Chicago Sports Inside and Out – The Chicago Sports Maven

Bringing Chicago sports to the world!

Posts Tagged ‘Tom Brady’

Super Bowl? Miami Here We Come!

Posted by sportsmaven on January 22, 2007

Don’t let anyone tell you that the Chicago Bears didn’t earn this victory today against the New Orleans Saints. I have never experienced the energy, passion, the intensity contained in Soldier Field today. I have never heard it so loud. The snow fell all game…it was perfect. I refer to my January 18th post as the keys to today’s game with outcomes:

For the Bears:

  1. Third down conversions as a key stat this week. The Bears are at 31% in stopping 3rd down coversions, which is #2 in the NFL in that category. The Bears held the Saints to 38% in 3rd down conversions.
  2. Secondly, do not let Drew Brees get comfortable in the pocket. Change the looks he’s getting, use the blitz early, take him out of his rhythm. If Brees is allowed to get comfortable early, his accurate passing will pick the Bears secondary apart, especially with little to no push to the quarterback from the Bears front four. Brees was sacked 3 times today including once on the 3rd play of the game. He was knocked down about 100 times, and committed a key intentional grounding penalty in the end zone to swing the momentum back to the Bears.
  3. Finally, win the turnover battle and get very physical. The Washington Redskins did this in the regular season and held Brees to his lowest QB rating of the season (59.9). Saints committed 4 turnovers (3 by Brees) Bears had no turnovers. Bears were clearly the more physical team today.

For the Saints:

  1. The Bears actually match up with the Saints fairly well, so the keys for the Saints are to establish the run early to loosen up the passing game. Deuce Mc Allister and Reggie Bush combined for 10 carries for 37 yards as the Saints abandoned the run early and threw 49 passes.
  2. Secondly, the Saints need their rush ends, Will Smith and Charles Grant to get a push on Rex Grossman to protect their weak secondary. The Saints are prone to the big play and when they give it up, they give it up BIG. (ask Fred Thomas about that) Put the heat on Rex and the Bears offense slams to a grinding halt. Rex Grossman hardly felt any heat and wasn’t sacked today. Fred Thomas was burned for a 33 yd. touchdown reception by Bernard Berrian.
  3. Finally, win the time of possession battle. Keep the #1 rated offense in the NFC on the field as much as possible. The Saints lost the time of possession battle, 35:15 to 24:45.

In the AFC, the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning finally got over the hump called the New England Patriots 38-34 to meet the Bears in Super Bowl XLI on Feb. 4th in Miami, FL. Tom Brady had a last gasp opportunity and threw and interception that essentially ended the game. The early line for Super Bowl XLI is Colts giving 7. The NFL Today crew on ESPN and the ESPN analysts are already picking the Colts to win. I suppose the Bears will be playing that underdog card again. No need for me to tell you who I like. Here we go again….

Posted in Chicago Bears | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Chicago Bears Have No Chance, So Say The Experts

Posted by sportsmaven on January 19, 2007

So the experts say that the Chicago Bears have little to no chance to beat the New Orleans Saints this Sunday in the NFC Championship Game.  I was watching Inside the NFL on HBO this evening and the panel was making their picks for the Bears/Saints game this Sunday.  Bob Costas was the only one to pick the Bears and he only picked them because he is 2 picks behind Cris Carter for the season and Carter chose the Saints.  Dan Marino chose the Saints. Cris Collinsworth chose the Saints.  Costas wanted the Saints but very reluctantly chose the Bears.

ESPN was worse…..every single analyst, with the exception of Merrill Hoge chose the Saints.  Hoge didn’t even make his picks.  Five of seven analysts at CNN-SI pick the Saints.  The list goes on.  You name it, they are picking the Saints.  This is why I like the Bears.  The Bears feel as though they have been disrespected this entire season.  From Roy Williams “guaranteed victory” prediction to Dennis Green’s “Crown their asses” speech, the disrespect has flowed freely and openly.  When they were the only undefeated team left in the NFL, there was still talk about the Bears still not being the #1 team ranked in the NFL.  All this perceived disrespect has done is grow a pretty wide mean streak in the players and bringing this team even closer together.  How does that translate for Sunday?

The Bears will show up mean.  The Bears will play angry and physical.  If you’ve watched any interviews this week with Bears players, especially Rex Grossman’s Comcast Sports Net interview, you will note a testy, irratible tone in their responses.  This is nothing but good for the Bears.  NFL playoff football is all about emotion.  Emotion is what allows teams to step up to that next level and emotion is what makes playoff football so tremendous.  Emotion and heart, as much as talent and skill is what drives teams to victory in the playoffs, just ask Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

So keep picking the Saints, keep disrespecting the Bears, for the team which brings it on with the most emotion, heart, and passion will be holding the George Halas Trophy on Sunday evening.

Posted in Chicago Bears | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »