Cubs

Bears still NFC No. 2 seed but Packers, Vikings close behind

938721.png

Bears still NFC No. 2 seed but Packers, Vikings close behind

The Bears quietly believed they were as good as the Houston Texans and they were, at least the defense was. But they lost Jay Cutler to a concussion and failed to execute (again) on offense to fall a game back toward the pack at 7-2.

With Atlanta losing its first the Bears are still the second seed in the NFC but are within reach of Green Bay, one game back in the loss column. The Texans were the first of six straight games against teams with winning records.

Indianapolis Colts (6-3) W 41-21

Balanced identity established with 33-35 run pass ratio and O runs up 428 yards with Jay Cutler throwing for 333 yards and 2 TDs to go with rushing TDs by Michael Bush (2) and Matt Forte (1) as part of 122 rushing yards. Nice to have caught this team while Andrew Luck was still a puppy.

@ Green Bay Packers (6-3) L 23-10

Jay Cutler berates offensive linemen on national TV for seven sacks; linemen just have to accept Cutlers four INTs apparently. Embarrassing offensive performance all around as defense holds Aaron Rodgers and Pack to 3 FGs and one TD.

St. Louis Rams (3-5-1) W 23-6

Defense sacks Sam Bradford six times and holds Rams out of the end zone. Offense scores only one TD for the second week in a row and Jay Cutler continues to find a groove with receivers.

@ Dallas Cowboys (4-5) W 34-18

Five interceptions of Tony Romo, two returned for TDs (Briggs, Tillman) and a workmanlike 360 yards on offense produce a crucial road win on MNF against the most overrated (annually) team in the NFL.

@ Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8) W 41-3

Bears offense runs up 501 balanced yards (214 rush, 287 pass) and explodes after a sluggish first half. Briggs and Tillman make NFL history with TD interceptions for second straight week and Brandon Marshall puts up 144 yards on 12 catches.

Sun., Oct. 14 Off week

vs. Detroit Lions (4-5) W 13-7

Jay Cutler sacked five times and survives Ndamukong Suhs WWF takedown. Bears RBs net 132 yards as run game clicks. Offense cant put Lions away but Charles Tillman D on Calvin Johnson virtually locks Bears DB into a 2nd Pro Bowl.

vs. Carolina Panthers (2-7) W 23-22

Robbie Gould 41-yard FG as time expires caps 16-point fourth quarter and rally from 19-7 deficit. Offense and defense struggle badly for three quarters but Kellen Davis catches TD pass and Tim Jennings TD return to turn back Cam Newton and reeling Ron Rivera team.

@ Tennessee Titans (4-6) W 51-20

Charles Tillmans bid for defensive player of the year got a boost from four forced fumbles, Brian Urlacher returned an INT for a touchdown and Corey Wootton scored on a blocked punt. Jay Cutler throws three TDs to Brandon Marshall in a game Bears led 28-2 after one quarter.

Houston Texans (8-1) L 13-6

Jay Cutler goes out with concussion and offense improves with Jason Campbell. But too many wasted chances with good field positions with 2 INTs and 2 lost fumbles. Arian Foster rushes for 102 but Bears adjust to control Texans offense in second half. Next: vs. Jacksonville

@ San Francisco 49ers (6-2-1) Mon., Nov. 19, 7:30 p.m.

QB Alex Smith goes down with concussion and Niners struggle to 24-24 tie with Rams after blown plays in OT. Rams lay 24 points and 458 yards, 159 rushing, on NFL elite defense. Next: BEARS

Vikings (6-4) Sun., Nov. 25, noon

Adrian Peterson runs for 171 and a TD in 10-point home win over Lions. Christian Ponder recovers with 24-for-32 passing for 221 yards, 2 TDs, zero INTs. Next: vs. Green Bay

Seattle Seahawks (6-4) Sun., Dec. 2, noon

Blowout of NY Jets with defense giving up 7 points and 185 yards while Marshawn Lynch rushes for 124 and Russell Wilson shakes off 4 sacks to go 12-for-19 with 2 TDs and no INTs. Next: Off

@ Minnesota Vikings (6-4) Sun., Dec. 9, noon

Green Bay Packers (6-3) Sun., Dec. 16, noon

Off week to get players healthy for chance to finish off Lions for 12. Next: @ Detroit

@ Arizona Cardinals (4-5) Sun., Dec. 23, 3:15 p.m.

A much needed week off for team thats lost five straight. That streak should start right back up. Next: @ Atlanta

@ Detroit Lions (4-5) Sun., Dec. 30, noon

Big setback in loss to Vikings even with Calvin Johnson catching 12 for 207 yards and a TD. Next: vs. Green Bay

Jason Heyward predicts he will be the MVP of 2018 Cubs

Jason Heyward predicts he will be the MVP of 2018 Cubs

“Who will be the Cubs’ 2018 team MVP?”

Jason Heyward: “Me!”

No hesitation, no pause. Just an honest answer from a confident 28-year old with a $184 million contract.

Nobody wants to succeed more at the plate than the Cubs’ two-time Gold Glove award winner, but the offense has been downright ugly (.243, 18 HR, 108 RBI in 268 games).

Despite not performing up to a megadeal, Heyward has no problem talking about his contract:

“It is what it is, I earned it," Heyward said. "I earned that part of it. For me, it’s awesome. To be where I want to be, that’s the most important thing.”

After spending time talking at Cubs Convention speaking with Heyward, his manager and six of his other teammates, it’s no surprise that it was Heyward who delivered the now-famous Game 7 “Rain Delay Speech.”

His teammates adore him.

Question to Ben Zobrist: “Who’s your favorite teammate of all-time at any level?”

After a 10-second pause: “Jason Heyward.”

That definitely says something coming from a 36-year-old, three-time All-Star and World Series MVP.

For the true blue Cubs fans that can’t stand Heyward and his untradeable contract, sorry, his teammates and manager have nothing but good things to say. 

By all accounts, Heyward is a quality human being despite his shortcomings in the batter’s box the last two seasons.

And his goals for an offensive renaissance in 2018 are simple and basic:

“Just being in the lineup every game.”

His teammates will be behind him 100 percent, even if the fans are not.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Are Blackhawks a playoff team even with Corey Crawford?

corey_crawford.jpg
USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Are Blackhawks a playoff team even with Corey Crawford?

Seth Gruen and US99’s Stylz & Roman join Luke Stuckmeyer on the panel.  Joel Quenneville says he expects and hopes Corey Crawford can return this season?  Will he come back?  And are they a playoff team even if Crawford returns?

Plus the Bulls extend Zach LaVine’s minutes, a preview of Sunday’s championship game and will Jake Arrieta eventually end up back with the Cubs?