MLB Preseason Power Rankings

By Ian Blum

Spring Training is here and so is my MLB season preview. In this extended piece you’ll get my Power Rankings 1-30 as we enter the spring, a little write up on each organization and my favorite player on your favorite team.

The 2021 MLB Season is setting up to be a great one with new contenders starting to emerge and established powers looking to maintain their dominance. Even the title for face of the game is up grabs for the first time in arguably a decade. The lack of a new CBA looms over everything but hey, let’s play ball and dive into my MLB Power Rankings for the 2021 Preseason.

#30 Pittsburgh Pirates

2020 Record: (19-41) PECOTA 2021 Projections: (61-101)

The Pirates weren’t much of anything last season and I’m not expecting anything different as we enter 2021.

On Christmas Eve they sent first basemen Josh Bell to the Washington Nationals. Joe Musgrove was moved to the San Diego Padres along with Jameson Taillon to the New York Yankees.

Needless to say in Year 2 under General Manager Ben Cherington the Pirates are in the midst of a full scale rebuild. Which means, we gotta talk prospects.

Reason to watch:

Most publications don’t rank the Pirates system in the top 10, but with the trades they made this winter, their top draft picks to come and the international market I personally could see the system making that leap by seasons end.

Third Baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes was worth 1.6 (Fangraphs) 1.9 (Baseball Reference) WAR in his one month up in the big leagues. He plays a great defensive third base and has a plus arm. He will be the brightest spot of what will be a dark year at the big league level in Pittsburgh.

My favorite player on the team: 2B Adam Frazier

#29 Texas Rangers

2020 Record (22-38) PECOTA Projections: (66-96)

Much like the Pirates what little Major League talent that was left has been moved for young pieces as they to enter a rebuild.

Elvis Andrus, Lance Lynn and Corey Kluber have moved on leaving just Joey Gallo who could be a candidate to get moved in July.

Reason to watch:

Joey Gallo is the living embodiment of three true outcome baseball. You can always find him in the upper tier of exit velocity on Fangraph and he just came off of a Gold Glove season in the outfield.

In the system the Rangers will have Dane Dunning who came over from the Chicago White Sox and showed flashes in his time with the big league club in 2020. He will more than likely be a big league contributor for Texas as well. They add Dunning to a list of prospects that include 3B Josh Jung, OF Leody Taveras, and RHP Hans Crouse.

My favorite player on the team: OF Joey Gallo

#28 Baltimore Orioles

2020 Record: (25-35) PECOTA Projections: (66-96)

The O’s found themselves in the mix for a playoff spot a bit longer than we anticipated last season before they ultimately fell off. Out goes Alex Cobb and Renato Núñez, enter Félix Hernández and Matt Harvey.

Reason to watch:

Two words, Adley Rutschman. MLB.com’s #2 prospect in all of baseball is the main focus for O’s fans in 2021. Rutschman is a guy that was full of hype heading into the draft. He won the Golden Spikes and Dick Howser Awards and helped Oregon State to a College World Series over course of his college career. Per MLB.com the plan is for him to start at Double A Bowie playing regularly at catcher along with some reps at first base. If he can show improvements offensively he could be up at the big league club sooner than later.

Also, if you’re going to be a terrible baseball team playing in Camden Yards at least gives fans something beautiful to look at.

My favorite player on the team: Trey Mancini, kicked the shit out of colon cancer and is ready to make some noise on the field in 2021.

#27 Colorado Rockies

2020 Record: (26-34) PECOTA Projections: (61-101)

The Rockies could very well be #30 on this list by the time the season is over. Of course the biggest news of their offseason was moving Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals for peanuts (and still paying for a good chunk of his contract).

It was a move that had to be made, Arenado seemed to want out for a long time and keeping the disgruntled star had an impact on the rest of the team. Not that Nolan was wrong for wanting out either, it was just time.

They still have star SS Trevor Story in the mold who was ranked the best at his position my MLB.com contributor Sarah Langs this offseason. Wether or not you agree is irrelevant, what is though, is that he is a top player at his position and could be dealt for some pieces in July.

Reason to watch:

If I’m a Rockies fan I’m watching for the sake of sending off this era of Rockies baseball. Arenado is gone, Story and Blackmon could soon follow. It was a talented core that just couldn’t get over the hump. Hope you get some talent in return for Story if he is moved as the farm lacks a lot of pitching depth and elite talent at the top. Though it does appear that they hit on SP Ryan Rolison and he could contribute in 2021.

My favorite player on the team: SS Trevor Story

#26 Detroit Tigers

2020 Record: (23-35) PECOTA Projections: (66-96)

If the Rockies are descending to baseball Hell the Tigers will pass them on their way back to being relevant. Will it happen in 2021? Probably not, but the seeds planted in the farm are starting to grow and the progress makes the Tigers system a fun one to keep an eye on this summer.

The Tigers have trade options in their rotation, Matt Boyd and Spencer Turnbull. The additions of Robbie Grossman and Nomar Mazara as place holders are…something?

Reason to watch:

As mentioned the Tigers system is in a pretty good spot. SP Casey Mize got experience in the show in 2020 and struck out 7 in his debut vs. the Chicago White Sox. Watching his development is all you need to tune in to the Tigers every 5th day.

Add that to SP Matt Manning and Tarik Skubal with #3 overall prospect (MLB.com) 3B Spencer Torkelson working his way up the system and Tiger fans have a lot to be excited about in the future.

My favorite player on the team: SP Casey Mize

#25 Arizona Diamondbacks

2020 Record: (25-35) PECOTA Projections: (78-84)

Ah yes the Diamondbacks, a team with sick uniforms (those throwbacks, you know the ones) and no clear direction. At least if you ask me. What are you Diamondbacks?

Truth be told what they are is eons behind the top of the NL West. They have SP Madison Bumgarner and SP Zac Gallen but not much else is happening that can keep them in contention for long.

Reason to watch:

Zac Gallen is still a younger pitcher at 24 years old coming off of arguably his best season in 2020. He finished tied for 9th in the Cy Young vote and posted a 3.66 FIP. 1B Christian Walker broke out in 2019 and he followed it up with another solid season in 2020. Look for him to keep building on his production. The signing of Asdrúbal Cabrera will give them some added flexibility in the infield and look for SS Nick Ahmed to bounce back after down year defensively by his standards (he’s won back to back gold gloves) in 2020.

My favorite player on the team: SS Nick Ahmed

#24 Seattle Mariners

2020 Record: (27-33) PECTOA Projections: (70-92)

Matt Lessentine’s Seattle Mariners fall in the 24th spot entering the season. They just missed the playoffs in a pandemic shorted 60 game season in 2020 and we don’t have reason to believe they’ll do much better on the surface in 2021. But hey, James Paxton is back so that’s cool.

