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Week 9 Game Preview: Bears at Titans

| November 6th, 2020


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

Even when they are laden with Covid.

But let’s not bury the lede. It’s Arlington Hambright Week!


Thoughts on the Tennessee Titans

The Titans are a pretty easy team to understand.

First, they are not good defensively. They give up nearly 400 yards and 26.3 points per game. They might have the least impressive pass rush in the sport. They do manage to take the ball away and their +8 turnover margin is a big reason they’re 5-2 and tied atop the AFC South.

But with the Bears starting this collection of misfit toys on the offensive line, will they even be able to exploit obvious deficiencies?

Second, and not surprisingly, their offense is all about Derrick Henry. In the era of running back committees, Henry is averaging 23 carries a game and he’s the most productive back around. If Henry is running well, that opens the play action game for Ryan Tannehill. (Hell, even if he’s not running well, he’s always one carry away from an 70-yard touchdowns.) Two things the Bears should be concerned about:

  • The quarterback getting outside the pocket and picking up big chunks of yardage with his legs. He does this 2-3 times a game at pivotal moments. On third downs, I’d consider spying him with Roquan Smith.
  • Jonnu Smith. When you put on Titans tape the kid jumps off the screen. After seeing the Bears struggle to contain a 78 year-old Jared Cook a week ago, the younger, more athletic Smith should seriously concern them.

Saluting Nashville: Five Favorite Dolly Tunes

(5) Islands in the Stream

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(4) I Will Always Love You

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(3) Hard Candy Christmas

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ATM: Titans Give Reason For Hope, If Pace Is Willing to Admit Mistake

| January 14th, 2020

Purgatory.

The team had just finished a season in which they finished third in their division, with the 27th-best scoring offense and third best defense. Against all odds, they had made the playoffs the year before, but they were stuck.

The young coach seemed like a great leader. The defensive coordinator had his unit set. The offensive play caller was dialing up winners. But they weren’t winning because the No. 2 overall pick quarterback simply could not execute the offense.

There were no easy answers.

Now that team is one win away from going to the Super Bowl.

Most of that probably sounds very familiar because the 2019 Tennessee Titans entered the season in the same spot as the 2020 Chicago Bears. But the Titans weren’t afraid to do exactly what the Bears have to do. They sat Marcus Mariota on the bench.

Through six games, the Titans were averaging 16.3 points and 307 yards per game, but they finished the season 10th in the league scoring 25.1 points 12th averaging 363 yards per game.

And the only major change they made was the quarterback.

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Week Six: Bears at Dolphins Game Preview

| October 12th, 2018

Winslow Townson, AP Images

This is a big moment for a franchise devoid of big moments lately.

Last time the Bears played, the Cubs were still the top story in Chicago and in the aftermath of their Bucs dismantling it was hard for this surging team to even find air time on local sports radio. But now the attention of the entire city is on the Bears. And everybody has one question: are they the real thing?


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears…

…and the match-up of Bears Defense vs. Dolphins Offense is about as lopsided as you’ll find on the Week Six slate. Miami is bottom five in just about every relevant offensive statistic and – watching a few of their games this week – those numbers may be flattering. I never understood the frothing over Adam Gase in Chicago, unless endless bubble screens triggers one’s salivary glands. His “system” is not working with this talent group in Miami. And this will be the best defense they face in 2018.


The Game Conversation: A (Very) Short Play

(It’s the Old Town Alehouse. Noon. Wednesday. DUKE and DICK sit in the corner, one reading the Sun-Times and the other the Trib. They do not look at each other when they speak.)

DUKE: You believe in ’em?

DICK: Who?

DUKE: The Bears.

DICK: Do I believe in ’em?

DUKE: Yea.

DICK: No.

DUKE: Good defense.

DICK: Great defense.

DUKE: But you don’t believe in ’em?

(DICK takes a sip of the Old Style he smuggled in because the bar refuses to serve the legendary beer.)

DICK: No. But I’m willing.


Why the Bears Win

  • Miami has struggled to pressure the quarterback and that seems to be what will be required to keep the Nagy/Trubisky offense in check. If the Dolphins don’t send extra players into the backfield, Trubisky will have options all over the field. If they do, they better get home.
  • Ryan Tannehill has been awful his last two starts. He’s completing around 56% of his passes for a total of 285 yards. His TD-INT is 1-3. His quarterback rating for the two games is 52.65. Other than Josh Allen, Tannehill has been the worst quarterback in the league over this two-game stretch and now Khalil Mack is coming to south Florida.
  • Miami’s offensive line was humiliated late by Cincinnati. Just read some of the coverage from Sunday’s game and you’ll find reason to believe Mack, Akiem Hicks and the rest of the DL may be able to feast upon this mostly-journeymen offensive line, including former-Bear Teddy “Ballgame” Larsen. When there’s pressure on Tannehill, like most quarterbacks, bad decisions ensue.

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Tannehill Injury Provides Opportunity for Bears To Embrace Future & Trade Glennon

| August 4th, 2017

Ryan Tannehill’s injury at Dolphins practice sent a Jolt Cola through the veins of the NFL yesterday. This is what always happens when a team loses their starting quarterback during the summer months. The other thirty-one all stand at attention, processing such an injury in a very similar manner.

Stage One: How injured is Tannehill? Before overreacting teams have to know if the QB is done for the year, several months, four weeks…etc? With this injury it sounds like Tannehill could be looking at a two/three month rehab or season-ending surgery.

Stage Two: Who is out there? The three names that sprinted into media mouths within minutes of the injury were Cutler, Romo and Kaepernick. Kaepernick does not fit what Gase does. Romo just signed to be the lead analyst on CBS. That job isn’t worth giving up to quarterback an 8-8 Dolphins team to second or third place in the AFC East. And then…there’s…Cut-ler! Darling Cut-ler! (Catch that reference, win a prize.)

Stage Three: What do we have that can provide a solution and help build our future? Call it Bradfording. The Dolphins need a quarterback. And if you have one on your roster they want, it could be worth the Joe’s Stone Crab fortune.

The Bears have one.

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Miami Dolphins at Chicago Bears Game Preview

| October 16th, 2014

dolphins

The Bears have two games they had no business losing. They lost them both. They have no business losing to the Miami Dolphins at home Sunday. So…

Why do I like the Chicago Bears this week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

A NOTE ON CAMERON WAKE

Cameron Wake can ruin this game for the Chicago Bears. He is a premier pass rusher, most comfortable on the left side, and if the Bears rely on Jordan Mills to handle him solo for any extended period of time they will find themselves in a situation where Jimmy Clausen is warming up on the sideline. Of the 2014 projected starters on offense, Mills has been the only weak link and he is coming off his weakest performance of the season in Atlanta.

Wake has attacked in spurts this season, disappearing for large chunks of games, but he played his best sixty minutes Sunday. If Aaron Rodgers didn’t get the ball out of his hands quickly all afternoon he would have ended up on a cart to the locker room midway through the third quarter. Bears must use Martellus Bennett. They must use Eben Britton. They must not be afraid to take Mills out of the game and replace him with Michael Ola if Bushrod returns.

It is the most important match-up of the game. If the Bears win it their offense should consistently win all afternoon.

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