363 Comments

Bears Dominate Vikings in Jay’s Return

| November 1st, 2016

img_0078

Jay Cutler was great. The defense was great. And the Bears dominated a team someone (me) told you was a great match-up for them. Rapid fire.

  • The pass rush did exactly what it should against that Vikings offensive line. Minnesota had no answer for McPhee, Floyd or Hicks.
  • Jordan Howard is the real deal and it seemed John Fox came to that realization at some point Monday night. This is not a player who should be rotating at the running back position. He is their best runner at the position, their best pass catcher at the position and a solid pass blocker. Spell him, of course, but he should be getting twenty-five touches every week.
  • Two plays stood out to Jon Gruden Monday night when it came to Cutler. One, obviously, was the step up in the pocket shuffle pass to Howard for a big gain. The other was far more subtle. Later in the game. First down. The pocket collapsed on Cutler and he scrambled to his left and ran for a gain of one or two. Was it a big play? No. Does Brian Hoyer lose seven or eight yards on it? Absolutely. That’s the difference.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , ,

54 Comments

Three Reasons the Bears Can Win Tonight

| October 31st, 2016

img_0077

You may think it’s odd but the Vikings are a decent match-up for the Bears. Even with the RapSheet report of turmoil inside the Bears organization, this team has a chance to give their fans a nice moment in what will be their last nationally televised ballgame.

Three reasons they may win.

  • Vikings can’t block the edge and the Bears pass rush is emerging. With McPhee back on the field, Floyd coming off his breakout performance and Young delivering steady performances each week, the Bears edge rushers have an opportunity to wreck the game and force Sam Bradford into some horrible mistakes.
  • With injuries on the offensive line, Jay Cutler’s return is massive.  Brian Hoyer would have been a sitting duck for this Vikings’ rush but Cutler’s ability to extend plays with his legs and actually run for available first downs should allow the Bears offense to stay on the field. (And he’s fresh!)
  • Alshon. It would be shocking if Jay doesn’t float at least 2-3 balls deep to Jeffery tonight. Both men have a point to prove – to this organization and the 31 others – and both will be eager to prove it together. Every time the Vikings isolate Alshon in man, expect Jay to look his way.

Should the Bears win? No. Can they? Absolutely.

Tagged: , , ,

419 Comments

DBB Weekend Show – Week 8 [AUDIO]

| October 28th, 2016

On the Weekend Show:

  • We lead off with Adam Jahns discussing the drama surrounding Jay Cutler’s return to the starting lineup and his general dismay with John Fox’s communication.
  • Dolly Parton! In the Ghetto!
  • Jeff discusses the three possible outcomes over the next 9 games for Cutler and why his starting in 2017 should not be ruled out yet.
  • Reverend Dave compares the Cutler debate to…Scientology?
  • The pick: Bears 13, Vikings 10. Expect Bears defense to control things but if Bears go into this game without their starting guards, Cutler won’t have a calm pocket all night.

Tagged: , , , , ,

259 Comments

Across The Middle — Week Eight

| October 26th, 2016

screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-3-59-34-pm

Suddenly, the 2016 Bears season has a chance to be productive.

The loss to the Packers dropped the team to 1-6 and they’ll almost surely fall to 1-7 on Monday night against the Minnesota Vikings. But with Jay Cutler back at quarterback, it feels like they can accomplish something, even while not making the playoffs. The Bears need to figure out who their quarterback is going to be going forward. (It was never going to be Brian Hoyer.) It might be Cutler and we finally have a situation where we can get an accurate read on him.

Cutler played well in the Bears first two games but they were facing two of the ten best defenses in the league with a makeshift offensive line, no running game and Kevin White still trying to figure out what was happening. While Cutler was out, the line came into its own, Cameron Meredith proved to be an upgrade (at least in the short term) and Jordan Howard went off. The only thing they were missing was a quarterback who could put the ball in the end zone. If Cutler is playing with a full deck and can’t put points on the board, the Bears need to find a new quarterback.

These next nine games just might be among the most important in the history of the franchise because they may determine who is playing quarterback for the foreseeable future.

Getting After the QB

He didn’t have much of an impact on the game but if Pernell McPhee can become the player he was last year, the Bears are going to be a team no quarterback wants to face.

One thing the Bears did against the Packers last week that they’ve really never done was pressure Aaron Rodgers. I had the Bears down for 23 quarterback disruptions in the game. (They had 10 on Green Bay’s first two possessions.) The Packers eventually realized the Bears had Bausby and, at times, Glenn at cornerback and changed their offense. But they had to make that change or they wouldn’t have done jack against the Bears. If the Bears had better cornerback play, they would’ve shut Green Bay down.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , ,

233 Comments

Seven Thoughts for Seven Games (Thought 7)

| October 25th, 2016

screen-shot-2016-10-22-at-8-04-04-am

Thought 7. On Offensive Optimism

I started making a chart a few weeks ago. The chart has three columns.

