Bears

Final CSN Top 20 IHSA football rankings

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Final CSN Top 20 IHSA football rankings

1 Glenbard West (14-0)
Last Week (Ranked 2): Defeated Lincoln-Way East 10-8
PrepsTalk: West was simply devastating on defense. They recorded five sacks and recovered a fumble. DB Hayden Carlson recorded 14 tackles, including a jarring hit on QB Tom Fuessell late in the game.

2 Mount Carmel (13-1)
Last Week (Ranked 3): Defeated Glenbard North 28-14
PrepsTalk: Don Butkus scored three touchdowns (two rushing, one passing) and Draco Smith added a 78-yard run to paydirt to give the Caravan their first state championship since 2002.

3 Lincoln-Way East (13-1)
Last Week (Ranked 1): Lost to Glenbard West 10-8
PrepsTalk: It was a rough end to a fine season for the Griffins. Quarterback Tom Fuessel (21 carries, 17 yards rushing; 3-14, 51 yards passing) couldnt get anything going against the stout GBW defense.

4 Crete-Monee (14-0)
Last Week (Ranked 4): Defeated Cary-Grove 33-26
PrepsTalk: Laquon Treadwell did a little bit of everything to clinch C-Ms first state title. He scored two touchdowns, made 12 tackles and secured a key interception in the third quarter.

5 Glenbard North (12-2)
Last Week (Ranked 5): Lost to Mount Carmel 28-14
PrepsTalk: Justin Jacksons 76-yard interceptionTD for the games opening score was clutch, but it was all Caravan from there. Jackson was held to 63 yards rushing. Brian Murphy had a touchdown pass.

6 Cary-Grove (13-1)
Last Week (Ranked 6): Lost to Crete-Monee 33-26
PrepsTalk: Quinn Baker had two scores (one passing, one receiving) and Kyle Norberg had another touchdown with 117 yards rushing, but it was too much Laquon Treadwell for the Trojans to match.

7 Loyola (11-2)
Last Week (Ranked 7): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: The Chicago Catholic Blue conference recorded a final overall record of 45-18. Every team in conference finished with a record of .500 or better.

8 Neuqua Valley (12-1)
Last Week (Ranked 8): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: It will be tough to match senior running back Joey Rhattigans numbers next year, but running back TJ Scruggs and quarterback Davide Tomei may get their chance in 2013.

9 Maine South (11-1)
Last Week (Ranked 9): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: The Hawks will take a 60-game conference winning streak into play next season. The last time they lost a conference game was in October 2000 against New Trier.

10 Montini (12-2)
Last Week (Ranked 10): Defeated Morris 19-6
PrepsTalk: Dmitri Taylor scored on a 74-yard run and on a 48-yard reception, part of 227 total yards on the day, as the Broncos won their fourth consecutive 5A state championship.

11 Morris (12-2)
Last Week (Ranked 11): Lost to Montini 19-6
PrepsTalk: Quarterback Zach Cinnamon scored a late touchdown, but the Redskins could not establish any offense for the bulk of the game. Running back Reese Sobol tallied 81 yards.

12 Waubonsie Valley (10-2)
Last Week (Ranked 12): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: Austin Guido was virtually unstoppable this year at running back. DeMario Webb and Jon Fizer are two players who could receive some looks in the backfield next season.

13 Lemont (11-2)
Last Week (Ranked 13): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: Its going to be really tough to replace two of the top linemen in the area 6-foot-7, 290-pound Ethan Pocic (headed to LSU) and 6-2, 270-pound Tim McAullife (Bowling Green).

14 Benet (11-2)
Last Week (Ranked 14): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: After contributing as an offensive lineman this season, 6-9 junior Sean OMara will head to the basketball court. He is regarded as one of the top centers in the area.

15 Wheaton North (10-2)
Last Week (Ranked 15): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: Junior quarterbackreceiver Clayton Thorson broke his collarbone in a playoff game this season, but look for him to make big contributions in 2013.

