IS BRANDON MARSHALL TROLLING OR CHEERING FOR JAY CUTLER?

During the second quarter of tonight’s Monday Night Football matchup between Chicago and San Diego, fans were treated to a Smokin’ Jay special – otherwise known as the quarter-yearly Jay Cutler INT-for-touchdown.

Okay, fine.  That’s the Jay we all know and love. No one said the life of a gunslinger was a safe one. It’s definitely not the easiest route to a Lombardi, but, unlike a certain quarterback who resembles my big toe, Jay is a born risk taker. He wouldn’t hesitate to spit in Papa John’s face if given the chance. Some men just need to unleash the laser rocket arm. Phil knows

Anyways. After the Charger’s touchdown, Jay modeled his patented Cutlerface. Thus, blocked out were the haters.

cutty

I have to imagine that every turnover reminds Jay of his now-infamous bathroom incident.

“Jay, your team is down and you just threw a second quarter interc-”

“Doooooooooonnnnnn’tt caaaaarreee.”

To be fair, there’s a lot of game left and – unlike most Bears fans – I appreciate Jay’s “prep school quarterback handling adversity” aloofness. He’s the most important player on the field for a bad team in rebuild mode. Every game, the only chance of a Chicago victory rests on Jay’s shoulders. Cutler knows he can’t allow himself to be taken out of the game – physically or mentally – so he gets ready for the next possession by activating the too cool defense mechanism. Best defense in the league ten years running.

The pick-6  produced a more animated reaction from Cutty’s counterpart.

Just sayin, Philip’s liable to catch one in the ear hole next time he steps to the plate.

Cutler and Rivers are famous rivals dating back to Cutler’s days in Denver.  I expected Rivers to get fired up. The guy’s an absolute maniac, after all.  What I wasn’t anticipating, though, was our dear friend and former Cutler confidant, Brandon Marshall, to come flying in from the turnbuckle with what, at first glance, appeared to be some well-timed subtweeting.

Cutler and Marshall were a high-powered tandem during the pair’s early days in Denver (2006-2009), and they picked up right where they left off when the Bears traded for Marsh prior to the 2012 season. Marshall became the first receiver in Chicago franchise history to have multiple 100-catch seasons, and he and Cutler were reportedly the best of buds.  Alas – like most flamboyant star wideouts in the NFL – when the team started losing games, Marshall became more of a headache than the organization felt was worthwhile. He was traded after last season and both he and Cutler have acknowledged that the two have not spoken.

So, what do we think?  Was Marshall subtweeting his ex-QB or actually showing support for his old teammate?

Luckily for Cutty, Chicagoans, and ESPN’s Neilsen ratings, the pick-six came early enough that we still have a one-possession ballgame. Plenty of time to make a comeback and then do this all again with a minute left.

Speaking of a comeback… No less than five minutes later Cutler marched the Bears downfield, capping the drive with a franchise record-setting 2-yard touchdown pass to Martellus Bennett.

And B-Marsh ended any prospective controversy a concise tweet of support.

My apologies for doubting your intentions, Brandon.  I am a lover scorned.

UPDATE: CUUUTTTTYYYYYYYY DOES IT. Again. Mr. Fourth Quarter putting the Bears on his back, per usual. I’ll never be able to shake you, will I, Jay?

Not a bad snag for Zach Miller’s first TD since 2011.

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Week 8 NFL Picks To Pound with Bud deBurgh

Alright boobs. After a 3-0 Week 6, the Kid took a beating missing all 3 of my preferred bets last week. Shit happens, if I was right all the time I wouldn’t be writing this blog while my boss is in a meeting, nawmean?

Feeling good about Week 8, ready to bounce back. Here are my favorite picks of the week:

Detroit (+3.5) vs KC

London game! The conversion rate is 1.55 USD/GBP for all the readers heading across the pond to catch this barn-burner in person.

KC coming off a win vs a Big Ben-less Steelers may have people thinking they are good, but they most certainly are not.

Simply put, both teams suck and neither has a home field advantage. Detroit could potentially be in shambles after firing OC Joe Lombardi this week, but I think this will allow for Stafford to air the ball out to Calvin/Tate/Ebron and company. KC has issues stopping the pass; I like Detroit to win and cover in a sloppy game.

Arizona (-6) at Cleveland

If you read last weeks preview you know that I was all in on the Cardinals giving nine points to Baltimore. Arizona won that game handily and was in position to cover before allowing the Ravens through the backdoor with a late touchdown. I’m still high on the Cards.

I also picked Cleveland last week to keep it close vs STL, but they got beat down. I expect the Browns to catch another butt-whooping. AZ will move the ball at will and force turnovers en route to a blowout win.

Minnesota (essentially between -1 and +1 so call it a pick ’em) at Chicago

The Vikings are 4-2, yet no one seems to notice. Since a weird Week 1 Monday Night game, they have gone 4-1 with double digit wins over Detroit (twice) and San Diego, and a 6 point victory versus the Chiefs.

Chicago is better than most expected, but they still have some bad losses. Last week’s never-ending slopfest against the Lions is the most recent example.

The emergence of Stefon Diggs gives Teddy Bridgewater a weapon (not named Mike Wallace) to spread the field. In addition to those two wideouts and AP, Minnesota has a very stout defense and a sharp coach in Mike Zimmer.

I fully expect the Vikings to slide into the playoffs as a wild card team. Look for Minnesota to win on Sunday.

