Log in

No account? Create an account

Emissions from the Bears Nebula

by boris13c

Super Bowl 53
Bears Helmet

I truly believe the Rams defense can directly affect the outcome. Their pass rush strength is from the inside, pushing to the pocket from the middle, and that is where Brady's comfort zone is. On most plays the pass rusher are forced wide, he steps up into the pocket, and completes to whoever he wants to.

If the Rams can get in his face and prevent that, and keep at it all day, they can slow Brady if not completely stop him. Then their offense needs to put points on the board.

Sounds simple and I realize there is more to it. And also realize the Patriots can and will come up with something the Rams haven't seen.

I'm going with the Rams, and their D-linemen to be the difference makers.

Rams 27  Patriots 24

Weekly Picks :

Regular Season = 166-88-2
Post Season = 3-7

Championship Weekend ...
Bears Helmet
... and the Bears aren't in it.

The 4 teams that are should put on a pretty good show.

AFC :  Patriots @ Chiefs

One can never count out Brady and the Patriots.  They are a relentless machine.  I mistakenly thought the hot Chargers would have an answer for them last week, and that game was a 1 sided Patriots beatdown.

I am going for the Chiefs this week as the team that can answer what the Patriots will be bringing.  Mahomes has shown no game is too big for him to handle, and I feel he won’t be waiting to have the torch passed to him but will simply take it by having a big day to get the Chiefs to the Super Bowl.

NFC :  Rams @ Saints

I am 100% rooting for Drew Brees to get his second Super Bowl appearance.  Guy has been a class act and a damn fine QB throughout his career.

I certainly expect the Rams to put up a fight, and look for this to be one of those exciting back and forth games with multiple lead swaps.  But with the Saints prevailing in the end.

Weekly Picks :

Regular Season = 166-88-2
Post Season = 3-5

Bears season ends with a Doink
Bears Helmet
A double doink actually.

A doink off the upright, and then a doink off the crossbar, then off the crossbar onto the field.  I know it has probably happened before, but not to my knowledge.  Every kick I can ever recall that hit both the upright and the crossbar went through and was good.  Parkey had no such luck.

When the Eagles called the timeout to ice him, and what ended up as a practice kick was down the middle and true, I had a blip of misgivings.  My mind went to the Pepsi commercial where Ron Rivera and the stadium of fans open their Pepsi’s and “ice” the kicker.  And then the kicker hits the upright.  But the friends I was watching the game with were confident his retry would mimic the first.  Alas, it was not to be.
The day after, the miss was officially declared a block by the NFL because slo-mo replay showed an Eagle defender clearly getting his hand on the ball.  You can debate all you want about how much that may have affected the flight of the ball.

In fairness, Parkey was not the sole reason the Bears lost.  He did make all of his other kicks on the day accounting for 9 of the Bears points.  But this was his moment to be the hero. 

We got to see Mitch Trubisky have his moment in the spotlight on that final drive, and he performed admirably.  So the future does look bright.

There will be changes in the off season, as there generally are.  The biggest will likely be Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio leaving to become a Head Coach (most likely in Denver).  So replacing him will be an important task.  With the talent level of the Bears defense, there should be no shortage of willing applicants for the job.

And then a decision must be made on what to do with Parkey.  Was this (his 7th doinked miss of the season, with 4 coming in 1 game) the final straw?  Or does he get a chance at redemption?  If it was up to me, I’d be bringing in a kicking caravan to compete for the job, and if he wins it from that competition, so be it. 

It was a nice season.  The team achieved above and beyond what most expected of them.  To have it all come to a close in that way on that final play was so deflating and disappointing.

Weekly Picks :

Regular Season = 166-88-2
Post Season = 1-3

Semi Final Weekend


Colts over CHIEFS – the biggest weakness on the Chiefs is their run defense.  The biggest help to Andrew Luck has been the solid Colts running game.  And I think that is what will decide it.

Chargers over PATRIOTS – this is the shakiest Patriots playoff team they have presented in years.  The Chargers proved in Baltimore they are ready and able to win on the road in the playoffs.


RAMS over Cowboys :  just don’t see the Cowboys being able to match up well all day.

SAINTS over Eagles :  time to end the Nick Foles voodoo magic show.  No better place to break that kind of thing than in New Orleans.

Chicago Bears - Wild Card Weekend
Bears Helmet
This has been a pretty magical season for the Bears.  And as far as I'm concerned, the main reason is Matt Nagy.  And I came across an ESPN article today that I found to be very informative and entertaining in getting a glimpse of Matt Nagy the man :

ESPN :  http://www.espn.com/blog/chicago-bears/post/_/id/4708927/meet-the-construction-exec-who-helped-matt-nagy-chase-his-nfl-dream

Given the history of the team, with a HC list that rivals the starting QB list for base level incompetence, I can fully understand anyone with misgivings about Mr. Nagy at this point.

During Dick Jauron's magical mystical 13-3 season, we witnessed some game changing (and game winning) plays that defied logic and normal processing.  During Lovie Smith's reign leading to a Super Bowl appearance we witnessed a top end defense trying to pull an underachieving, and sometimes downright incompetent, offense to a title and almost making it.  While these guys won, there was never a complete feeling that the team they were leading had its shit together.  We enjoyed both rides, but were left short of achieving the ultimate goal.

But there is something different with Matt Nagy.

Yeah, I bitch about his play calling being too cute at times, but even that is a minor issue when focusing on the bigger winning picture.

I entered the season with hopeful optimism that has changed to full on roaring appreciation.  And the one thing I can point to as a calming constant is Nagy's consistent competence.  The feeling that somewhere on that play sheet or swirling in his head is something that can be successful and fun.  That he will never face a situation where is is simply lost and unable to provide the required leadership.

Yeah, it is only 1 season, but I'm willing to be all in with Mr. Nagy.  But more important than any fan's support is the fact the team is all in with him, and it shows.

And there is absolutely no question he is on the right track and obviously the man for the job to develop Mitchell Trubisky into someone who can be consistently successful at the NFL level.  Trubisky doesn't have his full A game on every week.  Some of his interceptions have truly been of a "wtf?" variety rather than a simple mis-read or good defensive play.  But it should be clear to everyone how far he has progressed from last season to this point.  It makes me stupidly giddy sometimes to see Nagy and Trubisky on the sidelines just having a conversation.  And to realize this is coach and QB, but more importantly, teacher and student.  While Trubisky hasn't aced all of his tests, he has done enough to show he is capable of learning and adjusting, something that will bode well for him throughout his career.

And of course we cannot forget about the defensive side of the ball.  Vic Fangio has been, in the words of Khalil Mack, an "evil genius".  And like Nagy, he has his defensive charges buying into his plans and schemes while responding with hard hitting enthusiasm that brings ill will to the team on the other side of the ball.

The stories now are swirling that he is a head coaching candidate for the current 8 head coaching vacancies.  I think most everyone shares my opinion that we do not want him to leave.  But if he does depart to be the head man elsewhere, I will certainly hold no grudge and be happy for his success.  He has clearly earned that level of respect and consideration.

But for the next few weeks, he still belongs to the Bears.  And what the hell, maybe soon on a Sunday in February, we will once again witness a Head Coach and a Defensive Coordinator being carried off the field in triumph, Super Bowl trophy secured.

Weekly Picks :

Regular Season = 166-88-2

Wild Card Weekend

Eagles @ Bears

Wentz is definitely out and has absolutely no business playing against this Bears defense with a fractured back (regardless of how "minor" they claim that injury to be).

Foles is working his magic again but is now battered himself.  No broken bones but bruised chest and ribs which could mean a few hits/sacks early and his focus may turn to survival and away from making plays downfield.

I think this Bears defense is the only defense in the NFC playoffs that can go into New Orleans and keep the Saints in check and lead to a win, so I do not see them having any sort of letdown to allow the Eagles foil their presence in that future game.

Nagy has now shown us and the league he can make adjustments and with those, the Bears can run the football.  A running game couple with his gadget plays and a Mitch Trubisky playing under control means a Bears win.

Bears 24

Eagles 16

The other games :

Colts over TEXANS - Andrew Luck is healthy and this Colts team is dangerous.  I am certain the other AFC teams would have rathered the Titans had won their final regular season showdown, leaving the Colts out of the playoffs.

Seahawks over COWBOYS - I think Russell Wilson will be the main element to swing this game in the Seahawks favor.

RAVENS over Chargers - Baltimore had no problem handling the Chargers in San Diego while struggling to keep their playoff hopes alive.  I think their defense will ensure a repeat performance in Baltimore.

Chicago Bears - Week 16
Bears Helmet
What a week.

The Bears completed one of their better weeks in a decade with their win over the hated Packers.  They clinched the NFC North Division Championship AND eliminated the Packers from the Playoff picture.  As an added cherry on top, they ended the consecutive passes without an interception streak by Aaron Rodgers.

They again tried to make things difficult for themselves in the second half of a game, something they simply have to do something about once the playoffs begin.  Against Green Bay, it was, in my opinion, an ill-advised fake punt that almost sent things out of control.  The Bears were leading 14-6 and their defense had been making it painful for the Packers to get any traction on offense.  The Bears were in punt formation around midfield.  Instead of punting, they snapped to the up back, who was promptly swallowed up for no gain.  Packers ball.

So of course Green Bay takes advantage of the gift by driving the short field for a TD and the tying 2 point conversion.  Just like that, it was 14-14 and the feeling of the Bears being in control seeping away.  When the Packers tied it up, all I could think of was the opening week game, with the Bears in control for the first half, and then pissing it all away in the second.

I understand Nagy has this mad professor streak and likes to do things differently.  And for the most part, I accept that and all that comes with it.  But I believed this fake punt was a mistake (still do).  If they had punted, it is reasonable to assume the Packers may not have even gotten to midfield on their own the way the defense was playing.  And the Packers would then have punted it back with the score still 14-6 Bears.  If Nagy was so intent on going for it there, he should have left the offense on the field to take a legitimate more realistic shot at gaining the yard needed.

Fortunately the script for this game played out much differently than the week 1 game, and the Bears prevailed in a big way.  So in spite of some unnecessary stomach churning moments, things did eventually work out in a positive way.

Primary thanks goes to the defense of course.  But Mitch Trubisky also gets a nod after having a very good day of his own in out dueling Aaron Rodgers.

Trubisky is a work in progress.  He is getting better, and I expect him to be very much better next year.  I am happy enough with his abilities, and the fact he actually has a legitimate coach to guide him, to be comfortable with him as our QB of the present and the future.

A few of the articles I've seen offer comparisons between Trubisky and Mahomes, concluding Mahomes is the better QB.

Well, duh.

Mahomes had the benefit of a much longer college career as well as being drafted to a team that had the actual interest and intent to transition him into the NFL.  Plus he had the luxury of playing a season behind a seasoned decent vet to learn from, and Mahomes gladly gives credit to Alex Smith for that assistance.

I trust Nagy and Trubisky to learn and develop together and reach a point in the not too distant future where hand wringing about the state of Mitch will be foolish and unnecessary.

And I also trust them to have a clue and a purpose as the playoffs begin.  It has been a magical season so far, but they aren’t done yet.

Week 16 Picks

Bears @ 49ers

This is probably not going to be the blowout I originally thought it to be.  The 49ers are of the opinion they are an actual football team now, their win over the Seahawks was impressive since that was a game Seattle really needed to keep their playoff position intact.

I don't see them doing anything the Bears defense can't handle, but this could be much more competitive than we would like.

I still see the Bears winning by 10 or more in the Robbie Gould Bowl.

