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Across The Middle With Andrew Dannehy

| December 2nd, 2015

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• The Bears should have been running into a buzz saw. The Packers seemed to right whatever was wrong with them four days earlier, the weather conditions suited them perfectly and it was a night in which they honored one of the greatest players in their franchise’s history. Shit, Ron Wolf even referred to the field they were playing on as the house that Favre built. At no point did I think the Bears were going to win until about five seconds after — waiting for a flag — Aaron Rodgers’ fourth down pass hit the ground. How sweet it is.

• This wasn’t just a win for the Bears and it wasn’t just a loss for the Packers. The times are a changin’ in the NFC North and both teams know it.

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From the Shadows of Low Expectations, a Season Emerges

| November 30th, 2015

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Before this season began, in the shadows of low expectations, no one could have foreseen an evening like Thanksgiving night at Lambeau Field.

No one could have imagined a thirteen point outing from the home team just a year removed from seemingly scoring thirteen points a minute.

A second half shutout? Pipe dream.

No one could have envisioned the visiting quarterback thoroughly outplaying the man often mentioned in the same breath as a four-time Super Bowl champion.

No one could have guessed a secondary comprised of journeymen and kids would deliver heroic moment after heroic moment, refusing to break under the pressure of knowing a touchdown beats them. They shed multiple blockers. They batted down sure thing completions. They redirected routes and blanketed receivers on crucial downs. They did…everything.

(For video of the final four plays, you can VIEW THEM HERE ON YOUTUBE. The NFL, in its infinite wisdom, has disable embedding of their YouTube clips. Because why would you want to make it easy for those who love your product to consume it. My hatred of everything happening on Park Avenue grows daily.)

And perhaps most shocking, most unpredictable of all, no one would have believed that as the football season leaves Thanksgiving behind it is the fans of the Chicago Bears and not the Green Bay Packers who see their franchise’s arrow pointed decidedly up.

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Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Game Preview

| November 26th, 2014

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Nothing about this recent string of victories – and yes, two wins is considered a string – has been convincing. Nothing that has transpired in either game leads me to believe the 2014 Chicago Bears can line up against a good opponent and win. So…

Why do I like the Chicago Bears this week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

What Don’t I Like…

I don’t like the match-up for the Bears offensive line, which has played poorly of late. Detroit simply has too many good players along their defensive front for the Bears to block with any consistency. The only way to counter this mismatch would seem to be the Bears committing to the run game* against the best rush defense in the sport. (As you can tell I am not expecting many points from the Bears this week.)

*Not how I’d do it. See the next words.

How Would I approach the Lions?

Spread them out and chuck it.

Committing to the run early will put the Bears off-sequence in the passing game. Tom Brady and the Patriots ran the ball a total of six times in the first half against Detroit and went into the locker room with a 24-6 lead. And when they threw the ball, they threw it quickly. The Lions defense is still suspect in the secondary and if ever there was a game for Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery to assert their size and strength, this is it.

Seven Other Thoughts…

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