Week Three: Bears at Cardinals Game Preview

| September 20th, 2018

Weird part of this Denny Green video is he wasn’t wrong. The Cardinals absolutely dominated the Bears in this game, offensively and defensively. It took some of the flukiest developments ever for this result to happen. How fluky? The game actually has its own Wikipedia page.

Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears this Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

To paraphrase the great Lou Brown from Major League, the Bears won Monday night. If they win this Sunday that’s called a winning streak. And they’re the heaviest favorite they have been on the road since probably the mid-2000s. I just don’t see any way this group loses this game.

Game Haiku

Hitting Sam Bradford

Will lead to the dink and dunk

And Glendale glory!

Why the Bears Will Win?

  • Run Game. Arizona is allowing over 136 yards a game on the ground and Matt Nagy acknowledged this week the Bears need to give the ball to their workhorse back more. (Yes, I’m going to make this a primary bullet point every single week because I truly believe this coaching staff will wake up and realize Jordan Howard is their best offensive player AT SOME POINT. Oh, and once the power game starts working you’ll see a different, more comfortable Mitch Trubisky.)
  • Arizona is averaging 114 yards passing through two games. Yes, that’s an actual statistic. 114. That’s 26 yards less than Buffalo and the Bills started Nate Peterman – the worst statistical QB in the history of the league – for one of their two games. The Arizona QB rating through two games? 55.6. Touchdowns? Zero. This is one awful passing attack.
  • Third-Down Conversions. The Bears are tenth in the league, converting more than 40% of their third-down opportunities. (They’ve already significantly improved on this stat from a year ago.) Arizona is dead last in that stat, somehow managing to only convert 20%. Arizona is also mind-bogglingly allowing opponents to convert their third downs half the time, exactly 50%. The Bears should have little problem staying on the field on offense / getting off the field on defense.
  • Road Game? Is there any doubt there will be more Bears fans than Cardinals fans in University of Phoenix Stadium? Hell, they just opened a Lou Malnati’s in Scottsdale! This could become a demoralizing affair for the home side.

Why They Won’t

  • Arizona CAN’T be this bad, can they? They’ve scored six points in two games. You can excuse the Rams performance in L.A. because the Rams are very good but the Cardinals were equally awful against the Redskins…at home. There’s a law of averages thing at play here. Eventually the Cardinals are going to score some points, though it’s doubtful to happen against this Bears defense.
  • Turnovers. The only realistic argument I can make for the Bears losing in Glendale is their offense giving the ball away and Trubisky has shown a tendency to give opposing defenders opportunities to make plays. The kid QB threw two picks against Seattle but could easily have thrown two more. There’s still talent in this Cardinal secondary.
  • David Johnson is still good. Yet, for some reason, the Cardinals have decided to not utilize his talents. Well there’s been about 100 articles written in the last few days arguing the only way for this team to turn their offense around is to run everything – rush and pass game – through Johnson. If they do they could find success against this aggressive pass rush.

Tweet of the Week

Bill Zimmerman is an Executive Producer at Mad Dog Radio on Sirius and a Bears blogger at Goggles. He’s also been one of the best Bears follows on Twitter for the last year or so. This week, he’s done a brilliant job providing quarterback context for a fan base that doesn’t overreact to every Trubisky game. They overreact to every single Trubisky pass attempt.

Don’t Gamble, But If You Do… (2-0)

If you placed the $100 bet I recommended last week (Bears on the money line & under 43.5) you doubled your money. Through two games I’ve been pretty much on the mark with this Bears team.

This is not a game you’re going to make much money on unless you put the Bears in a series of teasers. (I like a three-team with Pittsburgh and Denver.) But that’s not how this column fragment works. So this week lay $100 on the Bears -6 and over the total number of 37.5. That’ll pay out around the standard 13/5. Feels like a solid bet.

Charity of the Week

Our tee shirt, designed with 26Shirts Chicago, raised $400 for the Windy Kitty Cafe’s Kitten Korner. Good but disappointing. I understand the shirts were not cheap, running fans $30 after delivery, so I encourage you to watch this short video and learn about how important this work is and why it’s important to support. This will be the last week I push the kitties on you.

Here’s the link to donate: KITTENKORNER.

Give $5. What is that? That’s one beer. And if you give $5, DBB will match it. Good deal? Just make the donations and forward the receipt to Jeff@DaBearsBlog.com.

Game Prediction

Trubisky Game One: 65.7% completed, 171 yards, 0 touchdowns.

Trubisky Game Two: 73.5% completed, 200 yards, 2 touchdowns.

The kid has made some mistakes but he actually improved in some key areas from the first to the second game. I think he – and the offense – take a significant step in the third game. Couple that with another defensive touchdown and this could be the first comfortable, nerveless fourth quarter for Bears fans in 2018.

Chicago Bears 30

Arizona Cardinals 13

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