Week 5: What Did We Learn?


Another week has concluded in the NFL and the season has been amazing so far. 6 undefeated teams still remaining after week 5!?!? The finish to the Chargers/Steelers game was unbelievable! Devonta Freeman of the Atlanta Falcons is proving that he isn’t a fantasy football fluke. What else did we learn?

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Cutler In The Clutch
Personally, entering this game I felt my Chicago Bears had a slim chance of winning this game. Not because of the swiss cheese defense or the insufficient weapons on offense but for the simple fact the game was at Arrowhead, a place where it’s tough to beat Kansas City. The way the flow of the game was going, the Chiefs was one big play away from icing the game early and you could feel it coming. But then the unthinkable happened… Jamaal Charles went down (I’m a big fan of his. I have him in 4 fantasy football leagues but I’m more concerned with his help. I pray he will have a speedy recovery). Once that happened, the Bears started to believe they could win the game. The defense started to play solid and their offense responded. Jay Cutler hit Marques Wilson with a 22 yard touchdown with 3:05 left in the game. Cutler then finds Matt Forte with the game winning score with 18 seconds left after dropping the snap. The Bears have won 2 consecutive games off of game winning drives. The Bears travel to Detroit next Sunday to play a struggling Lions team.

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Ugly In Motown
Speaking of the Lions, its looking gloomy. Their winless start is surprising and unsurprising at the same time. They have so much talent on the offense to be winless, BUT at the same time we’re talking about the Lions. Their defense lost it’s “mojo” from last year, the running game is obsolete, and Matthew Stafford has turned into Casper the friendly ghost. I don’t understand how you are winless through 5 games when you have Megatron on your team. He can win you a few games by himself. Cam Newton has far less weapons to use and his team can score points, and they’re undefeated (granted their defense is amazing but he team still has to play offense). The Lions have other weapon as well but if you can’t utilize your best player then what’s the point of mentioning them?

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San Diego Equals Mediocre
When T.I. made that song “No Mediocre”, he was referring to women and the San Diego Chargers. Ever since LaDainian Tomlinson left San Diego for the New York Jets, the Chargers have been stuck in a state of mediocrity. They have a legitimate quarterback in Philip Rivers with his best receiving option being an aging tight end Antonio Gates for all of his career. Their defense has been average at best over the years. They are not bad enough to get a high draft pick, but they are not good enough to make a playoff run if they make the playoffs. A roadblock was put up when Peyton Manning entered the AFC West. As long as number 18 is the quarterback in Denver, Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers will always be grounded. And as long as they keep making conservative offseason moves, they will always be mediocre.

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Who’s The Real MVP?
I know a couple of weeks ago I suggested that Julio Jones was the early favorite as MVP but since then his production has decreased courtesy of Matt Ryan. Honestly, the award is a free for all thus far. Tom Brady has been almost flawless this year his team is undefeated. Well, the same could be said about Andy Dalton. Aaron Rodgers is Aaron Rodgers, and Cam Newton is making a dollar out of 15 cents. Then you can’t over look Carson Palmer and Matt Forte quietly leads the league in rushing. It’s too early to tell but who do you think is the MVP so far?

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Darkhorses Are Looming
The known threats (Green Bay, New England, Denver, and Seattle will get it together) every year is around again. There are a couple of teams they has flown under the radar or not have been taking seriously. The Arizona Cardinals are a legitimate threat to come out the NFC as long as Carson Palmer doesn’t go down. The Cincinnati Bengals are another team but probably won’t get the respect because Andy Dalton has been a disappearing act the postseason. The jury is still out on them and rightfully so. The same can be said about Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. Some other teams have potential but let’s see how it plays out.

JGood

NFL’s Oldest Rivalry



Tomorrow (September 13, 2015), the Chicago Bears will host the Green Bay Packers in the 191st meeting, including the postseason, between the two teams. Chicago leads the all-time series 93-91-6 which dates all the way back to 1921. The two teams have combined for 22 NFL Champions, 5 Super bowls, and 57 members of the hall of fame. Check out the history of their rivalry below:

NFL’s Oldest Rivalry

As a Bears fan growing up, the two things my father kept mentioning was the ’85 Bears team and beating Green Bay. He had the Super bowl recorded on VHS (Throwback!) so I’ve seen the game dozens of times. What I haven’t seen dozens of times, however, is the Packers losing to the “Monsters of the Midway”.

