The Voices of Reason & Treason

The next 24 hours will be crazy for yours truly so I hope the debate rages until early Friday morning - when I'll have the Friday picks and some additional material.

Reason says...

Your 2009 Chicago Bears
over
Detroit Lions

Why do I like the Chicago Bears this week?
  • I always like the Chicago Bears.
  • The Lions simply don't have an answer for the suddenly-potent Jay Cutler passing attack.  Opposing quarterbacks have a QB rating of 123.7, throwing 10 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions.  According to Larry Mayer at DaSite, the Bears and Cardinals are the only two teams featuring three receivers with at least 159 yards receiving.  (Yes I know it's an arbitrary number but you get the point.)  Add in Jersey Greg and Double Deuce and I'm projecting Cutler at 352 yards and 3 scores. 
  • As David Haugh intuitively reported, the Chicago Bears have become an accountable organization.  Both Lovie Smith and Ron Turner took the blame for bad play calls on Sunday - something I simply can't remember happening during this tenure.   This coaching staff knows how impossible the next two weeks will be for them in Chicago should they lose.  They'll put the hammer down early.
  • Matthew Stafford.  Division game.  On the road. 
  • The Bears will have two men on Calvin Johnson all afternoon and use whomever is playing linebacker to attack the quarterback.  Stafford doesn't throw on the move as well as any of the three quarterbacks the Bears have faced thus far, making improvisational magic on third-and-long a tall order.   This has been their biggest defensive flaw.
  • I expect the Lions to punt quite a bit.  And when you punt quite a bit to Devin Hester, Jeff Joniak gets to say the word "ridiculous".
  • The Bears are flat-out the better team.  At every single position on the field.  Every one.

Chicago Bears 33, Detroit Lions 16

Treason says...

The
Lions have no shot at beating the Bears this weekend
.  And for that
statement alone, that reason, the Lions have everything in their favor heading
into Sunday.  After all, if the Lions lose at Soldier Field, who gives a
shit, right?  But if they win, if...they...win, the world will simply
come undone.  Make no mistake, the Lions aren't very good, but ALL of the
pressure is on the Bears.

Historically,
the Bears are 89-65-5 (.582) against the Lions.  However, the average
margin of victory has only been two points (19-17).  I expect another
close game for the following reasons:

Neither
team can run the football well
.  So far, Matt Forte is averaging 2.5
yards per carry in his first 150 attempts.  He seems almost useless unless
he's catching passes out of the backfield (and he's hardly being
targeted).  Kevin Smith looks like he's out, which means Maurice Morris
will start.  With Forte playing the way he is, the Lions will focus on
stopping the pass.  This strategy is a luxury that wasn't afforded to them
in their two losses--they focused on stopping the Saints passing game and got
burned by the rush (Mike Bell: 28 carries, 143 yards); they focused on stopping
the Vikings rushing game (Adrian Peterson) and got burned by the pass (Favre:
23-27, 2 TD, 0 INT).  The Lions aren't good enough to stop a balanced
attack.  But if they focus on stopping the pass, and Forte fails to take
advantage on the ground, this might be a nail-biter.

Lions
feature big receivers/Calvin Johnson can't be stopped.
  This weak
Bears secondary has already been burned in three straight weeks: Greg Jennings
(6 catches, 106 yards), Santonio Holmes (5 catches, 83 yards--several drops,
including a sure TD), and Nate Burleson (9 catches, 109 yards).  Johnson,
who is 6-foot-5, is four inches taller than every Bears corner, safety and
linebacker (except for Hunter Hillenmeyer).  Across from him is 6-foot-3
Bryant Johnson.  Tight end Brandon Pettigrew is 6-foot-5.  This
height advantage will be something to watch.

Momentum. 
Yeah, I know it's only one win.  But it's one win after 19-straight
losses.  You don't think these guys are pumped up?

Final
Thoughts: 
The Bears take the Lions too lightly and make some costly
turnovers (one results in a defensive TD).  Calvin Johnson has a monster
day.  Forte shits the bed again.  Cutler feuds with Lovie
Smith.  Hanson kicks a game-winner.  Soldier Field mourns.

Detroit Lions 23, Chicago Bears 21

 

Comments

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  • Man, somebody needs to pop Megatron in the rib-cage first play out of the gate.
    I mean, dislocate a floating rib hard.

  • And, frankly, if the Lions sit back in a soft zone, Forte is going to shred that defense. No one this year has tried that for a reason.

  • The Lions will be pumped, but this is a must-win for the Bears. I predict Peanut will do very well, and will finally get the props he deserves from the press. I agree the Lions will be forced to punt, and either Devin or Johnny will bring it on home. I hope the score isn't close, but it may be. I would prefer a blowout.

    GO BEARS!! Slide into the bye in good standing.

  • Sadly I'll be in KC watching the Giants beat the hell out of the cheifs this weekend BUT I have a good feeling about this game. The Bear "should" win vs. the Lions. I'm not worried.

    BEAR DOWN!

    I do agree this IS a MUST WIN game. We have to keep the Ws going.

  • I think the Bears win this one...but until they prove otherwise, I don't expect them to blow out anyone at this point. My guess is a 24-17 win.

