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At least the Chicago Bears are no longer considered one of the worst 5-1 teams in NFL history.
Now they’re a lousy 5-2.
In what appeared to be a juicy NFC Monday night matchup, their 24-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams was a flattering final for Chicago.
To slightly misquote former Vikings coach Dennis Green, the Bears offence was what we thought it is: Horrible.
The only time they threatened to visit the end zone was in the third quarter, but that plan was scrapped when a bad decision by Nick Foles became one of his two interceptions.
Their only touchdown was scored on a eight-yard fumble recovery by safety Eddie Jackson.
“I don’t ever remember having our own defence score more than our offence,” head coach Matt Nagy said. “That’s hard to do. So that part, I don’t like. That bothers me.”
Some of the best running backs ever to play in the NFL were Bears, but now they have no running game to speak of whatsoever.
Foles was very good when replacing Mitchell Trubisky in a game they eventually won to go 3-0, but he has been mostly inconsistent since.
Now, they go only as far as their top-10 defence carries them, a realization that has them being trashed as pretenders, not contenders.
“The season is not over,” Foles pointed out.
No, the Bears are still technically engaged in a battle with the Green Bay Packers (5-1) atop the NFC North.
But only one of their victories — a 20-19 upset over Tampa in Week 5 — was over a team with a record better than .500.
Their next two are against strong teams — they host the New Orleans Saints on Sunday and a week later face the Titans in Nashville — and it’s totally conceivable that they could be mired in a three-game losing streak when facing the Vikings in Minnesota the next time they play on Monday, Nov. 15.
That would have them spiralling into their break, from which they emerge to face the Packers Nov. 29.
“I don’t think that people truly give us our respect, man,” safety Tashaun Gipson told the Chicago Sun Times. “You’re taught not to pay attention to those things, and obviously we don’t care, but we hear it. At the end of the day, man, five wins is five wins.”
And five wins is what the Bears could be locked in on for awhile.
WHAT A MESS
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones gave coach Mike McCarthy a vote of confidence during this weekly radio spot on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. “I’ve got my man,” Jones said. From the outside, the Cowboys (2-5) seem like they’re about to implode. One week players are pointing fingers at the coaching staff, the next McCarthy is publicly criticizing them for not responding to a teammate victimized by a dirty hit. The guy at the top is not exactly a calming influence. Asked on the radio show if his team lacks leadership, Jones snapped. “Just shut up and let me answer it. No. When I go to the locker room, there’s no leadership void in my eyes. Now that’s your answer. Move on.” … The Cowboys have dropped 23 spots in the NFL.com power rankings since Week 1. Their run defence is on average 13 yards a game worse than any other in the league. They’ve scored a total of 10 points in their past two games. With quarterback Dak Prescott out for the season, veteran backup Andy Dalton has entered the league’s concussion protocol. If he can’t play in a crucial divisional meeting against the Eagles on Sunday, rookie Ben DiNucci will make his first NFL start behind an injury-depleted offensive line. And if the Cowboys miraculously pull off a victory in that one, they could find themselves first in the NFC L-East. Why would Jones want to change things now? … How bad have things become for the Patriots? “I think there were times (in Sunday’s 33-6 loss to the 49ers) where we let the attitude and effort part slip away from us,” special teams captain Matthew Slater told NBCSportsBoston.com. “That’s never acceptable.” It’s believed Robert Kraft has not given Bill Belichick a vote of confidence … The Cowboys did make one move, trading veteran DE Everson Griffen to the Detroit Lions for a conditional sixth-round pick.
DOWN AND OUT
Antonio Brown has now officially signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to multiple reports. Quoting a source on the weekend, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Brown can make up to $2.5 million on his deal the Bucs. That includes $1 million in base salary and roster bonuses, three $250,000 incentives for receptions, yards and touchdowns, and another $750,000 if Tampa wins the Super Bowl … About signing a deal to join the Baltimore Ravens practice squad after sitting out the last two years, three-time Pro Bowler Dez Bryant tweeted: “My emotions running high right now…I’m thankful…I can’t stop crying.” His only proof of the latter was an emoji.
OUT OF THE TUNNEL
The Carolina Panthers have activated star RB Christian McCaffrey from IR and, based on how his ankle responds to practice, could play Thursday against the Atlanta Falcons. “I will say he looks good,” Panthers coach Matt Rhule offered. McCaffrey, who was injured in Week 2, became just the third player in NFL history to have at least 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in 2019. The Panthers (3-4) have remained in the playoff hunt without him … Giants coach Joe Judge says he has conversed with his star players who appeared on an Instagram video at a Manhattan bar without masks or any regard for social distancing, adding that the situation will be dealt with internally. The video, which has since been taken down, included Saquon Barkley, Daniel Jones and Sterling Shepard. “Based on the conversations and information I gathered from our players, I believe they were trying to do the right things as teammates going out and having dinner together,” Judge said. Doesn’t sound like their punishment will be too harsh.
The Vikings have terminated their contract with veteran centre Brett Jones, who was born in Weyburn, Sask., and attended the University of Regina … Speaking of which, getting mentioned on MNF and plenty of play afterwards on social media was the story about Bears lineman Akiem Hicks drinking 40 beers during ‘wings night’ at the campus bar when he attended Regina. Just a reminder: That was an Ottawa Sun exclusive 21 months ago … Bucs WR Chris Godwin will miss at least Monday’s game against the Giants because of a broken finger.
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