Talk amongst yourselves
PDF NOW DISCOUNTED
Click here to buy PDF version.
Click here to buy PDF version
Like our page on Facebook and get Football Outsiders links directly in your Facebook feed.
Official Account: @fboutsiders
Scott Kacsmar: @FO_ScottKacsmar
Ben Muth: @FO_WordofMuth
Aaron Schatz: @FO_ASchatz
Vincent Verhei: @FO_VVerhei
-- plus --
Ian Boyd: @Ian_A_Boyd
Bill Connelly: @SBN_BillC
Cian Fahey: @Cianaf
Brian Fremeau: @bcfremeau
Tom Gower: @ThomasGower
Bryan Knowles: @BryKno
Rivers McCown: @RiversMcCown
Chad Peltier: @CGPeltier
Andrew Potter: @BigHairyAndy
Rob Weintraub: @robwein
Carl Yedor: @CarlYedor61
This thread is for discussion of action on the field before, during, and after the NFC Championship game between New Orleans and Chicago, a.k.a. "The Game People Can Still Discuss in a Reasonable Fashion."
Will Good Rex or Evil Rex show up against New Orleans? I figure that there's a 60% chance of Good Rex in this game. How about everyone else?
80%. He performs well under mental pressure, just not physical.
It doesn't matter which Rex shows up in this game. Neither one can beat Brees in a shootout, and the Bears defense has regressed enough that the Saints will put up 35+ points on them.
There's no way New Orleans can compete with this:
Saints fans, you're on notice.
This game all comes down to how many times the Fred Thomas Torch-o-Meter gets lit up. If Grossman is throwing more than a few balls in the direction of Mike McKenzie/everybody else, Saints geaux to SB XLI
What's the Over/Under on "F*** The Saints" shirt sightings? Considering the weather, I say 1.
That video is one of the lamest things I have ever seen.
"80%. He performs well under mental pressure, just not physical."
Good point, although New Orleans is sixth in adjusted sack rate. I'll meet you half way, 70%. So, given that the Bears are 12-0 with Good Rex, and 2-3 with Bad Rex, that gives them about an 82% chance of winning the game. Sounds a bit high to me, but hey, it is a home game, outdoors in cold weather, against a dome team, so maybe not.
With Harris missing, the Chicago run defense has to get it together.
Shaun Alexander had a lot of success against them last week, and honestly that is a back who has struggled all year on a team that has greatly struggled to run the ball this year.
If they come out look like they did last week, McCallister and Bush will run all over the Bears' defense.
"the NFC Championship game between New Orleans and Chicago, a.k.a. â€œThe Game People Can Still Discuss in a Reasonable Fashion.â€?"
Hmmm...odd that so few of us choose to discuss this one, as there are 54 posts on the other discussion thread, while this is only the 10th post on this one. I mean, it's not like there isn't anything to discuss: we've got Good Rex vs. Evil Rex, Drew Brees, Reggie Bush, the general Cinderella story of the Saints, Chicago's defense, etc. Yet all the talk is about Pats vs. Colts, Brady vs. Manning. Maybe people just prefer being unreasonable when discussing sports.
bears D ? who have they played , nobody
Guess you didn't watch the Saints play the Ravens, and Bengals where Brees threw 3 interceptions in each game. Had 3 interceptions run back for TDs between the two, and added a fumble lost in each. Then there's the Redskins game where he couldn't do anything against the NFC's last ranked Defense.
Nevermind the fact the Saints haven't beat a top 10 defense all season.
I have a feeling the Bears will come out with a chip on their shoulder, after a whole week of Saints media slobbering and disrespect for the Bears, Clayton was the only person on ESPN that picked us besides Accuscore. btw Accuscore can foretell the Apocalypse, I trust it more than any of the idiots at ESPN.
still i have to ask , do the bears D deserve the ranking they have
#13 - They've struggled lately but they can still be a dominant unit. A lot of the big yardage games against us came when we already the playoff locked up and where installing new schemes. Towards the end of the season our starting corners didn't play together, and a lot of Defensive starters were being rested.
I think the Bears D' will surprise a lot of people that are expecting the Saints to waltz all over them. A lot of Alexanders successful runs came on 2nd, 3rd & long situations on draw plays, where we expected the pass. The Seahawks could not convert a 3rd & short situation in their final three drives with the game tied. The Defense made the critical stops when it counted.
they struggled lately b/c they played better teams.
how can they defend bush, duece, colsten, henderson, and horn.
"Clayton was the only person on ESPN that picked us besides Accuscore. btw Accuscore can foretell the Apocalypse, I trust it more than any of the idiots at ESPN."
Accuscore also predicted that Arizona would be a force to be reckoned with this season, so I think it's safe to conclude that Accuscore can only be trusted when it makes predictions about the Bears.
What is Accuscore?
p.s: #15 is lying.
Sorry, meant #17.
Like Accuscore, I always tell the truth.
#15: "they struggled lately b/c they played better teams."
I'm not so sure. TB, Detroit, and Green Bay? Offensive DVOAs of 30, 26, and 20, respectively. I think there might just be another explanation. Sorry about calling you a liar, though.
Mizzou: Let's compare dogs. Brees (vs. Cinci) 37 of 52 for 510yds., 2 TD, 3 INT, 91 rating vs Grossman (vs. Min) 6 of 19 for 34yds., 0 TD, 3 INT, 1.3 rating. Now to some people this is like walking on a strange, dark alley and coming upon a rottweiler and a chihuahua. They are both dogs, but one inspires fear and one inspires ......
Lol Brees only threw for 510 yards cause his team was getting blown out, and he had to play catch up.
Grossman stunk it up the Minny game, but guess what? his team WON the game, and that's all that matters.
that speaks of volumes about the Bears team. They can over come bad QB play and still win games.
Your confidence would be appropriate if you were playing against Brad Johnson tomorrow. He's a porch dog.
re: 19-21 -
Conclusions based on two games picked at random? Answered by: "Rex just wins"? Ugh, am I really on FO?
How about this for a not-yet-discussed-to-death angle? Remember the 1st half of the Bears' Monday nighter against Arizona? Cardinals WRs were sitting down in the underneath zones and catching 5-10-yard quick-hitters from Leinart before any pressure could get to him. Then some really lousy Bears tackling turned a few of those into long gains. Brees is one of the best in the league at avoiding pressure and finding that underneath guy, and the Saints WRs are either big or elusive enough to present a tackling problem. If I'm Sean Payton, I nickel-and-dime the Bears until they show they can stop it (which they never did in Arizona; Denny just let them off the hook).
Of course, I'm a Bears fan, so I hope this doesn't happen.
Quick note to prepare for the possibility of a Chicago-Indy Super Bowl:
If that should arise, Dungy would not be the 2nd black coach to reach the Super Bowl, after Lovie Smith. Either one could be fired, or have some other life-altering change occur, between now and the Super Bowl, so they both "reach" it at the same time, in two weeks.
That's all, you may return to your regularly-scheduled discussions.
I love how people reference the Minny game like it actually wasn't played in a gale force wind.
It's snowing for anyone who cares.
While I won't be around, I am sure some people will be hanging out on IRC for the games, on server bendenweyr.dyndns.org in channel #FO.
Go everyone who isn't the Patriots.
Andy: When the Bears defense was healthy, they blanked Green Bay at Lambeau (yes, I know that the Packers weren't very good but a shutout is impressive in any NFL game), shutout the Jets at the Meadowlands, and held the Patriots to 14 at Foxboro. Even the bad games were largely attributable to multiple TOs by the offense (i.e. the Arizona game where Rex turned the ball over 6 times and the Bears still held the Cardinals to 23 even with numerous short fields and a decided disadavantage in TOP). There is a stark dropoff that coincides exactly with Tommie Harris being injured, which may be looked at as the straw that broke the camel's back. Can you tell me what would happen if any defense lost it's 2 best players, both Pro Bowlers, and both in the top 5 in the league at their position? Also, as was previously pointed out, none of the teams they have played since that Vikings game where Harris was injured (STL,TB, Det, GB, Seattle) are exactly offensive juggernauts, except possibly the Rams. So yes, they may not be the #1 or 2 defense in the NFL right now, but it's because of injuries not because they weren't dominant early in the season (if you'll recall, they were ranked #1 in DVOA, and #1 in points allowed if you prefer that, for the majority of the season).
TomC: Yes, the tackling was terrible in the Arizona game, but every team since then has at least tried that approach of using rollouts and a short passing game. The Bears tackling was very good up until the injuries in the secondary and it's been pretty average since. Also, there isn't nearly as much of a need for opponents to fear the pass rush without Tommie Harris, so it's not as necessary to get the ball out a QBs so quickly. I don't doubt that the Saints will use a short and mid range passing attack, but I also don't think Sean Payton will just try to nickel and dime the Bears to the exclusion of using other weapons.
What's the worst case scenario for Rex Grossman?
Whatever it is we won't see it today, the Saints Defense was second to last in the league in generating turnovers. They don't have the type of Defense that can take advantage of turnover opportunities. In the Eagles game I saw McKenzie go for 2 picks and miss, and I saw Josh Bullocks drop 2 picks..
