Fields and Flus: The Final Five? (‘Tis the Week 14 Game Preview with Movie Stuff Too!)

| December 8th, 2023

Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?







Justin Fields. End of Story.

The Carolina Panthers are going to earn one of the top two picks in the 2024 NFL Draft. And that means – if you believe what has been written about this coming draft class – the Chicago Bears will be able to select one of the two “elite quarterback prospects” at the top of the draft: Caleb Williams or Drake Maye. And right now, it would be near impossible to see Ryan Poles passing on the position.

Justin Fields has five weeks to change that narrative.

Do you want to know what the league, at least those I know around the league, think about the situation? I sent two texts to individuals with other teams this week. Both texts were identical: “Do you think the Bears will pass on a QB and keep Fields?”

Response 1. “No.”

Response 2. “I think they might.”

I find it hard to believe the Bears have not already made their decision on Justin Fields, but if that’s the case, there’s very little left to watch over the remaining five games. So, let’s operate under the hypothetical that a verdict has yet to be reached. That creates a lovely bit of drama around the quarterback as we head into the new year.

My Ten Favorite Film Discoveries of 2023

One thing that becomes incredibly apparent as you engage any academic discipline, whether that be film studies or molecular biology, is that it’s incredibly difficult to know EVERYTHING. Every time I rewatch the films in my areas of expertise – All That Jazz, Umbrellas of Cherbourg, 12 Angry Men, etc. – there’s another film slipping through the cracks.

I didn’t see enough of the films of 2023 to compile a coherent list. But I did see about 100 films this year I had not previously seen. These were the ten most memorable for me.

Leningrad Cowboys Go America (Aki Kaurismaki, 1989). The Blues Brothers directed by Werner Herzog. On Criterion Channel.

A Moment of Innocence (Mohsen Makhmalbaf, 1996). Stands with Abbas Kiarostami’s Close-Up as the most remarkable cinematic achievements of post-revolutionary Iran. Rentable on Vimeo.

The Secret in Their Eyes (Juan Jose Campanella, 2009). The Academy Award-winning Argentine masterpiece. On Prime.

The Cancer Journals Revisited (Lana Lin, 2018). A harrowing, beautiful salute to Audre Lorde and survival. On Kanopy.

Woyzeck (Werner Herzog, 1979). The unsung collaboration of Herzog and Kinski. It is on this list because I spent months working with it and have grown to love every frame. On Kanopy.

Killers of the Flower Moon (Martin Scorsese, 2023). There will be time, years, to write about this film. For now, I just encourage everyone to see it.

The Murderers are Among Us (Wolfgang Staudte, 1946). The most essential of the German “rubble films.” On Kanopy.

Rush to Judgment (Emile de Antonio, 1967). Emile de Antonio’s and Mark Lane’s stirring indictment of the Warren Commission’s conclusions. It is currently unavailable for home consumption.

The China Syndrome (James Bridges, 1979). One of the great 1970s American paranoia pictures, putting it in a corpus that includes The Parallax View, Three Days of the Condor, Marathon Man, etc. Rentable everywhere.

Deadline at Dawn (Harold Clurman, 1946). The only cinematic work of Group Theater founder Harold Clurman, Dawn is a brilliant example of post-war feminist noir. Sadly, it’s also impossible to find if you’re not studying cinema at the university level or above.

Stats of Some Import

  • Once again, this is a game that will come down to the passing attacks. The Bears are 26th in opponent passer rating. The Lions are 25th. The Bears are 32nd in sacks. The Lions are 26th. The big difference? The Bears are improving in their pass defense, while the Lions are allowing 30 points weekly.
  • It is always amazing to get this late in the season and see identical team statistics. But the Lions have attempted 165 third downs, at a conversion rate of 43%, while the Bears have attempted 164 third downs, at a conversion rate of 43.3%. Prediction: the team that separates in this statistic on Sunday wins the game.
  • Did you know the Bears are the least penalized defense in the league? They have only 51 accepted penalties for 395 yards. Next best is Kansas City with 56 accepted penalties to the tune of 479 yards.
  • There are only eight WRs over the 1,000 mark this season. And DJ Moore is one of them. The trade Ryan Poles made before the 2023 NFL Draft has the potential to be the best in the history of this franchise, if he makes the correct decisions this off-season.

Dick Butkus Video of the Week

Game Prediction!

If this coach, and this quarterback, are going to force the front office into difficult decisions, it has to start Sunday at Soldier Field. And I think it does.

Chicago Bears 30, Detroit Lions 24

Tagged: , , ,