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NFC 2009 Predictions

NFC East
1 Eagles – Eagles and G-Men should run neck-and-neck. McNabb has plenty of weapons and the defense has been revamped. Maclin could end up being rookie of the year. They death of defensive genius Jimmy Johnson shouldn’t effect this veteran unit too much, but it could.
2 Giants – NY is still a very tough team. Eli will struggle at times because he lacks a big play receiver. He’ll need rookie WR Hakeem Nicks to step up. Look for Brandon Jacobs to carry the load. The defense is very good but it is a little banged up right now.
3 Redskins – I am not in love with J Campbell but he doesn’t have to be a fantasy stud for this team to do well. He just need to manage the games and let Portis do his thing. The defense should be one of the league’s best.
4 Cowboys – Last place in the East isn’t a terrible thing but it probably means the end to Wade Phillips. Romo’s only legitimate target is TE Jason Witten. The running game is very vanilla. They will need to get Felix more time in the backfield. The defense is also very average and the defensive backfield a little suspect.

NFC North
1 Bears – Da Bears have a franchise QB, one of the league’s best young RBs and a dynamic duo at the TE position. The offensive line looks solid after an off-season overhaul. They may need a big play WR but Hester and Bennett show some promise. The defense is the only question mark. We will see what magic Marinelli can work with the D-Line.
2 Vikings – The Vikings will be right on the Bears tail. A.P. is awesome and now he has a pro-bowl caliber passer on his side. Granted he is almost 40 but he still has one season left in him. Look for Percy Harvin to be an immediate contributor. The defense is solid once again. The only weak spot might be the defensive backfield but the front seven should make up for that.
3 Packers – Green Bay could surprise and take the division but they have a couple of big questions to answer. RB Ryan Grant has to show he can stay healthy for this team to have a chance. The passing game should be entertaining with Rodgers & Co. The defense is the other question mark. They are switching schemes and have some new personnel. There could be some growing pains.
4 Lions – Why even make a comment here. They are bad but there is hope now that there is yet another new coach in town. The development, or impending slaughter, of QB Matt Stafford should be interesting to watch.

NFC South
1 Panthers – The Panthers should do well again this year. Delhomme isn’t a great QB but he is one of the better game managers in the league. It also doesn’t hurt that Steve Smith is catching his passes. RBs DeAngelo Williams and Jon Stewart are a great tandem. The defense was a question mark in the off-season but getting Peppers back in the fold and Beason healthy were keys and they’re both back.
2 Falcons – Atlanta’s defense took a hit in the off-season and teams shouldn’t have any problems scoring on them. However QB Matt Ryan, RB Michael Turner, WR Roddy White and newly acquired TE Tony Gonzalez should make for a high powered offense. Good enough to stay in the wildcard hunt but not good enough to over take Carolina.
3 Saints – New Orleans has Drew Brees and that is enough to give any team hope. However he has no run help at all. The often injured Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas will be average at best. WRs Brees has, RB support he doesn’t. Look for lots of scoring, by both teams. The Saints are in the middle of a defensive revamp but they’re still a year or two away from being a good unit.
4 Bucs – This team isn’t going to be very good. I think coach Raheem Morris will be a good one but he doesn’t have the horses yet. RB Cadillac Williams will try to stay healthy and could contribute but it looks like a committee with Ward and Graham. Leftwich is the QB and you can’t help but root for him but he’ll get injured and their is a young, inexperienced guy behind him. Yikes! The defensive line is pretty good but the rest of the D is still a work in progress.

NFC West
1 Seahawks – Seattle is back. QB Matt Hasselback is finally healthy and he has TJ and John Carlson to throw the ball to. They also have a balanced running attack with Jones, James and Forsett. The defense should be improved this season with the additions of Kerney at DE and rookie linebacker Aaron Curry.
2 Cardinals – Last year must have seemed like a dream to Cards fans and I think 2009 is the wake up. They aren’t a bad team but they are a truly mediocre bunch. Warner is a good QB but time will eventually catch up to him. One thing the Cards have is a tremendous group of WRs in Fitzgerald, Boldin and Breaston. However I don’t see the running game being all that effective. If teams blitz Arizona a lot and hurt Warner this season will be over. Defensively the team is OK but not great. Their depth at key positions should be a concern.
3 49ers – If Singletary keeps his pants on it will be an improvement over last season. San Fran has RB Frank Gore and he will keep the offense moving, at least a bit. The Niners are still unsettled at the QB position and their #1 WR is still unsigned. The defense will be decent but I anticipate they will be on the field a lot.
4 Rams – This could be the worst team in football. Bulger and Jackson will have to run for their lives. The system has changed with new coach Steve Spagnola and it will be a few years before he gets the right people in place. The defense, more specifically the pass defense will be brutal. It would surprise me if they gave up an average of 30 points per game.

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This Week in the NFL – Week 7

YES, I RULE!  Purdue QBs are awesome and I have led the Bears to a tremendous comeback.  What a great pass to ‘Sheed’ Davis.  It looks like the Bears are for real and have a shot to compete in the NFC this season.  Atlanta only has 11 seconds left!  What can happen?

“OK Brian.  Now make sure they only complete the pass on the sidelines to stop the clock with one second left so we can blow this game.”    

Chicago Bears stand on deck of carrier under banner reading, “Mission Accomplished”.

Oh when the Saints!  Oh when the Saints.  Oh when the Saints come marching in.  Drew Brees has an almost perfect afternoon.  The Saints still have a long way to go but if Sunday is any indication the Saints will be right there with Tampa and Atlanta.  I know.  I said Atlanta.  I can’t believe I said Atlanta.

Denver got off to such and awesome start and look at them now.  They are playing like a bunch of fumbling idiots.  Cutler!  Stop carrying the ball like a $%$#* loaf of bread in the open field.  And someone tell Marshall to stop dancing with the ball on the sidelines and just get out of bounds.  More gray hairs for Shanahan. 

For the first time in years I can honestly say New England will not be a factor in this year’s Superbowl game.  They looked awful while the Chargers were on the attack all night long.  Rivers and LT were dominate.  Right now San Diego looks like the team to beat in the AFC.


The person that decided the New Orleans Saints cheerleaders should wear F-ME boots should get a raise because I certainly did.

Absolutely hot squad.  I saw them up close before and they are amongst the hottest group in the NFL.  Not just that but they can move too.  Very hot and distracting.

One more of a Bucs cheerleader.  I love the uniforms.  The pose and body are equally hot. 

It is rare when the Sea Gals outshine the Seahawks but the football team is absolutely brutal.  When did they get so bad?  I thought they would win 11 to 12 games easy.  Oh well, at least the 12th man has some eye candy to keep their mind off of shitty football.

The good and bad.  The good?  The Denver Cheerleaders are very hot.  The bad?  The temps are going down so now they will be wearing their winter gear.  Boooooooo!  Go Global Warming.  Go Global Warming!  😉

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Someone pinch me because this was one bizarre week of football.


Ronnie Brown!  I really can get anything else out of my pie hole other than Ronnie Brown.  He has been plastered on my Fantasy Bench since the beginning of the season and then BOOM 30-some odd points of production against the Patriots?  Where did that come from?  Running for TDs…Throwing for TDs…direct snaps?  Hats off to Tony Sparano (or Soprano as I call him).  What a great game plan!

2. The Chicago Bears are indeed a team of mystery.  They could be 3-0 and instead are 1-2.  After dominating a banged up Colts team the Bears blow a late lead to Carolina and now Tampa Bay.  The Tampa game was well in hand with a 10 point lead late when the penalties and mistakes started to mount.  A bonehead penalty by Peanut and drop by Sheed were pretty much the nails in the coffin.  And the defense keeps giving it up at the end.  What is the deal with that?  Are these guys supposed to be in shape and trained to play 60 minutes?  What a bunch of pansies!


Matt Ryan, Roddy White and Michael “The Burner” Turner torched a sad KC defense.  Atlanta isn’t a playoff team yet but this team has loads of talent.  I bet all of the teams that were looking for a runner in the off season feel stupid for passing up on Turner.  Furthermore, I bet the teams that passed up on Ryan in the draft and didn’t move up to get him feel stupid too. 


