Thursday, November 29, 2007

I am Insane (and Probably Stupid)

So, I didn't really care about tonight's game at all (I mean, aside from the Vikings and the Patriots and the Giants, the Packers and Cowboys are my two most hated teams, and I just couldn't care less who defeats whom), but then glancing at ESPN I learned that Favre had to leave the game with a shoulder injury, and suddenly I'm thinking: Holy Crap! Without Favre, the Packer's could pretty conceivably lose out the rest of the season (I know, they play Oakland and St. Louis next week and the following, and Aaron Rodgers looked pretty legit in the preseason...) which would leave them with a 10-6 record. The Bears, if they win all their games, will end up with 10-6. And they'll have the tie-breaker with the Pack, cuz they'd have beaten them twice again... which would make the Bears the NFC North division champs! And for at least these few moments, there's no convincing me that this won't happen! This is destiny peering out from hiding and saying, "Oh, whoops, the Bears are the rightful NFC North champions!"

Yes, this is what being a fan does to you. I am hoping that Favre is done so the Pack will crap out and the Bears will be able to eke out a division title even though they've sucked it up for the first two-thirds of the season. And I'd love it!

Monday, November 26, 2007

If the Bears make the playoffs I'm totally getting a windy city flyer tattoo

I'm still gonna stay off the playoff wagon so I can actually enjoy the games and not worry about the implications of every Rex Grossman turnover and Adam Archuleta missed tackle, but if if if if the Bears beat NY WAS MIN and NO they are in the playoffs! That's four ifs and it's one game at a time and all that, but their playoff hopes are squarely in Devin Hester's hands and I'm totally ok with that.

Speaking of Hester, he is now 3 returns away from being the all-time leader. I'm betting he does it this year and then has 10 seasons to build his lead over Brian Mitchell. Not sure if he ever had Hall Of Fame hopes, but Hester has pretty much blown them out of the water I think.

In thinking about the Bears drafts, picking Manning Hester Payne etc. the Bears are one of the most athletic teams in the NFL. Maybe Lovie isn't a great X and O coach, but if he can get plays out of athleticism. He's all about big plays, embracing Momentum. Which I think will always be risky, but if they ever stay healthy this team is crazy. This off-season they need to shed all the nonathletic players and embrace Lovie's philosophy. I also think Rex deserves another year in Chicago if he wants it. Cut Greise and let Rex Orton and someone else compete, this is a big-play team and Rex throws a beautiful deep ball.

Devin Hester: MVP?

I know it's not going to happen because you have to play for one of the best teams in the league to get voted MVP, and the Bears are obviously not that this year. Also you pretty much have to be a quarterback or running back to get voted MVP. But right now I'm wondering how many games the Bears would've won this year without Devin Hester? How many points would they have scored so far? And what would it take for Devin Hester to get voted MVP of the league?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Devin Hester! You are Ri-dic-u-lous!

Some quick links:

Devin Hester runs back a punt for the shortest 75-yards you will ever see. Jeff Joniak's sidekick giggles.

Only like ten minutes later... What is he Jeff? Oh, you know what he is.

Many thanks to Todd Sauerbrun and his manly muscles for a mondo-entertaining day of football!

Oh, and by the way, here's one of the most beautiful pure catches you'll ever see, made by, of all people, Bernard Berrian. On fourth & goal! What do you figure the odds are he would've made this catch for Griese?

Congratulations Ron Turner!

Okay, I don't want to say anything negative about this win yet, because I'm still a little too ecstatic about it, but before I forget, I needed to pass this along.

Congratulations to Ron Turner! You are officially as smart as Dan Dierdorf!

That's right: after Hester's second return for a touchdown, Dierdorf said something along the lines of, "Wow! No wonder the Bears want to use him as a wide receiver! You've just got to get him the ball! You can just give him a quick little wide receiver screen, or run him a reverse, or something like that, and he's gone! You don't even have to do your job and come up with plays that maximize his abilities or give him opportunities because he's so good!" So, you see, Ron Turner, Dan Dierdorf is right alongside you, coming up with ideas to get Devin Hester the ball on offense! Like, you know, having him stand there out wide waiting for the quarterback to throw the ball after he's already told everyone in the stadium that he's going to throw it wide out to Devin Hester! Or having Devin Hester run a reverse so obvious that Fox's game director actually has time to cue the proper cameras to keep Hester in frame for the whole play! Now that's offensive genius if I've ever heard it! And it only took him a half a game of watching Hester return kicks! Truly, you are an offensive mastermind, Ron Turner!

