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Ten Thoughts on the NFL and the Bears

Thanks to Andrew for filling in for Lester in this week’s Ten Thoughts!

Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

1) There is something oddly refreshing about the new celebration rules in the NFL. Forget that defense is becoming extinct or that gambling—in its many forms—is driving the viewership and ratings, but the No Fun League is starting to have some fun in the form of celebratory dances. Many of these dances or routines are clearly choreographed, so I am glad to see that the NFLPA is cool with players spending extra time practicing this but not football.

If you are into that sort of thing, check out this Twitter feed, which features the various dancings of NFL players.

2) The Super Bowl hangover is a thing. The defending champion Philadelphia Eagles just got taken behind the woodshed by the Saints, and even the 48-7 score wasn’t really that close. The Eagles are currently 4-6 and appear to be on the outside, looking in on the NFC East race. While you typically see the Super Bowl loser have the biggest hangover, as the “Loser’s Curse” has been especially evident since the 2001 season, it appears to be hitting the Eagles especially hard this year too.

3) I feel really bad for Alex Smith. By all accounts, he is a pretty good dude and a pretty decent quarterback as well. While he was not playing particularly great this season, he was still keeping the division-leading Redskins in games. Based on what we know of the injury, there is a decent chance that this is the end-of-the-line for Smith, whether he knows that or not. But the strangest part of the whole thing is the eerie similarities with another Redskins quarterback, Joe Theismann.

4) Come on Cam, do the Bears a favor and make this throw!! Better yet, Ron Rivera should have opted for the extra point and sent that game into OT. Imagine the short turnaround for the Lions if they had to play extra time against a good Carolina team...

5) In the AFC, the playoff picture certainly looks like it’s shaking itself out, although I did NOT see the Chargers losing to Denver. With the Chiefs loss on Monday night (more on that game in a minute), the Chargers still remain in the hunt in the AFC West. The Steelers have rebounded nicely, while the Jaguars are still reeling. That Ravens team looks pretty legit too. I can’t believe the 2017 Bears beat both the Steelers and Ravens...

6) Hats off to Roy Wilson for putting Aaron Rodgers and the Packers one game closer to vacation. Man, Mike McCarthy’s seat has got to be getting pretty toasty these days, although that probably feels nice in this cold weather! I wouldn’t be shocked to see McCarthy end up in Cleveland, although...

7) How about that Monday night game, huh? That was something. The biggest thing I took away from that game is this: defense is dead in the NFL in 2018. Yes, there were 3 defensive touchdowns scored, and yes Aaron Donald exists, but the rest of those turnovers...woof!

8) I was not overly impressed by the young guns(lingers) in that game either. Sure, both Jared Goff and Patrick Mahomes put up gaudy numbers, but they also had receivers more open than I have ever seen before. There weren’t a lot of contested throws being made, an awful lot of missed throws, and the pocket presence...yikes! Don’t get me wrong, both of these quarterbacks are really damn good, but you saw exactly how to beat them both: pressure.

While I don’t typically enjoy shootout-type of games, where each team scores over 50 points, that game was wildly entertaining. The future of the NFL is bright, and it’s the quarterbacks that will drive it, Mitch Trubisky included.

9) Well, perhaps defense isn’t totally dead, at least not in Chicago. If there was any doubt about how good the Bears defense has been this season, look no further than this:

10) With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, let’s take a moment to give thanks. We have the pleasure of rooting for a first class organization. It may not always have been the most enjoyable football to watch, but they are constantly doing the right things for their current and former players. From the way they handled the Zach Miller injury... the way that they continue to do their part to improve the community, the Bears are an organization that we can all be proud of, and for that, I am thankful.