When I heard Westbrook went down early in the game I thought Pittsburgh would have their way with the Philadelphia Eagles.  As it turned out Philly didn’t change any part of their game plan as Buckhalter filled in for Westbrook.  Buckhalter has got to be one of the best back up runners in the game.  He is a quick, powerful runner and has great hands out of the backfield.  Watch out for Philly! 


Let’s Go BRONCOS!!!

Meeeeeeow!  The Charger girls sure had a lot to cheer about on Monday.

SMOKING!  San Diego has a hot set of cheerleaders.  Maybe 3rd next to Washington and Miami.

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Big Papa is on a Roll

Well, about a month ago I called for the Bears to sign Kevin Jones to be an effective two-headed monster with rookie runner Matt Forte.  It appeared they weren’t even looking at him and at the last minute Bears GM Jerry Angelo swooped in and nabbed him.

Several days ago I wrote a post about Manny being Manny in LA.  Some liked my idea while a majority of others thought it wouldn’t happen.  After analyzing the situation I knew he had to go and LA was the perfect locale for him.  He respects Torre and would reunite with Nomar and Lowe.  The big question was what were the Red Sox going to get back.  Pittsburgh’s Jason Bay was the perfect replacement and LA had the prospects to surrender.  Now, while I don’t claim to be a great prognosticator  I did nail these two square on the head.

Oh, and I almost forgot about Favre.  Until the Manny trade went down I was going to post a Favre Update because it is what’s hot.  According to the Milwaukee Sentinel the Packers are exploring trades “within the division”.  Now several weeks ago when Favre got the itch to play again I thought for sure either Minnesota or Chicago was the perfect fit for him.  I had a lot of Bears fans in agreement with me but the rest of the nation thought the Packers would be nuts for doing that.  Now it appears the Packers are considering either trading him to one of their rivals or releasing him.  On a personal note, if Favre finds his way to Chicago I am going to purchase a BLUE #4 Bears jersey and watch the Bears-Packers game at the Brat Stop in Wisconsin.  Sweet revenge after a decade of torment. 

So, while I am on fire I will throw this prediction out there for you.  REX GROSSMAN FOR BRETT FAVRE STRAIGHT UP.  I think it works.  Chicago moved in front of Green Bay in the NFL Draft to get Rex.  Green Bay liked him then and I assume they still like him now.  He would be able to come in and be an experienced backup for Aaron Rodgers.  In the event Aaron sucks, Rex has experience and could step in and be a starter.  And there is little risk because if Rex is bad there is only one year remaining on his deal anyway.  And, as I have mentioned before, Brett automatically makes Chicago a 9 to 11 win team.  Brett is getting up there but statistically he is still in the Top 10.  I do like Orton a lot but I think a season or two behind Brett will do him a world of good.  Not to mention Orton hasn’t been on speaking terms with Rex and the competition hasn’t been a good one to this point. 

The Bears defense and special teams are Superbowl quality but the offense has been a let down.  With the acquisition of Kevin Jones, the emergence of young receivers like Earl Bennett and acquisition of Brett, the Chicago Bears are a better offensive team and playoff contender.

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Chicago Drive-By for February 28th

BPD can’t use Quick Hits because that is a Sun-Times piece but I find it to be too fluffy.  Don’t get me wrong I love the gratutious photos but if you are gonna hit em…hit em hard.


BLAM!!! Bernard Berrian is a good receiver and a good person.  He is NOT worth the money he is asking.  The Bears feel pressured because of the mediocre free agent and college draft talent available this season.  However, the Giants showed the world you can win without top notch speed at the wide reciever position.  That being the case let BB go and sign free agent WR Bryant Johnson and Dante Stallworth and draft 6′ 4″ James Hardy from Indiana. 

BLAM! BLAM!  Mark DeRosa stood strong all winter against the rumors that Brian Roberts was coming to Chicago and there would be no starting position for him.  He was confident saying the starting job was his.  Well Mark, we love confidence but it does you no good if you drop dead in between 2nd and 3rd base.  Cubs, go get Roberts and stop screwing around.  Mark will be utility man and that is that.  Something tells me his heart isn’t in it anyway.

