The Bears have had the ball with a chance to win three times in the last five weeks and have fallen short every time. But anybody suggesting that means the young quarterback is incapable of leading the team to wins in those situations is misguided. There is no question that at some point the Bears and Justin Fields have to come through with game-winning scores. There is also no question that can develop with experience.
Turn back the clock a handful of years and you’ll see that in Aaron Rodgers’ first season as the starting quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, the team went 1-7 in one-score games. Worse yet, they had chances to win most of those games only to fall short.
On Oct. 5, 2008, the Packers had the ball trailing 20-17 against Atlanta with about seven minutes left only for Rodgers to throw an interception. Atlanta went on to score a touchdown and won 27-14. Less than a month later, the Packers had the ball with a chance to break a 16-16 tie but punted. Tennessee missed the game-winning field goal in regulation, only to make it in overtime.
On Nov. 30, the Packers had the ball, trailing Carolina by four before a Rodgers interception. They were tied with Houston the next week but had to punt and the Texans won the game on the next possession. It became three straight weeks in which Rodgers failed to deliver as they had the ball trailing 20-16 before a Jacksonville Jaguars interception essentially ended the game.
8:00 PM ET
Thoughts on a day of watching football and researching Hitchcock’s silent stage adaptations.
8:16 PM ET
“I’ve been waiting all day for Sunday night” is one of the most ridiculous football concepts around. Other than the fans of the two teams, nobody waits all day for Sunday Night Football. If anything, most NFL fans are exhausted by kickoff. (People forget this slot used to be occupied by a throwaway game for years.)
8:18 PM ET
“The most played rivalry in the history of the National Football League.”
Is that a compliment?
8:24 PM ET
8:26 PM ET
I would like to preemptively apologize for tonight’s minute-by-minute. I am pretty damn tired and I’m old now and these games feel super late to me. I shall do my best and try to land a few barbs.
8:27 PM ET
Aaron Rodgers looks like Aaron Rodgers.
8:32 PM ET
Angelo Blackson makes a great play in the backfield and then stands over the back. He luckily avoided an unsportsmanlike penalty for taunting. That is being called all over the league. Needs to be coached into these guys pronto.
8:36 PM ET
Kyler Gordon makes a brilliant play on the football, and Trevis Gipson follows that with a sack. That is the kind of sequence fans need to see this year. Young players developing is the primary story of this campaign. Some very good signs through one game and one drive.
I’m posting these to DBB because over the course of the season, I find myself constantly searching out data like this. Figure it’s easier to store right here on the site.
Thought: Green Bay actually feels a bit undervalued at that number. Barring a Rodgers injury, they are winning the division.
Thought: The Giants have near identical odds to win their division as the Raiders do to win theirs. Just shows you how awful this division looks to be on paper. If the Cowboys weren’t such a national entity, they’d have plus odds.
Thought: What is there to say? On paper, this is the greatest divisional mismatch in the sport. It is Tom Brady vs. three teams that struck out on Deshaun Watson.
Thought: San Francisco is the team I’m most wary of at this stage because Trey Lance absolutely disappeared in 2021. (They had packages for him early in the year.) Is he going to be ready to be the starting quarterback in 2022? Has the bridge been burned with Jimmy G? Too many questions for odds like that.
Thought: Deshaun. Watson.
Atlantic City at 40 (Original Photo)
Last week, the guide was actually about gambling (i.e., trying to make money) and my slips in Atlantic City proved that advice to be solid. This week, I’m going to try and nail all eight general bets. That’s every spread and every over/under. Will I achieve that? Of course not. But it’s a worthy endeavor.
As always, all lines from DraftKings Sportsbook.
4:30 PM ET
Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans (-3.5) – Over/Under 47
8:15 PM ET
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers (-6) – Over/Under 47
3:00 PM ET
Los Angeles Rams @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) – Over/Under 48.5
6:30 PM ET
Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs (-1.5) – Over/Under 54
The NFL has turned everything into a television program. And who can blame them? The NFL Draft now does better ratings than almost every other sporting contest AND the damn Academy Awards. (How in the hell did that happen?)
The schedule release does not have the same ratings appeal for two reasons: (1) every local beat leaks the schedule as the day goes on and (2) we consume the schedule in one shot, in about 30 seconds, and then sort of move on.
Three things I’ll be watching with the release tonight at 8 PM ET.
With a seventeen-game schedule, most teams will be hoping their bye lands as close to the middle of the season as possible. A Week 4 or Week 5 bye leaves a long stretch of uninterrupted football (barring wildcard weekend off) in order to get to the Super Bowl.
But for the Chicago Bears the bye is entirely about one thing: Justin Fields. If the Bears stick with their current plan, and give Andy Dalton the opener, the bye will be every fan’s target to get Fields on the field. A few questions should be asked.