Glennon, turnovers, make it hard on Bears

When the Bears signed free agent quarterback Mike Glennon, I was one of the six people in Chicago who were actually happy. I had the former Buccaneers QB as tops on my list after the Bears cut Jay Cutler. One of the main reasons, was he protected the football. Or so we thought. After a shaky preseason, Glennon looked to settle down. Or did he?

Mike Glennon had a decent game vs the Atlanta Falcons. He showed poise, and promise. Most importantly, he had zero turnovers. Sunday, down in his former NFL city, he regressed bigtime. Glennon threw two interceptions and had a sack fumble. Running back Tarik Cohen did him no favors, fumbling a punt return; handing the Bucs the ball inside the 10 yard line. In fairness, the Bears were short at wide receiver, and lost 2 starters on the offensive line. Problem is, he started turning the ball over early and often.

I was calling for Mitchell Trubisky at halftime. It is a knee-jerk reaction, but the Bears were down 26-0. Somewhere in the 3rd quarter the receiving corps quit on the team, dropping perfectly placed balls. Maybe Glennon was taking a little off his fastball to make sure the balls were more accurate. I don’t know. The game was a crapshow, and the Bears were out of shovels. Before long, things were so out of hand, it would have been a suicide mission to put a rookie QB in. Especially one who only has 13 college starts under his belt.

For the second week in a row, Offensive Coordinator Dowell Loggains disappointed me a little more. They started off the game with a kind of gimmick play. I’m sure the intent was to get a speedy Tampa Defense misdirected, but they were not having any of it. It was one bad play–I know I shouldn’t really let it bother me so much. The Bears margin for error is so tiny, and Glennon doesn’t seem to be the type of QB who can overcome negative plays.

Second year running back Jordan Howard did the Bears no favors either. He was clearly not the same running back he was in 2016. Not sure if it is injury, or him losing so much weight in the offseason. As someone who lost a lot of weight, and played sports–it’s a lot different, and takes time getting used to your “new body”. I can’t even imagine how it is at that level.

So what’s next for the Bears? I get the feeling Ryan Pace and John Fox have a plan for Trubisky. Whether it is game 4, 5, 6, or some other magical number. A couple weeks ago I said I would wait until week 7. Now I am thinking week 5 makes more sense. Former Bear Tommy Waddle predicted it would be game 5, after the Bears have extended time between games (Thursday night, then next game is Monday night vs the Vikings).

The fact is, the Bears are struggling on offense, and Trubisky has so little experience. That is a bad combination. Add in the quality of wide receivers, and the injuries on the offensive line, and this is a recipe to ruin a young QB. David Carr would be a good example.

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Brawl of the Week: A Frozen Recipe

This week’s Tavern Brawl looks like a new one. Pick a hero and get a deck full of random class cards and minions. At least there is a lot of variety mixed in with the RNG. Each deck should have it’s own synergy.

I went with the mage–for reasons.

Amazingly, with a random deck, my opponent was able to steal my Pyros minion. Since he killed it on his side of the board, he got the card back when Pyros died. Which made me a little–I was very put out.

I got the last laugh of course. Call it luck. Cosmic justice maybe. I got my win and I can move on. Have fun with it. Grab that free pack. See you next week!

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1st and 5

Week one is in the books, and there have been some unfortunate breaks. None bigger than Arizona Cardinals star running back, David Johnson needed surgery on his dislocated wrist. Prognosis is, he is gone for 2-3 months. My advice: drop him fast, and pick him up in December if they activate him from the IR.

QB: Sam Bradford, Vikings- Last night Stefon Diggs showed NFL nation what we all hoped he would. He had a pretty solid game. When he wasn’t catching the ball, it was Adam Thielen. Bradford looks like he will be a solid Fantasy play in 2017. I would grab him if your QB is a bust, or you don’t have a solid backup.

RB: Tarik Cohen, Bears- He’s not even a starter, but if you saw any of the highlights, you know he is a threat to score from anywhere on the field. Part Darren Sproles, part Steve Smith, this running back has the moves, toughness, and attitude to be a special player in the NFL. Have confidence starting him along Jordan Howard. He will be at worst, a Flex option going forward. He might even get more snaps as the season continues.

WR: Cooper Kupp, Rams- He is already living up to the hype. I was unsure of him as a fantasy option this year, more because of his 2nd year QB. Goff found him 4 times for 78 yards and a TD. He probably won’t be a WR1 or WR2, but he will be a solid flex play more times than not. Travis Benjamin, Chargers- I was high on Benjamin last season, and he had an up and down year. He started 2017 with a loud bang. Pick him up. Even with Keenan Allen healthy, Benjamin should be a decent play week in and week out.

TE: Jesse James, Steelers- Most people will be picking up Hooper, if he is available (51% owned in ESPN leagues); Jesse James should be there. I liked him a lot in 2016, and I like him even more this year. If you missed out on a top 5 TE, James could be your huckleberry.

D/ST: Ravens look like they might be back to playing some quality defense. Eagles look good too. Both are owned less than 27% in most ESPN leagues. Streaming D/STs going up vs the Colts might be an option until Luck gets back too.

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Can we please fix Flint, Michigan?

