Bears

Tillman: Johnson is the Goliath of receivers

553866.jpg

Tillman: Johnson is the Goliath of receivers

Kip & Moon: Previewing Bears-Lions
Warner: Playing under Martz
Wright: Stopping the Lions' offense
Suh: The physical specimen
Read: Why can't teams contain Johnson?
When Charles Tillman said Monday that he was not entirely surprised by the Detroit Lions doing well, he had good reason.

The Lions led the Bears after three quarters in both 2010 games and that was with quarterback Matthew Stafford playing less than two of the combined eight quarters.

A Julius Peppers sack finished him in the second quarter of game one, but the Lions had a lead with less than two minutes to play, and then nearly won when Calvin Johnson was ruled to have not maintained possession of an apparent touchdown pass. That was all with the Lions rushing for all of 20 yards on 21 carries, Shaun Hill muddling through with 9-for-19 passing, and the Bears rolling up 463 yards.

By the time the Bears saw them again, the Lions were down to Drew Stanton at quarterback. Problem: He had the Lions up 20-14 in the third quarter and put up a passer rating of 102.4 that was second only to Tom Bradys against the Bears defense last season.

The problem now is that the Lions have Stafford intact (Stafford has been sacked five times, but all of those in one game, none in the other three), and Johnson is setting records for TD receptions, not putting them prematurely on the ground. He has two in each of Detroits first four games, an NFL first.

Johnson may even be too good for the Lions or anyone else. Maybe the whole NFL.

Hes in his own ballclub, Tillman said. To be that strong, that fast, his vertical is impressive. Hes in a league of his own.

Johnson has achieved Biblical proportions. Hes the Goliath of receivers, Tillman added.

(Goliath ultimately was a loser but thats for another discussion.)

Difficult read

The Lions, however, are difficult to gauge.

It looks like Detroits a second-half team and were a second-half team so it should be a good game.

The Bears are not particularly a second-half team, yet. They were outscored 10-7 by Green Bay and 14-3 by New Orleans in those losses, and out-pointed Carolina just 10-9 in escaping with that victory.

But are the Lions, for that matter, a second-half team?

They defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 48-3. But the only team the Chiefs have beaten this season has been Minnesota, and that was a team that squandered a 20-0 halftime lead to Detroit, giving the ball to Adrian Peterson exactly five times in the second half.

Detroit rallied from a 27-3 hole against Dallas, a team with a quarterback throwing two interceptions returned for touchdowns and a third to set up the Lions game-winner.

No class

It has nothing to do with the Bears but Brett Favre cant seem to quite let it all go. And hes doing a pretty good job of kicking dirt on his legacy as the patron saint of Green Bay football. Aaron Rodgers already has won as many Super Bowls (one) as Favre but Favre has basically given Rodgers a backhanded compliment: With the talent that Rodgers had around him, what took him so long?

ProFootballTalk.com recounts Favre comments made on an Atlanta radio station, both the exact comments and the scurrying trying to dull the edge on what sound like nothing short of sour grapes from someone who failed to achieve anything of note with two teams (N.Y. Jets, Minnesota Vikings) after the Green Bay Packers chose to put their future in the hands of Rodgers instead of a vacillating Favre (http:profootballtalk.nbcsports.com20111005atlanta-radio-station-bends-ov...).

John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

The amount of money you'll need to get into Bears-Patriots will make your head hurt

The amount of money you'll need to get into Bears-Patriots will make your head hurt

It costs a lot of money to see the GOAT, apparently. 

According to TickPick, a secondary-market ticket site, the get-in price for Sunday's Bears-Patriots matchup is currently sitting at a nice, plump $356. 

That price is, according to this article in the Chicago Sun-Times, more expensive than a ticket to No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 16 North Carolina State ($161) and No. 5 LSU vs. No. 22 Mississippi State (39$??) combined. It's also over 100 percent (116, to be precise) higher than the Bears' following game against the New York Jets. 

This is on top of what is, according to CNBC, already the most expensive gameday experience in the NFL. Soldier's average beer costs $9.50, coming in as the 2nd-most expensive cup of Bud Light Foam, behind only San Fransisco. 

Honestly though, it's not even that cold yet. Who needs heat/electricity when you can have nosebleed seats and *one* beer instead! 

Putting Bill Belichick’s complimentary comments about the Bears in context

10-17_bill_belichick_usat.jpg
USA TODAY

Putting Bill Belichick’s complimentary comments about the Bears in context

Bill Belichick had plenty of good things to say about Matt Nagy and the 2018 Bears during a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. Some of the highlights:

 

On the Bears’ season as a whole:

 

“The Bears have lost two games, one on a game when they were in control of the game and another one they lost in overtime. This really looks like a 5-0 team to me, if you change one or two plays. You can say that about a lot of teams, but that’s the league we’re in.”

