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Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Your weekend viewing plans (all times Eastern): SATURDAY: Indianapolis at Houston, 4:35 p.m.; Seattle at Dallas, 8:15 p.m. SUNDAY: L.A. Chargers at Baltimore, 1:05 p.m.; Philadelphia at Chicago, 4:40 p.m. Win or go home. Use this thread to discuss them all.

Comments

249 comments, Last at 21 Feb 2019, 7:57pm

193 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

The amount of time the Eagles have run off on this drive is bad news for the Bears. If Philadelphia scores, which is likely considering they'll have four downs to do it, Chicago won't have much time to respond. They will also be down by a full 3 if the Eagles get the two-point conversion.

199 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Crushing for Bears fans.

Anyway, I think this week's results are quite good for the NFC's top two seeds. The more dangerous teams got eliminated. I'm definitely ready for this Eagles team to finally be put to bed. They were lucky to make the playoffs and lucky to win this one.

200 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Seems like icing the kicker worked out again this perpetuating the number of times coaches do it

201 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

I can't believe that just happened. I thought Parkey's body language was off as he was kicking the second time, it looked like he actually got iced, which as we all know is very unusual.

212 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

If you’re confident enough in yourself, there’s no way icing would affect you at all. After the season Parkey had, his confidence was probably pretty shaky coming in. I’m sure sports psychologists could weigh in on this.

218 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

It wasn't all his fault. Watching the play SLOWLY shows that an Eagles player got his hand upthere and just slightly tipped the ball, enough for it to hit the uprights, but not enough to be noticed at full speed.

202 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Dallas must be thrilled to be able to pawn that trip to the Superdome off on their division rivals.

203 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Am I crazy in thinking we could have a 5-6 in the AFC and a 1-2 in the NFC for the conference games?

208 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

It's not that crazy. The Chargers should beat the Patriots, not handily, but they are the superior team. The Colts against the Chiefs is tougher because of the Chiefs combo of volcanic offense, probable League MVP with no playoffs experience, and terrible defense. Plus Andy Reid's teams breakdowns in the playoffs. In the NFC, the East division doesn't look like they have a lot of chance.

205 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Apparently the refs got that wacko ref-recovered fumble call in the first half correct: https://mobile.twitter.com/footballzebras/status/1082051754135564288

(Warning: read the comments at your own risk.)
(ETA: I got a complete different set of comments on an incognito tab, and those were actually good. I don't like or understand twitter.)

209 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

That may give the fumble-out-of-the-end-zone-is-awarded-to-the-other-team rule a run for its money as most inexplicable rule in the rulebook.

Is there any other rule that essentially says that what happens after a play can change the outcome of said play? It was a catch and a fumble. Had the Eagles swarmed to it, they'd have been rewarded the recovery (or the Bears would have, for that matter). It is totally illogical to say that since no one recovered the fumble, it reverts to an incomplete pass.

215 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

It's illogical, but it was probably the best or 'most just' outcome given the circumstances. No one swarmed the ball because the play was clearly blown dead. But clearly there was no Chicago player in position to recover it. Had the whistle not been blown it would have been the Eagles ball. The ruling actually screwed both teams in a way, and that seems about as good an outcome as you could hope for given what had happened. It's amazing to me that the rule book actually specifically covers this situation.

237 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

1983, 1993, (arguably) 1994, and 2014 have been the only gut-punch last-minute playoff losses. Every other year they either suck too much to even make the playoffs, or get eliminated in a non-competitive fashion.

207 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Well, here are my emotional/irrational thoughts on the Bears game and the season as a whole.

1. Totally apropo for the nail in the coffin on the season to be a missed Parkey field goal. And this one was 43, not 53 like the FG try in OT in Miami. Of course I blame him for not making the kick, but I blame Ryan Pace far more. He guaranteed Parkey $9M which meant that the Bears were unwilling to try out other options midseason when it was clear that Parkey was shaky. The Bears have to cut him for next year despite the guaranteed money - they flat out have to.

2. The Bears didn't deserve to win tonight anyway. Once they failed to score on their first possession of the second half, I began having flashbacks to the way I felt at, oh, 10pm on a certain night in November 2016 where the result I wanted had not yet been ruled out, but the fact that it was still so uncertain was ominous enough. What I'm saying is that even if Parkey hits that kick, I'd have had no confidence in the Bears to go into LA next week and win. The offense is way too inconsistent. Trubisky shined in the 4th quarter but if he'd been a little better in the first 3 the Bears might have been sitting on a 2-score lead.

