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Across The Middle With Andrew Dannehy

| December 23rd, 2015

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• I hate to be “that guy”, but this is now three straight games that the Bears have barely bothered to show up for. We can talk all we want about a culture change and can claim it has already happened, but, to me, it’s pretty clear that John Fox still has a lot of work to do. At this point, it would be a surprise if they didn’t finish with the same record they finished with last year.

• Does Fox get some sort of bonus if he doesn’t use his timeouts? I don’t get it. He wouldn’t use them when they were down three before the half, but he would when they were down 14 with no real shot? And he thinks he’s right. That might be the part that bothers me the most. When he’s asked about this, he acts as if nobody should be questioning him when what he’s doing is flat out stupid.

• Teddy Bridgewater converted six first downs passing and none of them came on throws that went beyond the first down marker. What does that tell you? This defense is bad.

• Solid start for John Timu. I can see him looking really good next to a speedy linebacker next year. Maybe a guy named Myles Jack. I’ve never seen Jack play, but his name is Myles Jack: He’s going to be a stud.

• Good rule of thumb: When a screen pass is intercepted, it’s never the quarterback’s fault. Obviously there are exceptions to the rule, but Sunday wasn’t one of them. Cutler couldn’t see the defender because he crouched down — hiding behind Long — right as he released the ball. It was a good defensive play, but Long has to keep his block there and make abso-fricken-lutely sure the defender does not get his hands on the pass.

• Why does Will Sutton play? This isn’t a matter of a player not fitting a scheme. This is a matter of a player not being good.

• The Alshon Jeffery conversation is too long for this spot, but watch what Antonio Brown did on Sunday and watch Julio Jones, A.J. Green, Odell Beckham Jr. and DeAndre Hopkins and it’s clear that Alshon isn’t them. But, one way or another, he’ll be a Bear next year. I’d bet your house on it.

• Kyle Long’s best position is guard. His best attribute is his physicality. He’s a monster once he gets his hands on the defender and he’s able to do so every play at guard. His worst attribute is his technique. By playing him at tackle, they’re minimizing his best attribute and emphasizing his worst. When it comes to building their team, they know they have a stud guard if they put him back there. If they leave him at tackle, they have no idea what they have there OR at guard. I’m not saying he can’t become a good tackle, but he was never as bad at guard as he has been at tackle and probably will never be as good at tackle as he was at guard.

• The Bears defense has almost given up as many points as Lovie’s. Two weeks ago it looked like Tampa Bay was headed to the playoffs and Lovie’s loyalists were saying it was a mistake to fire him. Two straight bad losses later and Lovie is in the exact same spot the Bears are in. The weird part is, Lovie inherited a good defense, but every move he’s made on that side of the ball has been bad.

This Still Doesn’t Make Sense

On the Vikings first drive, they faced a second-and-10 before Pernell McPhee tipped a pass right to Chris Prosinski, but Prosinski elected not to intercept it. Seriously, it would have been the easiest interception of Prosinski’s life, but he ran away from the ball, which landed about a foot away from where he was standing when McPhee tipped it.

Did he see a bee? A butterfly perhaps? WE NEED ANSWERS DAMNIT! But I know he wasn’t focused on the game he was currently playing because, if he was, that ball would’ve never hit the ground.

It didn’t end up being a big play because it was incomplete, but if Prosinski knew he was supposed to be trying to catch passes from the opposing quarterback, it would’ve been a big play.

Player of the Week

Matt Forte. There really isn’t a good option for this, so I went with Forte solely because he helped me win my playoff fantasy matchup.

Forte had a decent game even without a long run that was called back. He averaged nearly six yards per carry and had over 50 receiving yards. A lot of it came in garbage time, but my fantasy team doesn’t care when the players score.

Goat of the Week

Shea McClellin.  A lot of candidates, but Shea is supposed to be the Bears coach on the field and they look disorganized before just about every snap. Almost all of the Vikings first downs came on underneath throws when everybody knew underneath throws were coming on every third down.

It’s unfair to blame it all on Shea, but when an undrafted rookie free agent making his first start looks significantly better, well, what more needs to be said?

Bold Prediction for Week 16

Shea is going to get his first sack of the season on Winston.

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