- Mark Potash at the Chicago Sun-Timessays that you might be surprised at the Bears record under Lovie Smith on Monday Night Football.
- Vaughn McClure at the Chicago Tribune says that Devin Hester is lobbying for more touches. Receivers coach Darryl Drake makes a good point:
“‘As a receiver, you better want it,’ Drake said Saturday. ‘If you don’t want the ball, I don’t want you. If you don’t want the football, what good are you … what kind of competitor are you?’”
Having said that, I’d say maybe Hester will get the ball more when he gets open. And maybe he should catch the ball when he does get open:
“Hester was targeted in the end zone during last Sunday’s 23-6 victory over the Rams, but Hester and Cutler failed to connect.
“‘I thought it was a tough catch but one he has to make,’ Drake said.”
I agree. Thinking about all that “Who are they going to cover” and “pick you poison” talk from the wide receivers during training camp makes me sick. Like Cutler did before the Green Bay game, there are guy son this offense that seem to talk a lot but they don’t seem to be much good at backing it up. I thought that stuff about the great unit they were going to have was all just wind then and nothing that has happened since has changed my mind. Earl Bennett is always solid but other than Brandon Marshall, who is being double covered like a blanket, I don’t think there’s a single playmaker on the whole unit.
- The Bears have a league-worst 3.32-yard average on first-down plays. From Sean Jensen at the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Joe Cowley at the Chicago Sun-Times says the Bears have to stop the run first and worry about Tony Romo second:
“‘Definitely, [Cowboys running back Demarco Murray is] a No. 1 running back,’ defensive end Corey Wootton said. ‘Every game we go into, especially with this team and DeMarco Murray, the way their line blocks, we definitely have to stop the run and force them to pass.’”
- Matt Bowen at the Chicago Tribune seems to imply that the Cowboys will try to run the ball, then use play acton with max protect (as illustrated). If the Bears manage to stay in a cover two against that, (as he implies), they’ll be OK on defense.
- Speaking of Murray, I thought Rick Gosselin at the Dallas Morning News gave us a little insight into how he plays with his answer to this fan’s question:
“I know Murray is fighting hard for his yards, but I’m worried that he’s getting hurt every play. He’s very slow to get up after almost every carry. Is he sandbagging (Ricky Williams used to take his time getting up as well) or do you think he’s actually getting his bell rung every play?
“Gosselin: Murray is a violent runner, much like his predecessor at Oklahoma Adrian Peterson. They seek out contact and try to deliver the blow rather than absorb it. That style is what makes Murray so effective — his physicality in the ground game. He’s not going to change his style…and you’re going to continue to hold your breath. It took forever for Jim Brown to get up after he was tackled. Yet he never missed any time and was as great a runner as this league has ever seen. Like Murray, he’ll expend his energy with the ball in his arm — not the walk back to the huddle.”
- Dan Pompei at the Chicago Tribune prepares a scouting report on Dez Bryant.
- Jonathan Bales, also at the Dalas Morning News, does an extensive breakdown of what he sees as a big matchup this Monday – Brandon Carr Vs. Brandon Marshall:
“In Week 9 of the 2011 season, then-Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall torched the Chiefs for eight receptions, 106 yards, and a touchdown. I re-watched every snap to see if Marshall was able to get the best of current Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr. For the most part, Miami did an excellent job of keeping Marshall away from Carr, especially in passing situations. Of the Dolphins’ 47 offensive snaps, Marshall faced Carr on only 14 of them, almost always on first down.”
“Earlier this week, I showed you how Carr shut down Bucs receiver Vincent Jackson. Jackson ended up with just one reception, and none with Carr on him. This week, Marshall represents a tougher challenge for Carr. While the cornerback excels in press coverage, Marshall is so big and strong that sometimes it doesn’t even matter if you get your hands on him.”
The Cowboys have rookie first round draft pick Morris Claiborne on the other side.
- Apparently the Bears defensive line will get to spend another game rushing the passer against yet another substandard offensive line. From Jimmy Burch at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
“Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has spent the past two games being used as a piñata by opposing defensive linemen and watching his favorite receiver, tight end Jason Witten, let a season’s worth of passes slip through his fingers.”
“Despite Romo’s 89.3 passer rating and 64.8 completion rate, the offense regularly plays from behind the chains because of 12 false-start penalties in three games.”
- Rafael Vila at the Cowboy Nation blog correctly points to the matchup of Israel Idonije Vs. Cowboys right tackle Doug Free as critically important for both teams:
When you have Julius Peppers on the other side you get a lot of solo dance sets. Idonije has taken full advantage of that dropping 2.5 sacks on the Rams [Sam] Bradford last week. 6’6″ 275lbs with a huge wingspan the man has a bull rush and not a bad speed rush. He is good with his hands and has a good motor. Free has not recovered his old RT form at this point. One can make an argument that Free will improve as the guard play next to him gets better and this is true to a point. However he is having issues when 1 on 1 during passing downs and seems to be fighting some confidence issues. This is a solid test for him. It will be interesting to see if Dallas decides to put help on his side and leave Peppers 1 on 1 vs Tyron Smith. Think positive thoughts people. We need some good vibes here and so far this year, Free has struggled.”
Leaving Peppers one-on-one one with anyone is a major mistake. Free’s going to have to do the job for the Cowboys or there will be serious issues for them, mobile quarterback or not.
- Another interesting snippet from Vila:
“The question Chicago is asking itself this week, do we cover Witten with a LB? PLEASE disrespect him this way. I want you to, no I double-dog-dare you to do this. Witten had a busted spleen people. He will be the Witten of old soon. Chicago needs to guess which week. Murray gets going in the running game that will free Witten up and this game is over.”
I’d be surprised if Vila doesn’t get his wish. They might get a little safety help but I’ll bet you its going to be mostly on the linebackers. I honestly can’t wait to see what happens.
- Josh Alper at profootballtalk.com says that Jets coach Rex Ryan was asked after their embarrassing 34-0 loss to the 49ers if he’d be making a change at quarterback:
“‘I don’t think that’s the answer. I think [Mark Sanchez is] the answer at quarterback,” Ryan said in comments from his postgame press conference distributed by the Jets. ‘I think Mark is the answer. Again, time will tell.’”
“We’ll save you the trouble. If Sanchez is the answer, what question could Ryan possibly be asking?”
- Heaven help the Packers if Aaron Rogers really does get injured this year. From Michael David Smith at profootballtalk.com
- The people at The Sports Pickle think that Cleveland’s guard needs to see a proctologist immediately:
One Final Thought
Why do I not find this to be funny? Oh, yeah. Its because I’m sober (currently). And responsible (relatively). Also from The Sports Pickle.