Just Get Into the Tournament

The Jets have reached the NFL's final four.  The Jets.  A team that needed two late-December mail-in jobs to stay above the .500 mark will make the trip to Indianapolis this week with a Super Bowl berth on the window ledge.  The run it well, led by a guts-in-the-huddle back we once traded for a good French onion soup recipe.  They play great defense, led by the best defensive player in the league.  The ball also seems to bounce the right way for them, often in a somewhat-miraculous fashion.  Facts are facts, results are results, and the Jets are one two wins away from being the champions.

I say it whenever someone tells me the Bears are not a championship contender: every team that makes the postseason is a championship contenderJust get into the tournament. 

Think about it.  The two hottest teams in the league heading into January, Dallas and San Diego, out.  The two teams routinely criticized for avoiding an undefeated season like the plague, hosting conference championship games.  The other two?  One lost to the Chicago Bears on December 28th and the other is the New York Jetropolitans. 

None of it makes any sense.  There's no rhyme or reason to the NFL anymore.  No formula for success.  Flozell Adams gets hurt and the Cowboys can't complete a pass.  Season over.  Nate Kaeding, unquestionably one of the best kickers in the sport, shanks chip-shot field goals and the Chargers look demoralized.  Season over.  This game is about the moment-to-moment confluence of violently unpredictable events with the occasional bit of execution thrown into the mix.  When the stakes are down to one game, one quarter, one play, anything can happen.  Anyone can win. 

So for those of you who believe the Chicago Bears are light years from competing at the NFL's highest levels, you're wrong.  7-9 can become 9-7 in the blink of an eye and for the second straight year a 9-7 team is in a conference championship game.  The 9-7 Cardinals were moments away from becoming champions a year ago.  The 9-7 Jets are headed to Indy.  Do we have the right personnel people and coaches in place?  Probably not.  Are other teams in the division better poised for the future?  Certainly so.  But it simply doesn't matter.  Not in this current NFL.  All that matters is getting enough wins over four months to make the tournament.  Make the tournament and you can win a championship.  Anyone can.     

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  • 1!

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Everything the Bears are not:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/19/sports/football/19jets.html

  • I never believed in the Cowboys or the Chargers. The Chargers should stop blaming Marty Schott for the post season, Norv can't get it done either. They should win on paper, they just never do, and they always find a way to roll over at HOME, which makes no sense.

    The Colts are the real deal. They manhandled the Ravens, and that was the most physical team they will play. I like the Cinderella Jets, but no way does David slay Goliath next weekend.

    The Saints/Vikes? Toss up, but since the Saints are home, that home crowd there is going to have that place pumping.

    To think during Katrina, starving people were living in the Superdome, crapping in the aisles, the stench too great to stay inside. Now, they are playing for the Super Bowl down there. Crazy and fragile we are as a people. The Vikes are facing destiny perhaps, so I think we will see a Colts-Saints Super Bowl. Home field doesn't mean that much in the last 8 years - but it means something here.

    And I am so happy to think that the Bears win over the Vikes cost them that home field, which will probably be the difference between Mister Noodle going to Miami vs. going home.

  • You're correct Jeff, the NFL is a tough one to figure out especially the last few years.

    I'd put money on the Superbowl hosting Indy and NO, but my heart hopes the Jets get there. Either way, I don't want the Vikes to go, I'm sick of Favre-worship. I hope the Saints send him home.

  • In reply to Reichwolff:

    Jeff, I like your thread. Cautiously optimistic but grounded in reality. Not a pipe dream at all. One thing I would like to add though is the will to win. The players willed themselves to beat the queens at the end of the season, proving they can do it when they are focused. Granted Lovie has to give them the best chance by making sure the right players are on the field as well as being in the right spots on the roster. I like what I heard about Rex Ryan proclaiming a superbowl victory when the playoffs started because that proves to me that he has moxy. In my opinion that's what the Bears are lacking, Moxy. Lets hope that sometime between now and next season the Bears find it.

  • In reply to Reichwolff:

    Totally agree about just getting into the dance. The Jets remind me of the SB losing Bears. Good run game, limited QB, opportunistic D that will smack you in the mouth. It's not just luck when good teams lose ugly to them. There is some luck involved but they make teams blink and after that anything can happen.

    I don't care who wins as long as it isn't the BiQueens.

    Go Bears!

  • In reply to Reichwolff:

    Roy Williams may have mouthed his way out of Dallas:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/dallas/news/story?id=4835467

    That would fill that Bears need for a big target nicely.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    gd...i'll say to that how Roy so eloquently stated to ESPNDallas: "NO!!!! HELL NO!!!!!"

  • In reply to gpldan:

    You want to why the Jets are in the tournament?? Its because of a few reasons: 1) They play with HEART 2) They have a head coach that convinces them they are champions 3) They have an offensive coordinator that actually knows how to call the right plays for the right people 4) They run the ball and utilize the clock 5) DEFENSE DEFENSE DEFENSE.

    Unfortunately, the Bears do not have any of these keys to victory at the moment. Could they get there? Sure they can, but they need a little motivation and a play book that can work to the players qualities on both sides of the ball.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    I wonder if there was a Jets blog during the 2006 playoffs that essentailly said "if the Bears can get in the SB, so can we."

    Of course any team can get there in a given year. We did; maybe the Jets will; the Cardinals did; either NO or the Vikes will. Any team can put together a good year or an unusual year.

    But it's a lot harder to be a serious contender many years in a row.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Great Post Blogfather..and I believe the reason is because of...Who we think we are? sorry crown....but it really says it all!.

    In many previous threads we have all expressed about...Passion..Heart..and Belief. All are what we lack at this time..sorry to say. We have a coach even though maybe non-emotional on the exterior his fire does not burn hot enough to light his players up. It is not just anger of passion it's the passion you carry within yourself..the light some say..

    Are gladiators have passion but it's not focused or understood and a good..no...A great leader knows how to tap into it. as Rod Tidwell said..The Kwan..The Juice..The Passion..Heart..Belief..right now I see two coaches that have their players believing..Sean Payton and Rex Ryan..

    Take a moment and watch how these coaches and thier DC/OC have thier teams beleiving it is thier right to be at the BIG DANCE...

    I beleive even as unballanced as we were in the run for the 2005 SB we had that passion and did beleive, but somewhere we were incapable of sustain it. That's the difference from those who have it and those who do not.

    I think it was an interview that BU had discussed about 2/3 of the way through that season.(sorry about the senoir moment)Many asking about how they where able to comeback so often. BU (not exactly his words)..But said from LDL to the coaches on down including the players never beleived they were out of it..EVER!!!!

    That my friends is is called "Focused Vision" and unless our Leaders have nothing short of an Epiphany..we stay "status quo"
    or
    It's just us and we are as blind as bats!!!

  • In reply to gpldan:

    me likey this post

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Everything you said in this post Jeff is 100% correct, and that is exactly what is wrong with the NFL in 2010. There is no excellence anymore, and the quality of the nfl is the wost it's been in my lifetime.

  • In reply to alott96:

    Can't buy any of that, Al. Guys in the NFL have never been fitter. No excellence anymore ? I've never seen so many teams come so close to perfect seasons recently. Linemen are bigger and stronger now - remember when the Fridge was deemed huge ? Players smoking at half time ? Every man and his dog on steroids ? The bar gets raised every season, and if people like Troy Polamalu don't represent excellence then I don't know what you mean by excellence. Guys are passing for more yards and touchdowns than at any time in history. RBs are running for more yards and touchdowns than ever.

    Nice to see some optimism there Jeff, if we stay healthy next I year I share it. Although we're the opposite of the Jets - we have what they want, we want what they have. They're a QB away from a dynasty, then again, so are most teams. They have a #1 defense backed up with the one of the best running games in the NFL, bolstered by one of the best lines. We can dream of such things, only dream. But if we address the receiver(veteran), guard and free safety(veteran) positions, then we have a shot at some glory days. No more messing about with six foot receivers who don't know their job - I'd like to see guys bigger than Shabba line up opposite. Rivers has made a career out of throwing jump balls to V-Jack and Malcom Floyd, those guys are 6'5 ! Antonio Gates is no midget.

    Free safety has to be a vet. Letting Mike Brown go was a disaster a la TJ. Apparently Sharper didn't get a call off the Bears last year :

    ["You know how long ago that was?" Sharper said. "What do they run up there? Cover 2? It would have been a good opportunity but I am not surprised. They know who I was and I played in that division for so long. To make a run at me, it's not up to me to say whether they should have done that or not."
    The Bears have to find a consistent pass rusher, that is their clear No. 1 issue to address during the offseason. Working to settle the situation in the back half, at safety, has to be their second order of business.
    Sharper wasn't going to get the Bears younger as Mike Brown left via free agency. But he might have made them better after he spent four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings following eight in Green Bay with the Packers.
    "I wasn't going to command huge money," Sharper said. "I think the front office is a good place to ask that. Chicago is a place that has great fans and everything, but the fans here I am loving a lot and I am glad I came down here.

