Bears

CSN and CSNChicago.com to provide extensive, week-long coverage of the 2016 NFL Draft

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CSN and CSNChicago.com to provide extensive, week-long coverage of the 2016 NFL Draft

Dave Wannstedt, Alex Brown, Patrick Mannelly, Hub Arkush, John ‘Moon’ Mullin, and Chris Boden to deliver extensive “SportsNet Central” and CSNChicago.com coverage of the 2016 NFL Draft beginning Sunday night, April 24 at 10:30 PM CT!

Chicago, IL (April 21, 2016) – Comcast SportsNet, the television and digital home for the most in-depth Chicago Bears coverage all year long, is ready to deliver extensive coverage of next week’s 2016 NFL Draft (to be held in Chicago for the second-straight year) highlighted by three SportsNet Central NFL Draft-focused specials, nightly reports on all editions of SportsNet Central, extensive Round 1 coverage next Thursday, plus -- 24/7 NFL Draft coverage on CSNChicago.com. 

“We want to be the place Bears fans turn to all week for the most in-depth local draft coverage in town,” said Kevin Cross, Senior Director of News & Original Content for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.  “Our roster can’t wait to break down the Bears new roster.”

Please note Comcast SportsNet and CSNChicago.com’s 2016 NFL Draft coverage schedule beginning this Sunday, April 24:

SUNDAY, APRIL 24

10:30 PM – GMC SportsNet Central: Draft CentralThis half-hour NFL Draft preview show, hosted by Chris Boden (@CSNBoden), along with former Bears standouts Alex Brown (@alexbrown96) & Patrick Mannelly (@PatrickMannelly), and Bears/NFL expert Hub Arkush (@Hub_Arkush), will provide a detailed recap of the Bears off-season (including all off-season acquisitions), interviews with Bears players/coaches/front office execs, along with the panel’s expert thoughts on which areas the team needs to improve upon and specifically which available players can fill those spots with on-field success.

MONDAY, APRIL 25 – WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27

SportsNet Central (6:30 PM, 10:00 PM, 10:30 PM, 12 midnight) – Chris Boden, Alex Brown, Patrick Mannelly, along with former Bears QB/Bears Postgame Live analyst Jim Miller (@JimMillerRFN), CSNChicago.com Bears “Insider” John ‘Moon’ Mullin (@CSNMoonMullin), and former Bears head coach/SportsNet Central NFL expert Dave Wannstedt will continue to provide nightly reports on the latest NFL Draft news and rumors leading up to Round 1 of the NFL Draft on Thursday.

THURSDAY, APRIL 28 – NFL DRAFT DAY COVERAGE presented by MILLER LITE

5:00 PM (time approx. following “Cubs Postgame Live”)SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado – Host David Kaplan (@thekapman) and a panel of Bears/NFL experts will preview all Bears potential first round (#11 overall) candidates, along with live updates from the Draft (being held at the Auditorium Theatre) and additional reports from Halas Hall.

10:30 PM –SportsNet Central presented by Miller LiteComplete Round 1 NFL Draft recap, hosted by Chris Boden, featuring up-to-the-minute player and team news, interviews, and extensive Round 1 draft analysis from Jim Miller, Alex Brown, Hub Arkush, and John ‘Moon’ Mullin, along with a look ahead at the potential Bears picks on Friday (Rounds 2-3) and Saturday (Rounds 4-7).

FRIDAY, APRIL 29 & SATURDAY, APRIL 30

SportsNet Central (6:30 PM, 10:00 PM, 10:30 PM, 12 midnight) - Complete coverage of Rounds 2-7 over the weekend featuring detailed analysis of every Bears draft pick, along player highlights, interviews, and more.

SUNDAY, MAY 1

10:30 PM – GMC SportsNet Central: Draft Central Chris Boden, along with NFL experts Dave Wannstedt, Jim Miller, and Hub Arkush, will recap and assess the entire draft from both a Bears and overall league perspective.  The show will also feature interviews with Bears management with their reflections on this year’s draft class. 

In addition to the extensive coverage on Comcast SportsNet, viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com for even more comprehensive 24/7 NFL Draft coverage, including the following highlights:

  • For a deeper look at potential NFL draftees, fans need to check out CSNChicago.com’s comprehensive “Road to the Draft” section (http://www.csnchicago.com/video/event/road-draft ), featuring over 150 extensive player draft profiles, including video analysis for players projected to go in the first two rounds provided by NBC Sports and Rotoworld NFL Draft analyst Josh Norris. 
  • In addition, CSNChicago.com’s “Road to the Draft” section will be the home for everything NFL Draft-related throughout the week, including instant reaction and analysis during the draft with updated profiles, an up-close look on how the draft affects the Bears rivals in the NFC North, along with a detailed draft overview of the entire NFL.
  • Bears “Insider” John ‘Moon’ Mullin (@CSNMoonMullin) will file daily reports leading up to and throughout the 2016 NFL Draft from Halas Hall, featuring the latest news and on-camera reports.  Plus, CSNChicago.com will highlight several features during Draft week, including the Top 5 draft picks at each position.  Sights and sounds will also be captured from Draft Town in Grant Park.  Bears digital reporter Scott Krinch (@scottiekrinch) will also be covering the Draft from the Auditorium Theater and will provide a number of “digital exclusives,” including coverage of the “NFL Draft Gold Carpet” event on Thursday night.
  • Fans can chat NFL Draft and potential Bears moves by utilizing the Twitter hashtag #BearsTalk and by visiting the “Bears Pulse” page at CSNChicago.com.  For 24/7 Bears/NFL Draft updates on Twitter, fans are urged to follow @CSNBears.
  • CSNChicago.com will profile numerous mock drafts from a number of CSN anchors and reporters.
  • CSNChicago.com will work closely with NBC Sports and “Pro Football Talk” throughout the week for additional nationally-based NFL Draft content.

