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ATM: Bears Need Defense to Buy Time

| February 5th, 2020

There are two lessons to be learned from the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl victory.

(1)A great quarterback is the ultimate trump card.

(2) Sometimes it takes a while to find that guy.

Kansas City’s start with Andy Reid was similar to Chicago’s with Matt Nagy. Both exceeded expectations with a playoff appearance in the first year then disappointed the next year. Through two seasons, Andy Reid was 20-12 with Kansas City, the same mark Nagy has with the Bears.

What followed for Kansas City was a number of seasons in which they were quasi-contenders with records of 11-5 and 12-4, thanks largely to their top-10 defense.

While Reid was trying to get whatever he could out of the offense, their defense ranked fifth, second, third and seventh in points allowed his first four years. They were also top 10 in yardage two of those seasons and top 10 in takeaways three times. Even in 2017, when KC’s defense dropped to 15th in scoring and 28th in yards allowed, they were seventh in takeaways and eighth in takeaways in 2018 as their offense exploded.

While much of the focus is on fixing the Bears offense, the reality is their defense is still the key to winning in 2020 and they must buy more time for the offense to get right.

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Super Bowl LIV Gambling Guide!

| January 31st, 2020

You don’t have to wager a ton of money to have fun gambling on the Super Bowl. But the trick is to space out the bets across the game. That way, even if the game’s a bore, and many of them are, you’ll have something to keep you interested throughout. Here are five bets, all courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.


Bet #1 -Coin Toss: Heads & Kansas City Chiefs (+255)

Why the hell not? (And this bet could be over before they even flip the coin!)


Bet #2 -Patrick Mahomes to Score TD & Chiefs Win (+650)

His running has started changing games because defenses are so afraid of his arm. The pressure from the Niners will be there so I expect Mahomes to take off more than usual. (And I’m all-in on Andy Reid winning this game.)


Bet #3 – George Kittle to Score a TD (+125)

Once Steve Spagnuolo and the Chiefs defense settles into this game, Jimmy G will be under pressure. That means he’ll be forced to get the ball out quickly and that means Kittle. Also, if this game gets away from San Francisco, I could see Kittle catching a million balls underneath deep coverage in garbage time.


Bet #4 -San Francisco to Win the First Quarter (+148)

The Chiefs don’t even wake up in these games until they’re down double digits.


Bet #5 -Total Over 54 Points (-110)

Who the hell roots for low-scoring Super Bowls? These games are only fun when there’s scoring. They’re not football games. They’re television shows. And television shows require action, especially because the experience always feels interminable. (The halftime show just never ends and it’s never good.) This game feels like it’s going to be way closer to Eagles/Patriots than Rams/Patriots.

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Super Bowl Preview: Andy Reid’s Legacy Game

| January 27th, 2020

This week, each of DBB’s writers – myself, Andrew, Data and Emily –  will be writing their own Super Bowl preview post. Then Friday we’ll culminate the week with a gambling guide, as no sporting contest played all year presents this many opportunities to lose money. 


Legacies in the NFL are a tricky thing, for quarterbacks and coaches.

Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees are two of the most prolifically-talented winners in the history of the NFL. But as each approach the twilight of their careers, their legacies are complicated by only appearing in one Super Bowl a piece.

Eli Manning is, by every conceivable metric, a quarterbacking mediocrity. But for two months, for two playoff runs, he was an immortal. And now, no Giant will ever wear his number again. One of the most storied franchises in the NFL is retiring the number of a quarterback who was .500 as a starter and pitched a career quarterback rating of 84.1.

One Super Bowl victory is pivotal for the great coaches and quarterbacks. It stamps their career as valid. The second Super Bowl stamps their greatness. Three or more are reserved for the legends of the game.

Tony Dungy finally got his Super Bowl title. Two years later, he retired from the game, never to return. Bill Parcells hunted a third title for decades. Mike Holmgren a second. They knew what they needed to achieve to be remembered as they wished.

Andy Reid is 207-128 as a head coach, a .618 winning percentage. That’s better than Parcells. That’s better than Holmgren. Hell, Joe Gibbs is only at .621 and I think Gibbs is one of the two or three best coaches in the history of the league. (Gibbs has three Super Bowls, with three different quarterbacks, and none of those quarterbacks were particularly good.)

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Championship Sunday Gambling Guide!

| January 17th, 2020

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports


Still have my head above water this postseason, thanks mainly to believing Derrick Henry is an unstoppable force and wagering heavily on him in both rounds. We’re down to the final three games of the 2019 NFL season. Need a strong finish to a solid gambling campaign.


