Bears Dawn: Mike Ditka “Bears still have a shot”
Last week Mike Ditka was the only broadcaster that chose the Bears over the Chargers. This week Ditka is following suit in taking the Bears over the Rams in Saint Louis. During an interview with the Sun Times, Mike discusses how he sees the NFC North and believes the Bears are still in the running for the playoffs. No doubting the next three games (Rams, Broncos and the Packers) will be a defining time for the team.
Mike Ditka believes the Bears still have a shot at the NFC North. Sun Times
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We have seen Jay Cutler play his most consistent football of his career. For the first time now the media is starting to give him some praise, modest but still praise. Several pundits have even thrown out there that Cutler should be the “Comeback Player” or “Most Improved” player of the year. I would rather he keep playing his game, notch a few more wins and be back in 2016.
Some have wondered what triggered Jay Cutler to be playing some of his best football. The answer is in his quote from this week.
“I think if you’re all-in with the coaching staff in what you’re being taught, you just kind of start repeating what they say and I think a lot of guys in that locker room believe in coach Fox, believe in their position coaches and how we’re being taught and it just kind of goes downhill from there,” Cutler said to Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com. “Everyone starts talking the same language.”
Oct 26, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) is sacked by Chicago Bears defensive end Lamarr Houston (99) during the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots won 51-23. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
The Key to the game against the Rams:
Last week I said it would be the defensive line against the Chargers. In the end it was the defensive line that finished strong and held the lead. It is going to be the same thing this week, but it won’t be the pass rush as much as run defense. The Bears are facing on of the best run offenses in NFL. The challenge is to keep Gurley from getting to the second level. For that is when he truly excels. If the D line can penetrate and contain they have a fighting chance. The need to put the Rams offense in third and long. Look for Houston and Will Sutton to have big games.
Speaking of the defense as a whole, here is an interest factoid that popped up on twitter.
The Bears are allowing 27.6 points per game, but that’s as a team. The Bear defense has allowed 19 touchdowns, which is two more than the Panthers’ and three more than the Patriots’ – two undefeated teams with talent-laden defenses considered among the league’s best.
Predicition: Bears 17 Rams 10
Odds and ends:
Ego Ferguson (IR) is suspended for 4 games starting immediately for failing NFL policy on PED’s. No information on what he took. Even though he is on IR, the four games count this season not next year.
Forte is now questionable but I doubt he plays. The coaches were pleased with Langfords play allowing them to sit Forte out Sunday. Jeffery will play no worries as well as McPhee. I do think we will see more Lamarr Houston though, he is known as a run stopper. Royal will be out with a bad knee. I also expect to Shea return to ILB for the Rams.
Adrian Amos is ranked fifth of all rookies by PFF.
Dave Hampton called the Rams, “thugs in shoulder pads”.
Trivia question: What four HC ranked in the top 10 for wins, never went to the Super Bowl? (Honor system now, no looking it up)
Last thought for Saturday: I grew up in Los Angeles as a Rams fan, I think the NFL needs to send them back to where the legacy began.