Across The Middle: 2018 Chicago Bears Coach Power Rankings

| December 6th, 2017

Trust is going to be the most important factor in where the Bears go from here.

Ryan Pace is in his third year as GM for a franchise that has won 12 games since he took over. That’s 11 fewer than the guy he replaced and he only got three years to do the job. George McCaskey may still have faith in Pace but he’s admittedly not a patient person. Whoever the next coach of the Bears is, they must trust that Pace picked the right quarterback and knows how to build the rest of the roster.

On Pace’s part, he has to trust the person he hires to create a successful environment around the franchise quarterback, while not losing sight of what else is going on around him. For those reasons, I believe the next coach of the Bears is likely going to be somebody Pace knows and already trusts. We’ve seen these kinds of relationships come together recently in Jacksonville, Buffalo, San Francisco and Philadelphia. Pace not only needs somebody he trusts, he needs a quick turnaround and three of the four aforementioned teams are enjoying the most success they’ve had in a number of years.

Here is my guess on which current pro coaches have the best odds of being the Bears coach next season:

1. Dennis Allen, DC, New Orleans Saints

Everyone wants an offensive guy, I get it. But Allen has connections to John DeFilippo, Mike McCoy, Al Saunders and Bill Lazor. It’s also possible he can lure another veteran coordinator — Norv Turner, Gary Kubiak or Dirk Koetter — to run his offense with a young stud quarterback. This goes back to the trust factor because Pace worked with Allen for five years in New Orleans. Allen is said to be uniquely organized and detailed — the opposite of the Bears current coach. He failed in Oakland but he had just one year as a coordinator at that point and didn’t have any talent. Since he took over for Rob Ryan late in the 2015 season, the Saints have had a drastic improvement defensively.

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Across the Middle: 2018 Chicago Bears Coach Rankings

| November 9th, 2017

The Chicago Bears probably aren’t going to have a new coach in 2018. At least, not if they continue on their current pace.

Before the season I wrote that if the Bears won seven games, John Fox would be a lock to stay. Through eight games, they only have three wins, but have played the third-hardest schedule in the league, according to Football Outsiders. The last four games particularly have been really interesting.

It isn’t just that the Bears have gone 2-2. It’s that they really beat the crap out of one good team, should’ve won by a lot more against a mediocre team and were close to beating two of the best teams in the entire league.

It seems like the  majority of the fan base still isn’t happy. They don’t just want to win, they want to look good doing it. But that wouldn’t matter no matter who the coach is. Hell, a large percentage of those people want Jim Harbaugh, the master of the ugly wins, as the coach.

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Across The Middle — Week 11

| November 16th, 2016


The excuses are gone, but the results remain mostly the same.

As his career drags on the question of if Jay Cutler is the answer to the Bears century-long QB crisis appears to be getting answered and Sunday gave Ryan Pace enough ammunition to move on if he wants to.

This isn’t about one game, but holy shit was that a bad game. It wasn’t just the four lazy, careless turnovers the dude flat out could not make a throw. I charted him with 11 inaccurate passes — nearly 37 percent — including two horrendous interceptions.

I’ve always been willing to live with Cutler’s turnovers because they were offset by big plays. That hasn’t been the case this year. Cutler has twice as many turnovers as he does touchdowns. What’s worse is that he’s being beaten statistically by Brian Hoyer nearly across the board.

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The Case Against the Green Bay Packers: Volume I (Andrew)

| August 4th, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 12.55.59 PM

The following is the third in a four-part series breaking down why the other teams in the NFC North won’t be contenders this season. (The Packers get two parts.)

If the Packers are blaming all of their struggles in 2015 on Jordy Nelson’s injured knee, they’re going to be in for a long 2016.

Something was broken with the Packers. Specifically, something was broken with Aaron Rodgers. If the argument is that it was entirely because Nelson was out, the only conclusion is that Rodgers is horrifically overrated. I don’t think he’s horrifically overrated, but I think there’s more to what ailed the team last year.

The Packers are built on three pillars:

  • GM
  • Coach
  • Quarterback

But the quarterback doesn’t like the coach. The coach has publicly criticized the GM. And the GM looks like a bowl of oatmeal. Oh, and has anybody talked about who the quarterback’s own family doesn’t like him?

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Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears Game Preview: Aaron Rodgers Returns for NFC North Division Title Bout

| December 26th, 2013

packPhoto from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

While the national media wanted to turn Sunday night’s debacle into a Jay Cutler debate (they failed), those of us who’ve watched every snap of this Chicago Bears season know better. The Bears as currently constructed and currently performing can’t beat an opponent they trail by 14-21 points. Why? Because two things have to happen for a team to eradicate a deficit that wide: they have to stop the run and they have to create turnovers. But the Bears are so bad at stopping the run the opponent never needs to throw the ball and thus the opportunity for turnovers does not present itself.

So with a defense so incapable of stopping the run…and the pass, for that matter…

Why do I like the Chicago Bears this week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.


  • I know he’s a remarkable player but his playing Sunday does not drastically impact my opinion on the game. I thought Matt Flynn and the Packers offense would have continual success moving the ball down the field on the Bears defense. How many more points does Rodgers create? 7-10? At most? Well I’ve got them in the 30s already…


  • Bears defense since the bye week (and the Briggs/Tillman injuries that proceeded it) has not been bad at home in the least. They lost to Detroit, giving up only 21 points. They beat Baltimore, giving up only 20 points. They thrashed Dallas, giving up 28 points and 7 of those on a last-minute Kyle Orton drive that seemed to define garbage time. Their road form has been abysmal but this contest is at Soldier Field.
  • Packers are 1-2 on the road since the Rodgers injury, beating only the Cowboys in one of the NFL’s greatest collapses. In those three road games they’ve allowed 103 points.

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