    "I'm loving Gregg Williams' defense because it allows playmakers to be playmakers. It takes the handcuffs (of the Cover 2) off." ]

    Listen to this year's pro bowler. Kids can't play FS in the Cover 2, it's a man's job. Vet safety. Guard. Monster Receiver. Go and do your worst Jerry !

  • In reply to alott96:

    Totally disagree Al. The talent level is way higher. Because of parity (mostly salcap) there aren't long-term dynasties. Great teams have a 3-5-year window and that's it (unless you cheat like the Pats). If you ever watch a Pats game, watch Brady. He calls his own penalties. I'm serious. He just looks at the refs and a flag comes sailing in.

    Tackling is worse than years gone by but I attribute that to no tackling in practice. Also, the rules favor the O so the defenses look pretty lame. Go back 20 years. How many one-handed catches did you see? Maybe a half dozen/year. Now you see that many each weekend.

    It's a different game than it was 20 years ago but the talent is off the chart.

    Go Bears!

  • In reply to alott96:

    The question iis, why did Nolan get fired in the 1st place? Didn't he have a big hand in the turnaround of that Denver defense? I have a feeling this is another Josh McDaniels screw up.

  • In reply to Shady:

    As evidenced by our possession of their franchise quarterback, the Broncos locker room is only big enough for McDouchebag's ego and a carry-on item.

  • In reply to Shady:

    Apparently, Buffalo, as a destination, is now a punchline.

    Such...

    "First prize: An all-expenses paid 1 week stay in Buffalo, New York!

    Second prize; TWO weeks in Buffalo".

  • In reply to alott96:

    Less about the connection and more about the 3-4, Bill's current defense of choice. Lovie Smith's options at defensive coordinator are there but I'm starting to believe the rumors that they're going to wait and see if Les Frazier becomes available.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    hmmmm... might be an interesting choice for him. He knows that if dead-man-walking smith gets canned next year or after next year, he'll be first in line as a decent choice for interim HC or HC. Haven

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Bears win in this Addition by Subtraction scenario.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Names surface for OC/DC and then vanish as they take other jobs.

    Isn't about time the Bears management tells us they have a plan? Don't they realize they are looking foolish - the imoression, if not the reality, is that no one they want actually wants the job.

    Isn't it time for the media to force the Bears into some kind of statement?

    Let's say they want people that are on one or more of the four teams left. They coudl easily make a statement saying "we want to consider ALL viable candidates, including those that we may not have access to at the present time". That's not tampering or against the rules. Instead they say dumb things like "we're in no hurry" as we hear names mentioned and then watch them get hired by other teams.

    Chan Gailey and Nolan are the latest two. Gailey apparently HC with the Bills and Nolan talking to Miami first.

    The obvious conclusion is no one wants the Bear's jobs. Why don't the Bears do something to remove that impression?

    Because they know it's true and they are contemplating a new strategy altogether? We can dream...

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    yo i just had a CRAZY thought:

    what if after this season goes down the tubes, we hire Floyd Reese (former Titan GM) to take Jerry's spot; makes too much sense that they wouldn't do it. he's senior f-ball advisor for the Pats, but it's obvious he wants to get back into the GM role. look at what he did w/ the Titans. before he got there, they weren't SHIT!!!! took them to a SB and hired Jeff Fisher (Jeff's loverboy....lol).

    do you know how PROGRESSIVE that move would be? the upper management would have somebody that knows how to organize a team (in his position, he amassed 111 wins, the most of any GM in Tennessee franchise history), knows how to draft & pick players, and who to implement to take this proud franchise back to prominence. just a thought to nibble on....(o and he was a finalist for the Seattle GM job, but didn't get it).

  • In reply to FQD1911:

    o and for some of the players he's drafted? Eddie George, Jevon Kearse, Steve McNair, & Vince Young. so you have (w/ JUST these four): 3 NFL ROTYs, 10 Pro-Bowls, 1 Co-MVP, and 3 1st Team All-Pro selections. are you kidding me? THIS IS THE GUY RIGHT HERE!!!!!

  • In reply to FQD1911:

    No one wants to see Angelo thrown wailing to a bunch of horny banjo-playing Appalachian mountain men more than me, FQD, but to buy out Jerry's contract and hire a new guy could be around $80 million. If they won't fork out $11 million for the Lovemeister ...

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Oh, and Roy Williams? Thanks, but no thanks.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    "the quality of the nfl is the wost it's been in my lifetime. " are you 6? This years vikes/colts/saints are as good as any team the in the last decade. The players are bigger faster and better than they ever have been. Parody is a byproduct of free agency. The quality of the NFL has never been better. B E A R S

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    Been watching football for 20 years pal. Maybe you should drop the pervert act, and learn some history before you end up on a dateline NBC episode of "To catch a predator."

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    Chan Gailey is one of the weirdest head coaching hires in a long time. He was barely being considered for some OC vacancies.

    Mike Nolan is going to Miami.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Jeff, Buffalo is a hard draw. Small market and I don't think the job has very much appeal to up and coming coaches. I kinda get the impression its a 2nd or 3rd chance opportunity for coaches on the way or or nearing retirement.

  • In reply to MASOCHR:
  • In reply to GoBears:

    Hillenmeyer cost us a few Ws this year ...

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    I would like to see the Jets get to the SB. Queens will not, I repeat, "WILL NOT" beat the Saints. I'm going to say JETS vs. SAINTS in the SB. Had the Bronco's D on alot of my fantasy teams and did really well. I thought Nolan did a pretty good job overall. He's a 3-4 guy so Lovie would never meet with him anyway.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Anybody but the Vikings. Would love to see the Jets do it without a QB. Just not Favre.

    Didn't the Broncos D take a nosedive ? They looked awful against the run second half of the season, couldn't stop anybody ...

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    They basically imploded versus the run after the bye week, with that I agree. However, that's also, IMHO, a consequence of the personnel they have playing the 3-4. Once the league figured out the lack of bulk that Denver has in the middle (their linebackers are fast but don't shed blockers well....sounds familiar), they straight got run over. They looked good early when teams were conceding the run and going at the strength of that team. Why anybody ever tried to throw on them, I don't know.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Maybe I missed the posts on what I am about to address and maybe the subject item got tabled due to the Gaines Adams tragedy but...

    For anybody out there who wan't convinced that Narcissus is an absolutely, positively, 1st ballot Hall-of Famer, he CLINCHED it on Sunday!

    Of course, I'm not referring to Canton,. Ohio. That was already a given.

    No, I'm talking about the SELFISH, SELF-ABSORBED, SELF-CENETERED, SELF-AGGRANDISING, BUTT-HOLE Hall-Of fame!

    That stunt he pulled on 4th down with 2 minutes to go REEKED of the Narcissus we know and hate.

    Shame on whatever Cowboy was chasing him and pulled up when the ball was thrown. I'd have kept coming and drilled Narc's sorry ass into the ground and whispered into his ear "what goes 'round, comes 'round, butt-wipe!"

    If there's any justice, the Queens season ends Sunday, and Narcissus finishes the game in a crumpled heap of his own wreckage.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    I'm totally with you on this one Al. I had friends over to watch this game (1 is from Minnesota and the Other from Dallas) and tried as hard as could to root for the Cowboys, but just couldn't do it. So I just sat there and hoped for the Vikes to blow it. Of course that didn't happen. Right there at the end I was just about ready to give the devil his due, when he pulled that horse shit stunt.

    I don't hate Favre, but I do want to see him dismantled in New Orleans this weekend. Think Scarecrow after the flying monkeys got done with him.

  • In reply to mikev:

    Even if the Queens win the whole thing, at least we could say we beat the Champs. Although I'd rather turn my rectum inside out with a hot poker than see that hillbilly cracker win another ring ...

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    FDQ1911. "The Chicago Bears - A Complete History". I have it and have previously recommended it as REQUIRED viewing and a must have!

    I've seen it here in Tucson at Wal-Mart, otherwise head for

    http://www.amazon.com/NFL-Films-Chicago-Complete-History/dp/B0009NSCSK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1263888472&sr=1-1

    BTW, a friend has the GIANTS and PACKERS DVDs and they are both excellent as well. Giants includes the '58 overtime game and Packer DVD includes '67 ICE BOWL.

    Oddity: The Packer disk also includes a DON MEREDITH profile, apparently because he is so hated by Cowboy fans they didn't dare put it on the Cowboy DVDs!

