Bears Helmet

Former Bears great Ed Sprinkle elected to Hall of Fame

The man played well before my time, but certainly has enough documented achievements to merit his consideration.

Sprinkle is 1 of the 10 senior candidates to be chosen.

https://www.chicagobears.com/news/ex-bears-great-sprinkle-elected-to-hall-of-fame

https://www.chicagobears.com/video/ed-sprinkle-elected-to-pro-football-hall-of-fame




Weekly Picks:
(home team in CAPS)

Regular Season = 149-106-1

Post Season:

Last week = 2-0
Total = 6-4


Super Bowl 54 - San Francisco 49ers @ KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Game is in Miami and the AFC is the home team, not that home team designation really means much in the Super Bowl.

The Chiefs have been playing with fire during the post season, spotting their opponents points before opening up themselves. Not necessarily a formula for success but has certainly worked for them.

The 49ers seem to be the more balanced team on both sides of the ball, plus they beat the hated Packers to get to the Super Bowl. And they beat Goon Bay only having to pass 8 times as their running game simply destroyed the Packers.

I think this is going to be a very good Super Bowl. I also think the Chiefs will again spot their opponent points before getting themselves in gear. I think both teams will score over 30, with the difference being a final spectacular scoring drive by the Chiefs to close it out.

Chiefs 37 49ers 32
Bears Helmet

Jimbo Covert elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

A couple of stories on the event :

https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/Pitt/2020/01/15/Jimbo-Covert-former-Pitt-lineman-Pro-Football-Hall-of-Fame/stories/202001150112

https://www.chicagobears.com/news/hall-of-fame-call-leaves-covert-almost-speechless

I remember him as a road grading beast on the Bears offensive line in their 80's heydays.  I think this is a well deserved honor for a quality player.




Weekly picks :
(home team in CAPS)

Regular Season = 149-106-1

Post Season:

Last Week = 2-2
Total = 4-4

AFC Championship - Tennessee Titans @ Kansas City Chiefs: Titans did an excellent job reaching this point, first beating the Patriots in New England and then going to Baltimore and beating the Ravens at their own game.  Unfortunately for them, they are facing a Chiefs team that can sleep for a quarter, spot you 24 points, then still beat you by 20.

I pick the Chiefs

NFC Championship - Goon Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers:

Let is pray -

We beseech thee oh benevolent football gods to look down upon this contest and break the mind, spirit, and body of the most putrescent member of those wearing the puke and piss colors and may the plaintive wails of number 12 be heard throughout the football world.  May this contest be the end of his vile presence in this post season tournament.

In hope so we pray,

Amen

I pick the 49ers
Bears Helmet

Kyle Long Retires

After just 7 years of great effort negated by nagging injuries, Pro Bowl OL Kyle Long announced his retirement. 

https://www.wane.com/news/chicago-bears/three-time-pro-bowler-long-retires-from-bears/

This guy had so much talent and effort, and it is sad to see what could have been a much longer successful career cut short by injury.  After making the Pro Bowl his first 3 seasons, he was beset by bad luck on the injury front and never could seem to get healthy.

Thanks for your effort Mr. Long.  I wish you well.





Post Season picks:
(home team in CAPS)

Regular Season = 149-106-1
Last Week - 2-2

BALTIMORE RAVENS over Tennessee Titans
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS over Minnesota Vikings
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS over Houston Texans
Seattle Seahawks over GOON BAY PACKERS
Bears Helmet

8-8 : a celebration of mediocrity

The Bears season ended in typical fashion, with their starting team struggling to hang with their opponent’s second string.  Their eventual last-minute win meant they could claim they did not have a losing season.  Anyone who watched them all season knows better.  They were losers at 8-8.

The Bears were quick to jettison some assistant coaches in a move that looks like they are the scapegoats for a floundering ineffective offense.  But they are going to need to do more than window dressing to sort their shit out.