Any other Bears fans worried about the snow? Remember the game against the Steelers last year when Old Man Bettis ran all over us with a series of screens and draws to take advantage of the Bears overpursuit/slower change of direction in the snow? I expect to see the Saints run plenty of those today. Hopefully the Bears are ready for it.
This is going to be a difficult game for me. I grew up in the Chicago area, but I now live in New Orleans. I had no idea that my loyalties would have to be tested! There's no way to have a tie, is there? It might be alright for the Saints to lose, because then I wouldn't have to hear people starting the "Who Dat" chant in every public place at all hours of the frickin' day. Idiots.
Joe Horn is reported to be OUT for the game today. One less option for the Bears to defend...
STOMPS & DOMINATES:
NE - 7
IND - 5
CHI - 7
NO - 6
Looks pretty even. NE has the slight edge on IND though.
Did someone see ESPN's crew forecast for the Saints-Bears game?
All 8 Analysts are predicting a saints win!
NOW., that is called Disrespect with a Capital "D"
I wish the media would shut up about black coaches and black QBs.
Harris was much more of an impact in the passing game than the running game.
Sid: I don't necessarily agree with that. Harris is great at getting pressure as a DT but he also demanded a double team pretty frequently. Even if he didn't impact the running game quite as much he soaked up blockers, meaning there were less for the LBs to shed, and in general he disrupted every opponents' game plans to the point where they had to specifically account for him even when they weren't passing. His backups don't require nearly as much attention.
Here's something on NFL.com which I found interesting when looking at it from an FO angle:
The Bears linebackers don't blitz much, but Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs now have 87 tackles of two yards or less per tackle.
This is a useful stat, as well as one which the public doesn't have readily available. But it isnt really put into context...
Is Joe Buck wearing lipstick???
And so it begins....
And ens at around 2:30am UK time (assuming no OT). If I had the brains I was born with I'd have booked a half-day at work tomorrow. Oh well.
BTW, House's dark secret? He likes teddy bears.
Nice catch by Henderson
That was a good adjustment by Henderson there.
James (38): hear hear
however can only share my sympathies as it is 1:30 AM here and with the Pats - Colts game on television at 5 AM ... non-stop football action in India!
sack on 3rd down at opp 30 is not a great way to start conf title game
Alright, so this first drive showed us that both the Saints have a big-play offense and that the Bears defense is still really good otherwise.
The Bears and the Saints are who we thought they were, basically.
I'm missing the game right now because I tried to turn from "Blue's Clues" and my 2-year-old had a meltdown. On the other hand, I can't hear the Fox announcers insist that I root for the Saints, so I guess it's a wash.
Free Adrian Peterson!
Did one of the announcers just say Mark Anderson was the Bears best DE?
If Mark Anderson is the Bear's best defensive end, why isn't he starting and playing most of the time in every game?
Wow... how many people had a chance to pick up that one?
Just fall on the football. I don't want to sound like TMQ, but...
#49 - that's the problem - they tried to pick it up instead of diving on it.
Good Rex, Evil Rex, Reggie Bush, Fred Thomas, Tommy Harris, all these things have been analysed.
Has anybody considered the state of the field on the result?
Brees is in for a long day unless someone decides to start blocking for him.
Anderson, Ogunleye, Tank all day baby!
25-yard sack to #97 Anderson
sounds very strange!
48, he's our best pure PASS RUSHER, not an every down DE yet.
Why is the nfc championship
being played unsuitable for junior football?
Nick Halling has just pointed out that Tillman is playing on Colston, regardless of where Colston lines up.
That last play was a mistake by the back. Basic slide protection and the back went the wrong way.
What would you really do? Would you fall on it when it looked like you had a clear path to the end zone in a playoff game?
Fred Thomas lives!
Fred Thomas 1 Rex 0
That would've been an amazing interception if Bullocks caught that.
Second 3 & Out for the Bears.
That fumble showed both that there is incredible luck involved in where the ball bounces and that it takes skill and smarts to take advantage of the luck when it falls to you.
Also, I'm wondering how long it will take this thread to surpass the AFC one.
I think the fumble luck theory should be adjusted for teams that used to play with Aaron Brooks. The Saints just have so much more experience with diving on a backwards pass than the Bears D.
Yeah, when there's a player from the other team that close, you fall on it.
This Dodge Mech commercial is incredibly stupid.
ALL I WANTED WAS A PEPSI
JUST ONE PEPSI
AND SHE WOULDN'T GIVE IT TO ME
Yes, I know we've used that joke already.
I know what you should do. But I'm asking who here, can honestly say they wouldn't take a shot of picking it up if they think they have a shot at making it to the end-zone.
How can Aikman say with certainty what the left tackle was supposed to do on the replay? Does he get special footage with the line calls on them?