  • Column 1 – each position on the roster.
  • Column 2 – players who could be part of the team’s plans in 2017.
  • Column 3 – players who will be part of the team’s plans in 2017.

(I’ll be sharing this chart over the second half of the season.)

Why did I start doing this? Because I thought it would be important to track the development of younger players and monitor just how many holes the Bears will still need to fill come the end of the calendar year. For instance, a player moving from column 2 to column 3 would show growth; moving in the opposite direction would mean things are going in the wrong direction.

Think about the 2017 Bears on offense.

They have good tailbacks. Jordan Howard is big and physical. Jeremy Langford is shifty and versatile. Ka’Deem Carey is looking like a solid change-of-pace option for either player.

If they re-sign Alshon Jeffery, which they must, their receiving corps will be affordably four-deep. Jeffery, Cam Meredith, Kevin White and Eddie Royal present enough challenges to an opposing defensive coordinator to keep the chains moving most every week. Meredith’s emergence will take pressure of White. (Marquess Wilson will forever be on the horizon and I actually believe Josh Bellamy can play.)

Read More …

Tagged: , ,

202 Comments

Seven Thoughts for Seven Games (Thoughts 1-2)

| October 22nd, 2016

screen-shot-2016-10-22-at-8-04-04-am

Thought 1. On the Cutler Injury

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that much of the analysis done on the Bears this season has failed to mention they have been without their starting quarterback for five and a half of the seven contests. Jay has always been undervalued in Chicago, especially by those covering the team and Brian Hoyer’s ability to move the football (without, you know, scoring any points) seemed to convince many reporters that his filling in as signal caller was essentially a push at the position. It’s not.

You ever see Monty Python & the Holy Grail? You know the iconic sequence where King Arthur fights The Black Knight? (Look you stupid bastard, you’ve got no arms left! / Yes I have!) Well that Knight, at that moment in the film, could throw a better deep ball than Brian Hoyer.

Read More …

Tagged: , , ,

242 Comments

Across The Middle – Week Seven

| October 19th, 2016

ct-3-questions-bears-playoffs-spt-1128-20151127

We entered this season believing in John Fox for one reason above all else: Thanksgiving 2015. He needs a repeat performance to restore the faith.

As mediocre as the Packers have been this season, the Bears roster should not be able to compete in this game. They’ll likely be down their top four cornerbacks and three of their top four pass rushers. Oh, and Brian Hoyer is going to be the quarterback. The same argument was made about the Thanksgiving night game last year, but the Bears won because they played their butts off and John Fox was a large part of the reason why.

Fox has never been and is never going to be a good in-game coach. His teams are never going to be known for their discipline and his philosophies will always be simple. But Fox has survived because his players fight for him and give him everything they have. Fox needs to show he can still get that out of them this week.

I don’t know if winning the game is realistic. The Packers are ticked off and the “what’s wrong with Aaron Rodgers” questions are guaranteed to bring out his best. As important as wins and losses are, this Bears season should have never been defined that way.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , , ,

339 Comments

DBB Weekend Show – 10/14/16 [AUDIO]

| October 14th, 2016

On the sixth episode of the Weekend Show this season:

    • Jeff breaks down why Brian Hoyer has made this season watchable in Jay Cutler’s absence
    • Adam Jahns makes arguably his best appearance, breaking down Cutler/Hoyer, Cam Meredith’s emergence, Pernell McPhee, Kyle Fuller…etc. (One note on this: his words on Kevin White are not encouraging.)
    • Jeff describes this season as “fascinatingly terrible”.
    • Reverend discusses Missouri’s premier tourism destination.
    • Jeff, while physically breaking down, still manages to pick the Bears.
    • Elvis Costello tracks!

Tagged: , , , ,

260 Comments

Across The Middle — Week 6

| October 12th, 2016

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-4-52-26-am

Well, now what?

The loss to the Colts may have been the most disappointing of the season to me because it ended any chance the Bears had of becoming relevant this season.

I didn’t think they’d make the playoffs but I expected the Bears to be relevant. I expected them to a be a team nobody wanted to play and I expected to see serious signs of growth. A win over Indianapolis would’ve put them at 2-3 with a  chance to go 3-3 next week before they played the Packers in a Thursday night game. At that point, anything would’ve been possible.

But they lost to the Colts, a bad team. Making the loss worse, they Colts are a bad team that was coming off of a trip to another country, while the Bears were coming off of their first win. It was a game the Bears had to win and didn’t.

There are still bright spots this season and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I think the Bears have a very good GM and a lot of excellent young talent. They actually have a better record through Pace’s first 21 games than the Packers did with Ted Thompson. But that doesn’t make me feel better today.

There’s always next year, for most of us anyway. Depending on how the rest of this season goes, that could bring some very difficult questions.

The biggest question is the coach and there is no easy answer.

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: , , , , , ,

© Da' Bears Blog