Bears

15 on 6: Keeping the eye on the prize

15 on 6: Keeping the eye on the prize

Saturday, Jan. 1, 2011
11:30 PM

By Jim Miller
CSNChicago.com

Ouch!

It is midnight and I just got home after coveringwatching a slaughter for Michigan State radio as Alabama crushed my beloved Michigan State Spartans 49-7. A ton of NFL scouts were present including representation by the Chicago Bears. It's just a hunch, but the Bears could not go wrong with selecting any player from the University of Alabama. I don't think my eyes or the score were deceiving of just how much football talent is present at Alabama. What's crazy is all their first round talent are underclassmen. That team has ludicrous talent. I am not going out on a limb declaring them National Champs already for next year. Book it!

Eye on the prize

Things have changed rather quickly concerning today's game against the division rival Green Bay Packers. It all started last Tuesday with the Philadelphia Eagles losing to the Minnesota Vikings. It really was an improbable victory by the Vikings as their season is over. Give former Chicago Bear and interim head coach,Leslie Frazier, a ton of credit. His head coaching fortunes come down to a rookie WR playing QB, Joe Webb. If Leslie prepares the young signal caller for another week, Leslie will have earned himself a head coaching job. The Vikings victory secured the Bears the number two seed in the NFC along with the coveted bye week. It has also altered the coarse for Lovie Smith on the importance of the most storied rivalry in all of football. Does Lovie play his starters?

Lovie will give the first stringers minimal time in today's game as it is now meaningless. He will have them prepare as they will play the whole game and the players must respond with great effort. If it's not displayed, their reward will be to play a little longer. I would suggest they give great effort because after all, it is the Packers who they could see down the road in the playoffs. The one caveat is Jay Cutler. Dom Capers, Green Bay's talented defensive coordinator, will be instructed to bring every blitz possible. They are playing to just stay alive and the sooner Cutler is out of the game, the better. It's a tough call for Lovie whether to play Jay at all. I would start Jay to keep him in the fine groove he's in, but he would be a quick hook. If Jay gets injured, the Bears Super Bowl hopes are lost. The Bears Division Title is already won. Play it smart and keep your eye on the prize. That's how to win an NFL Championship.

Jim Miller, an 11-year former NFL quarterback, is a Comcast SportsNet Bears analyst who can be seen each week on U.S. Cellular Bears Postgame Live. Miller, who spent five seasons with the Bears, analyzes current Chicago QB Jay Cutler in his "15 on 6" blog on CSNChicago.com and can be followed on Twitter @15miller.

Trey Burton, Adrian Amos earn Bears’ top grades from Pro Football Focus for Week 7

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USA TODAY

Trey Burton, Adrian Amos earn Bears’ top grades from Pro Football Focus for Week 7

The Bears were not at their best against the New England Patriots on Sunday. They made plenty of mistakes on all three phases and gave Tom Brady too many opportunities to control the game.

It wasn’t all bad from Chicago, though. Trey Burton emerged as a new favorite weapon of Mitchell Trubisky, and the tight end was the Bears’ highest-graded player in the game by Pro Football Focus.

Burton had a career high 11 targets, nine catches and 126 yards with a touchdown, giving Trubisky a 144.7 passer rating when targeting his top tight end.

Seven of Burton’s targets and six of his catches traveled 10 or more yards in the air, according to PFF.

Defensively, safety Adrian Amos led the pack with a 74.6 overall grade. He did not miss a tackle after missing a career-high five last week, and he allowed only one catch for eight yards against the Patriots.

On the bottom of the scale, outside linebacker Leonard Floyd received the second-lowest grade of his career (38.9 overall) for his performance. He did not record any pressure on the quarterback in 13 pass rushing snaps, and he allowed two catches for 13 yards and a touchdown in coverage against running back James White.

Wide receiver Allen Robinson had a career-low grade as well at 44.9 overall. He was clearly limited by his groin injury, targeted five times with one catch for four yards and a dropped pass.

Overall, the Bears were able to stick with one of the top teams in the AFC while also leaving a lot of room for improvement. It’s a step in the right direction from where Chicago was in recent seasons.

NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Jags, Eagles, Bears all see stock fall

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USA Today

NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Jags, Eagles, Bears all see stock fall

Take a look over the NFC landscape and try to find me a team that can compete with the Rams. 

Packers? Held back by Rodgers' knee and Rodgers' coach. Saints? Might not even win their own division. Washington? Does Alex Smith really scare anyone in the playoffs? 

The Rams have one of the easier paths to the Championship Round/Super Bowl that we've seen in some time. Will it likely stay that way? Probably not. But there's a difference between parity and mediocrity and right now the NFC is toeing the line HARD. 

Outside the NFC's "elite", how did your team do this week? 

You can take a look here and see where they landed.