Bears 29

49ers 19 (Robbie Gould 4 for 4 FG's)

The rest of my Week 16 Picks :

Week = 9-7
Season = 143-79-2

TITANS over Redskins
CHARGERS over Ravens
COWBOYS over Buccaneers
Vikings over LIONS
Falcons over PANTHERS
Texans over EAGLES
COLTS over Giants
BROWNS over Bengals
PATRIOTS over Bills
Packers over JETS
DOLPHINS over Jaguars
SAINTS over Steelers
Chiefs over SEAHAWKS
RAIDERS over Broncos

WEEK 17 PICKS (since I will be away for the holidays)

Bears @ Vikings

this could be a "who cares?" game with a lot of starters not even playing ... I'm hoping it will be a game the Vikings need and the Bears ruin their day

Bears 28
Vikings 24

Rest of the week 17 picks :

CHIEFS over Raiders
Dolphins over BILLS
TITANS over Colts
Browns over RAVENS
PACKERS over Lions
PATRIOTS over Jets
SAINTS over Panthers
TEXANS over Jaguars
Cowboys over GIANTS
Eagles over REDSKINS
Falcons over BUCCANEERS
STEELERS over Bengals
SEAHAWKS over Cardinals
RAMS over 49ers
Chargers over BRONCOS

Chicago Bears - Week 15
Bears Helmet
The win I predicted wasn’t near as sweet as the reality of what the Bears did to the Rams.  It was fitting I chose to watch the game wearing my Richard Dent jersey because the Bears defense turned the clock back to 1985. 

The friends I watched the game with appreciate defense the way I do, and they were oohing and ahhing with me.  But of course they had to bust my chops about the Bears offense not being prime time caliber.  However we all agreed the only TD scored was an enjoyable highlight.
I am very happy with how things are progressing, even with the random Trubisky hiccups.  He is getting better and this year will be incredibly valuable to him from which to build on in 2019.

Ah, but 2018 isn’t over just yet.  And yes I have full blown dreams of playoff success.

This is now the sort of expected success I haven’t had about the Bears in years.  Normal expectations were a hope for success.  Current expectations far exceed that, and the Bears seem to be having a lot of fun living up to our higher expectations.  Just a completely different environment from what we are all used, and it is just such a welcome change.

Week 15 Picks

Packers @ Bears

Over the past 20 times these 2 teams have met, the Packers hold a 17-3 advantage, so this "storied rivalry" has been more the Bears bending over and taking it.

One of the most embarrassing was the 50 burger the Packers put on the last Trestman team, at home in Chicago, on a national prime time broadcast.

The Bears looked to have a different perspective opening day this season, but had an inexplicably chaotic second half of self-inflicted damage that allowed Rodgers to enhance his hero status in Goon Bay.

This Sunday, that shit HAS to change.  This is the most meaningful game for the Bears in years.  They can clinch the NFC North AND put a death spike into any Packer playoff dreams.

I don't want this game to be close.

I want a 20+ point lead at halftime, leading to a 30+ point win.

I want that consecutive passes without an interception record by Rodgers ended by an Eddie Jackson pick 6 and at least 2 more interceptions later.

I want a one sided decimation on all levels.  And for the first time in forever, I don’t think I am being unrealistic with that wish.

Bears 37

Packers 6

The rest of my Week 15 Picks :

Last Week = 9-7
Season = 134-72-2

CHIEFS over Chargers
Texans over JETS
Browns over BRONCOS
FALCONS over Cardinals
Raiders over BENGALS
VIKINGS over Dolphins
Cowboys over COLTS
RAVENS over Buccaneers
BILLS over Lions
JAGUARS over Redskins
GIANTS over Titans
Seahawks over 49ERS
STEELERS over Patriots
RAMS over Eagles
Saints over PANTHERS

Chicago Bears Week 14
Bears Helmet
What a wild and crazy game in New York.

I was certain when the Bears recovered the onside kick the game would go into overtime.  When the Giants won the toss and got the football first, I was certain the game would end on a Bears defensive score.

Well, I was half right.

The Bears made enough errors to help the Giants and then made almost enough big plays to help themselves.  Alas, it was not to be.
Sitting pretty atop the NFC North at 8-4 is not something to be ignored.  And their fate is in their own hands as to how things will play out.