BLAM!  BLAM!  BLAM!  Kirk Hinrich should be excited about the new fire power on this Bulls team.  They are the youngest team in the NBA.  They are more athletic than any team in the NBA.  Finally, they have been scoring over 120 points per game lately.  How does Hinrich celebrate this accomplishment.  By playing like a little bitch against rival Indiana.  Newbie Larry Hughes stepped up.  Newbie Drew Gooden stepped up.  Hinrich took a step down…and out.  Kirk was benched by Bulls head coach Boylan who is taking a tough stand against lazy play.  I think maybe it is time to activate Duhon of the scratch list and add Whiner Hiner.


BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!  Final drive-by of the day is towards the mighty Blackhawks.  They had every opportunity to deal the overpaid, often hurt Martin Havlat over the last few days.  Teams wanted him and Montreal was close to getting him.  So what happened?  The Hawks couldn’t get a deal done and Havlat goes out and hurts himself last night.  Way to go BLACKHAWKS!

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We believed most of this was Rex’s fault.  So, Rex was sent to the corner for a timeout and Brian was called in.  Older, wiser Brian was going to lead an accurate and conservative offense to a low scoring victory over Detroit.  That sounded good to everybody.  But now the smoke has cleared and the Bears sit at the bottom of the NFC North with a 1-3 record. 

Sure, the early part of the schedule was tough and we knew they would probably be 5-3 after the first 8 games but this is ridiculous.  The can’t block, run, catch or pass and I am wondering what the hell happened to the team that blew out Seattle, New Orleans, Buffalo and Detroit last year?  They could at least run the ball a little and control the clock.  The QB wasn’t sacked on a regular basis last year.  They gave Rex protection and he actually had 5 or 6 pro-bowl type caliber games.  It led everyone to believe the young QB could do the job with some more experience and confidence.

Now we are banged up, our running back is in New York and the receivers couldn’t catch the ball if a $100 was attached to it.  Berrian has been brutal, “Moose” looks slow and we put super awesome weapon Devin Hester on the field and never use him.  What is the point?  He can outrun almost anyone in the NFL.  He has above average hands and makes great moves in the open field.  And what the hell happend to Mark Bradley, ‘Sheed’ Davis and Mike Hass?  These guys are collecting a paycheck!  Why aren’t they split wide running the post or the fly?  How about Greg Olson?  Why not have him in the slot, strong-side with Desmond Clark?  They would give linebackers a fit.  At the very least it would open a running lane somewhere.

Speaking of the running game this is the crappiest running game I have ever seen and that includes Enis, Salaam and Neal Anderson.  And Benson ‘lovers’ and there are still a few out there will say, “But the line sucks and they aren’t opening holes!”  Point taken but I have seen bad lines in my time.  Walter Payton spent almost a decade of his HOF career behind a sad line.  They were nothing more than buckets of KFC with legs.  He managed!  He ran over guys, he ran around guys and he was able to shed the initial contact almost every single time.  I could name dozens of backs who made good behind medicore to poor lines.  Barry Sanders, Earl Campbell, Curt Warner, Eric Dickerson and Marshall Faulk all ran behind crappy lines for part of there career and still managed to be great.  And, the funny thing is our line isn’t that bad.  They are not as good as last year, but they are not terrible.  I have seen holes open.  Unfortunately when they do you have a second, maybe two to get to the hole before it closes.  Bensen is not talented or fast enough to get to the hole.  Most times he hits the line with his head down so how the hell could he see if a hole is opening or a new one is opening.  You have to have superior lateral movement on the line in the NFL or you simply aren’t going to make it.  You have to have the ability to make a move or two moving forward.  Hester is great at that.  Perhaps they should make him a back.  Just a thought.  And the two guys behind Benson aren’t much better.  A.P. is a little better overall and far better in between the tackles.  He can also block.  It is a skill necessary to protect the quarterback.  Bensen whiffs 9 out of 10 times.  Last season Tommy Jones was money at protecting the QB.  Why would anyone give up that kind of protection to hand someone else a job?  Right!  It makes no sense.

The object is to win a championship.  The head coach is the field general of the team and blind loyalty to your soldiers gets your ass killed.  You put your best warriors on the battlefield and take it to the opposition.  If Rex wasn’t the best why is he “our quarterback” as General Lovie puts it?  Why is Ced continuely shoved out onto the battlefield.  He certainly exhibits the tendencies of a shy 19 year old kid from the south who hides in his bunker…afraid to face the enemy, afraid to fire his weapon.  The receivers are required to do certain things for the offensive to succeed.  These two simple requirements that have never changed over the course of time is GET OPEN and CATCH THE BALL.  These are special ops guys.  These are guys that are supposed to go unseen in order to exploit the defense.  They have to have a high rate of success and be able to react quickly and efficiently in order for the troops to move forward into enemy territory. 

