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Wednesday, November 14

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Airbags

Bears in Five - Score. More. Points!
by Craig Aichele, Ramsin Canon and friends

So this Bears team is freaking us out at the Noble Street HQ. Seriously. Don't get us wrong, we're going to the NFC Championship game. The Panthers and the Buccaneers are as good as the NFC gets — granted, they would have trouble finishing third in any given AFC division, but in our conference, these are preeminent teams. Beating one at home and the other on the road says a lot about our team. Still, we need to get better on offense or we're going to have real problems. We need to be able to score points, because at some point in the next two months, we're going to have to play from behind, and when you play from behind the entire complexion of the game changes, doesn't it? Suddenly you can't run plays that will safely get you within field goal range to add "safety" points to your lead.

One: If It's Not Broken, Don't Fix It... Wait, is It Broken?
A healthy Rex Grossman strutted along the sidelines in uniform in Tampa Bay this past Sunday. He didn't do much else. Kyle Orton won his seventh straight game for the Bears this past Sunday. More accurately, he didn't lose for the seventh straight time. After watching the game, a debate took place at the Noble Street HQ. Should Rex Grossman replace Kyle Orton as the starting quarterback? While none of us are technically fit to answer this question, we are entitled to our opinions. Grossman has the stronger arm and is supposedly more accurate. Orton, even though a rookie, has more NFL experience. Grossman hasn't played a regular season game in well over a year. The list goes on and on, the arguments go around in circles. What will end up happening, we predict, is that the decision will be made for reasons we won't see: in other words, smarter guys than us, who have access to game film, will be able to look at it and say whether Orton is, in fact, making mistakes. Sure he isn't throwing big picks or fumbling the ball, but maybe he's missing open receivers, making poor reads, going to his check-down too quickly or not making his progressions. You know, stuff we can't see on the television because of all the crap FOX puts on the screen. If the coaches see that Orton is making these "sins of omission," they'll yank him by week 13. If not... well, more offense would be nice, but with the best defense in the league it really isn't necessary. In the playoffs, it will be. Or will it? Who the #%@$ knows?!?

Two: Hey Brett Favre, Retire Already
Brett, buddy, it's time to hang it up. Seriously, we get it. You were the best quarterback in the 1990s. You know what you are now? Old as dirt. End it. Your wife is sick with cancer, your house blew away in a hurricane, your dad recently died. For the love of Pete, Providence is telling you something: Quit playing football.

Three: More Annoying Than a Collections Agency
That is really what the Bears defensive line has become in the past few weeks. Quarterbacks of the world, unite in fear. Constant harassment, constant pressure, constant knocking guys on their asses. They had some trouble actually getting to Chris Simms, but they were being held a lot and Simms was probably told to get rid of the ball within X seconds. Speaking of which, Chris Simms is showing remarkable poise, considering his reputation at UT as, well, a wuss. Anyway, this Bears front four is now undoubtedly the best in football, and Alex Brown, as we've been saying all season (seriously, go back and look at the archives) is the best defensive end in the NFC. He had a pass deflection in coverage. And only in Chicago do we enjoy a gaming-ending sack more than a game-ending touchdown. This is so much fun to watch.

Four: Vote for the Pro Bowl
If you are reading this and are a Bears fan, you have a civic duty to perform. It's called go vote for the Pro Bowl. Go to NFL.com right now. Then vote for the Pro Bowl. Vote for Alex "Pro Bowl" Brown, especially, but "Big Play Nate" Vasher, Urlacher (natch), Lance "The Tackling Cyborg" Briggs, Mike Brown, and Thomas "Back Then They Didn't Want Me, Now I'm Hot They All On Me" Jones, too. The more Bears on the team, the happier we will be. You don't want us to be sad do you?

Five: Third and Long
If the Bears are to beat Green Bay next week, they just need to show up. However, if they are to beat the Green Bay in the humiliating, spirit-breaking, forcing-Favre-to-retire-at-halftime way we'd like them to, they need to do much, much better on third and long meaning third and more-than-five). They have a lot of third-and-long situations, because although the running game has been solid, it hasn't been stupendous and our passing has just gotten slightly mediocre-er. As a result, teams are stacking the run and Orton doesn't have the experience or precision to exploit that on first and second down.

 

Bulls in Five -
by Jason Maslanka

...Is on vacation while Jason recovers from a back injury. Get well soon!
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About the Author(s)

Craig Aichele, Ramsin Canon and friends are not really friends but rather fierce competitors on the fantasy gridiron. They meet weekly to embarass each other with random football trivia at the Noble Street League HQ. This is where they write their column. Craig knows where every professional athlete went to college, and in some cases the names of their roommates. Creepy. Send comments to bears@gapersblock.com.

Jason Maslanka began his fandom of the Chicago Bulls in June of 1991, conveniently coinciding with the franchise's first championship. The years since the championships tested his fandom, but it never faltered. He believes that the NBA is more than dunks and hip hop, and that the NBA dress code is a good thing. He thinks most fans don't really understand basketball, and if they did, they'd love it even more. He knows that there are certain players who do the little things for no praise, and stat-mongers who don't really do anything to help their team win. Every week, he plans to execute a beautifully crafted column containing five points you should be thinking about and discussing as a Bulls and NBA fan. Send comments, questions, and arguments to bulls@gapersblock.com

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