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We're No. 16! We're No. 16!
As I said a few weeks back, the Bears are the best of the worst teams in the NFL.
Don't believe me? Then you can talk to the 16-fingered foam hand.
Chicago fans are feeling pretty good this week, as opposed to the Mondays following the season's first three games, in which Bears fans were feeling pretty weak.
Mostly because they had spent so much time on Sunday throwing beer bottles at the TV and punching holes in their drywall.
Not this time.
Our favorite team made a good defense look bad, may have put the final nail in the coffin of Nick Foles' career as a starter (the Case Keenum era begins in St. Louis on Sunday), and the coaching staff once again made (gasp) adjustments in the first quarter.
In previous seasons, the Bears coaching staff seemed to view in-game adjustments as a concept that was reserved for cleat-length during rainy weather, or something a defensive coordinator would do to their balls when their sack became stuck to their leg.
Remember, it wasn't always like this. Picture the Bears fortunes in a game like this under the prior coaching regime, or for that matter under Lovie Smith.
I know it's painful, but think back to the losses in which opponents were regularly scoring over 35 points. Back to the mid-aughts when Chicago would inexplicably single-cover a team's only real receiving threat in win-or-go-home scenarios.
Or, hey, remember the 2000 season when Terrell Owens caught 20 passes in a game that took place outside of a Sega Dreamcast?
You get the point. Historically, adjustments have been something of a weakness for the franchise.
So there they were. The 2015 Bears were down a score on the road to a good opponent, thanks to a combination of punt returner Marc Mariani's weekly special teams' gaffe and a complete inability to stop the Rams' rushing attack.
It had all the makings of a game in which the Bears would "only" be down 17-7 at halftime, but would go on to lose 33-13.
But then something magical happened. It was almost as if the Bears had hired a coaching staff that is, dare I say, functional.
John Fox (into headset): Hey guys, whatever the hell we drew up in practice sucks.
Vic Fangio: Yeah. We wanted them not to score points. And hey Adam. I don't think we should throw the ball deep. These guys - where are we playing this week?
Adam Gase: In your mom.
Fangio: Oh, F-off. All these dome stadiums built in the nineties look the same to me. Seriously, the other guy is setting up his defense so you can't throw far.
Fox: I'm pretty sure that's racist.
Fangio: I'M PRETTY SURE YOU'RE RACIST!
Fox: Nice comeback, douche. I'm sure all the guys at your next Klan rally are gonna love this story.
Gase (snickers): Okay, okay. We're in St. Louis, and, yeah Vic, I see it. They're taking away long passes. I'll have Cutler throw short and see if we can bait the secondary into over-pursuing on some shorter routes.
Fox: Yeah, that sounds like football stuff. Do that.
Fast forward three quarters and VOILA! The Bears have run away with a road win.
I love it when a plan comes together and better yet, I get the feeling there's more where that came from.
The Osweiler Files
For those of you excited to watch the Bears take on Super Bowl XLI nemesis Peyton Manning, we've got some bad news for you: due to a foot injury he may never play football again.
So for the remainder of the 2015 season, you'll have to settle for a scant one-and-a-half hours of Manning-related TV per week, consisting of the aggregate airtime of Papa John's, Buick, Nationwide Insurance and Vagisil commercials broadcast on over 15 networks*.
But I've got some good news for you, NFL fans. You're about to get Osweilered.
Prior to an NFL career that primarily consisted of practicing and then being angry about remaining on the Broncos' sidelines despite his team holding a 30-point lead, Osweiler enjoyed a much more fulfilling career as a hard-boiled detective solving crimes in the greater Phoenix/Tempe metropolitan area.
Chief: DAMMIT, Osweiler! How many GODDAM times do I have to tell you that we can't question suspects when they're DEAD!
Osweiler: You're right, McSorely. I guess I should've done things by the book and let Scorpio dump those orphan kitties into the viper pit (lights cigarette and laughs to himself). And they call me a hard man (blows smoke in the Chief's face).