Chicago was dominating the series until the past 2 decades. Green Bay has featured two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks (Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers). Chicago’s defense has dramatically declined from its signature style over the past few seasons, and Aaron Rodgers has taken advantage of it. Last season against Chicago, Rodgers completed 40 of 55 attempts for 617 yards, 10 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions, with a quarterback rating 149.0. In the last meeting, Green Bay demolished Chicago 55-14 at Lambeau Field.

As a Bears fan, I think John Fox has the perfect opportunity to set the bar high by beating the rivals on opening day. I’m not saying it’s going to be. We all know what Aaron Rodgers is capable of even without Jordy Nelson. If the Bears can convert on 3rd downs and not turn the ball over then they have a chance. Both defenses aren’t elite by any means so I expect at least one team to run up the scoreboard.

In order to stop Green Bay, you have to stop the run and you have to put pressure on the quarterback. Eddie Lacy can’t average 4 to 5 yards a carry, and he can’t have multiple big plays. You HAVE to pressure Aaron Rodgers. If you give him time, the game is over. If you force pressure, he’ll get sacked or rush passes and that may lead to a costly mistake. Also, you have to make them settle for field goals in the red zone. The Bears are losing this game if they turn the ball over, and if they don’t establish the running game.

All in all, I’m looking forward to every meeting between the two teams. I hope my Bears win, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Packers come out on top. We only get to see this match-up 2 times a year (3 times if we’re lucky). Get your popcorn ready!! (Anybody catch that T.O. reference?).

Bears Vs Packers Preview

Bear Down!

JGood

NFL Players At The Crossroads


Usually when players are at the crossroads of their careers, it’s based on their  performances, inability to stay on the field, or just bad timing. A few players were actually successful at the pivotal moment (Drew Brees and Reggie Bush). And then there were players, recently, who might have officially ended up on the wrong side (Trent Richardson, Tim Tebow, RG3, Matt Flynn, Jonas Gray). The RG3 situation is an unusual one that I’ll explain in the next couple of days. For now, here are a few players who’s currently at the fork in the road.

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Jay Cutler
When Jay Cutler was first traded to Chicago in 2009, I was excited. He was coming off a Pro Bowl season. The Bears haven’t had a real quarterback in ages. Cutler has all the talent to be a great quarter, especially his extravagant arm strength. John Fox is his 3rd head coach since being in the Windy City and has had plenty of offensive coordinators including Mike Martz. This could possibly be his best season yet. However, his terrible decision-making and only 1 playoff win in his tenure makes him a viable candidate for this list.

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Jonathan Stewart
The 28-year-old and former Oregon Duck is a good underrated running back. You probably couldn’t tell because he was splitting carries with DeAngelo Williams and… his inability to stay on the field. In Stewarts first 4 seasons, he only missed 2 games. However, he has missed 20 in the past 3 seasons. What will Stewart do as the feature back this season is the question…

Sam Bradford
The former number overall pick back in 2010 is on the list because of his injury history. It was bad enough his best weapon on offense was an aging Stephen Jackson back in St Louis. He has had two consecutive seasons ended due to a torn ACL and doesn’t need to happen a 3rd time. In a Chip Kelly offense, Bradford is due for a prime year, only…. if he can stay healthy.

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Darren McFadden
Run DMC has the talent to be a top 10 back in this league. He has great acceleration and lateral quickness. He now plays behind the best offensive line in football. But just like him and the past 2 players I just mentioned, he has a history problem. Personally, I want to see him destroy the NFL but only his legs will tell. He also has to get over the hurdle of being second on the team’s depth chart behind Joseph Randle.

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Doug Martin
The “Muscle Hamster” caught defenses off guard with is powerful running tactics during his rookie campaign. The next couple of years, his production declined due to injuries (how surprising) and a bad offensive line. Doug Martin appears to be healthy, but he needs to stay that way because Charles Sims is sitting there hovering his starting job.

Michael Crabtree
The former college All American has yet to live up to expectations in the NFL. He has been in an inconsistent, run heavy offense in San Francisco, but he has had key drops in crucial game moments as well. According to Richard Sherman, he’s just a Mediocre’ Receiver. Now, across the bay in Oakland, he has a chance to resurrect his career. The clock is ticking.

JGood