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The Playoff Hunt, Refs Give Pack a Break, the Unstoppable Taylor Swift Backfield, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

I was in a good place set to come off the bye until some bad luck in trying to purchase the Cool Grey Jordan 11s turned my mood. Mondays, am I right?

•   Let’s hit the rest button and start Monday on a positive note. Teven Jenkins will begin practicing with his teammates TODAY. This opens up a 21-day practice window, in which the Bears will evaluate their 2021 second-round pick and ultimately determine whether to activate him from IR. Jenkins began the year on the sidelines due to a back issue that kept him from practicing in training camp, and eventually led to him having surgery. For what it’s worth, there’s been optimism that it wasn’t season-ending surgery from the get-go. But sometimes, it is hard to differentiate between real optimism and optimism as a front. So, to actually see news of Jenkins returning to practice is a huge deal.

•   Anything that can provide a booster for this offensive line should be welcome with open arms. This group has been trending in the right direction since that Browns debacle. Not to say it has been great, but the line has been better. Adding Jenkins – in whatever capacity possible – would be a fun bonus for this team down the stretch.

•   Imagine how geeked we would be about the possibility of Teven Jenkins joining the team down the stretch had referee Tony Corrente and his gang of misfits not fudged the Bears out of a win last Monday.

•   And then, there are some guys who just always seem to get all the luck:

•   Leave it to the NFL to loudly back its officials publicly all week, only to push out how its officials blew it in a big way on Sunday morning. up massively in that game on a Sunday morning. The NFL really thought having Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport report the league’s acknowledging of its screw ups at 5:10 a.m. CT on a game day would just fly under our radars. That shows how little the NFL thinks of its fans’ knowledge.

•   And to drive home how difficult it can be to win without the aid of officials, the Steelers and Lions played to a tie:

https://twitter.com/NFL_Memes/status/1460006479897972739

•   Before Roger Goodell sends hired goons to my front door, let’s re-shape how we discuss the Bears’ potential path to the postseason:

 

•   As someone who haas been reading Mark Potash since I was a wee child, I feel confident in saying that Potsie shares this in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way. But also … there is truth in his sentiment. The NFL’s addition of a 17th game and seventh playoff spot allows for a larger field of teams believing they are in the hunt. So, yeah, that blurry line between parity and mediocrity is allowing teams to believe they are playoff contenders. And, because the Bears aren’t yet eliminated from postseason play, Chicago’s football team can claim to be one of those teams. Even if it’s only with the slimmest hopes of actually making the dance.

•   Let’s give this some perspective. FiveThirtyEight’s traditional Elo forecast gives the Bears a 6 percent shot at making the postseason. A win on Sunday against the Ravens bumps those odds slightly, getting them to 10 percent. Currently sitting in 15th among the 16 NFC teams, the Bears need losses by the Seahawks, Giants, Washington, Niners, Eagles, Falcons, Vikings, and Panthers to pile up quickly. In fact, if they got all of those teams (but the Panthers, who are playing Washington) to lose this weekend, it would only get the Bears to a 13 percent chance of making the playoffs. Sigh. This is why you don’t bury yourself in a 3-6 hole to start the season.

•   We could dwell on the Bears being well outside the playoff bubble with a daunting schedule ahead. C’mon, now. Three games against real playoff contenders and two more against a Vikings team that has a real shot at making it by virtue of being the best of a bad bunch feels rough. But I love the idea of Justin Fields playing spoiler down the stretch. And I think you would love it, too.

•   Watching Tyreek Hill cook Desmond Trufant for a touchdown on Sunday Night Football was an odd way to learn a guy the Bears brought in back in March and cut in August was still in the league. But that wasn’t even the weirdest thing to happen on SNF:

•   Taylor Swift went undefeated over the weekend:

•   Using Yahoo!’s scoring system, Indy’s Jonathan Taylor scored 26.7 points, while Detroit’s D’Andre Swift scored 19.8 points. If you had both playing yesterday, you’re probably celebrating a victory and leaving your opponents seeing red. That’s a feeling I know all too well.

•   I think Eddie Jackson is onto something here:

•   The Bulls’ upward climb continues to be fun to follow:

•   Big Hoss still got it:

•   BOOM! Baseball’s offseason comes through with a big signing in November like it’s the mid-2010s all over again:



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.