360 Comments

Rapid Fire Reaction to a Disheartening Loss in London

| October 7th, 2019

It’s very hard to analyze a game from inside the building. You really have no idea what’s going on. But here are a few points:

  • The building was 80% Bears fans. And the lack of run defense took them entirely out of the game. Bears had zero push up front.
  • Charles Leno is officially a problem.
  • David Montgomery has to absorb contact almost immediately upon every touch. He’s in an impossible spot back there.
  • Chase Daniel processes the field in slow motion. The Bears has open receivers all over the field but Daniel (a)took too long to identify them and (b) almost never put the ball in the right spot. If the backup is playing, the Bears aren’t winning.
  • Allen Robinson is a great player.
  • Anthony Miller is not. Yet.
  • Khalil Mack spends a lot of time on the sideline.
  • This was the first time in two years I’ve seen so many wide open receivers running through the Bears defense. Just an off day or did Jon Gruden figure something out?

3-2. One game back of Green Bay. In position to have a season but with A LOT of improvement needed. The bye week comes at a perfect time.

Tagged: , ,

143 Comments

Bears & Raiders in London Game Preview, Volume II: The Football Stuff (Mostly)

| October 4th, 2019

The George Inn. My favorite pub in London.


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

And they are not losing in London, with Reverend Dave and I in the building, all hopped up on bitter ale.


Trite, Boring Thoughts on the Raiders (Stolen From Data’s Twitter)

Data had a stream of Tweets early in the week but I fear they were lost in the Monday excitement. He is one of the best follows on Bears Twitter and I recommend you give him a follow. Here are his thoughts:

  • Derek Carr has been sacked only 8x in 4 games this year. 4th fastest time to throw of any NFL QB, 4th shortest average throw. This feels like a game where the Bears need Roquan Smith, not Nick Kwiatkoski. Gonna be a lot of underneath stuff in coverage.
  • In the running game, Oakland runs inside a little more than outside, so in that regard Kwit would fit right in plugging the interior run. When they do run outside, the Raiders heavily favor the right by a 2:1 ratio.
  • 2 of Oakland’s 3 most targeted players have among the 15 shortest average target distances among all NFL WRs and TEs. Waller is 4th shortest TE at 4.9 yards/target, and Renfrow 3rd shortest WR at 6.4 yards/target. Together they account for about 45% of all Carr targets in 2019.
  • Looking now to Oakland’s defense, this is a game the Bears should find success through the air. Raiders giving up 8.1 yards/attempt (23rd), with 9 TD and only 1 INT for a passer rating of 106.8 (25th).
  • Some of that is because Mahomes lit them up, but Flacco and Cousins both posted a passer rating >100 against them, and Brissett threw for 3 TDs. Their pass D is bad, in no small part because they can’t rush the passer (only 5 sacks through 4 games).
  • Oakland’s run D is actually pretty solid, coming in at 16th in rush yards/game and 11th in yards/carry.
    • Editor’s Note: Dalvin Cook rushed for 110 on only 16 carries against them.

Tweet of the Week (kinda)

I found this story incredibly moving.

Read More …

Tagged: , , ,

181 Comments

Bears & Raiders in London Game Preview, Volume I: The Poem

| October 3rd, 2019

“London Snow”


She broke my heart,

in London,

in the lobby of the Bridewell Theatre.

It was snowing outside and

Brits do silly things in the snow.

Grown men in Savile Row slacks become

children on a Swindon schoolyard,

tossing snow balls and giggling,

and saying things like “jolly”.

She regretted that decision,

she would tell me later.

Maybe she was afraid.

Or maybe

it was just the snow.

 

Tagged: ,

77 Comments

A Look at the QB Situations of the Potentially-Available Head Coaching Gigs

| December 22nd, 2017

Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images (Edited)

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.)


Colts

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.”


Bucs / Titans

These are two jobs that, should they come open, will come open with a quarterback in-place. But…do you want them?

