Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears this Week?
New Thinking on Quarterbacks/Defense
How many great quarterbacks are there currently in the NFL? How do we even define a great quarterback anymore? What if we reframed the question as…how many teams are currently not looking to upgrade the quarterback position? I’ll be conservative: Mahomes, Herbert, Russ (he does look pretty good) Lamar, Burrow, Deshaun (they have no choice), Tua, Rodgers (he’s old but he counts), Allen, Lawrence (I think), Stroud, Hurts, Dak (right?), Goff, Cousins (leave him there), Purdy (I know, I know), Kyler (maybe?). Some of those guys are elderly. Some of those guys are on the bubble. But even at my most conservative, only half the league has the QB position close to sorted.
How many great defenses are there currently in the NFL? Only nine units currently allow less than 20 points per game. But after watching the Browns and Ravens play a shootout and seeing the Saints get torched by Josh Dobbs, I would question whether there is a defensive group in the league capable of manhandling a decent opponent. The great defenses (a) bully bad offenses and (b) keep you in games with the good ones.
Is there a conclusion to be reached?
For me, the NFL has come down to a six-point lead with 1:41 on the clock. And two questions beg to be asked.
Do you have a quarterback that can put the ball in the end zone?
Do you have a defense that can keep the opponent out of the end zone?
If you can answer YES to those questions, you have a team that is likely to win double-digit games and make the tournament. Trying to find the next Peyton Manning/Tom Brady, or build the next ’85 Bears, seems a fool’s errand. Constructing a roster with the league’s financial impositions is too difficult. Find the right answers to those questions and become competitive on a weekly basis.