Hi everyone. As always, we've got plenty to chat about here. The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers are 2-0 and just so happen to be playing each other on ESPN next Monday night. The Vikings are hot on the trail of San Diego Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson, and the Detroit Lions are fresh off one of the best all-around performances by a rookie running back in NFL history. So let's get right to it.
I've sent questions and they NEVER get answered.... what's the deal Kevin? Anyways, with all the talk of the Vikings NEEDING WR depth and the hesitation to sign Vincent Jackson (because of money/draft picks and character issues) I don't know why they wouldn't re-sign Bobby Wade! He was cut by the Redskins, but he's played in our system and was relatively productive and he offers great depth and PR capability... plus he'd be CHEAP!
Nothing personal, Bryan. I don't even look at the names usually. Bobby Wade ran afoul of coach Brad Childress last year and isn't likely to be of interest to him. Also, Wade is a slot receiver on a team with two other guys who also are best in that role, Percy Harvin and Greg Camarillo. If they're going to go out and get someone, it should be a big receiver who can make Sidney Rice-like catches.
Do you believe the other writers in Chicago, that I won't be here next year? Not because the Bears won't make the playoffs, but because I will get a head coaching job? And, do you know if I even want a head coaching job?
You're referring to David Haugh's column in the Chicago Tribune I believe. Here's what I thought as I read that: If Chan Gailey got another chance in this league, so should Mike Martz.
With how anemic the packers offense has looked (considering how the looked ending last season), can we expect them to hang with the bears? (who are on fire)
If they play the way they did in the second half against Buffalo, then it should be a really interesting game.
Take a look at all the back and fourth on Pride of Detroit over grading Jim Schwartz. What grade would you give him?
I will look at that. As I've said before, I think coaches should generally be graded on their record. Obviously, Schwartz doesn't have as much talent on his roster as the other three coaches in the division. But he's 2-16 in his Lions career. Not sure how you can give that a passing grade.
If Jay Cutler out plays Aaron Rodgers will he get some respect that he deserves from Media!!!
He got a little love on the blog today. I do think it's interesting that everyone, me included, hyped Rodgers to no end this offseason. He's played OK, but really, Cutler is the one who has caught everyone's eyes in the first two weeks.
A lot of talk about the left tackle situation in GB. What is your take on Clifton? Is he done? They drafted Bulaga for this job, is now the time?
Well, Monday Night Football against Julius Peppers (if he's moved to the right side) wouldn't be an ideal debut for any rookie. But the way McCarthy was talking about Clifton didn't sound too positive.
You catch The Event prenier last night? Supposed to replace Lost.....whatchya think?
Didn't see it and happy to have absolutely no appointment television on my docket right now. Friday Night Lights and Entourage are both done.
Doesn't that body control and fighting for teh ball make Javon Walker a much cheaper answer than Vincent Jackson at this point? No he isnt 6' 5", but you want someone to fight for position and that was one thing he showed in pre-season.
I don't think he could hurt them, no. And definitely a lot cheaper. But I'm pretty sure from a physical standpoint, Jackson is way ahead of Walker.
If the Vikings manage to lose this week for the Lions, is it time to hit the panic button? And, given the poor running game performance against the Bills, will the Packers pursue a RB (like Lynch) more seriously now?
If they lose to the Lions and go 0-3, with either the Packers or Bears being 3-0, then yes, the panic button should be sledgehammered. As for Lynch, I think they'll investigate it, but by all accounts, the Bills aren't interested.
Kevin, what do you think is the root of the cause of the Vikings' 0-2 start? Do you feel these are easily correctible issues?
I'm not totally sure, but the working theory is that too many parts of their offense was sidelined or not in training camp. It takes time to come together. I think they will, but essentially the first two weeks of the season have been like preseason for them. They got away with it last year, but so far not in 2010.
I'm on pace for a 72 tackle / 16 sack season. Filthy?
Oh yeah, you're legit. Although it's always nice to be the closest guy to a quarterback when he runs out of bounds. That's the sack he got in Chicago, right?
Do you think my coaches know that I actually play in the 1st half of games too?
Ha. I have to think they want to get you the ball. A few more games like that from Jahvid Best, and some defensive attention will have to come away from you.
