Friday, January 19, 2007

Countdown to Rexstasy

I was going to write a snarky post about how the city was a lot more excited about the baseball playoffs in 2003 and 2005 then they were about this years Bears team. There were even 6,000 no shows for last week's game against the Seahawks. Now that had a lot to do with the huge price tag - but I can't imagine the same thing happening to the Sox or Cubs in the playoffs.

But this week was different. Even if may fans are a bit pessimistic (at least I am) there is a palpable sense of excitement in the city for the game this week. Yet, I still don't think it compares to the what the city experiences during the baseball playoffs, but that's an argument for another day.

As for the game this weekend its hard for me to make any predictions. I do think the offense is good for 21 points. The bigger worry is the defense. They're just pretty mediocre without Tommie Harris and Mike Brown.

But the Saints are not as good as everyone thinks. Jason Whitlock's this week column was pretty enlightening. He argued the Saints are making a big mistake by splitting carries between McAllister and Bush, as Whitlock argues:

Deuce was averaging damn near 10 yards a rip. But Payton kept sending in
New Orleans utility back Reggie Bush to do grown man’s work. Bush was having
decent success. But every carry he got was once less chance for Deuce to break
Jeremiah Trotter’s arm ripping through a hole on a simple isolation.

Siragusa kept subtly pointing this out every chance he got. For some
reason, Moose Johnston was reluctant to fully pick up on what was obvious to
Siragusa and anyone with a brain. New Orleans’ marketing scheme, Reggie Bush,
was stopping the Saints from putting away the game.

It's hard to argue with Whitlock as Bush only averaged 3.8 yards per carry this year with a long run of 18 yards. Bush is still a dangerous weapon in the receiving game, but the Bears may be better off with him taking a lot of hand-offs.

So who do I think will win? Well, as a Bears fan, there is no way I'm putting that in pixels.