Feels like forever since the Bears have had a noon kickoff. But that's what we get today when the 7-4 Bears face off against the 4-7 Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs have had an up and down time of it this year. The season looked like it'd be a pretty interesting one based off their finish to last season, but they started off losing 41-7 to the Buffalo Bills, then lost Jamaal Charles and Eric Berry for the year in week 2. They rattled off four straight wins to bring them to 4-3... and since then they've only scored one touchdown and lost starting quarterback Matt Cassel for the remainder of the year. Last week they acquired Kyle Orton off the waiver wire, and if Tyler Palko gets off to a rough start today (and/or matches the two 0 TD/3 INT performances he's mustered this season), the pressure will be on more than it already is for Orton to play.
The Chiefs still bring a fairly decent receiving corps, Tamba Hali and a solid secondary unit, so they aren't completely without teeth, but things aren't looking so rosy in KC.
As for the navy and orange, last week started off as a wakeup call for their own backup quarterback Caleb Hanie - after throwing two first quarter interceptions of his own, Hanie threw a pair of touchdown passes and another INT as the Bears lost a kicking duel to Sebastian Janikowski and the Oakland Raiders. He gets another chance to show he can be the guy to lead the Bears through the playoff hunt as the team looks for its first win with Hanie at the helm.
Can you name the Chiefs' quarterback? Gameday related linkage after the jump.
From the Lester A Wiltfong, Jr. Self-Promotions Department, we bring you my three keys to the game on Offense and Defense.
Also the Week 12 Injury Report.
Arrowhead Pride tolerated my email address and my presence long enough to answer five questions.
The Sun-Times offered their matchups for today's game. ESPNChicago's Nuts and Bolts are here as well.
Mike Martz must tailor the Bears' game plan to the strengths of Caleb Hanie. Caleb Hanie must also tighten up his decision-making.
Matt Bowen highlights Marion Barber in the running game.
Lovie's son has had a lot to do with the success of Bears' nickel backs this season.
Moon Mullin says the Bears can't blow this opportunity.
Jim Miller has some advice for the Bears.
Dane Noble, avert your eyes.
And now for something completely different. The WCG Writers' fantasy league is heating up with the last week before the playoffs begin. Three spots are claimed, with the other three hotly contested. Member entry Mallomania and resident comedic jerkface Joe the Boss are both 10-2 and have solidified the top two spots, with Dominique Blanton clinching a spot at 8-4. Behind him are David Taylor at 7-5 and a three-way tie at 6-6 between myself, Kev H and Just Dave. Brendan Hess and Sam Householder are next at 5-7 (That's right, WCG's Fantasy Expert may not even make our playoffs, haha!). Stephen Ronkowski and Adam T are 4-8 and 3-9 respectively, and Ashley Czuba brings up the rear with 2-10.
The key matchups for today include myself and Kev going at it Thunderdome-style, Just Dave going up against Ashley, and David Taylor going up against Blanton.
Gameday procedures, for once we get a bleeping noon game, hooray! First quarter thread pops at noon/1 ET, with the quarter threads appearing as the game progresses. Recap may be slightly later than usual, but it shouldn't be too delayed. And of course, discussion threads for the other games will also appear later. We're awesome like that.
Now with the propers out of the way, Bear Down!
Chicago Bears Fight Song (via scifiradioguy)