Lovie Smith and the Stakes of Sunday

Mark Potash believes Lovie Smith can not lose this game against the Seattle Seahawks.  Not at home.  Not against an inferior opponent.  And not while operating under his current contract.

Lovie Smith has been among the highest paid coaches in the NFL over the three seasons prior to this one, with nothing to show for it. It's time for him to hold up his end of the bargain.

While I don't imagine a loss to the Seahawks on Sunday will cost Lovie Smith his job, the question that could be raised is an interesting one: what does this ballgame mean for Mr. Smith?

Many of us believed, when the season began, a playoff victory for the Bears in 2010 would validate Lovie's tenure and lead to a surefire contract extension (if not also an extension for GM Jerry Angelo).  But does a win, at home, against the 8-9 Seattle Seahawks really validate anything?  If the Bears knocked the Saints or Eagles out of the playoffs this Sunday one could easily make the argument that 2010 was a resounding success, as its doubtful Vegas would have extended the Bears even the customary three-point home advantage against either of those opponents.  But the Seahawks?  How can Halas Hall draw up a $15 mil contract for holding serve as double-digits favorites at home against a losing club?

A loss would be nothing short of devastating.  Lovie enters Sunday's game with the better offense, defense and special teams.  The same case could be made for/against Sean Payton (special teams is debatable there) but Payton was on the road and coming off a Super Bowl title.  Lovie is coming off three consecutive non-playoff years and most of the Chicago Bears faithful consider victory on Sunday a guarantee if the Bears merely play well.  Not even solid.  Just...well.

What's the best outcome for Lovie Sunday?  A dominant, two-touchdown victory that springboards the Bears into the NFC Championship Game.  If that game is in Atlanta, the Bears will be underdogs and Lovie will find himself in a no-lose scenario.  If that game is at home against the Packers, well, I'll guess I'll have another column like this for you next Wednesday.  

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  • I read an article that tickets for sunday's game are not demanding high prices because people are looking forward to a Bears/Packers NFC championship game instead. I hope the players don't share that mindset or we'll be one and done!

  • In reply to Jokey:

    don't worry about that Jokey, they beat us earlier in the season so this is about revenge. They won't look past the chickens. Seahawks dead.

  • In reply to Jokey:
  • In reply to Jokey:
  • In reply to Jokey:

    Hate to disagree, but I do.

    Every week is a week, every game is a game. Who would have ever thought Seattle would beat the Super Bowl Winning Saints last week? Basing his future on one game just doesn't cut it for me.

    I'm saying this without researching it so correct me if I'm wrong (and I know you will), but after being a Bears fan for about 100 years, it seems to me we have lost many times in our first game of the playoffs.

    I like Lovie - always have. Did we win the SB with him? No. But we got there (unlike we have with many other coaches). Have we had one of the most exciting seasons in recent memory this year? I think so.

    I would love to win it all. But every week is a week, and I think it's naieve to blame everything on the coach. There are a lot of pieces to every win and every loss.

  • In reply to sjvl:

    True, can't blame everything on Lovie, but the corollary of that is even if we win on Sunday, it doesn't mean we should blow smoke up Lovie's ass either. With a better coach and a better GM we'd already have a recent superbowl win. Lovie got out-coached in 2006 and will get out-coached time and again, because he's just not that smart. Ditto Angelo.

  • In reply to Jokey:

    It's not Lovies fault who the Bears opponent is on Sunday. A divisional round win is a win is a win. Seattle earned their victory over the Eagles and I don't think the Seahawks record matters at all should the Bears win. A resounding thud should be heard at Hallas Hall when the door hits Lovie in the rear end should the Bears lose this game on Sunday. Not because they lose to the "Seahawks" should that somehow happen. Jerry's words, not mine, "we're in it to win" is what comes to mind. Cowher and John Fox are available and it would be the perfect opportunity to make a change should Lovie fail to make good on his commitment to win the Superbowl. It would be very unfortunate in many ways should that happen but I think a coaching change would be necessary, specially if the Cheese advance and the Bears don't.
    Chicago is supposed to be the Gold Standard, right? Lets face it, the Bears aren't in the position they are today because of coaching. They're in the position they are because of Peppers, Brigg's, Urlacher and Dave Toub. Our pass covering still sucks and our O is spiratic as hell. I want a coach that can serve up a balanced and well rounded Offense, Defense and Special Teams squad that doesn't cost us games. Coaches coach and players play is what I have always believed and Lovie, though liked by the players, is not what I would consider a top echelon coach. I happen to believe that his inability to use the talent we have had on the roster or find new ones has sucked over the years. I'm tired of losing quality roster talent to sub par replacements and a coach like Cowher will do a much better job in that department.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Trac, i don't get the John Fox love. Also, we have a solid coaching staff right now. We don't have flavor of the month coordinators that become all the rage in the NFL but we do have respected coaches like Marinelli, Tice, Toub and Martz. If they get more than one year to get more cohesive and have an actual intelligent draft with some positions getting filled you will see an even stronger team next year. Even stronger than this Bears team that went 11-5 but could have been 12-4 or 13-3 if we had some balance in the Seattle and Wash games. I think we have a strong team that can compete for the next 2 or 3 years WITH THE CURRENT ROSTER not even changing! Imagine if a couple of lineman are added. Imagine if the offense gets another year to gel. Imagine if a little depth is added at corner. I'm thinking good things. I just don't agree with the mindset that if somehow Lovie goes we are great. Angelo or the ownership have to go first. We don't have football people running this organization. Halas was a football man. The McCaskeys just snuck the tip in and impregnated their way in. Ted Phillips is a motherfucking accountant who was asked to fill the position of team president while a real president was sought. Let's be honest where the real changes need to be made. 1. Angelo 2. Phillips
    We are good on coaches. We are headed to the NFC Championship game and then the Superbowl. Let's give some credit where credit is due.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    this may be the most talented coaching staff we've ever had. A cat could have coached the 85 Bears to success with that video game all star team.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    Here Here Waffle! This is a coaching staff...not just a head coach and if you replace the head the rest will likely follow. And I can't believe with our current roster that we are winning in spite of coaching. There is no defense for some of Lovie's game time decisions. But look at the league (including Belichick - think about the decision to go for it on 4th down against the Colts) and everyone makes more than a few boneheaded decisions. Caldwell, Reid and Sean Payton all made bad calls in big game time situations that they all probably regret. I'm not against dumping Angelo either, but I want the next person to call for his head to name a legitimate replacement with experience.

  • In reply to buckbear:

    Replacement for Angelo? Any bum off the street could do a better job. Riddle me this. Why don't we have a fullback? How in the name of all that is holy, sanctified and pure, do we not have a fullback?

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Take that up with Mike Martz. He's the one that doesn't use them.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    I always thought Buddy Ryan was over-rated. '46' defense my ass. Play that bunch of sharks in tutus and foxtrot formations and they would have murderlised people just the same. When Ryan was actually required to do something during the Miami game, he failed miserably, blitzing and blitzing again. What do they call it when you try the same thing over and over again but expect different results?

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Throw in the fact that McMahon was basically their OC and that team I honestly believe could have gone to the superbowl on their own like some team off the street, with just Wally to rein them in if needed be.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    +1 I hear you on John Fox, Johnny. They haven't been exactly beating down his door for a new head coaching spot and he isn't Denver's first choice, either.

    Additionall, I don't see all the hulabalu over jeff Fisher. His biggest claim to faim is his length of tenure. He's had 5 wiining seasons out of 16 with1 losing visit to the big dance. If he'd done that in Chicago there's no way he lasts 16 seasons.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    agreed

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Here's the thing. If you want a big name like Cowher, etc. then you'd essentially have to get rid of Angelo also, because there's no way that Cowher's going to put up with him making personnel decisions. And I don't see that happening. The only replacement for Lovie would be a coach of Lovie's same level and abilities, and nothing would really change.

    waffle is right that, if you want structural changes made in the team that, over the long term, could transform the Bears into a kind of Patriots/Steelers, etc. perennial playoff team, you need to start at the top: the president and the G.M really need to be changed out. But given that the Bears have made it to the playoffs, and probably to the NFC Championship, they won't be.

    Success this year probably delays the changes that we need longer term.

  • In reply to jj320:

    i'm confident that a decent draft, a FA pickup and more time playing together will result in these kinds of results for at least 2 to 3 more years. Changing staff and offensive and defensive structure at this point would be a waste of years while we have the chance to win.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    I agree...though projecting "a decent draft" for Angelo this year (or any other) is not a sure bet. My view--I'm sure shared by many others here--is that we draft for the best OLinemen we can get, then use the FA money to pick up a legitimate #1 receiver--somebody with height and size--and possibly a position in the secondary.

  • In reply to jj320:

    You complete me JJ. I would only add we should have done that when we sold the farm for Cutler.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    people always talk about rebuilding in sports but this is not a team that needs to be rebuilt. We have alot of pieces in place and with some continued maintenance and tweaking at opportune times we can continue the success.
    1. Franchise QB
    2. Multi Dimensional young running back
    3. 4 Tightends
    4. Young D-Line
    5. Peppers with 2-3 more years
    6. Briggs at least 3-4 more years
    7. Urlacher at least 2-3 more years
    8. Chris Harris
    9. Tillman can move to safety after his speed declines more
    10. Hester forever
    11. Gould forever
    12. Jennings young, Bowman young, Corey Graham young, Manning young, Pringles is a baby
    13. Knox, Bennett only in 2nd and 3rd years
    14. Mannelly is fucking timeless. i think he is 42yrs old and still playing

    My point is that we don't need to switch to a 3-4 bring in all new players and change coaches/coordinators to be successful or continue to be succesful. we just need to draft smart, fill positions, make strategic changes and keep the train rolling. We do need:

    1. olineman
    2. new center in the next year or so
    3. new punter in the next 2 years
    4. backup QB
    5. corner? maybe.

    Not bad at all.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    Concur. Mostly

    1)Olinemen, LT to be specific.

    2)Centers can be had in the 3rd, which means

    3)What do we draft in the 2nd round? a guard? Another tackle? Or since if we don't resign Adams and let go of Butter, a DT? Do we risk not drafting a WR and gamble on the FA market? The second round I think will tell us a lot about where the Bears are going.

    3)Punters - can his leg really get any weaker? 7th rounder here, one we may actually keep.

    4)Backup QB. I still think Hanie hast Orton potential. But if not, like another blogger said, FA...

    5)Corner - Jennings, Moore, and Bowman, are solid. Unless we want to throw money at Champ Bailey next year, or draft another "project", this will most likely be the rotation for two years.

  • In reply to KissMyButkus:

    FA for WRs is hardly as much of a gamble as drafting a young WR and hoping you get production out of him inside 3 years, if at all. Juaquin Iglesias springs to mind.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    Draft:
    1) OL
    2) OL
    3) OL
    4) Okay, something else
    5) OL
    1

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    Change o-lineman to -men. 5 of them. Garza are Kreutz are basically finished IMHO. The rest of that line I wouldn't piss on if they were on fire quite frankly.

    No way Uralcher and Peppers are top drawer for 2-3 more years. I don't believe in running players into the ground, they should replace an old chain instead of waiting for it to break.

    We need an NFL starting caliber backup at QB

    We need at least two decent receivers. Knox and Hester are basically the same player, and neither are good receivers.

    Wright is an unknown quantity at safety. He's not a pro bowler in the making it's fair to say, given he was the 6th/7th best safety in the draft.

    Peppers on the line. Who else we got? Izzy? He's at the end of his viable career also.

    Briggsy ain't no spring chicken, neither is Peanut.

    We'll be rebuilding this team pretty much from scratch in two years around Cutler and Forte and one or two other guys like maybe a Wootten or a Kellen Davis.

  • In reply to jj320:

    To get Cowher or someone of his ilk ,you have to to way more that remove Angelo. The McCaskey'chain-of-command would have to disappear.

  • In reply to jj320:

    I'm reposting this since it was the last thing on the previous thread.

    In case any of you younger fans wonder how we were so bad back in the '70's, read this article. More importantly, click the youtube link for almost 7 minutes of Abe Gibron wired. It was a love/hate relationship. All the fans loved him but hated the results. A truly fun guy but a terrible HC. Enjoy.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/jeff_pearlman/01/11/rex-ryan/index.html

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    He:

    Put bounties on opposing players
    Ran sprints with the O lineman
    Weighed 300 lbs
    Ate big mac size burgers in two bites
    Swore like a mofo

    Yep, sounds like Ryan.

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    Let's just stop with the "what happens if we lose this game" bullshit. What the fuck. I have no doubt in my mind that we beat these pieces of shit. They lost 9 games this year, each one of them was by 15 or more points. There is a reason why people are calling this SeaScrote team the worst to ever qualify for the post season, regardless of sport. They have biggest homefield advantage in the league, which has been quantified. That is the only reason they beat the Taints. If that game was played anywhere but Qwest the outcome would have been drastically different. Bears win in a fucking blowout. There is now way that bald headed, faggity shitface Mathew Hasslebeck is going to find the fountain of youth two weeks in a row. The only question that remains is what type of wine goes best with SeaHawk

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    Hear, hear...I agree with the Stache. This is all moot.

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    I'm with ya stache. Sometimes typing all these words in a blog is just helpful in alleviating pre-game fan jitters. Which is better, for those of us who are employed, than staying sauced 24 hours a day until game time.
    At the end of the day I would place about as much chance of the Seahawks winning as the Pats losing. Which is to say it would be an act of an angry God against Bears fans everywhere. It wouldn't have anything to do with the quality of the teams on the field.

  • In reply to jj320:

    I'm a little surprised people are calling for Lovie's head if we lose this game. Fire a guy with an 11-5 mark with less talent on the roster than a lot of teams? Is he great? No. Is he good? Yes. If you fire Lovie the rest of the coaching staff goes. If they bring in an up and comer new guy (read cheap), the rest of the staff isn't going to be thrilled working for a newbie. If they go the other route and hire a successful NFL coach, he will bring in all his guys. You can't say we'll fire Lovie and keep this guy and that guy. That's not how it works, esp., with this veteran staff.

  • In reply to jj320:

    Amazing how seldom Phillips name comes up, isn't it. He is chief architect of all the failure - and the Bears are a failed organization committed to mediocrity - and owns th pink slip on the clown car at Halas hall. it's like people pointing their fingers at the President of the USA, who's just the McDonalds branch manager, when they should be pointing at the Federal Reserve and their whores in Congress. Philips and Angelo's heads should be sitting on pikes outside soldier field.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    I agree with your assessment with our talent and needs for the most part waffle. I also agree that there is no way in the world we should move to a 3-4 defense. There are too many teams playing with one right now, which means fewer personnel that truly fit the system to go around. The trend will swing back to a 4-3 in a few years. The people with true convictions about their system will not go copycat for anything.

  • In reply to buckbear:

    The Bears do not have anyone that could play the nose in a 3-4. That simple. Much higher priorities exist.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    I totally agree that a coaching change any way you cut it could be a huge step back given where we are today. That would not be my first choice and I really wouldn't want to do that if it can be avoided. What I'm saying is that if we fail to advance this weekend, consideration for a new coaching staff has to be given some serious thought. Playing the "if" game cuts both ways. If Megtron didn't get shafted on his TD grab, the Bears finish up 10-6 and end up watching the playoffs from their living rooms. If blowouts like the ones against the Pats and Giants aren't reason enough for some of you to realize that this team still has a long way to go then there's nothing I will ever be able to say to some of you to wake you up. The Bears are in position to make some noise because of the biggest intangible ever, "LUCK". Home losses to Seattle and Redskins could very well be a stronger indicator of where the Bears really are as opposed to the team that beat the Jets, Eagles and Packers. I'm not saying the Bears aren't a scrappy team, I'm just saying that a loss Sunday will still be failure and I am sick and tired of "there's always next year" cliche's.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Also, isn't Cutty the most sack QB in the NFL this year. That makes us one dimensional boys. One dimensional teams on O don't do so well in the Playoffs unless you're the Indianapolis Colts and you're playing the Bears.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Well aren't you a glass half empty kind of guy! I worry too about the dreaded 7-step drop and collapsing pocket making multiple appearances during this game. If we play like we did against the Jets and Eagles and Vikings we move on; if like we did against the Giants Hawks Pats and Packers (last time round) we do get beat.

  • In reply to jj320:

    I hope and think the Bears will win Sunday jj. Just being honest. Jeff posed the Lovie question(sort of) and I'm just giving my 2 cents.

  • In reply to jj320:

    The 7-stop drop is a necessity if your line is as bad as hours and your aged center can't operate the shotgun.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Cutty is by far the most sacked QB this year, but not necessarily cuz we're one dimensional, mostly cuz our Oline sucks, and he tries to score a TD on every play, regardless of down and distance or what the scoreboard says, or field position, or common sense.

