Good morning, Bears fans. Welcome to winter in the NFL.
Okay, maybe not winter, but this is the view at Soldier Field this morning, where after this weekend, it sure feels like winter.
While it may not officially be time to turn the calendar, the Broncos may be doing a little calendar turning of their own this week, as Brock Osweiler gets his first career start, replacing an injured Peyton Manning. Manning tore his plantar fascia in what may have been his final career start. Osweiler makes his debut on his birthday (Yes, Nov. 22 is his birthday), in his fourth year as a professional quarterback, and it's a pretty good situation to be handed the reins of a 7-2 team that's been playing lights out defense all year.
At the start of the season and even three weeks ago, this game would have been looked at as a pure stomp by the Broncos; even with the loss of Manning, who'd been playing like a veteran on his last legs, it won't be easy at all for the Navy and Orange. While Osweiler is getting his first start, physically, he's an upgrade on Manning at this point, even if he may not be there in experience - and the top defense in the NFL, with the loss of DeMarcus Ware, is still the top defense in the NFL (unlike the Bears #8 ranked defense, the rate stats back up Denver).
If the Bears are to hand Denver their third loss on the year and get themselves to .500, that same #8 ranked defense will have to shut down Osweiler, and a resurgent offense will have to get its strikes in against an excellent defense that gets after quarterbacks. Last week, Jay Cutler, Jeremy Langford and Zach Miller made the Rams defense pay for mistakes (a perfectly-timed screen into a blitz and a broken tackle, respectively) with big plays for touchdowns, and the Bears were off and rolling.
And we haven't even touched on any potential "revenge" factor with John Fox, Adam Gase, and Cutler.
The road to respectability is paved with big plays. Can the Bears continue down their road?
Roster Shuffle: Jacoby Glenn In; Terrance Mitchell Out
Denver and the Bears have some hidden storylines; Josh took at look at those.
Les has Ten Thoughts for you from Week 10.
Jack examined some regular season playoff games. Do yourself a favor. Read Jack.
EJ's Draftwatch turns its eyes to Vernon Hargreaves III.
Gameday procedures are the same as most noon games; the first thread goes up at noon CT, with subsequent quarter threads popping as the game goes on. We'll have independent posts for anything noteworthy that happens during the game, any great plays, passing records, stuff like that. After the game we'll have our quick recap, our threads for the other games, and Notes in the morning.
Your reminder that this week, the Bears play the Packers on Thanksgiving as well, so stay tuned for a week packed full of recap and preview coverage!
With the propers out of the way... Bear Down, my friends.
Now that we've determined there's no correlation between the WCG Sunday Livestream and the Bears winning or losing, we have a lot of football to talk about this week. For the next two hours, Sam and I will discuss the 4-5 Bears, how they got to that point, how much more improved this team looks compared to last year's edition of an imitation NFL team, and so much more.
There are a couple ways to get a hold of us:
- Here. Right here. This thread. Look down. That's a comment section. Now look at me. Now look down. Your comment section has turned into a place to talk to us.
- Over on the Twitch page; it's over here.
- Over on our Twitters. I'm over at @SJS_illini; he's over at@SamHouseholder.
We'll be live at 9:30 AM CT. See y'all then.