Water’s Wet, The World Is Round, And Andrew Luck Compliments Opponents After Getting Sacked

2011 NCAA Football - 2011 Pacific-12 Conference Media Day - July 26, 2011

ESPN – Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has started to confound pass rushers not by his impressive play, but by congratulating defenders for hard hits… Luck has become known to dole out “nice play, buddy” and “good hit” kudos almost as often as he finds wide receivers open down the field.

“In all the years I’ve played football I have never heard anything like it,”Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan told the Wall Street Journal. “Nothing even close.”

“I’m like ‘what’s going on? Aren’t you supposed to be mad?’ ” Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Nolan Carroll told the newspaper. “So then I’m the one who gets ticked off because an upbeat attitude isn’t something you see.”

Just the most perfect, predictable news of all time. Andrew Luck is Peyton Manning meets Ishmael Boorg with a well-to-do father named Oliver.  Just a nerd of epic proportions who gets his jollies off playing the game “the right way,” giving it 110%, and treating others the way he wants to be treated.  ESPN posted this story tonight but I easily could have told you this back in his Stanford days.  On a night where America had to suffer through the embarrassing, obvious decay of Smoking Jay and the Chicago Bears organization, the World Wide Leader snuck this little tidbit onto the main page to remind everyone how a real winner conducts himself. Gotta push that agenda.  Andrew Luck congratulates JJ Watt after a sack and thanks his Creator for the chance to continue competing. That’s why he’s Peyton Manning Reincarnate and Jay Cutler is nothing more than an overpaid beer league captain.  If you think there’s any other way to win one world championship against Rex Grossman & Co, you’re badly fucking fooled, my friend.

But seriously, Andrew, be less Pennsylvania Dutch.  Drink a few beers on your off day, say a curse word, maybe even yell at a teammate when he sucks.  Do a little more Tom Brady. Now that’s a man’s man. Or just continue living the most boring rumspringa in the history of sports. Never gonna win championships (plural) and see frosted nipples (plural) without dialing up the thermostat. Get angry, talk some trash, dance with the devil, make sex to women, hoist trophies. That’s a little thing called a playbook for ya, Andy.

P.S. – How much does Luck hate Any Given Sunday?  Probably tried to quit Pop Warner because the harsh language made him want to be a surgeon instead. Such a dork.

An Honorable Sendoff: Stay Golden, Johnny Knox

knox

Associated Press, CHICAGO — Former Chicago Bears receiver Johnny Knox says he’s giving up football.

The Bears terminated Knox’s contract Tuesday after he missed this past season recovering from a back injury. Knox told the Chicago Sun-Times on Wednesday that his career is over and he’s “moving on and going forward.” Knox says he won’t be able to perform with the same ability he used to have.

Knox says he knows “things will work out for the best” and added he has no hard feelings toward the Bears.

Take note GMs of the NFL. Actually, scratch that. Employers around the world, of any variety, take note: this is what happens what you let a pud like Caleb Hanie represent your organization. I don’t care that Knox was injured while trying to recover a teammate’s fumble.  Sure, Hanie might not have led Knox over the middle and got him decapitated by that Seattle linebacker but I’m willing to bet that he he threw some piss poor excuse of a wobbly pass to whoever fumbled the ball, leading them to inevitable demise. Then, Johnny tries to sack up and cover for his boy and next thing he knows he’s shaped like a pretzel and has to shit in a bedpan for eight months. Johnny plays hero ball, he only knows one gear, and now his only career option is Stephen Hawking’s stand in. So for that, I say ‘Fuck You’ Caleb Hanie. For the sake of the Denver Broncos organization my only hope is that Brock Osweiler steps his game up and solidifies the backup QB spot so that Elway can send you to the CFL.

Obviously, I don’t care for Caleb Hanie. A very promising 2011 Bears season went right down the drain when he took over for Jay Cutler. The guy’s brutal.  But on a serious note, I feel terrible for Johnny Knox.  Kid was a young, athletic, hard-working receiver from a small college (powerhouse Abiline Christian) who got his big break after first just trying to make the Bears roster. By all accounts he’s a great locker room guy and by his third season he had become a focal point of Chicago’s offense.  He and his blazing speed came up huge for two seasons in which the Bears offense had almost no firepower. Knox was our firepower. But then, Caleb Hanie and his curse took over and Knox will never play football again.

Given how bad his injury was, I’m sure Johnny has known for a while that he wasn’t going to come back.  But as long as you’re on an NFL roster, you’re not gonna totally give up on the dream. Even with all the doubts in the world, and especially when you’re still getting paid, a competitor like Knox is not gonna hang em up unless he truly can’t go anymore.  Wheter or not he knew ahead of time that the move was coming, getting cut by the Bears must have been a gutshot.  It’s a move that had to be made, but it’s tough to swallow for Knox. Making a comeback and getting a couple more seasons at the veteran minimum would be nice, if nothing else.  Luckily for Johnny, though, the Bears sent him off right.  He’ll still get paid for the last year of his $1.26 million contract.  So at least there’s that.

In the end, it’s a rough way to end your career.  He seems like a good guy so hopefully he’ll put his check to good use and not end up on the updated edition of “Broke”.  Johnny, for your short time with the Bears you were my favorite player to watch.  You were a speed demon, juked guys out of their cleats, and could jump with the best of ’em. But you were also light-skinned enough that I almost identified with you. For that, sir, I salute you.

-MF