Reason to watch:

OF Kyle Lewis will look to follow up his Rookie of the Year season in 2021 and Evan White was the first 1B rookie to win a Gold Glove in the AL. So a lot of talented young players are making noise on the Major League roster already. MLB.com’s 4th and 5th prospects on their top 100 also belong to the Mariners in outfielders Jared Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez. J.P. Crawford is also coming off of a Gold Glove season and is emerging as a piece of the puzzle in the Mariners rebuild.

My favorite player on the team: SS J.P. Crawford

#23 Boston Red Sox

2020 Record: (24-36) PECOTA Projections: (80-82)

With new management at the helm the Red Sox continued their process of rebuilding the club by trading away OF Andrew Benintendi. The rotation will be lagging behind what they hope to be bounce back seasons from DH J.D. Martinez and 3B Rafael Devers but the starting five could improve once Chris Sale returns midseason.

Reason to watch:

SS Xander Bogaerts is one of the best at his position in the sport. When you put him next to Devers at 3rd and then account for J.D. Martinez at DH and Alex Verdugo in the outfield and the Red Sox have some solid pieces in place that could keep them in the Wild Card race for awhile.

Plus, they play at Fenway Park.

My favorite player on the team: SS Xander Bogaerts

#22 Kansas City Royals

2020 Record: (26-34) PECOTA Projections (71-91)

I’m a bit higher on the Royals than PECOTA is and I think that comes from the fact that I watch a lot of AL Central baseball and Kansas City is always so pesky.

They made some very interesting additions to there starting lineup including 1B Carlos Santana and OF Andrew Benintendi to go along with franchise face OF Whit Merrifield and SS Adalberto Mondesi.

Reason to watch:

The Royals have a pretty balanced lineup that I think will give teams some fits in 2021. Though the rotation will have to catch up as there is talk of protecting SP’s Kris Bubic and Brady Singer till they are a little further along.

SS Bobby Witt Jr. won’t be around in 2021, but it is worth seeing how the 7th ranked prospect in all of baseball (MLB.com) performs in the minors.

My favorite player on the team: OF Whit Merrifield

#21 San Francisco Giants

2020 Record: (29-31) PECOTA Projections: (75-87)

The Giants could’ve easily sold off everything under the sun and fallen into the depths of baseball Hell. Instead they kept a few pieces from their championship runs and have quickly put together one of the best farm systems in baseball at the same time.

Reason to watch:

C Buster Posey is slated to return after opting out of 2020 and with the signing of C Curt Casali this means Joey Bart will more than likely start the season in Triple A Sacramento. Along with those moves they added utility player Tommy La Stella who could take some at bats away from 3B Evan Longoria.

The rotation got a nearly complete face lift in the winter with Alex Wood, Anthony DeSclanfi, and Aaron Sanchez.

This a team that could hang around the NL Wild Card hunt for a bit but all most fans will following is the return of Joey Bart to the bigs.

My favorite player on the team: OF Mike Yastrzemski

#20 Miami Marlins

2020 Record (31-29) PECOTA Projections (70-92)

The winners of pandemic baseball last season find themselves 20th in the preseason rankings. They are the first playoff team to appear in these rankings and the questions I have I’m sure you do as well.

Can the Marlins do that again and for 162 games?

Reason to watch:

The pitching staff is very talented but it is also very young. Many of the players on the roster were forced into action by the Covid outbreak the team had to overcome after opening weekend.

SP’s Sandy Alcantara and Pablo López are more than likely 1 and 2 to start the year and for good reason. Sixto Sánchez showed some promise in his first taste of big league action as well. The concern for Miami’s pitching staff is wether or not the youth can keep them competitive in a very deep NL East.

3B Brian Anderson is still the face of the rebuilding Marlins and his veteran presence along with OF Corey Dickerson, OF Adam Duvall, SS Miguel Rojas and others is a nice complement to the young pitchers.

My favorite player on the team: 3B Brian Anderson

#19 Oakland Athletics

2020 Record: (36-24) PECOTA Projections (82-80)

The A’s look a bit different as they enter 2021, they are without SS Marcus Semien, RP Liam Hendricks and power bat Khris Davis.

Reason to watch:

3B Matt Chapman is my favorite player in baseball and having him for a full season is going to be key for the A’s to keep their playoff streak alive. On top of that a bounce back season from the other Matt, 1B Matt Olsen will go a long way.

C Sean Murphy broke out in the postseason and will look to build on his success. They traded for SS Elvis Andrus to fill the void left by Marcus Semien as well.

Also never forget that the A’s have top tier uniforms.

My favorite player on the team: 3B Matt Chapman

#18 Cincinnati Reds

2020 Record: (31-29) PECOTA Projections: (79-83)

The Reds come into 2021 losing the NL Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer and that really limits how far they can go. The offense is still the strength of the team with fixtures like 1B Joey Votto, 3B Eugenio Suárez, OF Nicholas Castellanos and OF Jesse Winker.

Reason to watch:

The Reds explosive offense in a top heavy NL Central will keep them in the mix. They still have two legitimate starters at the top of their rotation in Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray as well so I don’t expect a massive fall off from the Reds but they’ll need to prove that they can survive in life after Bauer.

My favorite player on the team: SP Sonny Gray

#17 Milwaukee Brewers

2020 Record: (29-31) PECOTA Projections: (88-74)

The Brew Crew are hoping for a bounce back season from OF Christian Yelich and PECOTA seems to think it will happen, giving them the best chances to win the NL Central.

Reason to watch:

The Brewers have sneaky good starters at the top of the rotation in Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes. Not to mention Josh Hader at the back end of the bullpen. They add 2B Kolton Wong to the mix and they’ll need more contributions from OF Lorenzo Cain and OF Ben Gamel as well.

My favorite player on the team: OF Christian Yelich

#16 Cleveland Indians

2020 Record: (35-25) PECOTA Projections (85-76)

The Indians are here because they unloaded SS Fransisco Lindor, SP Carlos Carrasco, RP Brad Hand and 1B Carlos Santana. The Twins haven’t gone away and now the White Sox are poised to make a run at the AL Central.

Reason to watch:

3B Josè Ramírez had a case for the American League MVP last season they bring back Cy Young winner Shane Bieber as well. There is some good depth on the roster so expect them to make some noise. I just wonder how long they can hang around when competing with the explosive offenses of the White Sox and Twins.

My favorite player on the team: SP Shane Bieber

#15 Philedalphia Phillies

2020 Record: (28-32) PECOTA Projections: (83-78)

For the Phillies in 2021 the difference between them sitting at home in October or not will be their bullpen which had as bad a season as we’ve ever seen. Luckily they brought back superstar catcher J.T. Realmuto and shortstop Didi Gregorius to hopefully build on an explosive season offensively.

Reason to Watch:

Bryce Harper hasn’t disappointed statically since signing in Philly and they have Aaron Nola at the top of their rotation so this club has a ton of star power. To address the need to fix up their bullpen they invested in RP Archie Bradley, RP Brandon Kintzler and RP José Alvarado in the winter. I expect the Phillies to be legitimate NL East contenders.

My favorite player on the team: OF Bryce Harper

#14 Los Angeles Angels

2020 Record: (26-34) PECOTA Projections: (86-76)

Could this be the year Mike Trout finally makes it back to the postseason? Maybe, with the A’s getting weaker and the Rangers and Mariners seemingly non-factors it could come down to the Angels attempting to keep up with the Astros. The Angels have lacked good starting pitching throughout the Trout era and so they looked to find to answers again this winter. Don’t expect the world from Jose Quintana and Alex Cobb but if they can stay consistent and all this talk of Shohei Ohtani hitting the mid 90’s this spring translates they might be able to stick around the Wild Card hunt.

Reason to watch:

Joe Maddon lead teams always seem to have a great time playing. You also have a Twitter legend in David Fletcher, a two way star and Mike f’ing Trout. Not to mention Anthony Rendon and milestone watch Albert Pujols. The Angels have a chance to be very fun this year.

My favorite player on the team: OF Mike Trout

#13 Chicago Cubs

2020 Record: (34-26) PECOTA Projections: (85-76)

It is the end of an era on the Northside of Chicago as Theo is officially out of the picture. What followed was a painful trade of SP Yu Darvish that will hurt them in their chances of winning the NL Central.

Reason to watch:

This is it for the Cubs championship core as Kris Bryant appears to be headed to free agency if not traded in July. You still have Javy Báez, Anthony Rizzo, Wilson Contreras, Jason Hayward and they brought back SP Jake Arrieta. If the Cubs core can get back to their usually ways after a down 2020 (they still won the division) this group could take the Northside fans on one last magic carpet ride before the clock strikes midnight. Though admittedly the Cardinals will give them a tough challenge.

My favorite player on the team: 2B Nico Hoerner

#12 St. Louis Cardinals

2020 Record: (30-28) PECOTA Projections: (80-81)

The Cardinals added star 3B Nolan Arenado for practically nothing in the winter that put the rest of the NL Central on notice. It will still be a fight for the Cards to come out with the title but they now add another star across the infield from 1B Paul Goldschmidt and behind SP Jack Flaherty.

Reason to watch:

The NL Central will be a bloodbath as it was a season ago. With Arenado in the mix and the battles with the Cubs and Brewers for the top spot this division and team may not be the best or deepest, but could offer some great value for a MLB.TV subscription.

The Cardinals still have aging vets Adam Wainwright, Yadier Monlina, and Matt Carpenter to help lead the way as more youth gets infused into the roster. Top prospect OF Dylan Carlson is expected to add some offense and start what will be some turn over for the Cardinals over the course of the next few years.

My favorite player on the team: 3B Nolan Arenado

#11 Tornoto Blue Jays

2020 Record: (32-28) PECTOA Projections (84-77)

The youthful “Hi my dad played in the big leagues” Blue Jays come off of a playoff appearance in 2020 by adding to their offense. OF George Springer joins the fold from Houston along with SS Marcus Semien and RP Kirby Yates for the bullpen.

Reason to watch:

The Blue Jays were a trendy pick to get back to the postseason in 2020 and for good reason. They are a young and hungry bunch that is lead by Vlad Guerrero Jr. who looks incredible this spring. Seems like he lost a lot of weight was lost and they are gonna push for him to play in the field at either 3rd or 1st to avoid him being just a DH. You also can’t forget about SS Bo Bichette and the versatile 3B Cavan Biggio who can play just about anywhere on the field.

Where the Jays really lack is in their rotation. There is not much elite talent past Hyun Jin Ryu. They will be trotting out guys like Robbie Ray who isn’t terrible by any means but expect them to be looking for arms in July if they are hanging with the Rays and Yankees.

My favorite player on the team: 3B Cavan Biggio

#10 Tampa Bay Rays

2020 Record: (40-20) PECOTA Projections: (86-75)

The Rays appear to have been gutted on the surface when you count for them losing Blake Snell and Charlie Morton. Those are absolutely big loses but remember guys the Rays are the Rays and they know more than us.

Reason to watch:

The 60 game schedule probably favorited the Rays and their style of baseball but now that we should be back to “normal” in 2021 it’ll be interesting to see if they’ll have similar success. Offensively they are brining back the usual suspects from just last season and they added SP Luis Patiño, SP Chris Archer, SP Rich Hill, and SP Michael Wacha to patch up the rotation.

My favorite player on the team: 1B Ji-man Choi

#9 Houston Astros

2020 Record: (29-31) PECOTA Projections (92-70)

The Astros got off the hook from having a real rough 2020 after *bang bang*

Wha- Did you hear that?

*bang bang*

Okay so we didn’t totally forget about the scandal. But we gotta move forward like adults so let’s try shall we?

Reason to watch:

The Astros bring back Micheal Brantley which is huge for them. With Bregman, Altuve and Correa still in the fold with the ascending Yordan Alaverez, this offense is still one of the best in the game. They also have SP Zach Greinke and Lance McCullers Jr. at the top of the rotation so given the state of the AL West coming into the season the Astros should still be heavy favorites.

My favorite player on the team: OF Yordan Alaverez

#8 Washington Nationals

2020 Record: (26-34) PECOTA Projections: (85-77)

The Nationals had a down year in 2020. Coming off of a title they were greeted with a virtual ring ceremony, and soon after a disgusting ceremonial first pitch from Dr. Anthony Fauci. Now they are healthy and ready to make a run for the Braves NL East crown.

Reason to Watch:

OF Juan Soto is on a Hall of Fame trajectory. Already. Now he has only been around since 2019 so he will have to keep it up but he is a hell of a reason to watch.

You want more? Alright fine. The Nats added 1B Josh Bell and OF Kyle Schwarber in the offseason to add more power to their lineup. Also the 1-4 of the starting rotation could end be up being 1. Max Scherzer 2. Steven Strasburg 3. Patrick Corbin 4. Jon Lester

Now that, that’s a deep rotation. The trouble for the Nationals is that there are two other very talented teams what in is easily the deepest division in the sport.

My favorite player on the team: OF Juan Soto

#7 New York Mets

Steve Cohen bought the Mets and then went absolutely bananas, building a contender in Queens seemingly overnight. They add SS Fransisco Lindor C James McCann, SP Carlos Carrasco, SP Joey Lucchesi, RP Trevor May, UT Jonathan Villar and OF Albert Almora Jr. to what was already a solid rotation and of course Pete Alonso at 1st.

Reason to watch:

I got two for you.

1st Fransisco Lindor is far and away the best defensive infielder the Mets have had in the last 10 years. With that massive upgrade shifting around the infield it will undoubtedly make the Mets pitching staff better.

2nd Cohen has been aggressive, very aggressive, so don’t think the roster you see now will be the same at the end of July. The Mets know they have a bullpen problem so expect them to add there midseason.

My favorite player on the team: SS Fransisco Lindor

#6 Minnesota Twins

2020 Record: (36-24) PECOTA Projections: (90-72)

The Twins come in to 2021 as PECOTA’s favorites to win the AL Central again. I’m starting them in the 2nd slot this season only because of what they lost in their bullpen. They did make the addition of Alex Colomè who is an elite closer, but I just need to see their staff before I put them ahead of my AL Central favorite.

Reason to watch:

The Twins are still the Twins. Put their offense against just about anyone and watch them throw runs up. Between Sanó, Donaldson, Buxton and Kepler the gang is still in tact and will torch the Earth in 2021. We will have to see how they use Nelson Cruz as in, will he be the everyday DH or not? But either way having him in the lineup won’t hurt. They also add SS Andrelton Simmons who will bring elite defense to their infield.

My favorite player on the team:

SS Andrelton Simmons

#5 Chicago White Sox

2020 Record: (35-25) PECOTA Projections: (82-80)

The rebuilding Sox exploded in 2020 and made it back to the postseason. After a disappointing round 1 exit they went out and added a new coaching staff anchored by legendary manager Tony La Russa. They have big bats, exciting young players and a formidable top of the rotation.

Reason to watch:

Of course OF Luis Robert is a monster and will look to more consistent. But with La Russa at the helm keep an eye on this White Sox bullpen that added Liam Hendricks in the winter. They have the likes of Bummer, Marshall, Crochet, Heuer, and Fry when he gets healthy. The offense will be there but the bullpen is what got them into the 5th spot preseason. They need a right fielder and a 5th starter so like the Mets I don’t think Rick Hahn is done adding to the team yet. Watch for the Sox to be buyers come July.

My favorite player on the team: C Yasmani Grandal

#4 New York Yankees

2020 Record: (33-27) PECOTA Projections: (99-63)

The Yankees haven’t been to the World Series since 2009 and the clock is ticking on the core they have now to make that happen. It always feels like health is a storyline for the Bronx Bombers and if is NOT one this season there is no reason why this group can make a run for the AL pennant.

Reason to watch:

The Yankees lineup is nasty, OF Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are the headliners of course. But bringing back the consistency and steadiness of a D.J. LeMahieu was big. 3B Gio Urshela is coming off of a productive year as well. They do have questions on the pitching side but they added some veteran depth and if health is a non-factor and C Gary Sanchez becomes one, the Yankees will be very good.

My favorite player on the team: 2B D.J. LeMahieu

#3 Atlanta Braves

2020 Record: (35-25) PECOTA Projections (82-80)

The Braves started three rookies vs. the Dodgers in the NLCS, and they nearly won. Adding SP Charlie Morton and Drew Smyly will help sure up the rotation add some October experience as well.

Reason to watch:

Freeman, Acuña Jr., Swanson, Albies, and Ozuna are just a few names that can been seen on the Braves lineup card. They have great players all over the field and young arms that have grown up fast in the big leagues so if the pitching can stick with the offense the way we expect the Braves are poised for another deep run in October.

My favorite player on the team: 1B Freddie Freeman

#2 San Diego Padres

2020 Record: (37-23) PECOTA Projections (95-67)

The Padres are the sexiest team in baseball and they’ve wheeled their way into having arguably the most talented roster they’ve ever had.

Reason to watch:

I mean, Tatis Jr. of course. He could steal Mike Trouts throne as the face of baseball very soon. He is on the cover of MLB The Show and he signed a 14 year $340 million dollar deal. But that’s not all the Padres did.

They also added SP Yu Darvish, SP Blake Snell, SP Joe Musgrove, RP Mark Melancon, INF Ha-seong Kim and C Victor Caratini.

The NL West arms race is about to reach its climax with the next team on the list and Padres going to war. Who doesn’t love this?

My favorite player on the team: SS Fernando Tatis Jr.

#1 Los Angeles Dodgers

2020 Record: (43-17) PECOTA Projections (104-57)

The champs are #1 to start the season because Luxury Tax be damned they went out and added this winter. They are swimming over the limit but hey, it’s not my money. Spend it up boys! They are the Empire, the Death Star, the team to beat in baseball.

Reason to watch:

Look if you’re still reading this (thank you) you know how good the Dodgers are. Betts, Bellinger, Seager, Turner, Buehler, Kershaw, now they add Trevor Bauer. They don’t have as much depth from last season but pound for pound they are easily the most talented team in baseball.

My favorite player on the team: OF Cody Bellinger

So there you have it, my season preview and power rankings. We will do this again after the first week of the regular season through September so I hope you stick around.

Here’s your sign to get Apple TV+

By Mike Samuelson

Like many of you, I get pissed off at the idea of another streaming service hitting the market. We fork over all of this money already (or use somebody else’s accounts…) with all of these subscriptions, and now the Monopoly man himself Tim Cook wants to give us this? Well, as skeptical as you may be, some of the stuff on there is actually really good! Let me explain.

Yes, the movie selection blows, let’s just call it what it is and not sugarcoat it. But the assets they have like A24 and just being Apple (unlimited revenue $$) makes them a contender for amazing content moving forward. Also, if you get a new iPhone like I did you get an entire year of the service completely free. So at this time in 2022, who knows maybe Oscar contending movies will start flying in as most A24 movies are winners. I’ve watched two shows in their entirety in about 3 days, and I gotta say they’re both fantastic.

