Bears could deliver severe blow to Vikings

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by short faced bear, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach
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    An 0-2 start has been disastrous for teams, largely killing playoff aspirations over last 23 seasons

    Nobody ever has pretended professional football embodied lofty ideals expressed through classy Latin phrases. You can leave "citius, altius, fortius'' (faster, higher, stronger) to the Olympic crowd.

    The NFL is more "Rah Rah Ree, Kick 'em in the knee …'' with considerably saltier language that some pardon as French. Winning is the only ideal in the NFL and kicking a team that's down the only acceptable practice. And, wow, do the Bears have a golden chance Sunday to lay out the Vikings.

    The Bears don't even have to go low and illegal, Ndamukong Suh-style, to block the Vikings playoff chances. An 0-2 start in two division games would send them reeling out of contention in the NFC North, even if things are just getting started.

    One week into the 2013 season it's accepted fact the NFL is a quarterback's league, and the Viking's don't have a very good one. NFL quarterbacks combined for a whopping 63 touchdown passes on opening weekend, exceeding the highest total passes in any week in NFL history (58 in 2004 and 2007 late in each season).

    Ponder contributed to the total with a 4-yard strike to running back Adrian Peterson, so he's clearly better than the Jaguars' Blaine Gabbert. In fairness, Ponder did complete passes of 44 and 47 yards in a 10-point loss to the Lions and he finished with six fewer passing yards than Jay Cutler for the weekend. But Ponder also threw three interceptions and lost a fumble, raising calls for Matt Cassel to take over.

    Changing quarterbacks is a desperate act one game into a season, but frankly, the Vikings have to be pretty distressed given their situation. If they start the season 0-2, that is a death knell to playoff hopes in the modern NFL. Only 22 of 190 teams in the last 23 years have made the playoffs after an 0-2 start, 11.6 percent.

    There is an obvious reason slow starts lead to bad years. Bad teams have a hard time playing well, let alone starting well. If you are only going to win a couple of games in a season, odds are they won't be the first two. Conversely, good teams tend to limit losing streaks and beat teams they're supposed to beat. It's unlucky if the schedule is loaded against you early, but finding a way to win is the only way of life in the NFL.

    None of the six 0-2 teams last year, including the Saints, made the playoffs or finished better than 7-9. The 7-9 Saints were reeling from fallout over the bounty scandal and played without suspended coach Sean Payton among many key losses. Poor Aaron Kromer, now the Bears offensive coordinator, oversaw the first six games as interim head coach before Joe Vitt returned after six games. The Saints lost four straight to open the season, including one in overtime and a one-point loss to the Packers.

    None of seven teams that opened 0-2 in 2011 could pull off the turnaround either, again with no team better than 7-9. You have to go back to 2008 to find playoff teams that opened 0-2 — the Vikings, Dolphins and Chargers. But those teams didn't lose their first two games in their own conference, let alone their own division which would be the case for the Vikings this year.

    Winning early and often doesn't assure a playoff spot, but roughly 58 percent of the team that win their first two games go on to the postseason. The Bears have opened 2-0 just three times since Mike Ditka was fired after the 1991 season. The Bears went to the NFC championship game in 2010, made the Super Bowl in 2006 and wound up 4-12 in 2002. Two out of three ain't bad.

    The Bears last started 0-2 in 2003 and they wound up 7-9 and out of the playoffs.

    A year ago the Bears split their first two games, but went 7-1 in the first half of the season before seeing their fortunes turn in the second half, losing five of six in one stretch. The Bears recovered in time to win at Arizona and Detroit, but the Vikings had found their stride and rode a four-game winning streak, including a season-finale victory over the Packers for a 10-6 record and a playoff spot over the Bears. The rest is history with Lovie Smith getting fired and most of his staff out the door with him.

    Much has been made about the difficulty of this year's schedule in comparison to the cakewalk of last season. In fact, the Bears played eight games against teams that eventually went to the playoffs a year ago, including the two apiece against the Packers and Vikings. They are scheduled for seven games against 2012 playoff teams with a victory over the Bengals already in the books with games scheduled against the Ravens, Redskins, Packers (twice) and Vikings (twice). None of those teams won on opening weekend.

