Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bears Collapse

First, let me say that the season is on the line in Green Bay on Sunday night. The season is not over, but if they lose that game they will be 4 games back in the division and 1-4, so the playoffs are likely out of reach - too many teams would be too far ahead of them to realistically believe they have a shot.

The Lions went to town on the Bear in the 4th quarter with 34 points. New QB, same results. The Bears have played poorly, particularly on D in all four games so far. They had a 10 point lead going into the fourth quarter and could not keep it together. Too many mistakes, poor play calling, and too many injuries all contributed to the debacle.

I could go into a lot of detail, but will focus on the play calling. The problem I have with the Bears is that they go from Grossman to Griese, presumably to get away from gunslinging and taking chances to game management. Then what do they do? They throw the ball 52 times! On 1st and goal from the Lions 6, with 30 seconds left and a couple of timeouts, the Bears called a pass play and Griese threw an interception. So the Bears went into halftime ahead 7-3, instead of up 10-3 or 14-3.

The Bears D forced a turnover on the Lions first drive of the second half and gave the Bears a 1st and 10 on the Lions 12 yard line. After a run and an incomplete pass, on 3rd and 8 from the 10, Griese threw another interception. Those 6 points, plus a blocked field goal cost the Bears 9 points.

To make matters worse, on 3rd and 3 from the Lions 44 with the Bears up 13-10 in the fourth quarter, the Bears called a pass play. Griese threw an interception that went back 64 yards for a Lions TD. That's 7 more the offense gave away.

If you are going to play Griese, you have got to make the gameplan and play calls more conservative. Run the ball, win the field position game, and don't put him in a position to make so many mistakes by throwing the ball 52 times! Just feed Benson the ball, especially with the lead, and let the offense try to build an identity around the run. He rushed 5 times for 3 yards in the first half. Then, in the third quarter, he had 9 rushes for 45 yards and really looked to be getting it going. But, in the fourth quarter he had 1 carry. That is just bad play calling.

I have faith that Lovie and the team will get things straightened out. If they win the next two divisional games they will be back in the thick of it.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

UVA Rolls Over Pitt

Another very solid win for UVA, 44-14. It was good to see Groh stick with Sewell the full game. He was extremely efficient in leading the Cavs to a 30-0 start (30-7 at the half).

They are now 4-1 and head on the road to play Middle Tennessee State next week. Middle Tennessee is 1-4, but they did roll today 47-6 over Florida International. Should be a win and then they have a big game against high scoring 5-0 UConn in Charlottesville.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Football Picks (No Redskins this Week)

2-4 on the year.

Bears head into what looks to be a tough game on the road at Detroit. Normally, I wouldn't worry much about it, but with all the injuries and the change at QB there is a lot of uncertainty. In the end, I think the defensive ends and Urlacher put pressure on Kitna and the Bears offense doesn't turn the ball over. The defense will do just enough and the Bears offense focuses more on the running game. Bears in a close one 20-17.

UVA host Pitt tomorrow evening. They should end up 4-1 after the win.

How I Feel About Rex

You know the Brittany Spears fan who had the weird meltdown after her horrible VMA performance? Here is a Bears/Rex fan doing the same thing. Funny.

Actually, I think the demotion is good for Rex. It gives him a chance to have a week without getting bashed. Who knows, he may be called on again. I wouldn't be surprised. That said, Brian Griese is the Bears starter, and as a die-hard Bears fan, he has my full support.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Cubs Lose Again, But Magic Number is Now 2

The Cubs are stumbling to the finish line, but so are the Brewers. The magic number is now 2. They hold a 2 game lead on the Brewers with 3 to play.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cubs Magic Number Down to 3

Cubs lose, but so do the Brewers. Cubs remain 2 games up with 4 to play. Bottom line result - their magic number fell to 3.

Why 'Skins Couldn't Get 1 Yard

If you want to really know why, just watch where Pete Kendall ends up on both the third down and the fourth down plays.

NFL Power Rankings after 3 Weeks

ESPN has the Bears at #13 and the Redskins at #14.

Yahoo! rankings:

Jason Cole has the Bears #11, Redskins are #23.

Charles Robinson has the Bears at #6 (crazy if you ask me), Redskins are at #14.

CBS Sportsline and Pete Prisco have the Bears #13 and the Redskins #16.

Dr. Z has the Bears at #14 and the Redskins at #16.

Bears Injuries Mounting

The Bears lost Mike Brown and Dusty Dvoracek for the season in week 1. Tommie Harris is out from 1-5 weeks. Briggs has a groin problem and may sit. Arch broke his hand, but will play. And, now it looks like both starting corners, Vasher and Tillman, are out. Tough injuries, especially given that they are playing the Lions, Packers, and Vikings over the next couple of weeks. We'll see how good their depth is on D. I do like a lot of their young guys, but they will make mistakes. The one good thing is that the Bears defensive ends have been able to put good pressure on the QB, and we still have Urlacher.

With Brian Griese we'll likely see a QB who is more of a game manager. The idea will be to win games 20-14, 17-13, etc. I'd be surprised if all of a sudden the team was putting up 25+ points a game. Rex showed that kind of promise last year, and that is what I expected on a consistent basis this year. Clearly that did not happen the first three weeks. The Bears may very well need big points to win, and I am not convinced Griese can do that. On the other hand, with the injuries, the Bears D is not likely to be able to contain the damage done by turnovers. If Griese does not turn the ball over like Rex did the first couple of games, it should take some pressure off of the depleted Bears D.