I’m just a casual blogger. I usually try to keep things light. This is not a blog for social issues, but it’s hard to see athletes and entertainers I admire “standing up” for certain issues, while people in this country are really suffering every day. I wish I would have posted this sooner. I wish I could do more. The outpouring of humanity in Houston underscored something I have felt all long: We can do this.

JJ Watt and Chris Paul did something pretty amazing in the wake of devastation from hurricane Harvey. To date, over $27 million dollars has been raised. As far as I know, Watt and Paul were the only 2 big names*. That’s just two superstars, and a whole lot of good humans giving what they could give. Imagine if we got a few more together. We could take care of just about anything.

So why not make our focus Flint Michigan? Take a weekend and get some entertainers together. They did it for Live-Aid. They did it for Farm-Aid. Do the people in Flint not deserve to be helped? I know throwing money at a situation is often not a solution, but I’m sure it could help. If nothing else, it could pay for alternative water solutions until they are able to rebuild the pipes, and whatever else needs to be done.

Bottom line is, this is only one of many problems citizens of the United States face. We need to start being progressive instead of being reactive on this and several other things. My first priority would be public education. As someone who went through the public educational system, I can attest that it is flawed at best. We need to overhaul the system, that encourages the “status quo”, and fails many children. I’ll be writing a post on this in the near future.

*At publishing, Jimmy Fallon has donated $1 million to the foundation


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Trubisky promoted to backup QB: what it means for Bears

Today the Bears announced rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was promoted to #2 QB. If you follow NFL football, or even just the Bears, you know the backup QB is the most popular player on the team. Multiply that times 10 when that QB happens to be the 2nd pick overall. What does this mean for Trubisky and the Bears?

The hype for Mitch Trubisky probably crested in just his first NFL game when he came in vs the Broncos in week 1 of the 2017 preseason. Callers flooded the lines of local sports talk radio. Social media was buzzing. Fans were calling for Trubisky to start even long before that. The off performance from starting quarterback Mike Glennon was just fuel to the fire–the fire Trubisky sparked when he put up a passer rating of 103.1. The rookie QB showed off his mobility and accuracy, especially when sprinting to the right. As a skeptic, I was impressed. Mitchell leveled off a bit vs the Arizona Cardinals, but didn’t make any major mistakes. In week 3, he earned reps with the starters and hooked up with Tyler Gentry for a long TD pass. Mike Glennon however, had a “comeback” game vs the Tennessee Titans, and maintained his starter status at QB.

Then the announcement broke in the early afternoon, and once again social media was buzzing. What does this really mean though? One thing I can safely say: The Bears have plans for Trubisky in 2017. If not, they would have let him sit and hold a clipboard–something he still may do. As I wrote earlier, I would not put the rookie QB in before week 7–leaving him 10 games to play, at the most. My reasoning is twofold: 1) He would be able to soak in as much as possible before he plays, and 2) 10 games is about the length of a college season; so there shouldn’t be a “rookie wall” to run into.

I will need to see if Mark Sanchez is active on Sunday (3rd string QBs are normally not), if not it means the Bears are very comfortable bringing in Trubisky at any time. If Sanchez is active, then the #2 tag on Trubisky is just a status symbol, and nothing more. This is a situation the Bears have not been in since I have been watching them, and that goes back to 1985. The last time the Bears drafted a quarterback as high as Trubisky was in 1999 when they selected Cade McKnown with the 12th overall pick. Head coach Dick Juron famously stated that “Cade gives us the best chance to win”, which many immediately questioned, including players.

This time around, Trubisky has actually earned his promotion, rather than have it handed to him by a coach or upper management (or Bears ownership). I have to say John Fox, Dowell Loggains, and Ryan Pace, have seemingly handled the young QB the right way. The rest is up to Mitchell. I’m still hoping to see him come in later than sooner, but there will be an underlying excitement leading up to the time when he gets to be a starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears.

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An Evil Exchange (again)

This week’s Tavern Brawl is one we have had a few times. Like the name says, it’s evil. Mostly for it’s RNG. No strategy here really. You are one of two heroes: Rafaam or Kel’Thuzad. Each of them have their own hero powers. Both have decks made of assorted minions, and spells.

They did seem to update the selection with the latest cards from The Frozen Throne. There are also a few cards that are unique to this brawl.

All and all, it’s kind of fun. My brawl lasted over 20 minutes. Even though it ended up fairly one-sided, there were times when we both had 4-5 minions on the board at the same time.

So get on in there and get that free pack! See you next week!

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Brawl of the Week: Blood Magic – Standard

It seems we have had this week’s Tavern Brawl at least one time before. However, that was a Wild brawl* and this one is Standard rules**. This brawl is straight forward: build a deck, your spells cost Health instead of Mana. Huzzah!

I went with the mage because, mage. It’s a double edged sword, so you want to strike fast. I could see priests being very tricky opponents. I was lucky and drew a druid. The brawl only lasted 4 rounds until they decided to concede. I’m not sure I had done anything spectacular, but I did clear their board. I’m happy with the result. It gives me more time to write this up!

Since you make your own deck, you should be able to get all your dailies done. I’ll definitely be playing through on all characters just to see how things go. I hope you will have fun with it too. So get in there and grab your free deck. See you next week!

*Wild Rules = you can use all the cards in your library.

**Standard rules = you can only use the cards in the current year cycle.

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