clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ten Thoughts on the NFL: Chicago Bears and beyond

Check out my Thoughts on the NFL and be sure to leave a few of your own in the comment section. Here's a bonus thought from me, Jermaine Kearse's catch in the accompanying picture and GIF is the best ever in a Super Bowl.

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

1) Say what you will about the New England Patriots, but they have been in some very exciting Super Bowls. In the six Super Bowls from the Brady/Belichick era, New England has scored 135 points and allowed 129. The margin of victory in each of the 6 games was, 4, 4, 3, 3, 3 and 3.

But if we go back even further to New England's first Super Bowl appearance (SBXX), I'd imagine some of our readers would call that the most exciting.

2) Super Bowl 49 was the most watched Super Bowl in history with a 49.7/72 overnight rating/share. The Boston market was the most tuned in with a 61.0/85, with New Orleans at two and Phoenix in 3rd. The Chicago market was 6th overall at 54.9/72.

The Seattle market was tied for 17th with a 52.1/89.


3) I think it's universally accepted that the final play call by the Seattle Seahawks was the worst call in the history of the Super Bowl, but take a look at what QB Russell Wilson saw as he unloaded the pass.

Throwing the ball to Ricardo Lockette was the correct decision, but New England's Malcolm Butler made a great read on the route, recognizing the pick play/slant in front of him and he attacked the ball.

4) One more thought on that play. You can tell a lot about a person with how they respond to adversity.

Seattle head coach Pete Carroll took full responsibility for the play call.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson said, "I put the blame on me."

Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, the man that actually called the play, blamed his receiver for not making a 'stronger' play on the ball.

Bevell, in case you forgot, was a finalist for the Chicago Bears head coaching job two years ago along with the now 2-time NFL Coach of the Year Bruce Arians and the man that won over then GM Phil Emery, Marc Trestman.

5) Some people are ready to anoint Tom Brady as the greatest quarterback of all time now that he's won his 4th Super Bowl ring.

I've always considered Joe Montana the best ever, but with Brady bringing his team back against one of the best defenses ever, while setting the Super Bowl record for completions at 37, I'm now torn between the two.

Whom do you pick as the best QB of all time?

6) This was clearly the worst group of Super Bowl commercials ever since "Super Bowl Commercials" became a big thing.

My favorite of the bunch wasn't even aired during the game, I thought the Mountain Dew Kickstart commercial set the bar high before the game even started.

7) I find it comical that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell claimed to be available to the media almost every day, but then declines an interview request by NBC for the Super Bowl pregame show.

8) Cleveland Browns' QB Johnny Manziel is willingly entering a treatment center for an unspecified condition. If he's ready to grow up and take responsibility for his actions, the Browns may not look to draft a quarterback. There's no denying his electric play making ability, but he has to curb the off-field shenanigans.

It's OK to live life to its fullest, but Johnny Football has to get his priorities in order.

9) With the Atlanta Falcons officially hiring Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as their new head coach, that makes 6 of the 7 new head coaching hires this off season coming from defensive backgrounds.

Of the 7 new hires, only Quinn and Todd Bowles of the New York Jets are taking over situations with similar coaching philosophies from their predecessors. The other 5 franchises are either switching from an offensive head coach to a defensive one or, in Denver's case, a defensive head coach to an offensive one.

We often hear of sports teams hiring a coach with an opposite temperament to the previous guy (mild mannered to fiery personalty or vice versa), but I wonder how often teams make the D to O/O to D switch?

10) A couple of weeks ago we asked you guys to vote on the top three needs for the Chicago Bears. You picked linebackersafety and corner. Yesterday Evan Silva of Rotoworld gave his top 4 needs for each team and in doing so he also ranked every roster in the NFL.

He had the Bears' talent ranked 23rd and he also had a different position atop his need's list for the Bears.

Here are his top 4 needs for the Bears with my thoughts on each..

DL: I happen to live in Chicago, where sports talk radio seems to believe improved safety play would cure all that ails the Bears' perennially sieve-ish defense. The best defenses are built front to back, however, and new DC Vic Fangio is expected to implement a 3-4 scheme. All three Bears defensive line positions are question marks.

Now that it looks like the Bears are transitioning to a 3-4 defense I can see DL being a higher priority.

LB: From Patrick Willis to Aldon Smith, Navorro Bowman, Ahmad Brooks, and Chris Borland, Fangio's 49ers defenses were built with elite linebacker play. There isn't a single player on Chicago's current roster that one could confidently characterize as a starting-caliber 3-4 linebacker. The Bears' defensive front seven needs to be overhauled.

My guess is the Bears will aggressively address a 3-4 rush linebacker in free agency or with their 7th overall draft pick.

S: Safety is indeed a huge weakness for the Bears. It's just not as critical as defensive line and linebacker. But Chicago arguably needs starters at both positions after rookie Brock Vereen proved incapable of effectively handling significant snaps and SS Ryan Mundy flopped as a free-agent pickup. FS Chris Conte's contract is up.

Safety could get scary with only Mundy and Vereen under contract at the position.

OL: Getting back LG Matt Slauson should shore up Chicago's left guard weakness, but new GM Ryan Pace needs to at least bring in competition for liability RT Jordan Mills. Other need positions on the Bears' roster include nickel cornerback and arguably quarterback, where regressing Jay Cutler enters a make-or-break year.

When I first read Silva's piece yesterday, he forgot all about Slauson returning, so it's good that he edited his 4th need for the Bears.