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Black, Blue, and Ornery: When analytics and intuitions collide

This photo from Chicagobears.com accurately sums up the mood at the end of the Bears 23-20 (OT) loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

This photo from Chicagobears.com accurately sums up the mood at the end of the Bears 23-20 (OT) loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Good morning, folks! Welcome to the Water Cooler Sports Black, Blue, and Ornery, your source for NFC North News on this Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013.

One thing still buzzing around the Bears camp following the 23-20 overtime loss to the Minnesota Vikings was the controversial decision of head coach Marc Trestman to attempt a 47-yard field goal on a second and seven to win the game.

Trestman addressed the media Monday and defended his decision with the following:

We made a collective decision that once we got (inside the 30), there was complete agreement and no discussion on the matter. We were second-and-7 and again, we were in the middle of the field well within Robbie’s distance. And the decision is not anything that I regret. . . . I don’t regret that I have to take accountability for it. But I do.

I didn’t do it from an analytics standpoint. I did it from having been around Robbie the entire year. And knowing how he kicks the ball and watching him kick in practice, I had no doubt that he was going to make the kick.

Trestman has certainly given us fans and analysts things to discuss this season in terms of game management and football philosophy. From the field goal decision on Sunday, to not using his timeouts at the end of the game against the Baltimore Ravens (a game Chicago won in overtime), to many fourth-down conversion calls all over the field.

If you open up the NFL Football for Dummies manual (okay, I made that up, but pretend a book does exist), it probably says it’s wise to run another play, attempt to get additional yardage, and then kick the field goal on third down — exactly what the Bears did at home against the Ravens to win.

Ultimately, Trestman didn’t want to chance a negative play or penalty, which is exactly what had happened to the Vikings the series earlier, and had total confidence in Gould making the field goal. Unfortunately, Gould didn’t and the fans and media have swarmed.

Bottom line: if Gould does make the field goal, we aren’t discussing this much or criticizing Trestman.

I personally don’t have much of an issue with the decision. Gould is usually very accurate from that distance and had kicked the ball great on his other three attempts, even though one was a 66-yard hope-and-prayer attempt at the end of regulation that came up a bit short. Gould was kicking indoors in ideal conditions on the road, and the way the Chicago defense was playing, I can understand Trestman simply wanting to make the kick to get the heck out of there.

People will remember that a missed field goal lost the game, but a proper review of the game would show the Bears squandered many chances to win in all three phases. Such is life for an NFL head coach and place kicker.

Quote of the day:

Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.

–Ludwig van Beethoven

Dancer and actress Jenna Dewan turns XX today.

Dancer and actress Jenna Dewan turns 33 today.

And on this day in history:

  • 1818 – Illinois was admitted as the 21st state of the Union. They also are home to the best NFL football team of all time.
  • 1931 – Alka-Seltzer® was sold for the first time. Enjoyed by NFL fans everywhere since then.
  • 1997 – Pierce Brosnan received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I still think he was the best James Bond actor.

We also have some great birthdays to celebrate today!

  • Ozzy Osbourne (65) – He gained fame as the lead singer of Black Sabbath and became known as the Prince of Darkness and the Godfather of Heavy Metal.
  • Julianne Moore (53) – Beautiful and versatile actress who appeared in Boogie Nights and Far from Heaven.
  • Jenna Dewan (33) – Dancer who gained fame for her roles in Step Up and Take the Lead.

NFC North News

I thought I knew what provocation was
I thought I knew what provocation was
I’ve eaten from the insane root that imprisons reason

It’s in my stomach like fire, like cancer
Like a knife I’ve been gunshot
I gotta let it go

Goddamn, nowhere place to be
Dying deep inside of me
Always standing on the inside looking out
Can’t break a heart so strong with pride
It’s more than just being alive
I linked the rule with you, I’m out!

Detroit Lions

Chris McCosky of The Detroit News notes that the Detroit Lions brought in three kickers for tryouts on Monday, one being Havard “Kickalicious” Rugland. The Lions decided against signing any of the kickers and will continue on with the struggling David Akers.

Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com presents his scouting report of the Lions next opponent: the Philadelphia Eagles.

Chicago Bears

Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times brings us his “10 Observations” from the Chicago Bears’ loss to the Vikings.

Charlie Roumeliotis of CSNChicago.com reports that quarterback Jay Cutler aggressively defended head coach Marc Trestman’s decision to attempt a game-winning attempt on second down and seven. Cutler went into detail of his defense during his weekly ESPN 1000 radio show on Monday.

Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman reacts to placekicker Robbie Gould missing what would have been a game-winning (and NFL recordsetting) 68-yard field goal.

Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman reacts to placekicker Robbie Gould missing what would have been a game-winning (and NFL recordsetting) 68-yard field goal.

Green Bay Packers

On this video from NFL.com, NFL media insider Ian Rapoport discusses the chances of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers returning from his collarbone injury still this season.

Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette notes that the Packers signed former Chicago Bears running back Kahlil Bell on Monday. The Packers were in need of running back help after putting rookie running back Johnathan Franklin on injured reserve with a concussion.

Minnesota Vikings

According to Brian Hall of Fox Sports North, Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier declined to name his starting quarterback for this Sunday’s game at the Baltimore Ravens.

Mike Wobschall of Vikings.com presents his “5 Takeaways,” discussing how the Vikings were able to knock off the Chicago Bears this past Sunday.

Actress Amanda Sigfreid turns 28 today.

Actress Amanda Seyfried turns 28 today.

3124 comments
The Real CJammin
The Real CJammin

Robert J, I'm not sure what you are smoking, but I want some.  Ryan has had a top 5 scoring defense twice and that was in 2010 and 2012.  However in terms of yards allowed, he has only had one defense that ranked in the top half of the league and that was when they were 16th, also in 2010.


Would you like to make up more stats so I can disprove them?


TheHairy1
TheHairy1

BTW - Minny still has a chance to win the div - it may be slim to none, but they are still in contention at this point

sgunderson17
sgunderson17

A Schwartz HC all but guarantees that the Lions aren't winning a SB. 

Donny33
Donny33

a suh extension all but guarantees that they aren't signing any more big name FA's for the next 10 years.

Donny33
Donny33

burleson is having a decent year, why would he take a pay cut?

TheHairy1
TheHairy1

Does it really matter who wins the Division at this point since it's a moot point?  Let's be honest here.  Who actually thinks that Detroit will beat SF or Car or NO in the 1st round (at home) let alone beating SF (at home)/NO/Car(on the road) in the 2nd round or probably go to Seattle and beat them in the NFCCG?

That's if they don't fold the next 4 games

LaCW
LaCW

I think Thanksgiving proved Jeremy Ross is better than Megatron and Ross couldn't make the Packers. Therefore Megatrons injury first game is irrelevant. Packers would have destroyed the Lions on Thanksgiving if they were healthy just ilke they did first game. 

Fiddy We be one game out of first HAHAHAHAHAHA
Fiddy We be one game out of first HAHAHAHAHAHA

Why are the Panthers having success. 

IMO they finally got CAM to become a game manager and let the defense do it's thing. When Cam was trying to win games on his own he always blew it. As most QB's do. But now he stays within the offense and lets the game come to him, while the defense keeps putting the ball back in his hands

robertj72
robertj72

Can someone write a bad metaphor article about the Lions and Paul Walker. 

Each season being a Fast (CJ) and Furious (Suh) "episode". Walker the leading man (Stafford) being a crappy actor given high powered machine and special effects to make him look like an action star. Each installment a complete disaster and an insult to intelligence and quality. 

And no matter what glimpses of fun or success you know it all revolves around crashing and burning.

Cheeky Bastard
Cheeky Bastard

Detroit isn't a great team, but they have a chance to be.

They just don't have the coaching staff in place to get them there. Their only true weakness is in the secondary. Good RB's, a good enough WR corps, great offensive line, great defensive line, solid linebacker play.

Dat secondary though. Yikes. Combine that with Schwartz and Linehan and you have a recipe for a mediocre team.

LKP
LKP

@Donny33 Burleson took a pay cut this year. You people are beyond clueless

LaCW
LaCW

Detroit is the worst team to make the playoffs in the last decade. 

Cheeky Bastard
Cheeky Bastard

@TheHairy1 i still think that if Detroit shows up and plays it's best game, they could beat San Fran and Carolina.

It's not likely though, the coaching staff has proven that. 

LKP
LKP

@LaCWrestler Ross didn't play Week 5 for Detroit. Lions with Ross beat GB Week 5. You lose

robertj72
robertj72

@50CaliberFalconoles No one that has watched Cam's runs to salvage 3rd downs when plays broke down would call him a game manager. Cam has never been a passing machine since after his first 4 games. He always has a low pitch count. Carolina has always revolved around power running and defense. Nothing in the philosophy has changed.

vanderheap19
vanderheap19

@Extend Capers thru 2020 I've found it odd that defensive-minded coaches seem to have such holes on defense. Lions have had issues with secondary for a while. Another one I'm.. amused at is Patriots, who get really hot or cold on defense, but Belechik was supposed to be a D guy. There's others, just cant' think of em off the top of my head.

LKP
LKP

@Extend Capers thru 2020 That's bullshit. 4 game turnover problem. That's on mental mistakes by the players. Still 2-2 and could be 4-0 in those games as they were damn close. That's a great job by the coaching staff.

LaCW
LaCW

5th stringer. Lions are lucky Packers were missing half their team. True score Packer 77 Lions 3

LaCW
LaCW

True. THe 2011 Lions were way worse. 

robertj72
robertj72

@50CaliberFalconoles  @robertj72 Then you can call anything managing a team that isn't Brett Favre. Smart play, low INT, taking what defense gives you. That is the top 20 QBs in the NFL since 1980 not named Favre.

Cheeky Bastard
Cheeky Bastard

@LKP 40 10 @MIBearFan @Extend Capers thru 2020 the Lions offense consistently waits until the second half of the game to get anything going. 

The defense is good on run defense, not very good on pass defense. This is the third year in a row that the secondary has been bad despite spending multiple draft picks on the position. That points to coaching.

They are still very undisciplined, which is why you see the big plays.

LKP
LKP

@MIBearFan @LKP 40 10 @Extend Capers thru 2020 THe Lions offense is great. Thanks Linehan. The defense has done great in some areas (3rd down, run D) thanks Schwartz and Gunther. Decent in turnover, 17 forced.

The secondary lost their position coach. Tim Walton, D Cord for the Rams now. They are limiting to 60% completion and the big plays given up is not a schematic thing.

Plus 34 points directly from turnovers. 21 PPG now.