The offensive line are the guys who do the jobs no one wants to do.  These guys are the marines…the leathernecks…the first ones in the trenches.  Blood doesn’t scare them and they would gladly lay down there lives for the common good of the team.  These guys are a rare breed and also essential for the success of the armored division, or in this case the running game.  The Bensen armored division is supposed to aquire those tough yards.  They follow the line and pound the enemy into submission.  They are never to lose ground, they are ordered to gain ground at all costs.  This division of the battalion is crucial to wearing down the enemies defense and set them up for a final aerial assault to be ordered by the captain. 

The captain, or quarterback in this case, orchestrates the whole offensive.  He is the main communicator.  He keeps all groups informed of the offensive.  He leads with confidence and is required at an one time to change plans or audible.  He runs, diving forward with wreckless abandon.  And, to put away the enemy he launches and all out aerial assault.  He passes with speed and accuracy to his receivers in the field.  And, at times he will in go in the trenches and put himself on the line in order for the special ops or armored units to succeed.  They are fearless leaders. They are the ones ultimately responsible for the overall success or failure of the offensive.

Now that I have put the Bears offense into military terms one thing becomes abundantly clear and that is  they couldn’t invade and take over lunch line at the Shady Acres Retirement Community.  None of the Bears QBs have that “Captain” quality like a Favre, Elway or Marino.  Cedric and AP don’t possess the power, skill  and determination of a Tomlinson, Bush or Shaun Alexander.  The recievers need to be agile, quick and smart and the Bears are far from that.  Moose is aging and slow, Berrian is fast but can’t catch and the rest lack many abilities.  The line is supposed to be strong, aggressive and fearless.  Ours was that way.  Ours was one of the best but now injuries and age are slowing their advance.  The question is what can be done to salvage the campaign? 

Well, the group that controls the captain, the Marines, Special Ops and the Armored Divisions are the generals.  Certain changes need to be made in order for victories to be attained.  Game plans need to be changed!  The plays they are calling aren’t working.  Perhaps they need to play a little more I-Formation and split in order for the fullback to open holes for Cedric and Co.  Perhaps they need to incorporate more risky downfield options like fly patterns to Hester.  They need to find someone new for the specialty (intermediate) routes like Mike Haas or re-acquire David Ball who was an exceptional route runner and reciever in his short time here. 

Finally it may come down to the only other captain on the roster.  Captain Kyle was fantastic as a rookie thrown into a terrible situation and led the Bears on an improbable playoff run.  Now that is the kind of guy I want leading my troops.  However, someone has decided that the Never Was and the Never Will Be are a better option than Captain Kyle. 

Hopefully some wisdom from above will enter the skulls of the braintrust known as the Bears coaching staff for only a couple of more losses will seal our fate.  Semper Fi or, in this case, BEAR DOWN!!!!  

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Rex is our Quarterback? Enough Ced!

3 weeks into what was supposed to be a Superbowl run and I am left a little dazed.  Wait, a little dazed doesn’t quite cover it.  How do us Bears fans really feel this morning?  Well, a little bit like that sorority girl that had one too many Appletinis and woke the next morning naked next to the fat, loser kid named Ernie.

On national TV the Bears Defense did all they could for 2 1/2 quarters to keep the team in the game.  They had stifled Tony “I am much better than Rex” Romo through the first half and shut down the running game almost entirely.  All the Bears had to do was establish a few drives, put it in the endzone once and let Robbie “good as” Gould knock down 3 or 4 field goals and we win.  Really, the game could have and should have gone something like this…”Defense, Gould Good Enough In 19-17 Nailbiter”.  All Rex had to do was not turn over the ball, complete half of his passes and have a QB rating of about 70.  All Ced Benson had to do was run for about 80 yards, 4.0 avg and not turn over the ball.  Really, a victory was just that simple.

