Matt Fotre is one of the elite running backs in the game today. Yeah, I said it. Document the day I said it. Remind me I said it. I have no shame. He ran for 205 yards. Only other Bears that have done this are named Walter Payton and Gale Sayers. Nuff' said.
Playas Be Hatin'
In a related story, some book publisher hired Mike Ditka as an unofficial spokesperson for a tabloid bio that just came out about Sweetness. Ditka said, "I'd spit on him. I have no respect for him." Now I know what you are asking yourself, how is that promoting Jeff Perlman's book? Negativity promotes more strongly than positivity, does it not? That said, is it not a far-fetched idea to use the media as a source of free advertising via negative press? Dirt sells, ladies and Ghents.
ANYHOO-HOOO-HOO-HOO, maybe it was an omen, as we enter the witching hour of the calendar, that Forte would have a monster day at Soldier right after this book came out, almost as if the torch has been officially passed from Payton to Young Master Matt. It only took four years to replace Sayers with Payton. It was taken two and a half decades to finally put Walter's ghost to bed. Sleep well, Sweetness. Coach Ditka, Brian Urlacher (called Perlman a jackass, publicly) and Ron Rivers (said it was easy to crap on someone who wasn't alive to defend himself) have got your back. I need to use foot notes. How about some bullets for yer milk.
- Detroit Lions. Wow! Just wow! What a show they put on against the Cowboys. The Lions are for reals, bust out the anointing oil, Tuna Man (but save the tuna oil for America's Team). Johnson and Pettigrew are looking like studs out there as Stafford continues to gun the ball into their bread baskets. Looking forward to their divisional match-up against the Bears next week.
- Baltimore Ravens. This might be the team to beat in the AFC. They look sharper on offense than their divisional rivals, the Steelers. They look better on defense than the Patriots. If they keep this up, we might see them in Indy. Barring injury, these guys are a new favorite. Maybe they'll play the Lions? But we mustn't forget the champs.
- Aaron Rodgers. I wonder if his 408 yards passing, 4 tuds (2 pass, 2 run) is the single greatest fantasy output ever? I understand all leagues score differently, but there is no denial that Rodgers put up monster numbers against a woeful Broncos team (Tebow Time yet?). Between him and Brady, we're looking at two quarterbacks playing to the peak of their abilities and Rodgers might have the better season once the fog settles into the graveyard of quarterback performances of the past.
- Brady/Pats. Took care of the Raiders quite handedly. The Pats don't lose 2 weeks in a row. Brady's numbers are down, but the season is still young--although, Rodgers might take the MVP crown away from Tommy this year if he keeps his numbers up. Time will tell. Pack/Pats is still a dream Super Bowl.
- Eagles. Crisis mode already. Too much hype with this team. This squad is the NFC version of the Jets (is Sanchez an effective NFL QB? Does he get the Alex Smith treatment in New York?). Vick is not the kind of guy to take the heat of a sinking ship--and his frustration grows by the week. How soon until Kafka puts on the RAID-repellent and steers the sinking ship into the nearest cheese steak sandwich?
- The Rex Grossman Award... goes to Jay Cutler. But to be fair, he is working with the worst line in the NFL. No, I am not a Jay apologist, nor do I apply the tuna oil. The guy is a jerk. But he's my jerk.
- Vikings. McNabb is done in the NFL. The Christian Ponder era is about to begin. I blame Farve, his presence on that team was a dark omen over the purple and gold. Looking at the rest of the schedule, the Vikings will only win 4 games (if they're lucky) this season. Who, if anyone, will pick up McNabb this off season, if anyone?CFL? Arena? WNBA? ...developing...
- Tony Romo. Not quite in the same boat as McNabb, but gettin' there. He is the most inconsistent quarterback since Rex's days as a Bear. Speaking of Rex--he's dipping into the familiar swamp of bad numbers. Watch for him to fuck up on a more consistent level as the Redskins march towards meritocracy in the final half of the season. I predict he will win his own award at least 3 times before the Redskins bench him and put in the next worst thing.
Key Matchups and Predictions.
Eagles V. Bills. A must win situation for the Eagles. A statement game for Buffalo. Those two sentences would sounded like swahili before the season kicked off. This is how unpredictable the league has become. I like the Eagles to win and I think they'll win big. Not to say I have lost hope for Buffalo, but I think the Bengals showed the league that the Bills play hard and to the end, but lady luck was striped in orange and black and the Bills will have a hard time adjusting. Maybe...I like the Eagles by 17.
Titans V. Steelers. Titans look sharp on offense with Hasselbeck under center, turns out he just needed a change of scenery. The Titans are a dark horse in the AFC (I picked them to win the division and I still think this will happen). The Steelers looked flat on offense against the Texans, who I feel isn't as good as this Titans team. But the Steelers get up for the big games and they always seem to rebound from games they should have won. The game will end in a tie.
Raiders V. Texans. Alright Raiders, this is it. You have to win this game or you won't appear on my key match-ups list ever again. If Andre Johnson suits up, forget it Oakland. But if he is still playing the part of Tiny Tim on the sideline come sunday, I like Janikowski to kick them out of a squeaker.
Bucs V. 49ers. The Niners are playing hard for their head coach, Capt. Comeback himself. But I'm leaning towards the Bucs, barring what they do to the Colts tonight. My love for Josh Freeman knows no bounds. This one will be tight in the fourth. No prediction. This is what they call in the gambling world a "stay away."
Jets V. Pats. Rex has a way of getting his team up for these games and, like the Eagles, New York is dangerously treading water in a strong division. The Pats are at home, but that seems to work against them in this game. I wanna call "stay away" but I feel in my heart that Belichick has figured out the rubrik's cube that is the Jets defense and I feel he spent his extra time over the lockout dissecting every look in films. This is a close one though, Pats by 5.
Green Bay V. Atlanta. Atlanta needs to win. Green Bay needs to stop winning. The Birds'll get their revenge on the Pack, but it will be close. Expect Rodgers to show him mortality (can only go down after that Herculian wayfayer against Denver). Falcons by 2.
Chicago V. Lions. Tough call. Did the Bears find their run attack against Carolina? If so, they might have a chance against the stronger Detroit team (felt weird typing that, let alone thinking it). Am I calling this a Bears win. Lord no. The Lions are as good as the Ravens at this point. Lions by 10.
End of Line.
Yeah, I know this isn't a Bear Blog, but something happened today that is 25 years in the making and worth noting for it's cultural, historical and sporting significance. Roughly twenty-five years ago, this happened:
And it prevented these guys from going to visit Reagan in the White House.
Obama said at the press conference that the 1985 Bears were "the greatest team in NFL history." Finally I agree with him on something.