- Sean Jensen at the Chicago Sun-Times points out that Aaron Rogers hasn’t been as successful against the Bears defense as other NFC North teams:
“Rodgers’ rating against the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings is over 115. Against the Bears, it’s 102.9.”
How interesting is it that we’ve come to the point with Rogers where a 103 rating isn’t impressive?
- But Joe Cowley at the Chicago Sun-Times thinks that the Packers may cause the Bears some trouble Thursday:
“Last year, however, Rodgers seemed to solve something. He had eight touchdowns and one interception in a two-game sweep. Not a good trend for the Bears entering the teams’ meeting Thursday night at Lambeau Field.”
- But Packer’s head coach Mike McCarthy seems to think his own team has some things to worry about. Like preparing for a a new offense that they know almost nothing about on a short week. Via Jensen:
“‘They’ve played one game. They’ve played one real football game,’ McCarthy said. ‘They’ve showed very little in the preseason. So that’s really part of playing the first three or four games of the season.
“‘There’ll be some unscouted looks for sure; there’ll be some things that we haven’t seen the Bears do. I feel safe in saying that.”‘
- Bear quarterback Jay Cutler seems prepared to take advantage of that. From Mark Potash at the Chicago Sun-Times:
“When Cutler was asked — almost reflexively during Packer Week — about the need for the Bears to control the ball and win time of possession against Aaron Rodgers, his response was deafening to those who still have ‘We come off the bus running’ ringing in their ears: ‘We’re in the point-scoring business,’ Cutler said. ‘Time of possession isn’t really something that’s on our mind.’”
Lots of confidence after one game. We shall see.
- Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune discusses one of the key things to watch Thurday night against the Packers. In the past they’ve stifled the Bears at the line of scrimmage with tight coverage. If Brandon Marshall can’t get off the line, no one can. Keep an eye on Alshon Jeffrey. If he doesn’t have trouble, either, the Bears may have solved the problem.
- Rick Telander at the Chicago Sun-Times quotes Jay Cutler‘s response when asked if he throws to Marshall too often:
“‘If we’re nine out of 15 to him, I’ll take that,’ Cutler continued. ‘But 15 times a game? That’s not going to happen. It’s just not. There’s going to be teams that take him away and we’ll have to go to other guys, and we’ll have to run the ball.’”
- Fred Mitchell at the Chicago Tribune quotes Cutler on the issue of crowd noise while the offense is on the field:
“Here’s the thing, as fans, I think everyone complained about our ability to audible … if we’re going to have the ability to do that, the stadium has to be relatively quiet for everyone to hear and be on the same page,” Cutler said. “Some people I hear today are a little bit perturbed about the way I said it, but so be it. We need it to be relatively quiet in the end zone and I think real Bears fans will understand that.”
- Potash tells us that Lovie Smith backs Cutler’s plea for quiet from the Soldier Field crowd. If I’m Detroit, I’m licking my chops at getting this team on the road and into a dome. Vaughn McClure at the Chicago Tribune would seem to agree:
“Cutler will have no choice but to contend with crowd noise Thursday night as the Bears travel to Green Bay to take on the rival Packers. The more than 70,000 expected at Lambeau Field certainly won’t shut up when the Bears are on offense.”
- How effective was Michael Bush? From Biggs:
“Bush scored on two one-yard runs and that is one more one-yard touchdown than Bears running backs produced all last season.”
- From McClure we have this news which may turn out to be of significance at some point:
“The Bears altered their roster by adding veteran tackle Jonathan Scott, who started 28 games in previous stops with the Lions, Bills and Steelers. He was a fifth-round pick of the Lions in 2006.”
Scott was a left tackle with the Steelers.
- Mike Tice was happy with Gabe Carimi‘s performance. Via Biggs:
“’He’s going to take a while to be up to full speed,’ Tice said last week. ‘The endurance in his leg is going to come with game time. We’re going to certainly be very careful if it appears that he’s getting tried. We have other guys who can spell him. But I’m anxious to see Carimi play. He came on real well at the end of preseason, really was run-blocking well. His pass protection has gotten better, so I’m excited to see how he matures.’
