Sometimes, there’s simple joy in watching other sports, like baseball, … if only because officials and reviews play less of a role than they do in the NFL. And then the first inning of Game 4 of the ALCS between the Red Sox and Astros has an interference play that had me thinking about catch rule fine print. It just won’t ever end, will it?
- Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick wants you to pump the brakes on the Khalil Mack-Lawrence Taylor comparisons:
Bill Belichick, asked if Khalil Mack compares to Lawrence Taylor: “Wait a minute, we’re talking about Lawrence Taylor now. I’m not putting anybody in (LT’s) class. Put everybody down below that. With a lot of respect to a lot of good players, we’re talking about Lawrence Taylor.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 17, 2018
- Because Mack has made an immediate impact to the point where he was garnering early consideration for the league’s MVP award, the Bears’ top pass-rusher has been showered with praise from all corners of the football world. But maybe we should heed Belichick’s call to slow it down. Remember, Belichick coached Taylor when he was Bill Parcells’ assistant with the Giants, so his perspective here is unique.
- So how good do you have to be to earn a comp to LT from Belichick? Tanya Ray Fox of USA Today’s Patriots Wire notes that Belichick has compared J.J. Watt to Taylor on several occasions. Watt is an elite player who is a game-changer on his side of the ball. So now I’m sitting here hoping Mack can overcome his ankle injury and give Belichick a reason to re-think his stance. Maybe he should re-think it, already.
- Mitch Trubisky, the Bears’ most important player on offense, seems to think the Bears’ Week 6 loss can be a springboard for his growth and development:
Mitch Trubisky says he thinks the #Bears still need to grow into having that killer instinct and putting teams away in games. Said that Week 6 will help him grow in that.
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) October 17, 2018
Trubisky on developing a killer instinct mentality: “I think a lot of guys are hungry and eager for the next opportunity to prove ourselves.”
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) October 17, 2018
- Great teams have players with killer instincts, so I’m a bit bothered by the idea that the Bears quarterback believes he and his team need to develop one. The Bears’ two losses have followed with similar refrains of needing to finish better and that’s unnerving if you think about it. There’s a case to be made that if the Bears had said killer instinct, they would be 5-0 heading into this Patriots game and we’d be looking at things differently. Siiiiigh. I’d rather not think about that.
- So here’s the thing: wins and losses are never that cut and dry. Losses are teachable moments and can be used as motivating factors. While certain types of wins can go a long way toward clouding judgment and temporarily masking issues. I’m not saying losing is a good thing because it really isn’t. But there are times where learning from a loss has a certain value that escaping with a win doesn’t have. The Bears looked like a team that learned from their Week 1 loss, so now I’m prepared to see if they can be better after Sunday’s humbling loss at Miami.
- Chris Emma of 670 The Score writes the Bears are ready to take on the challenge that is the Patriots. Of course, there’s a caveat that tight end Trey Burton explains well. “It’s a good measuring stick of where you’re at,” Burton told Emma. “But at the end of the day, this isn’t a playoff game, this isn’t the Super Bowl. It’s another regular-season game.” Burton knows what playoff games and a Super Bowl against the Patriots feels like, especially considering he was a part of that championship-winning Eagles team that knocked off New England earlier this calendar year.
- And while I understand Burton’s perspective, I feel as if there’s something to be said about preparing like every game is the Super Bowl. Listen to Belichick talk about the Bears and you’d think they were a worthy contender to take the crowd. It almost makes you wonder …
Anyone else feeling weird about Bill Belichick saying nice things about Bears plays/players? No? Just me? https://t.co/GSMEDTnBYw
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) October 17, 2018
- Here’s a headline I didn’t want to read, via The Athletic’s Jeff Howe (even if the story was good and the perspective was on point): Patriot O-Line rounding into shape just in time to counter ferocious Bears.
- NFL MVP Joe Flacco doesn’t really role off the tongue so easily:
Updated odds to win NFL MVP (@BovadaOfficial):
Big Ben +3300
— OddsShark (@OddsShark) October 17, 2018
- Sticking with the folks at OddsShark for a moment, the Bears’ loss has dropped their Super Bowl odds a bit. The Bears are now +2500 (or 25/1 if that’s more your style), while the Vikings (+1000) and Packers (+1800) remain in the oddsmakers’ good graces. We’ll have more on Bears playoff odds later today.
- This Halloween prank could have ended very poorly:
Zach Miller pranks Mitchell Trubisky in his home garage pic.twitter.com/Hd2xKpboix
— Ⓜ️arcusD ᴿᴵᴾ ᴹᵃʳᶜᵘˢᴰ² (@_MarcusD3_) October 14, 2018
- This would’ve been neat:
— Jarrett Payton (@paytonsun) October 18, 2018