I'm now all in with the Kool Aid, so here is my final 4 game scenario :

Dec 9 - Rams @ Bears :  the return of Trubisky has the paid talking heads bleating about yet another prime time QB showdown, but the reality will be the exact opposite ... Bears defense still smarting from letting Barkley get the better of them in the second half of the Giants game make sure Gurley does not duplicate the effort ... on the other side, Aaron Donald will make the return of Trubisky an adventure in not getting creamed ... Bears get 2 defensive TD's and 5 field goals and hold off a furious Rams charge at the end for a 29 - 24 win

Dec 16 - Packers @ Bears : Rodgers will be Rodgers and pose a serious danger to the Bears until a sack to begin the second half removes him from the equation ... Trubisky and friends get back to being comfortable with each other and the Bears avoid another second half meltdown thanks to Rodgers not being around to cause one ... Bears 31 - 20 (Packers score no second half points)

Dec 23 - Bears @ 49ers :  Bears again score 2 defensive TD's (Eddie Jackson gets 1 of them on a pick 6) and the offense plays fast and loose in a game that gets away from San Francisco early ... Bears cruise 37 - 17

Dec 30 - Bears @ Vikings :  Minnesota desperately fighting to hang on to a Wild Card spot will pose a full game challenge for the Bears and come out with a few tricks of their own for an early lead that carries to halftime ... Bears then flip the script and turn in their finest second half performance of the season to pull out a 31-28 win

Bears finish 12-4 and get ready for Wild Card Weekend as they watch and wait to see who survives week 17.

Who’s with me?

Week 14 Picks

Rams @ Bears

Itemized above, I think this will be the coming out party.  And a Bears win.

Bears 29  Rams 24

The rest of my Week 14 Picks :

Last Week = 9-7
Season = 125-65-2

TITANS over Jaguars
BROWNS over Panthers
CHIEFS over Ravens
TEXANS over Colts
Patriots over DOLPHINS
Giants over REDSKINS
Saints over BUCCANEERS
PACKERS over Falcons
BILLS over Jets
CHARGERS over Bengals
Broncos over 49ERS
Eagles over COWBOYS
Steelers over RAIDERS
CARDINALS over Lions
SEAHAWKS over Vikings

"this sitting on the sidelines really sucks ...
time to get back out there ..... "

Chicago Bears Week 13
Bears Helmet
This is a new and pleasant experience.

Every complaint I had at the beginning of the season, I have watched the Bears get better at.   And while it wasn't a direct improvement to my specific complaint of the time, it was always a step in the right direction.  Sometimes a big step, sometimes small, but every step Nagy has taken with this team has been a step in the right direction.

It is so refreshing to actually witness a team being rebuilt and reborn into success right before my eyes, and I am so damn appreciative of it, that no, I have no complaints with how this team is being run nor with the results we are witnessing.

And I am really pleased my pre-season prediction of a 10-6 Bears team may have actually been conservative.

The Lions game was a perfect example of things coming together.  The Bears played a late night game on Sunday, and had to turn around and play the early game on Thursday.  This was a quick turnaround no team should be required to do.  And they won the game anyway.  And they won with their backup QB running the offense no less.

In years past, such a scenario would have meant a guaranteed Bears loss.  Perhaps even a blowout loss.  Those days are mercifully over it appears.

Many have been complaining the Bears are no longer the conventional team that had success in the past with a bruising running game on offense and a bunch of bruisers on defense.  Nagy is not big on being conventional, but he does seem to be big on success.  And it is obvious the entire team is buying into what he is selling them with success as the end result.  As for the defense, they have bruisers and cruisers, dangerous in many aspects.  And they seem to take pride in adding to the weekly scoring total, which is a nice defensive option to have.

So I have no reason to be complaining any more.  If the Bears are doing something I am not understanding, well that is now on me, because their 8-3 record shows they understand.  And that is all that truly matters.  I am happy to simply sit back and enjoy a level of comfortable success I have rarely known as a Bears fan, confident that the details required to continue it will get their due attention.

Week 13 Picks

Bears @ Giants

I think Nagy opens up his plan for a ball control system and we see 3 guys in rotation - Howard has his best day and is featured.

