Word on the Street: Bears to win multiple playoff games?

Word on the Street: Bears to win multiple playoff games?

Monday, Nov. 15, 2010CSNChicago.com
Bears 'King' for a day

In this morning's Monday Morning Quarterback column, the Bears -- and Devin Hester in particular, being named his co-Special Team Player of the Week -- received some high praise from Peter King.

"Very wise use of the dangerous Hester made the Bears' win over Minnesota much easier. He scored on a 19-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter, then returned a punt 42 yards and a kickoff 68 yards. All in all, if Hester can impact the game as a receiver AND kickpunt-returner, the Bears have a chance to win multiple playoff games." (SI.com)

Sox apologize; keep new uniforms anyway

The White Sox recent decision to update their grey road uniforms, replacing the black diamond encasing a white sock with the S-O-X logo, infuriated many Sox fans and bloggers. Despite the negative reaction, the Sox are still planning to go forward with the change. Vice President of marketing Brooks Boyer did, however, send an email to some bloggers apologizing for the change.

"We have talked quite a bit about the road greys for a few years after getting input from our players, staff and even some fans," said Boyer in the email. "After looking at the road greys, we determined that the uniform should contain our main logo... I know this is not a popular decision with you guys and I am sorry to disappoint. In the event any or all of you are at SoxFest, please find me if you would like to discuss further." (Business Insider)

McNabb agrees to five-year extension
Redskins QB, and former Mt. Carmel High School standout, Donovan McNabb agreed to a five-year, 78 million contract extension, just 15 days after being benched for the final two series of Washington's final two drives in Detroit against the Lions.

He was replaced in the Oct. 31 game by former Bears signal-caller Rex Grossman. (CSNWashington.com)

Wrigley gets face lift for big game

The much-anticipated Northwestern v. Illinois game at Wrigley Field is just over a week away, and in participation for the big game Wrigley has undergone a minor face lift. The goalposts are up, the field lines are painted and, now, so is the famous marquee. In one of the biggest changes to the stadium in anticipation of the special occasion, the famous Wrigley Field marquee was painted purple on Monday.

But the purple marquee wont be the only unique feature of the converted converted baseball field. The dimensions of the park are also uncharacteristically tight for a football game. So tight, in fact, that the east goalpost is actually fastened to the bricks of the right field bleacher wall. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Korver to undergo MRI on knee

Kyle Korver could potentially miss a few games due to a sore knee. It was reported that Korver will not travel with the team on the start of their yearly west coast road trip so he can get an MRI on the injured knee. It is not yet known how many - if any - games Korver will miss, but his loss could make things even more difficult for a team already struggling with an injury to another key offensive player, Carlos Boozer. (Bulls Confidential - Chicago Now)

Ricketts: No plan B

Cubs owner Tom Rickets told the Chicago Tribune on Monday that he doesn't have a 'Plan B' if the state doesn't approve his proposal to borrow the 200 million he says is needed to upgrade and upkeep Wrigley Field.

Ricketts claims the planned construction to the ballpark would create more than 1,000 construction jobs but not everyone is sold. The Chicago Sun-Times editoral board, as well as many callers to sports radio shows, have ripped the plan, questioning why the state should help finance a project for one of the most valuable franchises in professional sports. (ChicagoBreakingBusiness)

Posey wins NL ROY; Castro finishes 5th

The Baseball Writers' Association of America announced on Monday that San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey won the 2010 National League Rookie of the Year award. Posey hit .305 and drove in 67 runs in his rookie campaign while helping lead the Giants to their World Series victory.

Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro finished 5th in the voting, tied with Pirates third baseman Neil Walker. Finishing in front of Castro were Posey, Jason Heyward, Jaime Garcia, and Gaby Sanchez. (Cubbies Crib)

Pierzynski to the Marlins?

The Palm Beach Post is reporting that there is mutual interest between A.J. Pierzynski and the Florida Marlins. Pierzynski's price tag may be too high for the small-market Marlins, but if they are successful in trading second baseman Dan Uggla, the money would become much less of an issue. Pierzynski, who lives in Florida, batted .270.300.388 with nine home runs in 2010. (Rotoworld)

Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade lift Bulls to win over pesky Heat

Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade lift Bulls to win over pesky Heat

The emotion of playing in Miami may have been missing for Dwyane Wade but it was still the Miami Heat on the other side, the franchise he put it all on the line for before the two sides couldn’t agree on a contract last summer.

So he still had some extra juice on a snowy Saturday night that probably made him yearn for the breeze of South Beach, giving the pesky Heat some of his wrath and little flash in a 105-100 win at the United Center.

Wade scored 28 points on 11 of 24 shooting in 35 minutes to go along with three rebounds, three assists and two blocks against his former team.

Wade got the Bulls off to a better second half start while Jimmy Butler, all too happy to lurk in the wings while Wade got his shots up, had his say late in the fourth when the Heat hung around longer than expected.

Butler and Wade combined to strip Goran Dragic on a weave play that could’ve tied the game for the Heat with seven seconds left and the Bulls leading by three, as Butler sealed the game with two free throws, finishing his 31-point, seven-rebound and five-assist night.

