Jennings, Tillman could combine to make franchise history

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Jennings, Tillman could combine to make franchise history

Not to be outdone, cornerback Charles Tillman was named NFC defensive player of the month for October, following running mate Tim Jennings receiving that honor for September.

The back-to-back distinctions could have Jennings and Tillman on course to both be in the Pro Bowl, which would mark the first time in history that two cornerbacks from the same Bears team were selected for the all-star game.

In Bears history seven players have won player-of-the-month awards. All but one defensive end Trace Armstrong in 1990 were voted to the Pro Bowl. Armstrong had the misfortune of winning his months award in a year when Reggie White, Chris Doleman and Richard Dent had Pro Bowl seasons. All three are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Bears Pro Bowl CBs rare, period

The Bears have sent numerous safeties to Pro Bowls but rarely even one cornerback. Tillman did it last season for the first time, vastly improving his chances for a return on top of his month and season so far.

Nathan Vasher went after the 2005 season, one in which he led the NFC in interceptions with eight. Jennings leads the league with six through seven games.

(While not cornerbacks, safety Roosevelt Taylor led the NFL with nine interceptions in 1963 and went to the Pro Bowl, as did safety Mark Carrier in 1990 to earn a trip across the water.)

Donnell Woollford went after his 1993 season. And thats about it.

Vs. the best

Tillman sealed his award with the job done on Detroits Calvin Johnson in a Monday night game, national TV against one of the elite receivers in the NFL.

Jennings added luster to his September award by doing major work on Carolinas Steve Smith, including a turning-moment interception for a touchdown in the Bears win.

I grade myself pretty well just because Steve Smith is an All-Pro receiver and I felt like I made a couple plays on him, Jennings said. For him to be the type of receiver he is, I just want to put myself in position to make some plays and I think I was.

That sort of thing impresses Pro Bowl voters, too.

Competition

From last years Pro Bowl cornerbacks, Green Bays Charles Woodson broke a collarbone and is out, besides having played safety this season also.

Carlos Rodgers will benefit from playing on a very good San Francisco 49ers defense, and Patrick Peterson has three interceptions as well as a growing rep, which gets votes.

Brandon Browner from Seattle was an alternate and the Seahawks are a top-five yardage and scoring defense.

Others will get votes. Indeed, if voters are not inclined to pick two DBs from the same secondary, Jennings and Tillman could cancel out votes from each other.

Pro Bowl voting is open now on NFL.com.

Road Ahead: Blackhawks play three home games before All-Star break

Road Ahead: Blackhawks play three home games before All-Star break

CSN's Pat Boyle and Steve Konroyd preview the Blackhawks' three upcoming games in the Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland & NW Indiana Honda Dealers.

The Blackhawks have three home games before the NHL All-Star break, which takes place in Los Angeles.

The Blackhawks have dates between the Vancouver Canucks, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Winnipeg Jets. All three opponents are out of the playoff picture, sand Steve Konroyd is looking for the Blackhawks to step up in a certain part of their game: scoring.

See what Boyle and Konroyd had to say in the video above.

Bears numbers don't indicate 3-13, yet still lie

Bears numbers don't indicate 3-13, yet still lie

In doing some post-season wrapping up of my Nerdy NFL Notebook as we begin turning the page to the 2017 season, part of it involves compiling where each team finished in big-picture team offensive and defensive categories: overall ranking (total yards), as well as team rushing and passing ranks on both sides of the ball.

So if the Bears wound up ranked 15th overall in total yards gained and allowed, they should've finished…oh, 8-8, right? It adds to the deception of some of the deeper issues that focus on a lack of playmakers, which tied into their inability to make plays when it matters most. In John Fox's 9-23 start, 18 of those games have been decided by six points or less. They've won just six of those games. 

Offensively, the Bears ranked higher in total offense than five playoff teams: Kansas City (20), Detroit (21), Miami (24), New York Giants (25) and Houston (29). They wound up 17th in rushing offense, better than four teams who advanced: Seattle (25), Green Bay (26), New York Giants (29) and Detroit (30). And their 14th-ranked passing offense ranked better than the Giants (17), Kansas City (19), Dallas (23), Miami (26), Houston (29).

On the other side of the ball, they'd be even better off before allowing 109 points over the final three losses. Their total defense ranked better than Detroit (18), Green Bay (22), Kansas City (24), Atlanta (25), Oakland (26) and Miami (29). After being gashed for 558 rushing yards the last three games, they fell to 27th in the NFL against the run (better than only 30th-ranked Miami). But the seventh-ranked pass defense, despite collecting a measly eight interceptions (among only 11 turnovers), was better than nine playoff teams: Miami (15), Pittsburgh (16), Kansas City (18), Detroit (19), the Giants (23), Oakland (24), Dallas (26), Atlanta (28) and Green Bay (31).

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

What do all the hollow numbers indicate? A lack of complementary, opportunistic football, playmakers on both sides of the ball, a minus-20 turnover ratio, and a lack of quality and continuity at the quarterback position — to name a few. All of those playoff teams have more impact players (or kept more of their impact players healthy) than the Bears in 2016.

While some of the numbers aren't that bad to look at, and some even raise an eyebrow, there's still a deep climb from the most significant numbers: 3-13.