Tag Archive | "Bears"

Time’s Yours Podcast: Bring On The Cowboys


There are two questions that must be answered in today’s podcast.

Will Lee admit the Eagles are good?

Will Spike admit Nick Foles is good?

Wait.. three questions!

What are the best two vegetables to serve at Christmas dinner?

Follow Spike on Twitter @SpikeEskin

Follow Lee on Twitter @LeeRussakoff

Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisJohnsonJr

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The Degenerate: Week 13, The Friday Pick – Da Bears


Today’s post is going to be short and sweet. I didn’t have time to write up a manifesto this week, but I did make a pick.

Is this the end of the road for Andy?

Last night.. well last night was a debacle. Vince Young threw four INT’s, Marshawn Lynch and Tarvaris Jackson shredded the Eagles defense and the Eagles dropped another one 31-14. And the icing on the cake, a late 4th quarter pick six from Vince Young put the game over the 43.5 total and we lost our Thursday pick. Terrible night all around. Shady played ok, but that’s about the extent of the good news from the Seattle game.

I think now’s the time to jump on the “lose them all and get a high draft pick” bandwagon. Next week the Eagles go to Miami, so we might actually steal a win there. Just what we need, finishing like 7-9, not making the playoffs and getting a 15-20 slotted draft pick. Just lose out, finish 4-12 and get a top 5 pick, please? Can you do that for me Andy?

Onto the Sunday pick.

Pick #1 (a.k.a The “Tyler Palko vs. Caleb Hanie, seriously?” pick) Chicago Bears -7 over KC Chiefs

Caleb Hanie? I loved you in Good Will Hunting.

This week was tough to handicap. Lots of weird lines. Patriots laying 21 to Colts? I know that Pats will win, and probably win big, but laying 21 points? I’m not sure about that. That seems like a backdoor cover waiting to happen.

Saints giving seven points to the Lions? I’d say without Suh the Lions defense would have a tough time shutting down Brees. And it’s in New Orleans, so that makes you lean even more to the Saints. But Eli threw for almost 400 yards, I know alot was in garbage time, but still. Stafford and Calvin Johnson could have a big day. I’m staying away.

Then I focused on the Bears / Chiefs game. All signs would make you think that taking the seven points in a game of bad QB’s would be the play. The QB situation is a mess for both teams. For Chicago, Jay Cutler is out for the season with a broken hand, so in steps playoff hero (almost) Caleb Hanie. But after his showing last week against the Raiders (two TD’s, three INT’s) don’t fault the Bears fans for jumping off the bandwagon so soon.

Tyler! Do NOT throw the ball!

But on the other hand, the Chiefs are in a similar boat with Tyler Palko. He has started the last two games, and in those games? How about zero TD’s and six INT’s. Kansas City signed Kyle Orton last week, and there are rumors that he will be playing this week. Will he pass along the secrets of the Bears offense and defense (ala Kevin Kolb vs. the Eagles)? Maybe, he did play in Chicago, but that was 3 years ago (2008). Orton is a better QB, but is he ready to step in and lead the Chiefs after a week? I’d say no, not yet. But if Palko starts cold I wouldn’t be surprised if Orton got some snaps.

I’m still liking the Bears in this one. I think a combination of a bad Chiefs offense and a strong Bears defense will be enough to shut down KC on Sunday.

Chicago is 5th in defensive efficiency, KC is 30th in offensive efficiency. I think the Chiefs will have a hard time scoring points on Sunday against the Bears. In their last four games they have scored three, ten, three and nine points. That’s pretty bad. Now they go on the road to Chicago. And oh yeah, it’s going to be in the 30’s on Sunday with a 40% chance of snow at Soldier Field.

This should play well into the Bears plan. I expect alot of Matt Forte on Sunday. I know the Caleb Hanie experiment didn’t work out too well last week, but the Bears remember how good he played in the NFC Championship game, so he has the talent. Maybe coming back home will help.

