Vikings Are Paper Lions, How Ravens Loss Helps Bears Draft Stock, Why Not Barkley? MLK Message, and Other Bears Bullets

Yesterday marked my first Bulls game since their playoff debacle against the Bucks last year. That they beat the Warriors came as a surprise. But other than that, I’m not sure how to feel beyond that because I mostly felt that it was nice to be out of the house for a change. It’s been a long winter already, but attending a game like that helps pass the time.

  • The Bears sent out a message honoring Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy as we celebrate his birthday nationally today:
  • There is really no smooth transition here, but I felt like it was important to put it at the top of Bullets today.
  • The New York Giants did what a lot of NFL observers thought they’d do — which is beat the Vikings in the opening round of the playoffs. Frauds. Phonies. Paper lions. That team is basically Sideshow Bob stepping on rakes as soon as the postseason opens its doors. Who’d have thunk it? The division champion with a minus-3 point differential this season being an early out was predictable. That’s the Vikings in a nutshell. Death. Taxes. And the inevitable playoff heartbreak for Minnesota’s football team. It’s a tradition unlike any other.
  • Lifelong Vikings fan Mike Florio flaming Kirk Cousins on national TV was pretty wild:
  • That seals the deal. Biggest upset by a Giants team since Danny O’Shea and IceBox were running things!
  • Is that sound you heard the Vikings competitive window shutting? Because this ain’t great:
  • What a shame. You really hate to see it. /s
  • I can’t front. Watching Saquon Barkley score two touchdowns and put up 109 scrimmage yards against the Vikings yesterday had me thinking about the free-agent-to-be as a potential Bears offseason target. Could you imagine what it could look like with Barkley and Justin Fields in the backfield together? Or the seemingly limitless possibilities when Fields, Barkley, and Khalil Herbert are on the field at the same time? What if you could put something together where Fields, Barkley, Herbert, and an improved (but still versatile) Velus Jones Jr. take to the turf together? Bears OC Luke Getsy could have a field day with those potential mismatches.
  • Unfortunately, it sounds like the Giants will try to prioritize re-signing him this offseason:
  • NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport lays out plans for the Giants to either re-sign Saquon to an extension before the start of free agency to allow the team to deploy the Franchise Tag on quarterback Daniel Jones. Or the team could angle to work quickly on a Danny Dimes extension, which would lead to Barkley getting the tag. If you’re a Bears fan rooting for GM Ryan Poles to target Barkley (or even if you’re just wanting chaos), the hope should be for New York to use the tag on Jones and leave Barkley on the cusp of hitting free agency. Then, hopefully, he’ll be there for the taking when “legal tampering” begins on March 13.
  • Speaking of Giants and Bears ties, I got a kick out of Kenny Golladay (a one-time Bears offseason target) blocking Duke Shelley (a former Bears cornerback) straight into next week:
  • A notable thing that came from the Vikings and Ravens losing: The Bears’ second-round pick (which they got from Baltimore in the Roquan Smith trade) currently sits at No. 54. Hey, that’s a good number in franchise history. And if the Cowboys lose tonight, that pick could go down to 53. That wouldn’t be bad. OK, so 53 isn’t as notable of a number in Bears history as 54. Well, not unless you were a big Warrick Holdman fan from 1999-2003.
  • Did you see how the Ravens lost that game? These two plays were absolute game-changers:
  • I can’t believe how close we were to a game-tying PAT or a possible game-winning two-point conversion attempt. Because you’d go for two there … right?
  • UGH! It’s been too long since the Bears won a playoff game:
  • Don’t get me wrong. I love the NFL playoffs. And I don’t necessarily miss watching the 2022 Bears lose on Sundays. But I was definitely missing my regular Sunday routine of waking up early, cooking breakfast, churning out a bunch of writing, and gearing up to watch QB1 try to do the football equivalent of pulling a rabbit out of a hat for 60 minutes. Maybe I’ll get to have that during next year’s playoffs.
  • Of course! Trevor Lawrence going to Waffle House to celebrate that epic Jaguars comeback win was totally on my playoff BINGO card:
  • If you’ve spent any time in the south, there is a non-zero chance that some of your best nights ended with a trip to Waffle House. So Lawrence doing this tracks.
  • The Blackhawks were on the receiving end of a historic offensive heater. An onslaught of scoring by the Kraken was an all-timer. (BN Blackhawks)
  • Team Puerto Rico has all of my World Baseball Classic rooting interest, but it’ll be neat to keep tabs on Cubs prospects who make the cut representing various countries:
  • Portable generators, grills, mowers, and more are on sale at Amazon today, which has me thinking about summer cookouts with friends on a rainy January morning. #ad
  • 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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