The Bears need an identity.  And that isn’t something you simply talk about and speak aloud.  Your actions must match your words in order for a true identity to be formed.  The Bears have nothing.  They talk about balance and the running game, then throw the ball 40 times and ignore the run other than the pathetic Tarik Cohen runs up the middle, which fail with regularity to provide anything positive.

The sign of a good coaching staff is to be able to utilize the talents of the players they have to their best advantage in order to win.  The Bears fail miserably at this, which gets Matt Nagy a D- for the season.  The only reason I don’t give him an F is there were several games he had the offense in a real flow, seemingly well prepared and effective.  But there was no consistency there.  Part of that is the wildly inconsistent play of Trubisky, but Nagy deserves a solid share of the blame with some of his offensive plans.

The defense started the season looking like a reincarnation of the 85 Bears, but then became very average.  Part of that was due to injuries to key contributing members.  But like their counterparts on offense, the Bears D had no identity.  They were average against the pass, average against the run, and couldn’t get turnovers to save their lives.  Still, in spite of their struggles, they were good enough to win with if the offense could do anything to help.

Nagy needs to do some serious off-season soul searching.  If Trubisky cannot effectively run his offense, but the team is going to stick with him, then that offense HAS to change.  The easiest way to change it would be a very heavy emphasis on running the football and have Trubisky be a productive counter contributor rather than having Trubisky and the passing game be the offense and the running attack an afterthought.  David Montgomery, running behind a patchwork offensive line, could have been a 1000+ plus yard rusher this season if they had simply given him the ball 20-25 times a game.  And that would have eased a lot of pressure from their overmatched QB.

As to Trubisky, he doesn’t suck as many are trying to claim.  Look at his overall body of work in 2019 and you can see flashes of solid effectiveness and the occasional burst of brilliance.  But you also see someone who simply does not read defenses very well which then put his passing efforts in a bind.  And since Nagy stubbornly insisted the passing game had to be the show, it meant the show was a flop.

Will Trubisky get it?  That is the million-dollar question.  Everyone expected him to progress from 2018 and be a better improved version this year.  Instead, he took 2 giant steps back and looked more like a baffled rookie than someone prepared to step into a legitimate starter’s shoes.  If the Bears want him to be effective, they have to support him with elevated talent around him.  He is not the QB you are going to send out on the field to win the game.  Not at this point of his career.  I don’t know what the off-season plans are to get him to up his game, but he definitely needs help and guidance so it would behoove the team to ensure he gets it.

Sad frustration is the most prevalent emotion in regards to this team.  They are not worthy of the energy it would take to get angry with them.  So yet again we are left with another Bears season where the mediocrity of 8-8 is celebrated by some in the organization as a show of the team’s determination.  If celebrating mediocrity is truly the Bears organizational mantra, then disappointed is the only thing Bears fans should expect.  And disappointment is certainly something we are used to.

Post Season picks:
(home team in CAPS)

Last week = 8-8
Regular Season = 149-106-1

Buffalo Bills @ Houston Texans : I think this is the most balanced matchup of the weekend with both teams having equal opportunity to win.  I am rooting for the QB the Bears should have drafted, and expect Watson and the Texans to prevail.

Texans 30  Bills 22

Tennessee Titans @ New England Patriots : Patriots showing large chinks in their armor and I think Tennessee will pull this off and send Pats fans away to cry and sob about the end of a dynasty.

Titans 26  Patriots 20

Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints : I think this will be the blowout game of the weekend. I see no area where the Vikings might have an advantage and expect the Saints to win in a romp.

Saints 42  Vikings 13

Seattle Seahawks @ Philadelphia Eagles : Carson Wentz has had to work magic with a group of second tier skill players, and may go into this game with even newer faces in the huddle. He should be commended for the season he has had with so little help, but this would be a huge upset if the Eagles win this.  I’m picking Wentz to lead the upset.