Something Positive about the O-Line

So, if I'd been keeping up with posts here at Bears Geek, I'd have certainly been complaining about how shitty the offensive line has been so far this year. But since everything else about the team has been just as shitty, I haven't done a lot of complaining about the old fogeys that pretend to protect our pretend quarterbacks. But here's something good about our line: Peterson's touchdown was a thing of pure smash-mouth football beauty. (from the Tribune's internet portal).

History will show it as a 4-yard touchdown run for Adrian Peterson with just over five minutes left in regulation. That will be far from the whole story.

Indeed, if Peterson gets credit for 4 rushing yards, maybe Olin Kreutz, Terrence Metcalf and John Tait should as well.

Peterson was stopped just short of the goal line on the carry over the Bears' left side behind John Tait and Terrence Metcalf.

But Peterson kept trying to move the pile of defenders, so Olin Kreutz joined him in the push-fest, and the others quickly got the idea.

"Most of the time you'll hear a whistle from the officials, but they were letting it go," Tait said. "I looked back and saw Olin pushing by himself, so I figured I better get in there and push too."

So was it Peterson pushing the linemen into the end zone or them pushing him?

"Oh, no, it was all them," Peterson said, laughing. "I was pushing myself and started to stop, and all of a sudden I felt them, so I knew it wasn't all me. I just squeezed the ball and fell in."

Peterson insists his feet never left the ground. That's his story and he's sticking to it.

"Sometimes you get wide-open touchdown runs," he said, "and sometimes you have to fight to get in the end zone."

Devin Hester is... Devin Hester is...

Devin Hester is the only person in the whole world ever who has earned the right to say this:

"Sometimes the first (TD return) is a fluke," Hester said. "The second time you get a chance to show what you're really about."



Okay, so it was an overtime win and overtime wins are always pretty amazing, but...


They won!!!!!!





I want to bear Devin Hester's children.

Yes, It has Truly Come to This

Right now the Vikings are almost blowing out the Giants... And I'm excited about it! Because that means that I was right and Giants really are pretty shitty, or at least nowhere near as good as the East Coast sports press wanted to believe they were (big surprise...). There's no way it can mean that the Vikings are actually a good team. So I'm not even worried about that.

But here's the thing: The Lions have lost two in a row now and are 6 and 5, and with little reason to believe that they'll not keep on losing. And if the Giants lose today (and we win today), then we can beat them next week, and after that the Giants have a pretty tough schedule which will probably just contribute even more to them crapping out for the rest of the season (and then Coughlin might get fired... which would mean that they might actually be able to become a real time in the next few years, which would bother me a lot...)

So, other stuff could all happen, too, but what I'm basically trying to say is that, yes, it's true, I've managed to talk myself into believing that the Bears are really not out of it! They're so close! And all they have to do is win most of their remaining games (well, probably, all of them, but, you know...) So! This is it! This is where the season starts! At home against a very beatable Denver team! The sins of the past two-thirds of the season forgotten! This is where the Bears start their desperate claw back into playoff contention! This is when they start pulling out every game, grabbing victory from the bloody jaws of defeat, week after week! This is where their defense slowly begins to regain their strength, until, after snatching a narrow victory over the Packers at Lambeau field for the NFC championship, their second consecutive NFC championship and their third consecutive win over the Packers, making them the only team to have beaten the Packers all season, they'll be on their way to Arizona, just like they predicted they would be at the beginning of the season, where they'll be 30 points underdogs to the Patriots! And they'll show the type of grit and determination and charm and likeability and un-slobbiness that the Patriots only wish they could put together! And they'll win the Super Bowl in the last seconds of the game! It's happening! And it all starts here (well, in Chicago I mean)! Today! In an hour! Bear Down, motherfucker, Bear Down!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Mike Brown '08 defensive player of the year

Well, that loss sucked. But it was fun to watch the Bears play well for a change. They looked pretty good, but this year's team is simply not a very good NFL team. For starters, they don't have much at Strong Safety and they have a rookie at corner. Rookie corners get burned in the NFL by quarterbacks like Hasselbeck. More importantly Tommie Harris and Brian Urlacher are not the players they need to be right now to make up for those losses. I think if either one of them was fully healthy the Bears win that game.
On the other side, Fred Miller is done in this league. He's had a great career, but he cannot play tackle on the road anymore. Ron Turner is also done. He has exactly zero creativity and it has killed the Bears this whole year.

