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Bears Thu Nov 19 2009
The Bears after a promising, if not hollow, 3-1 start to the season with wins over Pittsburgh, Seattle and Detroit to its credit are now doing their best impersonation of the "Edmund Fitzgerald." The team has steered headlong into the teeth of a brutal scheduling storm and find themselves facing down the very slim prospects of a playoff berth particularly when you look at the next month of games starting with Sunday's tilt against the playoff-craving Philadelphia Eagles.
Donovan McNabb, celebrated Chicago-reared quarterback/"tough guy who always gets hurt and then bounces back to throw ungodly numbers," will be looking to torch the Bears still very flammable secondary [Don't let the "Alex Smith" adjusted San Fran passing stats fool you, Bears fans --Ed.] Sorta filed under "good scenario/bad scenario" is the fact that Philly's Swiss Army Knife running back, Brian Westbrook will not play thanks to a concussion suffered in Washington.* Of course this is filed under "good/bad" and not just good because instead of the defensive front seven of Chicago getting pounded into dust, the secondary is that much more likely to be burned by the be-dreadnaughted artillery fire of Donovan The Cannon-Armed and his cadre of speedy receivers.
Fantasy owners can expect tight end Brent Celek and the Doom Gang, Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson to all put up decent to outstanding numbers, so plan accordingly.
Philadelphia has been a little inconsistent this season, sporting a "meh" 5-4 record thus far. However, in the trenches their line play has been like Swiss watch compared to the SNAFU of comedy and error that the Bears' lines have been and that trend of terrible line play on the Bears part should continue. The offensive line has struggled immensely as the season has worn on and the skill players (Cutler, Forte, the receivers) lack of displayed "skill" is corollary to that dismal line play. Cutler's numbers, in particular, have suffered at the hands of blown blocks and vaporous protection.** Still, this is what the Bears have to bring to the table in a high-stakes poker match and you can't fold before your hands are dealt ... or some such rubbish. Garret Wolfe will be missing the game this week, meaning that Forte and Adrian Peterson will be doing the Sisyphean task of running and/or finding a hole to run through behind this 2009 model of the Bears line. Cutler will more than likely have another multi-interception day, because he just doesn't like taking sacks or throwing the ball away, honestly, I can't tell at this point. BUT he should find Olsen or Knox or Bennett*** for a long touchdown or two. And for some "crazy" reason the Bears have won the past two games against the Eagles. In both cases Philly was clearly the better team and it just didn't matter. Philadelphia seems to routinely "stoop down" to the Bears level, so we'll see what happens.
Can everyone stop the stupid coverage of the Bears/NBC "imbroglio" from this week? NBC and the Bears are big boys and both are fully aware that, "Hey, you guys aren't doing so hot, can we talk about it?" "No" "Okay, cool" "Kthxbai!" Seriously, the 24/7 news cycle is supposed to be interesting not childish, this is the "Information Age," people. Ugh.
Can we all continue to talk about Kyle Orton's ankle is mangled yet he's gonna try and make a go of it against San Diego? Does anyone else remember how horrible he looked last year against Green Bay on a wonky ankle? That's right, a gander at the box score says GB's Ryan Grant rushed for more yard than Orton threw, oh, Kyle! I respect your courage and pity your stupidity.
Bears Aren't On Til Sunday Night What Else Is On
We have a looksie at the 506's excellent football-tv-schedule and, Ta-Da!
We learn that CBS has the doubleheader this week and that two fairly compelling games are on "The Eye" channel: Noon game is Indy vs Baltimore and afternoon game is New York Jets vs New England. Peyton Manning vs a defense that's aging a little slower than Chicago's and Tom Brady vs the Jets very good defense and very bad offense. Go football. Oh and if you're wondering the Fox game is Seattle @ Minnesota. Purple Jesus (aka: the good Adrian Peterson) will be handing out free crucifixions to the Seahawks defense. Happy football watching, people!
*Scheduling Note: Look for my totally awesome piece on the new documentary about the NFL and concussions: Blood Equity and interview with Mike Ditka early next week. Yeah, I said it, interview with Mike Ditka! Boom!
**Not to be too crass, but Cutler would be getting more protection with a broken condom at a hooker convention...wokka, wokka!
***I'm not sure he'll be throwing to Devin Hester the rest of the year after the embarrassing "trip 'n fall 'n interception" Hester pulled in San Francisco last week.