Bears

CSN to air Thanksgiving Day marathon of Chicago sports programming

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CSN to air Thanksgiving Day marathon of Chicago sports programming

Comcast SportsNet will provide its viewers with a marathon of special Thanksgiving Day programming beginning Thursday 7:30 a.m. CT. 

Among the highlights from CSN's Thanksgiving Day programming line-up includes four, thrilling “Classic” games from this past Cubs and White Sox season, along with in-depth surrounding live programming for the Bears’ huge nationally-televised battle against the rival Packers and much more.

Check out the lineup below:

7:30 a.m. — White Sox/Cubs Classic: Cubs at White Sox (from August 16) — White Sox ace Chris Sale throws a dominant performance against the Cubs in a stellar 15-strikeout gem that featured home runs from sluggers Jose Abreu and Melky Cabrera.

10:30 a.m. — Cubs Classic: Cubs vs. Rockies (from July 27) — Down 9-8 heading into the bottom of the ninth, the heroics of NL “Rookie of the Year” Kris Bryant took center stage with a two-run, walk-off home run lifting the Cubs to yet another key victory.

2 p.m. — Cubs Classic: Cubs at Reds (from July 21) — Cubs rookie Kyle Schwarber proved the hype was worth the wait as he went 4-7 with two HR’s, which included a two-run game-tying shot in the 9th inning, along with an extra-inning, game-winning solo shot in the 13th inning, lifting the Cubs to a 5-4 win.

6:30 p.m. — Bears Pregame Live presented by Meijer (L) — Prior to the Bears' big game against the Packers, CSN's Chris Boden, Lance Briggs, Jim Miller, Dan Jiggetts, Kip Lewis and Insider John "Moon" Mullin will have the latest game day news, player updates, a detailed X's and O's game preview breakdown and analysis, along with numerous on-field pregame reports live from Lambeau Field.

7:30 p.m. — White Sox Classic: White Sox vs. Toronto (from July 6) — In a standout pitching duel featuring two of the greatest White Sox pitchers against one another (Chris Sale vs. Mark Buehrle — both of whom pitched complete games in this one), it was the current White Sox ace Sale that earned the win thanks to clutch RBIs from Jose Abreu and Melky Cabrera.

10 p.m. — GMC SportsNet Central (L) — The latest news, interviews and highlights from the day in sports.

10:30 p.m. (time approx.) — Bears Postgame Live presented by NISSAN (L) —  Immediately following the Bears-Packers game, the Bears Postgame Live crew will have instant reaction and analysis from Boden, Briggs, Miller and Jiggets while Lewis and Mullin will provide immediate postgame interviews with Bears players inside and outside the locker room.

12 a.m. — SportsNet Central presented by CLR (L) — The latest news, interviews and highlights from the day in sports.

**Reminder to head over to CSNChicago.com following Bears-Packers for additional postgame coverage from Bears Insider John "Moon" Mullin, including his Week 12 grades.

Is Bears “D” in “football shape?” Lacking ability to finish? Fourth-quarter fades raise questions

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USA Today

Is Bears “D” in “football shape?” Lacking ability to finish? Fourth-quarter fades raise questions

During the critical fourth-quarter Oakland Raiders drive for a game-winning touchdown, one former Pro Bowl’er and NFL observer remarked to this writer that he was surprised to see a lot of hands on hips and mouth-breathing by members of the Bears defense – two common signs of being gassed.

Critiquing conditioning – or lack of – is problematic the way judging pain tolerance is. And if the Raiders score were an isolated incident, the question likely doesn’t come up.

But something is amiss. While the Bears defense remains among the NFL’s best, at least statistically, a shadow of concern is falling over the defense and its ability to close out games that it has within its reach.

The Bears held fourth-quarter leads over Denver and Oakland and allowed go-ahead touchdowns. They were rescued by Eddy Piñeiro’s 53-yard field goal in the final second. No such rescue in London.

Fully half of the eight touchdowns scored by Bears opponents in 2019 have come in fourth quarters. (The Bears themselves have not scored a single TD in any fourth quarter this season, but that’s a separate discussion.) By contrast, last season the defense did not allow a fourth-quarter touchdown in any of the final five regular-season games.

The temptation is to look only at the numbers, which are in fact positive. Even with the 24 points the Raiders scored against them in London, the Bears ranked second only to New England in scoring stinginess (13.8 ppg.) and fifth in yardage allowed (312 ypg.).

But the Bears have 17 sacks as a team; only three of those have come in fourth quarters.

Opposing quarterbacks have passed at an 81.3 rating in first halves; they are throwing at a 91.4 clip in second halves.

The defense has allowed 16 first downs in first quarters; 21 in seconds; 20 in thirds.

In 2019 fourth quarters, 34 first downs allowed.

Pulling the camera back for a wider view, extending back to include the disturbing 2018 playoff loss:

Vs. Philadelphia
Eagles drive 60 yards in 12 plays and nearly 4 minutes to score game-winning TD with :56 remaining. Cody Parkey’s double-doink overshadows fact that Bears defense forces Eagles into only two third downs and allows winning score on a fourth down.

Vs. Green Bay
With the Chicago offense sputtering all game and in need of a short field, Packers go on a 10-play, 73-yard drive that consumed 6:33 to set up a field goal to go up 10-3 deep in the fourth quarter.

At Denver
Inept Broncos offense scores 11 points in the fourth quarter to overcome a 13-3 Bears lead, driving 62 yards in 12 plays, converting two fourth downs and a two-point conversion. Denver’s second-half drives: 41 yards, 56 yards, 84 yards, 62 yards.

Vs. Washington
Bears build 28-0 lead before one of NFL’s worst offenses scores a pair of largely meaningless second-half TD’s.

Vs. Minnesota Vikings
Drive 92 yards in 13 plays for TD before Bears stiffen to stop two-point PAT and next Minnesota possession.

Vs. Oakland (London)
Raiders win game with 92-yard drive that includes fourth-down conversion on punt fake run despite Bears leaving No. 1 defensive unit in, anticipating fake.

Guess which highly-paid NFL kicker is only making 58% of his field goals?

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USA Today

Guess which highly-paid NFL kicker is only making 58% of his field goals?

Remember that time when the Bears tried out like 47 kickers and put them through a wide variety of arbitrary tests all while fan favorite Robby Gould was using the team's desperation as leverage to become the NFL's highest-paid kicker? Classic! 

It's been like three months since those totally-sane summer days, and reader, things have not gone so hot for Gould: 

Meanwhile, Eddy P is not only 8/9 on the season, but is already well on his way to becomming a fan favorite. We're already calling him Eddy P! After 5 games! 

That said, we won't truly know if the Bears made the right decision until Piñeiro beats out several Hall of Famers -- including someone credited for literally starting the NFL -- on the path to winning an offseason bracket-style fan vote.