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Speculation Station: Who Will Rise? Who Will Fall? Who Could be a Dark Horse Contender?

| March 5th, 2018

All right, Bears fans. We’re still a couple weeks out from the official start of free agency, and while a few noteworthy cuts, extensions, trades and franchise tags have all taken place we’re still pretty much just…. waiting.

I’m not a data wizard like John, nor covering a lot of breaking Bears news like Andrew, so I’m diving headfirst into the deep, consequence-free waters of speculation. Think of this article more like a conversation between two drinking buddies at the bar. Open a beer while you read if it helps, and come join me! The waters are warm and not to be taken too seriously.

This week we’re talking about expectations. More specifically, two teams I think will exceed expectations in 2018, and two I think are heading towards disappointment. I also picked one (wild guess, complete dark horse, probably doesn’t stand a chance, but what the hell, it’s March?) team that I feel on a gut level might have a breakthrough year.

I tried to mostly steer clear of the super obvious (by that I mean I didn’t pick the Browns to still be terrible), and it goes without saying (but I’m going to say it, anyways) that moves made in free agency and the draft, along with the other 50 million variables that might change a course of a season, could greatly affect my views on these five teams come the start of the season.

For now these are my predictions:

Two Teams Primed to Improve

Chicago Bears

I mean, this is DBB, guys. Obviously I’m going to include them. Most every fan has it in their hearts that *this year* is going to be *the year* their team gets awesome, right? The great news for Bears fans is this year we actually do have a lot to be excited about! Including:

  • A talented young QB who has the potential to make a significant leap from Year 1 to Year 2.
  • A new energetic head coach and a high quality support staff bound to inject energy into the locker room.
  • A good amount of cap space so Pace can target quality players that can do things like “run routes” and “catch the ball”.
  • Prestige and history that comes with playing for a franchise as distinguished as the Bears makes Chicago a very attractive location for top free agents.

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Week 13: Niners at Bears Game Preview

| November 30th, 2017

Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears. And my effort will remain consistent when it comes to these game previews even if the players don’t match that on the field.


Poetry

these doth be the fox’s final prances

          on the lakefront’s tortured green field

the music has stopped, and so the dances

          as a fate seems cer’tainly sealed

you shall be remembered fair fox, fair fox

          for simply, sly smirks and feeble’ish frowns

but always remember, fair fox, fair fox

          one’s allowed to go’eth on occasional fourth downs


Three Reasons the Bears Win

  • If the Bears Can’t Run It This Week, They May Never Run It Again. After the embarrassment of Philadelphia. Back at home. Desperate for something positive to happen. Facing a team that allows 130 rushing yards a game. This sets up perfectly for a Bears rebound performance, with the offensive line and Jordan Howard dominating.
  • Mitch Trubisky’s Splits. Tru is pitching to an 85.9 quarterback rating at home and a 52.7 on the road. He is 3-1 TD-INT at home and the opposite on the road. Not uncommon for a rookie to play far better football in safer confines. Expect that to continue Sunday. And I really think Tru wants to win a game in front of these home fans.

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A Chip Shot From .500 (Rapid Fire)

| December 7th, 2015

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This was the type of performance many expected from the Chicago Bears this season. Ugly. But did anyone expect the Bears could play a game this poorly and still be in position to win? Well, they should have won. Rapid fire…

  • Is it time to worry about Robbie Gould? It certainly could be. He didn’t just miss two short field goals that would have won this game. He dead shanked them both. The coachspeak approach will have fans yelling “Bears didn’t lose this game because of the missed field goals” but you know what? They did.
  • Welcome to the NFL, Eddie Goldman. That was a dominant performance.
  • When did Willie Young become the Bears most dominant edge rusher again?
  • Kyle Fuller is a special player when the play is in front of him.
  • No clue what Fox and Fangio thought the Niners offensive approach would be but they looked thoroughly unprepared for all the things I saw in amateur tape study early last week.
  • The point above may be unfair, mind you. A lot of that responsibility would have been on the linebackers and the guys in the middle have looked lost in coverage.
  • 36 yards is now an extra point! Robbie essentially missed an extra point to win a game. Inexcusable. Gould has been a good one but I hate kickers.

