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Putting My Thoughts on the Trade of Martellus Bennett in One Place

| March 18th, 2016

Dec 22, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett (83) carries the ball during the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Bears 54-11. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Twitter is not the avenue for nuance. Hopefully DBB can be. My thoughts on Martellus Bennett’s trade to New England:

  • I completely understand the trade from the front office perspective. Ryan Pace is a young GM in a high-pressure gig and he’s not going to employ anyone he views as not having bought into his program.
  • Nobody begrudges Bennett wanting more money as he’s one of the best tight ends in the league. But when his lack of commitment on the field was perceived as linked to financial demands, his hour glass flipped.
  • Hard to criticize a player for not trying hard but I’ve done so with Bennett multiple times this season. It was also very clear from watching the games that Jay Cutler didn’t believe Bennett fought hard enough for balls thrown in his direction.
  • The phrase “buy in” puts everything on Bennett. But did the Bears try and sell him? Did Pace ever sit Bennett down and explain how he can thrive in this system, with this quarterback? It was in the best interest of both parties to make this work.

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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

 

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Super Bowl Sunday

| February 1st, 2015

Seattle Seahawks v Atlanta Falcons

A Note on the Super Bowl

I hear a lot of Bears fans say, “I’m not even going to watch the Super Bowl for this reason or that reason or the other reason or a few different reasons than the other reason.” There’s a sadness to that sentiment. This is the Sunday wherein the sport’s history is written. What is past – regular season, wild card, divisional, title games – is merely prologue.

Fans of the thirty teams not represented in Glendale watch this game with dreams in their hearts. Everything a Bears should want from their club will be represented by the two teams battling this tonight. Every emotion a Bears fan should want to experience will be felt by one of the club’ fan bases well through the evening hours.

This is the Super Bowl.

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Super Bowl Preview Volume V: Game Prediction

| January 29th, 2015

superbowl

It has to happen.

You can listen to any sports radio show in the country and hear hundreds of analysts breaking down the nuances of this wonderful Super Bowl match-up. (And it is a wonderful match-up.) But for me, the most amazing moments of Super Bowl XLIX will be after the game has been played. Because then, on the stage at midfield, commissioner Roger Goodell and NBC’s Dan Patrick will hand the Lombardi Trophy to Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick. Then those same gentlemen will hand the Super Bowl MVP trophy to Tom Brady.

It will be the glorious conclusion of all this deflation of football drama. And it will present the Kraft, Belichick, Brady trio the grandest stage in all of television to smugly address a suspect public and antagonistic media. Sports are always great theatre. No Super Bowl postgame scenario will have ever been more drama laden.

New England Patriots 24, Seattle Seahawks 16

PS.

I can’t get the images of the Seahawks v. Packers game out of my head. Seattle was awful for the entirety of regulation. No pressure. No passing game. Penalties galore. And after Green Bay had gifted them the lead late their “legendary” defense allowed Aaron Rodgers to walk down the field for the field goal. (Don’t legendary defenses NOT do that?) Two things I believe: (1) If Seattle had settled for a field goal in overtime they would have been beaten by Rodgers and (2) I believe the best team in the NFC is home right now. The Patriots don’t allow fake field goal touchdowns or onside kick recoveries. They are too well-coached for that.

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Super Bowl Preview Volume II: Final ‘Audibles’ of the 2014 Football Season

| January 27th, 2015

audibles

THREE THOUGHTS ON THE GAME ITSELF

  • The outcome of Seahawks v. Packers disguised the story of Seahawks v. Packers: Seattle’s complete lack of pass rush. If Aaron Rodgers had mobility the game would never have been in question (and let’s be honest, it should not have been in question anyway). Tom Brady’s two Super Bowl losses to Tom Coughlin and the Giants had a similar theme. The Giants pressured him. They pressured him consistently. If the Seahawks don’t they will need to score a lot of points to win this game.
  • Who is Richard Sherman covering? The Patriots have no issue not throwing the ball out wide so are the Seahawks going to allow their best cover man to be relegated to Brandon LaFell all evening? The middle of the Seahawks defense can be attacked and I would expecte Edelman and Gronk to live there most of the night.
  • Steve McNair still holds the Super Bowl record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 64. I expect the Seahawks to try and break that record with Russell Wilson. Pete Carroll can say whatever he wants but he learned a week ago his quarterback is at a severe disadvantage when chasing the game. Pats will want to be aggressive on the edges. Expect Wilson to take advantage of that and hit them for some zone read runs.

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Wheels Officially Come Off: Bears Embarrass Themselves at Foxboro

| October 27th, 2014

It was infuriating to watch the Bears play the Dolphins a week ago. They lacked passion at Soldier Field that Sunday. They lacked guts. There is no more difficult experience for a sports fan than believing you – with a wing-sauce soaked beard and Guinness-foamed mustache – care more about the outcome of your team’s contest than the team itself. (This is the case far more often than fans know.)

There was nothing infuriating about yesterday’s embarrassment at Foxboro. It is impossible to be angry about a result so predictable. The Bears coaching staff was shown just how far they are from being able to compete mentally with the elite coaching staffs in the sport. The Bears players, especially their stars, were shown how stars are meant to perform on the grand stage of the NFL Sunday. The Bears general manager was forced to sit through another sixty minutes of his prized free agents, $15M of defensive end this season, donned their invisibility cloaks for the eighth consecutive week. Lamarr Houston removed his cloak just long enough to put the punctuation mark on this shambolic sentence.

The Bears right now are the most lethal combination in sports. They have star players not performing to their potential and a coaching staff unable to elevate the play of lesser talent. Calling them mediocre would be an insult to mediocrity.

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Bears at Patriots Game Preview Addendum

| October 24th, 2014

bilbo

FIVE FACTS ABOUT SUNDAY’S GAME

Fact #1

Jay Cutler will have a bounceback game.

Here’s a rather remarkable stat for Jay Cutler. In his season and a half under Marc Trestman, anytime his passer rating in a game has dipped below 90 he has a rebounded well.

  • Week 4 of 2013 he delivered a 65.5 against Detroit and followed with¬† 128.1 against New Orleans.
  • Week 9 he dropped a 69.8 against Detroit. After injury he returned with a 102.2 against Cleveland.
  • Week 15 he joined the Bears humiliation and scored 73.8 on the passer test against the Eagles. He finished the season with a 103.8 against Green Bay.
  • Cutler opened 2014 with an 86.2 against Buffalo and followed with a 119.2 against San Francisco.
  • He followed his 82.5 against Green Bay this year with a 95.5 against Carolina – the first time under Trestman the sub-90 was not met by a plus-100.

Trust history. Cutler’s passer rating: 109.4

Fact #2

Matt Forte will have more carries than he’s had all season.

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