It looked like there was confusion as to who was to do what, as I think three people blocked the DT and none the DE. But I can't say for sure who messed up from a video.
Anyone notice that the booing started after the FIRST play run by the Bears offense?
I can't say for sure, but I think Bush was supposed to go to the left on that play. It looked like basic slide protection (line goes one way, back the other) for a 3-step drop.
That being said Bush vs. DE isn't a great matchup, so maybe Aikman's right.
evil rex sighting? Rex Grossman is 0/4 in the first 2 drives
The good news? No INTs in those drives
Beautiful fingertip catch by Bush on that 3rd and 2. That was more impressive than some of his cuts.
Dammit, you always got to maintain ball security.
Wow, another fumble. If the Saints lose, the analysts will not shut up about how they never practiced outside.
Its really quiet astounding how for all the talk the conditions are obviously getting to the Saints.
Bears defense sighting! Fumbles!!!
Now if Rex can actually complete a pass given the field position...
Ball security is overrated?
This is over, the Saints look intimidated, they can't hang with Da Bears.
If the Saints can hold the ball, they've shown they can move it.
End-around (which Aikman just called a reverse) by the Bears on 3rd Down. Have they been stealing from the Saints playbook?
I'm guessing that as a former NFL quarterback he has enough knowledge of blocking schemes to recognize when a LT is supposed to block a DE.
OK, that comparison about the Saints vs. Bears historically helps to emphasize that the Bears have won more, but that a more apt comparison had both teams started at the same time, instead of the Bears starting decades earlier. Maybe that only annoyed me, however.
It's a McKie sighting! I would not have known he existed without that TDZ article.
Go For It
Good stand by the Saints D. First big decision for Lovie Smith. I'd go for it.
I hate Joe Buck.
And it's an "End Around" not a reverse, there's no direction change.
Saints D seems to be having trouble tackling.
Was that second down play the play shown in Too Deep Zone? Pass to the fullback in the flat?
Yes, Troy, we understand. Now shut the hell up.
I really hate Joe Buck.
I thought that was a dumb comparison too, without a qualifier about the time frame.
We should compare the Packers to the Texans next.
Why no penalty?
Evil Rex shows up again. Gunna have to win on Benson's shoulders.
You don't have to take my word for it that he's a better pass rusher than run-stopper. Just look at the stats.
RE: first fumble
Though I understand the frustration with not recovering fumbles, when your offense struggles to score more than field goals, your defense, in that situation, should try to recover the fumble and return it for a touchdown. Its much easier to return a fumble for a touchdown with no defenders (offensive players in this case) in front of you than it is to score with Chicago's offense against a defense.
1 run, 2 passes inside the 5? Why?
Fullback flat sighting!
Bad Rex is here early. The Bears really should have scored on 1st down. I think I'd have hit Clark.
Though Chris Meyers just said they don't grant the 2nd timeout if they try to call them back-to-back, I seem to recall there being a Monday Night game a few years back where the Cowboys or Eagles did that, and got hit with a penalty for doing it. Did the rule change recently?
Actual FO Stats:
First Quarter Offense -
Bears: -5.1% (22nd)
Saints: 1.6% (12th)
First Half Offense -
Bears: -0.2% (17th)
Saints: 10.3% (7th)
First Quarter Defense -
Bears: -18.5% (9th)
Saints: 15.8% (29th)
First Half Defense -
Bears: -26.1% (1st)
Saints: 0.9% (18th)
The Saints defense is, for some reason, best in the 2nd Quarter, but it's the worst in the 1st quarter. My point is, Bears fans: don't get too excited.
Naperville is NOT Chicago.
This isn't just bad Rex.
This is 1 for 7 for 4 yards.
This is catastrophic Rex
Why would you go for it on 4th and 1 from the two, but not 4th-and-goal from the one?
I was gonna ask the same question as above. But I guess thats why.
To be fair to Buck, he called it an end around and Aikman said reverse.
That said, what is really annoying me about Buck is how he will break off a sentence to scream the ball carrier's name when he just runs into the line. Get excited when something happens, Joe.
That appeared to come out after he was down.
Eh, he was down.
The shot of Rex trying to take a time out and then getting arm slapped by his own player was some good television.
Re #92 - big time holding on that end around by the Chicago WR..... How does the ref miss that one? They're the only two players near the ball...... then they miss the penalty on back-to-back timeouts..... good job refs.
He was down.
#1 - 0 INTs. 0 Fumbles. That's not Evil Rex - that's mildly irritating Rex.
I think the Saints get this back, but my God, HOLD ON TO THE BALL!!!
1 for 5, 4 yards. Yup grossman is definately a superbowl caliber QB.
