THROUGH THE HALFWAY POINT…
…here’s some of what we might know about the Chicago Bears.
- Jeremy Langford might be a better fit for a John Fox team than Matt Forte for one reason: short-yardage. Forte is one of the best all around backs in Bears history but his primary weakness has been the ability to get that one yard when the Bears need it, especially around the goal line. Langford runs like a taller Maurice Jones-Drew.
- If Jay Cutler is the Bears quarterback in 2016, the Bears might have no problem being playoff contenders in 2016.
- Eddie Goldman, Adrian Amos and Pernell McPhee are players. Jarvis Jenkins, Lamarr Houston (late development) and Tracy Porter might be capable of contribution. Every other position on the defensive side of the ball is up for debate moving forward.
- Alshon Jeffery might be capable of being a number one receiver. (Will the Bears pay him like one?)
- Phil Emery might have stolen the Bears a left tackle at the tail end of the 2014 draft. But the next eight games will go a long way towards that determination.
THE GAME POEM
This is a poem by Jim Moore that appeared on the walls of NYC subway cars for a while. It’s brilliant. Not sure what it has to do with this game but I’m also not sure I care.
I remember my mother toward the end,
folding the tablecloth after dinner
as if it were the flag
of a country that no longer existed,
but once had ruled the world.
WELL THIS SEEMS A PERTINENT STAT
Yards per pass play against. The first team on this list not realistically in the middle of a playoff hunt? You guessed it, the 2015 Chicago Bears.
Last week the stat of pertinence was opposing passer rating. Now it’s yards per attempt. What does this tell us? The trick to winning in the NFL is still quarterback play.
THREE THOUGHTS ON THE ST. LOUIS RAMS
- Gurley is averaging 5.6 yards per rush. That’s more than a yard better than Adrian Peterson, who is leading the league in rushing. Gurley averaging 110.7 yards per game. That’s more than Peterson (94.8) and Bell (92.7) and the rest of the damn league (nobody else over 85).
- Nick Foles averages 185 passing yards a game. That’s the lowest total of any still-starting quarterback in the league. In many ways this is the best match-up for the Bears defense all season.
- Rams defense is top six in yards allowed, points allowed, passing yards allowed and sacks. This defense belongs in the conversations with Carolina and Denver for the best in the league.
TWEET THAT TELLS THE STORY…
More film you watch of Rams, more my previous statement rings true. Great D. Power run game. And a giant hole where quarterback should be.
— DaBearsBlog (@dabearsblog) November 12, 2015
The previous statement? “If the Rams had Jay Cutler they’d be a Super Bowl contender.”
IRISH VIDEOS OF THE WEEK
One of the great Irish songs.
The greatest moment of the European Championship 2012.
THREE BEARS OF INTRIGUE
- When the opponent struggles throwing the ball it is incumbent upon the safeties to limit the damage in run support. Adrian Amos has emerged as the Bears first legitimate thumper since Tony Parrish. He’ll need to keep Todd Gurley in front of him.
- Where the hell did that Lamarr Houston fourth quarter come from in San Diego? Houston, many believed, was a perfect fit for this Fangio defense and if he can produce at near the level he concluded the Monday Nighter the Bears might finally have their complement for Pernell McPhee.
- Kyle Long has had periods of dominance in recent weeks as he learns a new positions but he’s also made mental mistakes, including a few penalties at costly moments. With Charles Leno facing an onslaught on the other side, Long needs to be sturdy Sunday. Bears can’t afford to help both tackles.
WATCH OUT FOR TAVON AUSTIN
The Bears are going to punt against this Rams defense. They are more than likely going to punt half a dozen times. And when they punt, the world’s worst punt coverage unit will be tasked with keeping Tavon Austin’s explosiveness out of the end zone. He is right up there among the best in the business at it already.
Sunday is the type of game where neither offense is going to light up the scoreboard. So the Bears can’t allow special teams to be the deciding factor. Pat O’Donnell needs to land his punts in the third row.
3-3 becomes 6-3. 6-3 to 9-6. 13-9. And then 16-13. And we wrap up somewhere like…
Chicago Bears 23, St. Louis Rams 20