Off the field, I liked Lovie's press conference this week. I'm very encouraged by his outlook. It seems like he's learned a lot this year and I anticipate a solid offseason. The Bears were too complacent last year, they let success override evaluation and they're paying for it now. I assume Lovie will look very hard at every spot on the roster this year and will come up with his own plan. He seemed more of an observer before, sitting in playing Angelo's cards. Angelo will get his draft, but I think Lovie's really going to put his stamp on the coaching staff and roster this year.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Mariotti is such a douche, and everyone who follows him

I just watched Lovie's press-conference following the QB decision and I have to say that I'm worried about him. He looks really ragged. It scared me. Lovie is lovable and optimistic and a good football coach, but right now he looks like he's very, very tired. I hope the Bears win every game. But I also want Lovie around a long time. I'm more pissed than ever at the fucking horrible Chicago media. Give him, give them all a break. Sure we expect more but come on your criticisms are too personal and too much. I'd soo much rather see the reporters fired than the team. I hope Lovie and the Bears pull it off and I hope Lovie feels better. I really do.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Windy City Flyer

Today was the most exciting day of the Bears season so far for me. The Green Bay win was amazing, and I thoroughly believed it marked a turn-around, but I was annoyed at the Bears being in that situation and was looking ahead at the standings. Now I'm just abuzz about Lovie declaration of every decision being made for only the next week. He didn't say "Rex Grossman is our quarterback." He said Rex will start Sunday. This marks the first time that I can remember that he's ever acted as anything but a pragmatist. It's wonderful!
This new attitude I believe will spread to all aspects of the team. Hester and Olsen should continue their elevation, Archuleta is on a short leash if he forgets how to play safety again, and AP will see more and more time if he outperforms Benson. Finally I feel like Lovie's looking at the same situation I am and it makes me smile.
Speaking of smiling, I love Rex's response to the question about his contract status, "I think I already missed the boat on the big one." Rex just might turn out okay.
And I can't leave out how impressed I was with Daniel Manning in Oakland. He was perfect and looks for all the world like the natural talent he's supposed to be. The Bears secondary looks like they might be in shape to accept Brown back and not have it ruin their season if he goes down again. They'll never be as amazing without him, but as long as their still quality I'll be happy.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Bears in Oakland

Just a couple of quick notes from the game yesterday. It was nice to watch the game in person, first of all. The more games I see live the more games I want to see live. Sure, you don't have the commentators to help you understand what's happening on the field, but they're so rarely helpful, and their loss is more than made up for by the fact that you can see the entire field: the way the defenses are set up, the routes all the receivers are running, etc. For instance, on Grossman's deep pass to Berrian, you could see that Berrian was open as soon as Grossman released the ball, and watching the whole thing was just beautiful; it's completely different from on television where you see Grossman launch the ball and then you have to cross your fingers in fear for the few seconds it takes for the ball to travel far enough for the receiver to be in the frame. I really wish television coverage would have some sort of wide shot set up so when QB's threw the ball deep they could immediately pull out to a larger frame of that included the receivers and the quarterback.

I also noticed that at least twice during the first half, when Hester was in a lot more (for some reason Hester wasn't on the field nearly as often once Grossman came in... why?!), Hester was completely open going deep across the middle. He'd beat is his corner and the safeties had pulled up for some reason. Griese never saw, or else he didn't think he had the arm strength to pull off the throw, or something. Or else Hester's still supposed to be nothing but a decoy. Whatever it is, he could be utilized so much better than he is. I even heard random Oakland fans talking about it in line to get snacks. 'Hester was open on several plays, but they just don't throw it to him! They're offense is almost as stupid as our offense!'

Look, Grossman played himself out of a job at the beginning of the season. He was abysmal. But yesterday, it was obvious that he was the best quarterback who played in the game. Sure, Griese had a higher completion percentage, but how many of those completions were three-yard checkdown's on third-and-long? While Griese was on the field, the Bears didn't even threaten to approach the end zone. As soon as Grossman came on, the offense suddenly became a little bit threatening. Sure, it took them most of the half to finally get something to work, but I'd much rather see third-and-long fail because of a 15-yard incomplete pass that looked like it was probably QB receiver communication problems (not necessarily surprising, considering Grossman hadn't played since the third week) than a string of third-and-long plays that couldn't even convert in theory. Grossman's inconsistency is scary, and if he gets to start and reverts to his early-season INT machine self, I don't see how they can afford not to give Orton an extended look. But for now the choice is Griese or Grossman, and it's pretty obvious that Grossman's the only one capable of making some second half scrappy pull for the playoffs.