3. It's hard to say that the defense had a bad night when they gave up 16 points, but their two weaknesses (which are perhaps intertwined) were their undoing: bad tackling and overreliance on turnovers. They only got two turnovers tonight and there were multiple times where they should've stopped somebody yards before they actually did. In fairness, they were without Jackson and Callahan, and their replacements were a big part of the way tonight went down. (It is absolutely perplexing to me that Jackson was active but as far as I know did not play tonight. I initially thought it might have been confidence on Nagy's part that the Bears might win handily and they could rest him another week, but if he couldn't play in the second half why activate him in the first place?)

4. 26-38 in the regular season, 0-1 in the playoffs. That is the career record of Ryan Pace. I hope that Parkey is enough to disqualify him from executive of the year talk, but one brief playoff appearance does not absolve him of the general failure his tenure has been. The Bears are unquestionably better now than when he was hired, but they were incredibly lucky with injuries this year and the jury is definitely still out on Trubisky (who now only has two more cheap years before they have to pay him considerably more).

221 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Those thoughts seem pretty coherent to me, given the circumstances. If I was looking to point the finger, I would start with the first half offensive performance, which was frankly pathetic. The Bears were very lucky to go in at half time only 3 points down.

As the Eagles D-line tired Trubisky was able to make plays against their weak secondary, but then the defense could not force a stop when they needed it most. This was really a team loss.

The Saints and Rams are the real winners this weekend. The Saints walloped the Eagles at home a few weeks ago, and I foresee few difficulties for them again this time. The Rams avoid the Bears who had previously shut them down. They should be able to handle the Cowboys. Neither game excites me as a neutral fan.

223 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Good point about the Saints and Rams. If the Bears had won, it would have set up a weird "double revenge" scenario, with the top two seeds facing the two teams that had upset them in prime time games. That would have been pretty cool. Instead, as you say, we're left with a couple of pretty lackluster games.

224 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Bears were actually up 3 at half, but it did feel like they were losing.

It's really hard to pin this on the Bears D. Okay, they didn't get the stop on 4th and 1, but 16 points, is 16 points. The Bears offense shouldn't have struggled like it did in the first three quarters. The Bears missed Burton today, and aside from the obvious, that was probably the difference in the end.

I don't know where the Bears go from here. They don't have a first or second round pick. They'll have something around $25m in cap space, but Amos, Massie, and Callahan are all free agents (I believe). They probably all won't be back, but if they do bring, say, Amos back, that will further limit what they can do.

They don't have anything to give up, but they would be an interesting Antonio Brown destination. I'm not sure how much someone like Le'Veon Bell would change the offense, but he'd be a huge upgrade at the RB position. But that's also a position you don't really want to spend money.

I too have been underwhelmed by Pace, and he's dug himself into a (small) hole. The teams better than I think anyone thought, but they don't have a ton of flexibility due to not having a 1st or 2nd. And while giving up a first for Mack made all the sense in the world, not having a 2nd really hurts as they'll struggle to find any impact players for next year in the draft.

227 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Where the Bears go from here is pretty simple in my mind - hold the fort as best you can and hope Trubisky continues to develop. They could use more depth, which will come in handy when they inevitably don't enjoy the same injury luck as they did this season, but that's not the type of thing that's usually addressed by free agency splashes or high draft picks. They should be able to use the cap room they have to keep at least a couple of the guys you mention.

Feel like the picks they traded away are most likely to bite them 2-3 years from now after they (presumably) pay Trubisky, creating a need for cost-effective starters elsewhere. But if Trubisky does develop into a top-flight QB, you're hoping he can overcome deficits in a few spots - the circle of life in the NFL.

231 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

I want to see offensive improvement from Chicago next season. That's the path towards consistent competitiveness in today's NFL.

The defense is likely to regress next year, at least slightly, and their division rivals are all likely to improve. Frankly, they may well miss the playoffs. But if I saw significant development out of Trubisky, I would take that as an overall positive.

236 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Yeah, I have a hard time faulting the defense. It’s unreasonable to expect them to stop a team with four tries from the 5, and I believe it was McManis who eventually gave up the TD; of course, he would not have been on the field if not for Callahan’s injury.

The thing about the Mack trade is that it accelerated the expectations for this team. When you’re paying that much to a defensive player (even when he obviously deserves it), you need to be winning playoff games, not just making it to the playoffs.

As far as the lack of draft picks, I’m not super worried in the short term *if* the offense can take a big step next year with the personnel they have. They missed Trey Burton last night but my perception is that he didn’t live up to the hype going into the season. Robinson was again a big help on key plays, but he didn’t have as productive a season as I’d have expected. It seems like they’ll need to draft a running back, which they should be able to find in the middle rounds.

