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The Lou Malnati’s Game Preview: Week One

| September 11th, 2020

In just a few days the Bears will play football. Someone will keep score. It’ll count. We’ll take it.


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

And I don’t see any way the Lions are able to get the Bears blocked up front. The early days of this season should favor ability over scheme and that’s a lot of ability rushing the passer. Legendary NYC radio host Mike Francesa always used the phrase “wreck the game” when it came to the elite pass rushers and the Bears have three guys – Mack, Quinn, Hicks – who can potentially wreck this one. Expectations are for all three to play, and play well.


Actual Football Thoughts Re: Detroit

  • Mitch Trubisky’s success against the Lions is not a myth. But it is absurd.
    • In five career games, he has completed 70.1% of his passes for 1,359 yards, 11 TDs and only 4 INTS. That’s a passer rating of 106.3.
    • In his three starts against them under Matt Nagy, those numbers move to 74.7%, 9/1 TD to INT and a rating of 132.4. And most importantly, three victories.
    • Let’s take just touchdowns and interceptions for a second. Remove the Lions numbers from Mitch’s totals and he’s at 37 TDs and 25 INTs. That’s…horrendous. It’s quite remarkable how these Lions performances have skewed his poor career statistics slightly more positive.
  • Remember the Thanksgiving game a year ago? (I honestly didn’t before doing a bit of research for this.) Matt Patricia had Matt Prater squib a kickoff, trying to avoid a game-breaking return from Cordarrelle Patterson. The ball takes a weird bounce, hits a Bear, recovered by the Lions. (People actually tried to argue Prater hit a Bear on purpose because people are generally dumb.) In a game certain to be low-scoring and close, expect similar tactics from Patricia Sunday. The Lions know the pressure facing Trubisky and there’s no way they’ll allow the Bears to score cheap points, or create short fields, from explosive plays on specials.
  • The Lions need to run the ball against all three teams in this division and their selection of D’Andre Swift in the second round was a move in that direction. But Swift isn’t healthy and might not even be active this week. Expect the Lions to come with a committee of Kerryon Johnson and Adrian Peterson as they attempt to test the Bears’ rush defense without their best rush defender, Eddie Goldman.
  • The talk of Lions camp? Kenny Golladay. Not only is the rising star wideout expected to sign a lucrative extension very shortly but he’s been absolutely dominating their over-matched secondary in practice sessions. If there’s one player on this Lions team the Bears can’t let beat them, it’s Golladay. Chuck Pagano should expect the Lions to find ways to get him matched up with Jaylon Johnson or Buster Skrine early and often. And while it’s not their usual tactic, they should shade Eddie Jackson to Golladay all day long. If Marvin Jones or Danny Amendola win their one-on-ones, so be it.

The Malnati’s Opening Day Giveaway

Our partners at Lou Malnati’s are generously giving away another prize package – exclusive to DBB readers and followers – to celebrate the first football Sunday. The package includes two Malnati’s deep dish pizzas and the Chicago football cookie trio from Deerfields Bakery. (See the cookies right here.)

What do you need to do to win this package worth north of $100? Just guess Mitch Trubisky’s passer rating for Sunday. Rules:

  • You can only guess once.
  • The guess must be a stand alone comment on this thread. Don’t bury your guess inside a 34-comment conversation about South African Troskyist Ted Grant. I’m not digging for entries.
  • No tiebreakers. If someone has already posted 79.6, don’t post another 79.6. The first one is going to be the winner.
  • Your only responsibility is to share photos of the Malnati’s experience with me via Twitter or email so they can promote it on their social channels.

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Our First DBB/Lou’s Malnati’s Winner: Tim Wallace!

| July 24th, 2020

He wrote from the heart. He included a haiku. He was tough to beat. Below is the email that secured Tim Wallace (@LogicforGood on Twitter) some frozen deep dish from Lou Malnati’s.


Hi Jeff,

I’m your target demographic. Huge Bears fan living far away from Chicago. My wife and I moved to Charlottesville, from Chicago, in October 2013 with our almost two-year-old.

