November 12, 2009

I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore

Fuck the Bears.

They are a horrible football team, and the entire coaching staff should be fired. The Bears make more mental mistakes than any team I've ever seen. And I'm not just talking NFL. Or even professional sports. They are fucking terrible.

Is anybody coaching this team? How can a team of professionals be so clueless? I can't think of a single thing that I want to watch less than another Bears game. I'd view The Jay Leno Show on an endless loop for the rest of my days before I'd willingly sit through another one of their crapfests. It is seriously disgusting.

And don't even get me started on Jay Cutler. Having rarely seen him play, I was in support of the trade, because I thought the Bears needed to do something bold. Well, they did. And it likely has set them back several years.

Remember when's KC Joyner caused an uproar during the preseason for saying that Cutler would remind fans of Rex Grossman? Well, he was dead wrong. Grossman's good games outnumbered the bad by about 2:1. Cutler, meanwhile has had two shitbombs for every decent performance. Bob Avellini, Mike Tomczak, or Chris Chandler would have this team at 6-3.

I am so fucking pissed.

The strange thing is, I fully expected the Bears to lose this game. I didn't have any misconceptions about their shittiness, so it wasn't like the outcome was a surprise. But the loss was so frustrating, nauseating, and repugnant -- and ultimately completely avoidable -- that I find myself pushed completely over the edge. The Bears totally gave the game away to a crappy Niners team. Gave it away.

I said after the Bengals debacle that Lovie Smith had lost me as a supporter. Well, now I'm throwing in the towel on the entire organization.

Just to get this out of my system, I'd like to make a list of terms that I'd use to describe this Bears team. I'll try not to repeat any of the ones I've used above:
Feel free to add your own down below. It's pretty therapeutic, actually.

November 9, 2009

9 Weak Thoughts: Week 9

1. The Bears are terrible.
And if you've been watching, I don't even need to expound.

2. WTF Tommie Harris?

His punch on Deuce Lutui on the fourth play of the Bears' nauseating 41-21 loss was one of the stupidest, most immature things I've seen on a football field. Wasn't Harris supposed to be a paragon of character? What the hell has happened? The guy's making Tank Johnson look like Tim Tebow.

3. The Bears are so bad, I actually chose to watch KC-Jax for awhile
Granted, it was while every other game was at halftime. But still. People in Jacksonville don't even want to watch Jacksonville. Nor can they, due to the fact that they haven't sold out in 8 years.

4. Andy Reid is a horrible challenger.
And I typed that thought before he challenged a spot of the ball for a second time in the Eagles 20-16 loss to the Cowboys. I don't have the data to back it up, but just from watching a ton of games I know that spot-of-the-ball plays are almost never overturned, because the standard of "indisputable visual evidence" is almost impossible to meet due to the vagaries of camera angles and whatnot. It's just not an exact science, unlike whether a receiver has gotten both feet inbounds. So challenging them is a total waste.

I don't watch a lot of Eagles games, but every time I do, I come away thinking that Reid is a horrible coach. He routinely makes head-scratchings calls, and manages the clock almost as poorly as he does his challenges. But his teams are overwhelmingly successful, and he has a 102-65 record, which basically means he's averaged 10 wins a season for a decade. So is this a case of him being an exceptional coach in other areas, or is he just the beneficiary of some very talented teams? Considering the fact that until this year, he had one of the most well-respected defensive coordinators of all time (in the late Jim Johnson), I'm beginning to think that Reid has just been very lucky to have been blessed with such fortunate circumstances.

5. Running back-by-committee is totally out of control.
And I don't just mean that from a fantasy perspective. When one RB is a clear stud, to dilute your offense by not using him is, in a word, rigoddamndiculous. Case in point: the Carolina Panthers.

DeAngelo Williams is one of the very best running backs in football. While Adrian Peterson is in a class of his own, he's right there at the top of the second tier with Maurice Jones-Drew, Chris Johnson, and Michael Turner.* In yesterday's 30-20 loss to the Saints, Williams had 21 carries for 149 yards and 2 TDs. That's a shade over 7 yards a carry. His backfieldmate, Jonathan Stewart, gained 24 yards on 13 carries.

