Learning to be versatile in the kitchen is one of those things I’m taking on as quarantine SZN continues.
With that being said, trying to re-create this is a challenge I’ll certainly be up to take on in due time:
My friend Jim applied his sweet and sour chicken recipe, but swapped out chicken for beef. It’s a bold move, to be sure. But one that looks absolutely delicious. I can’t wait to dive in and try it myself (after I eat this leftover pizza, of course).
• ICYMI: The 2020 Bears schedule IS OUT! Complete with dates, times, TV network coverage, and more. Tickets are on sale, too. Seriously. The NFL is going full-speed ahead with this whole thing. And as I learned while thumbing around different sites, teams have refund policies pop up immediately at ticket sites. That’s smart planning, but also good to have front and center for potential buyers.
• This is unique:
• Kevin Fishbain’s watchability rankings take into consideration storyline juiciness, opposing quarterbacks, rivalry heat, stadium freshness, and so much more. You should check it out:
Enjoy our 2020 Bears schedule breakdown…
– My annual and very scientific watchability rankings
– Revenge games!
– A fun fact for each opponent
– Record predictions from @adamjahns, @jon_greenberg, @danpompei and me
– And more… https://t.co/gd764lXFhe pic.twitter.com/BgmGTdHjQq
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) May 8, 2020
• This schedule has it all, doesn’t it? Marquee QBs (Rivers, Brady, Brees, Rodgers, Watson), litmus tests against playoff-tested teams (Saints, Titans, Vikings, Packers, Texans), new (or new-ish) stadiums (Atlanta, Los Angeles). So much good stuff. All of which would be far more enjoyable if the Bears put together a winning season.
• But based on these game-by-game score projections, there is reason to worry:
Score Projections for all 256 NFL regular season games in 2020.
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) May 8, 2020
• The Bears go 4-11-1 based on these projections. Yikes! But because there are so many one-score games (and a tie!), I’d contend the Bears could easily be 11-4-1 if they get a favorable bounce that a computer can’t predict or project.
• Speaking of predictions, projections, and forecasts, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller had #BearsTwitter riled up hours before the schedule release:
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) May 7, 2020
This is not the first time Miller has offered up the idea of Nagy getting canned and returning to KC as the OC, as it was something he dropped in April and we covered as part of a roundup/discussion of Pace/Nagy being on the hot seat.https://t.co/UbJlJWi0qo pic.twitter.com/gKYIZTPEQZ
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) May 7, 2020
• My two cents: If you’re going to be that bold and throw THAT out there, own it. Don’t back-track. Embrace the heel role. (Also, having Bill O’Brien’s Texans as the No. 9 team on your confidence rankings is highly questionable. Heck, even Texans fans would probably agree with that sentiment).
• If this guy is healthy, I don’t see the Bears racking up double-digit losses:
• A good pull from Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Times:
It is also the case that every pair of teams matched up in Week 2 shares a bye week. Bears and Giants share a bye in Week 11.
— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) May 8, 2020
• The NFL states it has contingency plans. Although, they have yet to be shared publicly. I truly hope there are contingency plans. Otherwise, the NFL’s hubris throughout all this could backfire later in the year.
• Matt Nagy offers up some thoughts on the schedule
• Nagy providing insight on the Bears’ schedule from his secret lair was a unique twist.
• Seriously, though, I imagine guys like Nagy and Hicks rounding up news clippings of these not-so-flattering projections and predictions, putting them on bulletin boards throughout Halas Hall, and using them as motivation throughout the year. Hey, it worked in 2018!
• My guy Zack Pearson points out the Bears are just 2-8 at Lambeau Field since 2010. That’s a stat I could’ve gone without seeing on my Friday. But it’s real. Just add it to the to-do list (and actually hold onto a lead when you get it this time.
• Kevin Fishbain (The Athletic) notes the Bears can break some trends on this year’s schedule. The team has lost five-in-a-row to the Saints (yuck!) and are winless against the Texans (0-4). They’re also winless against Tom Brady. Time to win some games, gang.
• For your listening pleasure:
No, I did not predict they will go 13-3 and win the Super Bowl. https://t.co/KzdBu7MXM6
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) May 8, 2020
• Some thoughts on the prime-time schedule:
Most appearances on Monday Night Football in 2020? It's a nine-way tie with two spots each for Patriots, Bills, Steelers, Ravens, Rams, Giants, Bears, Bucs and Saints.
Half the league has 1.
Teams with zero MNF games: Dolphins, Jaguars, Colts, Texans, Panthers, Lions, Redskins.
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) May 8, 2020
• I have had debates with friends who used to say “you can tell if the Bears are good based on the number of prime-time games the league gives them.” They have since back-tracked on their statements, which tends to be the go-to thing these days. I sit in the middle. TV networks put the Bears in prime time because they are a team of intrigue, have a large following, and a fan base that will tune in for the drama. Also, it would be ignorant of me to look past how much television execs value ad revenue in a time like this, hence, you’re seeing the Bears, Giants, Rams and Steelers still in prime-time despite coming off non-playoff years. Big markets with intriguing storylines to follow is one of the oldest go-to formulas for TV folks. Rule No. 1: Follow the money. Rule No. 2: See rule No. 1.
• There’s only one correct answer here, and I don’t imagine it’s going to get an overwhelming ton of support:
• With all due respect to the Falcons and their supporters, the Bears are a far more interesting team than the Falcons. Chicago has a quarterback controversy featuring a reeling first-round pick and a Super Bowl MVP on his third team in as many years. They have a GM and head coach who could conceivably be on the hot seat if things go terribly bad if their quarterbacks go south. And they are a heritage franchise in the NFL. The Falcons are the fourth most interesting team in their division behind the Bucs (sup, Brady?), Saints (is this Brees’ last dance?), and Panthers (so many new and shiny toys!).
• Fewer national games means less talk about blowing a 28-3 lead. Meanwhile, the season’s lid-lifter on NBC will feature the two quarterbacks the Bears passed on to take Mitch Trubisky — Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.
• With the new iPad Pro out, you’re starting to see some good discounts on older iPads at Amazon if you want to peruse. #ad
• Broadcaster Adam Amin, a Chicagoland native, is moving onto bigger and better things:
NEWS: Adam Amin is leaving ESPN for a big job with Fox, The Post has learned.https://t.co/FqETuObgi0
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) May 8, 2020
• Amin has done Bears preseason games for the last two years, which I don’t imagine he will continue doing if he figures to have bigger opportunities elsewhere. But there are several high-profile, national play-by-play voices who do preseason NFL games on the side (Kevin Harlan comes to mind), so maybe he could be back. In any case, we’ll keep an eye on it moving forward.
• I’m a sucker for these:
You wanted the schedule?
You got it, dude. pic.twitter.com/qxRtusUVGJ
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) May 7, 2020
• Well done by the Chargers:
this year is different, so we did something different… our 2020 schedule release 💛 pic.twitter.com/odonJJJ3Gc
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) May 7, 2020
• On the silly end of the spectrum, the Jags hit it out of the park:
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) May 7, 2020
• Speaking of the Jaguars, they’re bringing in an old friend to backup Gardner Minshew II:
Jaguars sign Mike Glennon https://t.co/5P09CXwQ5v
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) May 8, 2020