The most important games of the week for the Chicago Bears will be played tonight (Bears v Rams) and tomorrow night (Vikings v Seahawks). But there’s still much to keep an eye on before we hit the primetime slate.
Who should the Bears fan root for?
Another Panthers loss would basically clear them from the wildcard fray.
There’s an argument to be made for rooting against Dallas. But that’s a seeding argument. Seeding schmeeding. Fans should just want the Bears playing in January.
This is the least important because Mark Sanchez ain’t making a run.
The Bears had the Giants in a third-and-23. Even a 20-yard run means New York is punting and the Bears are either going to block it, return it or sit on it and go into halftime with a touchdown lead. Matt Nagy called timeout. It was the kind of aggressive decision we’ve longed for Bears coaches to make.
It didn’t work. Because Nagy learned something we all learned: this defense can’t be trusted.
The vaunted unit folded on the next two plays and then continuously throughout the second half. If it felt like we were watching a re-run it’s because we were. This is the third time the defense — which is supposed to carry the team — absolutely crumbled.
At their best, the Bears defense is legitimately great. But they still might be underachieving. Performances like Sunday (and Miami, and Green Bay) just can’t happen if the Bears are going to be truly relevant this year.
The Bears had a top ten defensive unit last year before adding a top ten draft pick and one of the three best defensive players in the history of the universe. They’ve made a jump, but there are these weird games that are just indefensible and one has to wonder what will happen when the Bears go up against one of the league’s great offenses.
Make no mistake, the Bears can stop the Rams, Saints or Chiefs. They absolutely have the talent to get the job done. But that doesn’t mean they will. And it’s hard to pinpoint what the exact problem is.
Should the Bears win? Absolutely. Will they? The game preview continues…
Above: my hometown. It’s a shitty town a few miles outside New York City. It was called Soccertown USA after we put three guys on the 1994 World Cup team.
I always like the Chicago Bears…
…and these two teams are headed in opposite directions. The Bears are a team on the rise, a few wins from a division title and their first postseason trip in eight years. The Giants are enduring the final days of a champion quarterback and are probably a few years away from being contenders again. (They’ve also got Norv Turner 2: The Revenge at head coach.)
A Fan of the Bears, in the Shadow of Giants
I grew up in the shadow of the Meadowlands,
My father’s hand-painted Lawrence Taylor poster board displayed in the dining room window for all of Kearny, New Jersey to see.
The white 5 and 6 sat awkwardly on the faded blue paint, like two tourists afraid to speak their native tongue in a foreign cafe.
I could have chosen the Giants. It would have been easy.
I could see their building out my bedroom window.
The window above my elephant toy box, laden with blue and red and green spots for some reason.
The window I’d shout out to my friends from on Saturday mornings.
I could have chosen the Giants and celebrated Super Bowl titles four times.
Could have had Tyree and Norwood wide right and Manningham up the sideline.
But those would just be rings.
Brief but wonderful celebrations of athletic success.
I could have chosen the Giants,
And I would have a team.
I chose the Bears.
And got a life.
Got this website, my thirteen-year and counting passion project.
Got Reverend Dave’s bullshit and “Bears Jeff” in the Josie Woods computer.
Got Rick Pearson at the Goat and Adam Jahns out in Edison Park.
Got the Old Town Alehouse and Rossi’s and Pippin’s and the Twin Anchors.
Got Seurat at the Institute and the crust at Pequod’s.
Got the motherfuckin’ Q Brothers, what you got?
I was born and raised in the shadow of Giants Stadium, a big concrete structure in a filthy swamp where Big Blue played their football.
But I found home in the city of the Chicago.
Where the Bears are.
The question I’ve been asked most since getting to Chicago: “Do you think Trubisky will be a positive when looking for a new coach?” My answer each time has been a definitive yes because I truly believe it will.
But I decided that, instead of leaning on my gut, to poll my two pals in the league on the question, factoring in all of the potentially-available gigs and their quarterback situation. I’ve grouped the teams into categories.
(I’ll be referring to my friends as AFC GUY & NFC GUY.)
They get their own category because think of the waters GM Chris Ballard has to navigate. When he’s looking to hire a coach in January he may not be able to tell the candidates whether Andrew Luck, their franchise quarterback, will require an additional surgery sidelining him six months or more. He won’t be able to tell the candidates if they have a franchise quarterback in 2018 or not.
NFC GUY: “Chris is going to have to sell that job. And every potential coach will want to know if they’re considering drafting a quarterback early.”
These are two jobs that, should they come open, will come open with a quarterback in-place. But…do you want them?
28-13 Steelers late. Matt Moore brings the Dolphins down the field for a solid backdoor cover.
Steelers 28, Dolphins 20
Giants 17, Packers 13