Kevin I enjoyed your post today detailing "JayRod"... but you know what Cutler's recent success means to me? He's due a 4 INT game.
Ha. Yes, it's a four-game sample size. But he's awfully confident right now.
Any word on Stafford's return date? Would the Lions be 2-0 if he were healthy ?
Still no word, no. Sounds like 4-6 weeks at least. Unfortunately, though, he doesn't play defense. So I can't say the Lions would be 2-0 if he wasn't hurt.
So what's with all these twitter rumors saying the Vikings have traded for Jackson? Any truth?
No. At this point, there is no deal. That's not to say there couldn't be one, but nothing has happened yet.
Kevin, Jake Long is REALLY good. Did you see me get totally abused by him? Yikes.
He is very, very good. Yes. But you've gotten after really good left tackles before.
Am I correct in saying that Matt Forte is one of the most underrated players in the NFL?
Definitely one of the most underrated receivers. I man, he has amazing ball skills for a running back.
Kevin, (long time listener, 1st time caller here) ;)As a Bear fan (not a homer), I am not nearly as surprised by the strong start the Bears have had, as the Media and many on the chat rooms seem to be. With 3 former head coaches in key roles, a healthy and confident defense, coupled with a QB who is now more poised and comfortable with receivers, and in a system MUCH more suited to his talent, The Bears are executing at a high level, that could very well be sustainable through the season.Are YOU as surprised as the other prognosticators and Bloggers? Do YOU feel that the Bears have a sustainable system right now?
I admit I am definitely surprised. I thought Mike Martz was the right man for this job, but I really wasn't sold on the changes they made to the defense and was even more convinced by the way things went in the preseason. So I'm going to take a step back and just watch the Bears for a bit before trying to make any more predictions.
Kevin, Against Dallas Frank Omiyale played pretty good once he settled in at left tackle. If Chris Williams is out for an extended period of time and Omiyale continues to play well, don't the Bears have to consider keeping Omiyale at left tackle and move Williams to right tackle? I know they paid Williams a lot to play left tackle, but if Omiyale does a better job and Cutler is protected isn't that more important?
If that were truly the case, then yes. But I don't know if anyone thinks that Omiyale is going to be the best long-term answer at left tackle. And we already know that Williams is better on the left side than he is on the right.
I got to ask it... is it too early to say that if the Packers easily win the Monday night game against the Bears the division is theirs?
Obviously, if the Packers go into Soldier Field and blow out the Bears, then sure, they would be the prohibitive favorites. But do you really think that will happen? I'm seeing this as a close game.
Football is easy.
My god. Six sacks in two games. Put another way, you only need to average only about 1.5 sacks per game the rest of the season to set the NFL record!
Why am I still popular?
Why can't you spell your name right?
I should have jumped over the pile down there on 4th and goal from the 2 huh?
Wasn't the play call.
Suppose the Vikings land Jackson. How do opponents scheme to stop Favre, Jackson, Rice, Harvin, Shaincoe and Peterson in the 2nd half of the season?
First of all, I wouldn't assume Rice will be back at midseason. He's still on crutches at this point. He has a long, long way to go. Second, it would probably give the Vikings some favorable matchups, but it would still be on Jackson to make some of the physically-dominant plays that Rice made last year. Tough task.
Good afternoon Kevin, What are your storylines going into the Monday nite game?
Hi Kim. I've already written on one of them, the fact that we're finally getting the QB matchup that we all thought we would see last year. Second, we have two of the NFL's best pass rushers -- Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers -- in this game. And finally, the winner of this game will take control of the division, albeit only in Week 3.
Hey Kevin, what do you make of the lack of running game for the Bears? Aren't they going to eventually need to effectively run if they want to make the playoffs?
Yes, but that will come if they continue to throw the way they have. Maybe it is a good idea to mix in Chester Taylor a bit more.
is it me or is Chris Williams overrated, and we would be better off with the Frank and Kevin show?
I don't think he's overrated as a left tackle. He's not an elite player by any stretch, but it's hard to find people who can play that position at all.
Kevin, all us Midwesterners have heard is how the Cowboys are 0-2, that it's time to panic in Dallas...Dallas this, Dallas that...where's the love for the Bears outside of you? Ridiculous that the NFL is the Dallas Cowboys!
