Administrative Note: I will be recording a podcast with Adam Jahns of the Sun-Times this afternoon to take the pulse of the Bears locker room. The pod will post either evening or tomorrow morning. Felt like the right week to do it.
ATLANTA A ‘MUST WIN’?
The Bears needed 2-2 over this four game stretch. If they’re going to achieve that mark without HAVING to win in New England, Sunday’s game is pivotal. I had penciled in a loss at Atlanta at the start of the season but a win in Carolina. If the Bears leave Georgia victorious the debacle in North Carolina will be a fading memory.
What I like about the game Sunday is Atlanta will score points and most likely plenty of them. The offense, currently under warranted fire, will need to deliver a big performance.
FORTE OVER 10,000
I was looking up Forte’s career stats and realized he passed 10,000 yards from scrimmage in the last game. Congratulations Matt! Funny, I don’t recall anyone mentioning this in the press. He has a total of 10,037 yards. So I started to dig a little deeper and compare Matt’s numbers to the great Walter Payton. As of now, Matt has been very durable, starting 95 out of a possible 100 games. It turns out that Payton played in a total of 190 games in his career, so this would be the half way point. It took about a half hour, but I decided to compile some numbers for both players after their 1st 95 games.Forte’s 10,037 yards from scrimmage averages out to 105.65 yards per game. Not too shabby. He’s had 1,981 touches, 20.85 per game, and averaging 5.07 yards per touch. Over the same period, Payton had 10,706 yards from scrimmage, averaging 112.69 yards per game. Payton had 2,193 touches, 23.08 per game, and averaged 4.88 yards per touch.Payton, the greatest player ever, obviously had to work a lot harder for his yards since many more of them came in the running game. But it’s two different eras and the league has changed a lot. Still, Forte’s numbers are pretty impressive at this point in his career. If Matt has another 4-5 years in him at this pace, he will be a lock in Canton and top ten in total yards from scrimmage..
The last sentence is pretty powerful and begs the question, “Is Forte the most underrated player in the league?” I think he has to be.
I HATE MEASURABLES…
…and this article from Kevin Clark in the Wall Street Journal on the Kansas City Chiefs is a principal reason why. I am a miserable, old, young man. I miss the days where you watched a guy play football and said, “He beat that guy there so he’s better than that guy”. Here are some of the ridiculous paragraphs from the piece. (My favorite, ridiculous phrases and sentences are in bold.)
“Length has always been huge, but when you pay attention to the way offense has evolved, with offensive linemen, you are darn right you have to have arm length,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey said that he evaluates linemen on both sides of the ball with a clear plan in mind. After figuring out how to quantify explosion, he studies 20 years worth of explosive players at the same position. “Once you understand those basic measurements of explosion, what you can do is go back and look at correlation with the data you have at hand,” he said.
“There has to be more urgency in the first step,” he said. He added that there has been a new emphasis on posture to maximize arm length. “What’s important is, if a player stands up and gets out of his stance and his back is round, his 35-inch arms aren’t playing at 35 inches,” Sparano said. “The days of finding these short-arm linemen are [over]. It is not a redeeming quality.”
Just draft a guy who can fucking block another guy.