Data Entries: A Response
Data has done a tremendous job over the past two days breaking down the cap situation facing the Bears this off-season. But I disagree with some of his conclusions, primarily a single point.
The Bears had the best defense in the NFL in 2018 and exited the playoffs on Wildcard Weekend. There’s no doubt in my mind they can return to Wildcard Weekend without Adrian Amos and Bryce Callahan on the roster. (The Eagles just made it a weekend further with Cre’von LeBlanc as their BEST corner.)
The immediate focus should be Bobby Massie. Is the right tackle one of the best in the league? Probably not. But he’s a very good starter and a solid veteran presence on the offensive line. Couple that with the great unknown beside him at right guard and it would seem pivotal for the Bears to not enter the 2019 season with the right side of their OL being a question mark. The offense has to make a jump in Year Two of Nagy. Continuity will be key.
The Hunt situation is a delicate one. So next week both Emily and I will be writing full-length columns on the prospects of the Bears bringing him to Chicago. I thought it was imperative to present a female perspective. But I also thought it was imperative to present an opinion with an historical, football-based context. We’ll do both.
The Mannelly Award
We’ve had fun with Pat Mannelly over the years, specifically naming this column space after his crazy decision in that Packers. But he’s one of the best long snappers in NFL history and now he’s trying to pave the way for the next generation of specialists. It’s very, very cool.
It is finally here! Together with @TheChrisRubio and Kevin Gold of @longsnapcom, we present to you The Patrick Mannelly Award presented to the top collegiate Long Snapper! For more information, please go to https://t.co/6lCzCYekfv pic.twitter.com/xOz3WuViRp
— Patrick Mannelly (@PatrickMannelly) January 15, 2019
Title Game Picks/Gambling Guide
Rams at Saints
- Spread: Saints -3
- Number: 56.5
- Prediction: I don’t think the back end of the Rams secondary can handle the Saints’ downfield passing attack unless Aqib Talib has the game of his life. And I don’t think Dennis Allen is going to let the Rams control the line of scrimmage with the rushing attack, instead forcing Jared Goff to beat the pressure of the moment and the insanity of the crowd. The Saints haven’t looked like a great team in a month or so. That changes Sunday. Saints 27, Rams 20.
Patriots at Chiefs
- Spread: Chiefs -3
- Number: 56.5
- Final Score: The weather could be hugely influential here. The current forecast is for something called an arctic chill and historic lows at Arrowhead. But neither of these teams – despite their acclaimed quarterbacks – need to throw the ball deep. Every guy on the Chiefs can take a slant 40 yards. Tom Brady rarely even looks over the top anymore. Run games. Short passing. Conservative until it’s necessary to be otherwise. Patriots haven’t won a road playoff game in more than a decade. That continues to hold. Chiefs 24, Patriots 17
Final Thought on Cody Parkey (But Probably Not)
I have a pretty good connection inside Halas Hall. This individual is not someone who openly offers information and rarely, if ever, contacts me before I contact them. This week that changed. After losing my mind a bit on Twitter over Cody Parkey’s misguidedly selfish decision to appear on NBC’s Today Show for what Matt Nagy described as a “me decision, not a we decision”, the source sent me a short text. Here is the entirety of said text:
Players agree with you on Parkey.
Tweet of the Week (Told Ya)
Lost in this whole Cody Parkey madness is that he didn’t practice at Soldier Field until mid-November (after the quadruple doink game) because … traffic. Seriously.
— Noah Brier (@heyitsnoah) January 15, 2019
Why YouTube Was Invented
I’ve probably shared this before. I don’t care. It’s glorious.
Welcome to the offseason!