Bears at Browns Game Preview: Style Points Be Damned, Home Alone 2 Be Analyzed

| December 15th, 2023

Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears this Week? 







No Style Points Needed

For some time, the evaluative process, especially at coach and quarterback, has been more important than the final score. Not Sunday.

How Sunday looks doesn’t matter. Cleveland likes to play ugly football. Chicago likes to play ugly football. This is going to be an ugly football game. But if the Bears exit Cleveland Browns Stadium having scored more points than the building’s namesake, the entire tone of this season changes. If the Bears can get to 6-8 Sunday, they will achieve three things: (a) their first three-game win streak in years, (b) entrenchment in the wildcard discussion, and (c) one of the most impressive in-season turnarounds from any head coach in recent memory.

One could argue the Bears don’t belong in that playoff discussion but that is obviously false at this stage. The Bears don’t belong in the conversation with San Francisco or Dallas, and even this damaged Philly has earned respect. But after those three, there is a mess of mediocrity in the conference and the Bears are part of that mediocrity. They’ve dominated the Lions for 7.5 of 8 quarters. They’ve beaten Minnesota. They had 11 chances to beat the Saints with their backup quarterback. Green Bay lost to Tommy DeVito on Monday night. There is no gap between these teams. If the Bears didn’t blow those two absurd leads, they’d be betting favorites to make the tournament.

This has been a wild season, but the Browns are the last team on the 2023 schedule with a winning record. If the Bears want to make their fans believe a serious season is still possible, a win on Sunday is all it will take. No style points needed.

Six Thoughts on Home Alone 2

It is quite possibly the strangest film ever made. Here are some reasons why.

  • I’ll start with the pigeon woman, played valiantly by the great Brenda Fricker. This is a woman who tells Kevin she was dumped by a guy and her response to that was…to go be a homeless pigeon lady in Central Park? This guy says, “Sorry, honey, I don’t love you” and her response is, “Ah, shit, I guess it’s pigeons for me, then?”
  • More pigeon. How does she have access to the prop room at Carnegie Hall? How does she get up there? Is there a separate entrance? Does she always have access to that space? And if so, why doesn’t she just live there and not in the park with pigeons?
  • What is Tim Curry’s end game with Kevin? Does he think Kevin will go to jail? He’s a child. Why wouldn’t he just alert a police officer and say, “Hey, I think this kid is in some kind of a trouble. Can you check it out?” It’s not a La Quinta at the side of a highway. It’s The Plaza.
  • Kevin knows exactly what time The Sticky Bandits are going to rob Duncan’s. Why does he break the window and then lead them into another torture maze? Just go tell any cop on the street, “Hey, these guys are robbing that store. And they broke out of jail.” As twisted as Kevin reveals himself to be in the first film, he is clearly showing the signs of a future serial killer in the second film.
  • So, Kevin wrongly boards a plane from Chicago to New York and doesn’t notice in three hours that none of his 47 family members are on the plane. Then he disembarks at an airport that has a clear view of the skyline; an airport that does not exist in New York. And then his instincts are, “I’m going to hang in NYC for a bit” instead of just telling an airline official, “Hey, I got on the wrong plane. We were supposed to go to Florida. Should I just sit here while this gets sorted?”
  • Have you ever walked into a single room and confused the conversation on a television set with the conversation of actual human beings in that room?

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Bears at Broncos Game Preview Volume II: The Football Stuff

| September 13th, 2019

One of the best dogs in the country. Biker Jim’s. Denver.

Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

And I have never had this strong a belief in the Chicago Bears defense.

Trite, Boring Thoughts on the Broncos

  • Attacking the Broncos defense is ALL about neutralizing their edge rushers – Von Miller and Bradley Chubb – because the rest of Vic Fangio’s group is mediocre. How did the Raiders do this? First, they gave Derek Carr a ton of quick, easy throws. (Commentator Steve Levy even compared Carr’s MNF performance to Phil Simms’ historic Super Bowl in terms of completion percentage.) Second, they committed to the run game even though it wasn’t particularly successful. This kept play-action believable and kept Miller and Chubb a half-step slower.
  • Joe Flacco didn’t play poorly in the opener but he’s in this tiny collection of aging, modern quarterbacks who need everything working around them to be successful. Players like he and Eli Manning don’t have the legs to extend plays so they need a rush game and they need brilliant protection. If Bears keep Freeman and Lindsay quiet in the run game, it’s hard to see the pass rush not harassing Flacco endlessly. If that happens, the mistakes will flow.
  • Courtland Sutton is going to be a star in this league and the Bears better be aware of his location at all times Sunday. He bought a timeshare in the middle of the field against the Raiders. It’ll be interesting to see if he plays with that level of boldness against a far more intimidating, physical defense.

Tweet of the Week

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Week Six: Bears at Ravens Game Preview

| October 12th, 2017

The Bears entrusted their franchise to this man.

Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears. And Monday night reinvigorated me.

What’s Next For Mitch Trubisky?

What impressed me about Trubisky in his Monday night debut was the moment never got too big for him. He was poised. He was under control. Did he make a few mistakes? Of course. The kid was making his first professional start! But he recognized the errors and owned up to them post-game.

The talent premiered. Now it’s about improvement. What should we be watching?

  • The Roll Right, Cross-Body Throw. This was the most prominent “mistake” he made in his debut and he made it differently each time, culminating with the game-ending interception. (All three, interestingly, were throws to Zach Miller on plays that has essentially broken down.) Biscuit has to understand how much steam those throws lose and how quickly NFL defensive backs close on the football. Often the smart play is just tuck it and get a few yards with your legs or throw the ball into the sixteenth row.
  • The Left Side of the Field. Trubisky did most of his work to the right half of the field which, if you read this blog, was fully expected. But Baltimore defensive coordinator Dean Pees has been DC for Nick Saban (Michigan State, mid-90s) and Bill Belichick (New England, mid-2000s). Those men approach defensive football the same way. They want to take away the thing their opponent does best. Trubisky should have to open up the field Sunday.
  • Cadence. The offensive line never looked comfortable Monday night partly due to their being off the snap. They also had a few pre-snap penalties, with Charles Leno clearly not knowing the count on several plays, including the strip sack of Trubisky. Are those on the quarterback? Possibly. Only the players actually know. But it’s now on Trubisky to get this group comfortable and that only happens with time and experience.

Tweet of the Week

Three Reasons the Bears Will Win

  • Now that Mike Glennon is on the bench, Joe Flacco is arguably the worst starting quarterback in the NFL. Rating barely above 70, a touchdown-interception ratio of 4-6 and averaging 165 passing yards a game is something you might accept from a rookie but not from a player occupying about $50M of dead cap space in 2017. This is not a game the Bears will have to chase with their passing game. Flacco will keep it close.

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