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Bears at Panthers Game Preview Addendum

| October 3rd, 2014

More Sondheim. It’s an addendum.

A FEW ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS ON INJURIES

  • There seems to be a consensus among fans and media that Jared Allen will be extremely limited in the aftermath of his battle with pneumonia a week ago. But reports I’ve read stated Allen wanted to play against the Packers and was working out vigorously Monday morning. Sure, he might not play 95% of the snaps but I don’t expect him to be used situationally in Carolina.
  • Jermon Bushrod suffering a knee injury in practice would feel far more serious if the Bears were facing the 2013 Carolina Panthers and their relentless defensive ends. But Michael Ola should be a capable replacement if needed and Bears have the luxury of Eben Britton to provide security on that side of the line.
  • Bears keep ruling out Shea McClellin days before the game. He must not be close to returning.
  • Panthers have essentially ruled out Jonathan Stewart. They are turning to the street at running back this weekend.
  • Put Jeremiah Ratliff in non-medical language and maybe your perspective will change. Against the San Francisco 49ers he suffered a bruise to his brain. That brain bruise has been so debilitating that he’s missed two straight games and has yet to be medically cleared for the third with three days til kickoff. Why is Ratliff even considering playing? Why are the Bears contemplating this risk? Ratliff should not only sit this week but also next week, avoid air travel, and return at home on the 19th.

After the jump you can hear my spot on SportsTownChicago.com previewing Bears v. Panthers…

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Hey, Old Friends: Chicago Bears at Carolina Panthers Game Preview

| October 2nd, 2014

I don’t know what to make of the Carolina Panthers. After opening the season with two strong defensive outings and well-earned victories they have been beaten a combined 75-29 by the rather mediocre Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. So with this complete lack of understanding who the Carolina Panthers really are you might ask a simple question…

Why do I like the Chicago Bears this week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

WHY ELSE?

  • Panthers defense was a force a year ago but something is rotten in the state of North Carolina. They are allowing 140 yards a game on the ground and have fewer sacks than the Bears (8-10) after doubling Chicago’s total in 2013. There is very little reason to believe the Bears offense won’t be able to build off their success against Green Bay, run the ball effectively and score quite a few points.

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With Four Games Remaining Til Bye, Bears Must Settle For No Worse Than .500 Record

| October 1st, 2014

Billete de 500

The Bears play three of their next four games on the road: at the Martz-had-no-use-for Greg Olsen in Carolina, at the Lovie-found-no-use-for Devin Hester in Atlanta and at Tom Brady and the now prematurely-buried Patriots. Sandwich in a home game against the Miami Dolphins and you have a four-game stretch that will set this season’s tone. Some teams battle for division titles. Some teams chase the top of the table all year long. How the Bears perform over these four games will position them in one of those two categories.

This is not a long-winded column. This opinion does not require a ton of explanation. When the Bears emerge from their bye week in November they play five of the their final eight games at home, including the warm weather, dome-based Saints and Cowboys in Soldier Field on cold evenings where both have been unmitigated disasters in the past. The other three games are at their division rivals. Those eight games will define the 2014 Bears.

Four out of four means the Bears are title contenders. Three out of four means they’re a serious playoff team. Two out of four means they’ll have a meaningful final two months of the season. Anything less is a crap shoot. Anything less than .500 over these next four games will be a serious cause for concern and more than likely leave the Bears with a second wild card ceiling.

To paraphrase Al Davis, “Just win…half of em…baby.”

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2014 Chicago Bears Schedule

| April 24th, 2014

anchors

Week One

Sunday September 7th – Noon

BILLS AT BEARS


Week Two

Sunday September 14th – SNF

BEARS AT 49ERS


Week Three

Monday September 22nd – MNF

BEARS AT JETS


Week Four

Sunday September 28th – Noon

PACKERS AT BEARS


Week Five

Sunday October 5th – Noon

BEARS AT PANTHERS


Week Six

Sunday October 12th – Noon

BEARS AT FALCONS


Week Seven

Sunday October 19th – Noon

DOLPHINS AT BEARS


Week Eight

Sunday October 26th – Noon

BEARS AT PATRIOTS


Week Nine

BYE


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Around the League Tweets! – March 20th 2013

| March 20th, 2014

romo

Around the League Tweet, Sponsored by Advil Cold & Flu. 1 of 10. Brandon Weeden & Tony Romo is officially my favorite position room in the NFL.

2 of 10. When the Colts released a statement following owner Jim Irsay’s arrest, who was “the Colts”? Wasn’t “the Colts” in a Carmel clink?

3 of 10. Would pay to see March scrimmage between Panthers current WRs and Jets current cornerbacks. Best play: Dee Milliner.#Serious

4 of 10. Hey James Jones. Aaron Rodgers ain’t walking through that door in Oakland. I’m not sure who is but I’m pretty sure he’ll stink.

5 of 10, Two Parts. Pro days are to NFL what agent showcases are to professional theatre actors. You do the monologue well, you get an agent. You get a guy to help find work. You don’t get lead in Goodman Theatre’s Iceman Cometh. Because the showcase isn’t real.

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Divisional Round Weekend Game Previews & Predictions

| January 9th, 2014

x

All season I have done a feature on Twitter called the Around the League Tweets (with various fake sponsors) and five times this season I mentioned how excited I’d be to bet against Andy Dalton in a playoff game. And what did I do? Not only did I not gamble against Dalton but I picked the Bengals to win! My quest for a perfect postseason died on Wild Card Weekend. I deserved the opening 3-1. On to the next round…

SATURDAY 4:35 PM ET – NEW ORLEANS AT SEATTLE

Line: Seahawks -8

Analysis: Thought Rob Ryan’s performance in Philadelphia was one of the most impressive defensive game plans we’ve seen in the NFL all season long but that won’t be enough to compensate for NOLA’s offensive struggles on the road. Seattle beat the Eagles in Philadelphia by relying on Mark Ingram and the ground game – an element the Seahawks will certainly take away with their front. That leaves Drew Brees to win the game through the air and he’s not the same player on the road.

Side note: Is it strange that I would give the Seahawks no shot if this game were in New Orleans? That doesn’t feel like the mark of a Super Bowl champion. I’ll worry about that next week.

Final Score: Seattle 24, New Orleans 13

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