The Chiefs defense is ranked 21st (18th against the run, 27th against the pass). So Matt Forte 1st, Caleb Hanie play action passing 2nd, would be a decent game plan.

Expect lots of Forte on Sunday

Forte’s numbers haven’t been too good since his huge game against the Eagles in Week 9, but I expect him to break out against a bad Chiefs defense.

And then there’s Devin Hester. The true wildcard, he could break one and get a special teams TD, or at least set up the Bears offense with great field position.

I think all the signs (bad QB’s, good Chicago D, snow, Forte) point to a low scoring game, with the Bears dominating on defense, and letting Matt Forte do his thing. I expect Caleb Hanie to have a decent game, maybe even throw a TD. We’ll see some field goals, maybe a defensive TD thrown in for good measure.  This game opened at Chicago -9, and has dropped to -7, so the price is right. And if you have a line of -7, do yourself a favor and buy it down to 6.5, if you can.

How about the Monsters of the Midway show up in the snow and knock off the Chiefs. I’ll say Bears win 24-10.

Also, I’m seeing 64% of pointspread action going to the Chiefs and you know what, I like that. I’ve been riding the public too much this season, I’m happy to make a pick that goes against the popular opinion.

Let’s get it done on Sunday.

The Line: Chicago -7, O/U 37.5
The Pick: Chicago -7

So, who is the bigger 2011 disappointment, the Eagles or the Phillies?





Season Record: 16-13. You can see all my picks for the 2011 season documented here.

Questions, comments, links to share, etc… You can get in touch with me multiple ways:

Follow me on Twitter: @Fantasource
Email me fantasource@gmail.com
Or just let me know your thoughts in the comments

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Time’s Yours Podcast: The Eagles, What The Hell Is Going On Here?

A massive system failure is the best way to describe last night’s Eagles game against the Bears.

Once again a 4th quarter lead vanished as the defense couldn’t stop anyone, and the offense couldn’t muster up that one last drive.

On the Time’s Yours podcast today, Lee Russakoff blames the defense and the coaching, and I finally get mad.

Oh, and no more DRC. We can agree on that, right?

Follow Lee Russakoff on Twitter @LeeRussakoff.

Subscribe to the Time’s Yours podcast on iTunes by clicking here.


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The Degenerate: Week 9 Preview, Back to Work

I’m still a little giddy from that Cowboys massacre. Please allow me to sing a little diddy to Andy Reid…

Did you ever know that you’re my hero,
and everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
’cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

Andy's giving mustache rides to the rest of the NFC East.

Ok, I’m back. Wow. Nothing better than whooping up on the Cowboys. It makes everyone feel better. That game was huge. It got us closer to the Giants, it vaulted us from the “and other teams…” list onto the short list for the NFC title race and it wiped that shit-eating grin off of Rob Ryan’s face. And after the game Rob Ryan was forced to admit he got out-coached, ‘”It’s all comes down to coaching, and Andy Reid….kicked my ass”, Ryan said after the game.’ Classic.

That win also was a wake-up call for the rest of the NFL. And the guys in Vegas took notice (all odds via Sportsbook.com). The books made some big adjustments to the season props after that game. And as it stands now the Eagles are the favorite to win the NFC East, the #2 choice to win the NFC at +600 and the #5 choice to win the Super Bowl at +1200.

After Week 8 the updated odds to win the NFC East are: Eagles +120, Giants +140, Cowboys +250, Redskins +1500. Wow, just four weeks ago the Redskins were leading the pack at +150 and the Eagles were bringing up the rear at +300. My, how times have changed.

Of course, if you follow this column, you know that we predicted this back after Week 5. And then again after Week 6. Hopefully you got in on the fun and grabbed the Eagles to win the division at those good odds. But at +120, I’d probably stay away, the value is gone. I mean, we are definitely looking good but we’re still two games back of the Giants, and they have a head to head win in hand. So +120 is nice, but the payout is too low to make a play right now.

