Hey look! I finally got a new computer so it no longer takes 45 minutes just to boot the damn thing up. Yay me!
So the NFL regular season is in the books and I’d love to give you a complete and detailed break down of each team that’s in the playoffs, but I really can’t. Truthfully it was a busy, busy last few months so I haven’t seen nearly as much football as I normally would have. What I do know is this:
1. The Packers are still the favorite. They can’t really stop anyone defensively, but they couldn’t last year either and it didn’t matter. That offense is just flat out scary. They’ll force you to go point for point with them and you can’t. I’m hoping for the Green Bay – New Orleans NFC title game because they could put 120 combined points on the board in the first half.
2. The playoff seeding is ridiculous. Denver went 8-8 and is HOSTING Pittsburgh who went 12-4. That’s right, Denver is the higher seed because they fell ass backwards in to winning their division. Ridiculous. Related Denver note: I might do my “Why Tim Tebow is a bad quarterback post” at some point, but I’m not going to tell you anything you haven’t already heard.
So that’s about all I got for the overall playoffs. Looking forward to next season, here is what I’m intrigued by:
1. The Rams. Seriously. They just fired their GM and head coach – and someone please hire Steve Spagnolo. I think he’s got a chance to be a really great coach, but he didn’t have the same advantages in personnel that Jim Schwartz in Detroit had. The Rams have me intrigued because they’ll have the #2 pick in the draft. Who do they take? Are they still sold on Sam Bradford or do they take Heisman winner RG3 and try to trade Sam? Interesting stuff there I think.
2. Peyton Manning. I contend there is absolutely NO reason for him to come back. He’s got a ring, he’s a guaranteed first ballot hall of famer, he’s got his money. Why come back? Remember he had THREE surgeries on his neck in roughly 16 months. We’re talking about your future here Peyton. If he comes back, he’s literally risking paralysis. I don’t think it’s worth it.
3. The Jets. They’ve already promised big changes offensively and Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is almost definitely going to be fired. I think it’s justified, but I have to wonder when they’re going to realize that Mark Sanchez is part of the problem. He’s just not a great quarterback and certainly wasn’t worth the 5th pick in the draft in my opinion. Remember, prior to the draft Sanchez went from being projected as second round pick to suddenly being a guy that could challenge Mathew Stafford for the #1 pick. Um…what? I saw him play in college and thought “decent but not great.” He’s Kyle Orton in my mind. Solid player, but not a great arm. What changed? I guess he blew people away in draft combine interviews – and that’s great – but to be the 5th overall pick I think you have to blow people away with your skill. Call me crazy.
Finally what will my Bears do? I have thoughts.
First and foremost Jerry Angelo has to go. He’s needed to go for a while, but I’m serious now. Get rid of him. He continues to miss on scouting and draft picks, he continues to sell us the bill of goods that the Bears are right there when frankly, they aren’t. Yes, they hosted the NFC title game last year and won 5 straight this year, but look what happened when Jay Cutler went down? The Bears totally collapsed because it turns out that Cutler is so good he can cover up a lot of the weaknesses on offense.
Side note: everyone that argued with me that Cutler is not a good quarterback, an argument based almost entirely on him “not smiling” I say suck it. 7-3 with him, 1-5 without him. So to Mr. Angelo – since he almost definitely won’t get fired – here’s how you fix this team.
1. Safeties. You play Green Bay and Detroit twice per year. Four games against the best offense in the league and the best wide receiver in the game. You better be able to stop them. The safety play was okay, it wasn’t great. Chris Conte looked better than Major Wright in my opinion, but I’m not sure either is the long term answer. You need a corner too. Tim Jennings was solid, but I don’t like a guy who stands 5’8″ matching up on receivers that go over 6’0″ every Sunday.
2. O-line. Project Cutler’s numbers out for 16 games and he ends up getting sacked about 37 times. A marked improvement over previous years no doubt, but since that would mean that since joining the Bears in 2009 he would have been sacked 124 times. That’s too many times for your quarterback to be on the ground. In that same time frame Drew Brees was sacked 69 times. Seriously, protect your quarterback.
3. Wide Receiver. The top receiver for the Bears was Johnny Knox with 37 catches for 727 yards and 2 TD’s. Two. Touchdowns. Also his season ended on 12/18 and still no other receiver was close to his numbers. Roy Williams, whom we all agree was a waste of money, finished second with 37 catches for 502 and another whopping two whole touchdowns. You just paid Earl Bennett a bunch of money and I’m not sure he’s better than a number 2 wide receiver, but Jay likes him and they have good chemistry, so fine, but get a legit number one receiver. Go look what Cutler was able to do when he had Brandon Marshall in Denver. Marshall’s a free agent by the way.
4. Pay Matt Forte. There’s no reason not to. Look, I get it. Running backs take a pounding and wear down quick, but what more did he have to do this year to warrant getting paid? Extend him. Get it done.
5. Tight End. Look around and see how many big tight ends made a difference this year. There’s one in your own division in Green Bay. Remember when you had a big, athletic tight end and then traded him? Yeah that was an oops. Fix it.
6. Depth at linebacker. Urlacher and Briggs are still great, but they won’t play forever. Get their heir apparents in now.
Ironically all those issues were the same issues that needed to be addressed last year too. And the year before that.
Yep, Jerry Angelo definitely should still be employed.