Category Archives: matt forte

2015 NFL Team Preview: Chicago Bears

funny Chicago Bears 2015 NFL team preview kitty cat photoThe Chicago Bears season is barely underway and they may have already lost their first round draft pick for the season. It’s not the ideal way for new head coach John Fox to begin his tenure.

Jay Cutler has thrown 93 interceptions in 82 games in Chicago. Hopefully new offensive coordinator Adam Gase can implement a system to help guide Cutler away from throwing so many picks. It will be a huge undertaking since all those who tried, have failed.

The Bears made some nice additions to their defense this offseason. Pernell McPhee and Antrel Rolle are upgrades at their positions. Can the defense step up and live up to the proud tradition of stout defenses in Chicago?

Here is the 2015 NFL team preview for the Chicago Bears.

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2013 Fantasy Football: Top 40 Running Back Rankings

adrian-peterson-orange-peanut-01252013It’s never too early to start studying for the upcoming 2013 Fantasy Football season. The NFL is now a year-long sport with off-season, draft and training camp spread out throughout the year.

We all know who will be #1 in our running back rankings, it’s a no-brainer. After the year Adrian Peterson had last season, I see no reason why he couldn’t duplicate or exceed his 2012 campaign.

Will any rookies crack our Top 40 Running Backs list? Here are our rankings of the top 40 running backs for the 2013 NFL season. Continue reading

2012 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs

The NFL has turned into a pass-first league. The trend has caused a drastic change in fantasy football drafting strategy. The old method was to draft two running backs with your first two selections. They were the most valuable position on your fantasy football team. That is still the case, but the gap is closing.

Teams have went away from having one feature back and most have opted for a two-headed rushing attack. Quarterbacks and wide receivers are gaining value and thanks to Rob Gronkowski, tight ends are creeping into the first two rounds as well. Continue reading

2012 NFL Team Preview: Chicago Bears

Before I go into the Chicago Bears 2012 team preview, let’s breakdown the two biggest stars’ girlfriends. Jay Cutler is still with Kristin Cavallari and now Brian Urlacher is dating Jenny McCarthy. Should I be worried that these guys will be a bit distracted this season? Jim Carray didn’t exactly put out his best work while dating McCarthy. Urlacher may put out a “Fun With Dick and Jane”-type of performance. Yikes!

I may need to dig deeper into both of these relationships later, but I have a lot of team previews to knock out before the NFL season begins.

Now that I got that off my chest, we can get into the Bears preview.

Chicago was one of the best teams in the NFC before Cutler and Forte went down with injuries. They missed the playoffs and realized Mike Martz wasn’t working as their offensive coordinator, so he’s gone.

How will Brandon Marshall perform when he is reunited with Cutler? Will Michael Bush be the complement to Forte they were missing last season?

Here’s our 2012 team preview for the Chicago Bears.

2011 Win/Loss Record: 8-8

Key Additions: WR Brandon Marshall, RB Michael Bush, QB Jason Campbell, CB Kelvin Hayden, LB Blake Costanzo, LB Geno Hayes, DT DeMario Pressley, OG Chilo Rachal, WR Devin Thomas, WR Eric Weems, CB Jonathan Wilhite, RB Lorenzo Booker, TE Evan Rodriguez, LB Shea McClellin, WR Alshon Jeffery and S Brandon Hardin.

Key Losses: S Brandon Meriweather, WR Roy Williams, DT Amobi Okoye, OT Frank Omiyale, QB Caleb Hanie, CB Zack Bowman,  DT Anthony Adams, CB Corey Graham and RB Marion Barber.

Non-Division Schedule: AFC South and NFC West

Fantasy Sleeper: TE Evan Rodriguez – Mike Tice is the new offensive coordinator in Chicago and he will not ignore the tight end position like Martz. Kellen Davis will be the starter, but expect plenty two-TE sets. Cutler checked down to tight ends in Denver and Chicago’s tight ends will be more productive in 2012. Alshon Jeffery will be an interesting sleeper as well. Johnny Knox may start out the season on the PUP list and Cutler will need a big target other than Marshall and his tight ends.

Team Analysis: The NFC North will be the toughest division in the NFL. Detroit and Green Bay will be fighting Chicago for the division crown. The division will all see an easier non-divisional schedule by facing the AFC South and NFC West in 2012. Cutler will be more horizontal this year with quicker plays that won’t take long to develop. He will be thanking God that Martz is no longer calling plays and Marshall is back receiving his passes. Forte and new addition Michael Bush both have great hands. Chicago will have a very good rushing attack. Lance Briggs and Urlacher are another year older and they are still producing like Pro Bowlers. Their defense looked old at times last season, but they added a few younger pieces to help this squad regain their past dominance. You will see Chicago in the playoffs this season, but they may not get in as a divisional winner. The NFC North will be a fun division to watch play out this season.

2012 Wins Over/Under Line: 9 (Prediction: OVER)

2012 Projected Win/Loss Record: 12-4

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A Sports & Entertainment blog that focuses on absurdity in sports, snarky banter, updates on Tim Tebow’s virginity, and decent sports gambling advice.

