Black Quarterback: The Lessons Episode
By Brandon Simmons
Who’s Afraid of the Chicago Bears
Who is afraid of the big bad Chicago Bears? It might have to be a couple of teams headed for the postseason and those on the bubble. The Bears are one of the surprise teams this year as they lead the NFC North at 8-3. Many would contribute the main difference to head coach Matt Nagy, an offensive mind who transformed this offensive unit into an unassuming strike force. Last season, the Bears were 29th in scoring with 16.5 ppg; this season, they have jumped to 6th with 28.8 ppg. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has looked like a stud in his 2nd year under the tutilege of Nagy. But he also has a defense that can allow him to take chances. Last year, the Bears defense was good but this season they have really made their mark, ranking 6th overall.
If your team is going to the playoffs, or sitting on the bubble right now, you should be very worried about the Chicago Bears. The Bears are equipped with a strong offense and an even stronger defense heading into the final stretch of the season. They currently lead the league with 29 takeaways, which is always going to be the ultimate equalizer against any team. In their last 2 games, Chicago has forced 5 turnovers, including 2 pick 6’s by safety Eddi Jackson. The NFC is already looking to have Drew Brees, Jared Goff and Cam Newton in the playoffs, so it will be important to force those takeaways and supply the offense with as many possessions as possible. If you pair that with the fact, they have an explosive offense this year, quite a few teams will get have some trouble on their hands with them in the final month and into the playoffs.
Baker Learns a Lesson
Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield probably had to do grow up faster than a lot of rookie QB’s in his class. He was drafted number one overall by the Browns, a team that haven’t won a game in over 2 years. The team was featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks, so the world could see his progression. It would not be long before his own head coach was fired after a 2-4-1 start. Fast forward to Week 12, and former Browns head coach Hue Jackson has signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as a special assistant. It was a quiet move but one that Mayfield was not too fond of:
It does not seem like the rookie QB is too thrilled about Jackson’s new job nor does he feel it’s an honorable gesture. But the real deal of it all is this: Jackson probably doesn’t care.
In 2018 professional sports, loyalty only comes to an extent; and that extent is usually surrounded by money. Players and coaches make decision that will benefit them and their families and the longer they are in these professional leagues, the more this becomes apparent to them. Mayfield looks at it like Jackson recruited him to the Browns and now he’s left to go coaching at the rival powerhouse. In reality Jackson lost his job and went back to the place where he got some major success, in hopes of getting another huge opportunity. Yes, the Bengals are a division rival, but rivalries are just for the fans to enjoy amongst each other. When Baker gets older in his career, depending on how good he has done, he will understand going somewhere new for a fresh start, whether it’s on his own terms or not.
Aaron Rodgers Should Stop making Guarantees
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers loves making guarantees about certain things. He guarantees the team will run the table to make the playoffs; he guarantees that the fans should relax while the Pack is struggling. Now he guarantees similar outcomes while naming his opponents:
At this point, he just needs to stop because it’s all becoming a gimmick. All these pseudo-inspirational speeches are nothing more than bulletin board material for team who are either looking to make the playoffs or save some pride for their season. The only guarantee Rodgers should make is guaranteeing neither him or his team will start off their season ass backwards. After starting 1-2, Rodgers hit the fans with the R-E-L-A-X speech. Then, in 2016, the Packers went 4-6 – including a 4 game losing streak – but his guarantee of running the table, got Green Bay going on a 6 game win streak and at 10-6. It’s great that he believes in his team with all his heart and soul, but his team should have had that same sentiment in the beginning of this year, instead tying with the Minnesota Vikings, instead of losing to an average Washington Redskins team or losing to a below-average Detroit Lions team. I can guarantee you the fans wish the late season heroics would happen much earlier.
Shout out to the Houston Texans and their 8-game winning streak. The Texans have become the first team in NFL history to win 8 straight games after a 3-0 start. With wins over all 3 of their division opponents, Houston may very well finish the season as AFC South champs, considering the Jacksonville Jaguars have taken a slide this year.
Shut out to the Jaguars actually. Since starting 3-1, they have lost 7 straight games. In addition to that, they have benched quarterback Blake Bortles, essentially throwing in the towel for their season.
Shout out to the Chicago Bears for their Motown celebration in their win against the Detroit Lions. On Thanksgiving, Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller intercepted a pass in the endzone and decided to gather the defense together for a soulful routine led by cornerback Prince Amukamara.
Shut out to the Washington Redskins for signing Reuben Foster, who was arrested for another domestic violence incident. The former 49ers linebacker was released by San Francisco after his arrest on Saturday but has now been claimed off waivers by Washington. Foster is currently on the exempt list, in which players can not attend practices, or even be at the team facilities while an investigation into his matter is going on. For the Redskins to sign a guy with allegations this fresh is very wild. It is noted, the incident allegedly occurred with the same woman who accused Foster of this before, but earlier this year recanted her statement and had the charges dropped against hm. It’s better to just let it play out away from the team instead of wasting a roster spot.
That is all I have for this week but the final month of the season should get started with a bang this weekend. The New Orleans Saints are going to visit the Dallas Cowboys for Thursday Night Football and it is a total trap game for the Saints. Both teams are on winning streaks, but the Saints are being hyped as the overwhelming favorites. They can easily get swayed into that thinking, and get blindsided by a solid Dallas defense. However, New Orleans’ offense can tame the threat of that Cowboys pass rush with QB Drew Brees distributing the ball down the field and running backs Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram moving the ball on the ground. The Los Angeles Chargers and the Pittsburgh Steelers are going at it on Sunday Night Football. This will be the first time a lot of people see the Chargers this season, which has been the quietest surprise of the NFL this year. Some analysts have even suggested that the Chargers could take a shot at the 1st place Kansas City Chiefs, whom they have yet to play. This game may very well have a huge affect on how things shape up in the playoffs but until then…I’ll holla
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