Free Adrian Peterson again! This guy is awesome!
I think it will be overturned, though
These saints fumbles are totally ridiculous.
Do all the Peyton commercials stop if the Colts are eliminated from the playoffs, or are we going to see him during the superbowl regardless of who wins?
My guess is that even if they get the ball back, we'll start seeing Reggie Bush do kickoffs.
Wow, that's just a bad, bad call.
Bull. I don't know what the ref saw, but he was holding onto that (albeit awkwardly) until he was all the way down.
Nfl.com called it a reversal before we got back from break.
"R.Gould kicks 64 yards from CHI 30 to NO 6. M.Lewis to NO 27 for 21 yards (A.Peterson). FUMBLES (A.Peterson), RECOVERED by CHI-D.Manning at NO 30. Play Challenged by NO and REVERSED. R.Gould kicks 64 yards from CHI 30 to NO 6. M.Lewis to NO 27 for 21 yards (A.Peterson)."
That was the correct call, of course, since he had the ball while his knee was down.
Then the actual refs come back and uphold the call. Bears' ball.
Wow. That's horrible.
Who's calling this game, Bill Swerski?
That's an absolutely terrible call. Apparently the Bears are allowed to strip the ball when forward progress is stopper or the ball carrier is on the ground.
And once again the officiating is disgusting. That call basically means once the ball moves it doesn't matter whether you have been lying on the ground for ten minutes before the ball really comes out
I thought he was down, but the Saints ball security has been terrible. My father used to tell me all the time, "Son, you must maintain ball security."
Fumble recoveries, oh what a skill. So weird, New Orleans has taken it to Chicago and yet they're down 3-0 and in a little trouble right now. Strange game.
Just wow. Worst call I've seen in a month or two
"It moved," the announcers always like to say. So what? The ball can move all it wants. The point is, he had it secured to his body when he hit the ground.
I still find that Verizon commercial funny
nfl gamecenter originally published that the call was overturned and later changed that to call was upheld. what happened?
What was that people were saying about an NFL conspiracy for the Saints to win?
Wow. I don't know how, given the replay that was right in front of the player staring right at the ball, that the ruling on the field could have stood.
That's one of the worst in a while. And the officiating had been OK so far in the playoffs, but that's inexcusable.
I guess the officials are on the Bears payroll. As 109 mentioned, Berrian was blatantly holding Fred Thomas on the third down end around. I don't know what the rule is on back-to-back timeouts, but I know that Lewis was down and the play should've overturned.
Grossmans still looks terrible.
The ball moving makes a difference in establishing whether a wide receiver has possession, so why wouldn't it matter for fumbles? I still think it should be Saint ball, but the ball moving seems to make a difference.
Inspiring offense by the Bears here.
Rex Grossman is struggling, but we all know he just wins, so Chicago will be fine
How is there a Mike Ditka commercial without 'why do you care'?
It's ironic how all the journalists were commenting on how the refs have done a fine job during the first two rounds, and now two pretty bad calls. Did no one knock on wood?
The ball moved, but then he re-secured it, before he was down and it was stripped.
So it looked like he was losing control, but he then regained control. And then he was stripped. That's why it shouldn't matter that the ball moved in that instance.
Bad...bad... bad call. I guess it is now possible to "fumble" whislt still holding onto the BALL!
N.O. 4 possessions, 2 drive ending sacks, and 2 fumbles lost. Lucky to be down by only 6.
I thought that was stupid as well. Obviously the Bears have been a more successful organization, but it wasn't an apples to apples comparison. Kind of like when Yankees fans brag that they have 26 WS wins while the Mets have 2.
Lewis let go of the ball after he was tackled and stood up again. I'm surprised he got away with that.
I think that we can safely say that there is no conspiracy to put the Saints in the Super Bowl.
Does anyone here like Troy Aikman? He brings "saying nothing" and "stating the obvious" to a new level.
Wow, that's a push-off from Copper? Weak.
Dicey call again.
Wow. That was OPI?
Geez, Michael Irvin became a HOF finalist doing things far worse than that.
Let me say how glad I am that this isn't how the Seahawks game went down. The entire city of Seattle would have exploded.
Another ridiculous flag.
That's probably the first offensive pi call in the playoffs and it was on that!?
Offensive Pass Interference? Pathetic.
Offensive pass interference? You're freaking kidding. Bad officiating, field conditions so bad no one can keep on their feet... thanks for stepping up for one of the biggest games of the year, NFL.
Fumble! Oh, wait, the officials actually ruled that one an incomplete pass. I was starting to think that the ball was live whenever a Saints player let it go.
Barry Sanders flashback.
You can't run without blockers.
