Hi everyone. Hope you're having a great Tuesday. Let's try to make it even, uh, greater...
Did you feel that Ponder's relative success this past Sunday had more to do with him or with the matchup (weak Detroit secondary)? Thanks a bunch!
I thought it was mostly due to that early 54-yard pass he hit. It really seemed to give him the confidence he wasn't playing with recently. Sometimes, it doesn't take much. He really seemed in a rhythm after that.
Is there any way the lions sign Avril to a long term contract? He has not done anything compared to what he did last year. Do you think they will franchise him again?
I don't see it. Given their tight salary cap and how many other deals they have on the horizon to consider, he is probably going to be too expensive.
do you think that jermichael finley will be more involved in the GB offense after the bye? or will he continue to be phased out?
Things were going in the wrong direction for him, in terms of targets and playing time, before the bye. I'm sure the Packers would like to involve him more. Do they trust him at this point? I'm not sure about that.
After the bye week the Vikings will play the Bears and the Packers twice along with the Texans and Rams. Do the Vikings have a chance at making the playoffs with a 9-7 record? Or do they need to go 4-2 down the stretch?
The general assumption is that anyone who wants to make the playoffs from the NFC Need a 10-6 record. So the Vikings are going to have to finish 4-2 to do it.
Is there a chance the Bears are overrated? Let's be honest, the teams they've beat are not good teams. They've played 2 really good teams and the offense looked terrible both games (Packers, Texans, and Cutler was terrible in the 1st half, I don't want to hear they would have won with him in). Obviously the defense is good, but when they play teams that aren't extremely mistake prone, they seem like they'll be in trouble.
Whenever you have a defense playing as well as the Bears', you're an elite team. Are they the best team in football? No. But I think the same thing now that I did at the beginning of the season. They are good enough to challenge for this division title and make a deep playoff run.
I want to know why everyone seems to think Jay Cutler had such a terrible game against Houston. It seems to me that he didn't have alot of help from his teammates for most of this game. I saw Marshall drop a sure touchdown pass in the end zone. Hester dropped a back shoulder throw that would of been a good gain down the sidelines. Kellen Davis got knocked off his route on the first interception. If he would of held his route it could of been a touchdown, not to mention a flag could of been thrown for illegal contact. The one bad throw was obviously the second interception but even the elite qb's get fooled by coverage every once in the while. What i'm trying to say is it doesn't seem as bad a performance as everyone is making it out to believe. What are your thoughts?
I'm not sure I've heard a ton of that. My take was they should have been throwing only when necessary in those conditions. They dropped back on 17 of their 25 plays in first half. It would have made sense to run 17 of 25 plays in the first half.
Saw your response on the Vikings PSLs. I don't think they'll happen with the letter that Dayton sent. The legislation says that the Authority has the exclusive right to sell licenses. Given that the Authority has 3 Dayton appointees and 2 from the City of Minneapolis...well, Dayton's opinion would seem to have a lot of pull in the decision of the Authority to issue PSLs. Think this will be a roadblock for the Vikings?
That's a fair point and one that is worth circling back on. It's hard to know how the Authority would split the "tie" if it comes to that. But the larger point, to me, is that Dayton is protesting a possibility he accepted when he signed the bill.
Over and over we've seen great teams cruise into the post-season with great records only to crash and burn short of the Super Bowl (think 15-1 Packers). Assuming Cutler comes back healthy, can Sunday's heart-breaking loss to the Texans help the Bears more than it hurts them?
Impossible to know at this point. We've also seen examples of teams who start strong, hit a rough spot in the middle of the season and never recover. To me, the big thing will be how many games, if any, the Bears have to play without Cutler.
Hey Kev, with Chicago, Green Bay, and Minnesota all playing bunches of division games coming into the end of the season do we have a better look on who is going to take this? Green Bay seems to be heating up, but the Vikings are hanging around better than most would have thought and with Cutler in the air its hard to see where Chicago would end up..
What makes this schedule great is that we really don't know how it's going to end up. There are enough divisional games remaining that I think all four teams could technically win the division. (Not all at once, of course.)
The loss of Bulaga isn't pleasing but Lang should be solid and the dropoff not as great at tackle considering Bulaga was having a down year anyway. Aside from that injury, are there any players the Packers are holding out hope but may privately expect to not be back in the next few weeks or the remainder of the season?
I wouldn't say Bulaga was having a down year, although he didn't have a good game in a highly-visible setting on MNF against the Seahawks. Generally speaking, the Packers are weaker at two positions now. The dropoff might not be huge, but it exists.
Aren't the Packers injuries this year much more crippling than in 2010? In 2010 they lost a rookie SS, past being past his prime LT, solid, but replaceable MLB, overrated TE, and a quality RB on a team that doesn't run.
Finley wasn't overrated back then and it took a while for them to adjust their offense. I do think losing Woodson was huge. He is an indispensable player. Benson also hasn't been replaced, either. But generally speaking, the '12 injuries are more extensive and significant, yes.
How much of the lack of run game from the Detroit Lions is the Oline responsible for?
Everyone shares in it, but I think there is pretty solid agreement at the moment that the Lions don't have a game-breaking running back on their roster.
What do the Lions need to do to have a consistent offense? Is it just a matter of Titus Young stepping it up?
If you had to pick the eventual NFCN Champ right now, who would you take?
Started with the Packers and will keep it that way for now. ESPN's analytics agrees: http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8626751/indianapolis-colts-make-playoffs-espn-insider-nfl-playoffs-predictor
Be honest, you disable the auto-refresh every week just to mess with us, right?