A month later, on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, I came down with a horrific case of hand foot and mouth disease. Not fun and very contagious. My wife did the smart thing and took our daughter to her parents.  They stayed there until I recovered, which was, of course, after Thanksgiving.

So I had to do my first turkey day away from Chicago alone, quarantining with a nasty, contagious, unpleasant condition.

And I had no idea what I was going to eat. I’ve never cooked a Turkey in my life, and it would have been irresponsible to go to the grocery store anyways.

I will never forget that on the day before Thanksgiving, I walked out on my porch and there was this big square box sitting there. Inside were four Lou Malnati’s pies on dry ice with a note from my Mom, “Happy Thanksgiving!  Here’s a little taste of home.”

Those were the best pizzas I ever ate.

Thanksgiving alone.
Far away from my city.
Lou’s was home sweet home.

Peace,
   Tim Wallace


We’ll have our second Malnati’s giveaway closer to the start of the regular season. And we’ll be formally announcing a new partnership on Monday. Stay tuned!

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Our First Lou Malnati’s Giveaway!

| July 20th, 2020


After Cody Parkey did that thing Cody Parkey did, thousands of us marched from Soldier Field into the city like tired zombies who’d lost our taste for blood. Noah and I were hungry though. So off to Lou Malnati’s on Rush (my favorite of their spaces) we went.

We were quiet. So was the entire, cavernous room. What had just happened? How could this amazingly entertaining campaign end on the foot of a bonehead kicker? How could he hit the post again? Why did it all have to happen right in front of me? I remember being on the Parker House back porch in Sea Girt, NJ, summer of 2009, watching Tom Watson let the Open at Turnberry slip through his fingers. I felt the same in Malnati’s that night. Empty.

The beer was cold. The pizza was delicious. There’s no better comfort food in Chicago than a sausage deep dish from Lou’s. But halfway through it, the room seemed filled with green jerseys. Eagles fans. I wanted to throw up. I wanted to throw them out. But I thought to myself, “Hey, they didn’t miss the kick. Who am I to deprive them of this culinary experience?” So I had ten more beers and Noah and I returned to the hotel.

Lou’s was there for me that night when I needed them.


What is your unique Lou Malnati’s experience?

Share it with me on Twitter, in the comments here or via email (jeff@dabearsblog.com).

The best one is going to receive a package of frozen pies from Lou’s. 

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Announcing Our Partnership with Lou Malnati’s!

| June 29th, 2020


When deciding not to sell DBB earlier this year I wrote this:

Not only was I not ready to get rid of DBB, I was more inspired than I ever have been to make it better, to be more engaged, to make it more profitable. The charitable component will never go away but it doesn’t have to be the only financial component.

So I sought out companies that I loved, companies that could become part of the fabric of this site. And being that our readership is, to a large part, outside of Chicago, they needed to be either national companies or Chicago-based, but delivering across the country.

Lou Malnati’s checked every box.

The process took a few months but I’m extremely pleased to announce today that Malnati’s is now DBB’s first corporate partner. And I’m using the word “partner” and not “sponsor” on purpose. This is not gonna be a chuck-up-a-banner-ad-and-send-a-monthly-check relationship. I’m going to write about my many experiences at Lou’s and highlight their Tastes of Chicago line. We’re going to do a bunch of giveaways to readers. Lou’s likes DBB and I am a big fan of theirs. So over time we’re going to evolve this relationship in a way that’s both (a) mutually beneficial and (b) integrated in a way that never disrupts getting our content to you, the reader, in a simple and seamless way.

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Week 17: NFC North Champions at Vikings Game Preview

| December 27th, 2018

Mike Zimmer. Badass.


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears…

…but I don’t love ’em this week. One team is home, playing for their postseason life. The other team has eleven wins and is playing for a bye if a ten-point favorite (the Rams) loses at home. Motivation matters. And I don’t think the Bears have much this week.


Tweet of the Week!

Special thanks to the folks at Lou Malnati’s for liking and following through on this DBB original concept. It’s a great company and a great pizza and I’m hoping to develop this relationship further in the years to come.


Thoughts on the Actual Game

  • One has to assume Matt Nagy learned a lot about how to attack this Vikings defense when the two teams played on November 18th. With the most likely scenario being them meeting at Soldier Field next week, why would Nagy roll out any of that this week? Yes, I know Nagy is an aggressive coach and play-caller but putting anything useful on tape for a potential playoff opponent seems reckless.
  • The Bears defense has received a lot of praise and rightfully so. But what they’ve done the last three games is absurd.
    • They held two of their last three opponents out of the end zone entirely.
    • They’re allowing 10.67 points per game over that span, nearly a touchdown less than the best scoring defense in the league (Baltimore).
    • The opposing QB rating over the last three games: 51.3.
    • Rushing yards per game: 62.33.
  • If you looked at only the score line from Vikings at Lions last week, you’d think Minnesota handled them with ease. They did not. Detroit dominated the first half but was forced to kick field goals. Then Cousins hit Rudolph for the easiest Hail Mary ever executed in NFL history, giving Minny a lead going into the half. If Bears play their starters and commit to the game, they’ll win.
  • I’ve often joked on Twitter that Kirk Cousins stinks. Well, he doesn’t stink. He’s a good quarterback. But that’s all he is. Good. And you don’t pay players that are just good $30 million dollars a year in a league with a hard cap. This goes especially for Minnesota – a team built to win on the defensive side of the ball. The Vikings weren’t a quarterback away from the championship last year. They got obliterated by Nick Foles and the Eagles passing attack in the NFC title game, a game they had no business being in.
  • Some folks have suggested avoiding Minnesota in the wildcard round. I’d welcome Kirk Cousins into Soldier Field on a cold Saturday evening with open arms. But there’s definitely a contingent inside Halas Hall that wants to send Minnesota home. Let’s see how influential they can be.

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Week Three: Bears at Cardinals Game Preview

| September 20th, 2018

Weird part of this Denny Green video is he wasn’t wrong. The Cardinals absolutely dominated the Bears in this game, offensively and defensively. It took some of the flukiest developments ever for this result to happen. How fluky? The game actually has its own Wikipedia page.


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears this Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

To paraphrase the great Lou Brown from Major League, the Bears won Monday night. If they win this Sunday that’s called a winning streak. And they’re the heaviest favorite they have been on the road since probably the mid-2000s. I just don’t see any way this group loses this game.


Game Haiku

Hitting Sam Bradford

Will lead to the dink and dunk

And Glendale glory!


Why the Bears Will Win?

  • Run Game. Arizona is allowing over 136 yards a game on the ground and Matt Nagy acknowledged this week the Bears need to give the ball to their workhorse back more. (Yes, I’m going to make this a primary bullet point every single week because I truly believe this coaching staff will wake up and realize Jordan Howard is their best offensive player AT SOME POINT. Oh, and once the power game starts working you’ll see a different, more comfortable Mitch Trubisky.)
  • Arizona is averaging 114 yards passing through two games. Yes, that’s an actual statistic. 114. That’s 26 yards less than Buffalo and the Bills started Nate Peterman – the worst statistical QB in the history of the league – for one of their two games. The Arizona QB rating through two games? 55.6. Touchdowns? Zero. This is one awful passing attack.
  • Third-Down Conversions. The Bears are tenth in the league, converting more than 40% of their third-down opportunities. (They’ve already significantly improved on this stat from a year ago.) Arizona is dead last in that stat, somehow managing to only convert 20%. Arizona is also mind-bogglingly allowing opponents to convert their third downs half the time, exactly 50%. The Bears should have little problem staying on the field on offense / getting off the field on defense.
  • Road Game? Is there any doubt there will be more Bears fans than Cardinals fans in University of Phoenix Stadium? Hell, they just opened a Lou Malnati’s in Scottsdale! This could become a demoralizing affair for the home side.

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