    Look for Cutler to wear pink shoes on Sunday...

  • I would caution against invoking the wrath of the football gods by rooting for opposing playerss to get popped as a solution to issues. OUR guys can get popped too as in

    "Man, somebody needs to pop Jay Cutler in the rib-cage first play out of the gate. I mean, dislocate a floating rib hard."

    Maurice Morris is capable of 100 yard in a game and he also has nose for the endzone. He is a quality back-up runner.

    Chasing Seneca Wallace around last week should be good preparation for the mobile Mr. Stafford.

    Not to beat a dead horse (Lion?), but Detroit Coach, Jim Schwartz, admitted that his team "celebrated like it was a playoff win" last week. I don't see how a young, 1-19 team does THAT, then goes on the road and avoids a letdown.

    Mojo Department:
    Calvin Johnson is the #2 receiver on my one and only fantasy team. I will definitely have him in the lineup this week in an attempt to put the ki-bosh on his performance Sunday.

  • Happy October, everybody!

  • I expect a big day from our 3 wideouts. They're doing all the right things at this point and Jay has his crew clicking on all cylinders. I still believe that lining up Hester and Knox wide with Bennett in the slot gives us the best chance to shred any secondary. I don't think there's a secondary in the league that can account for Hester and Knox's speed on the outside. That also opens up Olsen in the middle. I'm impressed with the YAC our guys are putting up, and expect Forte to get on track this week. I see our offense running away with this one: Bears 38 - Lions 10

  • So Treason thinks the Bears are going to get out rebounded in the paint... wait a minute.. this is football. It doesn't matter if you let receivers pile up yards in front of you all day if you keep them out of the end zone and force them to settle for FG attempts, we will win. Or did you actually watch the last two weeks? And the only catch Jennings had in that game was against a corner that won't be on the field Sunday.

    Devin finally gets ridiculous streak going, peanut takes one to the house, and the Bears build up enough of a lead by the 4th we get to see Caleb Hanie.

  • ahem, I don't think Forte has 150 rushing attempts after three games.

    Is Afalava Optimus Prime or Bumble Bee? Who has the big wrecking ball nuts on this D?

    Predictions:

    Cutler will have one dink and dunk drive, most likely during the Bears' first or second drive of the game.

    Forte will get around 75-90 yds on the ground. Peterson 20-30. Wolfe 10-20 plus 15 on a screen.

    Bennet gets his first TD of the season.

    Megatron gets over 100 yds. but no TDs.

    Stafford is sacked 3 times and throws 2 picks.

    Morris gets 90-110 yds.

    Bears win

  • In reply to jdawg:

    150 attempts at 2.5 a carry.. so Matty has 375 yards after 3 games... it is 59 attempts for 150 yards, I don't know where Jeff dug this guy up but I am thinking Pam Oliver knows more about football.

  • In reply to jdawg:

    forte only has 59 carries (still a lot to not be doing shit, but again it's not ENTIRELY his fault)

  • Albert - I'm pretty sure the football gods are already p-d at us.
    See exhibit A - our (thankfully deep) linebacking corps:
    Pisa, Urlacher, Hunter, Briggs...
    See exhibit B - our backup running back
    Exhibit C - Tommie Harris
    etc, etc
    Other teams are trying to take Cutler out on every offensive snap anyway so wishing a little discomfort on CJ should not unduly rile the pantheon.

  • Point taken.

  • Football gods also has opponents missing 4 FG's. Forte ran pretty well in the second half last week. Hopefully that's the start of his season. Bad teams find a way to lose. Lions will find a way. Unless Briggs' foot falls off, no way he misses this game. Roach is better than HH and Williams is no slouch at SLB. We win this one going away.

  • jdawg whats with all of the gobot references...who the fuck is megatron? Bears win this one easily. Our d-line looked great last week. If seneca walace wasn't so good at avoiding the rush we have 5 or so sacks, which i think we get this week. no way magic marinelli lets his ex team beat him at home. Old skool asswhooping at the soldier on Sunday! B E A R S !

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    lmao. that's calvin johnson's nickname coach (we know we know....it's a new day and age where instead of being called "demon," "hellion," and "deacon," players in the modern era are named after pop culture names). here's drinking to you so that you'll take a step past the '80s!!!!!!

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    yah DaCoach I had no idea either, Megatron is a transformer.. that changed into a gun and was not powder blue in color. So I am kind of lost on the connection as well. If a nickname has to be explained then it probably isn't a very good one.

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    #55 is wearing a boot. WTF...

  • Jeff - your 2 point average margin of victory is misleading. You are including the wins and the losses. Looking at the wins only, the average margin of victory is about 12 points. That is, when they win, they win by an average of 12 points. Of course when they lose, the margin of "victory" is negative - so adding all that together is not the number to look at.

    By the way, the median is 10. I won't delve into standard deviations, distributions etc.

    (Anyone interested in stats and football? Former Bear Vigil Carter wrote his Master's paper at Northwestern in the 60's quantifying the value of field position. Pretty interesitng if you're a math head.)

  • Had to change that lame avatar...