* God help me, I seriously considered putting Cedric Benson in there. Makes my stomach turn, but he's a completely different guy now.

Even if you take out Williams' 66-yard TD run -- and I don't know why you'd do that, as it did, in fact, count, and was a pretty important play in the game -- he still averaged over 4 yards a pop. That's twice what Stewart got.

I understand that Stewart has some value. Coming into the game, he was averaging just under 4.9 yards a carry and had scored four TDs. It's good to have a guy like him to keep your workhorse fresh. But on what I considered the most important drive of the game -- Carolina's first possession of the second half -- Williams was mostly watching from the sidelines.

This was the crucial possession of the game. The previous time the Panthers O had the ball, they led 17-3 at the 2-minute warning. But the Saints kicked a figgie at the end of the first half, and then took the second-half kickoff and went 80 yards on just four plays to make it 17-13. So between possessions, their 2 TD lead had shrunk to just four points. Carolina desperately needed to respond in a big way to reclaim some momentum if they had any hope of pulling the upset. And by that I mean a TD, because a field goal basically meant a tie game was inevitable.
Starting at their own 21, the Carolina O methodically moved into Saints territory. Facing a 3rd-and-6 from the NO 32, Williams reeled off a 9-yard run. To that point on the drive, he had three carries for 23 yards.

Well, he was quickly replaced by Stewart, who'd also come in (and was stopped for no gain on his lone carry) after Williams' 10-yard 1st-down run earlier. Am I to believe that DeAngelo Williams gets winded after running 9 yards or more? Or that, coming out of freaking halftime, he needed a breather after three carries? Regardless, Stewart came in and had his number called on four consecutive snaps, picking up 4, 2, 2, and 1o yards, getting tackled at the 1-yard line on the last carry. I have to believe that Williams would have found his way into the end zone there. Instead, the drive wheezed out -- mostly due to a mishandled snap which took them from 1st-and-goal at the 1 to 2nd-and-goal from the 7 -- and the Panthers kicked a field goal. Not that it was entirely Stewart's fault, but when you choose to have your best player on the sidelines in such a crucial juncture of the game, you open yourself up to some big-time second guessing. Needless to say, the Saints quickly scored to tie and again to lead, and ultimately rolled to 8-0.

Interestingly, at the end of the aforementioned drive, the Panthers brought Williams back into the game for a 3rd-and-goal play from the 6. This is exactly the instance when the better-receiving Stewart should be deployed. Instead, Williams let a TD pass bounce off his hands. I don't even like the Panthers (or own Williams in either of my fantasy league), but I was still screaming at my computer throughout this entire sequence.

Admittedly, a bit of Bears game-related frustration might've contributed.

6. Chris Johnson is the most exciting player in football.
The guy is amazing. If he turns the corner, he's pretty much gone, because he's so fast that defensive backs rarely take the proper angle on him. Every time he touches the ball, your heart is in your throat because you know that he can take it the distance. Watching him is like watching Devin Hester trot onto the field to receive a kick circa '06-'07. He's just electrifying.

While I was thinking about this last night, something occurred to me: Chris Johnson is exactly what Reggie Bush was supposed to be.

7. I loved seeing the last-second, pre-field goal time out burn a coach.
I don't have anything against trying to ice the kicker, but I hate the trend in recent seasons (since coaches got the ability to call timeouts from the sidelines) to call a TO at the very last second before the snap, when no one hears the whistle and the kick is launched anyway, only to be told it doesn't count. I absolutely hate it. It's stupid as hell.

But perhaps the stupidest example of this came in yesterday's Texans-Colts game, when Indianapolis coach Jim Caldwell called a timeout right as Houston's Kris Brown was to attempt a field goal in the final seconds of the first half. The reason coaches attempt this tactic is to dial up the pressure on the kicker in an effort to make him choke. But Brown's attempt was from 56 yards away. Those kinds of kicks aren't missed because of choking; they are just flat missed because they are at the very end of anybody's range and nearly impossible to make without repetitions. But Caldwell called the last-second time out, and (as usual) Brown and everyone else went through with the play. And the kick sailed. But essentially, Caldwell had just given Brown a practice swing, basically allowing him to properly calibrate his kicking alignment. Given a second shot chance, Brown nailed it to give the Texans their first points. This undoubtedly gave Houston some momentum heading into the break, and they then took the second half kickoff and marched down the field to turn what had been a mild laugher into a 13-10 game.

