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Bucs Fan

Bucs players but up huge fantasy numbers in week 10 win. posted by Bucs Fan

After an otherwise dismal output during the beginning of the season, it was finally a great week to be a Bucs fantasy owner. Tampa Bay went with Josh McCown under center as the team squared off against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

The signal caller connected with his two favorite receivers on multiple occasions, Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans. Both receivers were integral to the Bucs offense as they came away with touchdowns.

For those who thought drafting rookie Mike Evans to their fantasy rosters was a risk, that risk has paid off as the wide out is coming off a multi-touchdown game and continued to add to his fantasy stock by racking up huge yards against the Falcons.

After a rocky start at the beginning of the season, the rookie has come on as of late and really shined as he's seen several targets and hit pay dirt to drive up fantasy points.

And as for Vincent Jackson, he is always a must have on anyone’s roster. Even if he has off weeks from time to time, and for those who might be frustrated at Vincent Jackson’s inability to get touchdown points, do not be discouraged. The Tampa Bay quarterback clearly views Vincent Jackson as his go-to wide-out moving forward, especially in the red zone, and owners should not drop him from their roster.

And for those owners who don’t have McCown and are able to pick him up, this is the week to do so. With McCown playing in a week when most teams are on a bye, and his desire to build a bond with both Evans and Jackson, expect huge numbers in the coming weeks as the Bucs take on the Washington Redskins and the Chicago Bears in the next two weeks.

Continue reading "Bucs players but up huge fantasy ..."


Packers Fan

What Morgan Burnett’s return means for Green Bay posted by Packers Fan

Green Bay Packers safety Morgan Burnett should suit up and be full go for Sunday’s showdown with inter-division rivals, the Chicago Bears. And it couldn’t have come at a better time, as the Packers’ secondary was very much exposed last week when the Saints racked up 44 points with 311 yards through the air. Drew Brees completed 84% of his passes with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

It’s clear Burnett’s veteran experience on the back end of the defense with communication and getting these younger corners lined up accordingly, is essential to the Packers success defensively.

Through seven games, the fifth-year pro out of Georgia Tech notched 59 tackles, 49 of them solo tackles; but more importantly was the elimination of coverage break downs that lead to big play passes that can be so devastating to a team’s morale. And Brees crushed the Packers morale as he had two deep balls, each over 40 yards, that led to touchdowns.

Even with Burnett back, the others in the secondary will need to play extra efficient as the Bears have 3 very tall, very athletic receivers in Marshall, Jeffrey, and the tight end Bennett. When these two teams faced off in week 4, the Packers were able to limit the 3 playmakers to under 200 yards receiving, combined.

The Packers Safety echoed that sentiment saying it takes a group effort to corral all three.

"Those guys are very athletic," he said. "They have big playmaking ability and they’re led by Jay Cutler so we have to be sound in our technique and be accountable to one another and trust the defense, and allow us to make plays.”

Continue reading "What Morgan Burnett’s return means for Green Bay"

Bears Fan

Why the Bears need WR Marquess Wilson to suit up against Green Bay posted by Bears Fan

For the first time in three months, Bears wide receiver Marquess Wilson practiced as the Bears get ready to take on inter-divisional rivals, the Green Bay Packers.

Wilson fractured his clavicle at practice on Aug. 4 and has been on the injured reserve list ever since. Now that Wilson is back at practice, the Bears have 3 weeks to decide whether to activate him to their roster or keep him on the injured reserve.

The answer is clear cut as the Bears need all the help they can on offense. They rank 19th in scoring and their offense is limited to Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. The Bears need that #3 receiver to add depth and complexity to their passing game, and allow another option for Cutler to go to.

The Packers, best believe, will be ready for the Bears as they get their seasoned safety, Morgan Burnett, back. They were exposed last week against the Saints but now with a veteran in the defensive secondary, the Packers coverage will be tightened up.

The only negative side to activating Wilson is the possibility of pushing him too hard, too fast, and risk causing a more serious injury that will keep him out indefinitely. While this is a valid concern, one could argue that is the case with every player in the NFL. The game has gotten so fast, the players so big and strong, that injuries, season ending injuries, are becoming more and more commonplace. So to err on the side of caution is valid but when a player feels good to go, they should be allowed to suit and help the team do what it needs to do, win games.

They need to make a decision quickly to keep Wilson on their roster if they hope to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Continue reading "Why the Bears need WR Marquess Wilson ..."


Bears Fan

Are the Chicago Bears Superbowl contenders? posted by Bears Fan

The Chicago Bears were one of the best teams in offense last year, where they recorded an even 8-8 slate. The team averaged 27.8 points a game which is impressive considering that their starting quarterback, Jay Cutler, missed a quarter of the year.

