OBJ's Packers Love, How Broncos Spending Spree Impacts Bears, Harbaugh's Magic Moment, and Other Bears Bullets

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OBJ’s Packers Love, How Broncos Spending Spree Impacts Bears, Harbaugh’s Magic Moment, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears can’ ruin your Sunday with questionable play-calling, poor execution, or tackling efforts that make you question why you even like football in the first place.

Enjoy your Sunday, Bears fan. You’ve earned this much.

•   Another Sunday of Bearslessness is upon us. That’s three in the last four weeks if you’re keeping score at home. And in case you’re curious, the NFL games on in the Chicagoland television market all feature playoff-bound teams. Or at least teams legitimately in the playoff hunt. We’ll get Titans-Patriots (noon CT, CBS), Bucs-Colts (noon CT, FOX), and Packers-Rams (3:25 p.m. CT, FOX). There’s also Browns-Ravens (7:20 p.m. CT, NBC) as a nightcap. All in all, today feels like a good day to rest up and watch football. After what we’ve been through to this point of the season, we have earned the right to take a Sunday to watch football without a dog in the fight.

•   Something to keep an eye on in that Packers-Rams game:

•   Matthew Stafford was a slaying out the gate. In his first eight games with the Rams, he was completing 68.9 percent of his passes, averaging 309.6 yards per game, putting up a 22-4 TD-INT ratio, and a 118.0 passer rating. But in his last two games, Stafford has thrown more interceptions (4) than touchdowns (2), seen that completion percentage dip to 64 percent, and put up a not-so-nice 69.4 passer rating. Now he’ll go into Lambeau Field all banged up to face a Packers team with eyes on the top seed in the NFC. Good luck dealing with that ridiculousness.

•   That’s cute. Now, pardon me while I unroll my eyes from the back of my head:

•   I’ll save you a click: Beckham’s interest was sincere, but didn’t go beyond that stage because the Packers wouldn’t cough up more than the veteran minimum. The Rams paid up more than the vet minimum. Hence, OBJ lands in Los Angeles instead of Green Bay. And that’s the end of that chapter.

•   One game I’ll try and keep tabs on is the Broncos-Chargers showdown. For starters, it’s a matchup between a pair of former Bears assistants with Vic Fangio’s Broncos and Brandon Staley’s Chargers. There’s a real Jedi Master-Padawan thing going on there, and I’ll be curious to see how it plays out. In addition to the narrative fun, this one is important for the AFC playoff race. Simply put: A Chargers win lifts their playoff odds from 60 percent to 79 percent, per FiveThirtyEight’s model. However, a loss drops their postseason probability to 41 percent. On the other side of the ledger, the Broncos open today with a 13 percent chance of making the dance. Winning lifts those percentages to 23 percent. But a loss drops Denver to a 4 percent chance of making the postseason. Like I said: Big game.

•   Last week, the Broncos were sliding through with some interesting transactions worth noting. Denver’s signing receivers Tim Patrick and Courtland Sutton to seven years worth of extensions that could include as much as $91 million total and features $53.4 million in guarantees should’ve probably made bigger waves. Because, suddenly, the Broncos have a nice core of pass-catchers with Sutton, Patrick, 2020 first-round pick Jerry Jeudy, and 2019 first-round tight end Noah Fant. Even though I’m unsure what the upcoming offseason’s QB carousel will bring, the Broncos will look like a prime landing spot for someone.

•   Remember those Broncos-Packers Aaron Rodgers trade rumors from April? Hmm…

•   Not to be forgotten in the conversation, the Broncos’ re-signings put a dent in the upcoming free agent receiver market. That is notable because the Bears figure to be active in it. Darnell Mooney is the only receiver under contract in Chicago next season. Let’s not lose sight of that tidbit. Chicago will need to use free agency, the NFL Draft, and possibly even the trade market in order to bolster the position group.

•   Now, this might be a challenge considering limitations in draft capital (projected to have just 5 picks, per Tankathon) and a climbing dead cap hit. But for what it’s worth, OverTheCap projects the Bears to have $44,160,664 in cap space this upcoming offseason. Only 11 teams have more than the Bears, so they should be in a competitive space. Thankfully, Justin Fields looks like someone who receivers should want to catch passes from in the years to come.

•   This was a very Chicago TikTok, so I had to share it:

•   Juwan Howard is Michigan’s basketball coach, but is very much Chicago’s very own. Born in Chicago and a graduate of Chicago Vocational, Howard has long given back to the Chicago community — even though he never played for the Bulls during his NBA career. Jim Harbaugh, as you well know by now, played for the Bears from 1987-93. And in recent years, has been rumored as a Bears coaching candidate. I imagine those rumors might pop up again, as they seem inevitable. But beating Ohio State on Saturday probably makes him a long-shot to leave his alma mater.

•   While we’re on the topic:

•   I’m just saying: If Michigan can beat Ohio State, then the Bears can defeat the Packers.

•   Wow! I’m still not over how Michigan-Ohio State, Alabama-Auburn, Oklahoma-Oklahoma State all were able to live up to the lofty expectations that come with being premier college football rivalries. There were no clunkers among the games with the top billing. And of course, the most important game — SIU-South Dakota — was won by my alma mater.

•   Also, I learned a valuable lesson here…

•   … and it’s that Bears Twitter has a wide array of rooting interests. I dig it! May all of your favorite teams prosper, except on the rare occasion your squad has to play mine.

•   A $10,300 fine FOR POINTING:

•   Sigh:

•   It’s the holiday season, and I’m sure we all want to travel and see family, friends, and those who matter most to us. However, when it comes to operating a motor vehicle, just don’t do it while intoxicated. Let’s make some good decisions while on the road and get to our destinations safely.

•   The Bulls took a tough loss on Sunday, but this Alex Caruso slam softens the blow:

•   I feel as if the NHL is handling these situations in a smart fashion:

•   It feels as if the Cubs have been chasing Kevin Gausman forever. And yet, I don’t think he is in their free agency plans:


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Author: Luis Medina

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