Emissions from the Bears Nebula

by boris13c

Super Bowl 52
Bears Helmet
This could, and should, be an interesting game.  Or it could be a Patriots blowout.

I can see the Eagles winning but if they do it will be a close call.

Tom Brady is  .... well, he is the best.  And if you let him sit comfortably in the pocket, he will disembowel your defense.  Jacksonville found that out by playing some pussified 4 deep zone against him in the 4th quarter of the AFC Championship game.  Brady ate them alive.  And why did they change from the defense they rode to success to get to that point?  Fear.  The kind of fear Brady and the Patriots bring to their opponents.  And fear makes you do stupid things.  So instead of giving their best effort in what was most comfortable for them, they voluntarily removed themselves from their own comfort zone to try to play cutesy and got their asses handed to them in a game they could have and definitely should have won.  But instead they fell victim to Brady and his late game magic.

The Eagles on the other hand entered the post season as underdogs in their own stadium.  Not many gave the Foles led Eagles the same chance as they did the Wentz led version.  After escaping with a close win over the Falcons in the first round, they kicked the ever loving crap out of the Vikings for the honor of trying to dethrone the Patriots.  For them to have success will involve a gameplan where they stick with what they do best and to not at any time relax.  The defense needs to make Brady uncomfortable in the pocket and the offense has to convert drives to TD's rather than settle for Field Goals (the settling for Field Goals was another death nail in the coffin of the Jaguars).

I have no real interest in who wins.  I don't hate the Patriots.  In fact, I envy them.  Every fan would want their team to emulate their effort and results, playoff appearances year in and year out and multiple Championship trophies.

That said, I am picking the Eagles in an upset that will be settled in overtime.

Weekly Picks :

Regular Season Total = 167-89

Post Season :

Wild Card = 3-1
Divisional Round = 1-3
Conference Championships = 1-1

Legitimate reasons for optimism for 2018 ... a refreshing change
Bears Helmet
Been a Bears fan forever, and have forever looked upon a new season with some hope of improvement. And have grasped at any straw of hope to lead me to drink the team Kool Aid year in and year out. And I have regularly ended up disappointed and angry at being stupid enough to be duped yet again.

This time, it's different.

This time it seems the team actually did hard work and due diligence to get the right guy to lead a rebuild/rebound. This time they have a guy who is in sync with the GM. This time they have a guy who comes from a very successful coaching tree (Andy Reid's) which indicates sound philosophies.

And after being brought on board, Matt Nagy has proceeded to fill out his staff with others who provide hope and sound philosophies to the equation.

Just go watch the various press conferences from Nagy and his staff members. Of course talking a good game is only half the battle. The real substance here is a feeling they know how to implement what they say.

I'm not expecting a Super Bowl in 2018, but I do expect a competitive team with a solid foundation built to achieve that in short order. As for 1 year turn arounds and how they can happen, see the LA Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars.

I am truly excited for what will transpire over the next few years.

Wonder if I can find a Matt Nagy Arena League jersey on e-Bay?

Weekly Picks :

Regular Season Total = 167-89

Post Season :

Wild Card = 3-1
Divisional Round = 1-3

NFL Conference Championships :

Jacksonville Jaguars @ New England Patriots - I'm not buying the Brady hand injury sideshow. I am 100% confident he will play and play well unless the Jaguars defense can stop him. And I expect them to do just that. Tom Coughlin's Giants found ways to take the wind out of his sails, and though Coughlin is in the front office for the Jaguars and not on the sideline, I expect he has had some useful input for the Jaguars in their preparation for the game.

I'm picking them. Jaguars 30 Patriots 28

Minnesota Vikings @ Philadelphia Eagles - the Vikings wouldn't even be in this game if a Saints rookie safety had any concept of proper tackling technique. The Eagles are once again underdogs on their home field. If the Eagle defense could ice Matty Ice and the Falcons with ease, I think they can shut down Case Keenum's miracle season. Matt Foles will do just enough to ensure the Eagles offense gets the deciding points.