Does anyone else agree that a Saints-Colts Super Bowl would be far more interesting than a Bears-Patriots one?
What happened to the Saints running all over us with Deuce and Reggie?
5 attempts for 12 yards so far..?
He probably felt he was pushing for it by going for it the first time, and he didn't want to crowd his lick even more.
I agree, won't happen most likely.
"I think it moved."
#131 - Commentary by Costanza:
"...So they came after me, wrapped me up in their arms, grabbing, poking, twisting, prodding, and... I think it moved."
Okay...well...if the Saints can ever have a possession where they're not crippled by the "officiating," I think they have a good chance in this game.
161 - Your turf happened.
Whenever Bush is in the backfield, the Saints hand it to him. It's terribly predictable. That's why Urlacher went for him the moment the ball was snapped, that's why Bush always gets hit in the backfield, and that's why he averaged only 3.6 yards a carry this year.
Payton has to start putting Bush in the backfield more on passing plays, or else Bush will have a very difficult time running well.
I really like that Fed-Ex Kinkos commercial.
160: Absolutely. I was hoping for a Saints/Chargers Super Bowl, but so much for that...
#127 - agreed. With these refs if the ball has been moving, but you resecure it, you can still fumble after you hit the ground. Is it a fumble after you get up, walk to the refs and give them the ball 30 seconds later? hey, the ball was moving, wasn't it?
WHOSE COUNTRY IS THIS
I really like that Chevy Silverado commercial.
169: Yeah, that's one of my favorites. Especially the "Ted, you keep thinking everyone's out to get you."-"They are." exchange.
161: Most of the research on this site says that big running yards come late in the game, and that consistently good teams get their running yards protecting a lead and running out the clock rather than creating a lead. Don't let that stop your rush to the Kool-Aid, though.
Bush averaged 3.6 YPC this year mostly because he free-lanced too much and wouldn't go directly to the hole and take what was there.
Everytime Bush gets the ball, I get nervous (and I'm not a Saints fan) because he always seems so careless with it. He was lucky against the Eagles at least twice when he was holding the ball away from his body while running.
With two fumbles already, he better be more careful today than in other games.
My favorite line is to the guy who talks the big game.
"Let's do it"
The fact that the Saints are still within a touchdown says something about the Bears offense.
#180 : That they're not turning it over (yet)?
I love the fact that Troy Aikman thinks that down 13-0 with two-and-a-half quarters left would be insurmountable.
177: I'm not sure how correct that conventional wisdom is. I've watched a lot of Saints games, and what I see is Bush getting creamed in the backfield immediately, like he did on that last play. I didn't see him dancing around in the backfield and then getting swamped. Sure, his field vision is still a work in progress, but he gets pounded in the backfield a lot.
I just start watching. Two awful calls against Saints...
Grossman still looks very shaky to me. Chicago might want to run on this third and goal.
I love that FedEx Kinkos ad, too.
#181: I was thinking more along the lines of a sentence with the words "Red Zone" in it, but that works too.
My god, Grossman is awful.
183: I'll admit I'm parroting the Jaworski/NFL Matchup view on Bush, but it seems accurate from what I've seen.
How can an NFL QB go into a conference championship game thinking he'll throw it away unless the receiver is wide open? Except when Fred Thomas is in coverage, receivers rarely get that open in the NFL and even Thomas is capable of making the occasional play. The Bears can't go into 2008 with this guy as the starter, can they?
Reggie Bush ran the ball for 4.8 ypc in the last 7 weeks of the season.
Except fot that big play, a 30-yard pass, Chicago offense is throwing away all the job the defense has done so far...
Is it just me, or does Fox show more commercials than CBS does?
How can the reffing be this bad in a championship game?
No way that was a fumble and no way that was offensive pass interference. Those plays weren't even close.
WTF is wrong with the NFL?
192: Agreed. FOX almost always does commercial-kickoff-commercial, while CBS sometimes does commercial-kickoff-drive-punt-commercial.
Whoa Brees, easy on the headfirst dives there, buddy. Jamie Martin isn't going to beat the Bears.
Are there any rules at all about field quality? Suppose a team thinks the other one is too fast for them. Is there a rule preventing them from destroying the field so their speed can't come into play?
Everyone I've heard talk it about it has said Saints-Colts would be the most compelling matchup.
189: I think at this point Bears fans will take Rex throwing for barely anything, so long as he doesn't throw the game away.
Urlacher isn't the most athletic linebacker in the league. Please, Aikman. Geesh.
If the NFL has rules on the conditions of a field, Team Belichick routinely broke them.
Well, you learn something new every day, I guess. The Saints don't go downfield unless they are trying to take a shot.
188: I think that Jaworski's point is valid, but I think it only tells part of the story.
