The Monday Show Prep

posted by Steve Bortstein -

Carson Wentz

Eagles 31, Bears 3

The one-loss Eagles (10-1) dominated the listless Bears from the opening snap to the final whistle. Philly's smothering defense clobbered Chicago in the trenches, pressuring and confusing an off-target Mitchell Trubisky. Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Fletcher Cox, Timmy Jernigan & Co. obliterated the Bears running game and battered Trubisky. The EaglesD allowed six total rushing yards and earned seven tackles for loss, two sacks, five QB hits and two interceptions. Chicago's sad offensive effort resulted in zero first downs and 33 total yards in the first half. Philly showed Trubisky, who had the least accurate day of his young career, what it's like facing a quality defense. With the run game shut down and Eagles DBs sticking to receivers who can't get open, Trubisky was lost at sea without hope against Jim Schwartz's defense. -- NFL.com

Steelers 31, Packers 28

This was supposed to be a walk. The AFC leaders with the greatest running back-wide receiver tandem in the league against a foundering foe without its starting quarterback, a team that had been shut out at home by a lesser AFC North opponent just one week ago. And yet, thanks to a brilliant evening from Brett Hundley, Le'Veon Bell and the night's hero, Antonio Brown, this midseason prime-time clash morphed into a classic. -- NFL.com

This didn't go well.... at all

How'd ya like to be this guy today?

The decision last week by the brass of the Broncos to name Paxton Lynch as the starting quarterback for yesterday's game on the road at Oakland failed in every way imaginable.

First, the numbers. 9-for-14 for 41 yards, 1 INT, 0 TD and 4 sacks. 

The came the injury, the hobbling, the tears.... and then things got worse.

Trevor Siemian came into the game, like Mighty Mouse swooping in on a disaster and nearly saved the day with a pair of 4th quarter touchdowns that put the Broncos in a position to tie the game.

Had it not been for Derek Carr's last-minute heave to Cordarrelle Patterson, who knows how the final moments of this thing plays out.

But the sad reality is this... Paxton Lynch isn't cut out for this. 

I don't know if Siemian is either, to be quite honest, but this latest wrinkle of events that took place on the tail end of a week which saw an offensive coordinator lose hi job, the first-year head coach try and piece together something -- anything -- to end a 6-game losing streak isn't going to make things any easier on a ballclub about to head off to Miami to face an equally tattered and bruised Dolphins team.

And how many times will the name Jay Cutler come up this week?

Cutler, who may or may not start for Miami this weekend, was at one time the exalted one in Denver. And that went to hell in a hurry too.

Should be an interesting week to say the least. -- SGB

Schiano nearly hired, then not hired by Tennessee

Wow. This blew up in a hurry.

According to a report on ESPN, the University of Tennessee has backed out of a memorandum of understanding with Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano to be the Volunteers' next football coach.

The memorandum of understanding was signed by both parties Sunday in Columbus, Ohio. Tennessee had planned to introduce Schiano at a news conference last night.

But when news broke that Tennessee was close to finalizing a deal with Schiano earlier Sunday, there was public outcry among Tennessee fans, with people citing his alleged connection to the Jerry Sandusky era at Penn State.

I don't believe the Sandusky ties at Penn State had as much to do with the frustration from Vols Nation as Schiano represents yet another guy who's loyalty and ethics could easily be questioned.

Go back in time here and this goes to the tumultuous exit of Lane Kiffin, the wretched campaign of Derek Dooley, the extended stay of Butch Jones, relieved of his duties a few weeks ago and the on-again, off-again rumor mill that seems to push the name Jon Gruden onto every opening in the world of college football and the NFL.

Which astounds me, to be quite honest.

Gruden hasn't roamed the sideline of a college football team since 1991. He hasn't coached in the NFL in nearly 10 years, and from all indications, he's either doing a masterful job at pretending to enjoy his time as Monday Night Football analyst at ESPN, or he's laughing at everyone as he continues to cash in big checks from the 4-letter network and watching the world burn around him.

Whatever the reason(s) for the latest fiasco on the Tennessee sideline, this one ranks right up there with the most embarrassing, and it's far from over. -- SGB

Chip Kelly goes to UCLA

To quote a phrase, "business just picked up" in the Pac-12 Conference.

The announcement over the weekend that UCLA was hiring Chip Kelly should send shockwaves across the college football landscape, and in particular, the Pac-12 Conference in which Kelly masterminded a pretty steady dominant time at the University of Oregon.

Kelly's ability to recruit high-profile talent was second-to-none when he was running things in Eugene, and the fact was, his team was must-see television. An up-tempo offense that was capable of scoring points in bunches and they played on a national stage when USC and Stanford were still prime-time products. 

Oregon captured the imaginations of fans everywhere, be it their on-field abilities or their flashy gear, almost all of which was made possible by a grant from Nike executive Phil Knight. They played with style, flair and they were meant for prime time television.

Now that comes to Hollywood.

Westwood, to be honest, but it's close enough. 

Can Kelly deliver on that same hype machine at UCLA? Because that program has been rendered all but silent the last couple of seasons, considering the failure to deliver on a whole lot of preseason hype. 

I won't pretend to speak for quarterback Josh Rosen, but I have the feeling he's not sticking around one more season to see how Kelly's offensive philosophy works.

So that means Kelly will have to start from scratch.

But it also means the recruiting wars in the Pac-12 have just picked up a notch. And if USC wants to maintain that advantage in the trenches, a win this weekend over Stanford in the conference title game, followed by a win in whatever post Jan. 1 bowl game they get an invite from is imperative. -- SGB

Everything is up in the air now

Meantime, if you thought the chaos of last season was something in the college football landscape, imagine the fallout which is still going to play out as a result of both Alabama and Miami losing last weekend.

Welcome to the Top 4, Wisconsin. Now you get to fight for the Big 10 title against an Ohio State team with literally nothing to lose.

Welcome to the Top 4, Auburn. Now you get to play Georgia for the SEC title, where whether you win or lose, still may result in a rematch with the same Alabama on New Year's Day that you scored the biggest win of your season against the other night. 

This is why we love college football! -- SGB

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