Ted Lasso: I was skeptical on this one. The previews looked just, meh. Jason Sudeikis plays Ted Lasso, a Division 2 Football coach that gets hired to be a UK Football (Soccer for us uncultured people) coach. Something he’s never remotely done, he takes the challenge of overcoming cultural adversity being in London and knowing absolutely nothing about the sport. Created by one of the writers of How I Met Your Mother, it captures the heart & feel-good comedy that HIMYM did so well. Here’s another side note, if you haven’t seen that show go do it, ironically his name is also Ted. This was one of those shows that genuinely made me happy while watching the show. It has its moments of drama for sure, overcoming marital issues and life revelations with players on the team, but it always comes full cycle in being a lighthearted comedy & a great time. Already being renewed for a Season 2 & only 10 episodes each 30 minutes, it’s a quick series I was able to get through in a day. You’ll want to binge this one. 7.5/10

The Morning Show: Recommended by a fellow Unathletic member (thanks Ziggy), I was really looking forward to this show. The cast is jam packed, with people like Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell & Reese Witherspoon leading the charge giving an inside look of a daily news show in upstate New York. I don’t want to spoil too much of the show, but it’s an intriguing drama that has a hint of really everything. A longer burn with each episode being an hour long, it looks at the craziness of Television and the conniving industry to be atop of the rankings. Some funny, some batshit crazy, it’s an exciting watch that’ll have you on the edge of your seat AND has a good cliffhanger ending. If you’re a fan of shows like Succession (HIGHLY recommend on HBO if you haven’t watched) or the movie Bombshell, this will fall right down your alley. 7.5/10

I’m hopeful Apple TV+ can bring out some heavy hitters in 2021. I’m starting a new show called Truth Be Told with Octavia Spencer, and looking forward to the new Tom Holland movie coming in the end of February called Cherry from the Russo Brothers. Yes, those Avengers brothers are creating another drama movie with Spider-Man. Can’t. Wait.  

Thoughts From a Star Wars Fan

Disney/LucasFilm

By Nate Haynes

Since 1977 when Star Wars was released. People look at Star Wars as a way to get away from the real life going on in the world. The Vietnam war was a great example of why Star Wars was a must at that time. Now with Disney buying Star Wars and making a new trilogy and numbers of tv shows in the works. We currently live in a depressing time and we need something to escape from this world. Why not go to the amazing world of Star Wars. However it’s not what it was back in 1977. People are in distrust in Star Wars right now. The new trilogy is not loved by many fans, it even has fans wanting them to reboot the new trilogy. To that I ask why? I get it some choices that were made aren’t the best. But we need Star Wars, we need to get away. Look at the prequels, those were hated when they first were released, now look at them they are loved by many. Some even say that Episode 3 is their favorite Star Wars movie. Disney+ brought Star Wars fan’s back together with the Mandalorian. This was the thing to have Star Wars back in the fans’ hearts.

I do think we should appreciate the sequel trilogy as much as we do with the Mandalorian. Love Star Wars for what it is, not for what you want it to be. I am scared for what is to come in the future with everything coming with the new Star Wars projects. Will people love it? Will they hate it and call it out as not “Star Wars”? For whatever project does come from Star Wars we should appreciate it no matter how good or bad it is. We will always have the original trilogy. Everything coming out is just expanding the timeline for Star Wars. Look at Star Wars Rebels or Clone Wars. Not many fans know about these projects. Yes the die hard fans know about these. But these stories should be known to more people. Clone Wars explains so much of what happens between Episodes 2 and 3. You will truly appreciate Star Wars more if you watch them both.

The point of this “rant” is that when Star Wars releases something, a book, movie or show. We should appreciate it. Star Wars is our escape from reality. Complaining about something new from Star Wars is really like putting down your imagination.  So when Book of Boba Fett comes out at the end of 2021. Let’s not complain if it’s bad. Just enjoy it and get ready for the next adventure set in the Star Wars universe. 

Nate’s Top 10 Movies of 2020

By Nate Haynes

With COVID in the air, movies in 2020 were not like it was back in 2019. No movie theaters, no spending a day at a movie theater watching 3 movies in one day. Seeing the trailers for the next movie to see. However movies did come out on streaming and early in the theater. So I was able to make a top ten of 2020 and here it is.

#10. Bill and Ted face the Music
I enjoyed the first two Bill and Ted movies, so when Bill and Ted 3 was released I was hoping it would be just like the others and I think it is. The Bill and Ted movies work well because they feel like a story that doesn’t need that much context for the other movies. It was funny and the story did work. The daughters didn’t feel out of place nor did Bill and Teds time travel story. Kid Cudi was amazing as well.

#9. Promising Young Women
Promising young women brought us an original story and was really entertaining. It was a story that I had no idea what would happen next. Carey Mulligan played the main character and she killed it. One of the best lead women performances of 2020.  Supporting roles of Bo Burnham, Alison Brie, Clancy Brown and Jennifer Coolidge really shined in this movie. 

#8. Tenent 
Christopher Nolans newest movie did not disappoint. His movies are so original and bring such excitement and twist along with it. The story was confusing to follow at times but once you get it then it blows your mind. John David Washington and Robert Pattinson were outstanding in this movie. This might be my favorite John David Washington role so far. I’m excited to see what Nolan will do next.

#7. King of Staten Island 
Pete Davidsons life story in a sense in a movie. Judd Apatows did one of his best Directing in this movie. It truly felt like a life story playing out with some great comedy added. Bill Burr gave one of his best performances, while he doesn’t do much movies this really showed what he can do as an actor. I’m excited to see what Pete Davidson and Bill Burr do next. 

#6. Mank 
While black and white movies in the modern age aren’t my favorite, Mank made it work and brought so much life into it. As always Gary oldman gives us a performance to enjoy, he plays the role of mank so pure. The writing was outstanding. Showing the writing of one of the greatest movies ever written is “citizen kane”. There was comedy and realism to this movie that I really enjoyed. 

#5. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm 
One of the funniest movies I have seen this year. Sacha baron cohen played borat just like he did back in 2006. The story did feel like more of a movie than the first one. With Maria Bakalova joining the cast as Borats daughter was perfect. She was as funny as borat himself. I wouldn’t mind seeing a 3rd Borat movie this one worked so well. 

#4. Soul
In my opinion, the best Pixar movie since inside out. Soul just makes you enjoy life and appreciate what you have. The voice acting was perfect and really had soul! The animation on this movie was outstanding its as beautiful as the animation in the good dinosaur. The story was funny and had to much heart into it. I won’t be surprised if we see this get a best picture nomination and it will win best animation movie. 

#3. Trials of the Chicago 7
The best trials movie I think since 12 angry men. I was glued on the screen the whole time. I just wanted to see all days spent in that courthouse. The writing was genius and the acting was outstanding by many big stars. The judge was a dick and when you feel about that towards an actor you know that’s an amazing performance. The lawyer played by Mark Rylance makes me want him as my lawyer. Sacha Baron cohen killed it and its always great to see John Carroll Lynch. This movie feels relevant today with all the protest till will really be a big contender for best picture.

#2. Sound of Metal
I don’t want to get too much on what this is about. But its about a heavy metal drummer who starts to lose his hearing and how he must live with his lost of hearing. The performance by Riz Ahmed and Paul Raci gave such a raw and real performance that blew me away, I get so invested watching this movie I found myself saying “oh shit” multiple times. Please just watch this and you will understand why its my number 2. 

#1. Ma Raining Black Bottom 
This is my favorite solely on the story and the performances. This felt like a play with having about 2 or 3 locations in the movies. With only an hour and 30 minutes I could watch about 3 hours of the story of these characters. What blew me away was Chadwick Boseman playing Leeve. This is Chadwicks best performance ever. This will win him an Oscar for sure. When he is on the screen you can’t keep your eyes off him. He plays so well off everyone in this movie. He has 3 scenes that truly stand out. Viola Davis as Ma Rainey was outstanding as well. I think she is better in this than fences. You truly can’t believe that its her in the movie. I highly recommend this movie and it will stand out to me for years to come.

My Top 5 Landing Spots For Deshaun Watson

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson throws during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

By Noah Haynes

  1. Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins are ready to make a run and landing Deshaun Watson would make the run for the superbowl even more realistic than it already is. 1 year after drafting their Franchise QB Tua Tagovailoa, the Dolphins may move on if given the chance to acquire a top 5 QB in the league.The Dolphins have a great coach in Brian Flores, money, draft capital to acquire Watson and a superbowl ready defense. Only problem is the receivers may not be good enough but we’ve seen Watson make it work without a lot of talent around him. Watson most likely will give up his no trade clause given the chance to go to Miami.

2. New York Jets

New York Jets have been a laughing stock in the NFL for over 10 years and landing a franchise QB like Watson would change the direction the franchise would move for years. Jets have draft capital, money, and Robert Saleh whom Watson wanted the Texans to interview for their head coaching vacancy. The only problem with the Jets landing Watson is his no trade clause which makes it his decision to choose where he wants to go. The Jets are in the beginning of the rebuild and Watson may not want to be a part of it.

3. Chicago Bears

Picture this… the Chicago Bears pass on Watson in the 2017 draft and 4 years later, trade for Watson and go on to win multiple Super Bowls. That would be in the history books forever. The Chicago Bears are in dire need of a sustainable QB and Watson could easily carry the Bears to something special. Acquiring Watson may tempt receivers to join the team with already a great defense and an up and coming running back in David Montgomery. Now the question is if the Bears have the picks and players to give up to acquire Watson and if they can even afford him.Watson joining the Bears would change everything for the franchise and would be a perfect fit for offense that has been struggling for decades.

4. New England Patriots

1 year after losing Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, Jr. It’s clear the Cam Newton project didn’t work out. With Belichick not used to losing the Patriots could go out and acquire Watson and retake the AFC like they never lost it. This one kind of makes too much sense. It just comes down if they have enough to catch the Texans eye. I’m sure Watson would love to play for Belicheck because who wouldn’t. Watson capability to play without big name players can give the Patriots a real shot of winning the division in 2021. Every fan in the world besides Patriots is praying this won’t happen due to the simple fact we want different teams to be successful and not just the Patriots.

5. Carolina Panthers

This is my sleeper pick for Watson land just from the simple fact Bridgewater didn’t seem to work and the offense that consists of Mccaffery, Moore, Anderson, and Samuel would be scary with Watson thrown in the mix. The Panthers this season lost multiple games by one possession and I believe having Watson would push them over the edge and they could be a rising team in the NFC South with Brees, Brady, and Ryan going into their last couple of years. Matt Rhule is also a very good coach who Watson could get along with which he could never do in Houston. 

Mike’s Top 10 Movies of 2020 (So Far)

By Mike Samuelson

Shit, 2020 was wild huh? At a time where movie theaters seemed like ghost towns, you’d think they’d just cancel the awards season entirely. However, we actually had some gems in 2020 that may have been overlooked (you know, more important craziness going on?). I’m here to give you my top 10 movies of the year along with their streaming service to watch on! This list is subject to change, as more award contenders will be coming that’re widely available over the next 2 months. But first, I want to give some honorable mentions before heading into the list. These were good, just not great to make the leap.

Honorable Mentions: One Night In Miami (Amazon): Incredible acting on display from the four main actors here. Almost setup as a play, it’s a fictional character study of four African American males (Malcolm X, Cassius Clay (Ali), Sam Cooke & Jim Brown) and a random night in a Miami hotel just before the civil rights movement. Regina King takes her next leap from acting to Directing, but because the storyline isn’t as constructed, it didn’t make my top list. But check it out on Amazon if you’re interested.

Borat Subsequent Movie Film (Amazon): This one was very nice indeed! 14 years after the original & during a pandemic, Sacha Baron Cohen is at it again with his hijiinx & real-time interactions with everyday Americans. It gives a culture shock at different stereotypes in society and a welcoming emergence of Borat’s daughter Tutar played by Maria Bakalova. Borat 2 continues with the shock value, but I think because it wasn’t as funny as the first it was just short in my list. But hey, what do I know? Check this one out if you haven’t already.

Now, time for the big dogs.. starting at Number 10…

10. The Devil All The Time (Netflix): Tom Holland & Robert Pattinston star in this fantastic Drama about a young Ohio man named Marvin (Holland) overcoming struggles in a Post-WW2 era. Robert Pattinson stars as a preacher who makes his presence known with his youth and intense practices. Both of these powerhouses deliver in acting, as it’s an intense accessible movie that I probably wouldn’t rewatch due to its mature themes. That being said, check this one out. I know, convincing…

9. Hamilton (Disney+): A known Musical; the filmed version brings all of the classic songs to your screen. Instead of $300+ on a Broadway ticket, Disney brings it home & it turns out incredible. Terrific soundtrack, and Lin-Manuel Miranda both stars & WRITES all of the music in this one. C’mon, everyone knows what Hamilton is, don’t throw away your shot by not watching…

8. I’m Thinking Of Ending Things (Netflix): Charlie Kauffman directs one of those movies that has you thinking “What. The. Hell am I watching?” A psychological movie, it looks at the mindset of a depressed man in a rural town. That’s about ALL I want to give, as this was a movie I had to look up the original source material. Check it out if you enjoy smart psychological movies, as this one isn’t for everybody. 