Bush is able to line up as a wide receiver, which the Saints love to do, because he's valuable as a pass catcher. So they split him wide on lots of passing plays, instead of putting him in the backfield. (It could also be because he's poor in pass protection. Most rookies are.)
When he is in the backfield, he gets a handoff about three times out of four.
I did see a lot of attempts to bounce it outside earlier in the year, and I haven't seen every game, so there could have been some improvisation that backfired that I've missed. I don't know.
My biggest concern with Bush is ball security. I think he got away with bad ball security in college because nobody could catch him, but he always looks like he's about to fumble at any moment. Bush definitely needs some more coaching before he can reach his potential.
196: There are some minimal rules, but there is a long history of people doing this. Bill Belichick allegedly left the field uncovered before one of the playoff games versus the Colts solely to make it as crappy as possible.
Does the wind at Giants Stadium count towards the code of field conduct?
203: Bill Belichick, who every knows is the head groundskeeper of Gillette Stadium...
Beautiful block to seal the edge by Clark on that run.
*begins making '00 Ravens - '06 Bears comparisons*
Jones is looking great against the weak saints defense. bounce outside...
205- He isn't. But he gets pretty much whatever he want in New England. If he wanted tulips planted all around the field, he'd get them.
Well the Bears got a lot of breaks early, but now they're outplaying the Saints.
That's exactly my point. The guy can't possibly keep his job when "not fucking up" constitutes success. Grossman inspires terror every time he drops back to pass.
Unless the Saints show that they can stop Jones, Grossman might not have to throw another pass.
Wow, I never appreciated how good the Bears run game is. Especially when they have a QB with the field awareness of my couch .
Troy Aikman isn't even "not bringing anything to the table"...he's actively WRONG on things.
A draw play, unless I'm mistaken, means the QB acts as if he's going to pass....Troy has called that big run a "draw" when there was no real action by Grossman to do that. It was a normal running play.
Aikman thinks Muhsin Muhammad is underappreciated? Wow, I thought the problem was that he's not that good.
Grossman can't pass? Take the ground...
Looks like the team able to run throught the middle the best will win this game
Anytime the Saints want to run blitz, fine with me.
So what is the rule exactly? Let's say a Saint is tackled, gets up, tosses the ball to the ref and the ref places the ball on the hash mark and signals for the play clock to run. If a Bear than picks up the ball and runs with it, it is obviously a fumble. But is it legal to advance it at that point?
Bears should take a knee. OK, maybe not...
Clark let an end run past hit and then hit someone who was falling to the ground. That is what I call amazing blocking.
Half-time can't come soon enough for the Saints D. Unless the O can hold on to the ball, this could turn into a rout.
The Chicago-Chevy Corollary
The closer the Bears are to scoring, the more we're going to see "This Is Our Country".
The Bears have only themselves to blame if they lose this game. At the completion of this drive that should have a 24 point lead. If they come away from this with nothing better than a field goal (or worse, nothing) that's 12-15 points wasted.
211: I'm not disagreeing that the Bears would be better served with a dependable QB at the helm.
But for this playoff run, the Bears will simply beg Grossman to make a couple important plays, and just not completely screw them over. No need to try to improve him now.
Exactly. He's not a very good receiver anymore. More stupidity from the announcers.
All I can say is the Colts better win later, because if we end up with a bears/pats Super Bowl I'm rooting for both team to die in a plane crash.
score. this is really boring
Saints need to stop this drive if thay want to have a shot at this game... Come on! All you need is embrace the ball and run?!
Rex's best drive so far.
Ladies and Gentlemen, your QB of the Bears in 2007: Thomas Jones.
NO IT IS NOT GAME OVER DONT SAY ITS GAME OVER ALRIGHT
Da Bears. I would really have rather the Saints had not fumbled way their postseason here.
Re: 214 Troy Aikman isnâ€™t even â€œnot bringing anything to the tableâ€?â€¦heâ€™s actively WRONG on things.
I'm also pretty sure that the two plays he said were identical weren't. 1. Opposite sides of the field. 2. On the second, Jones followed the fullback, while on the first, he didn't (I think it was a counter, but I could be wrong).
The first part was to sell the pass. The 2nd part was because there was no one in his area to block. I agree that it wasn't much of a play, though.
FUMBLE! Oh wait, incomplete pass. Good job, refs.
Hey, Colston decided to show up!
Who needs a quarterback at first place?!
The Saints live!
Saints absolutely need points here. Okay, I'm stating the obvious.
Hector, that qualifies you for a six-figure job as a football commentator.
Aikman "would not be completely surprised" if Brees went to a glove in the second half.
Hedge on, hedger.
