Thursday, November 26, 2009

15 comments Faceoff or...Flashoff...or Faceback

Wellity, wellity, wellity. As prophecised in last week's Faceoff commentary, Clark Judge is finally going to have to bite the bulet on that Kyle Orton sloppy blowjob that he posted and I linked to. They're falling off a cliff, they got mauled by 29 points at home for crying out loud. It's over. Orton is over (at least that version of Orton as half-man half-God) and finally Clark Judge is going to have to take responsibility for his reckless, Orton loving comments both at the time and his self serving praise through the season.


Oh, I am looking forward to this.

You're the GM of the Bears. Which issue has you the most disappointed or flummoxed: Jay Cutler, Lovie Smith or the defense?

what? Why the hell are we talking about the Bears? They are done. Done. They are in a reasonable division that is eating them alive and I like the Bears. They don't bear discussing. This week we have Norlans and New England! We've got the lurking Minnesota (who fit the run the ball, stop the run mould for Dec and we have the meltdown (I was on the fence last week but after that mauling and the schedule ahead, there's no way back) of Denver. And you choose the Bears? The Bears CBS? A pox on you.

Anyway, it's obviously Cutler. Look; the Bears were gashed up the middle like a $2 hooker on Sunday night, I grant you. But they are a not horrible 13th in total D, considering their drop off the last two years and their lack of Urlacher and not adding significant defensive starters for some time, this is no dissapointment. Chicago also has an equally slightly above average 18 takeaways. The superficial glance says the Bears defense is alright - unremarkable, not what it used to be, but considering age and injury, you could do worse. Certainly doesn't explain the 4-6 start.

Nor does Lovie really - I mean how much can a coach be blamed. Maybe in the playoffs with that hyper intensity and magnifying glass on every call, and I certainly am no Lovie apologist, but c'mon guys. He's been there when they win and lose, he's a garden ornament basically.

No, for the real crime here, you have to point the accusatory finger at Matt Forte (22nd in total yards, 3.3ypa!, 91.5 yards from scrimmage a game this year vs 107.2 last year) and of coure, Jay Cutler, the obviously correct answer to this question. That's the shock, that's the dissapointment, and that's also the most pronounced failure.

Cutler has been terrible, obviously, just watch the games, but in case you don't - Cutler's 10th rank in passing yards is deceptive. He ranks 20th in YPA, leads the league in interceptions and his QB rating is just 0.4 higher than Trent Edwards. All this speaks of, yes, poor playcalling - the Bears are among the league leaders in passing on first down, but I guess when your running back is getting 3.3 yards a whirl, you'd pass too.

Anyone who knew football knew that Jay Cutler should have been worth two wins to this team, enough to punch them a playoff ticket.

Oh my God...anyone who knows football...Clark Judge...




JUDGE: Lovie Smith and the defense. I already knew about Cutler, and what I knew was that the guy can't win, is not my idea of a leader and was not a good fit for this team. So I would not have brought him in. But the Bears did, and Cutler is what he is -- Jeff George in a Bears uniform. Where's the surprise?

NO. NO. This isn't fair! You said Orton would be great *wiping tears away from face* you promiseded. You said he'd be fantastic and took all the glory when they won, and now, with Orton leading and winninging his team to a collective scoreline of 37-117 in the last four weeks. Orton has completed 59% of his passes in this time, thrown 4 INT's and 2 TD's. Barely averaging six yards a throw (making Cutler's 7 a throw look Herculean).

You bastard Judge. You unapologetic bastard. You're dispicable! How do you live with yourself, misleading people like this?

l tell you where: The other side of the ball with a defense that Smith took over before this season. He was supposed to make it better, but the Bears aren't better.

2008 total yards against: 334.7
2009 total yards against: 320.1

and what about Brian Urlacher you disingenuous soul? What about one of the best defensive players of our generation huh? WHAT ABOUT THAT JUDGE?

They're awful, and I say that after watching them disintegrate in first halves of losses to Cincinnati and Arizona -- games where each opponent scored touchdowns on its first four possessions. Someone explain that to me.

what do you mean "explain it to you"? You write about football. How hard can it be to understand? Teams score touchdowns when they legally advance it into the endzone and control possession. Consider it explained.


Lovie explain it. It's his defense. He makes the calls. He devises the scheme. And don't tell me about injuries. Everyone has them now.

I remember it like it was just yesterday, just yesterday, just yesterday...

Faceoff (18/11/2009) JUDGE: The clincher, though, is Miami's loss
of Ronnie Brown. You can beat Carolina on the ground, but the Panthers' pass defense is effective. Losing Brown puts undue pressure on Chad Henne, and he doesn't need it.
I hate you, I hate you, I hate you.

Which is more troubling: Bengals losing to the Raiders, Steelers losing to Chiefs or the Cowboys hanging seven on the lowly Washington Redskins?

time for "one of these doesn't belong".

So, is it "still not sold on team loses to team with JaMarcus Russell"?

