8:00 PM ET
Thoughts on a day of watching football and researching Hitchcock’s silent stage adaptations.
- There was some brutal football played in the early window. Saints/Bucs and Giants/Panthers were bad, bad ballgames.
- I know it seems I have a personal issue with Chris Ballard. And that’s only because I do. But Ballard’s answers at quarterback for a supposedly ready-to-contend roster have been a shot Phil Rivers, a never good Carson Wentz and an elderly Matt Ryan (who looked incredibly shot today). Ballard has been the GM of the Colts for six off-seasons. Is he going to take a risk at quarterback at ANY point?
- I never hated Mitch Trubisky, but I recognized his extreme limitations against the Saints in 2019. It’s not there. Pittsburgh can delay the inevitable all they want but not playing Kenny Pickett is wasting time. Trubisky is a solid backup option.
- Every time Tua attempts to throw a pass more than 10 yards it’s an adventure. But there is so much speed in that receiving room. He won’t need to be that accurate deep when Hill is averaging four yards of separation.
- So many helmet-to-helmet hits across the league. Spare me the “speed of the game” argument. If you can’t see the guy you’re tackling, you are tackling incorrectly.
- New Orleans did everything a team needs to do defensively against a Tom Brady offense, but they just kept handing him first downs with silly penalties. Ultimately, Brady made them pay for their “mistakes”.
- Amon-Ra St. Brown is one of the best receivers in the league. Games like today aren’t stories anymore. This is who he is.
- Through two weeks, the Bengals look like a bad team. Somehow their offensive line is worse than a year ago. But they have now lost to Trubisky and Cooper Rush to start the season. That’s not a contender.
- Micah Parsons might be the best player in the league. He controls games.
- Not sure I can remember a rookie head coach looking as out of his depth as Nathaniel Hackett. The Broncos need to monitor that closely and pull the trigger quickly if these performances continue.
- The Cardinals are not in a good spot as an organization. Kliff got ownership to fully commit to Kyler. If you fire Kliff, the next coach has to want Kyler. How much coaches do?
- If Kyle didn’t convert on the two-point conversion to end regulation, I’m not sure Kliff wouldn’t have been fired by the time you’re reading this. A delay of game…on a two point…with the game on the line???
- But you rarely see a team as desperate to lose as Vegas was tonight.
8:16 PM ET
“I’ve been waiting all day for Sunday night” is one of the most ridiculous football concepts around. Other than the fans of the two teams, nobody waits all day for Sunday Night Football. If anything, most NFL fans are exhausted by kickoff. (People forget this slot used to be occupied by a throwaway game for years.)
8:18 PM ET
“The most played rivalry in the history of the National Football League.”
Is that a compliment?
8:24 PM ET
8:26 PM ET
I would like to preemptively apologize for tonight’s minute-by-minute. I am pretty damn tired and I’m old now and these games feel super late to me. I shall do my best and try to land a few barbs.
8:27 PM ET
Aaron Rodgers looks like Aaron Rodgers.
8:32 PM ET
Angelo Blackson makes a great play in the backfield and then stands over the back. He luckily avoided an unsportsmanlike penalty for taunting. That is being called all over the league. Needs to be coached into these guys pronto.
8:36 PM ET
Kyler Gordon makes a brilliant play on the football, and Trevis Gipson follows that with a sack. That is the kind of sequence fans need to see this year. Young players developing is the primary story of this campaign. Some very good signs through one game and one drive.
8:40 PM ET
Why do they have the players tell us their colleges in the pregame intros? We can look up their colleges. I would rather know their favorite movie or favorite sandwich or favorite sex act. That would be compelling TV.
8:46 PM ET
The Bears just took a 7-3 lead, running the ball down the throats of the Packers.
8:49 PM ET
Reflecting on that drive, one thing is very clear about these Bears: their coach is instilling an identity. They want to be the toughest team on the field. The coach that. They call plays for that. They talk like that in the media.
8:58 PM ET
Bears 7, Packers 3 (End of Quarter One)
The Bears belong this field. They are not intimidated. Do they have the same collection of talent as Green Bay? Absolutely not. Are they likely to lose this game? They are. But they are showing early in this season that they are going to be feisty every single week.
9:01 PM ET
Touchdown, Aaron Jones.
Green Bay’s offensive line absolutely dominated on that drive. The Bears must know this is a game that will require them in the mid-20s to actually win. Keep the game open and attack.