    It's all great stuff done by the pros at NFL Films who treat NFL history like a religion.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    One of the highlights of is the special feature on Abe Gibron which is so hilarious (and also damning) that, out of respect for papa Bear, NFL Films didn't air it until well after he passed away.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Totally agree. I know it's the pro's and that's the way it goes but...

    I hope the Saints light them up, Favre is harrassed all day and he tries to do too much. Which leads to about 5 INT's and a visit to the witness protection program midway through the 4th quarter. Then you'll really see his wonderful personality. He's great at celebrating and invisible when he sucks ass.

    Go Bears!

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Now this is a post that fits my Bears mindset. Glad to see you're coming around.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    sidenote: so I'm thinking about getting the "The Chicago Bears - A Complete History" collection. does anybody else have it? should i buy it? if not, what dvd collection should i get? thanks DBB.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    OH, and if Rex Ryan were a sexual act, he'd definitely be a donkey punch.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donkey_punch

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    Stache, I think this might be more apropos:

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Fat%20Armstrong

    ...or even: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=fat%20elvis

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    youch....

  • In reply to nicholsra:

    Yeah Lobo, pretty nasty stuff. Yuck indeed.

  • In reply to nicholsra:

    Thought you guys might find this enlightening given the questions some of us had about his death: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/david_epstein/01/18/adams/index.html?eref=sihp

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Broncos fired Mike Nolan from his DC spot. Any interest in him coming to Chicago?

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Rex Ryan definitely goes for the Fat Elvis.

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    NO / Indy SB 44 (although I was 1-3 this weekend)

    Indy is so boring, but they will crush the Jets. San Diego handed the Jets that win yesterday. So much so I thought they were actually our beloved '09 Bears

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    Bills hire Chan Gailey as HC.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Who?

  • In reply to gpldan:

    do we have a shot at mike nolan?

  • In reply to gpldan:

    hope springs eternal.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    does anyone except me thing our o-line, current players intact, can be a lot better than it was last year?

  • In reply to jdawg:

    nope

  • In reply to jdawg:

    Can you imagine a Vikings vs. Jets Super Bowl?

    The coverage would be nothing but Bret Favre and his former team. ugh.

    /rooting for the saints and the jets
    /but expecting a saints vs. colts Super Bowl like most sane people

  • In reply to jdawg:

    Peyton Manning is ridiculous this year.

    The Saints could be beat by the Vikings...the Vikings/Cowboys game was disappointing to watch considering, with all the tools at his disposal, Romo is a retard when it matters.

  • In reply to KentuckyBearsFan:

    Peyton Manning is ridiculous every year.

  • In reply to KentuckyBearsFan:

    Jeff,

    So what are you saying? That the Bears don't need to make any adjustments at all? I mean, weren't you crowing for the last 6 months about how they need to fire Lovie, etc.?

    All the above because, anything can happen in the current NFL?

    I'm sorry, but no.

  • In reply to jdawg:

    They were a lot better once Williams moved over and Shaeffer came in, things got better. We still need a left guard, but I have a terrible feeling they are going to stick with Project OhMyGod in some way ...

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Omiyale should be at RT; he gets blown up against DTs, but looks quick enough to block on the edge.
    At least we have three serviceable Tackles on the line now. Too bad we can't find a frigging OG to save our lives. How hard can it be?

  • In reply to jdawg:

    For God's sake get Nolan. Tell Lovie and his Tampa Two to fuck off and get Nolan. If nothing else the guy's a better judge of talent.

  • In reply to number1ninja:

    I think Jeff is right (Nolan goes to Miami), but that's because our front office is the laughing stock of the NFL right now.
    I'd love to have him come in and actually shake up our D, but no way would Lovie stand for someone else being the man and making defensive calls. It will end in tears for the person who takes the DC job here.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    that's an upgrade from Dick Jauron.

    /of course, my colon is an upgrade from Dick Jauron.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Mustache..you know..I didn't want to go to the link but damnit I just had too and now I ask myself..why?

    That's wrong on so many levels.. I don't even know were to begin to Decipher it. lol

  • In reply to gpldan:

    In prayin for a Saints Jets Superbowl

  • touche

  • why is Nolan going to Miami?

  • In reply to jdawg:

    First, Lovie Smith is not the head coach in Miami.
    Second, Nolan worked for Parcells at the Jets a few years back.
    Third, it'd be a 3-4 DC to a 3-4 team.
    Fourth, they actually canned their DC; we demoted ours to Head Coach.

  • In reply to jdawg:

    Because their management and coaches have a clue... at least more than ours, which isn't very hard.

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