I doubt most will understand why this is the image for today’s thread.
But those who do will enjoy it.
Last week I cared very much about the outcome of the Chicago Bears game.
This week I don’t.
This team, the 2023 edition of the Chicago Bears, has no business being outside the playoffs. If they don’t blow three double-digit, fourth-quarter leads, they would be 8-6 and sizing up a winnable first-round matchup in Detroit come January. But because they don’t have it at quarterback, and they don’t have it at head coach, they are 5-9 and playing out the string.
This is not my casting a verdict on either Fields or Flus. I don’t care anymore, honestly. When it comes to Fields, it is the most boring discourse I’ve encountered since starting this project in 2005. Never has so much debate centered around a mediocre player. Chips down, I would likely move on from both men immediately after the season. But a strong finish, winning out, would give the Bears an 8-9 campaign, and that is exactly what I expected from this season. So, if this group reaches my preseason expectations, what rationale do I have for advocating their removal?
But that’s all these stretch games are, a chance for Fields and Flus to make something of a closing summation. They’ve called their witnesses, presented their evidence, and done their cross examinations. The trial is effectively over. Home Cardinals, home Falcons, at Packers are an opportunity for the coach and quarterback to restate their case to the jury – Ryan Poles, Kevin Warren, George McCaskey – one final time. And that is operating under the assumption that this particular jury has not already reached their decision. (Which, let’s be honest, would be hard to believe.)
This is garbage time. Draw conclusions from the results at your own peril.
10. The Christmas Song, Nat King Cole’s iconic rendition
9. Back Door Santa, Clarence Carter
8. It Feels Like Christmas from Muppet Christmas Carol, Paul Williams
7. Donde Esta Santa Claus, Augie Rios
6. Peace on Earth/The Little Drummer Boy, David Bowie and Bing Crosby
5. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Mel Torme’s rendition on the Home Alone soundtrack
4. December the Twenty Fifth from Scrooge, Leslie Bricusse (Correct!)
3. Hard Candy Christmas, Dolly Parton
2. Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis, Tom Waits
1. Fairytale of New York, The Pogues (RIP Shane)
All lines are from DraftKings Sportsbook.
For me, Cardinals at Rams is a gambling stay away. I don’t particularly trust either team. But the guide needs to have some action.
The question I’ve been asked most since getting to Chicago: “Do you think Trubisky will be a positive when looking for a new coach?” My answer each time has been a definitive yes because I truly believe it will.
But I decided that, instead of leaning on my gut, to poll my two pals in the league on the question, factoring in all of the potentially-available gigs and their quarterback situation. I’ve grouped the teams into categories.
(I’ll be referring to my friends as AFC GUY & NFC GUY.)
They get their own category because think of the waters GM Chris Ballard has to navigate. When he’s looking to hire a coach in January he may not be able to tell the candidates whether Andrew Luck, their franchise quarterback, will require an additional surgery sidelining him six months or more. He won’t be able to tell the candidates if they have a franchise quarterback in 2018 or not.
NFC GUY: “Chris is going to have to sell that job. And every potential coach will want to know if they’re considering drafting a quarterback early.”
These are two jobs that, should they come open, will come open with a quarterback in-place. But…do you want them?
Nine games over for the season. Need a 2-1 finish this week to set up an all-or-nothing Super Bowl to reach my coveted a 10 games over for the year.
Patriots -3 over Broncos / Panthers -3 over Cardinals
Two best teams in the league meet in the Super Bowl.
Patriots & Broncos Under 45
I had the final score at 27-17 Patriots. That’s 44. Works for me.
I have no idea what’s going to happen this weekend. Not a single result would surprise me. So I’m going back to picking SOMETHING for these games. I finished the season six over .500. Still have a chance to get to ten over. But I need a strong performance. (For some reason I didn’t include spreads last week but I would have gone 2-2 any way you slice it.)
Here’s what Bill Belichick knows: his offensive line can’t protect Tom Brady from the Chiefs pass rush. And since no coach in history has been better at self-evaluation, he won’t ask them to try. Instead Brady will go to the quick-release pass attack with Edelman Edelman Edelman and neutralize Houston, Hali and company. I think it works. Not sure if Pats are healthy enough to win but they are healthy enough to score.
I am going to be rooting very hard in this game so I’m making an emotional hedge. Would love to lose this one.
Here are the Carolina scores over the last 8 games: 27, 44, 33, 41, 38, 38, 13, 38. I say they play with a chip on their shoulder as the media at-large keeps trying to convince fans the team is overrated. (2015 Panthers remind me an awful lot of the 2006 Bears. Nobody thought that team could make the Super Bowl until their plane landed in Miami.) Bold prediction: Panthers beat them up.
I will not be making a selection in the Broncos/Steelers game as there’s no point. Unless someone can prove to me Roethlisberger will be healthy it’s a sucker’s wager. But without Antonio Brown I’d need a big number to take Pittsburgh.