Eagles 19  Seahawks 17





The Bears ran the ball a franchise-low seven times in a loss to the Saints, eliciting Nagy’s quote of the year: “I know we have to run the ball more. I’m not an idiot.”

Actions speak louder than words coach, so .....
Bears Helmet

the end is mercifully near

At the beginning of the season, all the Bears needed was a kicker and magic would happen.  The way they went about getting a kicker should have tipped us off they are not operating in typical fashion, but hey, 2018 was wonderful so surely, with a new kicker procured, sunshine and rainbows would follow.

And then .....

I have tried to be analytical in figuring out how things turned so badly in the wrong direction, but have come up short in being able to explain anything.  To try and come up with a reason for the almost insane inconsistencies and why the team that so badly beat a Cowboys team fighting desperately for a win could the next week seem unable to even dress themselves correctly.

2019 has been like a bad drug trip with things that defy explanation.   And that uncertainty in regards to what is and is not real is why trying to figure what is needed in the off season is an intangible undefined element.

I am more perplexed by their failure than angry about it so will probably just take a break from all of this for a while once the final whistle blows in Minnesota because the Bears have sucked the fun out of it all.

Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings:

The Vikings have nothing to play for and will probably sit most of their starters.  The Bears suck but on occasion can pull their heads from their asses and be something.

The Bears have been bumslayers all year and a Vikings team with most of the starters on the bench should qualify.

Bears 18
Vikings 14

The rest of my week 17 picks:
(home team in CAPS)

Last week = 12-4
Season = 141-98-1

BUFFALO over NY Jets
Cleveland over CINCINNATI
New Orleans over CAROLINA
Goon Bay over DETROIT
KANSAS CITY over LA Chargers
NEW ENGLAND over Miami
TAMPA BAY over Atlanta
Philadelphia over NY GIANTS
DALLAS over Washington
Indianapolis over JACKSONVILLE
BALTIMORE over Pittsburgh
HOUSTON over Tennessee
Oakland over DENVER
LA RAMS over Arizona
SEATTLE over San Francisco

no title
Bears Helmet

So now ... the end is near

... and so we face ... the final curtain.

So the Bears face a must win game against their rival Packers and ... fail.  As they seem to do every time they face this situation.  Aaron Rodgers owns them, plain and simple.  At some point in pretty much every Packers game, Rodgers will pull a rabbit out of his hat and the Bears will lose.  This time it was a 20 yard TD pass on a 4th and 4 play.  The game clincher.

It was nice the Bears almost pulled off a miracle on the last play of the game.  1 more lateral and they would have had a TD.  But odds are they wouldn't have made the tying 2 point conversion so would have lost by 2 rather than 8.

Officially eliminated from the playoffs, they will now run out their season against the playoff bound Chiefs and Vikings, which will make it difficult for them to finish at .500.  Not impossible, but definitely unlikely.

A season in which most of us felt the Bears would build from last season and make an even stronger run deep into the playoffs instead will end in frustrating and disappointing failure.

And I for one am ready for them to be put out of their misery and simply go away.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Chicago Bears

Kansas City could be striving for a first round bye, depending on how the Saturday games go.  So I don't see them slacking against the Bears.

The Bears quotes this week are all about finishing strong to carry it into next season.  Right.  As if that worked so well for them this year.

Chiefs 36
Bears 20

The rest of my week 16 picks:
(home team in CAPS)

Last week = 10-6
Season = 129-94-1

Houston over TAMPA BAY
Buffalo over NEW ENGLAND
SAN FRANCISCO over LA Rams
ATLANTA over Jacksonville
Baltimore over CLEVELAND
New Orleans over TENNESSEE
INDIANAPOLIS over Carolina
MIAMI over Cincinnati
Pittsburgh over NY JETS
NY Giants over WASHINGTON
DENVER over Detroit
Oakland over LA CHARGERS
PHILADELPHIA over Dallas
SEATTLE over Arizona
MINNESOTA over Goon Bay


Bears Helmet

3 games left and need some help

Very nice run the Bears have been on of late.  Their very impressive win over the Cowboys in prime time has them mathematically back in the hunt for the playoffs.  But it may be too little too late, making some of their early season bumbling efforts the haunting anchor of failures past that will keep them home watching on tv like the rest of us.