Chief: Save it, detective. Because of your little shitshow down at the docks yesterday, the commissioner's so far up my ass that he can tell that I forgot to floss this morning!
Osweiler: That sounds like the kind of problem you should be discussing with your proctologist, Chief. I don't think I'm qualified to help (swigs straight from a decanter of Scotch on the chief's desk). Now if you're done complaining about your asshole, here's my gun (takes a swig of Scotch from a separate decanter) and here's my badge. I've got to catch a plane to Denver (jumps out second-story window into the rear of an El Camino).
After four years in the pros, Osweiler finally gets to start his first game. While it won't tell the whole story of the man's career, the world will be watching closely for signs of the future in Denver.
And if that doesn't work out, I hear there's some trouble in the Middle East that might benefit from his attention.
Slow News Cycle
Huh. The Bears are winning a bit.
Thus far, Jay Ratliff hasn't returned to Halas Hall waiving a gun around demanding his spatula back. But Lake Forest law enforcement officials stand ready to assist.
The only notable roster news to speak of is that Marc Mariani hasn't been cut at time of writing.
When asked about the key to his run of consistent play, Cutler just responded "been listening to a lot of early Danzig" before putting out a cigarette on his wrist and exiting a press conference.
Interesting. I would have expected "getting high and listening to Terrapin Station on a constant loop."
Nine games in, the real story for the Bears is not where they are, but where they're going . . .
Oh, no you don't. We had this discussion at 2-3. And since then we've had two devastating losses, followed by two "okay" wins. Just because you kinda predicted ESPN's power rankings a month ago doesn't mean you get to . . .
Just because you guys are an ethereal manifestation of my sports-related doubts and insecurities doesn't mean you get to cut me off.
Uh, yeah it does. That's exactly what it means.
Shut up. I'm enjoying this for the first time in a while.
Fine, we will too.
I'll take it. Hey, guys. Here's to hoping we can win and get up to zero this week. How about a toast?
We'll take your whiskey, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Kool-Aid (4 of 5 Pipeworks' Ninja vs. Unicorn)
A local brewery with a wide selection of badass brews. If you like actual beer, this one will not disappoint you.
I mean, you may make a series of decisions that disappoints your family after you drink a few, but you will not be disappointed.
And that's what being an American is all about; being a hybrid pragmatist and sociopath. Enjoy your capitalism, gilk, gilk, gilk.
As my ranting and rating (oh boy that's funny in print) indicated, I'm very excited to watch this game.
With all the Osweiler talk, I neglected to mention the Broncos' defense, which is one the best in the league and the real reason that Denver is 7-2.
Buuuuuuuut so were the Rams and the Bears get Matt Forte back this week. Who knows, maybe even Alshon Jeffery will be healthy enough to play like 16 snaps.
My interest is genuinely piqued.
The deal is this: Brock Osweiler's eskimo brother Jim Sorgi is on LinkedIn.
No. That's not actually the deal. I just couldn't help myself.
I'm happy the guy is saving his money and enjoying a life after football, but there's just something inherently funny about Googling a former NFL player and having a link to his social media profile come up first. Might have been funnier if a MySpace account got top billing.
The Bears showed everyone something against a well-coached, talented defensive unit last week on the road and now they've got an opportunity to prove something by making it two in a row with a win at home.
Despite the star power on Denver's offense, it's been a very disappointing season for that side of the ball.
Which means that this should be a close game, at home, for a team with momentum.
I say the Bears take this one.
Bears 20, Broncos 17
* Not counting Eli and Archie's spots for Citizen watches and Dr. Thud's Stereo Outlet, respectively.
About The Author
Carl Mohrbacher is a 6-foot-1 white male who lives in the greater Chicagoland area. Or is he? HAHAHAHAHA! Better luck next time, TSA. To be a writing man is one thing, but to be a faceless man is something else entirely. Valar morghulis.
Carl Mohrbacher is our man on the Kool-Aid. He welcomes your comments.