 

On Mitch Trubisky:

 

“I think he’s done a good job of getting ball to the players that are open or in space and letting them be playmakers. He has a lot of them. That’s the quarterback’s job is to deliver the ball to the playmakers and let them go. I think he’s done a good job of that. He’s a tough kid, which I respect. That’s what we would ask our quarterbacks to do, to make plays to help our team win, to get the ball to the players that are open and in space. It’s not about stats. It’s about doing what you need to do to win.”

 

On Tarik Cohen’s usage:

 

“He plays about a little bit less than 50 percent of the time and he’s in a lot of different places, he’s hard to find. He’s a dynamic player that can run, catch, really threaten every yard of the field from sideline to sideline, up the middle, deep. You can throw it to him, you can hand it to him and he’s elusive with the ball and he’s elusive to be able to get open so the quarterback can get him the ball. Those are great skills to have. Any one of those is good and he’s got several of them.

 

“He’s very hard to tackle. But they do a great job mixing him, not just putting him in the game but who he’s in the game with, what the combinations are and then where they locate him and so forth. There are a lot of multiples. It’s hard. Coach Nagy does a good job with that and he’s a special player that you gotta know where he is at all times.”

 

On Trubisky’s 54-yard bomb to Taylor Gabriel on Sunday:

 

“That’s about as good a throw and catch as I’ve seen all year. The execution on that was like 99 out of 100. It was a great, great throw, great route, great catch. There was like a few inches to get the ball in there 50 yards downfield and that’s where it was.”

 

On Akiem Hicks’ impact, who played for the Patriots in 2015:

 

“He’s hard to block. It doesn’t make any difference what the play is, you can run to him and he’s hard to block. You can run away from him, and he makes tackles for loss on the back side. He’s quick and can get around those blocks when there’s more space back there because everybody is going to the front side. He can power rush. He can rush the edges with his quickness. He’s a very, very disruptive player. He’s hard to block on everything.

 

“I appreciate all of the plays he makes. He makes plays on all three downs, against all types of plays, whether it’s reading screen passes or power rushing the pocket to help the ends, to help (Leonard) Floyd and Mack and (Aaron) Lynch rush on the edge. He’s a powerful, disruptive guy. (Eddie) Goldman has done a good job of that. (Bilal) Nichols has done a good job of that too. They have some really powerful guys inside that are hard to block, and they change the line of scrimmage in the running game and the passing game. It really creates a problem, frees up the linebackers in the running game and helps the ends because the quarterback can’t step up in the pocket in the passing game.”

 

On Matt Nagy:

 

“Obviously he's done a great job, as has Ryan with building the team. They have a lot of good players. They have a really experienced staff and they do a great job in all three areas of the game. They're good in the kicking game, they're good on defense they're good on offense. They have highly-skilled players in all three areas.

 

“It's a well-balanced football team that does a lot of things well. Run the ball. Stop the run. Throw the ball. Rush the passer. Intercept passes. Return kicks. Cover kicks. Cover punts. They're at the top of the league in all those categories. Turnovers. Points off turnovers. It doesn't really matter what area you want to talk about, they're pretty good at all of them. That's why they're a good football team.

 

“Coach Nagy and his staff certainly deserve a lot of credit. It's not a one-man band. They're all doing a good job. It's a good football team. I'm sure there will be a lot of energy in the stadium this week. It will be a great test for us to go into Chicago and be competitive against them.”

 

While listening to Belichick rave about the Bears, this missive from former Patriots general manager Michael Lombardi stands out:

 

“Whenever Belichick tells the media on Mondays or Tuesdays that he has already moved on to the next game, trust me, he’s not lying. I worked with Bill for five years in Cleveland, and then during the 2014 and 2015 seasons in New England. Belichick treats every game like a Super Bowl; no detail is too small, no possible scenario or situation goes overlooked. I have heard Belichick break down a bumbling Jaguars team as if it was the reigning two-time Super Bowl winner and treat Blake Bortles like he’s the second coming of Aaron Rodgers. Belichick does it with tape to back up his claims, only showing his team the opponent’s greatest strengths. (With Bortles, I swear, he must have used George Lucas to doctor the video.) No Patriots opponent is underestimated or taken lightly — EVER.”

 

One of the myriad things that make Belichick the best coach in the NFL — and maybe the best coach in NFL history — is how he never takes an opponent lightly, and then how he’s so successful at scheming against what an opponent does best.

 

The Bears are undoubtedly better in 2018 than they were in the John Fox era, or when these two teams last met in 2014 (when New England waxed a moribund Marc Trestman side, 51-23). And a lot of Belichick’s points are valid – that throw Trubisky made to Gabriel was outstanding, for example.

 

But Belichick talks this way about every team he faces. And that, again, is part of what makes him the best at what he does.