7. The Trail of the Chicago 7 (Netflix): Director Aaron Sorkin delivers on his take on the famous Chicago Riot of the Vietnam War at the Democratic National Convention in 1968. Phenomenal cast with heavy hitters like Eddie Redmayne, Sasha Baron Cohen, Jeremy Strong & Joseph Gordon-Levitt, it’s a smart dramatic thriller that even shows society’s approaches to peaceful protesting today (*cough* All this going on today *cough*) but I digress…

6. The Invisible Man (HBO Max): I’m just as surprised a horror movie made it this high on my list. Elizabeth Moss (Cecilia) stars as a single woman who is left a fortune from her abusive ex-boyfriend. When she suspects he’s actually NOT dead, trouble arises while trying to prove things aren’t as ordinary as they seem. Smartly written & not TOO spooky, this is an accessible movie that’ll have you on the edge of your seat. 

5. The King Of Staten Island (HBO Max):  Judd Apatow’s film is hilarious & a great look at Pete Davidson in Staten Island. Davidson stars essentially as himself, as the movie takes a look at Pete struggling with things like his father’s death, and just figuring the crazy thing we call life out. The movie also stars Bill Burr, who plays a more dramatic role but knocks it out of the park. Not as raunchy or funny as Apatow’s other movies like Knocked Up & 40-Year-Old Virgin, but it’s one to check out nonetheless!

4. Tenet (Rent/Own wherever you do that.. or download it from somewhere idk):  Christopher Nolan insisted this one gets shown in theaters, and I don’t blame him. With all of Nolan’s movies, I like not knowing what I’m getting myself into and just watching them visually unfold in front of me. In a time where superhero movies weren’t present, this movie’s special effects made up for it. Similar to Inception & other thought-provoking movies, you’ll want to watch something afterwards to truly explain it. 

3. Sound Of Metal (Amazon): Just posted the blog on this one, so check out my review for a full analysis. This one just stayed with me, and it’s going to keep going up my rankings. Once the Oscars role around, don’t be surprised this one makes it to number one. Lock in for this wild ride.

2. Palm Springs (Hulu): Hulu’s sole contributor to the list, this romantic comedy is the one I’ve watched the most on this list so far. Andy Samberg & Alyson Brie star as two people who are attending a wedding & fall into a Groundhog Day-esque situation. I don’t want to give anymore away, but the writers of The Lonely Island helped write this one and was the highest sold movie at Sundance of all time (yeah, it’s that good). Check this movie out for a lighthearted comedy we could all use right now.

And my number one movie…

1. Soul (Disney+): Pixar doesn’t miss. Even in the heat of battle this mf don’t miss.. (let’s ignore Cars 2 as a whole). Soul stars Jamie Foxx as a middle-aged Jazz musician in the heart of New York pursuing his dreams in being a star. Tina Fey also stars in this one, but I’m not going to tell you who she is. The trailers don’t do it justice, as this mature-themed masterpiece took five years to fully develop the screenplay. The top-notch animation, incredible voice acting & important storytelling make this the one you’ll think about for 2020. A movie with a focus on the true meaning of life & to enjoy all aspects of it, makes it a must-watch. Kids film or not, this one feels like it was made for the adults and might actually make some real noise towards Awards season.

Let me know your thoughts/opinions, and what were some movies YOU loved in 2020 that I may have missed? A possible worst of 2020 list may be coming soon.

Sound of Metal Review

By Mike Samuelson

Amazon Prime coming through with a musical gem unlike anything I’ve seen. Riz Ahmed (Carlton Drake in Venom) stars as a drummer in a metal band who begins fully losing his hearing. It’s an interesting analysis on the deaf community & some of the mental hurdles necessary in the process. It’s multi-layered, and you can tell he did his research in understanding the hardships in overcoming adversity. With the Oscars not taking place until April, I’m hoping this one can keep the hype going right into awards season. Personally, I think Riz Ahmed (Ruben) & Paul Raci (Joe) are shoe ins for Best actor & Supporting Actor for this year’s award season. Director Darius Marder shines in his directorial debut, as he’s somebody I’m going to be watching out for years to come. If you’re asking, “What’s it like?”, I would say the most similar comparison is Whiplash in terms of overcoming adversity & the musical aspect behind it. But the film is truly unique & one you should stream as soon as you can!

The Bears are Bringing Back Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy

By Ian Blum

Per multiple reports Tuesday night the Chicago Bears are going to bring back Head Coach Matt Nagy and General Manager Ryan Pace for 2021.

Let’s start off with Chuck Pagano real quick. Congratulations to him on an excellent career in football. I think we all were excited when we found out that he was taking over Vic Fangio. Nevertheless things haven’t worked over the last two seasons and now he walks away, hopefully not taking the fall for the other three guys who are more responsible.

I could do some long bit about how I watch damn near every single Bears game with my dad and how that father son bond means the world to me. And how the teams we watch together consistently underachieve or are down right terrible.

But let’s keep our heads in the game here. Clearly for whatever reason George McCaskey feels like Matt and Ryan can take this mediocre team to the next level. I couldn’t disagree more and to keep it simple, it’s two fold. First, your scouts and player personal picked Mitch over Watson and Mahomes. Second, your coach employed by the GM failed to develop him and also lacks the trust required for them to have a legitimate NFL offense.

That chain of the GM missing on the pick, Coach failing to develop the QB then the lack of trust between the coach and QB is the reason why Mitch Trubisky will not be back.

So with Mitch out of the picture and Foles the only other real option at QB it becomes apparent the Bears will need another. But do you want the GM who missed on the QB last time to be picking a new one? Plus if he does make that pick he should be married to it, and Pace has only a year left. So an extension would more than likely have to happen. On top of that you have the 20th pick meaning a top 3 QB is out of the question, maybe even top 4.

This leads to my fear with all of this, desperate people tend to do desperate things. With Ryan Pace’s job on the line it would not surprise me if he made a trade up to the late top 10 or middle of the 1st round to get a QB on draft night. Or spending big money on a washed Phillip Rivers, or swinging for the fences and taking on Carson Wetnz’s big contract. All of these things require giving up assets or cap space we don’t have. It’s a band aid for a gunshot would that will cause the team to bleed out because the GM’s short comings are shown by a lack of production at multiple positions on the field.

But no matter what I say we are here now. So what’s next?

We’ve heard nothing official out of Lake Forest at the time of this writing which leads me to believe this may not be the only move.

My prediction is that defensive line coach Jay Rodgers will be get promoted to the DC spot. He was a hold over from John Fox’s staff and has earned the right to have a chance.

Bigger picture however we’ve heard nothing about Ted Phillips. Rumor had it back around November that he was going to retire at seasons end. I would not be surprised if they moved Ryan Pace up from GM to team President and hired a new Gm. Or bring in a new team president and let him decide the fate of Matt and Ryan. I prefer Pace not getting promoted but these are the two things I could see happening next.