9:04 PM ET
Larry Borom does not strike me as a starting tackle in the NFL. Too often he gets powered into the backfield. When Leartherwood gets back into playing shape, they should experiment with combinations that don’t involve Borom.
9:08 PM ET
“Any time the Bears can get you into second down, now they’re playing” -Collinsworth.
What in the hell does that mean?
9:09 PM ET
Trevis Gipson having a really strong night thus far. He’s consistently in the backfield.
9:15 PM ET
Fields throwing passes while two yards over the line of scrimmage is not a good look for the young quarterback. His awareness has not been sharp tonight, and it looked like St. Brown was wide open on that play.
9:21 PM ET
Kyler Gordon has to clean up his work in run support. Two weeks, two whiffs in the backfield.
9:23 PM ET
9:27 PM ET
Touchdown Packers. 17-7.
The Bears are simply being bossed at the line of scrimmage. And it is not possible to beat Rodgers when you’re allowing his run game to control the game. If the Bears want to keep this competitive in the second half, adjustments will be required. But even more than adjustments at halftime, points before the half could be crucial.
9:33 PM ET
As this game approaches halftime, Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet have now been invisible for six quarters. That simply has to change. If the Bears want to get their offense somewhere mid-pack, they need their two best options to be involved.
9:47 PM ET
Packers 24, Bears 7
The far better team is at home, desperate to exorcise a humiliating loss. Oh, and they have one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. The score isn’t surprising here.
But now the Bears have to bottle the conservative game plan on offense and see how their young quarterback handles that situation. Who cares if they lose by 50 or lose by 12? Teams around the league today were erasing huge deficits by lining up and chucking the football. The Bears need to at least try to do that.
9:56 PM ET
NBC just did a whole thing about broadcasting the Queen’s funeral tomorrow. One day someone will effectively explain to me why an American would watch this. (Nope, there is no way to effectively explain that to me.)
10:04 PM ET
If this were any other Sunday Night Football game, I’d already be in bed. But I have to sit through another hour of this.
10:07 PM ET
Adam Jahns is reporting St. Brown was wide open on that third down. If that’s the case, and Fields missed him, we’re starting to stack real issues for the quarterback. Is awareness something that can be taught? Coached?
10:10 PM ET
10:12 PM ET
The commercials feel so much more intrusive late in the evening. I feel like they’re keeping me from my pillow.
10:18 PM ET
Packers 24, Bears 10
Again, it just doesn’t seem like Fields is comfortable running this offense. And that’s not a good developmental sign. There’s no reason to hit the panic button on Fields but in the next 6-8 weeks, the team needs to see a lot of improvement.
10:25 PM ET
Roquan Smith is a very good player but he’s playing a passive football game tonight; not attacking the football. And he doesn’t seem particularly difficult to block.
10:27 PM ET
Two drives for the Packers in the third quarter. No points. Based on what was happening in the second quarter, hard not to see these drives as wins for Eberflus.
10:33 PM ET
This might be the best performance of David Montgomery’s career. He has the Bears on his back right now.
10:38 PM ET
Normally I’m against challenging spots but can’t imagine Flus loses this.
10:40 PM ET
10:44 PM ET
Justin Fields running the Culpepper draw from shotgun at the goal line. Always a play I loved from Minnesota so can’t complain about it.
10:47 PM ET
If Justin Fields stretches the ball across, it’s a touchdown. That’s awareness to me again.
10:52 PM ET
Seeing a lot of criticism of the play call on fourth down but the play call worked.
Fields missed a gaping hole in the middle. He should have walked in.
10:59 PM ET
This is a modern football game.
There were a bunch of those played around the league today.
Modern football games are not won with 17 points very often anymore. If you’re not building a roster capable of scoring 30 points every single Sunday, you’re not building your roster correctly. That is the task before Ryan Poles. They can build a good defense, and they should. They can even have a power run game as their offensive identity. But the Bears need explosive weapons on this roster if they want to be competitive with the best teams in the sport.
11:06 PM ET
Fields escapes a tight pocket and throws an ugly pick to Alexander. Just put nothing on the throw. No way to see his performance tonight as a positive.
11:09 PM ET
Packers 27, Bears 10.
Defense gave the Bears chances to make this a serious game in the second half. Offense didn’t take advantage. That’s going to be the story a lot this season.