Bullying the smaller and slightly-built Heat defenders, he got to the basket at will and kept the pressure on the interior defense of Hassan Whiteside. Most of his production came from the midrange or the paint, as the Bulls took just eight 3-pointers and committed just 11 turnovers—making for a clean if not old-fashioned game.

[SHOP: Get your Bulls gear right here]

They seemed to follow Wade’s lead, at least in style, as he probed and spun and danced his way to the rim for as many shots in the paint as he’s taken all season despite leaving more than a few on the lip of the rim or giving the officials sideways looks after not getting what he felt were rightful foul calls.

Wade scored 11 third after the Bulls were sleepwalking on one end of the floor for the first half, leading to a 55-all game, the type of performance that Gregg Popovich would’ve given a media lashing to afterwards.

Dragic owned his matchup against Rajon Rondo, getting to the paint at will, forcing switches and attacking the rim relentlessly whenever the Bulls left a sliver of an opening, scoring 21 with 11 assists before his unfortunate turnover.

One can say Dragic essentially kept the Heat in it for the first half as the Bulls’ defense hadn’t received its wake-up call, but it came in the form of Wade’s aggressiveness to start the half.

A sweeping hook shot was followed by the 34-year old splitting the defense on a fast break for a dunk and 3-point play, and he finished the spurt with a baseline spin and layup to put the Bulls up double-digits.

But the Heat wouldn’t go away—or the Bulls wouldn’t put a team playing its fourth game in five nights away—as the energetic Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardons came off the bench to give an ailing team a boost, combining for 26 points.

Whiteside was swatting away more than his share of shots and changing a few others, as he scored 18 with eight rebounds and three blocks but went scoreless in the fourth until his basket that brought the Bulls’ lead to one with a little over 10 seconds left.

It wasn’t pretty but it was effective enough for the Bulls to settle themselves and reverse a too-common trend of a big letdown after a big win.

Three Bears necessities to lay a broom on the Lions

Three Bears necessities to lay a broom on the Lions

If the Lions beat the Bears in Detroit, it'd be a recent rarity. No, not the Bears losing, but in this long series that reaches 175 games Sunday. One team or the other has swept the season series 11 of the last 12 years (the lone exception being 2011). The 17-14 Bears win Oct. 2 ended a string of six consecutive losses to their division rivals. At that point, both clubs were 1-3. The Bears have remained at that pace since, while the Lions have taken off, winning seven of eight.

It was Brian Hoyer's steady hand that guided that win, while a Vic Fangio defense missing Eddie Goldman, Pernell McPhee and Danny Trevathan forced Matthew Stafford into easily his worst game of the season.

1. STAY COMMITTED

That first meeting was Jordan Howard's first start, and his first 100-yard game, and the rook ran it 23 times for the first of five 100-yard rushing efforts (113). And since the two Bears touchdowns were scored by a couple of players who won't suit up Sunday (Eddie Royal and Zach Miller, from a quarterback who also won't be suiting up), keep feeding the beast. He's 117 yards from reaching the 1,000-yard mark (after just a dozen carries the first three games), and another 100-yard effort would give him the most for a rookie in Bears franchise history.

2. A FASTER START FOR MATT

...meaning Barkley, not Stafford. The Bears want to avoid a faster start by Stafford and the home offense, which was held to just one first down and 14 total plays on their first four possessions back in October. As Barkley makes his first NFL road start in a dome, he and his offensive teammates need to get out of the gate quicker than they have the last two home games. Before they got things rolling on the final drive of the first half against the San Francisco 49ers, they had four possessions that totaled 14 plays, 27 net yards and two first downs. In Barkley's first start two weeks ago against the Tennessee Titans, they surrounded one 13-play touchdown drive in the opening half with five possessions, totaling 16 plays, 108 yards, three first downs, and an interception.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

3. HOO-RATIO

The Bears have lost the turnover battle in eight of their 12 games, and just twice have they won it. One of those instances was in Week 4. For a team that has just five interceptions all year, against a quarterback who's thrown just five picks, two came in the first meeting on the lakefront. And those picks were by (....wait for it....) Deiondre Hall (the rookie who'll play for the first time since that game), and Jacoby Glenn, who's now back on the practice squad. Now, yes, Stafford is a different beast in his den, and there's a completely different confidence level now for the NFC North leaders. But what if the defense can pull an encore? And can Leonard Floyd and Akiem Hicks pick up where they left off against another mobile quarterback? The Bears had just two sacks in the first meeting, registered by (....wait for it....) Mitch Unrein and Cornelius Washington.

** Finish up your snow removal by 11 a.m. Plop yourself in front of CSN, and watch ex-Bears Lance Briggs, Jim Miller and Alex Brown join Chris for Bears Pregame Live. Then as soon as the second quarter ends on CBS, log on here to CSNChicago.com as Jim and Chris break down the first 30 minutes and go over second half adjustments on Bears Halftime Live. Finally, as soon as the team's start sharing handshakes, flip back to CSN as the three ex-Bears and Chris provide 90 minutes of reaction, analysis, press conferences and locker room interviews from Detroit on Bears Postgame Live. **