Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Jay Cutler Just Has a Lot of Feelings, You Guys

I have been known to say - and I will continue to say until one or both of us is dead and gone - that Bad Jay Cutler is just a force of nature. He shows up one or two times a season and takes a big ol' shit right there on the field, throwing away any goodwill he's built up with multiple good games. And this, I have long-since decided, is fine. Everyone has bad games. Jay's may be as spectacular as anybody but Brees (seriously, watch a bad Drew Brees game and just remember that this is Drew Brees), but there's not one quarterback in the NFL who doesn't have at least one head-scratchingly poor game a season.

Bad Jay may not let you know when he's coming to town; but you know that he's out there and if you're surprised when that game comes it's kind of your own fault for forgetting. I don't worry about Bad Jay. What I do worry about is Fuck It Jay.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Bears 28, 49ers 20: Why We Watch

I try not to get very preachy or too dramatic about football on this blog. Despite my gameday rages I know football matters so little in the real world. This week was a terrible reminder of that, with the off-field controversies making it hard to defend watching an organization as seemingly broken as the NFL. No game makes up for that. As a Bears fan this week was brutal for less serious reasons, as the Buffalo loss had just about everyone off the bandwagon, shitting on Trestman, Emery, Cutler, Tucker, and whoever else you wanted to blame. I saw Jay called a $54 million mistake. Steve Rosenbloom wrote that the season was already over. No one thought the Bears could win tonight, then the game started like it was written by a demon haunting all of our worst nightmares. It was hard not to think the worst of everything.

Then they won. They won the f&*king game. They did it legitimately, too. Yes, the 49ers had opportunities to put the game away in the first half. Certainly there were penalties aplenty, but you know what? Most of them were earned on both sides. Over-officiating sucks, but when they're technically the right calls, what can you do? And the Bears got screwed by a blown replay. They had their fair share of mistakes, but you know why San Fran didn't "deserve to win"? They got stopped. A lot. By a defense that was sick and tired of having the entire world shit on them. They dialed up pressure. They got sacks, they forced turnovers. None of those were flukes or gimmes. Kyle Fuller flashed athleticism. Chris Conte made the best play of his career, and it ain't even close. The run defense grinded it out, refusing to let them pop the big one. They held, and then the offense found it's way, and then they won the f*&king game. And that's why we watch. Through all of the negativity, the anxiety, the constant reminders of past letdowns, the never-ending fear, sometimes it pays off. Sometimes they do the impossible. Sometimes they win, and it has rarely felt better than it does right now.

Season Two, Episode Thirteen: Bullet Dodged

Psst. Hey, kid. C'mere. Got something you might wanna see.

Drugs? No, drugs are for uh... thugs, or something. Look, I don't remember any of my anti-drug slogans. But no, this is much better than drugs. Put these headphones on.

That's right, Skodcast. One of only thirteen left on the air. And it can be yours for free, because the dumbasses who record it can't even figure out Google Ads.

I swear, I'm just tired today. The next one will be better than that.

In this episode, Travis is once again absent and we mostly discuss how fucking wrong we were about that Bills game.

Download this episode (right click and save)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Prognostication Bukkake, Week Two

Erik: 11-5
Code Red: 10-6 
Mrs. Code Red: 10-6
Iggins!: 7-9

Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0) @ Baltimore Ravens (0-1)

Iggins!: Well I can’t take the Ravens after the Ray Rice stuff. Steelers win.

Code Red: I'm pretty sure the Steelers are better anyway. At least offensively. Steelers win.

Mrs. Code Red: Steelers. 

Erik:  A less honorable man might have altered his pick, but I also expected a Steelers win.

Miami Dolphins (1-0) @ Buffalo Bills (1-0)

Erik: My initial response is to say that, since they beat the Bears, the Bills better just win everything forever. But I’m still bullish on these Dolphins, and I just can’t see Manuel having even the overblown modicum of success he had against the Bears with that pass rush breathing down his neck. Dolphins win.

Iggins!: Yeah, a lot of strange things happened in the Bills-Bears game. You and me, riding these Fins the whole season. Dolphins win.

Code Red: I will join you in your flippered fetishism. Dolphins win.

Mrs. Code Red: Dolphins win. 

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) @ Washington Racists (0-1)

Iggins!: Washington looked like a legitimately terrible football team, and the Jags showed life until the blur stamped that shit out. I have to say the Jaguars win here.

