Monday, Sept. 12, 2011Posted: 1:43 p.m.
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How often does a player feel he has to apologize after scoring a touchdown?
Tight end Matt Spaeth tendered an apology to his teammates after his one-yard TD in the third quarter. Not so much for the play as for what he did afterwards.
Spaeth caught the pass and sprinted immediately over to a a group of fans seated in the north end zone, not coincidentally all wearing No. 89 Spaeth Bears jerseys consisting of his mom, aunts and girlfriend. He presented the ball to his aunt but wished hed taken care of team business first.
I felt really bad afterward because I was thinking, I just scored a touchdown and I have these guys to thank, blocking for me, and Jay (Cutler) throwing, and I didnt celebrate with them, Spaeth said. I apologized to them and they understood. It was a unique thing, being able to score a touchdown and have your family there.
Spaeth did get the ball back and turn it over to head equipment manager Tony Medlin, who traditionally takes memorable footballs and paints them with the pertinent details of the game as a memento for players.
John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.
Only three of John Fox’s 12 wins as Bears coach have been against NFC North opponents, while 12 of his 29 losses have come against divisional opponents.
That’s a recipe for back-to-back-to-back last place finishes in the NFC North. And if the Bears can’t beat an Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay Packers team, why could it beat a Detroit Lions team that has a healthy franchise quarterback?
The positive end of that answer is the Bears do have wins over two playoff teams (Pittsburgh and Carolina) while six of their four losses have been by eight points or fewer. Sunday’s game will probably be close, again (if it’s not, and the Bears are on the losing end of it, it would raise some significant concerns about the state of Fox within the locker room).
So if the game is decided by one possession or less, this could be the difference: Detroit has one of the best special teams units in the NFL, ranking second in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, while the Bears are 28th by the same measure.
Getting Sherrick McManis back this week should help solidify Jeff Rodgers’ special teams units, but Jamal Agnew has two punt return scores and is averaging 18.3 yards per return.
“Tough guy — he’ll return inside and outside,” Rodgers said. “He’s got multiple longer returns against people this year. it’s not just, ‘I had a long return in Week 2 or Week 1,’ and kinda held onto that. he’s been productive in a lot of games. certainly a guy that we’ve gotta do a good job against.”
If the Bears don’t do a good job bottling up Agnew, though, he could be the reason why the game flips to Detroit — or, at least, why the Lions keep the Bears at arm’s length.
Prediction: Lions 24, Bears 16
Seth Gruen (Bleacher Report/”Big Ten Unfiltered” podcast), Chris Emma (670TheScore.com) and Matt Zahn (CBS 2) join Kap on the panel. If the Bears lose badly to the Lions, should Sunday be John Fox’s last game?
Plus Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill joins the panel to talk Bulls as well as the Niko/Portis cold war.
Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here: