FANCY BOYS FOOTBALL MAILBAG: WEEK 17

Fancy Boys founder Matt Drufke doesn’t know anything about football. Lucky for him, Brandon Andreasen and Jack Baker do.

Each week, Matt emails Brandon and Jack NFL questions, they then immediately go and make fun of his lack of knowledge in a secret group chat. They then go and answer the questions. Here are those answers.

Well, another season has come and gone. Let’s talk about our local team, the Chicago Bears. Brandon predicted them to win the NFC North (they finished third) while Jack had them winning the Super Bowl (difficult to do when you miss the playoffs). As the 100th NFL season closes, the Bears finished at 8-8, the literal epitome of mediocrity. Here’s my question: what can you say to give Bears fans hope for 2020? What can they hang on to?

Brandon-In spite of being decimated by injuries and turnover regression, the Bears had one of the best defenses in the NFL again this year. They don’t give up many points. They are able to minimize big plays. Nick Kwiatkowski and Kevin Pierre-Louis look like real contributors in the front seven.

The Bears will definitely pretend there is nothing wrong with the QB position, which is a shame because if Andy Dalton was the Bears quarterback, we would be talking about a Bears playoff team right now.

Jack – Khalil Mack, Kyle Fuller, Eddie Jackson, and Allen Robinson are all still really good. The offense is really bad and broken, but they still have a core group of Pro Bowl players who are in their prime and locked up for a few more seasons. Also, Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston and maybe Tom Brady will be available as free agents in the offseason.

In his preseason preview (where, again, he said the Bears would WIN THE SUPER BOWL), Jack said that his number one reason to be excited about the team was the explosive play of Tarik Cohen. Cohen played in all sixteen games, and averaged exactly one carry per quarter of Bears football. Is Tarik Cohen the specialty back Jack wants him to be? And if so, why don’t the Bears find him so special?

Brandon – He is, in theory. The problem is, this coaching staff forgot how to use him. Matt Nagy hates running the ball almost as much as I hate vegans. Instead, he runs a dozen screen passes every game, 10 of which don’t work. That is his idea of a running game. Cohen has a Matt Nagy problem. Matt Nagy might not be the coach we thought he was last year. Nagy was sold as an offensive guru. The Bears scored the 3rd fewest points in the NFL this year.

Remember a few weeks ago how good Mitch Trubisky looked when they rolled him out of the pocket? Why did they quit doing that over the last few games of the season? It almost seems like Nagy is trying to sabotage his own offense so he can get his own quarterback. Remember, Nagy was in Kansas City when Patrick Mahomes was a rookie. He knows what a good, young quarterback looks like.

Jack – The Bears offense is broken. The only player who’s good enough to overcome any situation is Allen Robinson. Cohen can be good, and is still a very talented player. He’s just not good enough to overcome a bad scheme, QB, and offensive line.

Fancy Boy Alec Stein had a great Facebook post where he basically said that he constantly feels like the Packers could beat or get beaten by any team in football. The Packers have a bye week and guarantee that, at least, one game has to be played in Lambeau Field these playoffs. Why are the Packers so Jekyll & Hyde? And what do they need to do to win the playoffs.

Brandon – The truth is, they are not one of the most talented teams in the NFL. They have grinded out a lot of close wins and they don’t have a big signature win to hang their season on.

They are healthy, though. They do have Aaron Rodgers. They are going to be a tough out, but I don’t see them as a Super Bowl contender. This team would get roasted by the Saints.

Jack – The Packers have a very good defense, a good running game, and Aaron Rodgers. He’s adjusting to a real offense after years of just drawing up plays in the dirt with Mike McCarthy. Davante Adams was hurt a lot of the year which forced a bunch of young, unproven receivers into big roles. They weren’t always good, which led to big struggles throughout the season. They need their defense to step up in a big way, and then a little Rodgers magic to take them to the promised land.

We’ve all enjoyed slagging on the Patriots this season, which is crazy because they still finished the season with 12 wins and won their division. However, this feels like a book we’ve read before: the Pats have some problems during the season, lose a couple games they shouldn’t, and we see articles reminding us that Tom Brady is “football old”. Then, when it looks like they’ll be eliminated from the playoffs, Brady has a dynamic half, takes the Patriots to the Super Bowl, then goes home and has sex with his supermodel wife. Why is this year any different? Or, should we expect to see Brady in Miami?

Brandon-Tom Brady has been bad for a couple months, now. Its painfully obvious that as his abilities fade, he is more dependent on a dynamic tight end to open up the passing game. He does not have that. His running game is okay, but nothing that will keep defensive coordinators up at night.

Their defense is good. Really good. But their defense is going to have to hold some combination of the Texans/Chiefs/Ravens offenses under 17 points to make the Super Bowl. What do those teams have in common? They all have a win against the Patriots already.

Jack – Tom Brady is not good, but I wouldn’t put anything past Bellichick. If anyone is able to lead a defense to wins over the Texans, Chiefs and Ravens, it is him. Remember last year when the Ravens won their way into the playoffs, everyone thought they’d be unstoppable, and then they got stomped by the Chargers dime defense? Things are different when you get to the playoffs and no one proves that more than the Patriots. I don’t think they will, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t win the Super Bowl again.

The playoffs start this weekend. It’s Patriots-Titans, Texans-Bills, Saints-Vikings, and Eagles-Seahawks. Very simply: who ya got winning? (A reminder to Jack that he cannot pick the Bears)

Brandon-Patriots, Bills, Saints, Seahawks.

Jack – Titans, Texans, Saints, Eagles

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