Code Red: Gus Bradley seemed like he had one of the best defensive gameplans anyone has yet come up with against the Blur, he just didn't have the talent to execute. Stopping this sad version of RGIII should be easier. Jaguars win.

Mrs. Code Red: Jaguars. 

Erik: I don't see the Racists putting up 34 points in the second half. Jags.

Dallas Cowboys (0-1) @ Tennessee Titans (1-0)

Code Red:  I....think I'm picking the Titans. Didn't they shock everyone by starting 2-0 last year? Titans.

Mrs. Code Red: Titans.

Iggins!: Well I’m certainly not taking Dallas. Titans win.

Erik: I may never take Dallas again. Titans.

Arizona Cardinals (1-0) @ New York Giants (0-1)

Erik: The Cardinals were able to grind out a win against the impressively rusty Chargers thanks in large part to a solid defensive effort. The Giants lost to the Lions and their offense looked like dogshit doing it. Cardinals win, Eli throws two or more picks.

Iggins!: The Giants are a terrible team. Glad I have some easy picks this year. Cardinals win.

Code Red: I want to disagree somewhere along the way but yeah the Giants looked rancid. Cardinals win.

Mrs. Code Red: Cardinals. 

New England Patriots (0-1) @ Minnesota Vikings (1-0)

Iggins!: We are so screwed this year. Vikings win.

Code Red: I am not ready to go that far. Bad as they looked last week, I think the Dolphins are a better team than these Vikings, who sadly, no, are not that bad. Patriots.

Mrs. Code Red: Patriots. 

Erik: I do have the unfair advantage of writing this after Adrian Peterson's suspension, but THAT'S THE GAME, FELLAS. Patriots.

New Orleans Saints (0-1) @ Cleveland Browns (0-1)

Code Red: The Saints proved vulnerable to the deep ball last week, but the Browns have no Roddy White or Julio Jones. Saints win.

Mrs. Code Red: Saints win.

Iggins!: Hoyer started very poorly last week but really turned it around, almost completing an impressive comeback. I bet the Browns put up some points here, but not enough. Saints win.

Erik: They might have Josh Gordon back, but still. Hoyer. Saints win.

Atlanta Falcons (1-0) @ Cincinnati Bengals (1-0)

Erik: The Falcons pulled off an impressive upset on the road against a much better team last week, because that’s the sort of thing the Falcons do just to make it hurt more when they fuck it up. I couldn’t trust them when they were 15-1, and I sure as shit can’t trust them now. Bengals.

Iggins!: The Bengals needed a 77 yard circus play from AJ Green to beat the Ravens. Nobody seems to remember that the dirty birds were perennially 13-3/12-4 before they got injured to death last year. Falcons win.

Code Red: The Falcons were never as good as their record when they were winning nor as bad as their record when losing. But they've always been a different team outside of the dome in the Ryan Era.  Bengals win.

Mrs. Code Red: Falcons.

Detroit Lions (1-0) @ Carolina Panthers (1-0)

Code Red: Cam is playing, right? This is a tough one. The Lions always start off well, and a broken rib will seriously alter how Cam plays. I want to pick Detroit, but....I don't. Because fuck them. I'll go down on the fuck Detroit ship. Panthers.

Mrs. Code Red: Panthers.

Iggins!: Yeah, I just don’t want to pick Detroit, despite it probably being the smart move. Panthers win.

Erik: I mean I have to imagine the Panthers will be better than the Giants about the whole "knowing to cover Megatron even a little bit" thing. I'll stand in solidarity. Panthers.

St Louis Rams (0-1) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1)

Iggins!: And the winner of the least fun to watch game of the year goes to… the Tampa Bay Buccaneers!

Code Red: Anyone that thinks Jay Cutler threw the dumbest interception of week one should see Josh McCown's bobbled snap/gently lofted floater to a defender four feet away. Still, the Rams may be starting their third string QB on the road. Bucs.

Mrs. Code Red: Bucs.

Erik: It's a classic Bad vs. Worse matchup, Mike. I like the Bucs to be just slightly less shitty.

Seattle Seahawks (1-0) @ San Diego Chargers (0-1)

Erik: The one upside for San Diego here is that at least Richard Sherman doesn’t shadow receivers, so Keenan Allen should get more targets. But with an offense that was stymied by Arizona and a pass rush that managed zero sacks against a 34-year-old man behind one of the worst lines in football, that’s about the end of the silver lining. Seahawks.

