember, no style points in September. I predicted the final score to be 31-16. 3-2 would be just as acceptable. September and October are about one thing in the NFL: stockpiling wins.

As always you can follow my (sporadic at best) in-game commentary on Twitter by following me @DaBearsBlog.

Tagged: , , , ,

184 Comments

Buffalo Bills at Chicago Bears Game Preview

| September 5th, 2014

Running to the window, he opened it, and put out his stirring, cold cold, piping for the blood to dance to; Golden sunlight; Heavenly sky; sweet fresh air; merry bells. Oh, glorious. Glorious!

“What’s to-day?” cried Scrooge, calling downward to a boy in Sunday clothes, who perhaps had loitered in to look about him.

“Eh?” returned the boy, with all his might of wonder.

“What’s to-day, my fine fellow?” said Scrooge.

“To-day?” replied the boy. “Why, Christmas Day.”

“It’s Christmas Day!” said Scrooge to himself. “I haven ‘t missed it. The Spirits have done it all in one night. They can do anything they like. Of course they can. Of course they can. Hallo, my fine fellow!”

-A Christmas Carol

__________________________________________

Sunday, for the NFL diehard, is Christmas Day. It is the only experience that can mirror the anticipatory excitement we felt as young children, sneaking silently down the stairs to catch a glimpse of what new thing waited for us beneath the tree. We have our routines and rituals. We have our family. And while we might think we know what will be found under the layers of wrapping by the shape of the box, we can never be sure until the paper is removed and the box is opened.

With all that mystery, why do I like the Chicago Bears this week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

But why else?

Read More …

Tagged: , , ,

21 Comments

2014 Chicago Bears Schedule

| April 24th, 2014

anchors

Week One

Sunday September 7th – Noon

BILLS AT BEARS


Week Two

Sunday September 14th – SNF

BEARS AT 49ERS


Week Three

Monday September 22nd – MNF

BEARS AT JETS


Week Four

Sunday September 28th – Noon

PACKERS AT BEARS


Week Five

Sunday October 5th – Noon

BEARS AT PANTHERS


Week Six

Sunday October 12th – Noon

BEARS AT FALCONS


Week Seven

Sunday October 19th – Noon

DOLPHINS AT BEARS


Week Eight

Sunday October 26th – Noon

BEARS AT PATRIOTS


Week Nine

BYE


Read More …

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

362 Comments

Around the League Tweets – March 28th 2013!

| March 28th, 2014

ATL Tweets

Once again, this feature will fill the Wednesday void throughout the 2014 season and sneak in each week until then on random days. 

Around the League Tweets, Dayton Flying Since ’13! 1 of 10. If you change evaluation of a player based on pro day, you lose all credibility.

2 of 10. No two figures mean more to Buffalo Bills fans than the late Ralph Wilson & the seriously ill Jim Kelly. Tough week in Western NY.

3 of 10. Most Bills fans I know believed once Ralph died the hourglass would flip on the team in Buffalo. Would be a sports tragedy.

4 of 10. If you had an emotional reaction to goalpost dunk ban, I question your stability. Unless you’re under 12 this shouldn’t matter.

5 of 10. So you can’t use the N-word or dunk. Goodell would have a heart attack watching the basketball court near my apartment in Queens.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

© Da' Bears Blog