It’s been a long time since I’ve hosted a New Year’s Eve party and generally don’t have much interest in doing so. Between the prep work and the clean up, there’s just so much to do and I’d rather have someone else do it. But I might make an exception this year because 2020 is the 15-year anniversary of what was a peak era of hip-hop and rap music. Between the sounds, music videos, fashion, and mix of established and up-coming artists, I’m not sure there was a better peak run for that genre. I’m ridiculously intrigued by the idea of throwing a mid-2000s rap-themed New Year’s Eve party this year. At minimum, I’m calling the shots on the music selection.
So, yeah, I started the new year thinking about December 31, 2019. As one does …
- For the record, I ended 2018 thinking about this:
Fun fact: Our first post of 2018 was about the Bears’ firing of John Fox. Our last post of 2018 was the Bears being favorites in a playoff game against the defending Super Bowl champs.
What. A. Year.
Can’t wait to see what 2019 brings us.
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) January 1, 2019
- New year. New Bears!
- That’s how quickly things can change in the NFL. You can literally go from bottom-feeders with a top-10 pick to the class of the division in one year. Sometimes, I find myself thinking back to what it took to get here. Remember how much the NFC North improved with Kirk Cousins joining the Vikings and Jimmy Graham signing with the Packers. Even the Lions were expected to be better because they had new leadership. It was going to be rough sledding. And while it wasn’t easy, it sure was enjoyable.
- QBR is far from perfect, but it’s nice to see Mitch Trubisky’s name at the top of a quarterback ranking chart:
NFC North Total QBR final standings this year:
Trubisky: No. 3
Cousins: No. 14
Rodgers: No. 16
Stafford: No. 22
Just as we all expected.
— RandBall (@RandBall) January 1, 2019
- Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good:
The Bears used 56 players this season, tied with the Steelers for the fewest in the NFL. Healthiest and deepest the team has been (little roster churn) since 2010.
Bears player counts
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) December 31, 2018
- To be fair, the Bears were due for some good luck from the injury report.
- I’m not sure we’ll ever pinpoint why the Bears were so healthy this year as opposed to previous seasons. Factors such as changing practice schedules, training regimen, and nutritional diets could have been helpful. Maybe the extra work the Bears put in with the early OTAs and training camp, as well as the extra practices and preseason game helped build something. The new training staff will get a ton of credit and they probably should because something clearly went right this year. We’ll see how long it lasts.
- I appreciate this perspective:
2018 has taught me a lot about life and myself. I’m Looking forward to a new year with new goals and more life! I hope everyone enjoys bringing in the new year with the people y’all love ✌🏾
— Kevin White (@mrkevinwhite) January 1, 2019
- Some worthwhile nuggets from the Bears’ win against the Vikings we didn’t get a chance to touch on yesterday:
Correct, the Bears were 6-for-12 vs. the Vikings on Nov. 18.
In two games, the Bears were 14-for-26 (53.8%) on third down against Minnesota. The rest of the Vikings opponents? 44-for-164 (26.8%). https://t.co/za86JwieXx
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) December 31, 2018
The highest graded players on the Bears defense in their win over the Vikings. pic.twitter.com/NdnLgWQVV2
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) December 31, 2018
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 31, 2018
- This is art:
— Albaro (@martinez3507) January 1, 2019
- As is this:
- I’m not over Javon Wims making big third-down catches. Unless one of the receivers ahead of him on the depth chart gets hurt, that’s probably the last we’ll see of Javon Wims as far as this season is concerned. But I like the Georgia product’s future, especially if he can refine his route tree and prove he’s more than a go-up-and-get-it (GUAGI!) guy.
- Here is a fancy stats way of saying the Bears were good in 2018:
Playoff teams Net Yards per Play league rankings:
1. Chiefs 1.0
2. Chargers 0.9
4. Bears 0.7
T5. Ravens 0.5
7. Rams 0.4
T8. Saints 0.3
T8. Colts 0.3
T11. Texans 0.2
16. Patriots 0.1
T17. Cowboys 0.0
T22. Eagles -0.2
T24. Seahawks -0.3
— OddsShark (@OddsShark) December 31, 2018
- Even Packers broadcaster Wayne Larrivee tipped his cap to the Bears for their season:
— Wayne Larrivee (@waynelarrivee) December 31, 2018
- Some head-coaching search updates featuring some names Bears fans are familiar with:
Schedule updates: #Patriots OC Josh McDaniels is expected to interview for the #Packers HC opening on Friday, source said. … #Bears DC Vic Fangio is expected to do his interviews (#Broncos, #Dolphins) on Monday, source said.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 1, 2019
Former Dolphins’ HC Adam Gase is scheduled to take his first HC interview this post-season with the Arizona Cardinals on Wednesday, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 1, 2019
- Pat Fitzgerald has been rumored to be a target of the Packers to fill their vacant head-coaching position, but he is sounding more like someone who is soooo going to parlay this NFL interest into another pay raise:
— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) January 1, 2019
- And good for him. Besides, there is only room for one coach who utilizes offensive linemen as pass catchers in the NFC North.
- As someone who is happy with having a net positive year at the window, I can relate to this:
My New Year's resolution is to not lose a single sports bet for the entire year of 2019.
I'm 0-0 so far, off to a good start.
— Iain MacMillan (@IainMacOS) January 1, 2019
- You’ve gotta at least try to speak excellence into existence. I mean, it worked for the Bears!