Is it "playoff hangover, no offensive line, injury issues with it's two best players still hasn't figured their rushing game out losing to the a team who lost to a team with JaMarcus Russell"?

Or, finally and rather obviously, is it "one of the hottest teams in the NFL who just beat a division rival to consolidate a division lead and said rival, while abysmal offensively, is quietly one of the better defensive teams in the NFL (4th in total yards against, 6th in scoring defense, surrendering least amount of first downs, 10th in third down % against, T-8th in sacks) and who gets a disproportionate amount of hateration from the media because they are in one of the "significant" media markets?

Hmm? If you've been reading my posts here, you already know the tragic ending.

JUDGE: Dallas putting up seven on Washington because it tells me the Cowboys are getting ready to go into the fetal position for December.

fucking research your columns.

The Bengals losing to Oakland was bad, but the Raiders are capable of dialing up upsets at home. Ask Philadelphia.

what is the logic here? Washington and Oakland have identical records, like...what the fuck is going on? Oakland are allowed to win with no ramifications on the rest of the league but Washington aren't? Oakland are worse than the Redskins. They just are. Everyone knows this. Everyone. The difference may not be huge but it's apparent. I don't understand...the Bengals still are a bit of a cloudy one...I don't think there's a single soul that thinks they can win their conference, I'm not sure the same is true of Dallas, who have had a winning record in four straight seasons and are two wins away from making it five.

Why are the Raiders capable of winning but the Redskins are not? Tell me. And may I remind you, they didn't fucking win.

The Steelers losing to K.C. was bad, too, but the Chiefs are beginning to get their act together.

what are you basing this on? Beating Oakland? By six? After trailing at the half? With -1 give/take? A thirty point loss to San Diego three weeks ago at home? Again down -3 in give/take? Why do you get to write for CBS and I do not? I mean it's not like you're Joe Montana. Who the hell is this Clark Judge anyway...does he exist? He really writes this stuff?

So I'll excuse that with, "It happens," especially with the Steelers operating without Troy Polamalu.

*rubs chin, looking upward, rippling spacetime*

Faceoff (6 lines ago) JUDGE: And don't tell me about injuries. Everyone has them now.


Chris W said...

Cutler has had 3 truly awful games in which he was so pitifully bad that it probably wouldn't have mattered if he were playing for the greatest show on turf.

Beyond that, he's been merely mediocre, mostly owing to the joke of an offense Jerry Angelo has assembled around him.

just my opinion on the issue.

ivn said...

to be fair to Cutler his best receivers are an underachieving tight end and a great specialty player miscast as a #1 receiver. the offensive line has been mediocre and the running game has been pretty much non-existent.

I place more of the blame on Lovie Smith. the entire team is playing sloppy football, not just Cutler, and that's a product of bad coaching.

ivn said...

also, are we going to do a Yahoo college bowl pick 'em?

J.S. said...

Are you guys seriously telling me you are more shocked and dissapointed at the "performance" (a nebulous term when applied to coaches) of Lovie Smith than Jay Cutler? Is that what you think, honestly?

Mantis said...

So we are using the logic that Dallas was the most disappointing team last week because they defeated Washington by a point. Does this mean that if Dallas only wins today's game by a fieldgoal, it'll be the greatest disappointment in Cowboys history?

ivn said...

about five or six weeks ago I was surprised by Cutler. now? not so much.

the frustration with Lovie Smith overrides most of it. the Bears look so unprepared every week. stupid penalties, sloppy route running, blown tackles, blown blocking assignments, dumb challenges, bad breakdowns in coverage, bizarre playcalling--remember that fake punt against Green Bay?

J.S. said...

Yeah, but Cutler leads the league in INT's...this guy was a Tier 3 QB last year, he was supposed to be a substantial improvement - instead, he's been a glaring liability.

Bengoodfella said...

Ivn, I am getting the Yahoo College Bowl Pick 'Em together tomorrow. I got the email and I wanted to set it up sooner but I just haven't done it. It will be done and the information will be posted.

As far as the Bears and Cutler go, a list will do my thoughts justice better. There is plenty of blame for Lovie and Cutler:

1. Cutler had a badass offensive line in Denver. He does not have that great of an offensive line in Chicago and this is not helping him. Cutler also had an elite receiver in Denver with Marshall and a good one in Royal. He doesn't even come close to having one of those receivers in Chicago, this is also not helping him.

2. I have been hard on Shanahan but he is a great offensive coach and I think Cutler misses working with him. His decision making has suffered this year a little bit and he hasn't looked comfortable in the pocket...partially because of my #1 point.

3. Cutler's decision making has never been that great. I remember when the Panthers played Denver last year the defense of the Panthers basically stated after the game they knew Cutler would throw some passes right to them, they just had to catch them. His numbers look good but I am not 100% sure he didn't look good in Denver because of some of the cast around him.

4. The running game sucks and it is not completely Forte's fault, but he hasn't had a great year regardless.

5. The Chicago team is playing sloppy football because the best player on defense is injured and the best player on offense is playing like shit. The team seems to have no direction and that's on Lovie.

