Some quick NFL thoughts going into the Monday night game:
— The Bears are a complete embarrassment right now. At this point, everyone needs to go. To paraphrase the immortal John Blutarsky, “Cutler — he’s a dead man! Lovie — dead! Ron Turner — dead! Jerry Angelo — dead!”.
Ugh — after the debacle in the Metrodome yesterday, I think that the situation in Chicago absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part. Of course, if you’re looking for futile and stupid acts, then you don’t have to look too far in Chicago these days, starting with the move to bring Mr. Sunshine, Jay Cutler, in this past off-season.
Since then, it’s been one catastrophe after another for the Bears. The running game, shuffled aside in importance after the arrival of the Chosen One, has been completely non-existent. Blocking has become an anathema to the Chicago offensive linemen. The defense is in complete shambles. The receiving core has turned into a collection of mediocrity — oh, wait … it was that bad even before this off-season.
The Bears have no direction, no identity, no passion, and no soul. They were barely a .500 team coming into the season before the Cutler trade, and while the franchise’s front office might have deluded themselves into thinking that the “franchise” quarterback was all they needed to make the step back towards returning to the Super Bowl, it’s as obvious now as it should have been then that the team is careening in the wrong direction — and the sooner that the Bears realize that and blow the whole organization up and start from scratch, the better.
Head Coach Lovie Smith should be gone — if only the tight wallets of the McCaskeys didn’t take precedence. Instead, look for Offensive Coordinator Ron Turner to be the sacrificial lamb — but it’s the whole coaching staff who should join him. Sadly, the Bears wagon is going to be hitched to Cutler for the near future; while it would be great to see someone with the backing of ownership and an iron will, and who understands how to win with defense and ball control — Bill Cowher, anyone? — take over and rein Cutler’s worst tendencies in somewhat, I won’t hold my breath in waiting for it to happen.
— An exciting game in Nashville saw an old, familiar sight — Vince Young beating a team helmed by Matt Leinhart. I had to laugh at hearing the annoucers talking about the “solid game” that Leinhart supposedly played. Really? It must have been some other game than the one I was watching then, since the Leinhart I saw could barely move the Cardinals down the field (to the tune of 10 points on offense — one touchdown was courtesy of the special teams, which ran back a 3rd quarter kickoff).
Leinhart can’t seem to throw downfield with anything resembling accuracy or strength, and the offensive looks completely inefficient with him at the head. If anything should be learned from watching the Arizona offense on the field during Leinhart’s play this year, it’s that there may be no player more valuable to his team’s chances of winning than Kurt Warner. With him, the Cardinals are a solid team, capable of making some noise once the playoffs arrive. Without him, they’re a 6-10 team, even in that putrid division.
Meanwhile, all Vince Young does is win, apparently. He’s now 23-11 as a starting QB, and he’s led the Titans to five straight victories following the team’s 0-6 start. After what looked like a completely lost season for Tennessee — remember the disaster against the Pats in the snow just over a month ago? — the Titans are now edging their way back into playoff contention, and Young is busy resurrecting his career.
— My friend Steve and I on the phone early in the afternoon, with the Texas beating the Colts 20-7 early in the 3rd quarter, had this conversation.
“You know the Colts are coming back to win this game, don’t you?” Steve asked.
“Of course they are,” I answered.
Sadly if you’re a Houston fan, that exchange has more to do with the general ineptitude shown by the Texans more often than not than it had to do with the continued excellence by the Colts and Peyton Manning (though that played a huge part as well).
Looking forward to a great game tonight in the Big Easy. Coming tomorrow — it’s Le Boo time!