Eagles 26 Vikings 24

Holy crap, I think we're in good shape ...
Bears Helmet
I almost don't feel like a Bears fan right now. The past week has resulted in so many positive developments that we Bears fans only watched other teams accomplish. For us Chicago faithful, we always seemed to be on the outside looking in. The poor kids, with noses pressed to holiday decorated glass, looking at toys we knew we would never have.

Not any more.

Welcome to Chicago Matt Nagy. Welcome back Vic Fangio. And welcome back a blast from a successful Bears past Harry Hiestand. Welcome everyone.

This looks to be perhaps the most exciting coaching staff the Bears have had in quite some time, and by exciting I mean effective. And winning.I salute Ryan Pace for aggressively getting things upgraded with first choice caliber selections rather than sitting around and sorting through the dregs no one else wanted to hire.

Getting Vic Fangio back was causing some angst with some. And I understand the impatience to a point, the desire to get him back on board quickly. I was confident it was going to happen. The main reason being while the talking heads were spinning themselves into a tizzy about the various potential landing spots for him, the Bears were quiet. Turns out they were quiet because they were actually doing work. So those who brought out the torches and pitchforks because Fangio didn't re-sign immediately can go sit on their implements.

This is the most pumped I have been about a Bears off season in some time. Because I can see all this potential and can now see personnel in place who know how to utilize it.

I'm not expecting an immediate championship, but I am expecting the Bears to announce by their play they are no longer doormats, and Bears weekend on the other teams schedules is no longer going to be like a bye week.

Thank you Ryan Pace. And thank you George McCaskey for letting him do his thing without front office intervention.

Weekly Picks :

Regular Season Total = 167-89

Post Season 3-1

Divisional Round :

Falcons @ Eagles - the Eagles have not been the same since Wentz went down ... their 6-0 loss to Dallas to finish the year was as inept an offensive performance as they could have had ... can they get it right for the playoffs? I say no ... Pick = Falcons

Titans @ Patriots - Tennessee gets the honor of being the Patriots first sacrifice to the playoff gods ... the Patriots aren't as explosive as last year, but they are still the Patriots ... Pick = Patriots

Jaguars @ Steelers - Ben Roethlisberger had one of the worst games of his career against Jacksonville during the regular season ... will it be a redemption game for him or will the win ugly Jaguars yet again have an answer for him? Pick = Steelers

Saints @ Vikings - Saints let the Panthers back into the Wild Card game, but their offense was not the issue ... I think Brees and his backfield duo will put up more than the Vikings can match ... Pick = Saints

Please Bears - get this right ....
Bears Helmet
So John Fox no longer leads the Bears.  I remember the happiness when he was hired, where everyone pretty much felt he was the right choice to correct the Bears freefall derailment into suckdom.  And he did provide at least a sense of progress in that regard.  But now 3 short years later, he is out.  And the results of his 3 year run are mixed.  The Bears certainly didn't win consistently.  And the team itself seemed like a yo-yo with their week to week scattershot performances.

I was one of many who applauded his hiring, expecting him to revive the Bears from the pit of despair into which they had sunk.  Yes, the team suffered injuries at key positions, but he still had a team to work with and things just did not happen in a positive way.

Watching the Bears play was like watching a video game that you don't quite have enough resources to fully load - herky jerky.  There never seemed to be a flow in their efforts, just a lot of stop and start and stop again action, and Fox simply did not seem to have a grasp of in game adjustments.  Plus, Fox's challenge decisions rivaled Lovie Smith in their head scratching quotient.

So thanks for the effort, but good bye.

The Bears are currently interviewing candidates to replace him.  I don't have a clear favorite of my own I want to get the job.  But I do have a favorite scenario I would like to see play out.