Bears-Lions takeaways: A toughening route to the playoffs, a run game defying fixing?

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USA TODAY

Bears-Lions takeaways: A toughening route to the playoffs, a run game defying fixing?

The Bears putdown of the Detroit Lions provided a critically important statement start to the second half of a season that now would stand as a disappointment if the Bears fail to reach the playoffs. Not so much because of the missed-playoffs themselves, but because to misfire now after a pair of three-game win streaks will mean a couple of bad losses.

Or so-called “bad” because of expectations being raised above ground-level. But the Bears face a remaining schedule with some dark corners.

The Bears haven’t beaten a team currently with even a .500 record. No reflection on the Bears; they can only play whoever shows up. But it puts the remaining seven-game race to the postseason under a cloud of justifiable doubt, leaving it to the Bears to prove they belong in the tournament that starts in January.

The schedule has three A-list games: two against Minnesota, which has won four of its last five and comes to Soldier Field on Sunday following an off-week; and one against the Rams, the highest-scoring team in the NFC.

Three games are against bottom-feeders – the Lions again, the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers. The problems here are: 1) all three games are on the road and 2) those teams will beat someone over the final the final seven weeks.

And the seventh of the remaining games is against the Green Bay Packers, who’ve lost all four of their 2018 road games but have a quarterback who hasn’t lost to the Bears in Chicago since 2010.

Tiebreakers are likely out of play for the division, with Green Bay and Minnesota having a shared tie. But winning the division outright seemed a given, as it does now, in 2012 when the Lovie Smith Bears had an elite defense and stood 8-3.

Run game redux

Concern over the Bears inability to run the football may come off as nitpicking or saying nay about an offense leading a team that is on pace to set a franchise scoring record.

But it does matter that of the 10 teams with six or more victories this season, the Bears, Patriots, Saints and Texans are the only ones not in the top 15 in rushing average. Houston and New Orleans, however, rank in the top 11 for rushing yardage, and New England does have Tom Brady in addition to being tied for third with 12 rushing touchdowns.

The overarching point here is if the Bears hope to challenge for a spot among the NFL’s elite, it behooves them to fix this weakness in an offense without many.

The bigger point is whether the Bears can fix it. Put another way, they may not be able to within the parameters of the offense as being designed and operated by Matt Nagy. He has a No. 1 back who needs carries to build a game, yet he is a coach who does not run his offense through a featured back.

Nagy didn’t isolate blame for his team’s running woes on Jordan Howard, the offensive line, coaches or anyone else. Nor should he, because the problem indeed lies with none of them and all of them.

With a Detroit gameday roster with five backs and three tight ends, the result was the lowest rushing total (54 yards) and average (2.5 yards per carry) of this season and came a week after the previous lows (64 yards, 2.6 yards per carry).

But the issue is more than one back (Howard). It’s the group of running backs (leaving the offensive line out of this point purposely), none of which are likely ever going to give Nagy the identity or consistent production that he wants for this element of his offense.

For one thing, no back is likely to see anywhere near the workload that ostensibly is needed to get Howard “lathered up.” Nagy doesn’t lather anybody up, and until a back emerges who can do a microwave impersonation and heat up in a huge hurry, the Bears rushing upside is hazy.

Using the template Nagy most relates to, Kareem Hunt has gotten 20 carries in just seven of 26 career games as a Kansas City Chief, only once in a 2018 season that has the Chiefs at 9-1.

Run-run-run is simply not in the Nagy offensive DNA, nor is it anything close to a dominant philosophy, even among teams who have been its leading practitioners. Nor is there a consistent formula for winning with an integrated run-pass offense.

The NFL’s three top rushers – Todd Gurley, Rams, 9-1; James Conner, Steelers, 6-2-1; Hunt, Chiefs, 9-1 – come from teams that went into this weekend running the football 46.6 percent of their snaps (Rams), 36.3 percent (Steelers) and 40.5 percent (Chiefs).

The Nagy Bears have in fact been at the high-run end at 45.1 percent, while the coach and staff have struggled for a run-game identity. But that includes nearly 30 percent of the rushing yardage coming from Mitchell Trubisky – not exactly the preferred run-game identity.

NFL Week 11 Power Rankings: We're going to put someone else at #1, just for fun

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USA Today

NFL Week 11 Power Rankings: We're going to put someone else at #1, just for fun

FINALLY. 

It's been 10 weeks of LA-based Power Rankings domination. The Rams -- and to a slighly-less amount, the Chargers -- have dominated the top of these here Power Rankings for far too long. 

This week? A new #1 reigns. It's New Orleans' time to shine. 

We didn't forget the Bears, obviously, who sprinted their way straight into the Top 10. 

How'd your team do this week? You can find out right here.