More Sondheim. It’s an addendum.
After the jump you can hear my spot on SportsTownChicago.com previewing Bears v. Panthers…
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.
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.”
Sunday September 7th – Noon
Sunday September 14th – SNF
Monday September 22nd – MNF
Sunday September 28th – Noon
Sunday October 5th – Noon
Sunday October 12th – Noon
Sunday October 19th – Noon
Sunday October 26th – Noon
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.
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…
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