Winslow Townson, AP Images
This is a big moment for a franchise devoid of big moments lately.
Last time the Bears played, the Cubs were still the top story in Chicago and in the aftermath of their Bucs dismantling it was hard for this surging team to even find air time on local sports radio. But now the attention of the entire city is on the Bears. And everybody has one question: are they the real thing?
Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?
I always like the Chicago Bears…
…and the match-up of Bears Defense vs. Dolphins Offense is about as lopsided as you’ll find on the Week Six slate. Miami is bottom five in just about every relevant offensive statistic and – watching a few of their games this week – those numbers may be flattering. I never understood the frothing over Adam Gase in Chicago, unless endless bubble screens triggers one’s salivary glands. His “system” is not working with this talent group in Miami. And this will be the best defense they face in 2018.
The Game Conversation: A (Very) Short Play
(It’s the Old Town Alehouse. Noon. Wednesday. DUKE and DICK sit in the corner, one reading the Sun-Times and the other the Trib. They do not look at each other when they speak.)
DUKE: You believe in ’em?
DUKE: The Bears.
DICK: Do I believe in ’em?
DUKE: Good defense.
DICK: Great defense.
DUKE: But you don’t believe in ’em?
(DICK takes a sip of the Old Style he smuggled in because the bar refuses to serve the legendary beer.)
DICK: No. But I’m willing.
Why the Bears Win
- Miami has struggled to pressure the quarterback and that seems to be what will be required to keep the Nagy/Trubisky offense in check. If the Dolphins don’t send extra players into the backfield, Trubisky will have options all over the field. If they do, they better get home.
- Ryan Tannehill has been awful his last two starts. He’s completing around 56% of his passes for a total of 285 yards. His TD-INT is 1-3. His quarterback rating for the two games is 52.65. Other than Josh Allen, Tannehill has been the worst quarterback in the league over this two-game stretch and now Khalil Mack is coming to south Florida.
- Miami’s offensive line was humiliated late by Cincinnati. Just read some of the coverage from Sunday’s game and you’ll find reason to believe Mack, Akiem Hicks and the rest of the DL may be able to feast upon this mostly-journeymen offensive line, including former-Bear Teddy “Ballgame” Larsen. When there’s pressure on Tannehill, like most quarterbacks, bad decisions ensue.
Why They Won’t
- Ten picks. Mitch Trubisky tends to give the opposing secondary a few opportunities a game to make plays and the Dolphins have 10 interceptions on the season, leading the league. Xavien Howard, Reshad Jones, Kiko Alonso and Minkah Fitzpatrick are all beatable through the air but they have good hands.
- Best return game in the league. Miami’s Jakeem Grant has become a force in the return game, already scoring on a kickoff and punt in 2018. (Miami is the only team in the league to have scored a kickoff and punt return touchdown.) Cody Parkey has been slamming the ball through the endzone, only allowing four kickoff returns total through four games. So bottling Grant will fall to Pat O’Donnell and the punt coverage units.
- History. 1985. 2006. Two great Bears defenses that were thrashed by the Miami Dolphins. The latter was at the hands of Joey f’n Harrington. I know. I was there.
Top Ten Moments from The Office
I did a top five Office moments on Twitter and it took me about seven minutes to realize my list was incomplete. So the new list is getting space in this column because this is where I bury crap like this.
[Note: It is generally accepted that Dinner Party is The Office’s finest episode and I certainly agree. But there wasn’t an individual moment in that masterpiece that stands out. Hunter’s song? It’s remarkable. But is it a moment?]
(Honorable Mention) Deangelo Jeremitrius Vickers, Selected Moments.
(10) David Wallace & Son: Suck It Song.
(9) Prison Mike’s Gruel Sandwiches.
(8) Dwight Pitches “Goat Packages” to Robert California.
Dwight: My first love is beet farming, but it’s a young man’s game. Who ever heard of an old beet farmer?
Robert: Forget the beets. Concentrate on the hosting. I could spend a considerable amount of money having my birthday party here.
Dwight: Oh really? Well, we have a number of birthday packages. The Pewter Package has the least amount of goats, not no goats, it’s still 10-12 goats, depending on the availability of the goats. Now the Goat Package obviously has the most goats. What were you thinking?
Robert: Of course I am not interested in goats. Why would you spend so much time going over the goats with me?
Dwight: I can get you exotic meats – hippo steaks, giraffe burgers…
Robert: We’ll talk. [walks away]
Dwight: It’ll all be goat.
(7) Pam’s Face When Jim Finally Asks Her Out.
(6) Creed’s Speech at Andy’s Seminar.
(5) Jim Enters Dwight’s Room at Schrute Farms Due to Moaning.
Pam: [Pam and Jim hear Dwight crying] Ugh, your turn.
Dwight: [Jim knocks on Dwight’s door, crying stops] Come in. Did you have another nightmare?
Jim: Hey Dwight.
Dwight: Oh, Jim. I thought you were Mose.
Jim: Does Mose have nightmares?
Jim: Oh yes. Ever since the storm.
Dwight: Is everything satisfactory with your stay?
Jim: Yeah, yeah.
Jim: Just thought that I heard crying, moaning, or something in here.
Dwight: Oh. Well I’ll look into that in the morning. Thank you for bringing that to the attention of the staff.
Jim: Good night, Dwight. [Jim leaves, Dwight continues crying]
(4) Jim’s Impression of a Smug Bedbug in Tallahassee.
(3) Michael Responds to Toby’s Return.
(2) The “Buttlicker” Sequence.
(1) Dwight and Jim’s Second KGB interchange.
I love this button on “Golden Ticket” because it’s quite honestly the funniest, most endearing interchange between Dwight and Jim. In this rare moment, it’s very clear they enjoy each other.
Dwight: Ding dong.
Jim: Who is it?
Jim: Alright. I just got out of the shower, I’ll be one second.
Dwight: [in accent] When you are done, open the door. … Hello in there?
Jim: Yeah, I’m late for work, so I have to brush my teeth, it’s a whole routine.
Dwight: We have more houses to visit.
Jim: If you want to come back then, that’ll be fine.
Dwight: We will come back at… how is [looks at watch] 4:45?
Jim: I get back from work around 6.
Dwight: How about 5:15?
Jim: You can try. That, that might work.
Dwight: Very well, we will come back at 5:15.
Don’t Gamble, But If You Do… (2-2)
Did a three-team teaser two weeks ago and managed to lose with the Bills getting 16 points from the Packers on a day Green Bay only scored 22. Bad beat. Back to zero on the season.
Miami’s over/under is 20 points. Only Aaron Rodgers has gotten over the 20 number on the Bears defense and he required a heroic fourth quarter to do so. Ryan Tannehill ain’t no Aaron Rodgers. Drop $100 on the Miami under. (And parlay it with the Bears -3 to pay the rent.)
Charity of the Week
They were looking for $12,500. They are over $11,000. Worthy cause for what seems to be a good dude.
My dad has put together a GoFundMe to help us pay primarily for veterinarian bills for my dog, but also for other payments regarding smoke and fire damage to our house. I would be so incredibly grateful for any possible donations: https://t.co/eHoqokHeOH
— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) October 3, 2018
If the Bears are going to become a contender in the NFL they have to win games like this. Hell, I couldn’t even come up with a third bullet point to make Miami’s case this week! Plain and simple. Show up. Win the game.
Chicago Bears 26
Miami Dolphins 10