NFL

I’m not interested in talking about another Bear loss because hey, clinic that’s obviously no fun. What I’m more interested in is talking about the current status of the team and a few of my thoughts about the overall 2015-2016 season. I am hopeful that the future looks a heck of a lot brighter given the current status of the Chicago Bears and here are my takeaways as of today:

  • Every Chicago fan knew that this year would be a rebuilding year for the Bears; expectations were not set very high. I’m not shocked we’ll be missing the play-offs for the fifth year in a row and I’m not shocked we have a 5-9 record. Has it been the most fun season to watch? Not particularly, see but I have enjoyed watching the team become a team again after the disaster that was the Marc Trestman experiment. The camaraderie and sense of team coming out of the locker room and in interviews to me indicates the toxic players and tensions have left.  There’s been no locker room blow-outs, negative press talk or drama. Quite simply put, the Chicago Bears are no longer a bad soap opera and for that, Chicago fans can breathe a sigh of relief.
  • Five sacks and one INT against the Vikings does equal one bad game for QB Jay Cutler. But love him or hate him, Chicago cannot deny that Jay has played one of the best seasons since he moved to the Bears. 274/433 for 3,258 yards, 18 TDs and 8 INT with 92.3% rating? Unbelievable. Offensive Coach Adam Gase and Head Coach John Fox for coach of the year? Why the heck not! I will never looooove Jay or believe he’s worth the money the Bears decided to pay him, but if he can play well, I definitely won’t root against him or wish him to another team.
  • Since play-off chances are clearly blown, the next couple of games the coaching staff will be re-evaluating players and considering what positions will need to be filled via the draft. My guess is we’ll be looking at the offensive line, safety and special teams in 2016 and any player currently filling any of those roles should be scared for their job security; with some of the potential draft options I’ve been reading about, players could easily be replaced.  Also, while we’re talking about draft prospects, can we talk about how excited I am to finally see rookie WR Kevin White play next season? I foresee our offense being insanely strong in the very near future.

Next Up for 2015:

Bears take on former coach, Lovie Smith and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8) in Tampa at 12PM CST on FOX. My bets are on the Bears and you can check back next week for my recap.

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Two of the NFL’s oldest franchises, cialis the Chicago Bears (4-6) and the Green Bay Packers (7-3) will play in an epic Thanksgiving showdown this evening.

This match-up is the league’s most played rivalry; they have played each other twice a season for over 80 years. Green Bay has won the last four meetings and with a potential victory tonight, the Packers can even the all-time series. The Packers are currently 91-92-6 against the Bears.

The Bears-Packers rivalry also has featured some of the best moments by some of the greatest players in NFL history. A total of 52 Pro Football Hall of Fame members (28 for the Bears and 24 for the Packers) have participated in the series (via Green Back Packers website).

While the match-up is always competitive and exciting, here’s some keys to what the Bears need to land an improbable victory.

Notes for Tonight’s Game:

Better Play out of Jay: It has been five years since Cutler landed his only victory over the Packers.  Earlier this season, Cutler played miserably against the Packers with 18-36 passes for 225 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Even if Jay has seemed to improve and played his best under Offensive Coach, Adam Gase, if he plays like he normally does against the Packers, the Bears don’t stand a chance.

Stop Eddie Lacy: Lacy has been slightly inconsistent on his run game, but last week the Minnesota Vikings allowed Lacy to get in the groove and he ran all over them .  Lacy totaled 100 rushing yards on 22 carries last week. The Bears must block up his running lanes to give themselves an opportunity to win .

Injury Update: Chicago has ruled out Tight End, Martellus Bennett out for the game with a rib injury and Wide Receiver Eddie Royal is also out with a knee injury. However, Running Back Matt Forte is among six of the Bears listed questionable for tonight’s game. When he was asked about taking on Green Bay, Forte said that he was “good to go”.

Fun Fact:

Former Green Bay Packers Quarterback Brett Favre’s retired jersey number (4) will be unveiled during a big halftime celebration at Lambeau Field tonight.

My Prediction?

I’m not going to sugar-coat this: the Bears will lose tonight. I cannot argue that a 4-6 team will defeat one of the best QBs in the league. However, the game should be decent to watch because Chicago has improved greatly since the last time the two teams met earlier in the season. So stuff your faces, settle in your sofas and BEAR DOWN Chicago.

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The Bears (3-5) fourth quarter rallies are what make me believe that they do have some talent on the roster.  Even after floundering against the Lions and Vikings, cialis sale the Bears gave it their all last night, viagra which is definite progress from last season (and a testament to the coaching staff).

The first half of the game didn’t give the Bears much hope. Hell, every single analyst on MNF (sans our man, Ditka) predicted the Chargers to win and rightfully so.  In the first half, QB Jay Cutler was Jay, and threw a 68-yard pick-six which made my eyes roll.  But by the fourth quarter, Cutler gained some much-needed confidence and in a series of eight plays, put the Bears 55 yards. Cutty then connected with TE Zach Miller on a 25-yard one-handed touchdown. It was spectacular.  Bears ended up clinching the win, 22-19.

A victory is great and should provide momentum for these upcoming games (that will still be very hard to win), but will this momentum be enough for Bears to make it to the playoffs? Doubtful. But at least they are showing progress under the new coaching regime.

When you’re grabbing lunch with your coworker today, here’s the main player stats you need to know from last night’s game below.