I heard they are America's Team but I could be wrong about that.
Kevin,I couldn't help but notice that in your "Jay Cutler vs. Aaron Rodgers, 2010" chart Aaron Rodgers has an impressive 443% completion % but only 63.3 yards to show for that. That's gotta be a record right?
Ha. That's what we call a mistake. It's being corrected. Thanks.
Who is 0-3 on Monday? Lions or Vikings?
The Lions haven't won in Minnesota since the Clinton administration. Literally.
Kevin- D Aromashodu- Whose doghouse is he in (Lovie's or Martz's)? What did he do to get there? How long until he gets out? Please help an 0-2 fantasy owner!!!!
My only advice on the Bears is that Johnny Knox will be the one WR constant.
What's your take on what MN can do to turn things around? If VJax isn't signed there what else can they do to turn around lackluster performance?
It might be worth taking some time to evaluate whether they're putting all of their players in the best possible position, or asking some of them to do things they either aren't good at or which ignores their strengths. Bernard Berrian is at the top of that list.
Isn't it a little early to throw Best into the ROY conversation? Other than the scores, he didn't look too good against a quality defense in week one.
What he did Sunday against the Eagles was historic. It won't happen every week, but we now know what he's capable of.
Kevin, I know it's early in the season...but Favre looks like he'd much rather be on the farm in Mississippi than on the football field. What can the Vikings do? Can't release him...can't bench him....and trying to light a fire under a guy who pretty much got dragged back to Minny last month seems like a lost cause....HELP!!!
I'll agree that he doesn't look like he's enjoying himself much. But you wouldn't want a guy jumping around when he's 0-2, either.
the longest run the bears have given up all year is 8 yards. Do you think the packers can top it?
Wow. I hadn't even checked that. The Packers don't exactly have an explosive running attack right now.
I'm betting you are getting it from Bears fans today. I mean didn't you say the Lions might be the third best team in the division?
Seriously, what I've said is that I didn't see the Lions or Bears challenging the Vikings and Packers. To this point, I was wrong about that. I also said the Lions have improved to the point where it will be interesting to see if they challenge the Bears in the division. That's to be determined, at least statistically.
So I was at the Lions game and it looked to me that if we have to play Hill again at QB, we need to run the no huddle. In the first 2 games, the times our Offense has clicked the most have been in the situations where we have to run the no huddle. That's when we've been able to get a lot of points on the board. Thoughts?
Not a bad idea. Hill is smart and knows the offense, so that shouldn't be a problem for him.
Two questions, first question is does it look like Aaron Rodgers potentially has an injury? I say this because his passes seem off and he couldn't even make the Lambeau Leap.Second question, with the Packers up 34-7 and more or less the entire 4th quarter to go, why did they not let the rookie run the ball more than twice?
On the latter question, I think they are trying to get Jackson and Kuhn as much work as they can. As for Rodgers, I've heard that speculated in many places. But there's been no confirmation of any injury.
When are the power rankings going to come out. Do you expect the Bears to jump some spots after they handled Dallas?
The Power Rankings are out, so I can tell you the Bears made a double-digit jump.
Is Earl Bennett reconnecting with Cutler and becoming the #3 go-to-guy behind Matt Forte and Johnny Knox?
Sounds like they're going to have a rotation based on game plans and matchups.
KEVIN, what do the Bears need to do to open up their running game? It has been entirely ineffective through 2 games.
Just keep throwing. The lanes will open up.
Am I for real or am I a figment of Bear fans imagination?
Past four games: 13 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, dating back to last year. It's getting close to trend territory, for sure.
Kevin, will you be at the DET/MIN game as well as the MNF game here in Chicago?
Can't wait for Friday's programming note? Ok, sneak peak for chat users: Yes, I'll be at both games and will see all four NFC North teams in Week 3.
When you think your first "have at it" Chicago Bears WRs vs. the rest of the division will hit the blog?
Ha. Has the statute of limitations on that one passed?
The Securities & Exchange Commission should investigate Brett Favre for fraud and grand theft of his $20million+ salary for the 2010 season. And as a Bears fan I'd like to thank him for his thievery thus far.
At this rate, he won't be getting that $4 million in incentives, huh?
How would you rate the Lions defensive line so far this year? Seem like Vanden Bosch, Suh, and McBride have been playing pretty well?