    Since week 6, the run/pass ratio has been near 50/50, that left him with 10 games to reduce the number of sacks, and maybe lower the sack numbers to an acceptable level.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Very true, Trac. The NFCN was closer than ever this year, and that Detroit game could have meant us sitting at home now and DEFINITELY wanting the clown car burnt out.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    Johnny, Jerry Angelo is a football man. He has been in the game since he left college in 71. Either as an assistant or scouting for the Giants and Cowboys and Tampa. He's had his busts and had his great finds just like any GM. I don't think Lovie has surrounded himself with the best assistants. Making the draft choices into better players fall on the coaches. Most of the time he is drafting the players that are projected to be picked at that stage of the draft. It isn't like he drafts a bunch of no names four rounds earlier than they should be drafted. He has come through with trades and free agent signings that almost every one of us has praised here. Ya can't hit a home run every time, but I think there are many GM's in the league that rank far below JA.

  • In reply to iamndmurff:

    Passing up Starks for LeFevour is just one more head-shaking entry on a shit-studded CV of ineptitude Murph. The only 'home runs' he's hit on were Briggs and Hester the return man. Forte wasn't bad for a second round pick, I'll give him that. I think Olsen at #1 was a bust.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    If Lovie had a luxurious mustache, we wouldn't be talking about a replacement this off-season.

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    We'd be talking about Dave Wannstedt.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Hah!

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Organizations tend towards inertia. Unless you can specifically target one part of the organization as the root cause for issues (underachieving, cost overruns, etc), you are going to see no change in personnel. Right now, we're in the running for an NFC championship game and both the coaching and management side of the BT have plausible deniability if the Bears underachieve in the playoffs. Is it coaching? Or is it the personnel on the field? If there's no clear-cut culprit, ownership won't make a change for fear of making the wrong choice.

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    It depends how we lose.

    If Cutler gets sacked 10 times, then Angelo will get blowback no matter what.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    From the fans? Absolutely. From ownership? I'm not so sure.

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    They've put up with Angelo's incompetence this long ... I don't see them handing him 20 mill or whatever just to walk into the sunset.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Thanks Coach, I needed that!

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    Ironically, a large reason that we're in this position (hosting the weakest team in the playoff field, rather than the dangerous Packers) is coaching ineptitude. Lovie and the staff were outcoached badly in week 6 against the Seahawks, then bungled the challenges a week later against the Skins. So this is a golden opportunity of Lovie's own creation: a home game against a team with inferior talent. If we lose, it will very likely be because we are outcoached yet again. We have no need for a coach who can't put together a winning game-plan,and prepare and motivate his players.

    Now, I don't want to say that we should can Lovie if we don't win. We could just get unlucky. If we lose three fumbles and drop five passes, or if (heaven forfend) Cutler or Fort

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    If the Bears lose, it will validate Peter King and Don Banks and all the national announcers like Aikman and Simms who openly hate the Bears and opened every broadcast predicting the Bears would falter down the stretch.

    There would be a million "they weren't who we thought they were" crackbacks, and Cheesy would bring all of his friends in here to spit their vile, even if they lose to the Falcons.

    So - um - I really want us to win.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    +1 GP, +fucking1

  • In reply to gpldan:

    That, GP, would be the absolute worst.

    FTW. All the way.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    GPL I don't get it. Why would you want validation from someone you clearly have no respect for. In my estimation these guys are just huge blowhards that happen to have some pretty sweet connections with people in the biz. So they get a few interesting journalistic nuggets here and there and they all of a sudden experts. I don't buy and neither should you. This, my friend, is the very definition of:

    BEAR DOWN!

  • In reply to buckbear:

    we don't want validation. we want them to be wrong yet again proving they are not experts and just blowhards. if we lose idiots like Don Banks and King will feel they were right and will sing it from the rooftops even though we were 11-5. We have to win because i fucking hate all of those guys... and fans from other teams that talk shit...and hyper critical bears fans who make excuses for why we have a good record...and people that make the excuse that the league just doesn't have good teams this year...and pretty much everyone that doesn't agree with me that we are winning the superbowl. We are going to take the whole cake and that is all there is to it.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    +1

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    Just curious Waffle. Assuming that an ineffective offense with huge holes on the roster gets to the big show - how do the Bears beat the Pats?

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Fuck Troy Aikman

    http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/A/AikmTr00.htm

    All he could muster with the best offensive line in the history of the sport is 165 TDs against 141 INTs.

    He's the most overrated piece of shit in the history of the league...well, maybe a little bit behind Joe Namath.

    Screw Troy Aikamn.

    And Phil Simms really. 199 TDs against 157 INTs.

    Right now. Today. Jay Cutler, in his 5th season, is at 104 vs. 79. Seriously. About the same as Simms and a little better than Aikman. Could you imagine what he'd be with the best offensive line in the history of the NFL?

    Aikman and Moose should go into the locker room and concuss each other.

  • In reply to mikebdot:

    And we have a winner.

  • In reply to mikebdot:

    MikeB!!! How you doing man? Great post!!!

  • In reply to PhilfromSATX:

    Livin' it up. Got a baby now. Everyone is happy. Started P90X last Monday. Holy crap. Their yoga program is an excrutiating 90 minute workout. Gotta do it in the am as well which has never been something I've been able to do, so two weeks in, we'll see if I can do the full 90.

  • In reply to mikebdot:

    That p90x yoga is no joke. I sweat my balls off without moving my body more than two feet in any direction. I did p90 last year--only 40 days of it, then I got sick and never got back on track--but it really fucking works. I was noticeably stronger and leaner after just a month and a bit. good luck.

  • In reply to mikebdot:

    Who cares what this game means for Lovie Smith ? Serious question. Hands up. Does anyone on this blog have a Lovie Smith T-shirt? When someone asks you who you support, do you respond "Lovie Smith's team"?
    Winning on Sunday doesn't validate anybody. I don't see getting to the playoffs as validation at all. Getting to the playoffs with a great roster and hope for the future, yes, I 'll buy into that. But even if we get to the NFC champs it will only be because we were blessedly exempt from injuries this year. That's it. We don't have a quality roster. We have a few quality starters, but that's it. A few. Lovie has already cost us a few games singlehandedly this year, his failure to rein in Martz and his brain-frozen pass-happiness IN-GAME is unforgiveable and cost us dearly. Even when Cutler was getting hit 17 times by the Giants, they were still begging us to beat them. A first down or two might have done it. I don't give a crap what Sunday means for Lovie, the Bears are bigger than him, Martz, Angelo AND the McCaskeys - who are only owners by default. Screw em all. Go Bears.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    And bigger than any or all of us.

    So, fuck yeah. Bear down!

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Irish, we have beaten good teams and played 4 sub par games this year with 2 of those being decent defensive efforts. We went 11-5 and beat teams that beat other good teams. I don't understand how the only reason why we are in the playoffs is because of lack of injuries? What happened this year happened just like it does every year. Teams have injuries and don't have injuries. Teams lose players to bad behavior and to free agency. We had a running back with a knee injury and lost our backup, a very capable backup in Kevin Jones to a season knee injury, in the pre-season. Then we lost Urlacher and Pisa in the first game. Then we lost Tillman to a freak injury, etc. It's the nature of the game. No one said that the only reason why the Packers made the playoffs was because the Bears had so many injuries and the Packers didn't. C'mong Mang. We lost all of those players and missed out on a 9-7 or 10-6 year by possibly 7-10 plays last year. We didn't get blown out even though we had backups and injured players at many positions.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    lost to the pack in the last 47 seconds, drove 122 yards against the Falcons with penalties and got picked at the goalline, drove 82 yards against the 49ers and got picked at the goal line, etc

    We have good players and since they are on the field they are winning games. when we get better ones we will get better.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    I'm saying if we ahd 13/15 players on IR like GB/Pats/SEA we're like 5-11 ... that's all - but they're all int he playoffs regardless, because of good rosters.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    ..and we would have been hosed in the playoffs last year. No way I'd want to see that, not with HH in the Mike.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Irish, i see your point but success after that many injuries is the exception and not the rule.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    I hate reading about Mr. Peanut not being able to practice. Not good news.

  • In reply to Bears85Sweetness23:

    Peanut not practicing? as of Weds?

    Please tell me he got banged up against the Pack in the final game...

  • In reply to KissMyButkus:

    Sick, not injury

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    He'll be back at practice tomorrow, says twitter.

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    probably sick of waiting, like me!

