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The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report: Nip Slip

You can't stop Arrelious Benn (I wish that would stop auto correcting to "Areolas Benn"), you can only hope to contain him . . . as well as his career has through Sunday. Benn's fourth quarter TD reception was his seventh since 2012.

The late, demoralizing and ultimately deciding catch and (and run aaaaaand run) was a play that featured Tracy Porter falling down and the Bears safety help falling down on the job.

It shouldn't have come to that.

What if I told you before this game that the Bears would dominate the time of possession, Brian Hoyer would throw for over 300 yards, Connor Barth would make all of his field goal attempts and the Chicago's defense would hold the Jacksonville Jaguars scoreless through three quarters?

You'd definitely think I was about to try and sell you a timeshare because every timeshare pitch starts with the sentence "What if I told you . . . "

You might have also suspected that I was about to reveal that the Bears (gasp!) lost again because nobody would bother loading up all of that preamble unless some horrendous bullshit went down late in the game.

And if you've made it all the way to my small corner of the Internet, I'm sure you already know that the Bears lost 17-16 and fell to a record of 1-5 heading into a Thursday night game against the Packers.

We're not mad.

We're just disappointed.

What Worked

  • Ball Control: Opting to expand their ball-control strategy beyond jock straps and double-sided tape, the Bears absolutely dominated the time of possession battle by creating turnovers and converting third downs throughout the game.
  • Willie Young: The NFL player most likely to portray the likeness of the Gorton's Fisherman* in his career's second act had another excellent outing with two sacks and a forced fumble.
  • Cameron Meredith: The Hoyer-Meredith connection isn't just a great name for a '70s funk band anymore. Meredith was the Bears' leading receiver for the second week in a row.

What Made Us Say Aloud "I Sure Am Glad I Have A Drinking Problem! Bye Bye, Memories!" Before Rapidly Shotgunning 12 PBR Tall Boys

  • Alshon Jeffery Red Zone Targets (or lack thereof): If you're still wondering what the big difference is between the quarterbacking of Brian Hoyer and Jay Cutler, look no further than the lack of downfield targets the Bears' top receiver has been getting since Week 2.

    And also the emergence of 300-yard passing games. And also the drastic decrease in the number of turnovers a Bears quarterback has committed.

    When asked what steps Chicago needs to take to improve, Jeffery's response was blunt.

    "We gotta score fucking touchdowns," he told the media after Sunday's loss. "That's it. Touchdowns win games. Shit. You see what three points gets us."

    This is becoming a familiar refrain for Jeffery. When asked what the Bears needed to do to win after the recent loss to Indianapolis, the wideout responded, "Capitalize in the red zone and shit."

    I'm sure Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is furiously scribbling notes as he reads this from high atop the coaching facility at Foxboro, affectionately known as "The Fortress Of Venom."

    Overlooking the lack of depth to the man's insights, I think you should consider Mr. Jeffery as a write-in candidate If you're still on the fence about who to vote for next month.

    He's definitely one Bear I'd want to have a beer with.

  • 4th Quarter Defensive Scheme: Giving up 17 points in one quarter is reason enough to bitch, but it looked like the Bears abandoned the convention of the prevent defense late in the game. I'm not going to knock aggressive defense in the fourth, even though it was only a six-point lead.

    I believe the prevent defense was invented by Vegas primarily to dissuade people from betting the under.

    However, you'll need to station at least one safety somewhere near the middle of the field if you plan to keep the immortal Arrelious Benn out of the endzone.

    Eye On The Opposition - Rivalry Revival
    Due to its long history, the Bears and Green Bay Packers rivalry is one of the best known in sport, ranking only slightly behind the Argonauts/Tiger-Cats and Yankees/Devil Rays.

    The two teams began playing each other way back in 1921, but if you're like me you don't remember most of that because unlike Nicholas Cage, we're not vampires.

    Fortunately, there's been plenty of fuel thrown on that fire in recent times, so let's pull out a few specific reasons to hate the Packers.

