NFL Thoughts Week 7: Chicago Bears and Beyond

Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

It's time for our weekly rundown of NFL Thoughts on Windy City Gridiron.

It was an odd bit of scheduling on Sunday with only 2 late afternoon games, and another odd scheduling quirk by giving the Chicago Bears an extra day off after their bye week. It makes no sense having a team coming off a bye week to play on Monday Night Football. Now playing on Thursday Night after a bye is a completely different story, and one I think the NFL should look into.

It may require them to scale back their TNF schedule, but as an alternative (because losing that programing block is something the NFL Network would frown on) might I suggest Saturday Night Football. I know, I know... it seems weird, but is it any weirder that playing on Thursday Night? Originally the football Gods wanted Friday left for High School, Saturday left to the college kids, and Sunday to be the pro's domain. But things change. The NCAA now hops all around the week, looking to garner prime time TV real estate to showcase their numerous collegiate programs.

It's not uncommon to see a Tuesday evening WAC contest or a couple MAC teams going head to head on a Wednesday night. And even the sacred 'Friday Night Lights' have been turned on for the NCAA teams.

Traditionally Saturday evenings are a dead zone for television ratings, but this is the NFL we're talking about. If your team is playing on Saturday night, you'll watch. Hell, we watched the games with scab refs, and don't forget we even watched with scab players. On the rare occasion the NFL does air games on Saturdays they do pull decent ratings.

I'm just not a fan of the quick turnaround from a health standpoint, and since it's obvious the NFL isn't gonna budge on the TNF cash grab, they need another option. Bring on SNF! Or should I say SaNF? SatNF? What we'll shorten it to is still a work in progress...

For a quick run down on all this weeks games check out Steven's GIF heavy recap right here. And now on to my Thoughts!

1) That loud commotion you heard yesterday was everyone getting back on the Houston Texans' bandwagon. I was surprised at how many Power Ranking "experts" moved the Ravens above the Texans after last week.

2) That was quite a "remember me" game by Titans running back Chris Johnson yesterday. He went off for 195 rushing yards on just 19 carries. He still has some work to do if my early season prediction of him leading the league in rushing is to come true.

3) Sticking with the Titans... That's 2 straight wins with Matt Hasselbeck under center, but if I were running the show in Tennessee, once Jake Locker is healthy, he'd be my starter. You need to give the young QB time to grow, and this is the season to do it.

4) After a below par start (for him anyway) to the season, no QB is playing better than Aaron Rodgers right now. With 3 more TD passes, his 19 now leads the NFL, and he took over the rating lead with his 2nd consecutive 130+ rated game.

5) Not to take anything away from the Eli Manning to Victor Cruz game winning TD, but what were those Washington defensive backs doing?

6) The terrible Oakland Raiders came back to beat the even more terrible Jacksonville Jaguars in a game that I can't imagine was interesting to anyone but Fantasy Football players.

7) Time to rejoice AFC football fans, there are now three teams in your Conference with a winning record!

8) I guess if you can win a game with Christian Ponder putting up this stat line - 8/17 for 58 yards, 1 TD 2 INT - you deserve to be taken seriously. Winning with a strong defense and a good running game, what a novel concept...

9) Speaking of teams I now believe are in the playoff mix to stay; Even with the loss in San Francisco, I think the Seahawks have shown they are a good team. Good running game, solid defense... And they say this is a passing league?

10) The key tonight for the Bears to win is to continue to play great defense and to establish the run (surprise). Detroit would like to rattle Jay Cutler as soon as possible, so limit their opportunities by running the ball and hitting them with the short pass. They can't allow the Lion wide 9 defensive ends to get lathered up. Chicago offensive coordinator Mike Tice has to let his o-line be the aggressors tonight.

And a bonus...

Fun Fact: The Chicago Bears have a grand total of 10 playoff appearances since their last NFL Title (SBXX 1985). The Detroit Lions have also had 10 playoff appearances since their last NFL Title (1957).

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