Their final 3 games are no cakewalk, but if the same Bears offense that pounded the Cowboys comes to play, they have a fighters chance in all of them.  But even winning out and finishing 10-6 may not be enough unless they get help.

The Packers almost bumbled away their game against Washington last week, which would have greatly helped the Bears effort, while the Vikings easily handles the Lions which did no good.  The only thing the Bears can control of course are the games they have in front of them.  The Bears have to win out, which is a tough road but a road they built for themselves with their early season sucktitude.

There is likely going to be 1 NFC Wildcard team with 11 wins or more (San Francisco or Seatle), so the Bears direct competition is the Vikings.  With that in mind I am rooting for Phillip Rivers to be what he can be, and bitchslap the Vikings in LA this weekend.  The Vikings  final 2 games are against Goon Bay and the Bears.  So the slim possibility is there.  But the Bears have to win out to have that chance.

Playoffs or no, I want to see them finish strong so we can spend the off season moaning about just missing the post season rather than bitching about whether or not they need a new QB.  I am rooting for Trubisky to finish out the year the way he is currently playing rather than the way he was earlier so that he can at least dampen the fervor some have to run him out of town.

A 10-6 finish would be sweet.  9-7 would be a disappointment but at least have some good news to go with it.  Anything less will be failure and an off season of roiling controversy.


Chicago Bears @ Goon Bay Packers:

The Bears should have won their opening game against the assclowns from cheeseland, but chose instead to have their offense shit all over themselves in a vile act of voluntary incompetence.

They MUST win this game.  They have the physical ability to do so, so the only question is their mental capacity to handle their responsibilities iwith precision.

I think they will.

Bears 26
Puke-shits 16

The rest of my week 15 picks:
(home team in CAPS)

Last week = 10-6
Season = 119-88-1

BALTIMORE over NY Jets
New England over CINCINNATI
Tampa Bay over DETROIT
TENNESSEE over Houston
KANSAS CITY over Denver
NY GIANTS over Miami
Philadelphia over WASHINGTON
Seattle over CAROLINA
OAKLAND over Jacksonville
ARIZONA over Cleveland
LA CHARGERS over Minnesota (upset special ... come on Phillip Rivers!)
LA Rams over DALLAS
SAN FRANCISCO over Atlanta
Buffalo over PITTSBURGH
NEW ORLEANS over Indianapolis



Keep it going ....
Bears Helmet

And the final stretch begins

Nice win on Thanksgiving, though as expected, the Bears made it harder on themselves than it should have been.  But when plays had to be made, by the offense or defense, the Bears were up to the challenge.  And now they must start a 4 game streak where they will need their A game if they actually have playoff aspirations.

This Bears team has been truly puzzling to figure out.  Strange inconsistencies with sometimes baffling results is normally not a formula for success.  The Bears have used it to be a .500 team, but they somehow have to really pull it together if they are to be more than that.  Trying to predict if they will or forecast their intentions are almost impossible tasks at this point.  You study their body of work to date and the only conclusion is "wtf?".

This will certainly be an interesting test for them as they try to close out on a high note.  Some are already talking about them needing to build a foundation for next year, and that in itself is a puzzling comment.  Look at last season, and how we expected that to be a foundation for this year.  How has that worked?  So this whole building a foundation for next year thing may be nothing more than sport-speak bullshit.

There are already talks of wanting Nagy's head on a pike if the Bears miss the post season and that to me is extreme over reaction.  I think Nagy is certainly flawed, but also capable.  His biggest negative is his stubborn refusal to ditch gadgetry for simple competence at times and that has cost the team as often as it has helped them this year.  Last year his book of gadgets seemed innovative and entertaining.  This year they induce more groans than cheers.  And also aren't nearly as effective.