2:05 PM Central

AFC Championship Game

Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5)

Over/Under: 52.5

This is Andy Reid’s time. He’s one of the best coaches in the history of this sport. He’s got one of the most prolific, successful coaching trees in the history of the sport. He’s sacrificed so much for this game he loves and all that’s missing from his resume is a title. Once he wins on the final Sunday, his next stop is Canton. I can’t see him losing this title game at home. And I can’t see Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo not completely selling out to stop the run.

Final score prediction: Chiefs 34, Titans 20. 


5:40 PM Central

NFC Championship Game

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (-7.5)

Over/Under: 45

They can run the ball. They can rush the passer. They have a quarterback who always gets them into the right play and makes the big throw. Are the Packers a great team? No. But they’re built to succeed in this spot. I’m not taking them to win. But I won’t be surprised if they do.

Final score prediction: Niners 31, Packers 30

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Three Questions With One Game Remaining

| December 23rd, 2019

The Bears are one game away from wrapping up this miserable bore of a campaign. Here are three questions facing them.


#1. Have they seen enough from the QB? He’s awful, plain and simple. If he’s the starter next September the ceiling for 2020 is 8/9 wins. Last night was his SEVENTH game this season with a rating of 70 or below. And when you’re checking down on 4th and 23, and throwing jump balls out of bounds into double coverage, do we really need to discuss your football IQ anymore? He can’t play.


#2. How many inside backers do they pay? Roquan, when mentally right, is a stud. Kwik and KPL can play. Trevathan is still beloved in the locker room and a veteran leader. Where will the Bears spend their resources at this position come the off-season? Is there really a wrong decision?


#3. Will they extend Allen Robinson? He’s an incredible player and he’s proven that true with some of the worst QBs in league history. Robinson should be back in Chicago, extended, and paid handsomely. The Bears have the structure of a terrific receiving corps. They just need someone capable of getting them the football,

 

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Chiefs at Bears Game Preview Volume II: Can the Bears Pull Off a Signature Win in 2019?

| December 20th, 2019

I miss the Billy Goat every single day I’m not there.


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

Even now, even through this rocky campaign, I still do.


Three Statistical Thoughts

  • QB rating is a flawed statistic. A Hail Mary picked off to end the first half is the same negative as an interception thrown on a final drive with the team down 4. Productive incompletions don’t exist. Bubble screens and easy completions are gold. But ultimately the stat persists because it’s become a good, general representation of which quarterbacks are playing well and which quarterbacks are not. (One needs only look at the top 12 in the stat currently to see that there are very few, if any, outliers.)
    • Trubisky has 6 games this season with a 70 rating or below. Six.
    • Mahomes has one in the last two seasons combined. One. Total.
  • Right now there are 11 teams with a turnover differential of +5 or better: Pats, Packers, Seahawks, Vikings, Saints, Ravens, Steelers, Chiefs, Titans, Bills, Niners. Only one of those teams – the Titans – are not currently in the playoffs. (And they are basically playing playoff games the next two weeks.) It is the most important statistic in the game and it’s a primary reason the Bears aren’t in the postseason this year. Their defense has been good but it hasn’t been able to compensate for the bad offense by turning opponents over and scoring.
  • Everyone blames the Bears lack of rushing attack for their struggles on offense, if the goal is not to blame Trubisky. The Chiefs rank 25th in this category and run for only 7 more yards per game than the Bears. Yet they are top five in both total yards and points per game. The reason why is pretty simple.
    • And the Chiefs don’t have a particularly good offensive line either. Not a single member of that unit was voted to the Pro Bowl. Nor was a running back. Yet the QB, two receivers and a TE were. Again, not hard to figure out why.

Tweet of the Week

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2019 Season Preview Volume III: The Prediction

| August 30th, 2019

There were facts. There were hopes. Now there are predictions. Well, one.


No reason to bury the lede. I’m predicting the 2019 Chicago Bears to go to the Super Bowl, face the Kansas City Chiefs, and beat them. For the first time in the history of this blog, I believe the Bears are going to win a championship. Hell, for the first time since I’m four years old, I believe the Bears are going win a championship. I’m not hedging. I’m not putting up qualifiers. I’m saying it in bold letters:

DBB PREDICTS THE BEARS WILL WIN SUPER BOWL 54


Do any other predictions really matter?

No.

Enjoy Labor Day Weekend! We get to the real stuff next week.

 

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