It will be an interesting couple of weeks.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Rex Out, Griese In

The Trib, Sun-Times, and NFL Network are all reporting that Griese will start this week. Official word will come tomorrow from Lovie. If that is the decision, I support Lovie and believe he has the pulse of the team. It is probably good for Rex to not be a punching bag and the excuse for all things wrong with the Bears.

NFC North vs. NFC East

The record now stands at 2-2.

The Cowboys and Eagles beat up on the Bears and Lions.

Weekly NFL Stats Through Week 3

Bears sucked all around and Rex may be out as the starting QB. Redskins played a solid first half, but seemed to fall apart in the second half in most aspects of the game. Tough week for fans of both teams this week. Here are the stats:

Deepie is now leading by mere percentage points at 30-17
JKD is second at 30-18
I made up ground, but am still pulling in at third at 27-21

Deepie and JKD are at 4-2
I am at 2-4

Bears - #15 scoring defense (19.3 pts/game, down 11 slots), #16 defense in terms of yardage/game (325 yds/game, down 11 slots). Ranked #12 in rushing defense (93 yards/game, down 8 slots).

Redskins - #7 scoring defense (16.3 pts/game, down 1 slot), #10 defense in terms of yardage/game (309 yds/game, up 6 slots). Ranked #11 in rushing defense (92 yds/game, down 3 slots).

Bears - #28 scoring 0ffense (11 pts/game, up 1 slot), #30 offense in terms of yardage/game (227 yds/game, no change). Ranked #26 in rushing offense (87 yards/game, down 4 slots).

Redskins -#21 scoring offense (18 pts/game, down 1 slot), #17 offense in terms of yardage/game (332 yds/game, down 7 slots). Ranked #7 in rushing offense (134 yds/game, down 3 slots).

Monday, September 24, 2007

Couple of Thoughts on JC

I was reading La Canfora's blog a few minutes ago and you can see that there are already some fans who are down on JC. That is what fans do. If the Redskins lose their next two and JC has similar stats as his first three games, my guess is that he will start to face the unyielding and often ridiculous levels of criticism that now befall young QBs.

Look up the career stats of any of the best QBs in the history of the NFL and you will find a fair number had mighty struggles early in their career. Through 26 games in his first two seasons, Troy Aikman had a QB rating of about 60. He had 20 TDs and 38 INTs.

Through 26 games in two seasons, John Elway's rating was around 65. He had 25 TDs and 29 INTs.

People want to suspend the normal maturation process for Rex and have virtually destroyed him with their constant bashing. I want to be clear - Rex needs to pick it up - but all of the B.S. about "Bad Rex, Good Rex" is just nonsense and has hurt the confidence of a guy who really was emerging as a solid QB last year.

JKD and Deepie, I have said all of this in the past, but you have claimed that he just is not a leader and that the Bears had a good defense and needed a QB to just manage games. The Bears D was not very good in the second half of last year, and certainly was not a championship D in the Super Bowl. Last I checked, the defense behind Rex gave up 431 yards to the Cowboys including 6.8 yards per rush to Marion Barber. This year, it looks like the Redskins D is much improved. I expect that you will be just as hard on JC as you have been on Rex. This is his third season in the NFL. He had a good number of starts last year and had the full off-season to prepare himself to be the starter. As for me, I expect JC to struggle because that is what young QBs do. But, I can see the fans turning on his very promising talent if he does not win now.

Romo vs. Rex Thoughts

Tony Romo and Rex Grossman are similar in many ways. Both are 27 and in contract years. Rex is 6-1, 220. Romo is 6-2, 225. They both started a significant number of games for the first time in their career last year. Romo took over last year and started the last 10 games of the season for the Cowboys. Here are his stats in those games:

204-310 (66%), 2641 yards, 16 TDs, 10 Ints, 19 sacks, 9 fumbles, 3 lost.

During that stretch, Rex had the following:

155-291 (53%), 1806 yards, 13 TDs, 13 Ints, 15 sacks, 5 fumbles, 3 lost.

In the Wild Card loss to Seattle, Romo went 17-29 for 189 yards, and 1 TD. He also had 2 fumbles (neither was lost), and botched the field goal snap which ultimately cost them the game.

Rex was 21-38 for 282 yards, a TD, Int, and a fumble against Seattle. He put them in position to kick the game winner in OT. Against New Orleans he played mistake free football and threw the big TD pass to Berrian in the 4th quarter with the game close (Bears led 18-14). He certainly was a big reason the Bears made the Super Bowl. People just dismiss his play in those two playoff games, but just imagine what Rex would have faced if he had botched the snap that Romo botched.

All through the last 10 games of last year, in the playoffs, and all off-season, all we heard about was how bad Rex was and how Romo was so unbelievable. The numbers favor Romo - but not nearly enough to warrant the different treatment. Seeing how Rex has started this year, and in particular, watching last night, it seems clear to me that his confidence is shattered. The weight of all of that criticism seems to have taken its toll on a player that seemed to be emerging as the franchise QB for the Bears. Now, things are up in the air. I still have faith in Rex, but I am not sure if he has faith in himself, and I am not sure if the Bears players have faith in him. They read the paper and hear all of the talking heads also. With the team 1-2, it is easy to jump on the Bash-Rex Express. Lovie has his work cut out for him.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Bears Got Thumped

The Cowboys whipped up on the Bears in every aspect of the game. They had their way with the Bears and are the best team in the NFC in my opinion.