I think the Bears need to obtain a QB whisperer.  Someone who has a track record of working with QB's to make them better.  Because the key to the Bears future success lies with their QB, who has legitimate skills but needs to be nurtured to achieve greatness and success.  One of the people the Bears are interviewing is Pat Shurmer, OC of the Minnesota Vikings.  He would be a good choice to fill the QB whisperer role given his success with the Vikings.  He has helped Case Keenum to a career year, and Keenum up til now has been average or below at his previous NFL stops.

Vic Fangio has done well transitioning the Bears defense from their traditional 4-3 to a 3-4, and has created a very effective unit even during periods when key members were lost to injury.  He was interviewed for the Bears HC position, but does not seem to be a favorite to get that promotion.  He hasn't publicly said one way or the other if he would be willing to remain as Bears DC under a new HC.  But I think him doing so would be the best possible option for the Bears.  That way the defense would be able to simply continue to build on what they were already working on while the offense gets restructured under the new HC and OC.  Stability would remain on at least 1 side of the ball, and that would be extremely helpful IMO.

So that would be a dream pairing I would think.  Shurmer as the new head man who would be leading Mitch's development while Fangio remains and is given full control on the defensive side.  And there would be much rejoicing.

That's my dream anyway.

Weekly Picks :

Week 16 = 12-4
Week 17 = 8-8

Regular Season Total = 167-89

Wild Card Weekend :

Titans @ Chiefs - should be a good game in the cold, and I give the edge to the Titans and their running game.  My pick = Titans

Falcons @ Rams - the Rams have had the kind of turn around under their new Head Coach that I would love to see the Bears duplicate under theirs.  I think the Rams balance will be the deciding factor.  My pick = Rams

Bills @ Jaguars - not having mcCoy at full strength, or maybe even not at all, will not bode well for the Bills.  Taylor is a decent enough QB, but not enough to carry the full load.  They can only hope the schizophrenic Jags have an off week.  My pick = Jaguars

Panthers @ Saints - Drew Brees has a solid running game to support him which allows him to be able to pick and choose when he wants to take shots in the passing game rather than the offense relying on him doing so.  My pick = Saints

Holiday Hiatus
Bears Helmet
Didn't watch the Bears lose to the Lions.  Won't be watching them maybe lose and give Cleveland their first win.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyful Kwanzaa, and merry happy joy joy to whatever else you may be celebrating.  Have fun.  Be safe.

Weekly Picks :

Last week = 13-3
Season = 147-77

Week 16 picks :

Browns @ Bears - 50-50 toss up on whether the Bears give it up to the Brownies.  As a note, the Bears are favored and the Bears haven't won when favored during the Fox tenure.

I'll take the stinky Bears in a game that will make anyone who does watch it want to puke.

The rest (home team in CAPS) :

RATBIRDS over Colts
Vikings over GOON BAY
PANTHERS over Buccaneers
Lions over BENGALS
CHIEFS over Dolphins
PATRIOTS over Bills
SAINTS over Falcons
Chargers over JETS
Rams over TITANS
Broncos over FORESKINS
Jaguars over 49ERS
CARDINALS over Giants
COWBOYS over Seahawks
Steelers over TEXANS
EAGLES over Rai-duhs

Week 17 Picks :

Bears @ Vikings - Vikings will be tuning up for the playoffs and home field advantage.  Bears have little chance to alter the Vikings' plans.

Vikings in a one sided rout.

The rest (home team in CAPS) :

FALCONS over Panthers
RATBIRDS over Bengals
LIONS over Goon Bay
Texans over COLTS
Bills over DOLPHINS
PATRIOTS over Jets
Foreskins over GIANTS
EAGLES over Cowboys
STEELERS over Browns
Saints over BUCANEERS
Jaguars over TITANS
BRONCOS over Chiefs
RAMS over 49ers
CHARGERS over Rai-duhs
SEAHAWKS over Cardinals

Bears destroy Bengals and make me smile
Bears Helmet
I began watching the game expecting a Bengals team still with faint playoff hopes to come out firing and the Bears scrambling to keep up.  What I saw was a dominating masterpiece from the Bears.  And the best thing about the entire day was watching Mitchell Trubisky have a complete game.  Passes on the mark, mobility utilized, and execution of a game plan that involved some nifty running contributions from both Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen.  He even had a TD run of his own.  Just a fun day all the way.

