Replacement officials ready for Sunday


Replacement officials ready for Sunday

The NFL and the NFL Referees Association have been in a contract dispute since June 3, and it now has referees locked out just two days before the season kicks off in Canton, Ohio.
It was assumed that a resolution would come about before any games were played, pre-season or regular season, but a source told's Adam Schefter that replacement officials are preparing to officiate the Hall of Fame game between the Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints to kick off the 2012 NFL season.
Names of the officials are being withheld, and it's widely assumed the contract dispute will end before the regular season begins, but early returns are that the replacement officials have struggled calling the NFL game.
The Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs wrote a story on the replacements yesterday, and center Roberto Garza said he thought players will be able to get away with more with the officials.
These guys do that for a living so they know what they are doing, Garza told Biggs. I dont know that they can affect the game that much. Its up to us to go out and play anyway. Obviously, you want the guys that have been around the game to go out there and officiate our game.
A veteran scout told Biggs that replacements were calling "only what is obvious."

NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots


NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

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.    

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots


Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

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.