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Across the Middle With Andrew Dannehy

| November 11th, 2015

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• Upon further review, I have changed my mind about the biggest thing to come out of this game. Immediately after the game, I thought it was about their defense finally getting a stop and Jeremy Langford. Now, I think it was about Alshon Jeffery. He was awful at the start of the game, with a dropped touchdown, another dropped pass on third down and a pick-six that he should’ve prevented. He put the team in a big hole. In the past, we’ve seen Alshon disappear after those moments. Then something happened. It’s as if he grew up before our eyes. He was different. We saw him pounding his chest and talking after the play. He was pissed off and he was going to dominate. Maybe it doesn’t happen that way if Jason Verrett doesn’t hurt his hamstring, but I’m not sure that mattered. He just may have taken the step the Bears dared him to take by not extending his contract before the season.

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Bad Bears top Bad Chargers: Rapid Fire

| November 10th, 2015

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 09: Jeremy Langford #33 of the Chicago Bears is pursued by Ricardo Mathews #90 of the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on November 9, 2015 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Call it what it is: This game was terrible and hard to watch. But, for the first time in three weeks, the Bears came out on top of the poorly-played game and there were a couple good signs. Rapid fire…

• There are two big stories in this game. Two stories that could have a big impact on the Bears future: Their defense got a stop when they needed it and Jeremy Langford looks damn good.

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Three Hopes for the NFL Schedule Release

| April 19th, 2015

The NFL will announce the 2015 schedule at some point this week, setting travel calendars for many of the sport’s fans this fall and winter. Personally, I love the announcement as much as any day in the off-season. It’s like building a brilliant travel itinerary. Sure, the fun is actually executing that itinerary but creating the itinerary itself makes the trip real. Seeing the Bears 16 games laid out makes the 2015 season suddenly real.

Here are my hopes…

HOPE #1 – Return the Bears to Sunday at Noon

I know the Bears are a huge television draw and the NFL has more prime time slots than Law & Order in the 90s. But two years straight the Bears have gone almost a month late in the season without playing on Sunday afternoon.

When the Bears don’t play on Sundays, Sundays are worthless to me. Sure you get the chance to watch a few other clubs closely but I do that on Mondays and Tuesdays anyway. Sundays are about routine. Sundays are about ritual. Some folks like to go to church. I like to go to Josie Woods and pray the Bears don’t embarrass themselves.

HOPE #2 – Send the Bears to San Diego in December

You think a lot of Bears fans show up to Nashville and Dallas and Charlotte? Try scheduling the Bears in paradise once the winter has rolled into Chicago. I’ll have my hotel room booked an hour after the schedule is released.

Side note: the Chargers should have petitioned the NFL for this. They already are amongst the league’s worst fans and with word leaking the team has its eyes on LA, it isn’t going to get better any time soon.

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Divisional Round Weekend Game Previews & Predictions

| January 9th, 2014

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All season I have done a feature on Twitter called the Around the League Tweets (with various fake sponsors) and five times this season I mentioned how excited I’d be to bet against Andy Dalton in a playoff game. And what did I do? Not only did I not gamble against Dalton but I picked the Bengals to win! My quest for a perfect postseason died on Wild Card Weekend. I deserved the opening 3-1. On to the next round…

SATURDAY 4:35 PM ET – NEW ORLEANS AT SEATTLE

Line: Seahawks -8

Analysis: Thought Rob Ryan’s performance in Philadelphia was one of the most impressive defensive game plans we’ve seen in the NFL all season long but that won’t be enough to compensate for NOLA’s offensive struggles on the road. Seattle beat the Eagles in Philadelphia by relying on Mark Ingram and the ground game – an element the Seahawks will certainly take away with their front. That leaves Drew Brees to win the game through the air and he’s not the same player on the road.

Side note: Is it strange that I would give the Seahawks no shot if this game were in New Orleans? That doesn’t feel like the mark of a Super Bowl champion. I’ll worry about that next week.

Final Score: Seattle 24, New Orleans 13

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Wild Card Weekend Game Previews & Predictions

| January 3rd, 2014

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All point spreads provided below were listed on BETUS.com as of Wednesday afternoon.

Saturday 4:35 PM ET – Kansas City at Indianapolis

Line: Indianapolis -2.5

Analysis: I’m going with a three-pronged approach to this.

  1. Andy Reid is always a little dicey when it comes to the postseason. All of a sudden how he controls the game/manages the clock becomes far more important and Reid is notoriously terrible at both of those things.
  2. Since losing 42-28 on the road to the Bengal the Colts have thrashed the Texans, Chiefs and Jaguars. Yes I know two of those three are not the most impressive opponents and KC had nothing to play for in December but I like seeing teams dominate teams they should dominate.
  3. Aren’t we due for an Andrew Luck, national spotlight, coming out party? While all the talk has been about Bob Griffin drama and Kaepernick struggling for ten weeks, Luck has quietly just gone about winning games. I think he’s going to have a big afternoon.

Final Score: Indianapolis 30, Kansas City 23

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