On Tap! Week Five Previews

This is Aldo Gandia’s On Tap! – a  weekly look at all of the NFC North games written exclusively for DaBearsBros.com.

This is a partial look at this week’s games. The full article appears at DaBearsBros.com

On Tap

Straight Up (A cocktail served with no ice or the straight facts)

The St. Louis Rams offer up a double shot of what typically ails the Packers: a strong four-man pass rush and a running game (albeit a running game that’s not time-tested).

Good news is that the Packers’ run defense is reversing a trend.

They started the season by allowing the Bears 189 rushing yards for a 5.7 per rush average.

The following week against the Seahawks they surrendered 119 rushing yards for 4.8 per rush.

In week three, they finally got under a hundred by holding the Chiefs to 75 rushing yards, a 4.4 average. (Although, Jamal Charles did have three rushing touchdowns.)

And last week, the Packers turned in their best performance of the season against the run, allowing 77 yards, a 4.1 average. Keep in mind that Colin Kaerpernick gained most of his 57 yards on scrambles and read options.

The Packers need not worry about the Rams QB running for yards (maybe for his life) as Nick Foles has only 21 yards rushing on seven runs. They do need to concern themselves with Todd Gurley. The rookie running back was the best player coming out of the 2015 draft, according to me!, and proved it last week. Making his first start in an NFL game, Gurley rushed for 146 yards on 19 carries and added 15 yards on two receptions.

If Gurley and the Rams can play an efficient ball-control offense and the Rams defense greets Rodgers with their ferocious pass rush things could get sticky for the Packers at Lambeau Field.

Rodgers got less than adequate protection in San Francisco last week and the Packers offense was clearly not its usually high-powered self.

More than any other team on Green Bay’s schedule, the Rams might have the best chance to upset the Packers in Lambeau this season.

For a more thorough evaluation of the game and my prediction, click here.

On Tap!

Straight Up (A cocktail served with no ice or the straight facts)

If you’re a Jay Cutler hater, you’ve hopefully learned something about him over the last two weeks.

Without him, the Chicago Bears football team is as wretched as an Ass Juice cocktail. (Yes, it’s a real drink served at Las Vegas’ Double Down Saloon in a miniature toilet cocktail glass.)

With him, he could be the football version of “bitters,” that essential ingredient to a good cocktail, IF – again… IF – used judiciously.

Offensive coordinator Adam Gase is a pretty good bartender when mixing up the Bears offense. Despite not having top shelf ingredients, he is using what he’s got to good effect. (I get a buzz watching this Bears offense with Jay Cutler.)

Perhaps, Bears fans are envy stricken the team chose to stick with Rex Grossman in the 2005 NFL draft and bypassed Aaron Rodgers when choosing Cedric Benson. (I am, too.)

Whatever it is that strikes some Bears fans to overlook good Jay and focus on bad Jay it has to stop. (See a Barroom story on the topic by clicking here.)

Stop bitching and shitting all over Jay. He’s not Aaron Rodgers. Never will be. Lower your expectations of him and raise the expectations of other areas of the team. Matt Forte is great, but we seem to overlook that he’s had turnovers and dropped a couple of key catches. Focus on a team defense, that while improving, still has some glaring inefficiencies – especially at the inside linebacker position and defensive backfield. And, focus on Ryan Pace and what he is or isn’t doing to improve the team’s most glaring weakness: talent.

For a more thorough evaluation of the game and my prediction, click here.

On Tap!

Straight Up (A cocktail served with no ice or the straight facts)

What’s happening to Lions fans this season is akin to being served a flat beer (their play on the field) and getting to the bottom of the mug and discovering there’s a giant water bug there ready to bite your lips off (BatGate).

If you’re not vomiting a little in your mouth right now, you’ve never seen a giant water bug. (See here if you’re interested in a gag reflex)

If you don’t know details behind Batgate, go here where I detailed what happened while writing an obituary to the Lions’ playoff hopes.

The Lions are 0-4 and now play a tough Arizona Cardinals team that is stinging after being upset by the Rams.

That the Lions should have flown back from Seattle with their first victory of the season, despite an overall mediocre performance, can be viewed two ways.

First, there are signs that this team is ready to start winning. Or, second, this team is fucked. The brown paper bag thing has been done before so Lions fans… start brainstorming on some new headgear.

Actually, there’s a third possibility, and the most likely, this Lions team will win four, five or six games this season.

The slow start, the slow development of some players, the slow rehab of injured players, and the slow adjustments by the coaching staff all add up to one big long, drawn out season of futility for Motown fans.

For a more thorough evaluation of the game and my prediction, click here.

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Aldo Gandia

Aldo Gandia

Among my career highlights I have produced two films while in high school that received nationwide attention; leaned out of a helicopter over the Gulf of Suez at the age of 20 to shoot movies of oil rigs; won an Emmy award for a sports special and another for a kid's fitness show; and led a team of very talented creative professionals to produce break-through corporate communications.

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