The biggest question mark is Trubisky. I’m scared that he’ll be just good enough to get a second contract and handicap the team. Seems like everyone in Chicago today is praising his 4th quarter and ignoring how lackluster the offense was in the first 3 (which isn’t entirely on him - playcalling was also bad).

217 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Cody Parkey reminded me of Chris Boswell on that kick. Both got big contracts (I don't know if Parkey was an all world kicker before this season, but Boswell certainly was clutch since ever), then they broke down this season. Boswell had his confidence hit by that missed game winner in Week 1 (To me it was understandable, it was on the rain. Kicks like that are tough), and it was enough for him to start missing kicks left and right, furthering the issue. I have not seen enough Bears football to know if Parkey had an confidence hitting missed kick, but he certainly was a coin toss. (Although, seeing the kick frame by frame shows someone got his hand up and hit the kick, deviating it towards the uprights. It's not going to boost his confidence again, but still). Both Chicago and Pittsburgh are probably moving on. By the way, why the Bears released Robbie Gould? Was he terrible or they needed to save money or ...?

230 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

I was told (by a media that hyped/adored them) that Lamar & Dak & Russell Wilson we're
the answer....I guess it proved (once again as I look thru playoffs thru playoffs thru the
years) that a run-first oriented NFL QB vs a pre-read/slide in the pocket vs run/look off
the safety/go thru progressions/get rid of ball in 2-4 seconds vs 5-6/recognizing a defense
quickly/understanding when they have 1-on-1 coverage when there is motion & that
person is followed.....that THAT NFL QB will have a super-high winning % advantage over
what the media people gush over...

What works & can win college nat'l championships doesn't work in NFL where LB's in NFL
can run as fast as DB's in college, where NFL DC's dbl-blitz the A&B gaps so you have to
recognize that/decide in seconds & know your hot receiver nor can you do that slow moving
read-option when someone blows up the middle.

The final 4-8 qb's usually have the qualities mentioned above....NFL QB qualities...but
the media will never quit on the other stuff....

You watch...Dak/Mahomes will go down this coming round. I've seen it for decades, bank
on it.

BTW someone will reply with an exception to the rule but...95% of the time (look thru final 4-8
for past years) ...the *high majority* of the time, this style of QB wins over a read-option, running
NFL QB. This year is yet another confirmation of that.

235 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

*was* a running QB....not this year!!

Avg in last 5 yrs he (Luck) played=57 avg rushes based on last
6 yrs (this year was 46)...put that up against Lamar Jackson (147 attempts just in half this season)
and Russell Wilson (avg'd 95 per year in last 7 yrs)...then there is Dak (avg 63 attempts in 3 yrs)

So when placed against what I'd say are "running" QB's...Luck is more a pocket passer because of
HC. Also when you see that Brees (31) and Brady (23) are in same arena as Luck, further makes
the point he's not a running QB anymore.

242 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

But you are arguing that DAK (who seems to run more) is the same as Luck
(who seems to look to pass more)...btw Luck was 46 this year...I did say
*was* a running QB....this year he's stayed in the pocket much more....

Main point is, the pocket passers move ahead in playoffs, the NFL QB's who "tend"
to run instead of slide/keep eyes downfield-etc. don't. The pocket passers
tend to succeed more in playoffs....

243 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Mahomes had an awesome year....then again, so did Cam (early) but then
DC's just dbl-blitzed the A & B gaps and they weren't so hot.

I am guessing Mahomes will falter the same in upcoming game but KC might
win...yet he'll show innaccuracies (Like Watson/Dak did)....its a character
defect & catches up to running QB's

248 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

try actually reading a few posts.....I mention (bobby douglass....Luck's
father....fran tarkenton)...they all had the same defect

sheeze...can't wait to play that card....but throw that flak out & miss
the point of the topic (which is right)

244 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Good argument....as was (perhaps) Steve Young, but both keep
eyes plastered downfield as they are moving forward.....DAK/Mahomes/
Watson just run....Rodgers/Young moved to outside (as does WIlson to
a great degree) 'n look downfield.....Brady/Foles/Rivers/both Mannings
all tend to slide in pocket....I'm just not a fan of the type of NFL QB that
DAk/Mahomes/Watson/Cam are (for the long haul)...they are pretty much running
QB'S that eventually just show incredible innacuracy during playoffs...not just here/there
(which is ok) but a high % of throws...seen it for years from Bobby Douglass (Bears)
thru Fran Tarkenton (Vikings) and now this crop....seems to really take a nose-dive
during playoffs