Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears this Week?
I always like the Chicago Bears…
…and they are simply the better team, again. Yes, the game is on the road. Yes, it’s very hard to win on the road in the NFL. But the Bills are scoring 10.9 points per game. And that’s with scoring 27 in a dominant victory over the Vikings – the season’s most absurd outcome. (If you take that game out, the Bills are only averaging 8.5 points in their other 7 games. In this NFL that’s borderline impossible.)
How to Beat the Bills in Eight Steps
(i) The Bills have a very good defense. They are sixth in yards-per-game while operating with one of the worst offenses in the history of professional football. In case you missed it earlier, the BILLS ARE SCORING 10.9 POINTS PER GAME. Expect Sean McDermott – a disciple of the great Eagles DC Jim Johnson – to attack Mitch Trubisky early and often because he knows creating mistakes is his team’s best chance to win.
(ii) So the Bears need to be patient on offense. Run the ball. Be conservative in the passing attack. Don’t take unnecessary risks. Field goals are fine because the Bills simply don’t score touchdowns. Field position is huge because the Bills aren’t going 80 yards on anyone.
(iii) The Bills are starting Nathan Peterman most likely. And Peterman is one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. Career: 45.7%, 360 yards in three starts, 3 touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 31.4 passer rating. (The backup? #BarkleyTime.)
(iv) The Bills have slow, lumbering wide receivers. Zay Jones can move a bit but Benjamin, Holmes, Croom and Clay (tight end) get almost no separation and are not what you’d called big YAC guys. (Whether Terrelle Pryor is able to get healthy enough/up to speed for this weekend remains to be seen. Doubtful.)
(v) The Bills can run the ball a bit but their offensive line – loaded with Bears castoffs like Jordan Mills and Vlad Ducasse – is not good enough to control the line of scrimmage for an extended period of time. It also shouldn’t be good enough to beat Hicks, Goldman & Company at all. Still, expect LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory to have a few moments Sunday. They’re good players.
(vi) This means the Bills will need sustained, multi-play drives to score points. And without a successful running attack they’ll need to convert on third-and-longs to achieve that. But they’re starting one of the most inaccurate quarterbacks in league history and fielding a crop of receivers who fail to gain separation. This is not a winning formula for Buffalo.
(vii) The Bears knew the Jets couldn’t beat them. So they didn’t beat themselves. Expect the same Sunday.
(viii) Score 14 points. Probably win.
The Game Poem
Oh, in the home
Where the Buffalo Bills roam
Lived a man called Gerard McTeer
Ran a chipper in Trim
And the town adored him
When he left, there were many-a-tear
Now in Western New York
They call for the stork
For his cooking makes everyone randy
Not fancy, these things
These Buff-a-lo wings
As sweet and delicious as candy
Tweet of the Week
Unacceptable and embarrassing https://t.co/lZxgstceas
— Del Reid (@DelReid) October 29, 2018
Charity of the Week
This week’s shirt from 26Shirts Chicago is extremely cool and classy. (You can click the image of the shirt on the right rail or just FOLLOW THIS LINK.) Each shirt benefits a charitable organization or cause. This one is special. From their site:
On May 23, 2018, our lives were forever changed. Our sons Cameron (18) and Caden (16) were in a fatal car accident less than a mile from their high school, only three days before Cameron was set to graduate. Cameron died on site and Caden was taken via Flight for Life to Children’s Memorial Hospital in Milwaukee, WI. He survived with a few layers of stitches to his head, full body bruising, and a severe concussion. But he lost a brother.
One tragedy. One miracle.
We still tell this story as if it belongs to someone else. To imagine not having our oldest son with us for the rest of our time here on earth brings such immediate and severe pain. What we could not have anticipated was the tremendous amount of love and support we’d receive during the days and months following his death. So much kindness from people we knew and people we’d never met.
Over the weeks and months that followed, it was only then that we realized how much of the world had been impacted by our sweet son. We had the advantage of living with him everyday, so we knew he was special. We knew his laugh, his sense of humor, his empathy and love for everyone around him. We were blessed to be the main targets of that love. We did not comprehend how much joy and kindness he had spread to everyone he knew.
Cameron’s legacy was that of laughter, love, and kindness. So many countless examples were shared with us about his ability to make people feel special, feel seen, feel cared for. He paid attention to details, such as a new shirt or haircut. He recognized sadness and the need for a compliment or hug. He filled the gaps when others had their hands or mind full, stepping in to entertain a small child or chat with an aging grandmother. He knew how to connect to people in a way that left memorable examples of how to behave, as a Christian, as a son and a brother, and as a friend.
We hope to honor our beloved son by spreading his acts of kindness and joy through a scholarship at his high school, Shoreland Lutheran High School, in Somers, Wisconsin. This annual scholarship will aim to inspire kindness, empathy, love, and respect across the student body. It will seek out examples of individuals who aren’t afraid to talk to the new kid, or who go above and beyond to make a positive impression on someone else.
Additionally, we are launching a charity focused on demonstrating, educating, and empowering others to choose kindness. FlexKindness speaks more to those efforts, how you can donate or get involved, and what we plan to do to make this world a kinder, more loving place- just like Cameron did. We all deserve a Cameron in our life, and our family was blessed to have one for 18 years and 15 days.
Why not a buy a shirt and make someone’s life better? Hell, Christmas will be here soon enough!
Tweet of the Week, Volume II
Your Buffalo Bills offense in October folks:
— 42 full possessions
— 37 total points
— 2 touchdowns
— 9 turnovers
If the Bears don’t hit Monday at 5-3, something has gone terribly wrong.
— Dan Wiederer (@danwiederer) October 30, 2018
Don’t Gamble But if You Do… (3-4)
Last week I went with a five-bet parlay and only lost by teasing DOWN the Bears/Jets over/under and going over. Bad beat when you don’t hit the over on a number in the 30s. Then again, I had no idea conditions would get so difficult.
Three-team teaser at 6.5 points.
- Bears -2.5.
- Steelers +9.5. (Pittsburgh v. Baltimore is notoriously close and feisty. I don’t see either of these teams being ten points better than the other.)
- Packers +12. (I’m taking Aaron Rodgers with twelve points every single time he plays football.)
I wanted to predict a shutout but those are so rare these days. This game is going to look very, very similar to last week’s game but since it’s on the road, it’ll be slightly more nervy.
Chicago Bears 19
Buffalo Bills 9
[EDITOR’S NOTE: I wrote this entire piece without mentioning Khalil Mack because I don’t think it matters if Mack plays. But if he manages to get healthy and DOES play, he could wreck this game in the first quarter.]