[NOTE: I’m not writing about Mitch Trubisky in this preview because what is left to say? He needs to play well. That’s all.]
Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?
I always like the Chicago Bears.
And I believe in this coach. I believe he’s a very good coach. And a very good coach understands what needs fixing, fixes it and beats Teddy Bridgewater in his own building.
Oh When the Saints…
- Alvin Kamara is not healthy and it greatly limits the effectiveness of this offense because Teddy Bridgewater, while statistically fine, has been mostly in a managerial role outside of exploiting a useless Tampa secondary. When pressured, especially by Jacksonville, Bridgewater has looked eager to choose avoiding big mistakes over making big plays. That works against bad defenses. Against the decent ones lately (Jax, Dallas), the Saints have scored 12 and 13 points.
- The Saints defense is very good. From Bobby Hebert in a WWL Radio piece: “This is winning football no matter who the quarterback is. Over the last three games, the defense is giving up an average of 13.3 points per game…They’re allowing an average of 71.3 rushing yards. And, in this day and age, for total offense, they’re giving up under 250 yards. That speaks volumes. They’re trending in the right direction at an unbelievable rate. It’s really amazing to me that they’ve shown they can win in all three phases.”
- Deonte Harris is one of the best returners in the NFL. The Bears can’t let him flip the field and make things easier on Bridgewater and the offense.
Ditka’s is Closing (Tweets of the Week)
These are the transcribed Tweets of the legendary Jackson D, of the Q Brothers Collective. Check out his Twitter feed. It’s good.
Some Football Photos From London
My English Adventure Pub Top Ten
(10) Fleur de Lis Pub, Sandwich (Where I penned the play, “The Beautiful Racist of Kent”.)
(9) Lamb & Flag, Covent Garden (Tough neighborhood to find a “neighborhood” pub but this joint fits the bill.)
(8) No. 8 at Tottenham (Massive, multistory pub down the street from the stadium. It was cool with 5,000 people in it, many of them in Dolphins jerseys. I’d imagine it’s cool always.)
(7) Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Fleet Street (Some pubs aren’t just pubs. They’re historical landmarks.)
(6) Fox & Pheasant, Chelsea (Tuck yourself into a corner. Sip a pint of Estrella. Order the lamb and mint pie.)
(5) The Cross Keys, Chelsea (Doesn’t a pub in London’s swankiest neighborhood get bonus points for serving one of the best schnitzels I’ve ever tasted?)
(4) The Ten Bells, Spitalfields (Jack the Ripper is rumored to have stalked victims here. I stalked a half dozen pints.)
(3) The Bear, Esher (Here’s how you know a pub’s great. You spend an hour in there and chat up the staff, telling them you’ll be back for the England v. Czech match. When you return, the table in front of the TV is reserved for you.)
(2) The George Inn, Southwark (The DBB100 Bar never lets down, even as a brief lunch spot on a Sunday.)
(1) The Understudy at the National Theatre (A bar for artists. A bar for business folks. A bar for everyone. You’ll be reading about it again next summer.)
Special shout out to my two favorite lagers on the trip: Camden Hells and Meantime.
Match-Up of the Week
Thomas Morstead v. Pat O’Donnell
Yes, this has the potential to be a “Battle of the Boots”. A few thoughts:
- Expect both teams to punt inside the opponent’s territory because neither will believe the other offense can go 90 yards on their defense. Keeping the kicks out of the end zone will be pivotal. (Morstead is one of the best in the league at these kicks.)
- Tarik Cohen has the potential to break open the game as a punt returner and Sean Payton will be instructing Morstead all week to not let that happen. High, long, directional kicks.
- O’Donnell is off to the best start of his career. But the pressure will be thick at Soldier Field Sunday.
Slow. Boring. Tight. Give the Bears the edge because they’re home.
Chicago Bears 13, New Orleans Saints 9