16 Lake Zurich (10-3)
Last Week (Ranked 16): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: It was a successful opening campaign for new head coach David Proffitt. The Bears have eclipsed the 10-win mark in five of the last seven seasons.

17 Palatine (10-2)
Last Week (Ranked 17): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: Senior quarterback Ethan Olles guided the Pirates to a strong showing in the playoffs this year. But keep an eye on 2016 graduate James Pittman. Is he Palatines QB of the future?

18 Marian Central Catholic (11-1)
Last Week (Ranked 18): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: First goal of the offseason? Find a way to consistently beat Montini in the regular season and during the playoffs (if need be). Second and third goals: see first goal.

19 Aurora Christian (13-1)
Last Week (Ranked 19): Defeated Tolono Unity 42-12.
PrepsTalk: Don Beebe and company win their second consecutive state championship. Joel Bouagnon scored two rushing touchdowns (60, 10). Brandon Mayes had a 75-yard INT-TD.

20 Simeon (11-2)
Last Week (Ranked 20): Defeated Brother Rice 14-12
PrepsTalk: Huge win for the Wolverines (first Prep Bowl trophy in seven attempts) and for the Public League in general (broke the Catholic Leagues six-game winning streak in the annual game).

Looming and Lurking: Lake Forest, Joliet Catholic, Evergreen Park, Oak Forest, Lyons, Notre Dame, Brooks, Downers Grove North, Crystal Lake Central, Lincoln-Way West, Kaneland, Bolingbrook, Providence, Lakes, Richards, Coal City, Wilmington, Brother Rice.

Be sure to follow @PrepsTalkCSN and @JoeCSN for prep football coverage.

View from the Moon: Bears 'siestas' continue, leaving progress difficult to find, but it’s there ... somewhat

View from the Moon: Bears 'siestas' continue, leaving progress difficult to find, but it’s there ... somewhat

Consider this a connect-the-dots exercise, with the end game being to figure out what the overall picture is. Because the Bears’ 27-24 loss to the Detroit Lions was many things, a couple actually very good, but too many of them kinda-to-very bad...

The overarching point of the 2017 season, per senior Bears management, is progress. Not just on the part of rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who had a fourth solid performance in six NFL starts; but on the Bears as a whole. A week after showing anything but, the Bears showed something that could masquerade as progress.

How real is it? The Bears in the past eight days have given few reasons to trust it.

Because while coming close against a respectable Lions (6-4) team counts for something, the Bears are still 3-7 at the end of the day and 3-13 under John Fox against the NFC North – a division winning percentage of .188, which would be lower than that of the Marc Trestman Bears (.250), who managed to win their three NFC North games in two seasons vs. Fox’s three.

As concerning perhaps, the loss left the Bears 3-9 under Fox in games decided by three or fewer points, the hallmark of what simplistically can be ID’d as “losing” teams.

“We’ve had a lot of close games, and it’s just finding a way to close those out,” Trubisky said. “We’re going to work towards that, and figure it out for sure.”

What makes “progress” difficult to see, though, is that the Bears do not play like a team either coached to be or with the proven ability to play at a professional level all the time. Teams with that problem typically make coaching changes at the ends of seasons, since the conclusion usually is that the talent can be there, just that the coach in hand, fair or not, can’t get it out of the roster.

“We’ve shown spurts and moments, like we have for some time now,” Fox summarized. “But we have lulls. We have siestas. We just don’t do it for 60 minutes. ... People have ups and downs. Well, we’re in a stage as a football team where we have those moments in games. We have to do a better job of coaching it and we have to do a better job of executing it in games.”

The Green Bay Packers were one kind of measuring standard last week, and the 3-7 Bears were embarrassed against a foundering team that had been soundly beaten by the Lions the week before the Bears faced them, and buried 23-0 at home Sunday by the Baltimore Ravens.

