234 Comments

Wheels Officially Come Off: Bears Embarrass Themselves at Foxboro

| October 27th, 2014

It was infuriating to watch the Bears play the Dolphins a week ago. They lacked passion at Soldier Field that Sunday. They lacked guts. There is no more difficult experience for a sports fan than believing you – with a wing-sauce soaked beard and Guinness-foamed mustache – care more about the outcome of your team’s contest than the team itself. (This is the case far more often than fans know.)

There was nothing infuriating about yesterday’s embarrassment at Foxboro. It is impossible to be angry about a result so predictable. The Bears coaching staff was shown just how far they are from being able to compete mentally with the elite coaching staffs in the sport. The Bears players, especially their stars, were shown how stars are meant to perform on the grand stage of the NFL Sunday. The Bears general manager was forced to sit through another sixty minutes of his prized free agents, $15M of defensive end this season, donned their invisibility cloaks for the eighth consecutive week. Lamarr Houston removed his cloak just long enough to put the punctuation mark on this shambolic sentence.

The Bears right now are the most lethal combination in sports. They have star players not performing to their potential and a coaching staff unable to elevate the play of lesser talent. Calling them mediocre would be an insult to mediocrity.

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158 Comments

Bears at Patriots Game Preview Addendum

| October 24th, 2014

bilbo

FIVE FACTS ABOUT SUNDAY’S GAME

Fact #1

Jay Cutler will have a bounceback game.

Here’s a rather remarkable stat for Jay Cutler. In his season and a half under Marc Trestman, anytime his passer rating in a game has dipped below 90 he has a rebounded well.

  • Week 4 of 2013 he delivered a 65.5 against Detroit and followed with  128.1 against New Orleans.
  • Week 9 he dropped a 69.8 against Detroit. After injury he returned with a 102.2 against Cleveland.
  • Week 15 he joined the Bears humiliation and scored 73.8 on the passer test against the Eagles. He finished the season with a 103.8 against Green Bay.
  • Cutler opened 2014 with an 86.2 against Buffalo and followed with a 119.2 against San Francisco.
  • He followed his 82.5 against Green Bay this year with a 95.5 against Carolina – the first time under Trestman the sub-90 was not met by a plus-100.

Trust history. Cutler’s passer rating: 109.4

Fact #2

Matt Forte will have more carries than he’s had all season.

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168 Comments

A Team Defying Logic: Chicago Bears at New England Patriots Game Preview in a Sentence

| October 23rd, 2014

Chicago-Bears-Brock-Vereen-OTAs

Why do I like the Chicago Bears this week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

WHY ELSE?

Because there is no earthly reason to believe this football team – maligned quarterback, emotionally excitable star receiver, ignored tailback, coach under the microscope, temperamental right guard, derided defensive coordinator…etc. – can go into Foxboro and beat one of the greatest head coach and quarterback combinations in the history of the sport with their season on the line, they probably will.

FINAL SCORE

Chicago Bears 40, New England Patriots 31

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280 Comments

In New England, Against Belichick & Brady, Bears Have Chance to Make 2nd Half Meaningful

| October 21st, 2014

tom-brady

I watched him do it. From behind the goal post, decked out in ski goggles and enough waterproof clothing to stay dry in Seattle, I watched Tom Brady dissect the Bears defense in a blizzard. He was not phased. He was not human. Moon Mullin described the early dismantling:

The Patriots went through the Chicago defense on drives of 85 and 87 yards, lasting 12 and 11 plays against a unit that had allowed drives of double-digit plays only five times in the last five games. Less than five minutes into the second quarter the Bears were in a 14-0 hole.

In fairness I only watched the first half. That was plenty for me.

Now that same quarterback, that same coach, stand between the Bears and the possibility of a successful 2014 campaign.   A win Sunday at Foxboro would send the Bears into their bye at 4-4, a respectable mark and a record to build upon over the second half of the season. A loss would compound early inconsistency and leave the Bears to answer a relentless stream of questions over the next two weeks. The most frequently asked question: how did this happen?

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189 Comments

With Four Games Remaining Til Bye, Bears Must Settle For No Worse Than .500 Record

| October 1st, 2014

Billete de 500

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.”

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17 Comments

2014 Chicago Bears Schedule

| April 24th, 2014

anchors

Week One

Sunday September 7th – Noon

BILLS AT BEARS


Week Two

Sunday September 14th – SNF

BEARS AT 49ERS


Week Three

Monday September 22nd – MNF

BEARS AT JETS


Week Four

Sunday September 28th – Noon

PACKERS AT BEARS


Week Five

Sunday October 5th – Noon

BEARS AT PANTHERS


Week Six

Sunday October 12th – Noon

BEARS AT FALCONS


Week Seven

Sunday October 19th – Noon

DOLPHINS AT BEARS


Week Eight

Sunday October 26th – Noon

BEARS AT PATRIOTS


Week Nine

BYE


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579 Comments

If I Made the 2014 NFL Schedule…

| March 31st, 2014

I have never lied. (Is that true?) I enjoy the release of the upcoming schedule far more than the NFL draft. I am someone who travels with extensive itineraries, does vast amount of research, knows the oldest bar in every town I’ll find. The NFL schedule is like a treasure map. The booty is football.

Here’s what should happen this year.

THURSDAY NIGHT OPENER

Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks

No brainer of no brainers. When you have an opportunity for a Super Bowl rematch, involving Peyton Manning, to kick off your season, you do it. I have also been an advocate for the NFL opening the season with non-conference games (with no tiebreaking implications) and this game fits the bill.

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