  • Hear Briggs is all set to go. Boot must not be big problem. Whew! Lions will hang around until midway through 3rd quarter. Punt goes to Hester, and he's soon in end zone dancing his jig. Pick offs/takeaways and ball control win this one for Bears. Lions won't be able to sustain energy garnered from Redskins win. Just happy we're not in their situation or the many other crappy teams in NFL. Talent will show Bears have what it takes to enter bye week 3-1. Bear down and hit somebody!

  • Funny, but not...

  • Johnson is Megatron.

    I either read or heard on the radio he flattened Haynesworth on a straight up block.

  • DocNitty34 - I hate to hijack this thread. I actually have few papers you might find interesting. Do have accest to JSTOR? The one I spoke of is on there. The link is
    http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0030-364X%28197103%2F04%2919%3A2%3C541%3AOROF%3E2.0.CO%3B2-E

  • Other topics I have papers on:
    Optimal strategies on 4th down - again by Virgil Carter
    http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0025-1909%28197812%2924%3A16%3C1758%3AOSOFD%3E2.0.CO%3B2-M
    American Football by Hal Stern of Iowa State
    A State Space Model for National Football League Scores - again by Hal Stern (who has done quite a few simple data analysis studies on football).

  • OK - one last stat; based on Hal Stern again, the probability of winning in the NFL is approximately normally distributed with a mean equal to the point spread and a standard deviation of 13.86; crunching this in Excel using the 10 point spread gives the Bears a 76.47% chance of winning. Or a 23.53% chance of losing.

  • Hey that's the best David Haugh article I have read in a long time, thanks for posting Jeff. By the end of this thing I think we will marvel at how much impact adding Marinelli to this staff had on the entire team - I think it's Marinelli that is spurring Lovie to take charge, just by being here and being himself. I also think that the reason Ron Turner and Lovie can all of a sudden start taking credit for bad plays is they have confidence. The coaching staff in the last two years did not have confidence, and hence were defensive all the time.

    I too think that it is Game 4, Sunday, where we will see the opposing defense making the adjustment to stop the pass from the get-go as opposed to stacking the box, and I predict it is Game 4 that Fort Matte gets off the schneid. And by the way, the way Cutler throws it and the way our new "all-hands" receivers catch it, I predict that the Lions defense is going to get very frustrated as we continue to complete passes despite their dogged attempts to deny us. Could be an extremely balanced attack that slays the Lion on Sunday, and let's throw in some defensive turnovers and special teams heroics, as we march into the off week on an extreme high.

    One last (negative) comment - I posted recently that the common links in our poor pass blocking over the last 3 years are Kreutz and Garza - as I listened to somebody on the radio talk about the fact that most great running attacks include a fantastic lead blocker at fullback - I remembered that there is a third common link over the last several years -

    Jason. McKie.

    Ugh.

    Oh well, we're still kicking their asses on Sunday!!!
    Bears 34 Lions 15

  • I of course meant RUN blocking. Weak links in RUN blocking.

  • Yeah McKee is no Matt Suey. He can't even carry Suey's superblowl sweated out jockstrap. I think a lot is to be said about cohesion as an offensive line though. I think they will get better as the season goes on running the ball, which is when we will need it when the weather turns for the worse. The more they play together, the better we will run. Forte does look more tentative than last year though.

  • so with all this mckie bashing, why did we ever cut jason davis?

  • To whomever said my two point margin of victory was misleading, i respond...it ain't mine, fellas. and i'm not editing treason's content. that's up to you guys to attack.

  • If this home game isn't a blowout, than this year the Bears "are NOT who we thought they were."

    Also, I hope Green Bay makes Favre wish he was still retired.

  • Am I the only one who doesn't care how many points we win by? I don't care if it's 3-0, it's more important to be 3-1.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Exactly. This isn't college football where style points count for (BS) BCS rankings.

    At the end of the NFL season, all that matters is how many wins ya got.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Um, yeah

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    and to be honest, i'd rather they show flaws now than surf into december/the post-season with the belief that they have a quarterback who can overcome blitzes and fumbling snaps/everything with the deep ball. damn 2006.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    i typed in dabearsblog.com wrong and ended up with choices from Bing. a link brought me to an old DaBearsblog discussion from the old site regarding drama surrounding a possible urlacher trade. that wasn't the part that made me laugh. it was this passionate quote from Max:

    and i quote:

    "RRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    it got cut off, here is the full quote:

    RRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    i fucking give up, it got cut off again. i'm going to bed.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    Max still loves Rashied.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    cut off again, i must go to bed

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    Hang on here and the what now ... RT is getting credit for saying he fucked up ? Everyone KNOWS he fucked up ! It got plenty of run across the internet too. It's not like he could hide that doozy. Thing is, Lovie is HC at the end of the day and should not have had mini-me running at a line full of grown men three times in a row.

    The only thing I'm looking for out of this game is for the Bears to :

    A) Pull out the kitties' whiskers.
    B) Open the throttle on the running game.

    If we can't rack up 150 yards on the ground on these jokers then somebody (not Forte) needs to be held accountable, be it Hiestand, Omiyale whoever .... Bear Down.

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