Across The Middle With Andrew Dannehy

| November 4th, 2015


• Before getting into football talk, I want to thank everyone who for their kind words after the passing of my father. It was obviously a difficult week, made more difficult by the Bears.

• We all want to believe the Bears are a drastically different team because they have John Fox leading the way instead of Marc Trestman, but in their last two games they have played almost exactly like they did under Trestman. I get there is a lack of talent, but they have just as much as the Lions and the Vikings, there’s no excuse for them to lose either of those games the way they lost them.

• If the Bears and the Vikings were to swap quarterbacks, the Bears would have the first pick of the draft and the Vikings would win the Super Bowl.  Don’t listen to what you read on Twitter, Bridgewater is bad. Meanwhile, there aren’t 10 quarterbacks in the league who are better than Jay Cutler right now. There may not even be five.

• So, why did Adam Gase decide to take Cutler out of the game for most of the first half? Look at the Bears first six games and they were at their best when Cutler was moving around and making things happen. I get that he didn’t think they could block the Vikings’ front four, but by continuously throwing slip screens, he gave them no chance. As soon as he stopped doing that, the Bears started moving the ball. It isn’t difficult to figure out.

• The Bears need to do something to generate pass rush. Is it time to try either Christian Jones or Shea McClellin outside on passing downs? Or time to play an extra defensive back and have one of them blitz? Rushing four isn’t going to work when Pernell McPhee is the only one who can beat a block.

• The Vikings aren’t a particularly good team but they’re a bad matchup for the Packers. Don’t be surprised if they split with them.

• Speaking of the Packers, you saw the formula again on Sunday night. If the Bears build a great defense, they will beat the Packers. That’s their only shot. If the current defensive rankings were to hold up, the Packers and Rodgers would be 7-11 against teams with top-10 scoring defenses over the last four years. That includes two wins this year, against a Seattle team that they played without Kam Chancellor (and they might not be that good anyway) and a Rams team with Nick Foles actively trying to lose the game.

This Still Doesn’t Make Sense

Sherrick McManis lost his job for a reason, why was he back on the field? The Bears threw in UDFA Bryce Callahan and the youngster looked pretty good until sustaining a concussion late in the game. At that point, the Vikings went right at McManis and, of course, scored a touchdown.

McManis was turned inside out by Lance Moore. That was enough to tell us he isn’t an NFL cornerback. Alan Ball played well before he was injured and Tracy Porter has plenty of experience playing in the slot. Once Callahan went down, putting Porter in the slot and Ball outside was clearly the Bears best option. But they didn’t. They went back to McManis and he showed them he is still awful. What did they expect?

Player of the Week

Alshon Jeffery is going to get paid. I still don’t know if it’s going to be the Bears who do it — I’d bet on a franchise tag for this season — but he is going to get a monster contract if he ever reaches free agency. He made monster catch after monster catch against a pretty good secondary.

Goat of the Week

Adam Gase. I don’t want to harp on one thing too much, but he had a bye week and that’s the best game plan he could come up with? One that takes his best player out of the game? Seriously?

Bold Prediction for Week 9

Cutler is going to set new career highs in passing yards and touchdowns. The game is going to be high scoring and the Chargers pass defense has been bad lately.

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