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Money Where My Mouth Is: Three Picks for Week Ten

| November 12th, 2015

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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

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457 Comments

Brandon Marshall Traded to Jets

| March 6th, 2015

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This move has nothing to do with football or money. The new Bears leadership doesn’t want Brandon Marshall in their locker room in 2015.¬† This is a personality purge – the type Emery and Trestman should have executed on the defensive Lovie Loyalists a few years back. Does it mean anything for Jay Cutler’s future? Who knows? Does it make the Bears a better team? Who knows? The Bears lost one hell of a productive wide receiver, sure. But where did that production get them exactly? And was his behavior – the details of which we still don’t know – worth the production? Clearly Ryan Pace and John Fox did not believe so.

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No Such Thing as Style Points: Rapid Fire Recap of the Bears 27-19 Win Over the Jets

| September 23rd, 2014

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This was an ugly win of an ugly game for the Chicago Bears. But I have news for you. Every team that goes into the Meadowlands to play the Jets is due for an ugly contest. The Jets have the best young defensive line in the NFL. They have a coach who is a mastermind at blitz schemes. They want ugly. They thrive on ugly.

Here are my thoughts on the Bears.

  • Did Mike Tirico have the “Mundy Night Football” call ready to go? If so he just out-Nantzed everything Jim Nantz has ever spewed at the end of the golf tournament. (And why would he have that call ready?)
  • Did Jay Cutler play a great game? No. But he was brilliant at times and if he doesn’t miss a few throws high the night would have looked much better. His first touchdown pass to Martellus Bennett showed a wonderful presence in the pocket and trademark arm strength. But his drive at the start of the second half was a thing of beauty and ultimately won the game for the Bears.
  • Last night with a hobbled Brandon Marshall, a useless run game and an over-matched offensive line, he was cool. He was a leader. And as he sits with 750 yards and an 8-2 TD-INT, he is starting to make the MVP talk seem less silly.
  • Was that Jared Allen starting his Bears career in the fourth quarter? Sure looked like it. He was manhandled by Brick Ferguson for the first three.
  • Through three games, Mel Tucker’s defense has not allowed a touchdown in the second half. They have allowed only 12 points. No opponent has scored more than 20 points. He is having a solid year as defensive coordinator thus far.

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Overconfidence, Opportunity & Oh Shea: Three Final Thoughts for Monday Night Football

| September 22nd, 2014

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Thought One – Overconfidence

I can’t recall a Bears game wherein the Bears were underdogs and an overwhelming number of Bears fans were predicting a blowout victory. Perhaps the expectations of 2014 have gotten the best of you? On face value the Bears would have no reason to blow out the Jets because the Jets do the two things that prevent blowouts: run the ball and stop the run. If the Bears win tonight I expect it to be a tough chore.

Thought Two – Opportunity

The Bears have a brilliant opportunity to seize control of the NFC North – almost unfathomable ten days ago.

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Bears at Jets Game Preview Addendum

| September 19th, 2014

ON THE JETS RUN GAME…

  • 179 yards a game thus far, admittedly against two fairly poor defenses. Only Houston has run the ball more and only five teams are averaging more yards per carry. Especially considering the shaky health of Eric Decker, I’d think Rex Ryan would not be disappointed with a forty carry night.
  • Give you a stat to keep an eye on. If the Bears limit the Jets to less than five yards a carry, the game is over by the fourth quarter.

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Chicago Bears at New York Jets Game Preview

| September 18th, 2014

Jonathan Hughes is a die hard New York Jets fan. On Sunday, as the Jets sprinted ahead of the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, I sent him a text message.

Jeff: J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!

Jon: Best start in ten years. Both sides of ball.

I haven’t spoken to Jon since.

Now the Bears travel to the New Jersey swamplands, in the shadows of my hometown, smells that define my childhood, air pollution that will inevitably land me at Sloan Kettering.

Why do I like the Chicago Bears this week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

WHY ELSE?

  • Jets may field their worst collection of corners in recent memory. Antonio Allen vs. Alshon Jeffery? Self-proclaimed great corner but actually terrible player Dee Milliner vs. Brandon Marshall? Hell, Darrin Walls or Kyle Wilson will struggle with a motivated Santonio Holmes. (Not to mention Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte will be a nightmare for the Jets in the passing game.) Once the Packers realized the Jets had no chance to cover their wide receivers they went on the attack and were borderline unstoppable. If I’m the Bears my approach from the onset is getting the ball in the hands of the weapons on the outside and forcing the Jets corners to make plays.
  • Jets will approach this game by believing they can run the football right up the gut of the Bears defense – especially if Jeremiah Ratliff is inactive with a concussion –¬† and they’ll give that game plan ample time. Chris Johnson was their high profile acquisition this off-season but Chris Ivory has been the far more productive back and I expect them to test Jon Bostic’s gap discipline all night long. Bears had a few breaks Sunday night, causing their run defense to look better than it actually was.
  • Rex Ryan is considered by many to be the most dynamic blitz schemer in the NFL and I don’t have the time or wherewithal to dispute that opinion. You know they’re coming. And you know they’re coming from every direction. But when Ryan blitzes he often either (a) leaves his corners on an island or (b) puts his safeties (Dawan Landry, Calvin Pryor) in the uncomfortable position of either defending over the top or covering tight ends they have business being matched up against. When Ryan’s group doesn’t hit Cutler, Cutler will rip them to shreds.

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2014 Chicago Bears Schedule

| April 24th, 2014

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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


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Around the League Tweets! – March 20th 2013

| March 20th, 2014

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Around the League Tweet, Sponsored by Advil Cold & Flu. 1 of 10. Brandon Weeden & Tony Romo is officially my favorite position room in the NFL.

2 of 10. When the Colts released a statement following owner Jim Irsay’s arrest, who was “the Colts”? Wasn’t “the Colts” in a Carmel clink?

3 of 10. Would pay to see March scrimmage between Panthers current WRs and Jets current cornerbacks. Best play: Dee Milliner.#Serious

4 of 10. Hey James Jones. Aaron Rodgers ain’t walking through that door in Oakland. I’m not sure who is but I’m pretty sure he’ll stink.

5 of 10, Two Parts. Pro days are to NFL what agent showcases are to professional theatre actors. You do the monologue well, you get an agent. You get a guy to help find work. You don’t get lead in Goodman Theatre’s Iceman Cometh. Because the showcase isn’t real.

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