Watching high-stakes football without a dog in the fight is infinitely less stressful than the alternative. But also, I miss having a dog in the fight.
- Alshon Jeffery went from telling NJ.com “Hands down, I think I’ve got the best hands in the league” to this:
A very GOOOOOOOD morning to the unapologetically petty among us! pic.twitter.com/ifasTvQ5jP
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) January 14, 2019
- A real shame. You hate to see it. But then again, there’s nothing like feeling petty on a Monday morning to get your week started on the right foot.
- For Bears fans, the ending to Sunday’s Saints-Eagles game was as good as it gets. Philadelphia suffering heartbreak at the hands (quite literally) of a player who sneak-dissed the city of Chicago ahead of Wild-Card Weekend is football karma showing it works in mysterious ways. You’d have to be blind to have not seen the bitterness coming. Bears fans were overwhelmingly supportive of Jeffery when the Bears decided not to bring him back, applauded when he signed a one-year “prove it” deal with the Eagles, gave a head-nod when he received a big-money extension, scored a touchdown in the Super Bowl, and sent out positive vibes when he won a title. So for him to say what he said after all that didn’t sit right with fans who had his back when they didn’t have to do so.
- Now, the Philly faithful can return to feeling like the football deities are out to get them after (checks notes) winning a Super Bowl by beating the G.O.A.T. with a backup quarterback who needed to be talked out of retirement, then coming back to win a road playoff game the next season because one of their ex-kickers double-doinked a game-winning attempt.
- It might be safe to suggest the end of “Big Nick Magic” is here. Nick Foles completed just 18 of 31 passes (58.1%) for 201 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. That comes out to a lowly 61.4 rating. Let’s put that into a local perspective: Mitch Trubisky had only one game where he posted worse than a 61.4 rating last year, and it was his first game back from his shoulder injury.
- Sunday’s performance from Foles reminded me of the early season Trubisky who would get off to good starts before becoming frustratingly inconsistent and inaccurate with his passes. Check this out: Foles started 9 of 10 for 127 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter before going 9 for 22 for 74 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions in the game’s final three quarters. See what happens when you go off script?
- Foles’ two-game playoff run this year comes to an end with this line: 43/71 (60.6%) for 467 yards, 3 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, and a 70.6 passer rating. He will always be fondly remember in Philadelphia, but it’s hard to believe he is a better long-term choice than Carson Wentz.
- The Eagles’ offseason is full of difficult decisions:
#Eagles free agents this offseason:
– Possibly Nick Foles
– Brandon Graham
– Golden Tate
– Darren Sproles
– Jay Ajayi
– Ronald Darby
– Jordan Hicks
– Jordan Matthews
– Chris Long
– Haloti Ngata
– Mike Wallace
– Chris Maragos
– Nate Sudfeld [RFA]
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) January 14, 2019
- You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em:
Guy nicknamed “The Playoff Philanthropist” started playing the Eagles on the money line in Week 15. Also parlayed Eagles with Bears to build his jackpot to $105,000. He has all that money riding on the Eagles money line tonight. pic.twitter.com/Ym7FUnovtM
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 13, 2019
- Speaking of missteps, I can’t shake the feeling that this Bears season could have been different had the team not released cornerback Cre’von LeBlanc in favor of Marcus Cooper. LeBlanc was a surprise cut at the end of the preseason. And rather than accept a spot on the practice squad, LeBlanc bounced around to the Lions and eventually the Eagles. Meanwhile, Cooper was injured, used sparingly, then cut. The Bears could have used LeBlanc down the stretch, especially after Bryce Callahan went down with a season-ending injury. LeBlanc was a solid slot corner during his time with the Bears and they’ll probably need another one like him moving forward because depth in the secondary is growing more valuable each year.
- DeFeNsE WiNs ChAmPiOnShIpS:
The number 1, 2, 3, and 4 scoring offenses are playing Championship Sunday.
— Danny Parkins (@DannyParkins) January 14, 2019
- Hey! We witnessed playoff history this weekend:
- Yeah, we saw it too, dude:
- Saturday’s loss by the Cowboys was a win for the Raiders:
It’s now decided. Raiders own the No. 4, No. 24 (via Bears) and No. 27 (via Cowboys) overall selections on April 25 during first round. Draft is 102 days away in Nashville.
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) January 14, 2019
- An ex-Bears assistant coach looks like a lock to follow Vic Fangio to Denver, but it’s not who you expect:
Broncos are bringing in Bears OLB coach Brandon Staley for an interview Monday, sources tell 9News. Broncos also waiting to hear on Ed Donatell. Bears do want him back as DB coach. #9sports
— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) January 13, 2019
- The Bears still want to keep Ed Donatell as their Defensive Backs Coach, which would be nice after Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweeted Assistant DBs Coach Roy Anderson was not being retained. It would be a bit of a blow if both coaches were to leave, but the potential to coach Eddie Jackson and Kyle Fuller would likely attract some quality candidates.
- How is this even possible?
Since 2001, the #Patriots 28 playoff wins represent 1 more than 15 other franchises (Texans, Jags, Vikings, Cowboys, Titans, Bears, Raiders, Bucs, Chiefs, Redskins, Bills, Lions, Bengals, Browns, Dolphins) have combined https://t.co/BCZWXcNCZM
— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) January 13, 2019
- The Super Bowl is in 19 days:
TRAVEL ALERT: Security lines at @ATLairport stretched more than an hour long this morning amid the partial federal shutdown.
— AJC (@ajc) January 14, 2019