Key Chicago Player Stats:

Rookie Running Back Jeremy Langford (in for Matt Forte) had a stellar game; he ran for 142 yards with one touchdown and one two-point conversion. (Pretty sure last night’s performance made up for that dropped pass a couple games back.)

Our favorite WR Alshon Jeffery, caught 10 passes for 151 yards.

Cutler was 27 of 40 passes for 345 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. It is worth noting that Cutler’s interception rate coming into this game was just 1.9 percent, a career best. (Again, a testament to Adam Gase and the coaching staff.)

Fun Fact:

Cutler broke the franchise record for most career touchdown passes (with a total of 138) when he connected with TE Bennett last night.

Next Up:

Bears will be headed to St. Louis to take on the Rams (4-4) next Sunday at 12PM CST.

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The Minnesota Vikings hadn’t won a game at Soldier Field since 2007 but they changed their losing-streak with a field goal late in the fourth to secure a victory against the Chicago Bears. What I currently find most frustrating is the fact that these fourth quarter drives by Chicago never seem to be enough to lock a victory and now that we are almost half-way through the season, stuff many Chicago fans are struggling to keep the TV on for the full game each week.  In fact, drugstore my husband told me that I should just title this post, generic “Bears Suck, The End” (Note that he’s a Cowboys fan, so ugh, whatever).  Alas, while many of you frustrated fans turn off the TV, I still sit through the game to highlight the bright and dull points of the beloved Bears games. For those of you who missed the game, here’s a quick recap below:

The Bears offense struggled most of the first half, which was to be expected with Minnesota’s blitz-happy defense.  In fact, they only managed 70 yards before Cornerback Kyle Fuller got the key takeaway that led to a touchdown.

Two key Bears players, WR Eddie Royal and RB Matt Forte were out of the game with knee-injuries, so Chicago relied heavily on RB  Jeremy Langford and WR  Alshon Jeffery for offense.  Both played well; Langford rushed 12 times for 46 yards total and Jeffery caught 10 passes for 116 yards and one touchdown.  Even QB Cutler took a dive over a Vikings safety for a 4-yard touchdown.  He had 211 yards, one touchdown and one rushing score.

Cutler’s diving touchdown (which many had believed was the game winner) just wasn’t enough though as Minnesota quickly bounced back to tie the game. And with less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter on third down, Chicago had a chance to re-take the lead but RB Langford dropped the key pass that would have resulted in a first down. The Bears short-drive ended up being exactly what Minnesota needed; they moved the ball 48 yards in four plays to set-up the game winning field goal.

Fun fact: Chicago has now lost 10 straight games to NFC teams.

What’s Next:

The Chicago Bears take on the San Diego Chargers (2-6) in San Diego for some MNF on November 9th at 7:30 PM. The San Diego franchise is having the worst first half to a season since 2003 and they lost to the Ravens in Baltimore last week.  If the current Ravens Coach (and former Bears Coach), Marc Trestman can beat the Chargers, we better be able to do the same.  I’m going to obtain a positive attitude for this upcoming game and predict a Bear victory (because hey, we’ve got upcoming games vs. the Broncos and the Packers that we all know we’re not going to win).  Be sure to check back with  me next week for a recap of the game.

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The momentum the Bears (2-4) have shown in the fourth quarter stretch the last few games really made me believe that they could come back to win yesterday’s game. Chicago had a couple opportunities to lock a victory, shop but penalties and bizarre calls did not make it any easier for them.  The Bears struggled defensively to contain Quarterback, Matthew Stafford and Wide Reciever Calvin Johnson and ultimately that cost them the game as the Bears fell to the Lions 34-37.

The game was exciting with a lot of action and scoring for both sides but in the fourth quarter it came down to Chicago Kicker Robbie Gould, who tied up the game to send it into overtime with a 29 yard field goal.  In overtime, Lions when Stafford connected with Johnson on a 57 yard play that set Kicker Matt Prater up for his 27 yard field goal – securing a Detroit victory.  Here’s the key stats and “play of the game” that you’ll need to know regarding this game below.

 

Key Chicago Player Stats:

Running Back, Jeremy Langford, one yard touchdown

Running Back, Matt Forte,  three receptions for 69 yards and one touchdown

Wide Receiver Alshon Jeffery started after being out four weeks with a hamstring injury and it didn’t appear that his leg was bothering him any as he had eight receptions for 147 yards and one touchdown.

Quarterback Jay Cutler had 353 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception.  The Cutler Chicagoans all know and love would have had a full-blown meltdown after throwing an interception, but this new Cutler we’re seeing managed to recover and continue to drive the ball down the field.

 

What everyone will be talking about this week: 

The infamous TD/INT call that was reversed…

The Lions turned a turnover into a touchdown on a play that made many scratch their heads in the first half of the game.  With less than a minute remaining in the second quarter, Detroit Quarterback Matthew Stafford threw to Wide Receiver Golden Tate in the end zone and Tate lost control of the ball.  Chicago’s Jonathan Anderson ended up picking it up for the interception. The officials originally ruled the play a touchback and awarded possession to the Bears, but ended up reversing the call upon further review. Check it out for yourself here.

Why does this matter? Well, it has become almost impossible to understand what equals a catch in the NFL over the last few years.  See here or here, for further confusion and head-scratching. Thanks refs!

 

Next Up:

Bears have bye week and will return to the field against the Minnesota Vikings (3-2) at home on November 1st and 12 PM Central. I would love to predict a victory but I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. I clearly have given the Bears too much credit on previous games so I’m going to be cautious this time around. Check back next Monday for some Bears news.

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