6. I think Lovie could do a better coaching job but Jerry Angelo is clueless in player evaluation. He gave a 2nd round pick for Gaines Adams. He traded for a franchise QB and then didn't give him anyone to throw the ball to. He chose Chris Williams knowing he had an injury problem and signed an over the hill Orlando Pace.

There's blame everywhere and I think it has to do the fact they can't run the ball and Cutler can't throw the ball well either. I put this season on both of them. Cutler is trying to do too much.

As far as the question of which loss was worse, I say the Eagles losing to the Raiders. The Cowboys only scoring a few points on the Redskins is no big deal because the Redskins actually have a really good defense and the Cowboys offense has been struggling. I don't know how these two don't get this. The Redskins have a shitty offense but the defense is not bad.

I love Judge blaming injuries a few lines after saying we shouldn't blame injuries. Classic.

Chris W said...

Like I said, JS, most of Cutler's INT's have come in the 3 games when he has played unequivocally bad.

There's no debating that those three games are wholly on him.

Beyond that? I think there's a lot to be said about how lousy the team is on a whole.

So at the end of the day, after 10 games, Cutler has had 3 abysmal games and 7 games where he either played just fine or his team let him down. Did I expect him to have 3 abysmal games? Not necessarily, but that's hardly a shockingly terrifying season, imo

Chris W said...

To follow up, yes Cutler's 18 INT is terrible. But 12 of them came in three games. It's unacceptable for a QB to have 3 terrible games, and I'm sure he'll have more, but it's not like it's unexpected that Cutler was going to struggle and for a QB who was inconsistent to begin with put in a system with no talent, 3 terrible game isn't exactly mind numbing.

I'll repeat that: 12 of his 18 INT's came in 3 games. Or 9 of his 18 came in 2. Pick your poison.

J.S. said...

Mmm, point taken boys...still watching this it's hard to look elsewhere, and the offensive line thing goes so far and then it stops. Roethlisburgers line is worse IMO. I thought Cutler would lose the Bears one game, max this year, and win them 2 by himself. To me, your QB giving you no chance whatsoever in 30% of games when he was supposed to be a very substantial upgrade (and he was), is the very essence of dissapointment.

Lovie has never been even in the top half of NFL coaches, but it's such a hard thing to substantiate...I do think they would benefit from a better coach (obviously I guess) but not to the extent where this 4-6 season would be anywhere near close to where it should be (7-3 shouldn't be out of the question with Forte, Cutler, Garza and Kreutz in the line, two of the top ten tight ends in football and a presentable defense).

P.S. Chicago have conceded 20 sacks this year, nothing to write home about, but in the top half of the NFL...not sold on blaming the offensive line...sometimes it is the skill guys and I think that's the case here, though that is so hard to establish.

Martin said...

The O Line pass protects decently, what's terrible about them is they can't run block to save their lives. This makes the Bears offense entirely reliant on piss poor receivers and Cutler. As Jay has a Favre-like tendency top force the ball, this combination can lead to fiascos unseen except in Green Bay and Carolina during playoff games.
Cutler should be better, but the Bears don't have a clue what they are doing in the front office. They need to pick an identity, and then stick to making it drafting some good O linemen. If you want to run the ball, ya really need to start there.

Bengoodfella said...

I am blaming the offensive line for two reasons that may not certainly be the o-line's fault. First, they aren't as good as the Denver offensive line and that has to play a part in Cutler's least a little bit. Second, Roethlisberger doesn't have a good offensive line but he is also a more mobile quarterback who can make plays with his legs. Jay Cutler isn't exactly the best at doing that. He is not the most mobile QB so when the line breaks down he can't run around like Roethlisberger is capable of doing.

I do blame the offensive line for the lack of a running game. Cutler is going to need a running game if he is going to succeed and they havne't given him that. I do think it is bad that Cutler has kept his team out of 30% of games so far and I would agree that does bring his ability into question, at least for those games, but I think the problems run deeper.

Martin hit the nail on the head I think in that the Bears can't decide if they are going to be a running team or a passing team. They want to run the ball but they don't have the o-line to do it, but then they also want to pass but don't have the skill players to do that.

Chris W said...

I think at the end of the day, if you're gonna be "disappointed" with Cutler, you have to be willing to say you don't expect him to be a pro-bowl QB when/if the Bears put talent around him.

I haven't seen anything this year that suggests that with a good WR corps and decent running game that Cutler won't be a stud...

Although I was kind of hoping he could elevate our shit receivers a little more.

Bengoodfella said...

I expect Cutler to be more of a Pro Bowl quarterback if the Bears put some good talent around him. Which is partially why I didn't get why the Bears traded for a franchise wide receiver and refused to give him good targets. It's not like Chicago is going to load up on WR talent in the next draft, they don't have a 1st or 2nd round pick. I agree with you on the fact we can't judge Cutler because he doesn't have much around him.

I am little surprised at how average the running game has been this year. I think the lesson we learned this year is that it isn't that easy to elevate average receivers. I guess the Bears will go after a WR in free agency or something. They need to.