Bears defense will key on Barkley to shut him down and will then get 2 gifts from Eli to negate the Giants passing game.

Minimal scoring, heavy defense, and a Bears win in throwback fashion.

Bears 27 Giants 15

The rest of my Week 13 Picks :

Last Week = 12-3
Season = 116-58-2

Saints over COWBOYS
PACKERS over Cardinals
Colts over JAGUARS
TEXANS over Browns
Panthers over BUCCANEERS
Bills over DOLPHINS
Broncos over BENGALS
FALCONS over Ravens
Rams over LIONS
Chiefs over RAIDERS
TITANS over Jets
PATRIOTS over Vikings
SEAHAWKS over 49ers
Chargers over STEELERS
EAGLES over Redskins

Ready for his second start ...

Chicago Bears Week 12
Bears Helmet
So much for the veteran presence of Kirk Cousins making the difference for the Vikings.  That was what Tony Dungy was selling in the pre-game.  And he made a legitimate point if he had been talking about a different Bears team than the one Cousins had to face.  

This was the official coming out party for this Bears team, as they moved to 7-3 and in control of the NFC North.  And it was a joy to watch.
Not everything went according to plan, but the game was really not as close as the 5 point difference made it seem.  The Bears helped the Vikings to 2 field goals after completely shutting them down in the first half. 

The biggest negative on the night was the cheap shot Trubisky received from Vikings punk bitch Harrison Smith.  Smith was flagged, and will likely be fined.  I think he deserves a week off without pay as well.  It was unnecessary and targeted a QB’s head and neck area.  It is fortunate a bruised shoulder is all that has come out of that.  Trubisky will be day-to-day so Chase Daniels will likely get the majority of practice snaps, which is a good thing in the event he does have to step in for this game.

The big story though is the Bears being legitimate now. 

For years the Bears have been an outright joke.  John Fox was hopefully the last in a long line of those who did not measure up.  The defining play of his tenure was challenging the TD call against the Packers, saying the RB did not step out of bounds.  So he won the challenge (Cunningham stayed in bounds) but then lost the ball when it was ruled he then fumbled before crossing the goal line.  Only someone who I specially cursed can win a challenge and then lose the ball.

Fox was a veteran hire and placeholder only as it turned out.  He was not the long term solution for the Bears HC woes.  But he did help turn things around from where the team was heading before he got here.

So then Pace went after the offensive minded younger replacement.  And Matt Nagy has thanked him by being a true teacher and leader, having the Bears in contention and respectable in just his first year at the helm.
And now everything is coming together.

Pace has done a necessary, overhaul resulting in a Bears team and organization built to win now AND have a solid foundation for the future.

We saw something similar years ago (well, at least we old timers did) when the Bears allowed Jim Finks free reign to fix the mess that was being passed off as a football team.  Finks got his guys, Papa Bears got his guy to run it, and a Super Bowl champion was built before our eyes.

And then they let it all turn to shit yet again.

But now we are on the right track and have the right people in place to make it happen.  And even if they don't get the ring this year, there is legitimate reason to expect one to come soon and for the Bears to be in the mix for years to come.

Thank you Mr. Pace.

And thank you George McCaskey for standing with your hands in your pockets and letting the GM do GM things.

Week 12 Picks

Bears @ Lions

A short week, QB is bruised due to a Viking cheap shot, but the Bears D is foaming at the mouth.

I see this as having an ugly first half, possibly with the Lions even up by a point or 2.   But in the end, the Bears will do what they need to do to get a needed win against a division rival.

Bears 31

Lions 20

The rest of my Week 12 Picks :
Last Week = 8-5
Season = 104-55-2

COWBOYS over Redskins
SAINTS over Falcons
EAGLES over Giants
BILLS over Jaguars
Seahawks over PANTHERS
RAVENS over Raiders
49ers over BUCCANEERS
BENGALS over Browns
Patriots over JETS
CHARGERS over Cardinals
Steelers over BRONCOS
COLTS over Dolphins
VIKINGS over Packers
TEXANS over Titans

Bye = Chiefs, Rams

keep that defense rollin' ....

