Before the Bye…
I consider the next three games the completion of the first phase of the Chicago Bears season. They’ll take on the Rams at home Sunday before a two-week road journey at Dallas (Monday night) and Jacksonville. All three games are winnable but if the Bears are going to consider this first leg a success they must win 2 of 3. The Dallas game is interesting, however, because it provides this team an opportunity to (somewhat) erase the taste of the Packers loss on national television, in primetime.
Pog Mo Groin
(For those who don’t what phrase I’m playing off above, here is a tutorial.)
Is this year’s bizarre Bears trend going to be groin-related? Jeff Fisher told the media, after the Rams 31-28 victory over Bob Griffin and the Redskins, he pulled Steven Jackson from due to a strained groin. From Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
when I asked coach Jeff Fisher about why Jackson didn’t play after spiking the ball and drawing a 15-yard penalty. Fisher said Jackson had a groin strain, and that it wouldn’t have been right to put him back in. With Jackson out, the Rams turned to rookie RB rushed 15 times for 83 yards including a 53-yard breakaway. And, of course, the late fumble that could have led to an unhappy outcome for the Rams. Here’s what I don’t understand: when a player comes out of a game because of an injury, the news is announced in the press box. That’s the custom. Well, this time, that custom was broken. The Rams never disclosed the reason for SJ’s removal. No announcement was made. That prompted a lot of speculation. Seems to me, the Rams could have avoided that by simply disclosing the injury.
Needless to say the Bears will be at a considerable advantage if the Rams come to town without their workhorse back. (They are nearly double-digit favorites already.) Steven Jackson’s career has basically gotten lost on bad teams in St. Louis but I think he’s one of the great running back talents in the league.
On J’Marcus Webb at Left Tackle
After watching the All-22 tape of the Bears loss to the Packers, two things became abundantly clear to me: (1) J’Marcus Webb was beaten in almost every single one-on-one matchup he encountered throughout the game and (2) Mike Tice did a horrendous job giving him help. If the Bears were considering making a change at left tackle they can not reopen the competition. That won’t work. They have to hand the job to Chris Williams and let him play there for two or three weeks. Do I think they’ll do this? Absolutely not. But I think it’s the only way a change can be successful.
Picks Contest & Tee Shirts Update
I will be posting a Picks Contest Standings on the bye week – the week of October 14th. If you haven’t made at least one selection by Sunday October 7th you will be mathematically ineligible for the contest. Some of you – including myself – are off to flying 2-0 starts!
We will be putting another round of tee shirts on sale that week as well. They will go on sale Wednesday October 10th and the sales window will close on Halloween. This will be the time to order shirts if you want to give them out as Christmas gifts. (We’re also considering putting the image on a long sleeve tee and perhaps even a hoodie. Updates to come.)