  • In reply to Bears85Sweetness23:

    Not liking the sounds out of Cutler as he heads into his first ever playoff game, with a shrug, as usual:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/ct-spt-0113-haugh-bears-chicago--20110112,0,1318518.column

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    I like Cutler's nonchalant attitude. He just likes his power over the media. If I was up on the podium and a bunch of jack-asses were asking me about my preparation, I'd 100% tell them the biggest line of bull I could come up with.

  • In reply to Church:

    Maybe it was Rosendoom, Morrissey, Haugh and King in the front row.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    A true literary Murderer's Row, eh?

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    It was ESPN's Rick Reilly that was asking the sarcastic questions and jay knew it. that's why he gave fuck off answers.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    I think he does it just to piss everybody off. I like it, actually.

  • In reply to Bears85Sweetness23:

    Peanut will be fine. He is a real Bear.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Ohh and if anyone has the nfl channel you need to consider watching playbook. The tape they had on the Seahawks showed that the Saints beat themselves up in that game.

  • In reply to Bears85Sweetness23:

    All those videos are nfl.com. They have an amazing selection of videos up there. A real archive.

    Kreutz on the Trib :

    "Every blitz is on the offense,'' center Olin Kreutz said. "I'll talk about my responsibility. But who's it on? Who gives a (crap)? We got sacked. And we'll just try to get that fixed. Any identification starts with me. If somebody doesn't understand who they have, I take that personally because that's my job.''

    It's something that doesn't really get mentioned. Most of our sacks come from fluffed assignments i.e. Kreutz not doing his job calling assignments. Who's it on Olin? It's on you son ... you're the handicap on our offense if one guy needs to get pointed at.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    No, my point re the Packers is that they had a good roster that enabled them to make the playoffs in spite of their injuries. A good roster is a cool safety net. They've also got two capable backup QBs. We have none. A billion dollar organization and we don't a guy ready to pick up the slack. Insane.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    The zero viable backup QBs is a serious issue, I agree.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    a backup qb is definitely needed.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Well, the coach tends to have a big effect on outcomes of games in the NFL (more so than in any other major sports league I would argue). So, yeah, I care what this game means for Lovie Smith, because it has large implications for the Bears' success in the future, even if I don't care much about Lovie personally.

  • In reply to mikebdot:

    Over-rated? Surely Peyton Manning is #1 on that list. 10 playoffs, nine chokes? Who even cones close to that?

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    I agree in theory, but his defense was terrible for quite a few years. Or the good players are hurt getting out of their waterbed (Mike Brown and Bob Sanders are basically the same person). Dwight Freeney is great and all, but he gets hurt all the time as well. Plus, the Patriots and Steelers are actually pretty damn good.

    And, I don't care what your record is in the playoffs, if you win 10 games 12 out of 13 years, you get a pass, plain and simple. The dude is fucking great.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Carroll says Tatupu is likely to play:

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/seahawksblog/2013915425_updatesonlofatatupumatthasselbeck.html

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    couldn't see the doctor keeping him out of this one unless his head fell off in front of him.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    To say "a win is a win" is understandable. It's true. And it doesn't matter how you get to where you get as long as you get there. But come on........the pieces are just falling into place this year. We HAVE to seal the deal this year, because if we don't take advantage of our breaks and opportunities this year than what chance do we have in years to come? This team is in no way guaranteed another trip to the post season next year, or the year after that. Our defense is aging and there aren't enough signs of promise in the immediate future for the bears. This team was served a trip to the conference championship on a silver platter. They have to deliver.

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    Hell, we're not even guaranteed football next year, Wrigley. They will deliver.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Let's get this fucking game going already. It's Wednesday and this stupid game can't come fast enough.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Thank god there is football on saturday to take the sting out of the next couple of days. I'm fucking giddy and the mancave is done and ready to be christened with the pee of one of my blacked out friends...which will definitely piss off the wife but hey, that's why they invented scotch guard. At some point in history, some dude pee'd or puked on something important and some scientists wife said, and i quote, "Theobald, if you ever sullied in our parlor i would cutteth off your member, you should invent something that would repel the stain of urine, excrement or the vomit of man." ....and Scotch Guard was born.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    Ah fuck - let's run with it.

    That woman of which you speak was a Minnesota housewife and chemist

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

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Sherman's 1947 high school aptitude test indicated she would be most suited to the role of a housewife. Sherman demanded to take the boy

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    Feminist comments on Da Bears Blog?

    Brings a tear to my eye. Particularly as a follow-up to the pee stains in your mancave reference.

  • In reply to sjvl:

    Just think of how it is over on the Pack blog. Nude posters circa 1990s of Jenny McCarthy and the vague stench of old Milwaukee's Best.

  • In reply to sjvl:

    Hi, my name is MB30SD... and I'm a Misogynist.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    MB, knew that.

    GUYS!!! It was a compliment!!

    Perhaps I am giving credit where little is due - - - that's ok. Macho rants are part of football, I get it.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Brett Favre's sister arrested at a meth lab.
    http://www.tmz.com/2011/01/13/brett-favre-sister-the-mug-shot-brandi-meth-bust/

    I love her work in Shrek.

  • In reply to jbenton:

    Jab lands a punch!

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    It still does suck if you're not a white man.

    And I love how geniuses like Patsy O'Connell (let's leave her husband's name out of this!) always say " ...and just noticing something no one conceived of before."

    Easy for you to say Ms. Patsy clever pants. How many people saw shit fall onto the ground before Newton ?

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    The one demographic group does not have special protections under the law in the United States is heterosexual white males.

  • In reply to Mastodon:

    Hate crimes are goofy. Much like a win is a win is a win, a murder is a murder is a murder.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Newton's Pricipia is a bit more complicated than noting shit fell on the floor. Seriously, I own it. The introduction itself is over 300 pages long. Quite a good read. Will be good bedtime reading to my new daughter.

  • In reply to mikebdot:

    I'd rather fuck a cheese grater

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    I'm pretty sure there is a section that describes why that is a very bad idea.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Who knew an article abut Matt Forte could look so trippy... http://tinyurl.com/4rqyej5

  • In reply to BossBear90:

    Forte basically saying "give me the fucking ball or we will lose"?

  • In reply to Grizzly559:

    yup

  • In reply to Grizzly559:

    I like it, actually. A starting RB *should* want the damn ball!

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    This really isn't funny, but...

    http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2011/01/12/brett-favres-sister-brandi-arrested-in-meth-lab-raid/?ncid=txtlnkusspor00000002

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Oh its funny...

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Thanks, I didn't want to be the guy making fun of someone else's life-misfortune.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    From the blog that brings the Corky reference monthly. Usually my fault.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    The old Blog-schadenfreude ? Whatever works MB, whatever works. If dancing around the fallen cripple gives you a boner, I say dance! Dance like John Travolta!

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Jets Cromartie calls Brady an asshole.

    Oh yeah, keep that smack train a'rollin. Toy Story 3 had Lotzo Huggin, this one will have Lotzo cryin in the end.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    oh no not a Lotzo reference. I been watching that effin movie almost everyday. I know it word for word. Kids cant get enough of it.

  • In reply to Grizzly559:

    Get 'em onto Bambi, bro. Never gets boring. Gets a bit heavy with mom getting capped, but they make up for that in B2 when his dad appears and your kids'll be like "Bambi's not a bastard after all!"

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    hahaha

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Onion's fake sportscenter had me LOL with the fake Meth addict replay:

    http://popwatch.ew.com/2011/01/12/onion-sportsdome-season-premiere/

  • In reply to gpldan:

    "Meth is a marathon, not a sprint"

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    This is what we're going to do to Seattle on Sunday: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKknaWEln9w

    Johnny, I believe that you need to make this for the NFCN Championship game... in your man cave... with insane squirrel beer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eah23WvLYsQ

    ...and you should invite Clay Mathews, because that punk-ass bitch isn't going to have any plans that weekend

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    That hit was sick. So was the other video for that matter.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Yowsa!

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Dude, Showed the clip to a vegetarian, and I had to give her CPR ha! Bacon Cup to drink Four Loko... I didn't know there was any other way to down it.

  • In reply to KissMyButkus:

    I know Jesus turned water into wine
    But he woulda turned it to Four Loko at a party o' mine.

  • In reply to KissMyButkus:

    I'm not saying I'd eat any of that shit, but the Bacon Cup was one of the best ideas that the Internet has ever bequeathed from its loins.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    epic

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Not funny. Hilarious

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    You can take the cracker out of the double-wide ...

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    BAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    Shame them Waffle. Get that clingfilm out and cover your sofas.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    I hope there isn't a man jack of us who wants them to lose ...

    ..is there ?

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    Free Mustache Rides

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    just watched it the other night.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    I think i might start posting this on other chicago now blogs.

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    I really hope the people on the chicago now babysitting blog get a chuckle...

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2011/01/cutler-on-game-plan-we-might-throw-it-60-times.html

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    he's got to say that. He was asked a leading question about how much they were going to run or pass it. What the hell is he supposed to say? should he just give away the game plan while he's at it. What a dumb question from the reporter.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    Spot on.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    It was also dumb asking Smith how he was going to deal with Mike Williams. Like asking Eisenhower "So when do you storm the beaches Ike?"

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Only, y'know, with less loss of life at stake obviously ...

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    As I said on an earlier thread:

    Jay Cutler isn't afraid, and neither am I.

    Fuck 'em. GO BEARS!!!!!

  • In reply to sjvl:

    Nice.

  • In reply to sjvl:

    Jay Cutler's tears cure cancer, but Jay Cutler never cries.

    Jay Cutler never sleeps, he waits.

  • In reply to Reichwolff:

    Jay always looks like he just came off a 4 day vegas bender. I love that guy. He will get better and better. Jim Miller must hate being irrelevant.

  • In reply to Reichwolff:

    thassright.

  • In reply to sjvl:

    The Bears managed to lead Rex Grossman to a Superbowl; they shouldn't have much of a problem doing the same for Jay Cutler.

    BEAR DOWN!

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    http://www.onionsportsnetwork.com/articles/bears-lead-rex-grossman-to-super-bowl,5572/

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Sorry for the sloppy typing; in a hurry.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    I teach math everyday to a bunch of fucking Seahawk fans. they know I'm a bears fan and we've been exchanging smack all week. My best friend is a Seahawk fan. If we lose to this team twice in the same season, Lovie won't need to be fired. I'll slaughter his slightly fat jumbotron watching ass.

    Those motherfuckers are going down.

  • In reply to DocNitty34:

    down to chinatown

  • In reply to DocNitty34:

    Just curious Doc - do any of the Seahawk fans have any particular insight as to how they will win? Or is it the typical "we'll win because we're great and your team sucks"?

    Mully has an article saying how the Bears could. While he makes valid points, there is no one way that he lists that is a deal breaker. In other words, almost all of them would have to happen. Not likely.

    I expect the cold weather and hostile crowd will make the Seahawks start to lose their swagger somewhere in the third quarter. It would not surprise or worry me if the game was close up to then. I expect the Bears to take control before the end of the third and keep it the rest of the way.

    Still, I'd take the Seahawks and 10; I suspect the Bears will be up by 14 or so and give up a "consolation" TD near the end.

  • In reply to BillW:

    It's not even that deep Bill. It's more like, we're Seahawk fans, you're a bears fan, we're enemies now. That's about it. But that's enough right?

  • In reply to BillW:

    Let's have some fun.

    http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/straight_to_lapointe/2011/01/the-bears-make-me-feel-stupid.html

    Let's just take his post over - everybody head over - and digress into a long diatribe about sport or competition or something.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    I did my part.

  • In reply to DocNitty34:

    I kept it brief. But I support your cause.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    that was hard to read and reminds me of a fan i poured half of a Miller Lite on during one of last years preseason games.

    Cheezy! Get the fuck over here and annoy me or something. I can't get the taste out of my mouth of that shitty blog.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    okay, I was not inspired, but I tried

  • In reply to Mastodon:

    Me too. But I did use the words "gonna" and "stoopid", so hopefully my point was taken.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    You know, I ALMOST, almost posted this on his blog:

    "It's pretty sad when many regular posters from another (successful) Bears blog show up on your (terrible) blog and simply destroy you... just for fun. I'm sad now scott, I really hope this was a dare by one of your friends to post the worst thing possible."

    But I just couldn't bring myself to... I simply can't be partially responsible for another mall shooting or senseless internet-driven suicide.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Hear Here. I wish I could unpost. Damn you GP!

  • In reply to DocNitty34:

    I'm a corrupt evil influence.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Phil, while I believe your 'sub-coaches' hypothesis is 100% spot on, you've forgotten one major factor... the desperation factor.

    I think the whole attitude and culture of the locker room changed this year, because it had to

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    100% agree MB. The players like/respect Lovie a lot. They all know if there is a housecleaning many of them will get swept out the door. Some of the older players would be forced into retirement. Same with some players on the tail of the roster. None of them want that and will play their asses off.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    I posted at length about golf. Now someone has to take my golf metaphor and somehow bring it around to a discussion about lawn care.

  • In reply to mottystone:

    speaking of lawn care... where the FUCK is crown?!?!?!?

  • In reply to gpldan:

    I said something positive to stop him jumping out of a high window. Poor bloke probably never had a comment on his blog before and now he gets gang-raped. Tsk.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    I certainly did not make a comment about his blog. No sir, not I.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Any fans of make-up on the blog. Never liked the stuff on a lady myself. Always liked the WYSIWYG approach. No false representation. No caked, airbrushed media dolls. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I give you Katy Perry.

    http://theblemish.com/2010/12/katy-perry-without-makeup/

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    She looks like KD Lang

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    I prefer that women limit use of makeup, and of jewelry.

    And of all things I just don't get, tattoos is #1.

    But there are many things I don't get, as you can all testify.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Tick, tick, tick, tick......

    Rarely has a week been so long, and my patience so short.

    Isn't it Sunday yet? GO NFC NORTH CHAMP #2 SEED BEARS!!!!!

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    May I add David Haugh to the Peter King, Trent Dildo list please? The guy is a blathering idiot.

  • In reply to sjvl:

    You may.

  • In reply to sjvl:

    What did he say?

    Haugh is okay. Nowhere near Peter "Crumbs" King, he of the church of always wrong or Trent "my head looks just like a penis, honest!" Dilweed.

    Maybe it's some sort of Mariotti or Lincicome legacy of dick, but Chicago sportswriters love being cynical and jaded. It's part of the shtick that they think makes them cool.

    That's what made Mitch Albom in Detroit so good: he would get excited, he cared about people and stories.

    All Chicago writers like to play too cool for school. Except Mariotti, who just frothed with hate most days. An angry guy, no shock he pulled a Chris Brown on his girlfriend, more shocked he even had one.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Yeah, it's like if they don't have anything negative to report then it's not worth reporting. The papers are beginning to send me the same direction as the evening news. That is not bothering with them as all the negativity and the sky is falling mentality brings me down. For all the bad there is in the world there is much more good but I guess good news doesn't sell anymore.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    I love that Da Coach's Moustache is appearing in random blogs and bluntly letting everyone on the particular blog know that indeed free mustache rides are available. It makes me laugh when i see a thread about the amazing aspects of shopping at Borders on Michigan Ave and then there is a picture of Ditka with his simple yet universally appealing phrase: free mustache rides

  • In reply to gpldan:

    I love this fucking asshole. This is our quarterback and he doesn't take shit from idiot reporters who try to ask him personal questions to get under his skin

    http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-playoffs/09000d5d81da3ed3/The-eight-remaining-QBs-are-in-rare-form?module=HP_video

    Rip'em up Cutty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    Hasselbeck gets booed off the field
    Ryan gets blown by the entire National and local media
    Sanchez seems to get a pass or at least his coach takes heat for him.
    Raperberger gets more love than Cutler and he RAPED two girls.
    Brady is married to one of the hottest chicks of all time
    Flacco is somehow spared for his Dilfer-esque play
    Rodgers is fucking awesome and is super low key
    Cutler is our brooding, stubborn, pissed off gunslinger who is attacked by our media and the national press at every turn and then people wonder why he doesn't want to open up to them and be all buddy buddy about his personal life. Fuck the media. Rapermeister fucking raped 2 girls! HA!

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    I hate talking about losing but i find it a little unnerving that if Cutler doesn't win the superbowl the press and fans will find a way to rip this kid down. That is pressure. Our boy will rise to the occasion. 1 win at a time boys.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Last one:

    Anybody want to go trolling?

    http://jeffsmariners.com/2011/01/12/seattle-seahawks-will-beat-the-chicago-bears-by-7/

  • In reply to sjvl:

    If that were a ChicagoNow blog, we would all be jumping out of the back of the virtual pickup with eggs and spray paint in hand.