    • As if the 41-yard scamper wasn't harsh enough, Packers' running back Ahman Green added insult to injury in 2002 by outpacing the Bear defense by enough of a margin to leave ample time for a Batman logo to be tattooed onto his calf.
    • The current Packers training staff are a bunch of jerks. Eddie Lacy has been trying real hard to lose weight and they just keep rolling into the break room with armloads of Krispy Kreme. I know he's an opposing player, but leave the calorie bombs at home guys. The man's trying to improve himself.
    • Back in 2007, former Green Bay receiver Greg Jennings catfished Hunter Hillenmeyer under the online guise of Avril Lavigne. When Jennings became tired of the farce, he arranged for a meeting at the Mars Cheese Castle in order to put the prank to rest in a blaze of embarrassment.

      However, before the meeting took place Hillenmeyer called things off when he became suspicious of the rouse after Jennings/Lavigne indicated that he/she didn't like breakfast sausage infused with maple syrup, which proved whoever was on the other end of the phone was not Canadian.

    • Despite some persistent rumors to the contrary, it would appear as though perennial Pro Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers isn't gay. I for one, am taking the man at his word - but I'm also mad as hell.

      Most hetero dudes have a browser history with enough instances of "new bride chows maid of honor while lady boss doctor rides sybian" to indicate that they are super cool with same-on-same action when it suits them**, and I have a feeling most female fans couldn't care less, outside of the cold realization that they have no shot at the captain of the football team***.

      Missed opportunity, bro.

      I hope he reconsiders and takes one for the team, or two if it helps the cause even more.

    Kool Aid (2 of 5 Bottles Of New Glarus Spotted Cow)
    With playoff hopes for this season all but lost, this game is getting a one-bottle bump strictly because it's against the Packers.

    Watching a bad football team play an underachieving football team on a work night isn't your thing?

    Tune in to FS1 (Channel 4,089.5 on Comcast and channel 11,977 and one-seventh on Dish) to watch the winningest team in town take on the Dodgers in the NLCS.

    But let's say you're a Sox fan, a football enthusiast, a habitual gambler, someone whose cable box is defective and stuck on the NFL Network, or just want a good look at those "Color Rush" jerseys . . . in which case, really?

    Any or all of those reasons might be good enough to catch some TNF, right?

    Probably not, so I offer you this: It's an excuse to drink beer and eat pizza on a Thursday (shrug).

    Good enough for me, but I'll give you one more:

    The runaway disappointment that has been the Bears' 2016 season has made it difficult for many fans to remain engaged enough to take in news from the rest of the league.

    It's awfully difficult to watch the post-game wrap when you've just angrily hurled a folding chair into your TV.

    What you may have missed while you were furiously eating your remaining nachos as your television lays in smoking ruins is that there's something wrong with the Green Bay offense and those who follow the Pack are starting to question management's ability to call plays.

    So believe it or not, I think the Bears can win a potentially low-scoring affair using the same formula they've trotted out the last two weeks - use the threat of a legitimate running game to control the clock, convert third downs and keep the defense fresh enough to make plays.

    Heady stuff. I know.

    The prospect of rooting for a 1-5 team might not be enough to give you a football chubster, but if you're from my town the thought of beating the Packers should at least make your mouth water.

    Bears 17, Packers 13

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    About The Author
    The Author wonders whatever happened to picture-in-picture? He also assumes he will wear a hole in his thumb bouncing back and forth while his two favorite teams battle for his attention like a couple of needy, screw-up kids who have only brought sadness to his home except for that one time 31 years ago.

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    * If Idris Elba can play Roland in The Dark Tower, you're goddamn right Willie Young can be a kick-ass Gorton's Fisherman.

    ** And by "when it suits them," I mean don't come barging into my office at lunch. The door is closed for a reason.

    *** Sorry, ladies! Guess you'll just have to marry a doctor, or, barring that, settle for your career as a chemical engineer, top legal advisor or POTUS. Thank Christ I won the genetic lottery and am able to make my living as a middle manager/IT guy at a small company in Schaumburg.

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    Carl Mohrbacher is our man on the Kool-Aid. He welcomes your comments.

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