The Bears will be looking to make the playoffs this time but it would need Cutler to be healthy this time around. Cutler has not played the full 16-game season since 2009 and has missed 12 games in the past three years.

If Cutler can stay healthy, he should be able to perform well especially now that he has two receiver to look for. He has great chemistry with wide receiver Brandon Marshall, and he’ll also have Alshon Jeffery as a possible receiver. There’s also tight end Martellus Bennett who translated 65 passes into 759 yards last year.

The Bears will remain one of the better offensive machines in the league, but their defense will be suspect. While the Bears scored 27 points a game last year, they did surrender close to 30 points per contest. Simply put, the Bears defense was atrocious the past season.

To address their deficiencies on defense, the team signed four defensive ends—Trevor Scott, Willie Young, Lamarr Houston, and Jared Allen. But the team did lose veterans Julius Peppers and Corey Wootton.

The Bears used its first round pick last spring to draft defensive back Kyle Fuller. The explosive Fuller is versatile enough to play anywhere in the secondary although it looks like he’ll be used as an outside cornerback.

The Bears will have their hands full when they meet contenders like the Patriots, Packers, Saints and 49ers twice. But they’ll also meet some inferior teams like the Bills, Panthers, and Jets twice this year.

Continue reading "Are the Chicago Bears Superbowl contenders?"


Joe Anello

Chicago Bears 2013 NFL Draft: Rounds Two - Seven Recap posted by Joe Anello

After using their first round pick on guard Kyle Long on Thursday night, the Chicago Bears came back over the next two days and six rounds and added five more players to their draft class. Here are Chicago’s picks from rounds two through seven.

 

Second Round: Jonathan Bostic, ILB, Florida

After passing on linebackers in the first round, Phil Emery came back in the second and selected the 6’1”, 245 lb. middle linebacker to hopefully find a place as the eventual starter. But for now, he’ll learn the position alongside the other two linebacking spots to aid in giving the Bears depth in that unit. He’ll also contribute on special teams immediately. Bostic played in 51 games at Florida, starting 32 of them. He racked up 237 tackles in that time. Bostic ran a 4.61 at the combine, and is noted for not being as aggressive as he could be. Still, he gets to learn for a year behind D.J. Williams, who only has a one year deal with the Bears.

Fourth Round: Khaseem Greene, OLB, Rutgers

The Rutgers outside linebacker had some contact with the Bears all throughout this process, having been brought in for a pre-draft visit. Greene was named Big East Defensive Player of the Year twice! (Shared the honor in 2011 and solo’d it in 2012.) His 2012 stats at Rutgers: 136 tackles, 6 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, 5 passes defended, 2 interceptions, 12 tackles for loss. Greene ran the 10th best 40 time amongst linebackers, but also measured out with the worst vertical jump. (Whatever the crap that means for a linebacker.)

Continue reading "Chicago Bears 2013 NFL Draft: Rounds ..."


Joe Anello

Chicago Bears 2013 NFL Draft: Round One Recap posted by Joe Anello

With the way the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft had shaken out, the Chicago Bears had a glut of options available to them. Phil Emery made the call to select Oregon guard Kyle Long with the twentieth overall selection. Let’s break down this pick that left fans a bit confuzzled.

Drafted by Chicago White Sox out of high school, Long (the son of Hall of Famer Howie Long) flunked out of Florida State, where he was playing baseball. He then went to Oregon and played 11 games for the Ducks, starting four of them. In his post-pick presser, GM Phil Emery detailed that Long’s versatility was the prime reason they drafted him. He didn’t commit fully, but he stated that Long will probably start at left guard. He praised his movement skills as well.

This pick more than confused me. Defensive tackle Shariff Floyd, linebacker Alec Ogletree, and tight end Tyler Eifert, were all still on the board when the Bears sent their pick in. Floyd was mocked to be selected somewhere in the top ten, but the penetrating tackle was still around, able to help out a defensive line that could use an interior pass rusher. Instead, he went to the Vikings. Alec Ogletree, as I wrote earlier in my preview column, was the middle linebacker with all sorts of potential. But he dropped to St. Louis at pick number 30. And Tyler Eifert? The tight end that could have added another dynamic weapon to the offense? He went on the very next pick to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Continue reading "Chicago Bears 2013 NFL Draft: Round One Recap"


Joe Anello

2013 NFL Draft Needs: Chicago Bears posted by Joe Anello

The Chicago Bears own the number 20 overall pick in this Thursday’s first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, one of their five selections in the seven round mega-event. With so few selections (no pick in round three or seven), GM Phil Emery has his work cut out for him to load up new Head Coach Marc Trestman’s roster. But thanks to a successful free agency period, Emery doesn’t go into this draft with any gaping holes. Let’s get into some of the Bears’ needs they might/should address during this draft.

*If I toss out player names, they’re first round prospects unless I note otherwise.

 

Offensive Line

I extremely doubt that Alabama’s Chance Warmack is on the board when Phil Emery gets to make a selection. With a run on tackles being expected early, it’s likely a mauling guard out of a big school (like Warmack will be) won’t make it much farther. North Carolina’s Jonathan Cooper is slightly more likely than Warmack, even if he is considered the better run/pass blocker of the two. Phil Emery also brought in Syracuse’s Justin Pugh for a visit, a lineman that could available in round number two. If Emery loves Alabama’s D.J. Fluker at right tackle, then he’ll be there at pick number 20 as well. (Which is really a position they need help at.) But if Fluker’s their guy, trading down would be a great option to consider.

Continue reading "2013 NFL Draft Needs: Chicago Bears"


Joe Anello

Moving on from Urlacher: The Right Move? posted by Joe Anello

In a move than some fans were desperately hoping to avoid hearing about, the Chicago Bears decided to not re-sign Brian Urlacher. Despite Head Coach Marc Trestman having been quoted as early as Wednesday morning saying Urlacher “had a place on this team,” they cut ties with the veteran linebacker. GM Phil Emery made the tough call, which was illustrated in the statement he released. The details are as follows (as we’ve cobbled them together from reporters and Brian himself): Urlacher’s team pitched a 2-year, $11.5 million deal that he expected to negotiate down from. Chicago countered with a 1-year, $2 million (not all of which was guaranteed). That offer was countered with a $3.5 million contract, with another 500k in possible incentives. Chicago balked and made it clear that their offer was of the “take it or leave it” kind.

The end result? Brian Urlacher, one of Chicago’s most recognizable athletes, is now a disgruntled ex-Bear. And boy has he gruntled. (Yes. I’m using it as a verb. Who are you, the Vocab Police?)

My Take:

This was obviously a money/business move, especially given the way Brian’s responded both publicly and frequently in the past 36 hours (. But it was the RIGHT move. There’s no need to overpay for an aging player that can’t shed blockers and was your third best linebacker last season. Is it sad? Sure. Still, I can’t let personal feelings get in the way of the fact that the Bears can (and should) get better at the middle linebacker position. 

Continue reading "Moving on from Urlacher: The Right Move?"


Joe Anello

Bears Move Quickly on Day One of Free Agency posted by Joe Anello

A lot of reporters and Bears insiders didn’t think it would be an overly thrilling day for news coming out of Halas Hall. After all, Phil Emery hadn’t made a lot of moves to get his team all that far under the salary cap, coming into the first day of the league year with less than $4 million in room. But that clearly didn’t stop Emery from chasing and netting his target players, addressing two areas of vital importance for Chicago.

A Tight New End in the House

Did I phrase that right? Whatever. Nevermind. About five minutes after free agency opened at 3PM Central time on Tuesday, Martellus Bennett tweeted out that “I’m proud to say that I’ll be joining my other brother @bmarshall next season. #BEARDOWN.” While the deal wasn’t quite official yet, the intention was. A short time later Bennett’s acquisition was announced. Details have it down as a 4-year deal, worth reportedly around $20 million.

Martellus Bennett spent his first few seasons with the Dallas Cowboys as a back-up to Iron Man Jason Witten. Unfortunately, Bennett never took advantage of those few opportunities to impress the Dallas staff and he was eventually released. He signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal with the Giants last offseason and proved himself throughout the league with an excellent showing. He caught 55 passes for 626 yards and five touchdowns. And yes, those numbers are better than Chicago’s combined tight end unit.

Bennett will immediately come in and be a tremendous blocker at the end of the line for Marc Trestman’s offense. He’s also progressed into an excellent receiver on the outside, even if he doesn’t have the speed of a Jared Cook (who the Bears were rumored to be targeting at one point). His arrival will likely mark the end of a tenure for either Matt Spaeth or Kellen “Fall Down Go Boom” Davis. If released, Davis ($2.5 million salary) would have a $1.5 million hit against the cap, while Spaeth ($1.5 million salary) would only count around a $300,000 hit. At this point, I’d say Davis is gone, but it’s hard to say at this point.

Continue reading "Bears Move Quickly on Day One of Free Agency"


Joe Anello

Chicago Bears 2013 Free Agency Preview posted by Joe Anello

Have you heard? Free agency in the NFL sorta kicks off tonight! Time to legally tamper my face off! The Chicago Bears are among 32 teams looking to improve by signing veterans to their roster, but they’ve got some issues to deal with first.

Chicago was approaching this free agency period with over $12 million in space under the cap. That is, until they slapped the franchise tag on defensive tackle Henry Melton, locking him in at $8.5 million for a one-year deal. Now GM Phil Emery is faced with a tough situation with less than $4 million in room. Emery will no doubt seek to sign Melton to a long-term deal to lessen his 2013 cap hit, but the GM will also need to extend players at the end of their current deals (Charles Tillman, for example) and try to restructure some contracts in order to get the kind of space necessary to sign a couple “marquee” free agents.

So let’s assume that Emery frees up a respectable amount of cap space. Where should he direct his money? Let’s break down who should be on the Bears’ radar.

The Tightest of Ends

Possibilities: Jared Cook, Martellus Bennett, James Casey, Anthony Fasano.

Yes, tight end. Because I’m EFFING DONE with Kellen Davis, King of The Dropsies. He shouldn’t be on my team anymore.

So this could be pretty cut and dry. There are already reports linking Cook to the Bears, and frankly he’s the best one on the market. He can stretch the field and do all the things you need a solid tight end to do. You know, like block. And catch a ball. (Seriously. That’s all. Is that SO HARD KELLEN?)

Continue reading "Chicago Bears 2013 Free Agency Preview"

Chicago Bears News

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Shutdown Corner NFL Power Rankings: Trouble in Denver? (Shutdown Corner)