    I love how he bolds both verbs and nouns for no discernable reason. What a tool.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Most randomest shit Ive seen in awhile... hhaha this almost brought a tear to my eye... DACOACH, I SEEN U MAN!

    http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/straight_to_lapointe/2011/01/rip-borders-on-michigan-ave.html#comments

  • In reply to Grizzly559:

    read the comments..

  • In reply to Grizzly559:

    Read this on another blog (below Chicago Tribs article "Cutler on game plan:...") and HAD to share here. I think we should invite this guy over...

    Creighton on January 12, 2011 5:21 PM

    Hawks Fan on January 12, 2011 2:43 PM
    * "League-leading 56 sacks allowed. All of those came at the beginning of the year, except for the 11 sacks and 18 QB hits in the last four games."

    I see what your trying to say that he had no pressure but was messing up. But your stat is a total lie. Only 11 sacks since the beginning of the season you say? Hmmmm, Allow me to correct you. In the first half the Bears gave up 29 sacks on Cutler 30 total Carolina not included since he didn't play do to a concussion and to blame him for the Giants game is insane and you clearly did not see the game.

    In the second half the Bears switched the play calling style to quick drops and more running then passing to help protect cutler but limiting the offense to mostly a short passing game and a primary run game as they ran the ball more than they passed it. Cutler was still sacked 24 times. But the percentage of sacks didn;t actually change much they just passed a lot less. Jay was sacked once every 7.6 drops in the first half and once every 8.1 drops in the second half. Not much of a difference. You say he was sacked 11 times in the last 4 games, and before that it was ok, well the four games prior to that he was sacked 13 times So he was sacked less in the last 4 games. I guess you forgot the fact that they passed the ball 100 fewer times in the last 8 games. He had three picks in his first 5 games and 1 bad game against Washington. After that he three 3 picks in the next 5 games.

    He had 2 picks against New England the best team in the NFL playing in White out conditions, and 2 against the Pack in GB who are the number 1 pass defense in the nfl, in a meaningless game with Martz calling for lots of deep drops and a heavy passing game.

    When he played the Seahawks he was coming back from a concussion. You also forgot to mention his games inbetween the Pats and Pack where he threw 6 TD's and had a passer rating of over 105. Or the two games prior to the Pats when his passer rating was over 130.

    You also forgot to mention that even though he was still suffering from the effects of a concussion against the Hawks and under constant pressure, and sacked 6 times that he put up 290 yards and zero picks.

    The Bears developed a running game after the first half, something Seattle did not see, they also didn't see the quick drops.

    You think your going to the Bears twice at home on the toughest surface to play on in the winter in all of the NFL. Forget it your speed on defense will be shut down just by the field alone it's a different style of game in Chicago once the cold hits. This isn't the west we don;t play in a dome and this is frozen grass not Turf.

    Tell Mr. Clean after Peppers knocks Captian brittle out of the game that we going to slap that Billy Ray wanna be Whitehurst around like a chew toy.

    Good luck having Clemons come off the edge with speed I will enjoy watching him slip and fall over and over. To bad he has no bull rush cause that is the only way your team can create pressure off the edge and you don't got no bull rushers. I mean your defense is only ranked at bottom of the league. Lucky for you your offense is ranked at the bottom of the league, great running game to 31st isn't it?

    How many interception does Mr. Clean have this year in 14 games oh yeah 17, I am pretty sure Jay had a better year than him and his 12 TD's hahaha, 12td's and 17 int's and your messing with our QB?

    Hahahahaha Yeah Jay only had 23 TD's and 16 int's not better than Hasslehoff at all. Didn't your boy also Fumble 7 times? Hmm good luck. I think Someone forgot to ttell you that your own offense gave up 35 sacks using nothing more than 3 step drops all year, way to go.

    Be sure to tell your players to bring their Favorite dresses cause after we get done with you where going to put them out on a street corner where they belong and they better have my money at the end of the night.

  • In reply to KissMyButkus:

    Ah, Mr. Creighton. I know him well. We have a speed defense also nullified by the ground, and no amount of spewing facts and figures nullifies the fact that they have competent receivers, a competent line, a bruising back and a playoff-savvy QB ... none of which we have. This game is a coin-toss for me. No way it's as clear cut as people are making out -people need to forget they were 7-9. maybe Hasselbeck is our X-factor? Who shows up on Sunday? The guy that put four past the league leading pass defense or the guy that had 12 TDs to 17 INTs during the season? I think the first guy turns up now that their line has been sorted out.

  • In reply to KissMyButkus:

    Just the facts boys. Looking at recent games around the league, it became pretty obvious there has been a trend of teams losing the next game after beating a playoff caliber team. The games listed below are just some of the recent match ups and there were some more from earlier in the season. I wouldn't be surprised if this trend continues. If that's the case, Seattle, Jets, and Packers might all fall this week after big victories last week.
    There definitely seems to be a trend of a let down game after playing lights out against a good opponent the week before.

    After beating the Jets, the Bears lost to the Cheese.
    After beating the Giants, the Eagles lost to the Queens.
    After beating the Falcons, the Saints lost to the Bucs.
    After beating the Steelers, the Jets lost to the Bears.

    Don't be surprised if the Bears blow the doors off Seattle.

  • In reply to BillW:

    I'll say this. I'm becoming a much bigger fan of Forte. I would like to see improvement between the tackles but I say Forty Carries for Forte.

    Ten to Chester.

    Ten to Khalil Bell in the waning minutes while we run out the clock on their sorry asses.

  • In reply to DocNitty34:

    Here's hoping Matty Fort

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    No joke. Though, 5 turnovers will severly reduce your number of plays...

  • In reply to DocNitty34:

    Why aren't we using Herman Munster in short yardage situations. I'll l=puke a lung if I see another hand-off to Matt up the middle. The only thing worse was seeing Garret Wolfe's little impish body disappearing into a morass of men.

  • In reply to DocNitty34:

    It's odd too, Doc, that Forte, 6'2 220, can't run between the tackles. Is it toughness? he toughed out the whole season last year without so much as a peep about his injury. Is it speed? We all see him outrun every linebacker out there on routes? Explosiveness? Elusiveness? Low-Gravity? Vision? What HB trait does he lack which makes him so ineffective inside the tackle?

    I know our Oline sucks, but man, that much?

  • In reply to KissMyButkus:

    Yes, our line sucks that much in trying to get a push. They just aren't the right guys to do it. For example, Kreutz has never been a mauler in his career, except when cold-cocking teammates.

  • In reply to KissMyButkus:

    Bear Down you rat bastards!!

  • In reply to PhantomOne:

    magnificent rat bastards

  • In reply to BillW:

    How would they win? I would say it's pretty obvious to anyone who watched them beat us the last time, or watched them beat the Saints.

    1) Effective O-line.
    2) 12 year veteran QB on the same pages as his corps of professional receivers, one of whom is 6'5 and quite good.
    3) A best at RB.
    4) Solid enough TE
    5) Good OC, good HC.
    6) Will be facing a likely ineffective pass rush (see BEar's pass rush on frozen ground)on a Cover 2 find-the-hole defense.
    7) Will be playing an offense with a bad o-line and immature receivers, led by a QB with a fuck-you-I'll-squeeze-it-in there attitude ... who will then do exactly the same thing on the next drive to try and prove a point.

    reasons they won't win ?

    Our defense ....if our pass rush gets going ...

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    6'5" receiver who is quite good. You don't mean the dude they pulled off the burning trash heap of Matt Millen's GM career. Lets dump Angelo and replace him with Millen that would be entertaining.

  • In reply to DocNitty34:

    Meant "Mully has an article saying how the Bears could lose."

  • In reply to DocNitty34:

    Doc, now you can understand why I had to root for the Cheese last week. Same for me, but worse: Eagles fans.

  • In reply to sjvl:

    Oh, I've always understood. What I don't understand is how a victory over the eagles means more to you than one over the Packers. I hate the Seahawks and the 49ers even more. But there's no way I'd prefer a Seahawk or 49er loss to a Packers loss.

  • In reply to DocNitty34:

    +1

  • In reply to DocNitty34:

    Because, Doc, if by some twist of horrible fate the Eagles had won last week and then came into my hometown and beat my beloved Bears, life as I know it would become unbearable. I would take so much crap on a daily basis from Eagles fans - and I prefer to be on the giving end of that equation. Get it?

  • In reply to sjvl:

    not enough.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    An excellent observation, sir.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Now there is an excellent point, the Bears being on the correct side of the word 'lead'.