“We’ll see what Tice has to say later this week but Carimi likely passed the test.
“‘I think he was just worrying too much,’ Carimi said. ‘That is what he does. You always have to have a plan out there, right? I don’t think he meant it like I wasn’t ready or anything like that. Well, it sounded like it did.’”
I could be wrong but I really thought Carimi was a step slow Sunday. We’ll see how he does against the Packers.
- Dan Pompei at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions:
“Were you surprised by the use and performance of the Bears TE Evan Rodriguez? @URlyle, from Twitter
“Yes I was. I thought he was a fancy-Dan receiver, not a gritty, tough guy blocker. He made real contributions as a fullback, and also played well on special teams. He is now listed as a fullback on the depth chart, but I think he’s going to end up being more than a fullback. It will be interesting to see how his role evolves.”
- Biggs talks about cornerback Tim Jennings as he points out something I noticed as well.
“It was a veteran move to bait [Indianapolis quarterback Andrew] Luck into a throw on the final interception covering one-time Bears practice squad wide receiver Kris Adams. Jennings let Adams go by him in Cover 2 with Major Wright lending help over the top. Just as Adams went by Jennings, Luck committed to him. When the ball was released, Jennings turned it on and recovered to make the play. It was a savvy move, one Luck will learn from.”
- Matt Bowen at the Chicago Tribune describes how the Packers will attack Brian Urlacher:
“Inside of the numbers, the Packers are creating a one-on-one matchup with Jones versus Urlacher. The safeties will read the quarterback and “overlap” on any throw to the middle of the field. However, with both Wright and Conte occupied by vertical concepts outside of the numbers, Urlacher has to match to Jones and defend the inside post. This is his play to make in a tough spot against speed at receiver.”
- Pompei gives the scouting report on Cedric Benson:
“Benson has fumbled 12 times over the last two seasons, which is a big reason why he is a former Bengal. Opponents should go for the football from behind when he carries.”
- Steve Rosenbloom at the Chicago Tribune really wants to watch Benson. In a way.
- Pylon cameras could be ready for Bears-Packers. From the Tribune
- You’d like to think that Bear fans would attract a better class of pole dancer.
- Adam Schefter at ESPN says that Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings is 50-50 to play Thursday.
- Pompei is a 49ers believer. After watching them against the Packers, so am I. I had no idea they’d come back in and be that good this season. I’m guessing they can keep it up but injuries are alwasy the great equalizer when it comes to things like this.
- The Sports Pickle asks “Which rookie quarterback will be out of the NFL first? My personal vote:
“Russell Wilson – he hit .228 in the Mariners minor league system, so he could become their cleanup hitter at any moment”
- Week 1 is over and there’s already a list of coaches on the hot seat. From Mike Florio at profootballtalk.com:
- On a related note. From the Audibles section of Pro Football Weekly
“Mike Vick is a coach killer. … Mark my words — this will be his last year in Philadelphia.”
- Were the replacement referees really worse than the regular refs? A look inside the numbers might surprise you. From Chase Stuart at The New York Times.
- Like betting on football games real time during the game? There’s an app for that. From Joshua Brustein at The New York Times:
“Live ScoreCaster, a free app that recently hit the iTunes store, simulates each N.F.L. and major college football game 50,000 times after each play, then predicts the likelihood that each team will win, projecting the final score in real time.”
“Tim Tebow‘s 11 Rushing Yards Lead Jets To 48-28 Rout Of Bills”
One Final Thought
“(Bears QB Jay) Cutler made the throws he needed to make after a slow start. Indy is just not good enough — they have a long ways to go. The Bears are in good position heading to Green Bay. The Packers are going to be worn out by San Francisco — that is a physically imposing team.”
We shall see.