The NFC East division race will tighten up over the next few weeks. The Eagles have the Bears and Cardinals at home (two winnable game), the Cowboys get another laugher this week against Seattle, then Buffalo, both at home (1-1, 2-0?). The Giants have the Patriots and the 49ers, both on the road (0-2?). So we could be be looking at a 1st place tie going into the Giants/Eagles Week 11 matchup in the Meadowlands. Holy smokes. I’m ready for some revenge on Eli and Victor Cruz (remember that guy?).

But first, we have a Monday Night matchup against the Chicago Bears to get past. We’ll have a preview of that game in this post, and also look at the line move of the week, but first let’s recap last weekend (do we really have to?)…

Week 8 Revisited:

1-2. Not good, but we're not giving up.

Last week was rough, we went 1-2. We had a winner on the Eagles/Cowboys UNDER, but losers on the Ravens (ugly) and the Chargers (heartbreaking). We had such a nice run for four weeks and then we got hit in the gut. But that happens every once in a while, you gotta take your lumps and move on. Let’s get some more winners this week.

We’re 10-6 on the season (see all the picks here), and 9-4 the past four weeks, so we’re making some money (but this is for amusement purposes only, as we’ve been saying all along). And the only way to get on a winning streak is to start winning (I might trademark that). Onto the Week 8 recap…

Eagles / Cowboys UNDER 51 – what more can I say about this one. You all watched it. The Birds blew them out. I expected a tight game, but the Cowboys defense forgot to show up. It did get hairy in the 4th when the Cowboys scored on a 70 yard TD pass to put the game at 41 points with just under 13 minutes left. Thankfully, no more points were scored. and we got out of there with a 34-7 final. Winner.

Ravens -13 over Cardinals – Some games you can just give up on early. This was one of them. Cardinals came into Baltimore and jumped out to a 24-3 lead in the 2nd quarter, and they were getting 13 points, so this one was dead before halftime. The Ravens did fight back to tie the game at 24 with 9 minutes left and I thought we had a slight chance to pull it out. But Flacco was Flacco and the Ravens couldn’t get into the end zone. The Ravens settled for a FG at the buzzer to get a 30-27 win, but no cover. Loss.

Chargers -3 over Chiefs – Here’s the game in two sentences… Chargers fought back from down 10, and were driving at the end of the game when Phillip Rivers fumbled the snap in the red zone before they had a chance to kick a chip shot FG to win (and get us a push). The Chiefs won 23-20 on a FG in OT. Done.

The rest of the details don’t matter and would probably make me even more mad if I typed them out. That was our toughest loss this season and one that gamblers don’t forget. Loss.

Week 9 Preview

Hometown Preview: Eagles vs. Chicago Bears
Opening Line: Eagles -7 / 47
Current Line: Eagles -8’ / 47
Game Trends (via Covers.com): Bears are 20-8 UNDER last 28 road games

Smile, Jay. It's gonna be ok

Coming off the huge Sunday night win, we get to follow up at home with a Monday Night contest against the Bears. People took notice of that Sunday night win and moved the line up from Eagles -7 to Eagles -8’. That’s a huge jump. Seven points is a key number and one that books don’t move off of easily. And to move all the way to 8’ is saying something.

I would expect some sharp money to come in on the Bears at +8’, but the public will probably lay the points and take the Eagles. The 8’ number makes this a solid teaser option. Taking the Eagles and dropping to -2’ looks like a nice choice, or pushing the Bears up to +14′ might also have some value.

This game will get the most action from gamblers this weekend for a few reasons: it’s Monday Night, it’s two high profile teams, and suddenly the Eagles are the hot team. And I’ll predict that Sportsbookspy.com will have the Eagles getting 65%+ of the action in this game. The Eagles have definitely become a ‘public’ team.