  • In reply to sjvl:

    I'm coming in late here, but wanted to add my 2 cents. It is amazing that the press - and fans - are thinking "what should happen to Lovie if we lose?" To a team that is clearly inferior to ours.

    Not that I don't understand it - I do. It's in the back of everyone's mind. That Lovie coached out of desparation this year. That, plus a schedule that laid out quite well (in retrospect) got us a number 2 seed that few would have predicted at the beginning of the season.

    So there is a fear of "maybe it WAS all smoke and mirrors after all". And a loss to the Seahawks would confirm it. Therefore - Lovie probably should be held accountable.

    Problem is - it's pretty tough to win any game in the NFL; and when epxectatiosn add additional pressure, it gets even tougher. Beign a ten point favorite doesn not mean (obviously) that the score is 10-0 befroe kickoff. And yet if the score is tied at halftime, the players COULD consider themselves behind.

    And so I come to my point (yes, I do have one). This is actually where Lovie rises above other coaches. I suspect in an unexpectedly tight game he will convince the players that winning is the only thing, and they will prevail because of him.

    The assistants have proven themselves and I suspect the game plan will be very sound. I hope the fans will support the team even if things are tight (I won't be there but my two sons will.)

    My only fear is if the Packers win Saturday, the players may actually start thinking ahead a bit. And again, I expect Lovie to help prevent that.

    These are his strengths. I hope he's learned some humilty and we never he "trust me" again.

    (And I hope there are no important challenge situations.)

  • In reply to BillW:

    that was at least .04 worth Bill. Solid points.

  • In reply to BillW:

    How are they clearly inferior to us? They already beat us.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Common Irish, you know I love you, but this is getting silly.

    We lose this game and there's something drastically wrong somewhere in our organization, like the head office or the G.... wait...

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    But, what if we WIN this game? Is it necessarily true that there is something drastically right with the organization?

    And, what does it say about Seattle if they win? Any kudos to them at all?

    It's all about match-ups. When our O-line is involved every team has an advantage because they are atrocious. I agree with you 100% that we need O-line help, but Kyle Orton was not our long term solution. I'm glad we got Cutler and got someone on the D-line. I would venture to guess we went after the free agent O-linemen last summer and just couldn't pull off the deals. THEN we went after Peppers. That's my guess.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    Good point Johnny. And because the window of opportunity is closing for our veterans, we might as well let Lovie ride into the sunset with them. No reason to keep Jerry around - I don't imagine there are any players in love with *him*.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Supposing Lovie's contract is extended, I wonder if we could make him attend the Bill Belichek Coaching During the Game summer camp. When he goes there, he really shouldn't miss the lecture, "Thinking Ahead of the the Clock: How to Manage Timeouts So You Don't Look Like An Idiot" and "The Half's Not Over Yet: Making the Most of That Last 1:00"

  • In reply to jj320:

    We need to hire a game-manager. A guy to handle the tactical decisions: timeouts, fourth-down decisions, challenges. Actually all teams probably need this, as head coaches are too involved in the big-picture stuff to give these decisions the attention they need, and probably also lack the capacity to grasp the combinatorics/probabilities involved.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Sad but true. We need to take every possible managerial decision away from the guy that's hired to make them. Why? To keep our players happy, to leave them with their security blanket. Sad but true. Isn't Marinelli Asst. HC? He should be if he isn't.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    0-16 Marinelli? Promoted? Now you're just screwing with us Irish.

  • In reply to jj320:

    Please get him into the session on "How and When To Throw The Red Flag" too. Pleeeeeeease.

  • In reply to jj320:

    My soulmate!

  • In reply to jj320:

    Here's my take on Lovie. He was terrible in 2007, 2008 and 2009. No one can disagree with that. What changed in 2010? Yes, a healthy Urlacher was a big improvement. But aside from that, the biggest thing that changed was the coordinators. Mike Martz was a huge step up from Ron Turner. And it seems obvious to me that Marinelli was a huge step up from LOVIE, to say nothing about Bob Babich (re: Marinelli - just gotta love everything you learn about that guy, he's a guy that Papa Bear would have loved, methinks).

    I think this whole year is a testament to the real importance of positional coaching. And although I don't know who was behind it (could have been the hated Angelo, you know), I guess we're assuming that Lovie was at least supportive of the coaching changes if not behind them. Those coaching changes SUCCEEDED, and those MUST be carried forward to next year.

    I'm sure there are a somewhat wide variety of head coaches, and head coaching styles, and head coaching assumed responsibilities. There's no doubt in my mind that Bill Belichick assumes MANY more responsibilities than Lovie. And that's likely a serious understatement.

    But I think Lovie MUST do more than I think he does. I think he's actually likely a pretty good leader of men. I've had a theory going that Lovie is a better head coach of good teams than he is a fixer of bad teams. Maybe that's a truism that applies to any coach. But with a good team in 2006, he got us to the Big Game. With worse teams, he underachieved and missed the playoffs. I think that this is a year with a Good Team. If anything, if we make it to the Big Game again this year, I think it will be a bigger accomplishment than 2006.

    Lovie is NOT good at game management, at least he hasn't been in the past. But challenge flags, well-thrown or no, RARELY have ANY impact on wins or losses. It's more of a nationally televised Wunderlich test, which sadly, Lovie fails continually. Other than that, is he really making big decisions during games? Belichick does, I'm sure of it. Lovie does not, pretty sure of that too.

    As to his future, I think it's a lock that he stays for the last year on his contract - nothing else makes sense given the success of this year, the obvious (to me at least) need to keep this coordinator staff intact, and the possibility of lockout which makes an expensive signing of a new gold plated celebrity coach a potentially terrible business move (at least for 2011). So I think that Lovie won his next year with the accomplishment of a #2 seed and a 1st round bye. Maybe he won it a few games before that.

    As far as this manufactured issue about "do we or don't we extend Lovie" - that's a chimera. A 100% Certified NON ISSUE. Why would we need to extend him? Because so many teams are lined up for his services? No, that status would be reserved for the likes of Jim Harbaugh, or Bill Cowher. Lovie can get another job, but he'd be one of the last signed, and for not that much money. Why? Because of the bald and damning evidence of 2007, 2008 and 2009. So to me, there's not many moving parts here, Lovie is already allowed to serve out the last year on his contract. The only extension that would possibly occur this year is if we win it all, and shy of that, MAYBE if we get to the Big Game. And I think if we did, and he got us there in two of five years, I'd be okay with that.

    BillW, great posts as usual, always look forward to seeing you write here.

  • In reply to PhilfromSATX:

    Don't fool yourself. If Lovie wasn't extended there would be more than a few teams making offers for his services. There is such a thing as a no tamper clause in NFL head coaching recruitment. In fact after this season I think he might get more offers than Cowher because he's fresher and in the thick of the action. Also he doesn't want control over personnel decisions.

  • In reply to PhilfromSATX:

    Great post Phil. The thing with the extension is teams NEVER let coaches get into their last year of their contract before giving the coach an extension. So the question is, does he deserve a new contract after the postseason, based on what he's done this year? But I agree with all of your points.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Trac I'm with you and sjvl that a win sunday is an accomplishment. Maybe I'm a pessimist but do we really think we are 10 point favorites? I say it'll be a lot closer than that and we win by 3. Here's hoping Vegas knows more than I do...

  • In reply to Jokey:

    Agreed Jokey. I'll say it again though. Vegas lines are not the bookmakers assessment of actual outcome. They are a means to get action near both sides.
    The reasoning goes something like this. How many points do we need to give the publicly favored team until the betting starts going both ways so we can hedge ourselves? The Bears are most definitely a "public" team. This means that more everyday bettors are likely to lay down money. So Vegas has to add anywhere from a half point or even three to the number to get action moving the other way. The lines in big games for the Bears will always be inflated for this reason. The same is true of Pittsburgh, Dallas, Green Bay and both New York squads. Bigger fan bases means more "average joe" bettors.

  • In reply to buckbear:

    Okay I think I follow you. If a bet-taker has 500 Mil on one game, they make the most profit by minimizing risk and splitting the bets down the middle 50/50, 250 Mil on each team, since they profit by taking a cut off the transaction.

    So the assumption you're making is that the everyday bettor tends to bet with his heart instead of his head? I'm not so sure that that's true. For me, I know as much about my team's flaws as its strengths. Maybe that's why I don't bet on games. But I can say for this sunday, I'd bet on the Seahawks to cover (yet still lose, but I don't think there is such a bet as a cover-yet-lose. There is a cover-and-win bet I think which is the "money line" iirc).

  • In reply to Jokey:

    You made my point exactly. Vegas knows how many points it takes to get you to vote with your head and not your heart. Since the Bears are the team with THE bigger fan base they need to nudge the line where reasonable fans who might be inclined to bet might bet against their team. If the line were 6 or 7 not many would even think twice about the Seahawks' odds of covering. If this were a regular season game the line might be 7 or 8 because fans are less inclined to bet when the stakes for their team are lower, so they wouldn't need to coax some of the legion of Bears supporters away from their own team.

  • In reply to Jokey:

    The Seahawks against the Saints was a hugely attractive bet. 10 point in football is huge, especially when games are decide on average by around a FG. And after the Bucs manhandled them?

  • In reply to buckbear:
  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Hehe..you said gaping holes.

    +1 MB. Also, I hope we can snag AJ Hawk from the Pack next year, would be a nice addition at LB

  • In reply to buckbear:

    Okung vs. Pep - Round 2.

    That was a big part of the Seahawk success against us this season.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    i think Pep is going to have an impact this game. tipped pass INT or sack fumble. he is due.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    The Bears are completely healthy and will run a balanced attack. This is a guaranteed win. There is no doubt in my mind that we win this game. I can't wait to watch this ass kicking. Martz will not fuck this up. He will dial up some sweet plays and we will execute. Forte is going to run like a badass again and will catch at least 5 out of the backfield. Bennett will come through. Olsen will bring his A game and the defense is going to force some turnovers. Hester is going to be Hester. GIDDY is the only word to describe my demeanor.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    I'm with you waffle, this will be a fucking beatdown of epic proportions. No doubt in my mind.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    Olsen's A game is three receptions though.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    Olsen's A game is having more than one reception.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    hee hee... +1

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Do you think the SeaChickens will play with fire twice? I hope so. I agree with Jeff, I think Pep is looking at that tape of a rook going one on one with him, and just getting fired up.

    However, part of the reason for our lack of pass rush vs them last time is that Hasselback get's rid of the ball pretty quickly, and Mike Williams is a big bodied (TE really) that doesn't mind going over the middle, or waiting in the cover-2 gaps, unlike the rinky-dink Philly wrs.

    This means one of three things must happen:

    1)GREAT individual performance by a Dlinemen, probable
    2)Actually jamming the WR on the line of scrimmage. Have we done this even in one game all year?
    3)More blitzes, but then we'd have to trust Manning at Safety, or Peanut in coverage...neither inspires confidence.

    IF not, prepare for more of the same Hassleback small ball that keeps our D on the field for far too long, simultaneously making Martz antsy with his trigger finger...

  • In reply to KissMyButkus:

    Hasselbeck I mean, or Hass lol

  • In reply to KissMyButkus:

    or

    4) We score more points than they do.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    $91 million dollar man. Owned by a rookie.

  • In reply to buckbear:

    Agreed with many others...a playoff win is a playoff win and it doesn't matter who it comes against. Although a playoff loss against a lesser opponent (like Seattle) would definitely hurt Lovie more than a loss to the Eagles or Saints.

  • In reply to buckbear:

    You can back a horse early at 40/1, it might trot up at 7/4 on the day. Market pressure.

  • In reply to Jokey:

    I wish I were a betting woman, but I am not, so the whole points/favorites thing is something I ignore.

    I always like the Bears. ALWAYS. And as I have had to remind a lot of people, one point or a thousand, a win is a win. That's all I want.

  • In reply to sjvl:

    +1 One of the many reasons I started frequenting this site..."I ALWAYS like the Chicago Bears"
    I'm not a bettor either. I just like to understand things and Vegas lines are very confusing at times. You have to figure that the Bears are actually favored by the pros as 3-6 points better than the Seahawks. Home field the public perception of the game and a few other factors are all contributing to the 10 point spread. Perception is only important for the lines. If the Bears have more points than the other team when the final whistle sounds then I'm happy.

  • In reply to buckbear:

    Vegas knows this team is different from the one the Seahawks defeated weeks ago.

  • In reply to buckbear:

    Jeff didn't like them against GB, Buck, so it's not technically true anymore.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Didn't he call Bears 30 Packers 29?

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Yeah...well. Jeff ain't perfect and I stayed here because of you Irish. There is still good in you. I believe one day you will come back from the dark side of the force.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    I said I ALWAYS like the Bears. Not everyone does.....

  • In reply to Jokey:

    We were nine point (I think) favorites the first time around. We lost. Spread is to high and means nothing.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    I think we're the Silver Standard, Trac. #2 seed and all...

    lol.

  • In reply to sjvl:

    (this is not in the right place)

  • In reply to sjvl:

    We're probably more like the copper standard. Pats, Ravens, Falcons, and perhaps GB ?

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    If Lovie goes. I think we must still keep Martz. We cant afford Cutler going through and learning another offensive system. Martz has to be the one for years to come. I think if another OC does come along, I would be saying that we are ruining his career. As for Lovie, What does he do? IN game? timeouts and challenges? I dont see him calling plays, I always see him in one spot. How he got the job, I have no idea. Look at his previous work experience.

  • In reply to Grizzly559:

    Lovie comes from a coaching line (Dungy's) which is much less demonstrative than the average coach in the NFL. This doesn't mean that he's doing nothing, it just means that he's more subdued. There is definitely one thing that he did that he deserves credit for. He got Martz to give up some of his pass happy ways and commit to running more. I have no doubt that Lovie is a great people manager and keeps some of the head cases in the locker room in check or shows them the door. Game time decisions are maybe 20% of the job. The most visible percentage no doubt, but not the only important part of his job.

  • In reply to buckbear:

    But how do u know he got Martz to be more balanced? People manager yes, but game manager, No. And that is what matter the most.

  • In reply to Grizzly559:

    I'd have to argue with you there Fres. Managing players and getting the most out of them is far more important than the 6 challeng flags he throws/doesn't throw in a season. We put way to much emphasis on whole challenge thing. There should be 1 guy, not the head coach, in charge of weather or not to toss the ole red laundry.

  • In reply to Grizzly559:

    If we could have both I'd take it, but how many of those have there been in the history of the league. A handful at best...Walsh and Belichick are the only ones that spring to mind immediately. Everyone else is one or the other and in this entitled day and age in the NFL I'd rather have the people manager. Games really only come down to clock management a couple times a season. Otherwise its pre-game scheme and personnel prep and half time adjustments. If you look at Lovie's record for half time adjustments it really isn't that bad.

  • In reply to buckbear:

    The only place half-time adjustments really counted - in the superbowl ... fail.

  • In reply to buckbear:

    Superbowl. Halftime adjustments. Fail.

  • In reply to buckbear:

    But look how long it took him to change course. Half the guys here were yelling from the top of their lungs to run the ball way before they actually implemented that change. That's exactly what I'm talking about.

  • In reply to buckbear:

    He took waaaay too long in reining in Martz. That's a black mark against him, not a gold star. He should have been "Hey Martz! WTF? Call a fkn run play you moron!". Ditka style.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    I've said it since preseason (though maybe not on this particular blog, as I was a nube), but I predicted the Bears to go 10-6 and just barely make the play-offs as a wild-card team. I also predicted the Pack to go 12-4 (splitting the Bears games), but naturally, I wasn't accounting for 14 players on the IR, so there was my caveat. This may seem sacrilegious, but I am a bit rational at times.

    I will also reiterate another mantra, that we MUST win at least ONE play-off game to keep Angelo and Smith, though now, I've softened up on Smith, but am even more of a hard liner in getting rid of Angelo.

    Admittingly, in preseason I thought that one play-off win would come in the wild-card against the 9ers or the such, but still, I DEMAND at least one play-off win, and in this year of parity, esp in the NFC, I EXPECT a superbowl! My expectations have changed, but I don't think any honest bears fan can say otherwise.

    Lovie has earned at least another year, unless someone like The Chin wants to come in, AND keep Martz and Marinelli and Toub, of course. I don't really see that happening, and with this veteran team, I don't want to see us "rebuilding" because that implies a firesale on most of our players and about 3years of suckiness - no thanks.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Well said Trac. If Lovie was responsible for Toub, Tice and Marinelli, then good for him, or whoever. The jury is still out on Martz though. We're a team that's built around our defense and that defense is Lovie's in fairness to him. We are also not exactly plagued by penalties, also ultimately down to him. He's not the worst coach, and he's not the best. We could be so much better with a savvy GM though.

  • Max, no more losing talk. Chickens die Sunday. Hasselbeck wings clipped.

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