No One Left to Blame, NFC Playoff Picture, Jaylon on the Rise, Pack Catch a Break, and Other Bears Bullets

This is a reminder that you should surround yourself with good people. Folks who get you. For instance, my friend brought me a book titled The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I don’t know anything about the book or concept, but when your friends who know you well give you something to read, there’s a good chance it’ll be good. Can’t wait to crack this bad boy open.

•   The Bears are closing in on finishing off one of the weirdest scheduling stretches I’ve ever come across. Their Week 13 game against the Cardinals came after Arizona’s bye. A week later, they were playing in Week 14 against a Packers team coming off a bye of their own. Coming up on Monday are the Vikings, who will be coming off an 11-day post-Thursday Night Football mini-bye. Can’t say I’ve ever seen that before. As if the Bears weren’t already working through a rough patch, they’re getting three consecutive opponents coming off extra rest and into the game with extra preparation. That’s gotta be brutal.

•   It’s a shame the Bears aren’t in this conversation:

•   Mathematically speaking, FiveThirtyEight’s calculations give the Bears a 0.3 percent chance of making the playoffs. In other words, they’re technically still in it. Although, by the time Monday’s game rolls around, you can expect for that number to have taken a hit.

•   The Bears really have no one to blame but themselves. Losses in winnable games at home against the 49ers (had a lead at halftime, was a one score game late in the fourth) and Ravens (blew a final-drive lead against Tyler Huntley) sting. As does that game to the Steelers (please don’t make me re-visit that one). Chicago is entering a final stretch of games in which its opponents have a .404 winning percentage. Had they been able to handle business earlier, this could have been a month of football that was meaningful beyond development of young players. Instead, the main focus right now is player development because of the Bears’ standing in the standings. This whole Bullet is quite the indictment on what GM Ryan Pace and Head Coach Matt Nagy have put together.

•   On a lighter note, it’s nice to see Jaylon Johnson get some love:

•   Jaylon Johnson is good. Don’t even let that Davante Adams TD sway your opinions. That guy does stuff like that to every cornerback. And if you don’t believe me, Patrick confirms Jaylon Johnson’s goodness. It’s just that the secondary needs more Jaylon Johnsons roaming around.

•   This tweet fills me with the warm-and-fuzzies:

•   This isn’t to say Justin Fields doesn’t have work to do. There are places he needs to make strides and improvements. Some clean up here and there will raise his floor, while maintaining a ceiling that has the potential to be limitless. Fields is a work in progress, but one who has his arrow still pointing up.

•   Here is some company I’d like for the Bears to stop hanging with:

•   That the Bears were portraying themselves as playoff contenders coming into the year, only to lay an egg offensively in this manner just goes on the pile of reasons as to why this whole thing needs to change.

•   Say what you want about Odell Beckham Jr. — and I know you will, because I read the comments. But few players have as much fun and creativity celebrating touchdowns as this guy:

•   I’m enjoying Monday Night Football touchdown celebrations because the Rams beating the Cardinals last night led to the Packers taking over the NFC’s top seed. 🙄

•   This seems ominous for Urban Meyer:

•   Last year, the Bears were part of history by appearing in the first-ever playoff game on Nickelodeon. Unfortunately (?) it doesn’t look like being a part of ESPN’s MNF playoff doubleheader is in the cards. But it’s still a thing that is happening, so brace yourselves:

•   Shot:

•   Chaser:

https://twitter.com/PFF_Eric/status/1470790597137121280

 

•   Loaded set of Daily Deals at Amazon today, from Samsung phones and tablets to board games to charging gear and much more. #ad

•   Oh, boy:

•   Can Dame come with the pick?

•   This will be worth chewing on at some point between now and the end of MLB’s lockout:

written by

Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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