Quick look at the Bears: The Bears are 4-3 with wins vs. Atlanta, vs. Carolina, vs. Minnesota and vs. Tampa Bay (in London) and with losses @ New Orleans, vs. Green Bay and @Detroit. So basically they beat the bad teams at home, and lose to the good teams, so the 4-3 record is a little misleading.

The key to this game will be whether the Eagles can stop Matt Forte. He leads the Bears in rushing yards and receiving yards. He is their whole offense. If we stop him, we win the game. Jay Culter isn’t going to beat us with the pass, no way. And the Bears defense is good but it can’t match up with our skill players. Shady probably won’t get 185 yards rushing this week, but he should do fine. Chicago gets Detroit in Week 10, so there could be a look ahead there, since they lost to Detroit on Monday Night back in Week 5. The Eagles could have a little letdown after the huge division win over Dallas, but I expect them to be fired up for this game as well. The letdown may hit the following week vs. Arizona.

Both teams are 3-4  against the spread. Both opened the season with a cover, then dropped 4 straight against the spread, and have covered the last 2 games. The Bears are 0-3 ATS as an underdog this season.

Quick stat to digest until Monday: The Bears OL is 27th in pass protection, the Eagles DL is 3rd in pass rush. Translation: We are going to eat Jay Cutler for dinner.

I’m leaning towards the Eagles and UNDER in this one. We’ll break the game down and make a pick in Monday’s column.

Big Line Move of the Week:
Atlanta Falcons at Indianapolis Colts
Opening Line: Falcons -9 / 45
Current Line: Falcons -7 / 44.5
Game Trends (via Covers.com): Falcons are 7-1 ATS (in last 8 games) vs. teams with losing records

You hear this guy? He said "we almost got you." It was 62-7.

When I saw this line move at first I thought, why? Atlanta is a much better team. The are coming off a bye week. They just had a huge road win at Detroit. The Colts are 0-8, and going nowhere fast. They just lost 62-7 to the Saints. How can they expect to hang with the Falcons?

When you look at the numbers a little closer you see some interesting trends, like the Colts haven’t lost by more than eight points at home this season. They’re coming home after 3 straight road games. The Falcons are 1-3 ATS on the road this season. Maybe the wiseguys wanted to grab the 9. Home team getting over a TD seems like a decent spot.

But my analysis boils down to this: The Colts have a terrible defense (#32 out of 32), the Falcons have a good defense (#6). I could see the Falcons putting up 40 points. I mean, the Colts give up 144 yard rushing per game, Michael Turner could have a huge day.

It looks like the sharps grabbed the high number expecting the Colts to make a game of it. I don’t know if that’s going to happen. I would lean towards the Falcons laying 7 points or less and the OVER. This could be a high scoring game, with most of the points coming from Atlanta, something like 35-17.

Tweet of the Week

The Texans have a nice crew of running backs. Arian Foster, Derrick Ward and Ben Tate are probably the best 3-back combo in the league. And now we know why. You know the old saying, “The team that practices Bikiram Yoga together, stays together.”

Remember back in the late-70’s when fans gave Lynn Swann some flack for taking ballet lessons to improve his agility? Well, looking at the success of the Texans RB’s, maybe more teams should be sweating to the oldies together.

But really, Ben Tate is scared of yoga? C’mon Man!™ (trademark Mike Ditka)


Coming up on Friday… the Week 9 picks.





Season Record: 10-6. You can see all my picks for the 2011 season documented here.

Questions, comments, links to share, etc… You can get in touch with me multiple ways:

  • Follow me on Twitter: @Fantasource
  • Email me fantasource@gmail.com
  • Or just let me know your thoughts in the comments

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The Degenerate: Week 5 MNF, Detroit Lock City?

Detroit Rock City? Might be more like Detroit Lock City tonight (LOL). Chicago is going to find out what it’s like to be thrown into the Lions’ dens. The Lions have a strong defense, a quick strike offense and they look like they could cause real problems for Jay Cutler and friends on Monday Night Football.

Read the full story

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