Chicago Bears Week 11
Bears Helmet
Well, now I am getting truly optimistic.

Mitchell Trubisky set a personal NFL best with a very effective and points producing 355 yards in the air, and put the icing on his day with a TD run as well.  He is on pace to be only the second QB ever to have 3500 yards or more 30 TD’s and 600 yards or more rushing.  The other?  Cam Newton in his dynamic 2015 season when he was named MVP.

The Bears defense is tearing up the league to ensure Mr. Trubisky has those opportunities to shine.  When week 10 ended, the Bears defense ranks :

No. 1 in the NFL with +13 TO margin
No. 1 in the NFL with 16 interceptions
No. 1 in the NFL with 89 points off takeaways
No. 1 in the NFL in fewest plays allowed of 10+ yards
No. 2 in the NFL with 24 total takeaways
No. 2 in the NFL with 14 forced fumbles
No. 2 in the NFL with 84.0 rush yards allowed per game
No. 4 in the NFL with 19.4 ppg allowed
No. 4 in the NFL with 319.6 ypg allowed
No. 5 in the NFL with 30 QB sacks

(Credit to my friend BWN who I lazily copied that from rather than research myself.)

So this Bears team has an offense that will likely outshine the 1985 team along with a defense that may exceed the 1985 team as well.
Granted, with the current rules they will pale a bit to that 1985 team.  But their efforts to date are certainly impressively in the right direction and worthy of the comparisons.

It is so wonderful to finally see the Bears actually draft a college QB (who had limited college playing time mind you), pair him with a young innovative coaching staff willing to teach and gameplan to make the most from what they have, and be successful.  And a big thanks to the defensive wizard who decided to stay on with the new Head Coach when given the opportunity.  Nagy and Fangio are both displaying the sort of preparation and style we have longed for seemingly for ages.  Yes, they have a base plan for what they would like to do, but they are both flexible enough to adjust to get the most from the players they have.  And damn it is fun to watch.

I took a lot of ribbing from friends when I projected the Bears to be 10-6 before the season started.  They laughed and told me if nothing else, I am the eternal Bears optimist.  And I admit I do down the Bears Kool Aid with more enthusiasm than most.  But now, I am seeing that pay off.  And those who did not drink any of it are sitting up and taking notice. 

The Bears have 7 games left, 4 of those against division foes.  5-2 in those final 7 games is NOT being unreasonable.  Expecting an 11-5 division winning playoff team isn’t either.

But ok, yeah, gotta cool the jets a bit.  The whole 1 game at a time thing, couple with the "any given Sunday" mantra (that showed up quite a bit in week 10 – Browns over Falcons, Titans over Patriots and a few more).  But unlike in years past when possible winning seasons got flushed, this year is different in that there is hope and optimism looking ahead rather than hope with a portent of doom.

I do not see this Bears team crumbling in the second half stretch because Nagy and Fangio won’t allow it.  And they are being rewarded by players who are all in with them.

And hot damn, this is going to be sweet.

Week 11 Picks

Vikings @ Bears

This game has been flexed from Sunday afternoon to Sunday night.  So the networks are also recognizing a completely different buzz with this Bears team.  And this game is the first between the 2 teams who look to be the ones going to the wire for the division title (fuck the Packers).

A win here will be the official nationwide coming out party for the new Bears and Dr. Nagenstein (credit to another friend doc for coining that).

There may be early jitters and early mistakes, but by the end of the night, I see the Bears sending out Chase Daniel for the best formation in football as they close out the win.

Bears 31  Vikings 26

The rest of my Week 11 Picks :

Last Week = 7-7
Season = 96-50-2

SEAHAWKS over Packers
COLTS over Titans
Buccaneers over GIANTS
Steelers over JAGUARS
Panthers over LIONS
FALCONS over Cowboys
RAVENS over Bengals
Texans over REDSKINS
CARDINALS over Raiders
CHARGERS over Broncos
SAINTS over Eagles
RAMS over Chiefs

Bye week = Bills, Browns, Dolphins, 49ers, Jets, Patriots

yeah baby ...