Hmm. I honestly don't know if I have control of that, but I'll see if I can fix it.
Any better now?
Am I right in thinking that you can't draw too many conclusions from Sunday night's game (good or bad) due to the terrible field conditions? And why don't the Bears get fake turf.
Field conditions weren't totally unexpected given the weather. The reason the Bears don't have fake turf is that they consider grass safer -- and they think they get a home field advantage in the conditions it creates.
Nice to see the Packers and Bears tied for the lead in the division at 7-2, with 1 game to play between them, likely for the division crown. What's that? Seattle? Inaccurate Reception? GRRRRRREPLACEMENT REFS!!!!
The asterisk (*) rules all.
I feel like Jim Schwartz's job is pretty safe......but I'm not so sure about Linehan/Cunningham/Crossman.......if the Lions end up with a losing record (very likely) do you think they will make some changes to the coaching staff?
Schwartz has always talked about the value of having the same system year to year. Prevents having to start over. Linehan has been such a key to Stafford's development that it seems unlikely he will go anywhere. As for Crossman, it seems like he's gotten things straightened out. Cunningham? He would seem more likely to retire than get fired.
Schwartz said that SUH had one of his best games ever. I just don't see it. Suh and that d-line have been a disappointment in my eyes this year. Thoughts?
I have a post on that very issue going up this afternoon. I went back and watched the game and focused on Suh. He did some really nice things. But I think it's fair to expect more from him, especially game-changing plays. It shouldn't be that hard to find the contribution of a superstar.
Yes, thank you!
We aim to please.
I have to see more playing time now, don't I?
You would think so, but we'll see how it shakes out when Harvin returns.
I've been big fun of Stafford since he was bulldog. But I'm little frustrated to see him start playing great at forth quarter almost all the time this season. Is it him or play calling or other player's fault?
He definitely has a role in that. He's been much less sharp earlier in the game. Ours Stats & Info people chart every throw, and they determined that his accuracy -- how many times he over- or underthrows a pass -- is much better in the fourth quarter. There are other factors, also, but that's one of them.
Can the league go back on film and punish the Vikings offensive lineman who got cut blocked then purposely fell on Houston? There is no room for those kind of shenanigans in the NFL
I would agree if it was clear that it was done intentionally. I'm not sure you can say that based on what I saw.
How much negotiating power has Greg Jennings lost with the play of Cobb and Jones while he's been injured?
Definitely lost some leverage with the Packers, but the rest of the league knows what he can do. He'll get paid somewhere.
Do you see the vikings defenders getting bigger fines for hitting Calvin Johnson in the head for the second game in a row?
If deemed intentional, they will be higher based on the NFL's graduated fine structure. We'll see what the league determines.
Bigger need for bears offseason OT or TE?
Offensive tackle is a more important position, although the Bears don't have a functional pass-catching tight end. So we'll see.
Was DJ moore benched bc of poor play or do the coaches think Kelvin Hayden is a better player?
I'm not sure if they trust Moore as much. But Hayden has been a guy the Bears have been interested in for some time. He is finally healthy, and now he's playing for them.
Kevin: A little birdie reported (not Shooter) the charges against AP in the night club skirmish were dropped.
Josina Anderson of ESPN has reported that as well. Apparently she got the information straight from Peterson.
Besides Rodgers, right now I would say Randall Cobb is the most valuable uninjured asset on the Packers. Is it time to take him off PR and KR duties?
He's young. He can handle it. There aren't any obvious and trustworthy candidates unless you want to risk putting Tramon Williams or someone like that at risk.
Any news on Jordy Nelson for Sunday?
He was taking part in practice Monday, so unless there is a setback, it would seem he is on track to play.
Do you purposefully ignore the Packers or is it an accident?
No, I do it on purpose. Never write about them.
The Vikings using PSLs is like the airlines charging you for luggage. It is a money maker and they will use it. Don't like it, don't fly, ah, buy a season ticket. Someone else will.
Agreed. Part of doing business.
Woodson done in GBay after this year? I know he's great, but they seem OK without him.
I'm not sure about that. Their last two games have been against teams that hardly have great offenses. I think they need him and they'll want him to play for them as long as he can.
Do you think if Cutler is OUT this Sunday they run Forte like Crazy
I'm sure they'll rely on him, but part of the reason they signed Jason Campbell was to not have to rip up their offense if Cutler isn't out there.
OK everyone, we've got a few more here and then I need to get going a few minutes early.
OK everyone, we've got a few more here and then I need to get going a few minutes early.
The bright side of PSLs is that they are a tremendous investment. I am Bears season-ticket holder (and PSL owner). The gentleman with the seats (and PSLs) next to me sold his PSLs last year for a significant profit.
That's a good way of looking at it... as long as there is demand for those seats.
You said a that AD was a power back earlier this season since then he has broken so long runs would you care to change you mind and admit he is complete power and speed?
At the time he was a power back. He is now demonstrating a breakaway threat he really hadn't had in the few years leading up to his injury. So kudos to him.
I think LionsGM Martin Mayhew needs to focus solely on the defense in the off season what do you think about that?
I guess it depends on which of their pending free agents they sign or don't. But there are needs on offense as well. It's really tough to ignore one side of the ball in any draft/offseason.
DHester stops short of the first down on a 1 yard play, then can't catch the easy back shoulder, he is done for sure as a WR after this year correct?
Definitely hasn't shown the improvement the Bears suggested he would. He is what he is: A returner who can help sometimes at receiver.
Ok everyone, thanks so much. Appreciate your flexibility as always.