    If you believe in the curse of the 0-2 start, then the Bears schedule figures to be minus a playoff team or two with key games this weekend featuring the Redskins at Packers, Steelers at Bengals, Browns at Ravens and Broncos at Giants.

    Wouldn't it be something if the Bears beat the Vikings and the Redskins take out the Packers? That would make Week 4 at Detroit a crucial division showdown. It's very early, of course, and nothing is promised, not even the playoffs following a 7-1 start. But a big victory on opening day can set up a big season — provided you kick em' in the knee when the opportunity arises.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sport...rs-mulliigan-chicago-20130911,0,7067245.story
     
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  2. Nakoma1

    Nakoma1 Veteran

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    IM IN ! ! !
    I'm more a realist (INSERT NAME ;) than the many think me to be,....like when I say I want to enjoy this season 1 game at a time and not really have ANY so called " Pipedream EXPECTATIONS " I really do want to watch this team GROW ,....and if they don't make the playoffs this year but have a decent record at doing such 10-6 maybe one better at 11-5 ,... This is where i'm setting the bar for my expectations ,... THEN so be it ,....So long as they comeback next season with a vengeance And RAWCK N ROLLL from there

    IMHO Trestmans picking up this team maybe a year or so ahead of when Lovie acquired the team when he came on board as the HC. Lovie had the table set for him. Trestman and Emerry still have their work cut out for them Which I feel these two can work together and MAYBe and hopefully build that perennial winning dynasty the many of have longed for GAWD would this be sweeeeeeet ! ! ! !

    BUT THAT doesn't mean I won't wanna see Da Bears stick it to the Packers ,... in a rather more handily way than they have had with the Bears in more recent years AND that was due more to the Bears ineptness and lack of adjusting AND NOT having the right personnel on the Offensive side of the ball Coaches and Players alike

    Cincy was no slouch team. The Bears did well,....they came back with stops on D and the O went on and scored ,... and they won the game ,...AND that 4 n 2 sweep right made the difference, (howyabout dem kids aaaaay !! ! ! ! !) WHAT A CALL !! ! ! put the kids on the spot ,..... F'ng A! ! !

    The Bears still had to make the first down there ,... never mind their stupid penalty on the prior set of downs

    YUP Trestman AND Uncle Philly are all business,.... and to that, I say BOUT TIME ! ! !




    BEAR DOWN
     
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  3. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler
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    One game at a time is how championships are won and from what I can see this team is playing it just that way. From what I could tell the coaching staff had their guys well prepared for the game on both sides of the ball. A lack of great execution and some very conservative play calling early on put is in the hole but when it came to the minutes that really counted the Bears were up to the task on both sides of the ball. Last year we would not have come back and won that game.

    I have far more confidence in this coaching staff and these players than I have had at any time in the past five years or so. I'm not saying they'll never get outcoached but it won't happen often and it will take some pretty crafty maneuvers to do it. This bunch knows the game, their player and their limitations, and how to position them to win far better than what I saw these last few years under Lovie and his staff.

    This Sunday's game is a "must win" as all inter-division games are. We were able to shut down a good RB last week and forced Dalton to the air where we can create turnovers more easily than we can playing a great running team. This week we're up against the best RB in the game and we need to be well prepared to stop him as much as possible. It's one of those "hats on the ball" kind of games and if we can force Ponder to throw we'll beat them.

    The Vikings don't have an AJ Green and I don't think we'll go two consecutive weeks without the pass rush doing more damage than it did last week. They weren't that bad but Cincy was that good at getting rid of the ball quickly. I think Tucker will have corrected the issues we had with giving up the big play as well and the Vikes simply don't have a QB/WR combo like Dalton and Green. I expect a much tighter game defensively this week.

    The offense just needs to keep developing each week and coming off a really good second half performance last week should help. Making that key 4th down pickup, the clutch throw and catch by Marshall for the winning TD, and our ability to run out the clock should all be confidence builders. I don't expect Trestman to be quite as conservative early on this week as he was last. If we can put a couple of sixes on the board early we can take AP out of the game to some extent and that's what we need to do. He's the one player on that team who can makes us pay for poor gap control and poor tackling.
     
