The focus of the weekend is obviously what will transpire early Sunday evening but for one current Bear player and one former coach, the highlight could well come starting at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Thats when the annual Walter Payton Man of the Year is announced, with the choice from among cornerback Charles Tillman, Baltimore center Matt Birk and San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers. The award will be made in conjunction with the announcement of this years selections to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
It is special, because I have yet to accomplish half the things this man Payton did, Tillman said. Being in Chicago, practicing at the Payton Center where all his pictures and stats are, I have first-hand knowledge of that.
Im in the same sentence with Payton, Ive won. Thats good.
The Bears hope that the Hall of Fame call comes for Dick Stanfel, their longtime offensive line coach and the chief architect of the 1980s line that included tackles Jimbo Covert and Keith Van Horne, guards Tom Thayer and Mark Bortz, and center Jay Hilgenberg.
Stanfel was named to the NFLs All-Decade team for the 1950s with Stanfel at guard for a Detroit Lions team that won the NFL title in 1952 and 1953. The Lions voted Stanfel their MVP for the 1953 season.
The great Ricky Bobby once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Talladega Nights hit a little too close to home for the Bears in Week 7.
They came into Sunday at 3-2 at the top of the NFC North. After a 38-31 loss to the New England Patriots, they dropped to the bottom of the division.
The Detroit Lions defeated the Miami Dolphins 32-21 to improve to 3-3, leaving them tied with the Bears in the cellar.
The Minnesota Vikings’ 37-17 victory over the New York Jets jumped them to 4-2-1 overall and first place in the division over the 3-2-1 Green Bay Packers, who were off for their bye week.
The NFC North remains the most tightly contested division in the NFL, the only one with no teams under .500 through seven weeks of the season.
The final standings may not be decided until Week 17, and the Bears have already blown the early season cushion they built for themselves while the Vikings and Packers were struggling.
The divisional action will pick up in November, and Chicago only has a pair of games left to put it all together before back-to-back-to-back games against the Lions, Vikings and Lions again.
Matt Forte, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown join Laurence Holmes to break down the Bears 38-31 loss to the Patriots. What happened to the Bears defense over their bye week, and how did the special teams struggle so bad against New England? Plus – the guys debate Mitchell Trubisky’s decision making in the red zone and Matt weighs in on how the Bears should play his former team – the New York Jets – next week.
0:35– Special teams to blame for loss?
4:12– Where did the Bears pass rush go?
5:27– Bad tackling followed Bears from Miami
7:25– Are the coaches to blame for the defense after the bye?
10:10– Evaluating Mitchell Trubisky’s game
11:55– Agree with Matt Nagy on Mitch’s “mental” game?
13:30– Trubisky’s red zone decision making
17:10– Are the Bears giving away games so Mitch can learn?
18:00– Bears need to run the ball more
21:04– Matt Forte scouts his former team, the New York Jets
Listen to the full podcast here or in the embedded player below.