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DBB Weekend Show – Week 15 [AUDIO]

| December 15th, 2016

ON THIS EPISODE OF THE (Abbreviated) WEEKEND SHOW:

  • Jeff challenges Greg Gabriel’s belief that Matt Barkley is not a professional-caliber quarterback, using quotes from Gabriel’s own column.
  • A clip from the classic L.A. Story.
  • Reverend Dave believes Josh Bellamy is the Andie MacDowell of the 2016 Chicago Bears. (He get it there, trust me.)
  • Prediction. Bear weather. And the team that’s better at running it (Bears) and stopping the run (Bears) wins in -20 wind chill. 13-10!

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Across The Middle — Week 15

| December 14th, 2016

If you follow a losing team long enough, the crappy seasons tend to all blend together. But if the 2016 Chicago Bears want to be remembered, they can make it happen this week by beating the Packers.

The Bears have been a losing team for most of my life, but there are a few teams I remember fondly. I remember the 2003 team because Charles Tillman ripped a pass out of Randy Moss’ hands and cost the Vikings a playoff berth. I remember Brian Urlacher running all alone down the field after intercepting Brett Favre in a 35-7 Bears win in 2007. I remember the 2015 Bears beating all odds by beating the Packers on Thanksgiving when Favre was being honored at halftime.

Those are the bad teams I remember positively and this year’s team has a chance to join them.

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Penalties, Mistakes, Officiating Cost Backup Bears a Road Victory

| December 12th, 2016

It was a not a good game. It was difficult on the eyes. And there were a lot of reasons for that. Rapid fire…

  • It is difficult to enjoy a football game, as a fan, when you assume every long run and every good play made in the secondary is going to be accompanied by a flag. You’re simply never able to live in the moment of a football game. Yesterday the refs were a disgrace. Inconsistent pass interference calls. Hands to the face on the wrong team. Phantom holds late to literally cost the Bears a chance to tie or win the game. Officiating is going to be a big story come January and it will cost a team in he playoffs.
  • Worst example was the Stafford bomb downfield. Bears rushing three and dropping eight. Line judge throws flag, clearly for holding on the Lions. (She was staring at the line of scrimmage.) Refs convene and decide she had called holding ON THE DEFENSE! This means the refs believe one of the three rushers for the Bears held a Lions offensive lineman. Why? The only time defensive linemen hold is to prevent OL from getting to the second level. They didn’t identify who did it because, as you might imagine, it never happened. Farce.
  • How on earth are we supposed to evaluate #barkleytime with this crop of receivers “catching” the ball? Barkley didn’t do anything spectacular Sunday but when the game was put on his arm, he delivered. Again. His teammates and the refs let him down.
  • Seeing Barkley with Alshon Jeffery this week is going to be very interesting.
  • Barkley’s throw to Cam Meredith for the touchdown was a thing of beauty. Which are the throws Barkley can’t make?
  • Josh Bellamy plays wide receiver in the strangest manner I’ve ever seen. He has great hands but refuses to use them. He has no sense of where the boundaries are. He never knows when to jump or not jump for the football so his default seems to be JUMP! But he’s always open so how can Barkley not throw him the ball?

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Bears Thump Niners & There’s Plenty To Feel Good About

| December 5th, 2016

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You will hear it across Chicago today: “…but the Niners suck.” And there’s no denying that fact. The Niners do, in fact, suck. They are probably the league’s worst team. (I don’t consider Cleveland a team.) But good teams beat sucky teams convincingly. Good teams play meaningless fourth quarters against sucky teams. And the Bears, with their third or fourth-string quarterback, looked an awful lot like a good team yesterday.

Rapid fire…

  • I’ve been using #barkleytime as something of a joke but, you know, I’m starting to think it might not be. As impressive as Barkley was against the Titans a week ago, he was ten times more impressive in the conditions at Soldier Field yesterday. And if het got a little more help from his receivers, he might have been staring down a gaudy stat line. Nevertheless, a near-100 quarterback rating in the slush when the opposing quarterbacks looked like Abbot & Costello Meet the Snow, is exemplary. (More on Barkley coming later today/tomorrow.)
  • I can’t remember seeing a two-win team play with the emotion the Bears played with yesterday. Defensively, offensively, everything. They were fired up from the opening whistle. Seeing that makes me want to slap all the “they should lose” people across their faces.
  • Jordan Howard. That is all. No, that’s not all. His five-yard touchdown run may be my favorite play of the season. The Niners weren’t keeping him out of the end zone with 18 defenders.
  • Say this about Josh Bellamy: he gets open! And I give the Bears coaching staff/QB credit for sticking with him after the second big drop. I would have sat him on the bench and left him there. They didn’t and they were handsomely rewarded for it.
  • Noah Spence is having a terrific year in Tampa and Joey Bosa is terrific but Leonard Floyd may now be the front-runner (as predicted here) for defensive rookie of the year. If Floyd can get his sack total into double digits, I’m not sure they can keep the award away from him.

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Pathetic Receivers Rob Bears Fans of Memorable Moment: Rapid Fire

| November 28th, 2016

I have never seen anything like it. It didn’t matter which Chicago Bear Matt Barkley threw the football to, the ball was going to be dropped. And with the game there to be won, Barkley delivered not one or two but THREE touchdown passes that went through the hands of his pass “catchers”. Josh Bellamy’s drop on first-and-goal drop will be the poster image for this entire, painful 2016 campaign.

More thoughts:

  • Someone needs to explain to me how Matt Barkley went from looking nervous and unprepared to Pro Bowler in a matter of moments. Was it the coverage? Was it an offensive scheme change? Barkley’s first NFL start should have left us with The Matt Barkley Game, a contest we never forget.
  • The Bears dropped ten passes. Ten. And Barkley still eclipsed 300 yards on the day. What could his numbers have been?
  • Barkley now becomes intriguing next week and moving forward. It’s unlikely he’s going to make Ryan Pace after his draft plans but he may provide the kind of young, affordable backup organizations need.
  • Titans second half possessions: FG, FG, punt, punt. Bears second half possessions: INT, punt, TD, TD, eleven dropped TDs. We’ve complained about second half meltdowns this season. This was second half dominance.

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Postseason Positional Analysis Part III: Wide Receivers

| January 12th, 2016

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If the Bears can ever get — and stay — healthy at the wide receiver position, their offense should really take off. Their top four receivers missed a combined 36 games, with the only one playing over half their snaps being Marquess Wilson. Youngers players stepped up and made plays but the position, expected to be a strength, ended up being a weakness.

ALSHON

If you took the numbers Alshon Jeffery put up in 8 1/2 games this season and calculated them out to a 16-game total, you see a star. The numbers are roughly 102 catches, 1,520 yards and eight touchdowns. Looks great, but you can’t give him credit for 16 games when he doesn’t play 16 games. Injuries are his biggest problem and there’s no reason to think they will go away. So how do the Bears assign him a value?

By not signing Jeffery before the season, the Bears made it clear they didn’t view him as an elite receiver. As good as he was at times, it’s hard to say he did anything to increase his value. The Bears can’t let Jeffery hit the open market, however, because someone else will offer him top-tier receiver money and Chicago doesn’t have a replacement. Whether it be with the Franchise Tag or a long-term contract, the Bears need to bring Jeffery back.

WHITE

We don’t know what Kevin White is. We think he’s a stud and when we hear Ryan Pace say he can’t wait to “unleash” him, it makes us believe that even more. Still, he’s going to be raw and nobody has a clue what kind of long-term effects the leg injury might have on him.

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Across The Middle With Andrew Dannehy

| December 9th, 2015

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• The loss to the 49ers was flat out Trestmanesque and absolutely unacceptable. I’m not mad because they lost. I’m mad because their performance, regardless of the outcome, was not acceptable. Coming off of a big win with extra time to rest and prepare against a bad West Coast team playing a noon game, there was absolutely no reason for that game to have even been close, much less a loss. As much credit as we all gave John Fox after the win over the Packers, he deserves a ton of blame for this loss. He didn’t have his team focused and ready to go.

• I get that Robbie Gould is the whipping boy. He has to make that kick, but I  also don’t really care that he missed it. They didn’t deserve to win. That said, I don’t put 100 percent of the blame for the miss on Gould. Look at the last two attempts, both of the snaps were awful (more on that later). So, lining up for a game-winner he’s thinking about where the snap is going to be and if Pat O’Donnell can even get it down for him to kick it in addition to doing his job. He still has to make the kick and that’s no excuse, but he didn’t lose the game. They were asking him to win one that they really had no business winning.

• Gould certainly isn’t as much to blame for the loss as Adrian Amos. Nobody cares if he thought Gabbert was going to slide, hit him anyway. A penalty there doesn’t lose the game. Then, in overtime, everybody else on the defense knew what the 49ers were doing, what was Amos thinking? He’s been awesome this year, but that was a horrendous game.

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