NFL Changes the Extra Point Because the NFL Has No Idea What It’s Doing

| May 20th, 2015

Picture if you will…

January 3rd 2016.

Lions at Bears.

John Fox has rejuvenated the Bears franchise and led them to a 9-6 record. A win, at home, against the lowly Detroit Lions will send them into the postseason.

Lions lead 24-17 heading into the fourth quarter. The heavens open. Snow. Not just snow. A blizzard. Both teams struggle to move the ball. The game seems lost. With 1:07 remaining, Cutler hands the ball to Forte at midfield. A hole opens! Forte slips! Forte slides! End zone! Touchdown! Overtime!

Or not. Because now, according to the new rules of the NFL, in the howling winds off the lake, with snow piled an inch and a half high off the field, the Bears must now make a 32-yard field goal to enter the postseason.

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In Blogger Mock Draft, DBB Selects…

| March 5th, 2015

Matt Falk at Draft Season contacted me (of all people) to partake in a blogger mock draft. And with the 7th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, DaBearsBlog selected…

Vic Beasley LB, Clemson

Analysis: I have a phrase I use when watching college football: “jump off the screen”. These are the players that just look a step above everyone else around them. Beasely was one of these guys. In 2013. Then he made what I thought was the ludicrous decision to return to Clemson for another season. Doesn’t seem so ludicrous now as I’m taking him with the 7th pick.

Why would the Bears take him here? Why not? They need absolutely everything on the defensive side of the ball and I think when they line up Shane Ray, Randy Gregory and Vic Beasely side-by-side-by-side they will see Beasely best fits what John Fox and Vic Fangio want to do defensively.

To read the entire mock draft, CLICK HERE.

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Everything We Learned About the NFL This Season.

| February 3rd, 2015


Top NFL Teams Separated By Merely a Play

Look at the fates of the NFC’s best teams in the month of January.

  • Detroit loses to Dallas after a pass interference flag is announced and walked off by the game official and then ludicrously picked up. (Has anybody yet given an explanation of this?)
  • Dallas  loses to Green Bay after a Dez Bryant catch – a spectacular catch – is deemed a non-catch by one of the more ludicrous rules in the NFL rulebook. (And in my opinion a gross misinterpretation of that rule.)
  • Green Bay loses to Seattle with a ludicrous late-game collapse featuring a tight end dropping an onside kick that hit both of his hands and his face.
  • Seattle loses to New England with the worst play-call in the history of professional football, asking a non-pocket passer to pocket pass a tight-window slant route on the goal line, at the death. (And do so with the league’s most physical runner just, you know, standing around.)

In all four of these games a serious argument can be made for the losing team deserving victory. That’s how close the league has become at the top.

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Performance Coming Out of the Bye Proves Bears Have Wrong Head Coach

| November 10th, 2014


This space has never been used to call for the firing of a head coach and by all accounts Marc Trestman is a good and decent man whose tenacious pursuit of an NFL head coaching position deserves praise. But the Chicago Bears had two weeks to study the errs of back-to-back disasters against the Dolphins and Patriots. They had two weeks to prepare for the Green Bay Packers and set the stage for the second half of the season. What happened? They got worse. Somehow, they got less competitive.

Having spent a fair amount of this life watching NFL football I feel comfortable now making the following statement: Marc Trestman is not the right man to lead the Chicago Bears and the McCaskey family will be remiss not to make this change at year’s end.

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Season on the Line: Bears at Packers Thread

| November 9th, 2014


Three final thoughts heading into tonight’s game:

  • Martellus Bennett not playing tonight would be a huge blow to the Bears. Packers had no answer for Bennett during their first meeting and to expect his level of production from Rosario or Annen would be misguided. If only the Bears had two big, talented wide receivers to cover that production…
  • Someone needs a great game in the pass rush. Anyone, really.
  • Barring this game getting away from the Bears early, I’d be shocked if they run the ball less than 25-30 times with Forte and Carey. Packers are the worst run defense in the sport and Cutler is most dynamic in the play action attack. Defense can’t let Rodgers score on every possession if this is to be their approach.

Bear down.

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Willie Young Proving To Be the Signature Move of the Phil Emery 2014 Off-Season

| October 14th, 2014


These were Phil Emery’s comments when the Bears signed Willie Young away from the Detroit Lions in March, courtesy of Chris Boden at CSN Chicago:

“Our thoughts about defensive players is to get the toughest, most aggressive, instinctive players that have a little bit of an old-school mentality, a ‘Bear’ mentality, and we certainly feel Willie has those attributes,” said Bears general manager Phil Emery. “(It’s) another positive step in improving our roster to the point where we can contend and win a championship.

“This was important for us to get a second defensive lineman, a quality starter, an opportunity for Willie to grow and for us to grow with him. When we went into free agency we thought if we could find a way to get two starting defensive linemen, we would’ve made forward progress.”

What do you think was the first comment listed below this post?

johns 213 days ago. Young might be Ok, but I would rather have Wooton
Turns out this johns character was quite wrong with his assessment of Phil Emery’s signature move of the 2014 offseason. Young is far from OK. To this point in the campaign he’s been the league’s most preeminent sack man. And Corey Wootton? Rumors have it he’s on the Minnesota Vikings.

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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Play Calling Nonsense, Injuries on the O-Line & More!

| September 9th, 2014


Enough with the Play Calling

From Mark Potash’s column in the Sun-Times:

The other issue on Cutler’s second interception was Trestman’s play-call itself. Why not run on third-and-one? Matt Forte had gained 62 yards on 14 carries to that point, though he had been stopped for no gain on the previous play.

“Most of the time we do, but we have to have some balance to what we’re doing,” Trestman said. “And the fact that it was a two-down situation gave us an opportunity to get a big play, and we’re going to take an aggressive approach at times.”

Nothing is more tiring in the NFL than fans and media criticizing play calling after the fact. If Cutler throws the football away, nobody complains. If he gets the yard with his legs, the play is an absolute afterthought. If he completes the pass, HEAVEN PRAISED TRESTMAN IS  GENIUS!

Play calling is the single most overrated element of football games. When runs don’t work, people want passes. When passes don’t work, people want runs. Now all of a sudden the Bears should run on short-yardage when the number one criticism of Matt Forte’s career has been his inability to get first downs in short yardage AND the Bears are without their starting center and left guard?

You know why offensive – and never defensive – play calling are often the most criticized elements of football games? Because it is the element of the game the casual fan and media member believe they can do. Spoiler alert: they can’t.

I prefer to exit the realm of the hypothetical and put the blame where it belongs: on the guy who threw the ball to a defensive lineman.

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Bills at Bears Opening Day Game Thread

| September 7th, 2014

bears bills

Five Final Thoughts

1. If the Bears manage a push from the interior of their offensive line they could be looking at an even more productive offensive outing. Success in the run game early will open up the whole of the play book.

2. If Bears commit more than four to the rush look out for E.J. Manuel hitting Scott Chandler quickly over the middle. This is still an area of the field where the Bears are susceptible to attack.

3. With the strength of the Bills offensive line being Cordy Glenn at left tackle, look for Lamarr Houston to make a greater impact today than Jared Allen.

4. There are only two ways to limit Sammy Watkins damage: tackling and pass rush. Tackling contains him in the screen game. Pass rush restricts his ability to do damage over the top.

5. Remember, no style points in September. I predicted the final score to be 31-16. 3-2 would be just as acceptable. September and October are about one thing in the NFL: stockpiling wins.

As always you can follow my (sporadic at best) in-game commentary on Twitter by following me @DaBearsBlog.

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