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Week 14: Cowboys at Bears Game Preview & Poem

| December 4th, 2019


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears…

…and it would be a big moment for this coach and his program to get this season over .500. I think he does it.


The Game Haiku

I saw Rick Pearson

at the Billy Goat Tavern.

That’s all I recall.


Three Thoughts on the Cowboys

  • After struggling to contain Kenny Golladay a week ago, the Bears could have faced a similar issue with Amari Cooper. But the Cowboys’ best receiver didn’t finish their game on Thanksgiving and, while an MRI revealed no structural damage, he won’t be at full strength should he play. Guard Connor Williams, a really good young player, is done for the year.
    • From head coach Jason Garrett, in a Dallas Morning News story: “Connor has been a good player for us,” Garrett said. “[He] started a lot of games for us last year as a rookie and then came back after his injury, did a good job for us in the playoffs and again has been the established starter at that left guard spot all year long. He’s really grown and developed as a player and done a really good job for us, got bigger and stronger than he was his rookie year, [and] we expected that when we drafted him.”
  • The Cowboys were a solid, if unspectacular defense in 2018, as their coordinator Kris Richard became a name mentioned for several head coaching vacancies. Now his security in Dallas is uncertain, as Dallas has allowed 26 points or more in three of their last four games.
  • Let’s look at how these two teams compare with the big ticket numbers:
    • Both are 6-6.
    • The teams the Cowboys beaten are a combined 18-54. (Really, really bad.)
    • The teams the Bears have beaten are a combined 20-50-2 (Not so good either.)
    • The Cowboys point differential is +74, which tells you they are beating down the bad opponents and losing relatively close affairs (averaging 5.5 point deficit per loss) to better teams.
    • The Bears point differential is +4, which tells you they basically play a coin flip every week.
    • If the season ended today, the Cowboys would host a game on wildcard weekend.

Tweet of the Week (Another Cowboys Thought)

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Week 13: Bears at Lions Game Preview & Prediction

| November 27th, 2019


It’s rather pointless to write these breakdowns every week. The Bears have a terrific defense and an abysmal offense. That’s what they’ve shown for two and a half months. That’s what they’ll show the next month and a half. Nevertheless, here are some thoughts heading into Thanksgiving.

  • Bears defense is 4th in both yards and points allowed per game. Lions are 29th in yards allowed and 25th in points allowed. This is once again a monumental mismatch of defensive units and would lead one to assume, especially with the nightmare that is the Chicago offense, it’s going to a slow, boring, low-scoring game. (But a good opportunity to chat with some family members?)
  • Here is the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett on Jeff Driskel’s performance (Grade: F) against the Redskins Sunday: “Jeff Driskel had his worst start as a Lion on Sunday. He ran for 63 yards on nine carries and kept several drives alive with his feet, but he also threw three interceptions and should have thrown a fourth. Driskel badly underthrew Marvin Jones on a interception with 48 seconds to play that set up Washington’s game-winning field goal and nearly threw a pick-six one play earlier. He did have 207 yards passing and a touchdown, but he didn’t see a wide-open Kenny Golladay on the goal line on third-and-4 when the Lions had to settle for a second-quarter field goal and he missed an open Jones in the end zone on a deep shot in the third quarter.”
    • Driskel is playing, per Chucky P.
  • Can the Bears convince themselves they are still in a playoff fight? No. But it’s unlikely even the Thanksgiving showcase will be enough to motivate this Lions team. (There were even rumors on CBS from Jason LaCanfora – who is unreliable at best – that the Ford family might consider making major changes should the team no show this game with the Bears.) While many of us in Bearsland are bemoaning this disappointing season, Thursday could be one of those truly awful days for a Lions fan base that has experienced their share.
  • Mitch Trubisky’s numbers (under Matt Nagy) vs. Matt Patricia’s Lions defenses: 39-53, 528 yards, 6 TDs and a passer rating around 140. He’s played his best football against this opponent, although both of those performances were at home. (Chase Daniel started at Detroit last year.)
  • One sneaky stat line for the Bears. They are second in average punt return yardage and third in average kickoff return yardage. They’re the best return team in the league. And that might have a massive impact Thursday.

Chicago Bears 23, Detroit Lions 16

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ATM: Respectability Matters for the 2019 Bears

| November 26th, 2019

The playoffs are almost certainly out of the picture, but the Chicago Bears still have a chance to at least make the 2019 season a respectable one.

And while disappointing, respectability matters.

One could argue the only real difference between the 2007 and 2014 Bears is the fact that one was able to remain respectable, no matter how frustrating the losses and how apparently bleak the quarterback situation looked. A year after a Super Bowl berth, the Bears managed to win their final two games – including a 35-7 win over NFC North Champion Green Bay – to finish 7-9. (The 2014 Bears embarrassed themselves on and off the field.)

The difference between those two seasons was just two games, but those two games can define perception and perception can determine if a coach keeps his job. If a GM gets another draft. If a quarterback gets to compete for his job. Those two games matter can be the difference between bad and respectable. The Bears have a chance to make the 2019 season at least respectable.

What shouldn’t be lost in this, of course, is the fact that the Bears don’t have a first round pick, so there really is no benefit to losing games. If they can finish .500 or better, however, they can argue they were at least close. They were a couple of missed field goals, a few bad interceptions or a blown assignment away from actually making the playoffs. And, if they can craft an argument that they were competitive and bordering on being a contender, they can possibly convince players to leave money on the table for a chance to compete for a Super Bowl. We saw that last year with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

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Bears Beat Giants, Move To 5-6

| November 25th, 2019

Travel day for me. (Buffalo rocks.) So here are some quick thoughts on a tedious, boring win over the Giants.

  • Trubisky has started using his legs and he looks like a different player when he does. Why this element of his game was absent for so long no one knows. But if Mitch is planning to save his career over the next two months, his legs are going to be a big part of it.
  • Ben Braunecker’s drop was terrible. But the Bears got the first down on the following play. This game would have been a blowout – 20+ points – if Trubisky’s decision making were better.
  • Even the touchdown pass to Robinson was not a good throw. It was behind the receiver. Mitch has the physical tools to play QB in the league. But right now he lacks the guts to play the position well.
  • Khalil Mack tormented Nate Solder.
  • You thought the Bears had a bad kicker?
  • Nick Kwiatkoski couldn’t play in coverage last season. That ain’t the case anymore. Kwik is now a well-rounded player that’s going to get money to be a starter this off-season. That money should come from Ryan Pace. Keep your own.

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Week 12: Giants at Bears Game Preview

| November 21st, 2019


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears…

…and if they don’t win this game Sunday, they could lose the remaining games on their schedule. They won’t be a bigger favorite the rest of the season. (And the line was set at 6.5 without a quarterback announcement. This means Vegas – who are quite good at this – see no difference between Trubisky and Daniel.)

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