The Old Man’s Picks – Week Nine

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By Jeff Heck, Bears Claws Contributor

Disclaimer: “He who gambles, lives in shambles.”

After a dismal week seven the Old Man bounced back in week eight, only missing two games. Of course six teams were on a bye, but we won’t go there! What does week nine hold? More sideline antics by Dez Bryant? Brandon “I just don’t get it” Meriweather starting his ACL destruction tour? Another Detroit “Motor City Miracle?” Wait Detroit is on bye, as is Arizona, Denver, Jacksonville (haven’t they been on bye all season), the New York Giants, and San Francisco 49ers. Everyone else is playing. As usual, all games are picked straight up. Points are only used as a reference. All games are on Sunday unless otherwise noted.

 

Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5) at Miami Dolphins – Thursday Night

 

Last week the Old Man had to pick up a new fantasy football QB because his two regulars were both lost to injury. Andy Dalton, I love you man! Five TD passes against a very good New York Jets defense. This week they visit the Dolphins who, like Austin Powers, have lost their mojo. It’s a short week and that typically bodes well for the underdog, but not tonight. The Bengals are for real and they get the W on the road.

 

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Bears shore up LB unit with Grant signing

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Looking for depth at the linebacking position after the loss of two starters in the season’s first half, the Chicago Bears signed veteran NFL LB Larry Grant.

The club’s official release, along with some minor corresponding moves, follows:

The Chicago Bears signed LBLarry Grant and QB Jordan Palmer to the active roster, waived TE Steve Maneri, waived CBC.J. Wilson and signed him to the practice squad after he cleared waivers, signed WRTerrence Toliver to the practice squad and terminated the practice squad contract of WR Ricardo Lockette.

The 6-1, 251-pound Grant has appeared in 66 games with 11 starts over five seasons with St. Louis (2008-10) and San Francisco (2011-12), collecting 64 tackles, five sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, five pass break ups and 29 special teams stops.

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Pass or fail? Grading the Chicago Bears at mid-season

Chicago Bears v Minnesota Vikings
Standing at 4-3 at the bye week, the Chicago Bears have endured a full season of twists and turns during the first half of the 2013 NFL campaign. As first-year head coach Marc Trestman and company look ahead at what promises to be a rugged second-half schedule, let’s review what we’ve learned through seven games.

Position-by-position analysis:

Quarterback: Jay Cutler’s injury makes this a difficult position to grade. Prior to the Washington game, Cutler had demonstrated the playmaking skills the Bears envisioned when former GM Jerry Angelo engineered the trade with Denver. Cutler’s play has been heightened by the protection offered by a rebuilt offensive line and a bevy of skill position weapons. His mobility, arm, and comfort level with Trestman’s offense meshed well with the other pieces, but his propensity to accumulate injuries is troubling.

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