Right now, the Bears are not a good football team. They deserve to be 1-2. Clearly they have their problems offensively. Rex is off and is making too many mistakes, but the problems go far beyond Rex. Their blocking is terrible, their rushing game is weak, and they have too many receivers running poor routes and dropping the ball. Even the offensive play calling is poor. The one time they ran a pump and go, Berrian was wide open and dropped a TD pass. Why they did not call it again is beyond me. The Bears just do not take shots down the field and the Cowboy corners simply jumped every route. In my opinion, changing QBs won't do much to solve their issues.

Defensively, they were downright bad against the Cowboys. In the first half they played fairly well, but it was the Cowboy penalties that really prevented them from really getting it going. In the second half the Cowboys stopped shooting themselves in the foot and they recognized the soft middle the Bears were exposing. They exploited it with crossing patterns and easy pitch and catch shots between the hash marks. I am sure the D was tired by the end, but they were playing too soft in their zones, missing too many tackles, and allowing far too many completions well before the D should have been worn down.

Even Hester played a weak game with his fumbles.

Here is the bottom line, the Bears need to get back to fundamentally sound football - blocking, tackling, rushing the ball, completing passes, coaching, and not turning it over. How they get to that will be the job for Lovie this week. If that means changing QBs - fine. They may need to do that just to pump some life into the team. The Bears certainly did not lose tonight because of Rex, and for anyone who watched the game it is clear the problems go well beyond Rex. That said, Rex has thrown 1 TD and 6 Ints this season. That is just not good enough. He may need to sit just to get his head straight and to have a break from the unyielding criticism.

Lovie is going to have to earn the money he is now making starting this week. He has some decisions to make and coaching to do.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

UVA Baby!

Huge 28-23 win at home against Georgia Tech -. The Cavs are now 3-1, but more importantly they are 3-0 in the ACC and in first in the ACC Coastal Division.

They have three non-ACC games coming up against Pitt, Middle Tennessee, and Connecticut. Those are all winnable games before they close out with their final 5 games against ACC opponents.

Things are looking good. Heh, heh, heh.

Magic Number Down to 6

Cubs win again, Brewers lose. Cubs now lead the Brewers by 2.5 games with 6 to go.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Cubs Win! Cubs Win!

The Cubbies won this afternoon and are now 2 games up on the Brew Crew. The good thing is that they are 3 games up in the win column and 1 up in the loss column with just 9 games to go. They reduced their Magic Number down to 8.

Looking ahead, the Cubs have to play Pittsburgh (2 games), Florida (3 games), and Cincy (3 games). The Brewers have to play Atlanta (3 games), St. Louis (3 games), and San Diego (4 games). Right now, you'd have to say the Cubs are in good shape.

Some Thoughts on Rex

Good piece by Mike Mulligan in the Sun-Times today. It makes the point that if Rex is booed off the field and is replaced, he should basically be run out of Chicago. It will be an indicator that he is not the QB of the future and that Orton should essentially get a shot. Fans should realize the consequences and I think people make the mistake of just thinking that Rex could go to the bench and then come back in a week or two without any trouble. That kind of uncertainty can easily destry a locker room and a team.

Let me just say that I firmly believe in Rex and am confident that this week he gets it going. Let the man play and show what he can do. He performed will in a lot of big games for the Bears last year. Frankly, too many people forget how many times it was his play that carried the Bears when the D was not playing particularly well.

That doesn't mean he doesn't need to perform, but the level of criticism is simply ridiculous. I know this is pollyannish, but instead of booing every single mistake, I'd love to see the fans support the guy and encourage him. But, I recognize this is the NFL and for guys who don't win, that stands for "Not For Long."

Football Picks

1-3 on the year.

Bears - Rex gets it going, the D knocks the smirk off of Romo's face, and Benson rushes for 110 yards and 2 TDs. It will be a convincing win on Sunday night for the Bears. Rex will throw 2 TDs and he won't turn the ball over, and then on Monday you'll see Mariotti say "Rex was lucky." Bears 31 - Cowboys 17.

Redskins - after a great division win on the road in Philly, the Redskins blow it against the hapless N.Y. Giants D. The O-line makes a couple of errors, Campbell turns it over three times, and the Giants D shows some pride. Giants 20 - Redskins 17.

UVA rolls against a strong Georgia Tech squad in Charlottesville 27-13. Their D is solid, their kicking game is good, and their QBs are both starting to play better. With a win, they will start 3-0 in the ACC and things will be looking good with the way the schedule is laid out.

Olbermann's Special Comment

Loved his piece last night on Bushie's hypocrisy.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Day 2200!

Today marks 2200 days since the September 11 attacks. I'm glad we have Osama bin Laden right where we want him (yeah, right!). Great job by Bushie bringing him to justice. Bin Laden is now calling for Pakistanis to revolt.

Bushie has also done a masterful job of destroying Iraq, creating a civil war, killing tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians and nearly 3800 American soldiers, and burning through a half trillion dollars doing it. Nice work Bushie!

If all goes well in Iraq (which is a contradiction in and of itself), by next summer we will be back at about 130,000 American soldiers in Iraq (same as pre-SURGE level), and we will "only" be spending $2.5 billion per week.