Doesn't much matter about wins and losses at this point.  What does matter is getting Trubisky quality starts, and with the continued help from his supporting cast, that seems highly likely.

25-32, 271 yards, 1 TD, 0 Int

Efficient and effective.  And providing hope at a position the Bears regularly have no answers for.

Weekly Picks :

Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions - the Lions are the tough luck team that is still in the playoff hunt.  The Bears have no playoff hopes but can help derail a division rival just for funsies.

Bears 26
Lions 24

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

Last week = 8-8
Season = 134-74

Broncos over COLTS
Chargers over CHIEFS
BILLS over Dolphins
PANTHERS over Goon Bay
Ratbirds over BROWNS
JAGUARS over Texans
VIKINGS over Bengals
SAINTS over Jets
Eagles over GIANTS
FORESKINS over Cardinals
Rams over SEAHAWKS
STEELERS over Patriots
49ERS over Titans
Cowboys over RAI-DUHS
Falcons over BUCCANEERS

As Phil Collins once sang, I don't care any more
Bears Helmet
Yet again the Bears have torn the heart right out of me and whoever else is rooting for this poorly coached under achieving  injured band of rebrobates.

The current Bears harken back to the Dave Wannstedt "all the pieces are in place" teams that went 4-12 in back to back seasons after that proclamation.

I'd like to say at least the rookie QB is getting valuable experience, but I think that would be at least in part a lie.  How much is he learning from not trying?  I'm not saying he isn't personally giving it his best shot, but the offensive plan, if there even is one, seems geared to simply not trying.  No concerted effort to move the ball.  No aggressiveness in trying to score.  And I don't think occupying the QB position as a token placeholder is an actual learning experience.

John Fox?  Thanks for your service, but it is clear the game has passed you by.  Enjoy your retirement,

Dowell Loggains?  Fuck you.  A dog randomly shitting on generic sheets of plays could formulate a better game plan than you have.

Ryan Pace?  I hope you have a plan for this mess.  You are tied at the hip to Trubisky so you need to get someone who can actually develop him and let him play.

The McCaskey Family?  Your defective, and probably inbred, gene pool has contributed to a band of misfits and losers running the team in the ground.  May you all burn in hell.

Weekly Picks :

Chicago Bears @ Cincinnati Bengals - the Bengals are fighting to keep playoff hopes alive, and are coming off a bruising painful loss to the Steelers ... Andy Dalton should have a field day against the Bears, who have a damaged secondary and a weakened pass rush due to injuries

Bengals 36
Bears 13

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

Last week = 11-5
Season = 126-66

Saints over FALCONS
BILLS over Colts
Vikings over PANTHERS
Goon Bay over BROWNS
49ers over TEXANS
GIANTS over Cowboys
CHIEFS over Rai-duhs
Titans over CARDINALS
Jets over BRONCOS
CHARGERS over Foreskins
Eagles over RAMS (game of the week ... possibly decided in OT)
JAGUARS over Seahawks
STEELERS over Ratbirds
Patriots over DOLPHINS

The Bears - poster children for how not to do things
Bears Helmet
Do you remember those posters from long ago that depicted the right and wrong way to do things?  They were popular in the 50's and 60's and then had a comeback in the 80's.  There are now the random copycat homages to days gone by.

The basic concept is one the NFL should recognize, and they should reward the Bears as one of the finalists for how not to do things when it comes to NFL football.  Hell, they may even beat out the Browns to win the top spot (or would it be low spot?) for this (dis)honor.