Sell the Drama, 18. Throwing Copper.
Go for 2?
Definitely too early for a two. Kick the XP.
And we have a bit of a game now.
Holy Crap a game just broke out!
#241: Touchdown, Saints. Marques Colston is able to catch footballs, and he is able to do it in the endzone.
That too complex?
We have a game!
Great 2-minute drill. Now the Saints need more of the same in the 2nd half.
Charles Tillman just had Steve Smith flashbacks...
Barring a very long runback, the Bears have to take a knee, right? If they let Rexy chuck it, I think they're nuts.
Suddenly, there's a game!
Tillman should have committed to the hold that he started. A flag is better than a TD.
The Saints are 1-6 this year when trailing by 10+ points at any point in a game. Not good news. The Bears are 11-0 when leading by 10+ points at any point in the game. Also bad news for Saints fans.
Getting behind by 10 or more is bad? Got it!
Glad the game is close. The Bears DEs are split realy really wide, and if NO starts running Deuce they coudl take advantage. Alot easier to do that down 9 than down 16.
STOP THE RUN!
This bears team is JV like, with the second timeout attempt, and now running off the field.
What the hell?
Has Muhammad disowned that Pro Bowl vote for Grossman yet?
Chicago doing what Baltimore did last week. Stupidity. Don't be so conservative. 2 timeouts and 45 seconds. Try to make a play!
Grossman looks clueless.
Shouldn't someone tell the starting QB what the plan for a drive is?
I wasn't trying to insult Clark, I think he did fine. I was just really pissed at Joe Buck yelling about how great of a block it was before we saw it. He obviously hadn't seen it either.
That was a bizarre way to end the half. Blame Rex or the OC?
Grossman is so dumb, it's unbelievable...
Wow. This isn't Bad Rex, it's Retard Rex.
This is the drawback to sticking with the Sex Cannon. His imcompetence means that if and when the Bears have to score in a hurry they just can't do it.
I think the Bears were *wise* to not push it on the final drive. You're up nine, your QB is not playing well. Know when to quit and go to the locker room. It's the right move.
Lovie's total unwillingness to put in Griese is killing this football team. But I'm rooting for the Saints, so its all good by me
Aren't the commentators allowed to say something was a bad call. I mean they always dance around it, saying debatable. Tell it like it is: Awful officiating
Rex Grossman lives on his own planet....kind of like Manny Ramirez, without being, you know, good
Tom Brady's legs are always underneath him when he plays in a dome.
Where else would they be?
The Bears should pick up Jake Plummer in the offseason.
Ever see the players knock heads before the game?
Grossman really needs to start wearing a helmet like everybody else does during that portion of the warm-up.
Okay, I like "Matty Fitz" from the NFL Network ads. There, I said it.
275: That's a funny way to spell "Byron Leftwich".
Never trust the mouth-breathing QB. I wonder who wrote his term papers at Florida.
Re 274: I was confortable to hear that Brady knows where his legs were...
Not to get ahead of us, but Belichek must be salivating at the chance to face Rex.
That's just Rex being Rex.
Joe Buck has the "smug" look down. He should be doing the Old Spice ads.
The Saints are way unbalaned - 25 yds rushing in a half ??
Nice tackle by 24.
Alright, that's two good throws by Grossman today
Man, Hester really waves that football around like a flag while he's running.
Could Good Rex be returning? Nah.
Fred Thomas 2 Berrian 0
Grossman was "struggling a little bit throwing the football?" Go out on the limb, Aikman.
I agree on the no-call on Thomas, but it was pretty close.
re 192, 194:
I thought they all do 5 commercial breaks within each quarter (which is a shame when there's an injury at the end of the quarter and the game is stopped anyway but they "have" to save their commercials for the next quarter).
what sort of odds could one get on the Saints to win straight up, right now? I would lay $1,000 if I could get 6 to 1 or better.
Another bad throw by Rex. To make matters worse, he's has all kinds of time. NO have got no pressure on him today.
That's a first. They called a New Orleans player down by contact
Is every long return always called back by an block in the back penalty?
seems like it
294: I thought NO had good pressure on Grossman early in the game, anyway.
A woman goes into the men's room by mistake and fixes her contact lense in the mirror. What's so embarrassing about that? Maybe I'm just sick of seeing that add 793 times.
I hope they can show us the infraction from Scott when we get back from break.
Block in the back was in the middle of the field, nowhere near the action.
It's a year of huge cornerback contracts, with A.J. Bouye and Stephon Gilmore breaking the bank. But will these big-money contracts, and the big-time gambles associated with them, pay off?
See All XP | NFL XP | College XP
© Football Outsiders, Inc. // Site powered by Stein-Wein // Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties