— Bears 12, Vikings 10
Chicago kicked a 30-yard FG with 0:13 left for the win.
Bears had five drives in 2nd half: kicked 3 FG’s, lost 2 fumbles.
DJ Moore caught 11 passes for 114 of Chicago’s 217 passing yards.
QB Fields ran ball 12 times for 59 yards, 24 yards more than any other Bear.
Dobbs threw 17-yard TD pass with 5:54 left, Minnesota’s only TD.
Vikings’ first four drives: 16 plays, 44 yards, 2 INTs, no points.
Chicago was 8-18 on third down, Vikings 2-9.
Under is 8-2 in Minnesota’s last ten games.
— Before Monday, NFL teams were 0-28 this season when they didn’t score a TD.
Now, they’re 1-28.
— So far this year in the NFL……..
divisional home favorites are 18-15 ATS
divisional home underdogs are 9-14-1 ATS
Overall, divisional favorites are 32-24-1 ATS
— Carolina Panthers fired coach Frank Reich after their 1-10 start; two ofter offensive assistant coaches were also told to take a hike.
Panthers are averaging:
15.7 points/game (29th)
4.1 yards per play (T31st)
Panthers are converting 37.2% of their third down opportunities (20th).
You play a rookie QB, your job is in jeopardy; they should have sat Bryce Young, let him learn while watching and played veteran Andy Dalton. Maybe they’d still have their jobs now.
Carolina fired Matt Rhule last year, with $40M left on his contract.
Carolina fired Reich Monday, with $30M left on his contract.
Panthers owner David Tepper is richest owner in the NFL, but he isn’t the most patient one.
— If the 2024 NFL Draft was today……..
1) Bears (from Carolina)
— Denver Broncos have won five games in a row; in their last four games, Denver has 14 takeaways- they’re +11 in turnovers in those four games.
— In his career, Bills’ QB Josh Allen is 0-6 in overtime games.
— NFC South standings:
If the Wild Card playoffs were this week, Dallas would be a significant road favorite at whatever team wins the NFC South.
— NFL Draft is a fascinating process; some teams are just so much better at it than others. Chargers’ RB Austin Ekeler is a really good RB, but he wasn’t drafted; he went to college at Western Colorado, which makes you wonder what the Broncos’ scouts are thinking about, such a good player at a D-II school in Denver’s backyard.
— TV show of the day: The White Shadow (1978)- An NBA player retires from the pro game and gets a job as a basketball coach in an inner-city high school.
Ken Howard played the coach; he was excellent in this role. Basketball scenes were well done.
Creator of the show was Bruce Paltrow, Gwyneth Paltrow’s father.
— Tough week for college football coaches:
Indiana fired its coach; he got $15.5M to go away.
New Mexico fired its coach, who they praised in a statement, but when you go 11-32, they tell you to take a hike, even if you’re a New Mexico alumnus.
Middle Tennessee fired its longtime coach after going 3-8 this year, the Blue Raiders’ third losing season in the last five years. The coach was 113-111 in 18 seasons at MTSU, but this is a “what have you done for me lately?” world, and MTSU hasn’t done much lately.
Houston fired its coach, who had three losing seasons in his five years as the Cougars’ head coach, going 31-28 overall. Houston went 4-8 this year, their first year in the Big X; it is better to be a big fish in a small pond, than a smaller fish in a big pond.
Texas-El Paso fired its coach, after he went 20-49 in six seasons with the Miners.
Texas A&M hired Duke coach Mike Elko to fill their coaching vacancy; he was 16-9 in two years as Duke’s coach- before that, he was the defensive coordinator at Texas A&M. Aggies just fired their head coach, even though he had a 45-25 record.
Mississippi State hired Oklahoma OC Jeff Lebby; since 2019, his offenses have scored 50+ points 14 times, most of anyone in the country during that time. Lebby used to be OC at Ole Miss, the Bulldogs’ biggest rival.
— Random trivia: Back in the mid-1950’s, at Van Nuys High School in Los Angeles, Robert Redford, Don Drysdale and Natalie Wood were all students there.
They must’ve had a really good drama club there, plus you had Roy Hobbs on the same baseball team as a Hall of Fame pitcher. Pretty, pretty good.
— Switching to basketball, VCU beat Penn State Sunday; last spring, the Penn State coach left VCU to go coach at his alma mater, an interesting decision.
My question is this: is Penn State a better basketball coaching job than VCU?
Obviously, they’re in a better league, but Penn State is a football school located in an area that isn’t real close to any basketball hotbeds (190 miles from Philadelphia), while VCU is a basketball school, kind of an eastern version of Gonzaga.
VCU has been in 10 of last 12 NCAA tournaments, under three different coaches; Penn State has been in two NCAA tournaments since 2002 (they would’ve made it had there been a tournament in 2020).
If someone asked me which job was better, without knowing the $$$ end of it, I’d say VCU, because winning is a lot more fun that losing.
— Baseball stuff:
St Louis Cardinals have been aggressive in rebuilding their starting rotation, adding free agent pitchers Lance Lynn, Kyle Gibson, Sonny Gray.
Detroit Tigers added P Kenta Maeda.
Winter meetings start Sunday, should be lot of stuff going on.
— Oakland 78, Xavier 76
Good win for 13-point underdog Oakland, and the Horizon League.
Grizzlies outscored Xavier 12-7 over final 3:49.
Oakland was minus-14 on boards, but shot 69.7% inside arc.
— Utah 78, Saint Mary’s 71
Gaels were picked to win WCC, but they’re off to a shaky 3-4 start.
This was first game in eight days for Utah.
Utes are the tallest college team in America.
— Cal-Santa Barbara 69, Fresno State 65
UCSB was 1-5 on arc for whole game, Fresno 7-31.
Fresno led by 7 with 16:25 left in game.
Gauchos didn’t play any seniors; Fresno started five seniors.