This week, the NFC North Division Champion Chicago Bears (10-4) will travel out west to take on the lowly San Francisco 49ers (4-10) in Levi’s Stadium. Denim anyone?
I hope the Bears don’t get pantsed while they’re in San Fran. It might be time for some new jeans. Personally, I used to love Levi’s but haven’t bought a pair in years. Now I’m into Buffalo by David Bitton, Silver, and maybe Lucky Brand. Anyway, back to football.
The other day I read a Bears fan’s post on social media saying this year’s 2018 Bears team reminded him of the 1984 Bears. Not bad. In fact, brilliant!
I couldn’t agree more. There are many similarities. It’s a fresh young team coming off of many miserable seasons of mediocrity and despair. A young energetic coach with an older defensive coordinator that has garnered much loyalty. A young team loaded with talent that is just coming into its own as professionals. A team picked for 4th place by most but ended up winning the division with 10 wins (or 11 or even 12). A road matchup late in the season at San Francisco…..
Those ’84 Bears had a young QB, Jim McMahon. Now the young QB is Mitch Trubisky. Let’s compare. Matt Nagy is Coach Ditka. Vic Fangio is Buddy Ryan. Akiem Hicks is Dan Hampton. Khalil Mack is Richard Dent. Danny Trevathan is Mike Singletary. Roquan Smith is Wilber Marshall. Kyle Fuller is Leslie Frazier. Eddie Jackson is Dave Duerson. I can see some of this. Sure, there’s no Walter Payton. But does anybody really compare to Walter…….. ever?
These ’18 Bears are ahead of their time. Will they lose the NFC Championship just as their predecessors? Will they go on to achieve much greater things next year? We can only watch and pray. For now, the comparisons were enough for “Dutch Lion” to find a fantastic painting modeled after that 1984 NFC Championship game in Candlestick Park that saw the Niners dominate the Bears 23-0 en route to their own 18-1 Super Bowl Champion team. That was a humbling day for Chicago. But it was motivation. As for the ’85 Bears, well, you know what happened.
Getting back to the now, let’s see how Troy Aikman has the Bears and 49ers ranked through Week 15 in his highly acclaimed Aikman Efficiency Ratings (AER).
Aikman Efficiency Ratings (AER)
- Chicago (10-4) : 1st overall (166.0), 14th offense (85.1), 1st defense (80.9)
- San Francisco (4-10) : 30th overall (137.9), 26th offense (78.0), 27th defense (59.9)
As you know, this is quite a mismatch. San Francisco is one of the worst teams in the league. Their offense is poor. Their defense is worse. They stink. Could they beat the Bears who are as high as they’ve been since 2010? Of course they could. This is the NFL. Parity is king. Plus, it’s all about motivation.
San Francisco has just won two games in a row, both at home over Denver and Seattle. I guess one could say they’re hot. For the year, they’re 4-3 at home. Now they shall try for their third straight upset in Levi’s Stadium. Yeah, that’s right. Candlestick is long gone.
They must have burned their jeans with a candle and now they need a new pair of Levi’s. Ugh. That was a horrible joke. I think Dutch Lion must be tired of writing. Let’s move on to the predictions.
Week 16 Prediction:
Chicago is favored by 4 points according to Friday’s Chicago Tribune. The Bears just clinched. They’ve just won two very big, emotional games over Los Angeles and Green Bay. Can the Bears keep the momentum rolling?
Sure Chicago SHOULD win. They SHOULD cover that point spread. But will they? I expect the Bears to ease off the accelerator this week. I’m worried it could be their demise. It’s only natural to have a letdown game on the road against a 4-10 team, especially after a week where everyone is handing out Pro Bowl invites and praise and adulation are being sent from all corners of Chicagoland and even the national news media.
Nonetheless, I just think the Bears are too good for a four victory 49ers squad. A 4 point spread isn’t even that much considering AER, records, and overall team talent. Bottom line: Bears by 6.
Chicago Bears 27, San Francisco 49ers 21
Sunday’s game starts at 3pm central time and airs on Fox TV. I think this is what they call the “penultimate” regular season game. That means the second to last, or next to last game of the season. Next week the regular season ends in Minnesota. After that, then we will all get hyped up for the NFC Playoffs. See you next week.