Ball and season still in Cutlers hands

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Ball and season still in Cutlers hands

It hasnt always been pretty but the Bears are 6-1 and playing a 3-5 team for the chance to win a sixth straight game. Bears teams that win six straight have always made the playoffs since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger (1977, 1985, 1986, 1990, 2001, 2005, 2006).

That is no assurance of true success, however. All but the 85 and 06 teams lost in the first round of the playoffs.

But for the Bears to join the first part of that list will require a meaningful performance upgrade from quarterback Jay Cutler.

Cutler Time

This has become a familiar refrain, but with Houston, San Francisco, Minnesota (twice) and Seattle the next five opponents after the Tennessee Titans all but Minnesota (11th) ranked top-five defensively Cutler needs a whole-game show like his fourth quarter against the overmatched Carolina Panthers.

The Chicago defense has been the story of the 2012 season but at some point Cutler is expected and needed to play like the franchise quarterback that at least GM Phil Emery has decided he is.

Cutlers dalliances accounted for three of the six sacks he took against Carolina. This is simply unacceptable from a quarterback into his seventh NFL season and who is working with his virtually hand-picked position coach in Jeremy Bates.

And he really isnt all that convincing looking deeper into this season and whether things will be any better with Mike Tice than they were with Ron Turner or Mike Martz.

Didnt say it was getting better, Cutler said. I never said it was. We could be playing this type of ball in December. I dont know. I cant tell the future.

How I saw it in August

The season has held to the form I expected before it began, which had the Bears winning the ones they have and losing in Green Bay. This Tennessee game, however, was not one I had in the ledger as a W for the team I projected for 11-5.

Heres how it looked after preseason:

9. At Tennessee Titans (2011 record 9-7) Sun., Nov. 4, noon

Analysis: Whether the Bears will be facing Matt Hasselbeck or Jake Locker is a question but Tennessees offensive line allowed just 24 sacks last year. This is a very dangerous team, adding pass rusher Kamerion Wimbley, aging but solid LG Steve Hutchinson and drafting Baylor WR Kendall Wright a pick after the Bears took Shea McClellin.

Result: L (6-2)

The quarterback issue has come down with Hasselbeck because of Lockers shoulder injury. Wimbley hurt the Bears last year as a Raiduh and Wright already has 40 catches, an average of five per game.

This isnt a trap game where the Bears dont take a bad team seriously and spend three quarters figuring out that theres a game and maybe they should join it already in progress. The Bears appeared to be looking past Carolina and with so much attention on the toughening second half of the schedule, overlooking Tennessee would not be beyond possibility.

The problem is that Titans with Hasselbeck are not the same team as with Locker. The defense is still a serious concern, having given up no fewer than 23 points in the first seven games before taking Indianapolis to overtime and a 19-13 loss.

And so

The Bears very well could go back home with a 7-1 record and narrow win against the Titans. I didnt think they would before this season started and I still dont.

Titans: 23; Bears: 20

Chris Sale suspended for five days by White Sox

Chris Sale suspended for five days by White Sox

The White Sox announced Chris Sale was suspended on Sunday.

Sale was involved in an incident in the clubhouse on Saturday that was reportedly related to Sale not wanting to wear retro jerseys for his start that day. Matt Albers started the game after Sale was scratched. The game was later suspended due to rain after eight innings.

The White Sox didn't say much about the incident after play concluded on Saturday. However, general manager Rick Hahn addressed the situation on Sunday. Hahn spoke to the media after it was announced that Sale was suspended for five days.

According to the White Sox release, the suspension began with Saturday's game and concludes on Wednesday. Sale could return on Thursday, the final game of four against the Cubs.

Sale was also fined as a result of the incident.

Trade rumors had already begun to surface regarding Sale, but Hahn said this will not change his status regarding any possible trades.

Anthony Ranaudo was called up to replace Sale on the active roster. Ranaudo made two appearances with the Texas Rangers earlier this season, one of which came against the White Sox.

In a May 10 outing against the Sox, Ranaudo retired the first three batters he faced before walking five out of the next six. The White Sox traded for him two days later. With Triple-A Charlotte, the 26-year-old was used as a starting pitcher and had a 3.20 ERA with 53 strikeouts and eight walks in 78 2/3 innings.

33 Days to Kickoff: Shepard

33 Days to Kickoff: Shepard

CSNChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Aug. 1, we’ll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 26. You can view Edgy Tim's other football previews here.

School: Shepard

Head coach: Dom Passolano

Assistant Coaches: AJ Porter, Kris Korhonen, Chris Lewis, Ryan McGuire, Brad Sievers, Gary Korhonen, Brendan Meany, Clint Connelly, Joe Krawisz, Dan Ludwig, Todd Barham

How they fared in 2015: 5-5 (3-3 South Suburban Red). Shepard made the 2015 Class 5A state playoff field and lost to Sacred Heart Griffin in opening round action.

Biggest storyline in 2016: Can the Astros blast off into the state playoffs and make a run?

Names to watch this season: QB/ATH Jack Carberry, RB/S Demetrius Harrison

Biggest holes to fill: The Astros welcome back just one starting defensive linemen in senior Jamir Dunbar.

EDGY's Early Take: Look for Shepard to challenge for the South Suburban Red conference title this season. The Astros welcome back 12 starters this fall and several of those players are multi-year starters for head coach Dom Passolano.

White Sox conclude suspended game with Tigers on CSN

White Sox conclude suspended game with Tigers on CSN

The White Sox conclude their suspended game against the Detroit Tigers, and you can catch all the action on Comcast SportsNet. The 3-3 game will pick up in the top of the ninth at 1:10 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

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