But it went the other way.  Rex, even though the loss was not entirely his fault, was absolutely brutal.  He made it obvious he doesn’t possess the skills to be a successful Top 10 QB in the NFL.  He gave us another QB rating under 50 and 3 turnovers.  All of this from the kid that was supposed to be the best Bears QB since Sid Luckman.  I now have a feeling Bears fans would take Mike Phipps or Vince Evans over this mental and physical midget. 

Now Grossman isn’t in this alone.  Cedric Benson deserves much of the blame too.  He was the kid from Texas who was supposed to make people forget about other Texas greats like Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams.  The Bears tried to give him the job last season over the often banged up Thomas Jones and he couldn’t take it.  So, the best way to resolve that is to remove the player standing in his way.  Jones, now in NY, led the Jets to an exciting victory over the Miami Dolphins while Benson couldn’t average over 2.9 yards per carry in a brutal loss.  In addition, Benson put the ball on the ground again.  Chicago Bears fans take the running game very seriously and Benson is testing our patience. 

One of the keys to the Bears success in 2006 was they didn’t turn over very much and they took the ball away.  Now the Bears are giving the ball away like turkey at a Thanksgiving food drive.  You can’t expect to win if you keep giving the ball to the other team.  Especially if that other team has players like Tony Romo, Marion Barber and T.O.

An exhausted defense just couldn’t contain this aggressive offense any more as they opened it up in the late 3rd quarter.  The defense has been on the wrong side of the clock for all three games and after a while that wears the defense down.  The Bears of 2006 at least used to move the ball, hold on to the ball and gave the D a chance to rest.  Now they are getting tired AND injured.  This season is shaping up to be a regular Stephan King novel. 

Solutions anyone?  Well, you can always start from scratch like Charle Weis but we know that bascically means the season is over and ours is far from over.  Any other suggestions?  Call better plays?  Well, that is a small part of it.  I am continuely baffled by some of the play calling but that is only a small part of the problem.

My solution to the Bears problem is very simple.  It is like going to the doctor to discover you have painful, fleshy growth on your ass.  The doctor’s will simply, LOP IT OFF!  Ladies and gentlemen of Bears nation, Rex and Ced are growing on our asses and it is getting pretty painful to live with.  Rex and Ced need to go.

Now are Griese or Orton and better than Rex.  We don’t know!  Griese has always been a solid player.  He is a solid game manager and can make most of the throws required of this offense.  Granted, he has never “won the big game” but I guarantee he has never had multiple QB ratings of under 50 in the same season either.  Rex had 5 last season and we went to the Superbowl in spite of him.  Orton, whose rookie performance was shakey at best, won 11 games and took us to a division title.  Even as shakey as he was he only had one game as bad as Rex.  The entire offense lacks confidence in Rex and either guy would be an improvement.  And we can’t wait any longer.  The change should be made now if a Superbowl run is still in the future.  A mid-season change of QBs means the season is pretty much over. 

A removal of the Ced virus from our asses is a little more problematic though.  See, last year we had T.J. to save us.  One back could always fall back onto the other and many successful NFL teams have two good backs.  Do the Chicago Bears?  Once again, we simply don’t know.  Adrian Peterson looked like the real deal in San Diego but now that we have watched two other teams toast the San Diego defense, it doesn’t look all that impressive.  The 3rd back is a kid from NIU that is 5 foot nothing 100 and nothing and has the speed of Devin Hester.  So, what do you do with a Smurf with amazing speed.  You run him on a screen in a sea of 6’5″ blockers and throw the ball to the other team.  Great use of your Smurf.  The running game is a mess and there is currently no solution.  All you can do is bench Ced from the starting lineup but still give him 10 carries a game because the other two won’t be able to carry load.  I think the Eagles reached the Superbowl splitting carries between three backs so there is some hope.

I will keep the faith and hope the defense, special teams and random miracle plays keep us in the hunt for the NFC title.  However, I realize with injuries, poor play and the Packers starting 3-0, things are beginning to look a little bleak.  We simply can’t ride out the Rexperiment any longer.  We can’t give Ced the running back crown in Chicago without earning it.  Dr. Lovie needs to prep the Bears for the operating room and remove the Rex and Ced from our asses.  It can’t hurt…or can it?            

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