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  4. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris Head Coach

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    I forgot where I read the tweet, but it said "Andy Dalton had the shortest amount of time to pass last week", which if you watched the game is a misnomer, he wasn't under much pressure. It's stupid that in today's NFL, all the media does is harp on you until you win your first playoff game*. Don't win one, you're not a real QB. Okay fine, but if you go 2 seasons or more in a row (Schaub, Ryan,) while making the playoffs and you're a Pro Bowler, it's obviously not the QB that's the problem. Anyhoo, the reason I'm bringing that up is that Andy Dalton IS elite. Only Dan Marino and Peyton Manning threw for more TD's in their first 2 seasons than him. Since Dalton is elite, and he's getting the ball out quickly, that should dictate that our defensive line never had a chance. I think we'll probably get a few sacks against an average-at-best QB, in Ponder.

    *Romo's probably the best example of this being crap. Ryan was a good example last year.
     
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  5. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka
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    Wouldn't say Dalton is elite, but I think he's better then people give him credit for. And much like w/Brees that quick release helps his OL more then people are willing to admit.

    Remember all the people saying Bushrod was garbage b/c of all the "pressures" he gives up w/a qb that got rid of the ball so quick in Brees? Getting the ball out quickly, and accurately is an important part of being a qb.
     
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  6. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris Head Coach

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    I agree. I'd say tho, if Dalton's not elite, he's about to kick it's door down.
     
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  7. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Assistant Head Coach
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    Exactly. Having a quick release is a huge asset, and now more than ever. The defenses have evolved to the point that NO offensive line can provide perfect protection for the QB. Even the best OL's are going to give up sacks. That's why Jay Cutler has to continue what he began this first game - getting the ball out of his hands quickly.

    Dalton is a great example of this. No defensive line is going to rack up big numbers against a guy like that. The ball is gone in a heartbeat.
     
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  8. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka
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    Yep, and that all begins w/trusting your coaches gameplan and your receivers.
     
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  9. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris Head Coach

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    Some fun facts:

    Christian Ponder has only completed 52.7% of passes against the Chicago Bears, with only one touchdown.

    Adrian Peterson has had 54 carries for 301 yards against us in all 3 games in which they both played.

    Now, while AP got the majority of his yards last time, he actually had a better average the game before. Why is that? Christian Ponder was forced to throw 43 times in a losing effort, vs. 17 in their winning effort.

    Forte had a paltry 37 total touches against the Vikes last year (including catches).

    Since arriving in Chicago in 2008, Jay Cutler has had NO winning games, in which he threw for 40 or more passes. It looks like the "comfort zone" would be low 30s, high 20s. He threw 33 in the victory last year, and 44 in the loss.

    It also needs to be noted that Brian Urlacher was out, and Chris Conte (who had missed the weak prior to this) was battling the flu in the last turnout.

    If you look through all the records, (and if you have a good memory), you will notice that inferior safety play (guys like Archuleta and Kevin Payne stick out) is often a reason why the Vikings are able to hammer our defense so well. The reason why I bring up safety play is because AP is such a good player, he's more than likely going to get past the linebackers a few times each game.


    To conclude before you say we'll win, you must ask yourselves:

    1. How good are our safeties against the run?
    2. Do we have legitimate play from the MLB?
    3. Can we get Forte enough touches, both passing and receiving?
    4. Can we keep Cutler from having to throw the ball 40 times?
    5. Can we force Ponder to pass more than 20 times?

    1) I don't know the answer to, but I think Wright is pretty decent against the run
    2) Williams has shown by his play in the past that he's far superior to Nick Roach, who took over the mike spot when Urlacher was injured
    3) Trestman has kind of already shown that he wants Forte to have the ball.
    4) As long as the defense can hold up, this has shown to be manageable
    5) Same thing, but it goes to show that the Bears can afford to show no respect to their passing game.

    Honestly, this is a game we should win. The Vikes scored a lot of points last game, but the Lions linebackers and secondary are, undebatably, much less talented than ours.
     
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  10. DaTreeBears

    DaTreeBears Pro-Bowler

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    Peterson is like Walter Payton in his early career all running offense no passing. Seeing Walter after years of getting beat to a pulp is not much fun. When we got McMahon hey Walter has good hands Ditka found that out for us. Armstrong was just another moron coach. So looks like Bears will just crowd the box like Detroit did and make Ponder throw it. This game has a high likelihood of getting ugly for Viks.

    Crystal ball prediction we see Matt Cassel in the game in the second half.
     
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