Iggins!: From this point on I will no longer justify why. Seattle wins.

Code Red: There is nothing to say. Seahawks.

Mrs. Code Red: Seahawks.

Houston Texans (1-0) @ Oakland Raiders (0-1)
Code Red: the Texans really are last year's Chiefs. What a cushy schedule. Texans.

Mrs. Code Red: Texans.

Iggins!: That Raider offense is especially dreadful. Texans win.

Erik: Not only that, they'll play just well enough behind that defensive line to get people to start talking about them like a contender again before collapsing entirely.  Texans.

New York Jets (1-0) @ Green Bay Packers (0-1)

Iggins!: I like this Jets team to win a bunch of games they shouldn’t this year, but oh man I bet GB is pissed. Packers win.

Code Red: yeeeeah. Packers win.

Mrs. Code Red: Packers. 

Erik: We can dream, but a realist has to take the Packers.

Kansas City Chiefs (0-1) @ Denver Broncos (1-0)

Code Red: Yeah these Chiefs are not good. Broncos.

Mrs. Code Red: Broncos.

Iggins!: Broncos win.

Erik: All that remains is to see the over. Broncos

Chicago Bears (0-1) @ San Franciso 49ers (1-0)

Erik: I’m going to do something very stupid and give myself false hope based solely on the fact that San Francisco’s entire defense is hurt or suspended this week. They just don’t have enough healthy guys to stop everything the Bears can throw at them in a shootout. Bears win, 31-28.

Iggins!: Nope. 49ers win, 52-27.

Code Red: I have one rule, and dammit, a man's got to believe in something. Bears win, 35-30.

Mrs. Code Red: It's only week two, who would I be to abandon the Bears now, even if it is against the second best team in the NFL...Bears win.......yeaaaaaahhh. Umm, 34-30.

Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) @ Indianapolis Colts (0-1)
Erik: The Eagles got a little bit of a scare in the first quarter against the Jags, but reality reasserted itself and they cruised to victory thereafter. With the Colts’ run game in the shitter and their secondary suspect, at best, this should be a high-scoring affair. But you can always do worse than betting on LeSean McCoy. Eagles.

Iggins!: NFC vs. AFC this year, I’m going NFC. Eagles win.

Code Red: The year of reckoning has come for the Pagano/Grigson regime. Eagles.

Mrs. Code Red: Eagles.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Bills 23, Bears 20- Sigh

And so it begins. You might be expecting another impassioned speech of mine as to why you're all morons for overreacting to this garbage. Maybe I'll cite some anecdotal evidence (Mark Potash pointed out that 13 playoff teams in the last 12 years have opened their seasons with losses at home to non-playoff teams, that's a good one). Maybe I'll point out where other good teams fucked up this week, too (I mean did anyone see a 13 point Dolphins win or Atlanta managing to beat New Orleans?). Maybe I'll make reference to past Bears playoff teams that had their share of embarrassing moments on the way to the playoffs (see the 2010 Bears and, well, really just about any game they lost, but particularly that Redskins game. Woof). In the end I'd point to the yardage advantage the Bears posted, the considerable talent they possess on offense, point out that the defense actually improved considerably on a per play basis and in getting third down stops vs. last year even if they did undo themselves by allowing three long runs, and I'd tell you all not to worry.
Well, worry. Go ahead. I don't know what this team can do. My heart and mind are both trying to tell me that a team with this much talent, particularly offensively, can't possibly win less than 10 games. Then again, Dallas has made a cottage of industry of doing just that, and so did last year's Bears. I'm not giving up on them. That's foolish. I can easily see them getting those 10-11 wins they need, even still. They're never going to be out of any ballgame with the guys they have, but they certainly can't afford to put themselves out of games like they did yesterday.

So no, I can't tell you it's all going to be okay. Maybe the sky is falling. I  doubt that, too. We're just going to have to do this the old-fashioned way and watch. And pray.

Friday, September 5, 2014

These guys, I swear to God. It's 2014.

We attempted to record a podcast tonight to be posted in advance of Sunday's game, but my compatriots apparently have the technology acumen of 95-year-olds.

Kyle was just on a ten-second delay, which made it even harder to not be interrupted or talked over by Kyle than normal. Presumably because he insists on using Skype on his phone because headsets are how the government plants thoughts in your brain.

Travis has satellite Internet in his country moonshiner's shack, and apparently if it rains we are treated to him disconnecting and reconnecting every five minutes.

So blame both of them for your lack of our unique viewpoint that the Buffalo Bills are not good at football and the worst-case scenario for this game is a shootout between one of the highest-powered offenses in the league and the Buffalo Bills. We will recap the game next week and be on our regular-season one-cast-a-week schedule. And Kyle will submit to the tyranny of the White House and purchase a microphone.

Apologies for the inconvenience!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Season Two, Episode Twelve: What's Past is Prologue

This is it. It's all built up to this point. The pain, the anguish. The blood, sweat, and tears. Everything has led to this moment.

You rest your hands upon the ancient, weathered wood of the chest. As if from nowhere, music swells. You lift the lid, unexpectedly light despite the weight of this moment. From within, it glimmers. The music builds as you lean forward; and as it reaches its crescendo you turn around and show the camera. You got it. You got the episode! Equip it to X, Y, Z and use it to listen.

I was doing like a thing, this thing specifically:

They can't all be winners, okay? This episode was recorded simultaneously with the third preseason game, and is the last to be recorded without regular-season football next on the docket. Rejoice! For the Long Dark has ended.

Download this episode (right click and save)


Green Bay Packers @ Seattle Seahawks

Iggins!: This week is ridiculous, there are maybe two games I can pick with certainty, and the Bears get payback next week for getting one of those games. Anyway, the Packers return as the same team they’ve been since they won the Super Bowl, and they’re getting the same overblown hype train. Seahawks win.

Erik: That’s the long and short of it. Even with Rodgers throwing the ball, the Seahawks are one of the few team capable of exposing the Packers’ receiving corps as “Randall Cobb and some dudes.” While Eddie Lacy should be working on full, it makes very little difference against that front. Seahawks.

Code Red: The last time these teams faced the Seahawks defense wasn't even at its full powers and it relentlessly destroyed the Packers offensive line. The only reason the game was close was Pete Carrol's fear of letting the young Russell Wilson loose. He'll have no such qualms this time. Seahawks win.

Mrs. Code Red: Seahawks. Reigning superbowl champion at home? Seems a foregone conclusion to moi.

Buffalo Bills @ Chicago Bears

Erik: The Bills are a… football team. That’s what I got. The offense should be just fine against a once-decent secondary that should be hurting without Jairus Byrd, all that really needs to be seen for me is how much the defense lets them win by. There’s not much to be afraid of out of that Bills offense, seeing as all the Sammy Watkins in the world can only make EJ Manuel so productive. Bears win, 28-17

Code Red: Their defense last year was startlingly good, with a relentless pass rush caused by Mike Pettine constantly shifting his fronts, moving Kiko Alonso and Jairus Byrd around in the second levels to cover any gaps his blitzes created, and taking advantage of confused quarterbacks on their way to 50+sacks. This year they replaced Pettine with the predictable Schwartz, who has only ever stopped Jay Cutler by injuring him. Without Kiko and Byrd, and with the Bears pass protection looking downright dominant even without Jordan Mills, I see nothing stopping Jay from having a big game. Bears win, 31-17.

Mrs. Code Red: Bears, duh. 34-14

Iggins!: Burrrzzzzzzzz win.

Tennessee Titans @ Kansas City Chiefs

Iggins!: The Chiefs are going to take a fall, but not this hard. Chiefs win.

Erik: Yeah, they’re going to go right ahead and make the “We just paid Alex Smith 50 million dollars” game as bad as possible. Chiefs.

Code Red: We will discuss that contract often. I actually think the Titans will be a reasonably respectable 7 win team this year, and were this game in Tennessee I might be tempted. Not in arrowhead, though. Chiefs win.

Mrs. Code Red: Chiefs. I really don't care enough to talk about this.

New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons

Erik: I think this is the year the Falcons finally bring it all hooahahahah. Sorry, couldn’t do it. Saints.

Code Red: that Falcons team is an excellent example of how to be a very talented football team that invested said talent in all the wrong areas. There's nothing about that pass defense that should even remotely give pause to Breesus, and he owned this team even when it was good. Saints.

Mrs. Code Reds: Saints (no comment, but she chuckled with utter disdain at the idea of the Falcons even possibly contending).

Iggins!: The Falcons are pretty good at winning 11-13 games when everyone is healthy, but man, that defense. Yikes. Saints win.