Yeah, and the Lions have 10 sacks. But the problem, as we discussed before the season, is that there are seven other positions on the field that are less adequately manned. Put it that way.
What is going on with Kevin Smith? He seems to have the characteristics of a solid 3rd down back...all the words I've received seem to suggest he is ready to play. what's the story?
I can only guess they don't think his knee is all the way back yet.
Kev, are you concerned about the lack of pressure on the QB by the bears front 4? Bowman had the best hit on romo, and both int's were not forced throws into coverage
I'm not, no. Overall, the Bears defense is playing great and they're doing it without blitzing often. Instead, they've got an extra man or two in coverage making plays. That's a good tradeoff as far as I'm concerned. The Bears blitzed too much the past two years.
Are you ready to bump the Vikings out of your current playoff prediction yet?
Not yet, no. They were 0-2 two years ago and won the division. A lot can happen in 14 games.
Just an FYI Kevin, Friday Night Lights has one more season debuting this fall.
I meant, done for the season.
One word answer, Who ya got Monday Night?
Do you think the red contacts help me being a crazy man on the feild?
I've seen those on players from other teams. I just hope some of the other Lions players are watching you. What an example you set.
Obviously Joe Webb is being groomed to be a QB. Why not give him some time at wide receiver? The man is a athletic talent!
A lot of people have asked this. Remember that he mostly played quarterback in college, so the transition to receiver would have been extensive and taken a while. That process would have had to start in the spring. Instead, they worked him at quarterback. It would take the rarest of players to jump immediately into the receiver position at the NFL level and be able to play.
For all the Ted Thompson haters out there, what do you think they think about his move to move up and grab Matthews last year. That kid is a beast.
Without a doubt, and I think we could have all agreed on that last year. Arguably the best draft pick in TT's history.
Do you find it strange that Clay Matthews has come out like a monster this season, and you have not really mentioned it once in your posts.
Can only assume you're being sarcastic. If anything, I overdid it last week.
What's up with Camarillo? All the pundits -- you, P. King, etc. -- said he'd be a perfect fit for Favre. I even drafted him on my fantasy team! Which, I see as I type that, is kinda sad.
I think it's an example of not embracing a player's skills but instead waiting for him to make the adjustment to a system. He shouldn't be playing as an outside receiver. He's a slot guy.
I don't understand the love for chicago after beating detroit due to a poorly written rule, and beating a dallas team that has looked like they are in worse shape than the vikings... can someone help me out as to why Chicago is all of a sudden world beaters?
It's in the eye of the beholder. Dallas might be in disarray right now, but winning at that stadium is still an accomplishment to be reckoned with.
I liked seeing Chili get aggressive on 4th down last week -- a contrast to his usual demeanor. What was your take?
He was trying to jump-start the offense and find a way to start scoring touchdowns.
OK, folks. A few more here.
I'm still laughing at Kiper for him trying to tell me Best isnt worth a 1st round pick, I think Best just scored again
The Vikings said they backed off because of the concussion last year. The only way to judge that is time.
The evidence is quickly piling up for the Jared Allen/Sampson theory
We'll have to bring it up this week.
Kev, please answer my question. Will my son (Clay III) stay on 48 sack pace after Bear game?
Not if the Bears stay with that quick-passing game they had in Dallas, no.
See Kev, everyone was saying "Vanilla scheme's are no excuse for poor preseason play." Well la-dee-da. My defense certainly seems to be the real deal these days!
It's also possible that Clay Matthews not being on the field during the preseason had something to do with it.
Kevin, I', confused it sounds like the Vikings are going to get Vincent Jackson...Will he be susupened 4 games when they sign him or has the 4 game clock already started?
Four game clock has started. So he would be available for the Oct. 17 game against Dallas if the Vikings acquire him by Wednesday afternoon.
How are the Packers going to run the ball against the Bears with a backup runningback? They have given up a total of 56 yards on the ground this season. Seems like this game has "air and space" written all over it.
Indeed. And isn't that what the division has become anyway. That's a nice thought to end on. The Packers and Bears will meet at Soldier Field boating elite quarterbacks, two strong passing offenses and no running games to speak of.
Ok eveyrone, thanks so much. Chat with you next week.