Caldwell proved to be a quick study, though. When Brown lined up to attempt a 42-yarder at the end of the game with the Colts clinging to a 20-17 and holding all three timeouts, Caldwell just let him kick away. And Brown chunked it. Because you see, every once in a while, a guy just chokes on his own.

8. I have to say, I liked seeing the Bucs in those old unis.
Of course, I also used to own an all-orange Buccaneers cap that was the envy of every man.** I liked the Bucs when they were terrible, and yes, they have been much better since the uniform change. But at least their old unis were unique; there was no doubting who was on the field. They should bring them back fulltime.

** That is until my friend Adam snatched it, wore it to class, and some chick he was into said something like, "Umm, it's not Halloween." Needless to say, he promptly returned the pilfered lid.

9. I understand it was a joke, but I have to believe that the commissioner's office was not amused by Chad Johnson's dollar "bribe."
Look, I know that Johnson is a clown, and there is no way that he was trying to influence the call when he was holding a dollar as the referees were reviewing a catch of his -- which by the was reversed and called an incompletion. But with all the "the-fix-is-in" conspiracies of the modern sports fan, Roger Goodell isn't going to like the integrity of his officials being a part of a joke. Of course it wasn't a real bribe attempt, and yes, a $100 bill would've looked much, much worse. But with the commissioner's office having recently fined Johnson $10,000 for wearing the wrong color chin strap, I have to believe they're going to take a little more than a single out of his wallet this time around.

November 1, 2009

8 Weak Thoughts: Week 8

1. Just when I thought no 24-point win could be less impressive than the one the Bears had earlier this season against the Lions, they went out and outdid themselves in a 30-6 euthanization of the Browns.
The more I see the Bears, the more I am certain that they just are not a good team. A good team would've scored 50-plus against the putrid Browns, who -- one win or not -- seriously look worse to me than last year's Lions. Playing against a dismal Cleveland D, the Bears offenselooked pathetic, despite the decent point total. Once again, there was little running room for Rashaan Salaam 2.0, and Jay Cutler absorbed a ton of hits from the Browns usually-anemic pass rush.


2. The Bears offensive line is so bad, it rivals Green Bay's.
In fact, even if you put the Bears and Packers together, you'd barely be able to cobble together one below-average o-line. And it is the primary reason that neither team is going anywhere.

However, while the Packers can at least in part blame injuries, the Bears are getting exactly what they deserve.

What exactly do I mean by that? They have completely ignored the position group in the draft, choosing instead to sign free-agent stopgaps. In the last seven drafts, the Bears have taken a grand total of three offensive linemen in the first six rounds. (I've ignored seventh-round selections because those guys rarely make the final roster.) Compare that to New England and Denver, two franchises that consistently have very good offensive lines. In the same time period, both teams have drafted 10 offensive linemen in Rounds 1 through 6.

Gee, I wonder which strategy's worked better.

3. Dump the chart
That stupid "Should we go for 2?" chart screws coaches all the time. Miami's decision to try for the deuce after scoring to take a 30-19 lead was horrible. A XP makes it so the Jets would've needed two TDs to win; missing it left them within a touchdown (plus a two of their own) and a field goal. This was a horrible miscalculation and I'm sure it was based on that stupid chart that coaches supposedly carry.

Yes, a conversion there makes it so a TD + two field goals can only tie you. But what were the chances of the Jets getting three scoring drives in the final 8 minutes? And two TD's still beats you, just like it does with a 12 point lead.

And lastly, if the Dolphins had later added a field goal, their lead would've still been 14 points. If they had just kicked the extra point, a subsequent FG gives them a 15-point lead and means the Jets would've needed two TDs plus converted a 2 of their own just to tie.

4. I'm too

5. Lazy to

6. Come up

7. With five

8. More items.