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Bears Tue Oct 28 2008

Footballic Ramblings' Midseason Plaudits and Dismissals

At the midway point of this NFL season the Bears are tied for first in the knuckle-dragging, Cro-Magnon-styled NFC North; the Brady-less Patriots are still a force in the AFC; and the hapless, comically-terrible, Lions and Bengals are both in last place, in their respective divisions, with a combined 15 losses and NO wins between the two of them. So without further ado, Footballic Ramblings is pleased to hand out the good, bad and ugly of the first half of the 2008 season.

First and foremost*, the one and only NeckBeard Orton has been sensational for the heretofore sluggish, predictable and inept, Bears offense. Orton has been beyond capable in leading the Ursas to their 4-3 records.

Along with rookie standout Matt Forte's pommeling rushing attack, NeckBeard has opportunistically picked apart defenses in finding the open receiver, be it, tight end Greg Olsen or wideouts Rashied Davis or Brandon Lloyd. In the Atlanta game, before the Squib Kick of Doom that sealed a Bears loss; Orton led a magnificent 2-minute drill that was punctuated by a perfect touchdown strike with 11 ticks left. Alas, we all know how that game ended up. Moving on...Footballic Ramblings would be remiss as all Hell to not remark on how tired and, dare I say, old, the Bears defense has looked in the second half of far too many games this season. The defense is too old to be on the field as much as they have been and the Bears season will continue to hinge on whether the offense can keep generating points and controlling the ball to help out the defense when it begins to get winded.

Astonishingly Good Team Thus Far: A
Buffalo Bills: Their victory totals might be slightly inflated thanks to a relatively weak schedule (Helllo, wins-against-Oakland, St. Louis and Seattle), and they've fallen to the "mighty" Arizona Cardinals and Miami Dolphins. Yet, they've also out-powered and victimized AFC bullies, like Jacksonville and San Diego. The second half of the season they play New England twice and Denver once, along with gimmes against Cleveland and Kansas City. So, yeah, expect Buffalo to be a guessing-game but to slide into the playoffs. Plus, their defense is good and they don't really screw up...I dunno.

Astonishingly Good Team Thus Far: B
New England Patriots: I really didn't want to put these guys here, thanks to, A) me hating Boston sports fan, Hey!, somebody who makes Cubs fans look tame and demure; and B) I really hate Boston sports teams. Anyway, credit where credit is due; the Pats have two losses and are very much in the hunt for the AFC East crown and a playoff spot, unlike, say, the Indianapolis Colts, which brings us to ...

Astonishingly Bad Team Thus Far
This isn't all the Colts fault, I mean, they've had to play: Chicago, Jacksonville, Green Bay and Tennessee already; plus, their division (that'd be the AFC South) has suddenly grown up and is vicious as f*ck. The Titans have a stranglehold on the South and now Peyton and his boys must claw for a playoff spot that has seemingly been their birthright this whole decade. It gets no easier for Indy in the coming month as they're playing: New England, @ Pittsburgh, a-much-better-than-you think Houston, and @ San Diego in the next four weeks. Ouch, seriously, OUCH! After that gauntlet of games it gets much easier for three weeks as the Colts face Cleveland, Cincy and Detroit before wrapping up with @ Jacksonville and Tennessee at home. No playoffs for the Colts for the first time in what seems like forever.

Okay, That's Cool But Who is Going to the Super Bowl?
Prognostications are always exercises in futility and hubris, but, sure, I'll bite: Carolina vs. Pittsburgh with the Steelers beating the Panthers in a closer than it looks 31-17 final. Beyond that and as my broadcast partner Tom predicted on our podcast last week: the Detroit Lions are going winless this season. You heard it here first, folks. See you later this week with a Bears preview!


*Only because this blog is based out of Chicago...

 
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