How To Fix The Chicago Bears

At the beginning of the year, I predicted that the Bears would win the NFC North and the Bears would finish 11-5. I was way off and many experts are left with pie on their face. What went wrong with the Bears? How could this team possibly have trouble scoring points? What happened to Matt Forte? Is Jay Cutler a turnover machine the next Jim McMahon? Does Lance Briggs love McRibs? I answer these important questions.

When the Bears traded for Jay Cutler, it was the greatest day in Chicago since Michael Jordan was wearing the number #23. You didn’t hear anyone thinking that this was a mistake. You heard things like “Chicago has never had a great quarterback” and “Chicago is a lock to win the NFC North.” You didn’t hear things like, “Chicago still haven’t had a great quarterback” and “Chicago looks just awful out there.” The Bears paid a great price for Cutler and they don’t have a #1 pick for the next couple years to help replenish their aging roster.

Why has Jay Cutler looked so bad this year? It’s easy, he has no one to throw it to. It seemed like he was getting a groove with TE Greg Olson, but defenses made note and stopped that from happening. Cutler had to try and make things happen out there with receivers that can’t get open. It’s as simple as that. Cutler was so used to Brandon Marshall, who could get open in a gaggle of geese, to these receivers that couldn’t get open against Verne Troyer. If the Bears can get a few veteran receivers or maybe even Brandon Marshall, Cutler will go back to his “golden boy” status.

I know it’s not as simple as I’m describing it. The Bears are clealy one-dimensional right now. Cutler has to face seven dropping back in coverage because Matt Forte went from stud rookie to old sophomore in a matter of one off-season. Forte hasn’t really had that one great game to help us forget how mediocre he has been this season. I don’t want to blame him completely, because the offensive line hasn’t given him much to run through. It’s a clear collapse of the entire offense, it’s a hard thing to watch.

I can’t fully blame the offense, because the Bears defense have looked just as pedestrian as the offense this season. You can point to the season-ending injury of Brian Urlacher as a possbile blame for their insufficient play. There’s talk that if the Bears keep Lovie Smith as the head coach, they could strip his defensive play-calling, since he has done for the past few seasons. If you had Urlacher this season, it still wouldn’t helped the pass coverage much. You could see this team start to decline defensively last year, but if you need another excuse for the Bears, the offense has left them with horrible defensive field position.

Here is how you would fix the Chicago Bears. It starts with the head coach. The Bears offense had one good season under Lovie Smith, they went to the Super Bowl that year. They had a reckless quarterback, Rex Grossman, and a stout defense. They still have a reckless quarterback, but not the defense or offensive production to match. You hire a big name ex-coach like Bill Cowher or Mike Shanahan to fix everything and give them full control of personnel. You have to get rid of Lovie Smith and offensive coordinator, Ron Turner, as well.

The next step, since you don’t have first-round picks for the next few years, you have to trade a couple pieces to get younger and more athletic. You would have to trade a player like Brian Urlacher for a young left tackle or a high first round pick. You can fix your receiving corps by signing a veteran receiver and using a 2nd-round pick on a possession receiver. You can also get steals in the late rounds to help your secondary. These are steps that need to happen for the Bears to rebuild in a hurry. You have to build your team around Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, and Lance Briggs, those are immovable pieces that you can use as building blocks.

If the Bears want to make a change, just do it. Don’t go in the Washington Redskins route and start stripping the head coach of duties. You need to rip the band-aid off in one motion, don’t make it slow and painful. The Bears have a good quarterback and that isn’t something that Chicago fans are used to. A complete change in philosophy needs to happen and it starts with the head coach and trading Brian Urlacher and move this team in a new direction. Sometimes it’s better this way, even if you know that it will hurt.

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Is Matt Forte In A Sophomore Slump?

Matt Forte was 2/3rds of the Bears offense last season and he has been a ghost of himself this year. He was non-existent in the first two games against Green Bay and Pittsburgh. He was expected to have a great game against Seattle, but he barely averaged three yards per carry. Frank Gore ran all over the Seahawks last week and this could be a huge red flag for the Bears. Forte wasn’t expected to be a huge part of the passing game, but they need him to be a force in the running game. Is Forte in a sophomore slump or is this just a case of him facing good teams?

It doesn’t matter what team you play for in the NFL, if you only have 150 yards and averaging 2.5 yards per carry in the first three games of the season, people will start talking. Forte averaged 3.9 last season, but he also had 63 receptions, which may have been due to Kyle Orton dumping the ball off in a hurry. He does have 11 receptions so far this season, so he is near his usual pace. He didn’t catch any balls the first came, so you have to give props to Ron Turner for recognizing that he needs the ball in his hands.

I know Forte’s performance hasn’t been what the Bears have wanted, but they still need to keep feeding him the ball. He is their playmaker on offense and they can’t give up on the running game. When the Bears offense becomes one-dimensional, Jay Cutler will become predictable. He already tries to force passes in where he has no right to throw them. If you take away the running game, safeties will be spying the quarterback and the defense can play nickel and deep dime all game long.