  • Marcus Mariota has questions to answer regarding his play in 2017. Because he’s been awful. Said AFC GUY: “If he’s not hurt, he’s a problem.”

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

251 Comments

Wildcard Saturday Open Thread

| January 7th, 2017

The Picks For Today

Oakland +4 over HOUSTON

You’ve heard the stat all week. Connor Cook is the first quarterback to make his first start in the postseason. And he’s doing so against one of the league’s best defenses. The gambler in me is screaming, “TAKE THE TEXANS!”

But I’m not doing it. Because I don’t think Brock Osweiler is any good and this seems like the perfect stage for him to formally end his Houston career. Not saying the Raiders win the game. Saying they keep it close.

Texans 16, Raiders 13

SEATTLE -7.5 over Detroit

Lions stink. And Devin Hester!

Seahawks 27, Lions 14

Tagged: , , ,

150 Comments

Money Where My Mouth Is: Three Picks For Week Eleven

| November 19th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 3.01.04 PM

I’m back…BOOM…back in the New York groove!

I’m back…BOOM…back in the New York groove!

Took three dogs and all three dogs won outright. That’s what you call a good week of gambling, much needed after the disaster known as Week Ten. This season it’s becoming increasingly difficult to figure out who plays football well and who doesn’t. But one thing is certain: the Giants are winning the Super Bowl.

OAKLAND -1.5 AT DETROIT

Crossroads game for the Raiders. They are in the thick of a playoff race in the AFC but coming off two tough losses to two good teams in Pittsburgh and Minnesota. The Lions are putrid. On a Sunday where the Packers couldn’t do anything right the Lions still gave them every chance imaginable to walk away with a victory. Could be nuts but I think Raiders win big.

DALLAS PICK EM AT MIAMI

Romo returneth. If the Cowboys don’t win Sunday, their season is over. Simple as that. The fact that their season is not over at 2-7 is borderline insane but that’s life in the NFC East.

SAN FRANCISCO +12.5 AT SEATTLE

Okay, so I continue to watch the Seahawks play football every week. And every week I continue to be like, “eh, there ain’t much there”. So why are they laying 12.5 points against anyone, anywhere? The 12th man? They don’t have too much impact when the first eleven are mediocre. I’ll take the points.

Season Record: 16-12-2

Tagged: , , , , ,

209 Comments

Money Where My Mouth Is: Three Picks for Week Four

| October 1st, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 3.01.04 PM

Another 1-2 week has left me reeling through three weeks of the season. Gave the Ravens too much credit (and didn’t deduct enough points for Marc Trestman’s involvement in their organization). Didn’t give the Bears defensive coaching staff enough credit. Nothing is over. Nothing. I shall rebound.

DOLPHINS UNDER 20 POINTS V. JETS IN LONDON

If you get an opportunity to watch the replay of Bills v. Dolphins from Sunday, spend the hour and do so. It felt like, from the opening whistle, we were watching the last game of the Joe Philbin era in Miami. The offense was useless. The defense made Tyrod Taylor look like Roger Staubach. The coaching staff didn’t make a single discernible adjustment over the course of 60 minutes. And they’ve completely lost the plot with their use of Suh.

Are the Jets great? No. But their defense is capable of wrecking this game for the Dolphins and I can’t see Tannehill getting this group to three touchdowns.

BEARS +3 OVER RAIDERS

Full report on this selection will be available in tomorrow’s game preview.

LIONS +10 AT SEAHAWKS

Let’s look at the Seahawks first three games. They were humiliated defensively in week one by Nick Foles and a Rams offense that have gone AWOL since. They were somewhat lifeless at Lambeau Field, losing by double digits in a game that never felt that close. Sunday, at home against Jimmy Clausen, they were entirely unimpressive. So how are they double-digit favorites against ANYBODY? Not only do I think this game is close, I wouldn’t be surprised if Detroit has a chance to win late.

Record: 3-5-1 (-$260)

Tagged: , , , , ,