Rex and the Bears Offense this Week

I think the Bears are going to open it up a bit more. Good piece in the Sun-Times today to that effec.

They have been far too conservative in their first two games. They seem to be tentative with their play calling and they have not taken their normal shots down the field. That should change this week.

I am confident that Rex will have a great, break out game. I have him starting for my fantasy team for the first time this season. Sunday night is another opportunity for him to silence his critics. Let's see what happens.

McNabb's Comments This Week

People are making a big deal about Donovan McNabb's comments about how black QBs face different treatment than white QBs. I don't believe that to be the case in today's NFL and I think he really made a mistake by complaining about an issue that many folks do not see as a problem.

Today's NFL is all about winning. Coaches and GMs don't care about the race of their QB as long as they put up good numbers and win. I do believe that McNabb has not received the respect he deserves in Philly. They booed him when he was drafted and throughout his career he has not received the love that he probably deserved. But Rex has received a lot of undue criticism in Chicago. Eli and Pennington in New York get hammered on a regular basis. I think in many cities the starting QB takes a lot of hits. That is the nature of being a QB.

There were plenty of non-believers in Peyton before he won the Super Bowl. People still say Marino never won the big one. When you win all is well, when you don't you are open to criticism.

It seems to me the guy is playing a race card that he shouldn't be playing.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Jay Mariotti is Truly an Idiot

It is unbelievable how much the guy hates Rex. He has declared Rex a flop after 2 games and his solution - Donovan McNabb.

Jeez, anyone who watched McNabb play in the first 2 weeks can see that he has lost it. He may get it back, but why in the world would anyone go for the oft-injured McNabb and his huge contract and likely huge ego. I think the guy gets unfairly criticized in Philly, but I don't see too many of his players defending him. That tells me something about his leadership.

If Rex has a great game this week and the Bears carve up the Cowgirls, Mariotti will just say Rex was lucky. As a final note, his pet name for Lovie Smith, "Lovey Dovey," is just another example of how disrespectful and idiotic his columns have become.

NFL Rankings After 2 Weeks

ESPN has the Bears at #6 (they play the #3 ranked Cowgirls this week) and the Redskins at #14.

Yahoo! rankings:

Jason Cole has the Bears #6, Redskins are #13

Charles Robinson has the Bears at #4 (odd given that the Chargers are ranked #5), Redskins are at #10 (Robinson must be on dope).

CBS Sportsline and Pete Prisco have the Bears #7 and the Redskins #11.

Dr. Z has just totally flipped out. He has the Bears at #10 and the Redskins at #7!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Weekly NFL Stats and Picks

Bears survived and need to get it going offensively. They still turned the ball over way too much. Redskins played a solid overall game. Got a good divisional win on the road which is like winning 1.5 games. More offensive line damage done which may hurt in the long run.

Here are the stats after 2 weeks:

JKD is leading at 22-10.
Deepie is second at 18-13.
I pulled myself up to .500 and am in third at 16-16.

JKD is perfect at 4-0
Deepie is 3-1
I am at 1-3


Bears - #4 scoring defense (12 pts/game, up 8 slots from last week), #5 defense in terms of yardage/game (272 yds/game, up 6 slots from last week). Ranked #4 in rushing defense (74 yards/game, up 5 slots).

Redskins - #6 scoring defense (12.5 pts/game, up 2 slots), 16th-ranked defense in terms of yardage/game (307 yds/game, down 2 slots from last week). Ranked #9 in rushing defense (90 yds/game, down 4 slots).


Bears - #29-ranked scoring 0ffense (11.5 pts/game, up 2 slots), 30th-ranked offense in terms of yardage/game (221 yds/game, no change). Ranked #22 in rushing offense (94 yards/game, up one slot).

Redskins - #20 scoring offense (18 pts/game, down 4 slots), 10th-ranked offense in terms of yardage/game (369 yds/game, down 4 slots). Ranked #4 in rushing offense (161 yds/game, down 1 slot).

Sunday, September 16, 2007

NFC North vs. NFC East

With Green Bay winning again, the NFC North leads the series 2-0.

We'll see which division is tougher.

Bears Win

Not pretty, but they got it done. Their D was awesome, their special teams were great. The offense was better, but Rex has got to protect the ball still. Benson got his 100 yard game - good effort overall.

I have no problem with Rex as long as he cuts down the errors. Next week Dallas comes to town and it is a huge NFC game - perhaps the biggest of the young season. Rex will have another opportunity to prove himself.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

UVA is 2-1

Good 22-20 win on the road against North Carolina. The offense played much better than their first two games and seemed to move the ball at will. But UVA kept getting bogged down in the Red Zone and had to settle for 5 field goals.

Next week they play a very tough Georgia Tech team in Charlottesville. Field goals won't cut it against the Yellow Jackets - they need to punch it in. The D looked pretty good, but a couple of big plays by North Carolina kept them in the game.

Cavs are 2-1 and 2-0 in the ACC. If they can pull something off next week, they will be set to really challenge for the ACC title.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Weekend Football Predictions

0-2 on my Bears/Redskins picks - gotta make that back up.

Bears - No problem with KC this weekend. Rex will play a solid game, Benson will play a solid game, the Bears D will control LJ and the Bears O will take some shots down the field (the play calling was too conservative against San Diego last week). Bears 27 - KC - 6.

Redskins - Game will get out of hand early. It will be a Monday Night debacle for the 'Skins. A desperate and angry Donovan McNabb and Eagle squad will shake off the rust from last week and win the battle up front on both sides of the ball. People will start to wonder why Heyer isn't starting in place of Wade (even though I don't think Heyer is much of an improvement). CP and Betts will end up with a combined 100 yards and at least 1 fumble (probably Betts). JC will struggle because he will be harassed all night. He'll have a fumble and 2 more interceptions. Iggles 31 - Redskins 9.

One final note. The Al Groh express will beat Butch Davis' North Carolina squad to put UVA at 2-0 in ACC play (2-1 overall). I'm sure JKD will throw in something about how JMU will be beating up on South Nobody State in Division 1-AA "action." (Note: Any college picks don't count toward our pick records, unless we agree. Any such picks should only be counted for HUGE national games).

Enjoy the games.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bushie's B.S.

Nothing really new in his speech to the nation. More of the same B.S. Frankly, he was better off not talking. Republican members of Congress who were wavering were probably convinced enough by the testimony of General Petraeus to stick with the President. But after listening to the ridiculous comments of the President, are probably wavering again. Here is just one completely perplexing quote from THE DECIDER:

"We thank the 36 nations who have troops on the ground in Iraq and the many others who are helping that young democracy." Who the F is he talking about?

He spoke about all the "progress" that is being made in Iraq. Sound familiar?

Just a couple of weeks ago, seven soldiers currently serving in Iraq gave their views that progress was NOT BEING MADE.

One comment about Petraeus. Admiral Fallon, who is the head of U.S. Central Command AND is the boss of General Petraeus. He apparently does not hold the good general in high regard. He called him a sycophant during their first meeting in Baghdad last March, and told Petraeus that he considered him to be "an ass-kissing little chickenshit." Nice.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

NFL Rankings

ESPN has the Bears at #4 (although they take shots at Rex and Cedric) and the Redskins at #19.

Yahoo! writers, Jason Cole and Charles Robinson, have the Bears #7 and #6 and the Redskins #21 and #18.

Pete Prisco at CBS Sportsline has the Bears at #7 and the Redskins at #17.

Dr. Z at SI has the Bears at #10 and the Redskins at #14. AMAZING! The guy must really be losing it in his old age.

"Progress" in Iraq

General Petraeus is done giving his Bushie-approved propaganda and pep talk to Congress, but let's put the supposed "progress" into some real perspective.

This year has seen the worst casualties of the 4 1/2 year war. At 32 American soldiers killed so far this month, September is shaping up to be the worst September in terms of American casualties in the war. Just look at the last couple of months:

August 2007 - second worst August of the war.
July was the worst.
June worst.
May was the worst.
April second worst.
March worst.
February worst.
January second worst.

So far, we have spent about a half trillion dollars on this ridiculous war. Congress has already appropriated $600 billion. Bushie is basically requesting another $200 billion. It is quite likely that in the end we will spend in excess of $1 trillion. And, for all of that money that we will have borrowed (because we don't have the money ourselves), we will end up with a disaster in Iraq where the people don't have water, sanitation, electricity, etc.

Republican Senator's Prostitute Problem

Looks like there is another prostitute who is claiming that the "honorable" Senator David Vitter was a regular client of hers. If true, then it would make Vitter a liar as well as a cheat. In his July statement, following the revelation that he had called the infamous Washington Madam, he claimed that he never visited any Louisiana prostitutes.

Great News about Kevin Everett

Apparently he was able to move his arms and legs on command. The injured Buffalo Bill tight end still has a long way to go, but that is great news. At this point, at least it looks like he won't be fully paralyzed.

Ade Jimoh is a Bear

With the injury to Mike Brown, the Bears picked up Jimoh. Hopefully he won't get on the field as a safety - that would mean at least two guys get injured. But, I do like the pickup from a special teams standpoint. Jimoh was a pretty good special teamer.

Doom-and-Gloom David Haugh . . .

at it again. After 1 game as the starter, he is advocating benching Benson for at least one game and putting Adrian Peterson in.

It is way too premature for something like that. Just wait a couple of games before we decide. Benson is a back who needs to get into the flow and build up some carries to wear a team down. In my opinion, the reason Lovie has been so successful in the NFL is because he is patient. It seems to me that he has his core beliefs and sticks with his plan. When teams are constantly changing and tinkering with their QBs, RBs, and other lineup changes it is impossible to build up any consistency and momentum.

Let the man play a couple of games. As Haugh points out, he did outgain LT. There are going to be tough games where yards are hard to come by.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

NFC North vs. NFC East

The two divisions play each other this year. It should be interesting to see what happens, but it will tell us which division is stronger from top to bottom.

The only game so far was the Green Bay - Philly game. Iggles weren't up for the task.

NFC North 1-0
NFC East 0-1

Weekly NFL Stats

Bears played great on D but couldn't get anything going offensively. They also turned the ball over way too much. Redskins played a solid overall game, and got great production out of their running game. I am including the rushing offense and rushing defense statistics this year so we can make some assessment of the quality of the line play. It certainly will tell us about the war in the trenches.

Let's see what happens in coming weeks, but it is great to have the NFL back. Here are the stats:


JKD is leading at 11-5.
Deepie is second at 8-7 (missed getting in the prediction for the Thursday night game so he is one off).
I am pulling in at third at 7-9.


Deepie and JKD are at 2-0
I am at 0-2


Bears - #12 scoring defense (14 pts/game), #11 defense in terms of yardage/game (263 yds/game). Ranked #9 in rushing defense (77 yards/game).

Redskins - 8th ranked scoring defense (13 pts/game), 14th-ranked defense in terms of yardage/game (273 yds/game). Ranked #5 in rushing defense (66 yds/game).


Bears - #31-ranked scoring 0ffense (3 pts/game), 30th-ranked offense in terms of yardage/game (202 yds/game). Ranked #23 in rushing offense (80 yards/game).

Redskins - 16th-ranked scoring offense (16 pts/game), 6th-ranked offense in terms of yardage/game (400 yds/game). Ranked #3 in rushing offense (191 yds/game).

September 11th

Another year and Bushie still has not delivered bin Laden. Whatever happened to "dead or alive?" Instead we find ourselves bleeding out the lives of three American soldiers a day and burning $3 billion in borrowed money a week in Iraq.

Of course Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Instead of actually committing the resources to finding and killing bin Laden, the U.S. military is now engaged as a national police force and as the world's largest nation building contractor in Iraq. What an incredible waste.

Indiana Jones IV has a Name . . .

"Indiana Jones and the Search for Viagra!"

How about, "Indiana Jones and the Search for Clean Dentures"

Actually, the real name is "Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."

Monday, September 10, 2007

Brown and Dvoracek Out for Season

Tough loss of two very good football players for the season. Both were out last year for most of the year - hard to believe that Brown is going to ever get back on the field. Dvoracek was the starter and outplayed Walker in the preseason to earn his spot. Tough break, but injuries are part of the game and the Bears will have to move on.

I am actually glad Arch is on the Bears. I thought he played very well.

Idiotic Rex Bashing

Rick Telander's column in today's Sun-Times is just plain stupid. He speaks in glowing terms about the Bears D and spends a lot of time lamenting the loss of Mike Brown. But throughout the piece he criticizes Rex for the game he played against the Chargers.

In his last shot at Grossman, he writes, "Grossman cannot quarterback this team to a Super Bowl. That is now a given."

Not only is his Doom-and-Gloom premature after just one game - on the road for the home opener for San Diego (a 14-2 team last year that got there with the NFL's best player, with the #1 ranked offense, and a top 10 D). But the sheer foolishness of Telander's statement above becomes clear when one recognizes that Grossman quarterbacked the Bears to a Super Bowl just last year.

The Bears have to resolve some issues, but to pin yesterday's game on Rex is just plain stupid.

Note about Weekly Stats

On Tuesdays, I will post up the weekly summary of the statistical rankings. I will also post up the season records on game predictions for JKD, Deepie, and me - just in case folks were wondering. That way I can be sure I have all of the weekend's games and stats included.

Bears Running Game

Let me start by saying that the Bears and Cedric Benson are going to have to prove that they can be a potent running team. Trading Thomas Jones may or may not have been a good idea - we'll see over the course of the season. However, there is a lot of unnecessary griping today about how weak the Bears rushing attack is (see Charles Robinson's story, Clark Judge, or my old favorite, "Doom-and-Gloom" David Haugh. They have only played one game! People need to relax.

LT rushed 17 times for 25 yards. Stephen Jackson rushed 18 times for 58 yards. Reggie Bush had 12 for 38 and Deuce had 10 for 38. Thomas Jones didn't exactly tear it up with 14 rushes for 42 yards. It was just one of those games where they were up against a great D and it was tough rushing the ball. As a team, the Bears outrushed the Chargers, Chiefs, and Rams - all teams with the NFL's three elite running backs. It happens. It is far too early to worry. I just say let's wait for three more weeks and then make a decision on what may or may not be wrong with the Bears.

I think it would have been rather remarkable if the Bears had gone to San Diego and beaten the Chargers in their home opener - so people need to put the loss into some perspective. They had a chance and certainly their D was up to the task. They ended up just losing a close, hard-fought game. It is not like the Bears were going to go undefeated this year. The more pressing issues that need to get addressed for the Bears are the fumbles, and the injuries to D starters Mike Brown and Dusty Dvorcek.

One final note, Chris Brown led the NFL with 19 carries for 175 yards. I am going to go out on a limb and say he won't lead the NFL in rushing this season.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Bears and Redskins Thoughts

Overall, I thought the Bears played fine. I could very easily see these two teams meet in the Super Bowl (that is my prediction for the year). The Bears D was awesome. San Diego had the top offense in the NFL last year and the Bears D largely controlled the tempo. The also held LT to 25 rushing yards on 17 carries (he added another 51 receiving yards), and game was close throughout, but the difference was the fumbles. The Bears offense could not seem to get it going today - just as the San Diego offense couldn't seem to. Ultimately, the game turned on the costly Bears turnovers. I expect the Bears to be fine as they return home to play Kansas City next week. The injury to Mike Brown could end up hurting, but the Bears do have depth at safety.

The Redskins - Miami game seemed to me to be a game of two mediocre teams. I watched the first half and did not sense that I was watching really high quality football (unlike the feeling I had as I was watching the Bears - San Diego game). Looking at the stats, it is clear that Washington had a great rushing attack. If they can keep that up and continue to play good D they may be able to make some noise. A win is a win and I'd rather have a win than take a loss like the Bears did today. The injury to Jansen is going to hurt. Heyer apparently played well, but he was undrafted for a reason and I expect that to show up in coming weeks. If they beat Philly next week, then I will sit up and take notice.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Virginia's Special Teams

I am watching the UVA-Duke football game and cannot remember a game where a team made so many critical special team errors. Virginia did have a great punt return that set up their first TD, but with Virginia up 14-0 in the first quarter their special teams began to let them down. Here are the errors:

1. UVA gave up a safety on a punt snap that went over the punter's head.
2. UVA had a field goal blocked that got returned deep into UVA territory (Duke missed a field goal on their subsequent drive).
3. Another high snap went over the punter's head and gave Duke the ball inside the UVA 20. TD Duke.
4. UVA fumbled the ensuing kickoff and gave away a short field goal (good job by UVA D to contain the damage).

Good defensive effort overall, but it has been a weak game by UVA QB Jemeel Sewell, and add another UVA fumble inside UVA territory and it all adds up to a sloppy game.

Senator Hagel Retiring

Republican Senator Chuck Hagel is not going to seek re-election. Former Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey may attempt a comeback. The retirements of Hagel, Allard (Colorado), and Warner (Virginia), as well as the legal troubles of Stevens (Alaska), the resignation of Craig (sick bastard from Idaho), and the moral issues of Vitter (Louisiana) make it very tough for Republicans.

There were already 10 projected competitive races for current Republican senators, with only one Dem senator that seems vulnerable (Landrieu - Louisiana).

It is early, but it seems to me that the Republican Party would do well not to lose more than about 5 Senate seats in 2008.

Bushie to Address Nation on Iraq "Vision"

He is going to speak this week on his Iraqi misadventure. Another boring speech where he pulls out all of the standard talking points. Here is what he is going to say:

"We are MAKING PROGRESS. We need to GIVE MORE TIME to General Petraeus. Blah Blah Blah . . . SEPTEMBER THE 11TH (he always says it with "THE'). Blah Blah Blah . . . PROGRESS and SEPTEMBER THE 11TH. Blah Blah Blah . . . SEPTEMBER THE 11TH. AL QAEDA AND BIN LADEN . . . SEPTEMER THE 11TH. God bless America.

It won't be anything new and so you won't learn anything, but if you want to use the time for a good drinking game - take a shot every time he says the words "progress," "September the 11th," and "al Qaeda." You will be good and drunk.

U.S. Economy is Teetering

Thanks in large part to Bushie's economic plan - which has relied on the U.S. borrowing heavily from foreign governments to pay for his rididulous Iraq war misadventure and the incredible expansion of government spending, as well as the continued borrowing of individual American consumers to fuel the economy, we are now reaping the "benefits."

The U.S. National Debt now stands at over $9 TRILLION, and more than $2.2 TRILLION is owed to foreigners. We have to pay that back with interest!

The National Debt is a long-term problem, but in the near term the economy is now shedding jobs and with the housing crunch eating into American wealth, consumers are being squeezed and are increasingly losing their homes with foreclosures at a record pace. There is nothing to make me think that we are at bottom, it seems to me that we are looking at a prolonged economic downturn over the next 1-2 years. It is going to get a whole Hell of a lot worse before it gets better. Hold on!

Iraq, the President, and Congress

This week the Iraq war funding comes up again. It is clear that Bushie is trying to shape the debate by putting out false numbers to try to cover up the fact that no political progress has been made in Iraq. Without political progress and national reconciliation between the Shia and Sunni blocs there is no possible end to the civil war.

In any event, the debate over the next couple of weeks will be whether the U.S. should keep our soldiers in the middle of the civil war and whether another $50B should be authorized to continue the "SURGE" now, as well as another $150B should be authorized for the next year. The U.S. doesn't actually have the money, so we borrow it from foreign governments and then flush it down the toilet in Iraq. Then, the absolutely ridiculous part is that we have to pay it back to countries like China, Japan, and OPEC nations (including Venezuela, Iran, and Saudi Arabia).

Congress has both the right and the responsiblity to put an end to this nonsense. The American people wanted change and have not got it. It is largely due to the failure of the Democratic leadership and the fear on the part of many rank-and-file Dems of being labeled soft on terror, or against the military. The fear is irrational given the ongoing disaster in Iraq and where the President's approval numbers are. The idea that Bushie actually knows what he is doing is ludicrous - he has been wrong on virtually everything (WMDs, greeted as liberators, the efficacy of disbanding the Iraqi military, putting Chalabi in charge, putting Bremer in charge, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, Allawi being a great prime minister, Maliki being a great prime minister, the execution of Saddam ending violence, the two national elections leading to a reduction in violence, the SURGE leading to national reconciliation, I could go on, but why bother?).

The failure to end the Iraq debacle and to choose to follow the President is a big reason why Congress has even lower ratings than the President. Both the Dems and the Republicans have to stand up to the Idiot-in-Chief. The Dems are not leading, but the Republicans in Congress are also proving to be hypocritcal obstructionists. They are on pace to set a record in the 110th Congress for filibusters in the Senate. These are the same Senators who begrudged the Dem Senators for blocking "up-or-down votes" in the 109th Congress. Here is a table which shows that in just the first 8 months of this Congress, there have been 49 filibusters - it is a record pace.

The Iraq war may grind on, more soldiers and financial resources may be wasted, we'll see. If Republicans and Dems don't come together and end the war there will be major upheaval in Congress. It is likely that the Dems will pick up more seats in the Senate because Republicans have to defend 22 of the 33 Senate seats up for grabs in 2008. Who knows what will happen in the House, but it seems more likely that there will be a lot of incumbents that lose in the primaries. That is fine with me, as long as the disasterous U.S. foreign policy is ended.

In the end What I also

Friday, September 07, 2007

Bears and Redskins Picks

Bears have a tough opening matchup - on the road at San Diego. No doubt San Diego wants to get back at it after being knocked off last year. I think the Bears D will rise to the occasion and hold LT under 100 yards. There will be pressure on Rivers who will make a couple of mistakes. On offense, Rex will have a great game. Benson will be adequate with about 90 yards, but it will be on the strength of the Bears D and the arm of Rex that the Bears roll. 24-10 Bears.

Redskins. The offensive and defensive line problems will emerge quickly. Jason Taylor will be all over JC and the Redskins will turn the ball over regularly. Miami's offense will sputter but do just enough. Miami 13-7. The Redskins fans will realize that it is going to be a long year.

Enjoy the weekend games.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Colts Ripped the Saints

After a 10-10 first half, the Colts just ripped into the Saints. I was surprised by two things - the Saints inability to move the ball and the Colts D. They were obviously linked, but it was still surprising how good the Colts D really looked.

As a QB, you are going to have games like Brees had during the course of a season (2 ints, one returned for a TD, and a fumble). I'm just glad it wasn't Rex. Otherwise there would have been folks calling for him to be benched. I'm sure Brees will bounce back.

Foreclosures at a Record High

The economic downturn is looking worse and worse. Perhaps most alarming is that more than 5 percent of borrowers on current home loans are behind in their payments. That may shoot the foreclosure rate even higher.

The country is awash in debt and we are just reaping what we sowed. I give a lot of "credit" to Bushie for his record debt-accumulation and his economic "leadership."

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

NFL Predictions

We've already done the predictions for the Bears and Redskins season records. Let's predict the Championship Games and the Super Bowl.

I say it comes down to Chicago and Seattle in the NFC Championship game, with Chicago winning at home to return to the Super Bowl.

In the AFC, it will be San Diego and New England with San Diego pulling it out in a cold and blustery New England.

In a rematch from Week 1, Chicago beats San Diego in a rousing game.

Olbermann's Latest Special Comment

Good one last night on Countdown. Read it or have a look.

That Sick Bugger Craig May Not Resign

Looks like closet gay Senator Larry Craig, is rethinking his resignation. This is the hypocritical gay dude who loves to find anonymous sex partners in public bathrooms.

What a freaking idiot. I'd love to see him stay - it just prolongs the agony for Republicans.

Al Groh's Hot Seat

After the debacle against Wyoming last weekend, many Virginia fans are all over Groh and want him out. This is the carryover effect of having a losing season last year. Virginia students painted Beta Bridge with the words - "Groh must Go". There were also references to his multi-million annual salary.

I think Groh is a solid coach and I believe the Cavs will have a great regular season. That is what I expect. If they don't win at least 7 games, Groh should be fired at the end of the year. With so many starters returning from last year, I believe they should win 9 games. We'll see what happens, but it all starts this weekend against Duke.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Research Confirms - Men Want "Hot" Women

Not surprising. I fail to understand the importance of this particular research, but whatever.

Slow Day for Bears and Redskins

Couple of days before the opening game and it is a pretty slow day. Cuts have been made, practice squad guys have been signed, nothing really big will be happening.

For the Bears, it looks like Greg Olsen's knee is fine and at least at this point it sounds like he will play on Sunday.

Redskins first team offense is together for the first time this week. A couple of practices will help and then assuming Samuels knee is OK and Kendall doesn't completely suck, my guess is that at least the blocking schemes and execution will be OK this week.

I think the only interesting bit of news at this point for the Redskins will be if Brunell or Collins is the backup. Personally, I think it should be Collins based on performance, but if Gibbsy picks Brunell it may say send a bad message to the team. Hopefully JC won't get injured and it doesn't matter. We'll see.

What it is like to be cut from an NFL team

There is a really good read in Peter King's column today. The first part of the column provides a first-hand account by Ross Tucker of what it is like being cut. He was cut by the Redskins last week. It really puts a human face on the cold reality of the NFL and what happens to all of those guys who are not quite good enough for the NFL.

For those of you 'Skins fans, it is not a hit job on the Redskins. They treated him fairly and probably better than many teams treat the players they cut. It is just an interesting piece to read.

Good Piece by Haugh this Morning

Very interesting piece in the Trib by David Haugh this morning. He talks about the many football links between San Diego and Chicago and the trash talking that Philip Rivers did when shooting the Nike commercial with LT shredding the Bears D en route to a TD.

Ron Rivera is not the linebackers coach in San Diego. Pep Hamilton was hired by the Bears after Ron Turner spoke with his brother Norv about QB coaches (obviously, Norv is now the coach of San Diego). The link between LT and Tommie Harris is interesting. Basically, reading some of the subplots to the huge opening day game between two teams that are considered Super Bowl favorites adds to the excitement.