It’s funny, last week I had mentioned to my brother that I’ve never been sick for Christmas.
That streak is gone.
From yesterday afternoon through this afternoon, I’ve felt terrible; the details aren’t important, nor are they appealing. Suffice to say I was suffering enough BEFORE I lost my fantasy championship game on the final, stupid, meaningless, pointless Hail Mary interception. Why would you call timeout on the field goal, Jim Harbaugh? Why? The game would have been over if they had kicked it. I just don’t understand.
But I digress. Really, the fact that my absence prevented a round-up post of reactions to the Sunday Night Football debacle is sort of a blessing. I might have been too depressed to continue at that point.
Here’s what you should know, if you didn’t already:
- It was the worst performance of the season, in all three phases.
- If the Bears win Sunday, they’re in the playoffs.
That’s it. There’s a matter of seeding, of course, but the Bears are actually still alive for the #3 seed, if they win and the Cowboys (likely behind Kyle Orton, although the Cowboys have yet to officially rule out Tony Romo) defeat the Eagles on Sunday night.
What else did we really learn from Sunday? The defense is bad? We already knew that. I guess we learned that the offense was capable of having a sub-par game, but I feel like that’s more of an outlier, considering they hadn’t had a performance like that up to this point. (In fact, the way the start unfolded, I’m sure the game plan was basically tossed out of the window. They had two unfortunate early series, but being down 21-0 was an unjust punishment. If the margin of error for the offense is that slim, we should be amazed that they have a chance to go 9-7.)
So it’s on to Week 17, essentially the first round of the playoffs for the Bears. Here are a few bullets to get things going; due to the illness and Christmas I’ll be taking it fairly easy tomorrow, but if anything important breaks I’ll be sure to jump on with an update. I’m sure I’ll also be checking Twitter more than my family and/or fiancée will appreciate, as well. What sort of breaking news might require a post?
- How about the status of Aaron Rodgers for Sunday? Apparently that will be decided by the time the team practices on Thursday; or so Rodgers said on Tuesday on his Milwaukee radio show. ESPN’s Rob Demovsky has the recap of his comments here, and it’s worth a read if you want to play armchair psychologist. The Packers return to practice on Thursday, and apparently the decision will be made by that point; that means the news could come out at some point tomorrow. Rodgers seems frustrated on multiple levels; the relative slowness of healing, the constant questioning and scrutiny, and most interestingly by the leaking of reports about his condition. He asserted repeatedly that “only four people” knew all of the details: the team doctor, GM Ted Thompson, head coach Mike McCarthy, and Rodgers himself.
- Bleacher Report’s Will Carroll covered Rodgers in his weekly Under the Knife column, and he noted that the leaks from multiple levels of the organization were rare for the Packers, not a notoriously leaky bunch. Carroll notes that while the bone has to be getting better, the Packers likely don’t want to risk a re-injury, and the risk/reward balance has yet to swing in favor of playing him despite concerns from the medical staff. Risk of re-injury is something Green Bay has to be aware of, considering this:
- Clay Matthews re-injured his thumb on Sunday against Pittsburgh, and will likely be out for the remainder of the season. That’s obviously good news for the Bears; the Packers defense is in the bottom third of the league in basically every category, and with the Chicago defense being as bad as it the offense will need every bit of good fortune that comes their way. (We saw Sunday night what happens when the Bears play a decent offensive team while their own offense struggles. It’s not pretty.)
- From that same post, Packer running back Eddie Lacy is on track to play after aggravating a previously sprained ankle. If he can’t play, James Starks would get the majority of the carries. Frankly, the way the Bears rushing defense has looked, I think Green Bay could suit up a 79 year-old Bart Starr and have him rush for 100 yards.
- Injured Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton was arrested Sunday for his alleged involvement in a Texas bar fight. It’s been a rough year for Melton, who played this season under the franchise tag before tearing his ACL early in the year. He was charged with assault and public intoxication, but as detailed in that piece by ESPN’s Michael C. Wright, details are still murky, as other witnesses have apparently said that Melton wasn’t in the wrong. The process will obviously play itself out, and it might very well have an impact on what the Bears decide to do with Melton. Cynically, and unfortunately for Henry, the injury and this incident might combine to drive his price down to the point that the Bears can extend him for far less than he deserved after his Pro Bowl breakout in 2012.
That’s all I have for now. As I said, I’m sorry for my brief absence, and if breaking news warrants I’ll have an update for you. Other than that, expect a full return on Thursday as we get ready for the biggest Bears game in a long time; probably since the NFC Championship game. Certainly more is on the line for the Bears than in any single game since then.
I’d like to wish everyone who reads a great Christmas, or if you have other beliefs, a great holiday season in general. I’m honored to count you as a reader.