Maybe Peyton Manning needs to take a cue from Aaron Rodgers this week. Everyone might need to R-E-L-A-X on the Denver Broncos a bit.  In this violently changing NFL, it would be surprising if a team didn’t have a bad loss on their record. The Arizona Cardinals are 9-1 and even they have a 21-point loss, to Denver, on their resume (albeit when they played a decent part of that game with third-string quarterback Logan Thomas). The Broncos’ 22-7 loss to the St. Louis Rams wasn’t good. It’s quite possible we look back on it as the game that cost the Broncos a first-round bye, or the AFC West. But it’s also somewhat understandable. The Rams played well. It happens. And when the Broncos lost Emmanuel Sanders, Julius Thomas and Montee Ball during the game, it eliminated a big part of the game plan. Andre Caldwell and Jacob Tamme just can’t do the things Sanders and Thomas do. The Broncos still should probably score more than seven points, but one bad game doesn’t mean they’re not a good team. The Patriots have taken a couple bad losses. The Cardinals were blown out once. The Packers have a few uncompetitive losses. Now the Broncos have a couple, too. If the Broncos’ injuries linger longer than expected, maybe we will have to reevaluate them. And who knows, if the Kansas City Chiefs beat them in a couple weeks at Arrowhead Stadium (don’t discount that happening, with how well the Chiefs are playing), maybe the Broncos will just be one of those really good teams that has to settle for a wild-card spot. But we’ll see about all that. For right now, the Broncos are just fine, even with two losses in three games. A few teams might be playing better, but I wouldn’t rank many ahead of them. The talent on that roster is too good for them to be average. Relax. Here are the rest of the post-Week 11 NFL power rankings: 32. Oakland Raiders (0-10, Last Week: 32) Every week that Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew gets carries ahead of Latavius Murray, the Raiders are showing they don't really get it. I don't know if Murray, a big, physical second-year player, is any good. But neither do the Raiders, and that's the problem. 31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9, LW: 30) The Jaguars went 4-12 in Gus Bradley's first season. They'd have to go 3-3 the rest of the way to match that. I hope ownership doesn't overreact if their record is worse, because I do think Bradley is the right guy there. 30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-8, LW: 31) Mike Evans was the first rookie receiver with 200 yards and two touchdowns in a game since Anquan Boldin in 2003. Even in a potentially historic receiver draft class, Evans might be the best one. It's a debate that will be fun to track. 29. Tennessee Titans (2-8, LW: 29) We're getting pretty close to a point where Zach Mettenberger has locked up the 2015 starting quarterback job. After what he has shown, is there any chance the Titans won't use next season to give him a legitimate look? 28. New York Jets (2-8, LW: 28) Is there a number of wins in New York's last six games that Rex Ryan could hit to save his job? I'd probably put it at a minimum of four. 27. Washington Redskins (3-7, LW: 26) Jay Gruden very specifically criticizing Robert Griffin III on Monday seemed like him saying, "Nothing else is getting through, let me try this approach." 26. New York Giants (3-7, LW: 24) Sadly, the Giants probably would have won Sunday's game against the 49ers had Eli Manning thrown just four interceptions. Alas, he threw five. 25. Carolina Panthers (3-7-1, LW: 23) A team that has lost five straight is a half-game out of first place. 24. Atlanta Falcons (4-6, LW: 27) There is, by the way, a scenario in which the NFC South could be won by a 5-11 team. That's mathematically possible. In related news, I better not get one "How can you rank a first-place team so low???" emails or tweets this week. 23. Minnesota Vikings (4-6, LW: 21) Sunday's loss to the Bears was the fifth time in six games the Vikings didn't reach 20 points. And it was against the Bears, who give up 14 by the time the National Anthem is done. Lot of work to be done there. 22. Chicago Bears (4-6, LW: 25) Four of the Bears' last six games are at home. If they can win those, and upset the Lions on the road on Thanksgiving, then go into Week 17 at Minnesota with nine wins ... I'm sorry Bears fans, I don't know why I just did that to you. 21. New Orleans Saints (4-6, LW: 19) Rookie receiver Brandin Cooks wasn't dominating this season, but he was pretty good, and it's going to be very hard for the Saints to replace what he does while he's out four-to-six weeks with a broken thumb. 20. St. Louis Rams (4-6, LW: 22) They should be in so much better shape than 4-6. 19. Houston Texans (5-5, LW: 20) The first question of Bill O'Brien's Monday press conference was why Ryan Mallett didn't start before Week 11. His answer was basically that he wanted to make sure Mallett was ready. But he probably has (or will) wonder if things would be different if he pulled the trigger earlier. 18. Buffalo Bills (5-5, LW: 17) Nobody checked the expiration date on Kyle Orton. It has passed. 17. Cincinnati Bengals (6-3-1, LW: 18) How do you evaluate a team that looked so bad at home against the Browns and so good on the road at the Saints in an 11-day stretch? 16. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4, LW: 16) it just shouldn't be that hard against really bad teams. 15. Cleveland Browns (6-4, LW: 13) The good news is Josh Gordon is back. The bad news is they won't get that loss to the Texans back. They really could have used that one. 14. San Diego Chargers (6-4, LW: 15) There were a few times on Sunday when it didn't seem like Philip Rivers would be getting up. It's no surprise to hear he has been playing through injuries. 13. San Francisco 49ers (6-4, LW: 12) NaVorro Bowman as cleared to return to practice. Hopefully he makes it back this season, because that would be a great story for a great player. 12. Miami Dolphins (6-4, LW: 14) Well, if you have to play Denver this might be a good time for it. The Dolphins could use an upset like that, too. 11. Baltimore Ravens (6-4, LW: 11) In the AFC North logjam, it seems like the Ravens have the best team. They could take a huge step by winning at New Orleans next Monday night. 10. Detroit Lions (7-3, LW: 9) It's pretty clear they're heading toward a wild-card berth , but I'll say this: They're going to be a tough out in the opening weekend (unless Matthew Stafford plays like he did at Arizona, of course). 9. Seattle Seahawks (6-4, LW: 8) A lot is being made of Marshawn Lynch , like he's a reason for the Seahawks' issues. Let's think this through. Do we think Lynch debuted a new personality this year? No. And how were the Seahawks with all of Lynch's "distractions" or whatever you'd like to call them the past few years? 8. Dallas Cowboys (7-3, LW: 7) They still have four road games left, but the good news is that three come against bad teams (Giants, Bears, Redskins). 7. Indianapolis Colts (6-4, LW: 5) You can't discount Andrew Luck getting hot and carrying this team deep in the playoffs, but they're just not one of the elite teams in the conference. 6. Kansas City Chiefs (7-3, LW: 10) They beat the defending champs with 11 completions and 108 yards. Old-school football fans, this is your squad. 5. Philadelphia Eagles (7-3, LW: 3) A close loss at Lambeau would have been no big deal. But that blowout loss? Not a good look. 4. Denver Broncos (7-3, LW: 2) The running back situation is an issue. Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball are out a while. The Broncos can't just ditch the run, like they did at St. Louis. 3. Arizona Cardinals (9-1, LW: 6) Maybe Drew Stanton is just one of those stories, where his NFL history doesn't matter and he has a great season. He looked just fine against the Lions. 2. Green Bay Packers (7-3, LW: 4) I hear you Cardinals fans. But I pick Aaron Rodgers and this team over the Cardinals on a neutral field right now. Simple. 1. New England Patriots (8-2, LW: 1) The gap is pretty wide between No. 1 and No. 2 at this point. They could lose a game (and with that schedule, it's likely) and I'm not sure I'd drop them from this spot. - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab [read full article]

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