Minnesota Vikings @ St. Louis Rams

Iggins!: I never bet Matt Cassel. I certainly never bet Cassel against perhaps the best defensive line of the last 15 years. Rams win.

Erik: I want the Rams to capitalize on the astoundingly good job they’ve done with that front so bad, but they’re never going to. Won’t matter here, though. Rams.

Code Red: Huh. I'm going to take the Vikings here, because we need Cassel looking competent against their softer opponents so the inevitable ascension of Teddy is put off down the road.

Mrs. Code Reds: Wait is Sam Bradford out? Who is their backup? Who the hell is Shaun Hill? Is he worse than Bradford? Can you be worse than Bradford? Vikings.

Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Erik: The Browns managed to turn the best pre-draft outlook in recent memory into a worse team than last year, thanks in large part to Josh Gordon’s inability to stop doing drugs in his car. The Steelers threw all of their wide receivers in the garbage and both of their running backs should be suspended. TUNE IN FOR THIS ONE. Probably Steelers I guess, at least they have Rapey and Antonio Brown.

Code Red: Yeah the Browns really Browns'd the hell outta this offseason. Steelers win.

Mrs. Code Red: Steelers. Because Browns.

Iggins!: Steelers win I guess, I get the feeling whoever I pick will lose this one.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Philadelphia Eagles

Iggins!: You know, I really don’t mind this Jags team. Maybe 7-9? Chip is gonna go nuts on them here, though. Eagles win.

Erik: They’ll find a way to fuck it up. Have faith, or at least a lack thereof. Eagles.

Code Red; Yeah there's a lot of replacement level talent on this Jaguars team that should make them respectable in their 6-7 wins this year. This will not be one of those. Eagles win.

Mrs. Code Red: Eagles. But I don't like Chip Kelly. Just throwing that out there.

Oakland Raiders @ New York Jets

Erik: Doooon’t Caaaaaare™. Jets, I suppose.

Code Red: I am suddenly interested in seeing this game. I'll probably watch it on Game Rewind. Be interesting to see what Carr does, since he kinda reminds me of Geno last year. Good physical traits, came out of a spread offense that didn't ask him to make a ton of difficult throws, doesn't handle the rush well. Also interesting to see if there's any substance to the “GENO LOOKS BETTER NOW GUYS” hype (I suspect there is not). Jets win, because Rex Ryan vs. a rookie QB seems to be advantage Rex.

Mrs. Code Reds: Are they starting Derek Carr? That's...the right move, but doubt he's going to win right now. Jets win.

Iggins!: I like the Jets a lot this season, I honestly see the AFC East being the most competitive division, top to bottom, in the NFL. Jets win.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens

Iggins!: Predicting these games is always a toss-up. I’ll go home team. Ravens win.

Erik: I just don’t see Flacco suddenly getting it together against that D, especially with Ray sitting at home with his w… that can’t be right, can it? Yep, he’s sitting at home with his wife. Huh. Bengals, anyway.

Code Red: This version of the Bengals is seriously the most talented version of the Bengals of the Dalton Era, and I still have no faith in them. Still, I will bet on them here. Bengals win.

Mrs. Code Red: Bengals.

Washington [REDACTED]s @ Houston Texans

Erik: The Texans’ offense may still be nothing but the roll of tape they use to keep Arian Foster together, but that defensive line is going to crush poor Robert to death. DeSean Jackson will get confused and call in a drive-by. Texans.

Code Red: That Redskins line is still not that great, I see a lot of RG3 running for his life from Clowney/Watt, and that defense is god-awful enough for Fitzpatrick to have a nice day throwing to Andre and DeAndre. Texans.

Mrs. Code Red: Uhh...okay. Texans.

Iggins!: For whatever reason I feel like the racists have the advantage here on turf despite this game being in Houston. Big win for Washington here, then a lot of let down afterwards.

New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins

Iggins!: Erik, join me in the pit of inevitable losses that is the Miami Dolphins! Fins win.

Erik: I will sink every pick into this team. BULLISH. Dolphins begin their impressive march to 19-0.

Code Red: Oh boy, you're both going to ride that train. Patriots.

Mrs. Code Red: Patriots, but I don't think the Dolphins are bad.

Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Erik: The Josh McCown Express has an unfortunate first stop against an absolutely savage Panthers D. That squad gives good teams fits, to say nothing of career backups underthrowing slants to rookies from behind one of the worst offensive lines in football. Panthers.