My hope is they figure things out and go on a roll but my expectations are tempered.


Dallas Cowboys @ Chicago Bears:

The Cowboys are the closest thing to a bum remaining on the Bears schedule.  The Lions were the kind of bum tht bothers you and panhandles.  The Cowboys will do that, but then may also pull a knife and mug you.  So they are dangerous bums, but bums nonetheless.  So the Bears, being the bumslayers they are, should win.

Won't be easy but is certainly doable.

Bears 27
Cowboys 25


The rest of my week 14 picks:
(home team in CAPS)

Last week = 9-7
Season - 109-82-1

ATLANTA over Carolina
Baltimore over BUFFALO
CLEVELAND over Cincinnati
GOON BAY over Washington
MINNESOTA over Detroit
San Francisco over NEW ORLEANS
NY JETS over Miami
Indianapolis over TAMPA BAY
HOUSTON over Denver
JACKSONVILLE over LA Chargers
OAKLAND over Tennessee
Kansas City over NEW ENGLAND
ARIZONA over Pittsburgh
Seattle over LA RAMS
PHILADELPHIA over NY Giants



These 2 are the key ....
Bears Helmet

Ugly win and that's all the Bears will give you

Mitch Trubisky was healthy enough to throw 2 interceptions and lead an under-achieving offense to as few points as possible and still get a win.  And it doesn't look like it is going to get better any time soon, which can be equally blamed on Trubisky and Nagy.

I still think Trubisky can be a successful QB.  But he needs to grow some balls.

Right now he is playing like a robot.   3 step drop, must throw HERE regardless of coverage.  5 step drop, must throw HERE regardless of coverage.  7 step drop ... ok, you get the picture.

He seems to be ignoring his own instincts.  When he doesn't and he moves a bit to get comfortable and fires a strike to someone, we see what he can be.  But when he does that only 30% of the game, it is a recipe for failure.  How many times have we seen him drop back, plant, and the receiver is breaking open but instead of hitting that throw, he hesitates and then either throws late when the receiver is no longer open of throws elsewhere to a receiver who was never in the play or open at any time?

He has to do a self assessment to correct this.  He has to get back to playing with some sort of flow with options rather than pre-determined throws which are mostly leading to failure.  I don't think any amount of coaching or play calls can correct this flaw.  He has to do it, so can he?  Will he?  How he handles that determines if he will be a successful starting QB or the next journeyman with ability he never really learned how to use.

As for Nagy, time and time again with other teams (and a while back even with the Bears), the coaching staff is intelligent enough to assess the players they have and then come up with plans to best use the abilities of the players they have.  Nagy is sort of at a crossroads.  He has his pre-set scheme (which has too many gadgets for my liking) and sort of has the players to run it, but he is mostly, stubborn.  Stubborn to the point of being self-destructive as he will call plays against his scheme (such as the I formation running plays) that are successful and then willingly go away from those plays, not because the opponent forced him to, but because those plays, regardless of success, are not what he wants to do.

I think Nagy is smart enough to figure this out.  The question is whether or not he can be honest with himself enough to do what he needs to do more often than what he simply wants to do.  And how he wrestles with that will determine his coaching future.

If the Bears somehow make the playoffs, it will be due to the failure by others rather than any intent on their part.  So now would be a good time for them to at least make the effort to get things right.

Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions:

Whatever dreams the Lions had of turning their season around went down in flames in Washington against a Redskins team they should have handled easily.

This should be an easy Bears win if they just play basic vanilla football and match up toe to toe and mash the Lions in the face.  But this is the Bears so we know they won't do anything simple, basic and effective.

Their gadgetry will cost them points and let the Lions hang in but I think they win in spite of themselves.

