DBB is currently on a short 40th birthday vacation in Atlantic City, NJ. If news breaks on the GM/coach front, we will break that sabbatical and have commentary right here.
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.
Four games. I’ll give you a bet for each. (All odds courtesy of DraftKing Sportsbook.)
Saturday 3:35 PM Central
Bills at Texans (-2.5)
My heart is all-in for the boys from 716 but Josh Allen, facing a good pass rush, on the road, terrifies me. Look for Allen to use his legs a bunch in this one but I still don’t see Buffalo producing enough offense. If this line were a point higher, I’d go the other way. Begrudging Bet: Houston -2.5.
Saturday 7:15 PM Central
Titans at Patriots (-5)
Bill Belichick will go into this game with a one-track mind. If the Patriots stop Derrick Henry, they win. But Henry has quietly become the best back in football and New England struggles upfront against these bruising-type runners. I don’t know if Tennessee wins this game but I like them to keep it close. Bet: Tennessee +5.
Sunday 12:05 PM Central
Vikings at Saints (-8)
I thought the Saints were in the best team in football in 2017. They lost in the playoffs on a ridiculous play.
I thought the Saints were the best team in football in 2018. They lost in the playoffs on a ridiculous call.
I think the Saints are the best team in football in 2019. They’re not losing to Kirk Cousins. Bet: New Orleans -8.
An original poem by J. Hughes
Your worst player.
You won’t be defined,
By a single, failing individual,
But instead by the collective vitality
Of all proudly wearing orange and blue.
These are the moments where great ones ascend.
The ballyhooed defense does not break, does not bend.
And a season of prodigious promise does not prematurely end.
Everybody ranks their favorite Halloween candies. But I wanted to write about a few candies – and styles of candy – that always made Halloween feel special. And I’ve attached a correlating/current Chicago Bears thing to keep this column from being exclusively about candy. (But really, it’s about candy.)
Why can’t we buy candy bars this size at the deli counter or in a vending machine? Not only can we not buy individual candy bars this size but the secondary option to “normal” size is an extra large version. The bite size 3 Musketeers bar is about 63 calories. That’s not healthy but at least it’s a low-impact way to meet a craving and not destroy a diet.
And of course the correlation is bite-size Tarik Cohen. Where the hell has he gone in this offense? Why is Matt Nagy not scheming Cohen into more explosive situations, instead of turning him into an unproductive dump-off machine for Mitch Trubisky? (The answer is probably Trubisky.) This Sunday, Jim Schwartz is going to bring the house at Trubisky. The screen game could prove pivotal to combating the pressure. That means Cohen.
Ever think about Krackel? I do sometimes. Late at night. When I’m alone. It’s a delicious candy bar but it only seems to exist in that mixed bag of tiny Hershey candy bars that included Mr. Goodbar. When I was a kid my family went to Hershey, PA and I bought a Krackel bar the size of adolescent gibbon. This is special. And all-too elusive.
Where’s the pressure, Chuck Pagano? This summer it looked like you were going to release Roquan Smith at quarterbacks. Buster Skrine was signed and he is one of the best pressure corners in the league. With the Bears offense struggling to this degree it’s time to start manufacturing pressure and trying to create mistakes. The Bears can’t afford to be content with forcing punts anymore. It’s time to release the Krackel.
The basic. Sugar. Formed into a wafer. Wrapped in plastic or something. These things would break open in your candy bag and you didn’t care. You’d scoop them off the bottom and slam them down. I have never eaten a Smartie between November 2nd and October 30th. Never once. I’m not even sure I’ve seen a Smartie during that time period.
The Bears built a bread and butter power run game. Maulers on the interior of their OL. A back difficult to bring down. The first time they decided to use it was Sunday, against the Chargers, and it was their most productive offensive element of the season. Stick with it. Develop it. Perfect it. And make the quarterback’s failings an afterthought for the final nine games of the season.
Sunday’s loss to the Eagles is going to be discussed for a long time and Cody Parkey will remain the centerpiece of that conversation. But here are five (I think) unique observations from inside the building.
I love the Drake Hotel. It’s old. It’s beautiful. The Coq D’or is my favorite hotel bar in the world. (Go there just to have the Bookbinder soup.) When I come through those doors on Walton Street, I feel like I’m stepping into the history of Chicago. It doesn’t have the amenities of a newer hotel. But it has character. A ton of it.
This morning I decided to order breakfast to the room. Two eggs, over easy. Home fries well done. Bacon. English muffin. Orange juice. Pot of coffee. Room service at a good hotel is one of life’s delights, especially for someone who has spent years crafting an existence centered around the avoidance of pants.
I rented a movie. I hadn’t seen Can You Ever Forgive Me. $20 too steep? Probably, for a movie that I’ll be able to rent for $6 in a week or two. But I’ve been dying to see it. (You too should see it. It’s brilliant. And Melissa McCarthy gives the performance of the year.)
I did all this because Noah isn’t getting to town until the afternoon and I can’t be trusted to wander the streets and not end up in a saloon. With the great football coming later, I didn’t want to be asleep at 6:30 pm. (It would not be the first time.)
Why am I telling you all this?
Because I decided Monday’s column (what you’re currently reading) won’t be the standard bullet-point recap of Sunday’s game with the Eagles. I’ll be in the building and I find it hard to get the full context of a game in that environment. Plus, I’ll inevitably miss stuff waiting to take a piss. And with a playoff game, there will be so much coverage for you to wade through. Why not create something different?
Instead I’m going to write a little now. Write a little more tomorrow morning. Then write something Sunday night/Monday morning. Walk you, the reader, through this experience. Emotionally, mostly. And right now my emotions are steady. I’m confident. Here’s why:
Let’s see how I feel in the morning. But right now, I expect great things from the Bears.