Code Red: That Panthers defense should take a step back, and I like the talent on that Bucs defense. This has my bet for ugliest game of the opening weekend, but still I think Cam gets it done late. Panthers.

Mrs. Code Red: Panthers. Sorry, Lovie and Josh. But I don't think you have your answers yet.

Iggins!: Man I am either going to win or lose this season in week 1. The Panthers lost pretty much everything in the offseason, their defense will probably be equivalent to Lovie+McCoy, and, I mean, Lovie has gone 10-6 with pretty much this exact Bucs team. Bucs win.

San Francisco 49ers @ Dallas Cowboys

Iggins!: This should be easy, but something about it really concerns me. These 49ers just seem to be trying extra hard to collapse. Still, 49ers win.

Erik: They really do. They’re missing like half their defense, Kap had a lot of troubles last year and this preseason, Frank Gore has to be getting tired by now… but I just can’t see them struggling too much against a defense that finished dead last and then got worse. Niners.

Code Red: Could be a shootout for a while, but that Cowboys defense is going to be historically bad. 49ers win.

Mrs. Code Red: 49ers.

Indianapolis Colts @ Denver Broncos

Erik: LUCK VORSUS MANNING GUYS. OLD VS. NEW AN’ ALL THAT. I think Peyton will have something of a return to Earth, but the Broncos are still just a better team. Broncos.

Code Red: I feel like this has to be the year that shitty Colts roster gets exposed for what it is and falls to the 8 or so wins they were always destined for. Broncos.

Mrs. Code Reds: Broncos. Peyton won't lose at home to the Colts.

Iggins!: The Colts are not good. Broncos win.

New York Giants @ Detroit Lions

Iggins!: These are easily the two teams I can laugh at most easily in all the league. Fuck the Lions, Giants win.

Erik: I’ll gladly board the “Fuck the Lions” train; but after last season I’ll believe the Giants are on the mend when I see it, especially on the road. Lions.

Code Red: and yet, in that train wreck of a Giants season you are talking about, they beat the Lions on the road. Giants win.

Mrs. Code Red: Eww. Not sure about either team. I'll go with Giants, but man do I hate betting on Eli.

San Diego Chargers @ Arizona Cardinals

Erik: I suppose we’ll have to see if Rivers can go for another season of people ignoring the fact that he’s finally playing like the guy they thought he was because he waited too long, but right now momentum is in the Bolts’ favor. Chargers.

Code Red; This should actually be a pretty fun game. The Cardinals have just taken hit after hit on defense this year, but that Chargers defense is still not particularly terrifying. I expect scoring, but I'll take the Chargers.

Mrs. Code Red: Chargers.

Iggins!: Bolts win.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

TIME TO PANIC?! A Step By Step Guide to Appropriate Panicking About the Bears

In lieu of my traditional Good, Bad, Ugly breakdown of the third preseason game (in short: GOOD- Offense moved ball, Defensive line did stuff. BAD-everything else. UGLY- Kelvin Hayden), I've gauged the reaction of many Bears fans and surrounding media following the event and decided things need a bit of tweaking. So I'm here to help you all understand just what the appropriate level of panic is on the following Bears:

Jay Cutler: He was sacked twice, the first two times he's gone down all preseason. He was also picked for the first time after Garza snapped the ball early and Jay did a Jay thing trying to get rid of the ball in a hurry. Otherwise though he moved the ball pretty well, had a touchdown nullified by a ticky-tack penalty and another dropped, and averaged almost 8 YPA against the best secondary in the NFL. He finishes his preseason completing 66% with a passer rating just a notch below 100. He's fine. PANIC LEVEL: you know when you wake up at like 1 AM, and you think OH SHIT WHAT TIME IS IT DID I MISS WORK and then you realize it's 1 AM and you have like six more hours of glorious sleep left? That.

I Suppose it Was Inevitable

There was never a chance we were going to make it through an entire season without this happening. There's just too much butthurt over grumpy interviews and short responses and unreasonable expectations for a Sun-Times reporter not to write at least one article comparing Johnny Manziel and Jay Cutler.

But I thought we'd make it farther than this. I thought we'd make it past literally Johnny's first appearance.

And of course it had to be Telander. He just can't figure out how to be nice to Jay. He tries so hard, but he only manages to sound condescending and bitter. Which, in a way, describes Rick Telander perfectly. So I guess we shouldn't be surprised.

And so the 2014 Fisking Season begins, as I lovingly open the box that contains my italics.