It’s a tough time to be a Bear fan. There isn’t any doubt where the direction of the franchise is headed and the fact that the McCaskey family can’t wrap their mind around that before it gets worse is sad.

Make sure to listen to the latest episode of the Unathletic Podcast and to comment rate and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Bear Down Ian’s Wild Card Game Preview

By Ian Blum

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I have absolutely no idea how I am in this position. The desire I had to write a blog fueled by anger and pain from another disappointing season has been washed away by a Bears teams that has limped its way into the playoffs.

Cue the video:

Now I know there are some mixed emotions about the state of the Bears franchise but we can address all of that later. For now we need to soak in the moment that is front of us. The Chicago Bears are a playoff team and we will not apologize for it. Hate that we are here? Talk to the Cardinals who couldn’t take care of the Rams and keep us out. Talk to Rodger Goodell and the NFL, the very people who created the final Wild Card spot. Address all anger and talk of “deserving” to them.

To my brethren, the Bear faithful and the lovers beef this is our time. Our Chicago Bears have now made the playoffs 2 times in 3 years, a stretch we haven’t seen since the Lovie Smith era. Matt Nagy has yet to coach a Bears team with a losing record, and now our offense is putting things together just in time for the playoffs. We are a mere 4 wins away from restoring the pride and respect from our beloved franchises storied past.

This task will not be an easy one. In our path is a matchup in the Super Dome against the mighty New Orleans Saints. A team that beat us in overtime earlier this season. Their stars on offense Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara will be back for the game so they will be at full strength.

As always they are lead by the coach QB tandem of Sean Payton and Drew Brees. Both will find themselves in Canton one day. In the 2020 campaign Payton has lead his team without Brees due to a rib injury and he overcame Covid himself earlier this year. This did not stop the Saints from achieving a 12-4 record and securing a home playoff game.

To add another degree of difficulty for the Bears we had this come out Saturday:

Welcome to the Bears Manti Te’o………great.

Okay but there is some good news. The Bears have a new found identity on offense with Mitch under center. That was something that we lacked when we last saw the Saints. We have an absolute wrecking ball in David Montgomery and our hold the ball style of offense has had some success in the back half of the season. If we can control the pace of the game and play keep away we have an opportunity to keep the game close.

On top of the Saints being full strength, the Bears defense has also regressed some in the latter part of the season. The health of the defensive backs has played a role on top of the front having a tough time creating pressure. Like most Bears games they will need the defense to find the 2018 version of themselves somewhere in the Big Easy for them to be able to compete.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

The bottom line this week is this, there is no tomorrow. Whether or not you truly believe that the Bears have a shot (I’ve struggled with this) there is no reason to not rally around your family get your beefs, put on the ole blue and orange and live for every play. If you really love the Bears then love this shit no matter the game, the record, or the opponent. So grab that jersey you having hanging in the closet, get your beef orders ready and find your lucky spot on the couch because soon we will have playoff football to watch.

For those that need some extra juice:

Let’s shock the world and always, BEAR DOWN!

Bear Down Ian reacts to Da Bears making Da Playoffs

By Ian Blum

Well, well, well, the Chicago Bears are a playoff team. Guys this season has been one we all will never forget for obvious reasons (Covid, players standing up for social injustices) but the Bears year in particular is as weird a season I’ve ever seen.

Remember after the Detroit game just a few weeks ago when we all assumed that Ted Phillips, Ryan Pace, Matt Nagy and Mitch Trubisky were on the chomping block? Next thing you know the Bears rip off 3 straight and with some help from the Rams, get in the playoffs. I sit here with such weird emotions about all of this because I can’t help but feel like this is our ceiling as a franchise. Middle of the pack, barely getting into the playoffs. The bigger contracts we’ve handed out (Whitehair, Mack, Jackson, Quinn, Leno) are starting to grip hold of a lot of cap space and while we have the 1st round pick back we are in a position where we can’t get a QB either so Nick Foles is probably coming in as the starter next year unless they can resign Mitch for a reasonable price. Plus if you do resign Mitch or tag him that takes money away from Allen Robinson and seems like he is already gone.

We are just stuck in the middle, literally an 8-8 finish with the expanded playoffs being the reason we got in. If George McCaskey looks at the big picture I hope he can see that there is not much here to hang your hat on as we move forward.

So yeah, things aren’t totally looking up. It will be a big offseason for the Bears and we will cross that bridge when the time comes.

In the present tense the Bears should send John Wolford a Christmas card next year because the Rams are the only reason we are in this spot after they beat Arizona. The Bears could’ve handled it themselves but fell victim to arguably the best version of Aaron Rodgers we’ve ever seen. While I think the Bears played better than the 35-16 final score they just didn’t have the fire power to hang with Green Bay for 4 quarters.

All week the conversation was centered around the new found success running the football and how its helped Mitch play well. With Rodgers a lock for the MVP, controlling the clock was something the Bears wanted to do to give them a chance. Believe it or not they actually did it.

Uh yeah, not ideal.

It does give me hope for our match up in New Orleans. The constant in the NFL for every team come January is that you need to be able to run the ball and play good defense. The Bears were down two starting corners today in Jaylon Johnson and Buster Skrine. Would they have changed the outcome? Probably not, but the Bears did drop 3 interceptions so it’s not a crazy thought. In perfect world they are able to return next week. If and I mean IF the Bears front can slow down Kamara, Brees won’t take the kill shots that Rodgers does. So maybe you keep the game close.

Of course with Roquan sustaining an elbow injury during the game Sunday stopping the Saints rushing attack could be even tougher than it normally would be. Though I do have to save my more detailed thoughts for a full game preview coming this week so make sure to check back here for that.

My closing thoughts about Week 17 for the Bears is to remember where we are at. On the 3rd day of 2021 we find out the Bears for better or worse (it’s always better) will be in the playoffs. For me personally at 22 years old this will be the 6th time the Bears have made the playoffs in my life. If the last year has taught any of us anything it’s that we need to be more humble, to appreciate the moment and what we have because on a dime it can all be gone. So I’m going to enjoy the week. I’m going to break down matchups and ways the Bears can pull off the upset. Why? Because everyone is 0-0, and in the playoffs anything can happen. Get your dancing shoes on and as always, Bear Down!

SAY IT WITH ME:

Remember to subscribe to the Unathletic Podcast on Apple or Spotify or both if you’re a true legend of the game. First episode will be out Tuesday where we bring you a recap of the College Football Playoff, Week 17 in the NFL and we give our picks for the coaching vacancies around the league.