The Lions were a different kind of quiz, a real offense putting up more than 27 points per game. The Bears allowed the Lions their requisite 27 points (seven of those coming on a touchdown return of a Trubisky fumble), but put up nearly 400 yards and 24 points of their own in a game that ended on a Connor Barth missed field goal from 46 yards, Barth’s fifth miss in 11 attempts from beyond 40 yards.

(Barth’s miss may have been particularly bitter for Fox, after watching Detroit’s Matt Prater win the game from 52 yards – the same Matt Prater who kicked for Fox in Denver in 2011 when Fox’s Broncos beat the Bears in the Marion Barber Game with Prater field goals from 59 yards to tie with 3 seconds left, and from 51 yards to win in OT.)

“All these games in the NFL – they’re hard games – but when you have a game like this that you should win, you just have to win those games,” said wide receiver Kendall Wright. “I think with us, when we win one of those close games, it will help us get over the edge and we’ll start stacking them up on top of each other.”

Then again...

The Bears seemed to lose their compass in the third quarter, with one rushing yard on four attempts. But they finished with 222 yards and the way they amassed them mattered: 125 and a touchdown for Jordan Howard; 53 for Trubisky, a number of them on designed runs; and 44 plus a TD for Tarik Cohen – all combining to average 7.4 yards per carry.

Bigger picture, the Bears were in the position of having at least a chance to tie because Trubisky managed to drive the Bears 55 yards in the final 1:32 from the Chicago 17 to the Detroit 28. This would constitute something shiny lying there in the mud, and make no mistake: This is a big deal.

To put Trubisky in some kind of context: Rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman, the fifth-round pick of the Buffalo Bills, replaced Tyrod Taylor in the Bills starting lineup Sunday, against a Los Angeles Chargers defense allowing opponents to complete more than 64 percent of their passes. Peterman completed 11 of 14 in the first half, about 79 percent. But – five of the Peterman “completions” were to Chargers.

DeShone Kizer has been in and out and back in the starting lineup for the Cleveland Browns, suffering through a rookie season with one of the worst teams arguably in NFL history. But – Kizer, with 12 interceptions vs. four TD passes, is one of the reasons the Browns are in various “worst ever” discussions.

Trubisky threw 30 passes without an interception on Sunday, and 65 without a pick over his past two games. He’s thrown 145 NFL passes with just two interceptions, an INT rate of 1.4 percent that ranks ahead of Aaron Rodgers, Carson Wentz, Deshaun Watson, Matt Ryan and a list of others. Critics of his development can have their points, but the kid has learned ball security at an early NFL age even while averaging 32.4 pass plays per game.

The next step is getting his team over the top, because he is still completing just 53.1 percent of his passes and was missed badly on a number of throws on Sunday. His deft TD pass to tight end Adam Shaheen in the first half was NFL-perfect (where his guy or nobody catches it), but his throw low and behind running back Benny Cunningham at the goal line in the first quarter forced the Bears to settle for a field goal in a game decided ultimately by three points.

Trubisky clearly gets the big picture, too, pointing the thumb and not any fingers. He paused before answering a question about his rookie learning curve:

“I think adversity is a great teacher,” he said. “Overcoming the struggle is a great teacher. There’s no rookie excuse. You don’t get a freebie because you’re a rookie.

“My teammates trust me and they have confidence in me, so I’m preparing as I should. Coaches have me prepared and my teammates have my back. New situations are going to arise every time, but there are no excuses. I’m just looking at these opportunities as chances to overcome, and not dwell on it.”

Under Center Podcast: Alex Brown goes off on Connor Barth

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USA TODAY

Under Center Podcast: Alex Brown goes off on Connor Barth

On the latest Under Center Podcast, Laurence Holmes, Alex Brown and Jim Miller break down the Bears loss to the Lions on Sunday following Conner Barth’s missed field goal in the last seconds of the game and debate whether or not Tarik Cohen should be a part of the Bears two-minute offensive packages.

Plus, if the Bears hope to keep Vic Fangio past 2017, does he need to finish out the season as the Bears interim head coach?

Listen to the full Under Center Podcast right here: