You can just go ahead and imagine me sulking the whole time I write this first part.
It’s amazing how quickly things can change. The Bears go from being one of the best, if not the best team in the NFL, to everyone in the world saying “See, I told you they sucked” or “they are so overrated.” And I got to tell you, I’m scared they might be right. But here are the things to look at:
The Bounce Back – The timing of this loss could not be more unfortunate. This was supposed to be a cake game, and now we go into a pretty tough 5 game stretch, and a REALLY tough 3 game stretch. If the Dolphins had played well and we barely lost, it would be different, but we just gave them the game and could never get anything going. To be honest, I wouldn’t be all that worried about bouncing back against the Giants if it wasn’t for my next point.
The Loss of Bernard Berrian – This is huge. The second he went down, the Dolphins just pinched, and we had no way to counteract that, and now the fact that we never made a move for another receiver in the offseason is biting us in the ass. The only real prayer we have of keeping the defense honest and allowing the running game to get going is Mark Bradley. He has the speed to fill Berrian’s shoes, and he has the sheer athleticism. But does he have the smarts and the hands to pull it off. I’m being completely serious when I say I feel the Bears offensive hopes until Berrian returns completely rest on Mark Bradley. However, there’s also a concern about the guy who throws it to him…
Rex Grossman – I keep hearing people say “we have to remember he’s still young and has not even played a full season. Remember Peyton Manning threw 28 interceptions in his first season…” I completely agree with that, however, Manning was not on a super bowl caliber team. Grossman is. Even though I like Grossman and think he potentially has a great career ahead of them, we can’t wait for him to develop this year. If he has one more game like he did against the Cardinals or the Dolphins, they’ll to to Griese, and they should. If they don’t, they are immensely stupid. Who’s immensely stupid you ask?
The Coaching Staff – When the gameplan works, it works brilliantly, and the coaches have looked terrific in those situations so far. However, the second the gameplan isn’t working, this coaching staff has yet to show the ability to make the right adjustments. We either panic when we get behind and start throwing like crazy, or we never ever abandon the gameplan, even if nothing’s working. This has been especially true on the defensive and offensive lines. It seems like we either have 8 sacks in a game, or none. And on the other side, Rex either has all day to throw, or no time at all. And the frustrating thing is that I haven’t seen any adjustments made. I think Ron Turner was the only person watching the Bears game that was surprised that the Dolphins were blitzing on every play. Every team in the league knows that if you rattle Rex, he’ll put the ball up for grabs, and now the Giants know, and they’re going to be blitzing all day long. If we don’t do something to combat that, we’re going down and fast.
Oh and the other things I hope I don’t have to list next week are:
The Mike Brown Effect (which relates to)
Stopping the Opposing Running Game
Well, this is it. This is the time for this team to rise up and make it happen. I’m nervous. Very nervous.
Oh, and I sucked it up in my picks again, and in fantasy again. I’m going down hard. I can only pray the Bears don’t do the same, or I’m going to be in total football mourning.
Last Week Record: 6-8
Season Record: 72-56
Buffalo @ Indianapolis
I’ve gone against Indy for two straight weeks, so how hilarious would it be for them to lose this one. Also, it was really weird picking up A-Train on the fantasy waiver wires this past week, and feeling like I got a great pickup.
San Francisco @ Detroit
Winning streak anyone?
San Diego @ Cincinnati
Cincy absolutely has to win this game, and San Diego’s defense has really been dropping without Merriman. Look for Cincy to open it up big time in this game, although with their immaturity as a team, I think they’re ultimately doomed this season, unfortunately.
Baltimore @ Tennessee
Who the hell picked Tennessee to win last week? That was a stupid pick. Hope they don’t make that mistake again. Oh, and I freakin hate Baltimore, but oh well.
Cleveland @ Atlanta
Upset special. Atlanta’s defense has been awful, and I really think Frye and Winslow should be able to rip through them all day.
Washington @ Philadelphia
That Cowboys/Redskins game was the craziest end to a game I’ve ever seen, or most of us have ever seen (right up there with the back to back Mike Brown picks for TDs in overtime in 01). However, Dallas should have had that game won in many ways well before then. Philly’s had a week off, and needs to make a big push in the second half. This is a good game for them to get that started.
*Sidenote, my entire fantasy season also rests on how well Philly does, so I confess I’m pulling for them a little bit because of that too.
Green Bay @ Minnesota
9-3 loss vs San Fran? Wow. I mean, I’ve been calling out their offense for being pathetic all season, but I had no idea just how pathetic. I really want nothing more than to pick Green Bay in this game, but in Minneapolis, I just can’t.
NY Jets @ New England
Poor Jets, having to face New England in Foxboro after that last game. We’ll see if they’re still exhausted when the Bears come to town.
Kansas City @ Miami
I was a little disturbed at the number of “Joey Harrington had a good game against the Bears” talk I heard last week. He threw for 137 yards, 3 TDs, and 2 picks!! That is not a good game. Had the Bears not given the Dolphins the ball in the red zone three times, he wouldn’t have had any of those TDs. Kansas City won’t do that, and they’ll kick the shit out of Miami.
Houston @ Jacksonville
Is it just me, or does Gerrard kind of feel like a mobile Kyle Orton?
Denver @ Oakland
I’m done with LaMont Jordan. I actually don’t blame him so much as I do the coaching staff. They gave him the ball 9 times. 9 times!!! Did Art Shell have a lobotomy just before the season or something? Is that why it kind of looks like he’s staring off drooling on the sidelines every game? What, did his Offensive Coordinator run a Bed and Breakfast over the summer? Oh wait.
St. Louis @ Seattle
I really don’t know how to call this game. I feel like Seattle is basically just waiting to die, but the game is at home. St. Louis is still hanging in there, but just barely. Who knows what’ll happen in this game.
Dallas @ Arizona
Dennis Green’s last week? What’s the over under on that?
New Orleans @ Pittsburgh
Alright, here’s my other upset special, although I guess it’s not that crazy of a pick. Pittsburgh has to win a game one of these days don’t they? Seriously, if Ben Rothlisberger took two or three sacks, they would have won the last two games. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a team so killed by turnovers. Oh wait, except…
Chicago @ NY Giants
Okay I will confess that this pick is a little bit on the “I hope to God this is what happens” side, but I really do think the Bears have a great chance to win this game. However, it’s all going to depend on if the Bears can pick up the blitz or not. If Rex is given any time at all, he could pick apart a weak Giants secondary. If Rex gets going, watch for Desmond Clark to have a huge game. On the other side, Manning has been hot and cold, and if the Bears D-Line plays like it’s capable, they could be forcing him to make the mistakes, rather than Rex. Tiki is going to run like crazy, and we just have to hope to contain him, not stop him.
Tampa Bay @ Carolina
Tampa just can’t catch a break this year.
Okay, hopefully I will be in a much better mood when I write this next week. I may not eat until Sunday.