The Bears now enter a five-game-in-six-week stretch wherein three of those games will be in primetime. And at 5-1 there’s no one happier about that than Roger Goodell. The Bears have been the ratings surprise of the season and if they keep winning, that’ll continue. The ratings will be good Monday night. I’m not so sure the game will be.
Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?
I always like the Chicago Bears.
And the 2020 Bears are starting to play like, and take on the personality of, the 2018 Bears. That’s NEVER a bad thing. That team made a statement by beating the Rams in primetime. Might the same happen in 2020?
There are three players remaining on the Bears schedule that should frighten them. Aaron Rodgers because he’s Aaron Rodgers. Derrick Henry because if the Bears don’t wrap him up they’ll be shredded for 200+ yards. And Aaron Donald. With Donald, this week is especially terrifying.
Donald is the best defensive player in the league. He’s also a defensive tackle who’ll have the opportunity to line up opposite a liability on the Bears offensive line at left guard. If Donald wants to spend 40 snaps in that spot, he will. Matt Nagy and Nick Foles can’t let Donald wreck this game; something he’s more than capable of doing. That means their backs need to do a ton of work in protection. That could mean Holtz and Kmet in the backfield with their eyes squarely on Donald.
But it also means two other things.
- Stop running the ball on first down and allowing pass rushers to rev up and ride. If the Bears are in second/third and long continually, it’s chum in the water for Donald.
- Integrate one-read, quick toss plays on those early downs to keep Donald on his heels. Isn’t this the perfect week to throw some bubble screens out to Darnell Mooney and Ted Ginn and see what the speedsters can do with the ball in space?
Donald is the kind of player opposing coaches must fixate on if they intend to be successful. With the Bears struggling upfront, that’s even more the case here.
7 Favorite Episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm (for Week 7)
Do I love L.A. Story? More than most films. (The movie poster is sampled as the featured image of this post.) Is Chinatown one of the greatest screenplays ever written? Sure is. Do I think David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive has some of the most bizarre and sexy scenes ever captured? Yep. Are the L.A. scenes in Annie Hall perfect? They are. But for my money, Curb is the finest representation of Los Angeles and all it entails. (It is a terrible place and Larry David knows it.) I’ve done seven runs through the entire series and I’m happy with this list.
(7) Kamikaze Bingo
(6) Larry vs. Michael J. Fox
(5) The Table Read
(4) The Ski Lift
(3) The Black Swan
(2) The Car Salesman
(1) Palestinian Chicken
Breaking Down Jared Goff
Goff is a bully quarterback. He picks on the weaker kids.
And there’s a theme to the Rams’ four wins this season: they’ve swept the worst division in the history of the league, the NFC East. In their other two games, they were hammered by the Niners and fell down 28-3 to the Bills before mounting a late comeback, aided by Buffalo penalties on defense.
This is the best defense Goff has faced in 2020. The kind of quarterbacks that will have success against the Bears will need to do three things: (1) Show arm strength and accuracy on intermediate throws. (2) Accept that some completions will include taking a big hit. (3) Extend drives with their legs.
I don’t see Goff as the type of quarterback who does all three.
Worth the Gamble
Went 2-for-3 last week, only missing out on the crap shoot of odd/even final score. (All odds from DraftKings Sportsbook.)
- Chicago Bears +6 (-110). I simply don’t understand this spread. Compare the resumes of these two teams and make an argument the Rams are six points better than the Bears. You can’t.
- Under 45 total points (-110). These teams played in 2018 to the tune of 15-6. I think there will be more scoring this time around but only slightly more. My prediction: if the over hits, the defenses have scored.
- Rams Under 2.5 Touchdowns (+107). It’s hard to score three touchdowns against the Bears and you’re being offer plus odds? Sign me up!
A Haiku Request for Matt Nagy
You drafted Kmet.
You praised him all summer long.
Enough with Harris.
Tweet of the Week
Today @SpencerJCox and I are releasing joint public service ads on civility in politics. Working together and the peaceful transfer of power are integral to what it means to be American. Let’s reforge our national commitment to decency and democracy. #utpol #standunited pic.twitter.com/jeUJ78aVor
— Peterson for Utah (@PetersonUtah) October 20, 2020
Defenses control the entire affair and it comes down to which quarterback makes the big mistake. Monday night, it’s Goff.
Chicago Bears 16, Los Angeles Rams 13