Bears as good as the 'best' and not good enough

938713.png

Bears as good as the 'best' and not good enough

Two things came out of the Bears 13-6 loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday night.

One is that they are generally as good as the NFLs best team, which the Texans officially are with their 8-1 record. That was some of the frustration that players felt in the aftermath. They felt they were as good as the Texans going in, they out-gained Houston 249-215, and they intercepted quarterback Matt Schaub twice and sacked him once, something that had happened only 10 times in Houstons first eight games.

The other thing, however, is that they are simply not good enough to win a Super Bowl.

More than one Texan said the game indeed could have been a Super Bowl preview. I think it would be a heck of a rematch, especially on a better field, said Houston defensive end Antonio Smith. Could they be seeing the Bears in New Orleans? Oh yeah. Heck yeah.

Right now the Texans might in fact be hoping that comes to pass, at least members of the defense.

The offense and quarterback Jay Cutler were exposed. They could not run when they wanted to, with Matt Forte managing just 39 yards on his 16 carries. Cutler still makes throws that a seven-year veteran should not make.

Mike Tice offenses in Minnesota were led in receiving two of the three years he was Vikings head coach. A surprise after this week will be Kellen Davis remaining in the starting lineup after a devastating fumble on the Bears first play and pass drop on what would have been a key third-down conversion late in the fourth quarter.

More to the point, the Bears began nine of their 14 drives with no worse field position than their own 35. The result was exactly two field goals, one after an interception gave them the ball at the Houston 35. A good team would have scored 28 points.

On only one of 14 possessions did the Bears pick up more than one first down and they even had to punt after that one.

Its a loss, said coach Lovie Smith. You have to go from there. We were beaten by a good football team. Were 7-2. Were going to get back. Theres a lot of football left to go.

Blackhawks 2017 NHL Draft capsules: Scouting reports

Blackhawks 2017 NHL Draft capsules: Scouting reports

Stay up to date with the Blackhawks' selections in the 2017 NHL Draft, and their scouting reports.

Round 1, pick 29: Henri Jokiharju, defenseman

Round 2, pick 57: Ian Mitchell, defenseman 

— What you need to know: Mitchell, 18, scored eight goals and 29 assists in 53 regular-season games with the Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, and also scored a goal and three assists in 10 playoff contests.

— Scouting report: Mitchell is a little undersized (5-foot-11, 165 pounds), but is known to be a smooth skater and puck-mover. He carries a right-handed shot, which GM Stan Bowman said is a "commodity" in the NHL these days.

Round 3, pick 70: Andrei Altybarmakyan, forward

— What you need to know: Altybarmakyan, 18, scored 20 goals and 25 assists in 31 regular-season games with the Serebryanye Lvy St. Petersburg of the Maritime Hockey League. He also tallied nine points in 27 games with SKA-Neva St. Petersburg.

— Scouting report: An offensively skilled player with a sneaky good shot. He's 5-foot-11, 183 pounds with a left-handed shot, and is known to be a playmaker.

 

Tim Anderson's birthday present from home plate umpire was first major-league ejection

Tim Anderson's birthday present from home plate umpire was first major-league ejection

On his 24th birthday, Tim Anderson’s present from home plate umpire Jim Wolf was his first major-league ejection.

In the fifth inning of the White Sox 3-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics, Anderson fouled off a pitch that landed in the opposing batter’s box. But A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell picked it up in what was ruled to be fair territory and threw the ball to first for the out.

Anderson pleaded his case saying the ball went foul. Wolf agreed, according to Anderson, which only further confused the White Sox shortstop.

“I told him that was BS,” Anderson said. “And he tossed me.”

Anderson said that he was surprised to be ejected so fast. So was manager Rick Renteria, who was thrown out moments after Anderson.

“I don’t want to get in trouble,” Renteria said. “The players having emotion, they are battling. I just think we need to grow a little thicker skin.”

Anderson said that he was appreciative of his manager coming to his defense.

“He kinda had a point and let me know he had my back,” Anderson said of Renteria. “Speaks a lot of him.”

A day after scoring nine runs on 18 hits, the White Sox failed to generate any offense on Friday. The team’s best chance came in the ninth inning.

But with runners at the corners and two outs, Matt Davidson put a good rip on the ball to center field, only to fly out at the warning track.

Anderson and Renteria were watching the game together in the clubhouse, and both believed the White Sox had tied the ballgame.

“We all jumped up and were excited but it kind of fell short,” Anderson said.