Bears 23
Lions 21

The rest of my week 13 picks:
(home team in CAPS)

Last week = 10-4
Season = 100-75-1

DALLAS over Buffalo
New Orleans over ATLANTA
NY Jets over Cincinnati
INDIANAPOLIS over Tennessee
PITTSBURGH over Cleveland
Philadelphia over MIAMI
Goon Bay over NY GIANTS
CAROLINA over Washington
Tampa Bay over JACKSONVILLE
BALTIMORE over San Francisco
ARIZONA over LA Rams
LA Chargers over DENVER
KANSAS CITY over Oakland
HOUSTON over New England
SEATTLE over Minnesota

no title
Bears Helmet

Bears rumblin, bumblin, stumblin their way out of the playoffs

The Los Angeles Rams did everything possible to give the Bears a real advantage in the first half of their game, but the Bears simply refused to accept their generosity.  Missed field goals and questionable play calls were more comfortable for the Bears offense as they took their zero into halftime.

The second half was somewhat better but still nothing special.  Except a potential QB controversy when Trubisky was yanked before the Bears final futile offensive effort in a game they were still close enough to win.  Nagy explained it was a hip injury suffered in the first half that just kept getting worse as the game went along rather than a benching due to ineffective performance.  Take that as you will.  I fully expect Trubiskey to be the starter this week, and for the rest of the season.  The Bears are beyond hope as far as the playoffs go so benching Trubisky to let Chase Daniel continue leading a putrid Bears offense to losses really doesn't make much sense.  Then again, that may be exactly why the Bears would do it.

It is so frustrating to see flashes of talent and ability be simply flushed by an overall performance that could charitably be graded out as a D minus.  The Bears offense sucks.  Their concepts on what an offense should be are asinine.  And the results speak for themselves.

As to Trubisky's injury, if he was hurt in the first half then why would Nagy call a rollout option play on a key 3rd and 1 in the second half?  If Trubisky was mobility challenged, it seems utterly stupid for Nagy to call a play where the QB's mobility was the key to success.  The resut of the play looked liked Trubisky was hurt.  He made no effort to sell the option part of the play and simply pitched it for an easy 3 yard loss by a defender who was free to roam all because Trubisky did not make an effort to sell a fake.

And of course in true Nagy style, the play was run to the short side of the field which guaranteed the defense would be able to swarm that way and prevent anything meaningful from happening.

The more I watch this team the more I wonder wtf happened.  Unfortunately, week by week, it appears the Bears are asking themselves the same questions.  And no one is getting any answers.


NY Giants @ Chicago Bears:

I think this is going to be a very craptastic game, hopefully played in terrible weather so both teams suffer.

I think Trubisky will in fact start and try to show he can take charge, which will lead him to being too aggressive and throwing 2 interceptions.

I think Daniel Jones of the Giants will be pressured into matching Trubisky by throwing 2 interceptions of his own.

I think the over / under on fumbles for both teams will be 3, and I will take the over with each team losing 2.

And after almost 60 minutes of watered down horseshit, the Bears will win because Kyle Fuller actually holds on to an interception late and returns it for a pick 6.

Bears 20
Giants 15


The rest of my week 12 picks:
(home team in CAPS)

Last week = 12-2
Season = 90-71-1

HOUSTON over Indianapolis
ATLANTA over Tampa Bay
BUFFALO over Denver
Pittsburgh over CINCINNATI
CLEVELAND over Miami
NEW ORLEANS over Carolina
Oakland over NY JETS
Detroit over WASHINGTON
Seattle over PHILADELPHIA
Jacksonville over TENNESSEE
NEW ENGLAND over Dallas
SAN FRANCISCO over Goon Bay
Baltimore over LA RAMS

bye week = Arizona, Kansas City, LA Chargers, Minnesota



No one can say if Trubisky is the answer because
no one has any idea of what question is even
being asked ... such is life with the Bears.