Coach Meyer: Catching Up with Bears? Coaches
With Ron Meyer
CHICAGO BEARS 6-3 WITH LOVIE/MARTZ...BUT ARE THEY REALLY THAT GOOD?
If you've watched a lot of the Chicago Bears this season, you're likely to think they're one of the worst teams in the league. The offense in particular has struggled to get much going, though the team did make some plays this past Sunday vs. Minnesota. Since Mike Martz was brought in to re-vamp the offense...this must mean 2010 has been a disaster.
Yeah, a 6-3 disaster that has Chicago in the thick of the playoff chase!
What's going on here? It's very important for handicappers to get a true read on the Bears heading into this Thursday's big road game at Miami...particularly with showdowns against Philadelphia, New England, Green Bay, and the NY Jets on the schedule in the not-too-distant future.
Is Chicago really a playoff team, with the offensive issues being a case of selective memory? Or, is this actually a BAD team that's just played an easy schedule.
To me, the answer is pretty clear. THIS IS A BAD TEAM THAT'S PLAYED AN EASY SCHEDULE!
The two teams with the worst records in the league right now are Buffalo and Carolina (each at 1-8). Chicago has wins over both of those teams. Next on the list of badness is Detroit at 2-7. Chicago beat them in the season opener, and was very lucky to pull out a victory there. Dallas is also 2-7. That's win #4 for the Bears. This past Sunday you watched them beat Minnesota, while Brett Favre was having another disastrous game with what he was calling a sore shoulder. That's five wins...vs. teams at 3-6 or worse. Nobody can argue with the win over a quality Green Bay squad. That's one "legitimate" win out of the six.
The three losses were to the NY Giants, Seattle (ugh), and Washington (double ugh).
I've seen some ratings places call it the easiest schedule in the league!
Versus 3-6 or worse: 5-0
Versus 4-5 or 5-4: 0-2
Versus 6-3 or better: 1-1
Miami enters the week at 5-4. But, the Bears have caught another break. Miami will probably have to start third string quarterback Tyler Thigpen because the top two Dolphins signal callers are hurt.
The Bears can't keep dodging bullets forever, unless Michael Vick, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and the whole Jets defense are about to get knocked out of the lineup. That tight win over Green Bay shows that the Bears are capable of playing well against a top opponent. But, that represents a PEAK outing. If they play their typical game when stepping up in class, they're likely to be exposed as a non-contender.
29th in total offense
24th in points scored
Against a very easy schedule, Chicago is still fourth worst in a 32-team league at accumulating yardage, even AFTER installing an offense that's supposed to gobble up yardage at a record clip. The Bears are a bit better in points thanks to kick returns and points set up by the defense.
Sorry Mike Martz, you haven't gotten much done here in more than half a season.
4th in total yardage
2nd in points allowed
Those are great rankings. When you adjust for strength of schedule and the caliber of quarterbacks the Bears have been facing, you still get respectable results. This is a top 10 defense, once again scaring people and hurting people under the guidance of Lovie Smith. I think Smith is a FANTASTIC defensive coach. I think he's probably in over his head though as a head coach because of his inability to get an offense moving in the right direction...or to find people who can do that.
I can't tell you here in my web article what I'll be doing in Thursday Night's game. As I write this, I've still got time to review past film on Thigpen's abilities vs. quality defenses. But, I can tell you that I'll generally be fading Chicago's offense when they step up in class.
- If the other team has a potent offense, I'll fade the Bears. And, if the other team has a defense that really pressures the quarterback the way the NY Giants did to Cutler, I'll be stepping in with a very big play against the Bears.
- If the other team is likely to struggle on offense, I'll take the Under
- If the other team is bad on defense, or has thrown in the towel on their season, I'll consider taking the Bears.
The won-lost record is suggesting a success story. I think serious handicapping shows the flaws in that line of thinking. With the Eagles, Patriots, Packers, and Jets still ahead, the Bears may have trouble finishing better than .500 despite their current mark.
I know you'll be watching the Bears/Dolphins game Thursday Night. And, you're looking forward to matchups like Indianapolis/New England, NY Giants/Philadelphia, Green Bay/Minnesota, and Oakland/Pittsburgh this Sunday. You can sign up for my full pro and college service here at the website. Or, purchase game day releases a few hours before kickoff if you want to try things out. Don't forget I'm very active in early season basketball as well. If you have any questions, call my office at 1-877-540-8787.
There's still plenty of time to make big money this year with the RIGHT coach in your corner. HIRE RON MEYER!
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