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Money Where My Mouth Is: Three Picks For Week 13

| December 3rd, 2015

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Had a solid 2-1 day last week without putting the slightest bit of thought into the picks. My goal every year in gambling on football is to be 10 games over .500 at the end of the season. Have some to work to do down the stretch to achieve that.

GREEN BAY & DETROIT OVER 46.5 PTS

The Lions have finally started running their offense: drop Matthew Stafford back and throw bombs to Calvin Johnson. (Surprised it took promoting Jim Bob Cooter to recognize what the entire football watching public has seen for years.) I think Detroit puts up 24-30 on Green Bay and the Packers, who’ll play with desperation, should be their equal. 46.5 is a high number but it wouldn’t surprise me if this game goes into the 60s.

CHICAGO -7 VS. SAN FRANCISCO

Explanation will be available tomorrow in the game preview.

BUFFALO & HOUSTON UNDER 41 PTS

Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel is from the Parcells/Belichick school of game preparation. What does that mean? It means he’ll look at the Bills tape and say, “We’re not going to let Sammy Watkins beat us.” And if you watch enough of the Bills you realize they are one team when Watkins is effective and another team when he’s injured/taken out of the game.

The Texans offense isn’t any good. Both teams should be in the teens.

Season Record: 19-15-2

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Money Where My Mouth Is: Three Picks For Week Eleven

| November 19th, 2015

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I’m back…BOOM…back in the New York groove!

I’m back…BOOM…back in the New York groove!

Took three dogs and all three dogs won outright. That’s what you call a good week of gambling, much needed after the disaster known as Week Ten. This season it’s becoming increasingly difficult to figure out who plays football well and who doesn’t. But one thing is certain: the Giants are winning the Super Bowl.

OAKLAND -1.5 AT DETROIT

Crossroads game for the Raiders. They are in the thick of a playoff race in the AFC but coming off two tough losses to two good teams in Pittsburgh and Minnesota. The Lions are putrid. On a Sunday where the Packers couldn’t do anything right the Lions still gave them every chance imaginable to walk away with a victory. Could be nuts but I think Raiders win big.

DALLAS PICK EM AT MIAMI

Romo returneth. If the Cowboys don’t win Sunday, their season is over. Simple as that. The fact that their season is not over at 2-7 is borderline insane but that’s life in the NFC East.

SAN FRANCISCO +12.5 AT SEATTLE

Okay, so I continue to watch the Seahawks play football every week. And every week I continue to be like, “eh, there ain’t much there”. So why are they laying 12.5 points against anyone, anywhere? The 12th man? They don’t have too much impact when the first eleven are mediocre. I’ll take the points.

Season Record: 16-12-2

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Money Where My Mouth Is: Three Picks for Week Five

| October 8th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 3.01.04 PM That’s more like it. The Dolphins crashed and burned. The Bears were never going to be beaten by more than a field goal. Detroit was every bit the equal of Seahawks in Seattle. 3-0, over the hump and back in the saddle again.

Chicago Bears +10 over Kansas City

Didn’t understand the line when it was released. Don’t understand it now. Usually that means I’m lost but I just don’t see this game as particularly lopsided and that’s an awful lot of points. More to come tomorrow…

PACKERS UNDER 27.5 PTS HOME TO ST. LOUIS

Packers always score a boatload of points at home. But I like them at 27 or below for two reasons:

  • This Rams defensive front can be hell for Aaron Rodgers to deal with for four quarters, especially Aaron Donald in the middle. Rodgers won’t have any time to look down the field for big strike, quick point plays. No big plays means points will take longer to score.
  • Todd Gurley. That was a “wow” performance from Gurley a week ago and I expect him to get better week-to-week. Want to keep Rodgers off the field? Feed Gurley.

NEW YORK GIANTS -7 VS. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Niners are dead. They are the worst team in football. They have the worst quarterback in football. And they are going to play the eventual Super Bowl champion in primetime? No chance.

Record: 6-5-1 (+$40)

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