When it comes to the Bears and football, the 3 old ladies from the e-surance commercial sum them up pretty well :

Weekly Picks :

San Francisco 49ers @ Chicago Bears - Jimmy Garoppolo gets the start for the 49ers, his 3rd career start.  I expect him to pick the Bears apart.  If the Bears actually let the offense try to keep up, this could be a good game - Trubisky vs Garoppolo.  I don't expect the Bears to have the good sense to let that happen, but that's what I will be hoping for.

49ers 29
Bears 20

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

Last week = 11-5
Season = 115-61

Foreskins over COWBOYS
FALCONS over Vikings
Lions over RATBIRDS
Patriots over BILLS
GOON BAY over Buccaneers
JAGUARS over Colts
Broncos over DOLPHINS
SAINTS over Panthers
JETS over Chiefs
TITANS over Texans
CHARGERS over Browns
RAI-DUHS over Giants
Eagles over SEAHAWKS
Steelers over BENGALS

Time to simply turn Trubisky loose (past time actually)
Bears Helmet
The bright spot of the Bears continued downward spiral is in fact their rookie QB.  Trubisky seems to be handling game day pressures better and better each week.  And some of his throws perfectly display the arm strength and touch that he will be able to build his career on.

Makes me wonder how much better he could/would be if the Bears coaching staff would simply take the muzzle off and let the kid play.

Take a look at the guy the Bears will be trying to stop this week – Carson Wentz.  The Eagles drafted him high in the first round and allowed him to compete for the starting job right from the beginning.  And after he won the starting job, they let him play, accepting the mistakes they knew he would make as part of his necessary learning curve.  And now here he is in year 2 as a legitimate MVP candidate.

Trubisky was neutered from the get go.  He was not going to be the opening day starter regardless of how he did or didn’t do in preseason.  And then when he was named the starter, the offense has been vanilla, predictable, and ineffective due to its vanilla predictability.  The Bears coaches say it is to protect him and keep him from making mistakes, and instead it has caused Trubisky to be hesitant to leave the pocket even as he sees the rush coming and I think is also directly affecting his throwing accuracy.  He is trying to curb his own efforts to match the conservative game plans he has been instructed to play within.

There are 6 games left in the 2017 regular season.  The Bears are not going anywhere after the final game but to their respective homes.  So now is the time for the Bears coaching staff to take a hands off approach.  Implement a professional level game plan and allow Trubisky the freedom to execute it as situations dictate.  Allow him to use his natural gifts of mobility to learn how to incorporate that in a comfortable effective way that helps the team.  And allow him the freedom to make mistakes, but allow him to do it while playing aggressively and to his natural abilities so he can learn his own limitations and what he needs to further work on. 

There has been a lot of discussion on whether John Fox should be fired now, in season.  I don’t think Ryan Pace is going to do that.  I think Fox will be given the opportunity at the end of the year to simply retire with a bit of grace.  But if he continues to order the neutering of his offense and its main weapon, then he won’t be retiring with any respect.

I had hoped the bye week would have gotten the team to come around to the fact they need to just let things fly and fall where they may and to stop micro-managing the QB play.  That has yet to happen.  And they have compounded that by continuing to make idiotic coaching decisions (Fox should not be allowed to hold the challenge flag – an assistant should have it and only give it to him to use when it is confirmed by another assistant upstairs that it should be).

There is no time left to consider alternatives – turn the kid loose and ride with the results.  He and the team will be better for it in the long run.

Weekly Picks :

Chicago Bears @ Philadelphia Eagles – the Bears are weakened by injuries to key defenders and going up against an Eagles offense firing on all cylinders.  This could get ugly early and finish in a definitive defeat.