Much have been made of Michael Turner’s large number of carries and the affect on the running back the next season. If you add Forte’s carries and receptions last season, it equals the amount of work that Turner received last year. I guess if you have the mindset that Turner will have a down year, you’re not surprised that Forte’s numbers have taken a hit. The Bears rode him last year and it has took its toll on him. He may turn it around and for the Bears sake, I hope he does.

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NFL Week 3: Fantasy Football Sit/Start

My Fantasy Football Sit/Start picks from last week was nearly 100% perfect last week. I said to start Fred Jackson and Dallas Clark, and even picked my Deep League sleeper with Pierre Garcon. I told you to sit Matt Forte, Reggie Bush, and the Eagles defense. I hope everyone took my advice and here are this week’s fantasy football sit/starts for Week 3.

I’m sitting 1-1 in every league that I’m in, since I faced a team with Adrian Peterson in nearly every league that week. I bounced back last week and had a nice week, especially since Frank Gore won me a few games. I had an even better week gambling against the NFL odds. Continue reading

Is Jay Cutler To Blame For Chicago’s Loss?

The Chicago Bears lost to the Green Bay Packers tonight in a pretty ugly game. Aaron Rodgers out-played Jay Cutler and the Green Bay secondary made Cutler look terrible. Was it Jay Cutler’s fault that the Bears lost tonight or is there a bigger picture? I look at the big picture and I lay the blame on someone else.

If you look at Jay Cutler’s line for the game tonight against Green Bay, it looks like either Jeff George or Rex Grossman were under center. He threw for 277 yards, completed less than half of his passes, and threw four interceptions. He did throw one touchdown tonight, but the night was plagued by Cutler throwing ball after ball to one of Green Bay’s defenders. He should have thrown more than four picks, since there was a period in the first-half that Cutler threw five straight passes that should have been picked off.

I watched the game from coin toss to post-game show and I don’t blame Jay Cutler for the 21-15 loss tonight. The pair of balls that were intercepted could be blamed on him, but he’s dealing with receivers that quit on routes and aren’t very good at running them. His top non-tight end receivers are Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, and Johnny Knox, not exactly establish receivers. Hester runs sloppy routes and still lacks the ability to beat double-teams when the safety is in front of him. Earl Bennett looked decent, but he’s still catching up to the speed of the NFL. Finally you have Johnny Knox, he’s fast, but that’s about it. He looks completely lost out there, although he did show a flash of brilliance when he beat Charles Woodson on a play. If you run that play ten times, I doubt Knox will beat Woodson, on that exact play, more than once. If Cutler had an elite receiver, or even a veteran possession receiver, he could have a good year with the bears, but this team lacks that piece. The tight ends didn’t help Cutler out either. Greg Olson and Desmond Clark both dropped balls and didn’t do a good job of getting open.

Matt Forte caught over 60 balls last year and there wasn’t many balls thrown in his direction today. The one that I remember was actually intercepted by a defensive tackle, Johnny Jolly. Forte did carry the ball 25 times for 55 yards, but that’s only 2.2 yards per attempt, not up to par with his ability. He is a good running back, but you need to pass him the ball on the flat and let him work against cornerbacks and outside-linebackers more. It will open up the deep ball, which Cutler loves to throw. Forte wasn’t used properly against the Green Bay Packers.

Patrick Mannelly didn’t help the Bears out with his fake-punt audible in the 2nd-half. The Bears were up at that point and he thought he caught the Packers ill-prepared and sent a direct snap to Garrett Wolfe. He wasn’t ready for it and barely gained four yards on a 4th and 11 attempt. That kind of play isn’t going to win games when you just giveaway great field position so late in the game.

After saying all of that, I lay the blame of this loss on Offensive coordinator Ron Turner and General Manager Jerry Angelo. Clearly this team needs an actual wide receiver. Devin Hester would be a great slot receiver on a team, but he has yet to show the ability to be a solid #1. If they went out and signed a veteran wide receiver like Torry Holt or Marvin Harrison, maybe Jay Cutler wouldn’t have to guess where his receivers would be. A precise route-running wide-receiver can make play quarterback pretty easy. Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal, and especially Brandon Stokely are great route-runners and you have seen what he can do with those kind of receivers. Ron Turner’s blame would lay on his lack of screen passes to Forte. I know Kyle Orton passed so many balls to him last year because he had to dump the ball off, but he did a great job after the catch. If would bring the defenses in and make them defend against it. The safeties and linebackers would play in and you could utilize the speed of your receivers and run a streak or deep post pattern with a higher percentage of success.

I thought the Bears would be good this season and it’s only the first game. Brian Urlacher and Pina Tinoisamoa were out for a good portion of the game, but if they played as sloppy as they did tonight, it could be a long season.

This may be a horrible end to this story, but can someone please tell me what the Bears’ obsession with players from Vanderbilt is? They have five players on the team and the last time I checked, the Commodores weren’t exactly a perennial BCS Bowl team.

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