It is now the mid-point of the NFL season and here are a couple of thoughts.Bears
- injuries, poor play, and poor coaching have all resulted in their 3-5 record. The most alarming thing is how far the D has fallen off. I don't believe the Bears will make the playoffs, but still hope they can get things turned around. The way they are playing it doesn't look good. I think the team needs to really commit to the run and let Benson get 25+ carries. Griese is not a QB who should be throwing more than 18-22 times a game. he doesn't have the arm or the decision-making to justify that. (If they are going to throw that much, then play Rex.) Re-establishing themselves as a running team will help the D and give them some of their mojo back. The D should be healthier coming out of the bye, and the coaches should stop trying to fake blitz and have guys moving all over the place - just play straight up, sound football. My view is that Babich has too many guys running all over the place faking like they are blitzing and then running back into coverage. It isn't working.
Bottom line, if the Bears don't win their next three in a row (at Oakland, at Seattle, and then against Denver) and get themselves to 6-5 they are out. I'm not saying they should win those games, or that they will win those games, I am simply stating that one loss in their next three ends their playoff hopes for this year. The Bears may already have too many divisional and NFC losses to get in because of tie breakers. However, if they win the next three, the last five against the Giants, Green Bay, and New Orleans, as well as on the road against Washington and Minnesota give them a chance to get some tie breakers against teams that will be in the mix. Realistically, going 5-3 to finish 8-8 would be a good finish for this team.Redskins
- This team is not going anywhere. My view is that it should give JC some chances down the field to make his mistakes and learn this year. The second half of the season includes games against Dallas twice, at the Giants and Tampa. Those will be tough, as will their games against Buffalo and at Minnesota. The other two games are against Philly this week and against Chicago. These last two are probably the most winnable games, but both Philly and Chicago will pose challenges for the Skins. I predicted they would finish the year 7-9. Given that they are 5-3, they should beat that, but I don't see anything better than 9-7 for them. I don't believe they will go 4-4 to get there, I think they will end up 8-8.
It looks like that Bears-Redskins game could be a big one if things work out.
At least the UVA Cavaliers
are 8-2. This week they play at Miami in a largely meaningless game. Whether they win or lose they are at least assured of playing for an ACC title game berth when they meet Virginia Tech in Charlottesville on Thanksgiving weekend. If they beat Miami and VT loses this week to Florida State and next week to Miami then Virginia would clinch anyway. But, it looks like it will all come down to Virginia-VT on November 24. Exciting times for UVA football.