First and Long: Parkey’s Double-Doink Started Path to Present, Watson Doesn’t Hold Grudge, Packers Can Clinch NFC North This Week
Though things have calmed down somewhat surrounding the fates of Bears’ president and CEO Ted Phillips, GM Ryan Pace, and head coach Matt Nagy, Chicago still seems more than a million miles away from Nagy’s 2018 rookie season. That year, the Bears were a double-doink away from playing the Saints in the Division Round after finishing the regular season with a 12-4 record.
ICYMI: The reigning Super Bowl champs get by the Bears after Cody Parkey's game-winning FG attempt was tipped, hit the post AND crossbar.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 7, 2019
It was amusing watching Staley the Bear fall over in disbelief after Cody Parkey missed the field goal that gave the Eagles that 16-15 win. If Nagy does not survive this season, however, that play may have been the beginning of the end.
If only the head coach had current kicker Cairo Santos back then instead of Parkey. Don’t forget, Parkey hit the uprights numerous times that season, including four times in a 34-22 win against the Lions. In fact, if the Bears would have signed Robbie Gould instead of cutting him in 2016, who knows what today’s team might look like. It’s funny how one play can come back to haunt you in the worst ways.
Still, Parkey bears no responsibility for the current state of the team that once was the pride of George Halas and all of Chicago. Pace and Nagy have made poor decisions and have provided no sense of direction. Do we even know if the GM and his staff have any semblance of a plan? Have they ever?
Like the three or four GMs that came before him, Pace has really built nothing better than an average team, filling holes with expensive free agents while making poor draft-day decisions. As a result, he’s been the wet blanket that has inhibited his staff from the type of linear progression that owners like to see from their personnel executives.
The question George McCaskey should be asking his family members at the end of the season, if not sooner, is can the NFL’s first family continue to put the fate of the organization, and all the personnel decisions that come with it, in the hands of Phillips, Pace, and Nagy? On pure evaluation, that answer should be a unanimous and resounding “no.” Team finances will come into play and likely settle the matter, however. That may be why Nagy feels awfully certain that his job remains safe.
Bears News & Notes
- The failure of Mitchell Trubisky to develop into an elite quarterback, especially when compared to Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes, could seal the fate of Pace and his head coach.
- Watson said he has no extra motivation because the Bears GM passed on him in the 2017 draft, where Watson eventually fell to the Texans at number 14.
- Apparently, Pace and the team’s scouting staff never showed any real interest in Watson.
- Despite the Bears’ six-game losing streak, hope exists in the expected bright futures of David Montgomery, Cole Kmet, and Darnell Mooney.
- Bilal Nichols was the highest-graded defensive lineman in the NFL during Week 13
- In the latest mock draft from NBC Sports Chicago, the Bears would select QB Kyle Trask of Florida with the 13th overall pick.
- The Monsters of the Midway are ranked 26th in the latest power rankings from CBS Sports. Despite beating the Bears on Sunday, the Lions are ranked one slot below at number 27.
There’s a Flag…On the Play
Bear wide receiver Allen Robinson was aware of what he needed to do and admitted he failed, though he has an explanation.
On that third down late in Sunday's game, Allen Robinson knew the situation. But he didn't see the defender had slipped between him and the end zone, or realize the chain attendant moved the marker off a yard.
Robinson offered context to the complex play: https://t.co/5Gx8DY3rcE
— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) December 9, 2020
The Packers, Steelers, and Bills can all clinch division championships this weekend.
Aaron Rodgers was named the NFC Player of the Week.
The playoff opponent that would offer Green Bay it’s best probable outcome is the Seahawks. Their toughest potential matchup would come against the Vikings.
The Vikings would prefer to be in a position to rely less on RB Dalvin Cook, but he’d rather be the team’s go-to guy.
In their latest mock draft for ESPN, Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay have the Lions selecting BYU signal caller Zach Wilson at number 9 overall.
NFL News & Notes
The Cowboys have been flexed out of their Sunday night game, the first time in the history of the storied franchise that has had to relinquish a scheduled primetime gig. The NFL has decided that the Browns-Giants game is more deserving of the slot.
The Eagles QB battle between Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts is causing some of Philadelphia’s veteran players to choose sides.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is not too happy with the celebratory TD performances of WR Tyreek Hill. Reid would like Hill to stop doing backflips in the end zone.
Retired Dallas QB Troy Aikman concisely took his former team to task during Tuesday night’s broadcast.
A diversity report on the NFL assigned high grades for the league office but lagging scores at the team level for racial and gender hiring.
Tony Romo offered up some pre-snap impersonations of some of the game’s best quarterbacks past and present, including Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Brett Favre.
If only ESPN’s Chris Berman were providing the commentary.
On this date 2 years ago: The Miami Miracle ?
(via @nflthrowback | @MiamiDolphins) pic.twitter.com/ty0LUGyYJ7
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) December 9, 2020
At the Podium
- “There’s no way that I would be able to feel that. As soon as I was planting [my feet], my eyes are coming back to to locate the ball. I had no idea until I watched it the next day to see that he had fell. As I stepped back to the ball to catch it, the whole time I’m thinking, ‘he’s standing up and I need to make a play.’ Obviously, it’s the two-minute drill so we [ar taught to] always turn towards the sidelines. I turned towards the sidelines — [but] I turned a little wide.” – Allen Robinson
- “It’s always going to be a story because of our draft class. They have done a great job with their opportunity and I’m still trying to write my story here.” – Mitch Trubisky
Dirty World by The Traveling Wilburys – If the Bears part ways with either or both of Nagy and Pace, it’s nothing personal.