Eagles 51
Bears 16

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

Last week = 8-6
Season = 104-56

LIONS over Vikings
Chargers over COWBOYS
Giants over FORESKINS
FALCONS over Buccaneers
BENGALS over Browns
Titans over COLTS
CHIEFS over Bills
PATRIOTS over Dolphins
Panthers over JETS
Saints over RAMS
Seahawks over 49ERS
Jaguars over CARDINALS
RAIDERS over Broncos
STEELERS over Goon Bay
RATBIRDS over Texans

looney tunes football

Upon further review .....
Bears Helmet
The NFL replay challenge system is in place for teams to use at key points in the game where they feel the call made was incorrect and that it is critical to them to get this corrected. 

One of Lovie Smith’s flaws as Bears head coach was his inability to understand this.  He wouldn’t challenge scoring plays that could make a difference, but would challenge the spot on a 3rd down play.  His use and non-use of the challenge flag at his disposal was maddening to watch.

Well John Fox trumped him this past Sunday.

Middle of the second quarter, down by 7, Trubisky hits Cunningham on a screen pass that he almost carries into the endzone.  Cunningham dove for the pylon but it was ruled he stepped out of bounds at the 2 yard line.  No problem.  First and goal at the 2.  Line up, and gain 2 yards, and you have a TD and tie game.

Simple, yes?

Uh, no.

John Fox was busy arguing with the official over the call, and in the course of his argument he removed his headset.  Then he threw his challenge flag, based I suppose on Cunningham insisting he scored (coaches need to accept the pleas of their players as enthusiastic but not trust those pleas since EVERYONE swears they scored).  A smart coach will confer with his guys upstairs to ensure it is worth a challenge.

In this case, first and goal at the 2 yard line in the second quarter of a football game is actually a pretty good position to be in.  Even if Cunningham had hit the pylon before going out of bounds, so what?  The play as called was acceptable enough to simply roll with I would think.

Fox didn’t think so.  And he obviously was not conferring with anyone upstairs as his headset was in his hands.  But he threw his flag, claiming Cunningham did not go out of bounds, and it should be a touchdown.  A waste of a challenge and a timeout in my opinion, but what’s the worst that can happen?  Original call stands, first and goal at the 2, Bears lose a timeout and a challenge.

Ah, but these are the Bears we are talking about. 

After review, the call was Cunningham did not go out of bounds (Fox won the challenge on that), however, Cunningham had lost control of the ball as he stretched towards the endzone.  So therfor it was ruled a fumble through the endzone, and a touchback.  Green Bay’s ball on the 20.

Fox won his challenge and what he won was a turnover for Green Bay.  No first and goal.  No chance to tie.

The idiocy of the challenge, and the unexpected entirely negative result, was as good a statement about how the day went as any.  Facing an injured Packer team playing on a short week while Chicago was fresh and revived coming off a bye, looked to be a matchup in the Bears favor.  Instead, the Bears self destructed on offense with stupid penalties and had a defense that completely forgot how to tackle during the off week.  So another painful loss to the Packers goes in the books, but this one has the John Fox signature bonehead move of the day stamped on it.

I simply don’t know what to say about this.  How can a team have a bye week and come out less functional and less prepared than before the bye week?  How can they possibly be that unprepared with a full extra week to prepare?

This game was a testament to what teams said earlier in the year : the Bears are a disorganized, one-dimensional, poorly coached group.  For all the doubters of those early season critiques, the Bears laid the stinker of proof on Sunday November 12th 2017.

Weekly Picks :

Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears – the Lions had trouble beating Cleveland last week, but did come out with a win.  The Bears will continue to have trouble getting out of their own way.

Lions 30
Bears 16

The rest of my week 11 picks (home team in CAPS):

Last week = 8-6
Season = 96-50

STEELERS over Titans
Jaguars over BROWNS
Ratbirds over GOON BAY
DOLPHINS over Buccaneers
Cardinals over TEXANS
Rams over VIKINGS
SAINTS over Foreskins
Chiefs over GIANTS
CHARGERS over Bills
BRONCOS over Bengals
Patriots over RAI-DUHS
Eagles over COWBOYS
SEAHAWKS over Falcons

worst ... challenge ... ever


Log in

No account? Create an account