Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?
I always like the Chicago Bears.
And there’s reason for optimism when it comes to the future of this franchise. There is young talent at some key positions, including quarterback. Seeing that young talent continue to develop over these final three games will only build excitement for the 2022 campaign.
Fields vs. Seattle’s Defense
This is still exclusively about Justin Fields, at least for the next month..
- Seattle currently possesses the league’s worst pass defense, allowing 274 yards per game through the air. This is not a game for Matt Nagy to rely on his “run on first down unless someone pays me not to” strategy. This is a game to put on the rocket right arm of his young quarterback.
- Seattle ranks 26th in QB hits and 27th in sacks. This is not a week where Fields should expect to be under a tremendous amount of pressure. (Seattle also played a pretty physical game with the Rams on Tuesday so this is a seriously short week for them.)
- A Tweet from Nicholas Moreano: “#Bears coach Matt Nagy said that “it can be done” to incorporate more fast-tempo offense. That was something Justin Fields mentioned as being one of his strengths in his postgame press conference.”
- It’s obvious to anyone watching that Fields thrives in what we used to call “hurry-up” and is now referred to as “tempo”. One reason is because Chicago’s outside weapons are no good and tempo tires out defenders, giving folks like Damiere Byrd a serious advantage. (When criticizing the outside weapons, Darnell Mooney is, of course, exempt.)
- Can we talk about how insane it is that the Bears have a rookie quarterback who has publicly admitted what he likes to do and a coach who has yet to seriously implement it 15 weeks into the season? Nagy’s 2021 self-implosion has been a thing to behold.
- Seattle’s approach to the Rams was to limit their deep exposure so Matthew Stafford just peppered them with underneath stuff. This is a week to feature David Montgomery in the passing attack.
Video of the (Christmas) Week: Volume I
Chatter: On the Wilson Trade that Wasn’t
Here’s how it went down, step-by-step:
- Russell Wilson made it known to the Seahawks at the end of the 2020 season that he wasn’t particularly happy with how the organization was functioning. He wanted far more input into all things personnel and the organization simply did not agree with that notion. He suggested the two parties go their separate ways. The organization disagreed.
- This fracture becomes common knowledge in front offices around the league, with several reaching out to Wilson’s people to gauge the likelihood of his pushing the matter further. (Ryan Pace refers to these conversations with George and Ted when discussing solving the QB position.)
- Wilson’s agents leak the teams Wilson would accept a trade to, wisely including the Chicago Bears. The Bears were Wilson’s first (and really only) choice. Wilson liked the notion of leading an historic franchise and his pop star wife liked the idea of living in a major city.
- Seahawks GM John Schneider evaluated his roster, saw the lack of serious young talent, and subsequently saw dealing Wilson as a way to quickly rebuild the team. The late Paul Allen’s sister Jody hadn’t been fully engaged with the organization since his death, so the sell upstairs wasn’t a difficult one. (She has subsequently become more involved, apparently.)
- Pace and Nagy sold it to George pretty easily. George is desperate to win while his mother is still alive, and Wilson was seen as the fastest path to that goal.
- After a LOT of conversations, the final offer was the 2021 first rounder, 2022 first rounder and a 2022 third rounder. Schneider wanted more. Pace didn’t budge. Ultimately, they agreed. How done was the deal? The Bears were already making plans for how they wanted to introduce Wilson as the new face of the franchise.
- Then Pete Carroll swooped in. Pete is 70. And while he’s spry and in terrific health, he’s still 70. And he has veto power on all roster decisions. The Wilson trade not happening had nothing to do with cap hits. The Wilson trade not happening had everything to do with Carroll not wanting to endure a three-year development process for a rookie quarterback. He believed he, with Wilson at the helm, had one more run in them. He was wrong.
- The Bears were despondent. They did not believe they’d have an opportunity to get one of the quarterbacks they coveted in the draft. Pace and Nagy became resigned to their fates with the organization resting on Andy Dalton’s performance.
- Then Justin Fields happened. The Bears now feel this situation broke for them.
- As for Seattle, the relationship between Schneider and Carroll is still broken. And many in the league believe that (a) Wilson will assuredly be traded this off-season and (b) the Seahawks will be looking for a new coach.
Video of the (Christmas) Week: Volume II
Two franchises playing out the string. Two coaches likely ending their tenures. There couldn’t be less at stake Sunday in Seattle. But I’ll go with the quarterback looking to establish his career over the one with a mangled hand, looking for a new team.
Chicago Bears 23, Seattle Seahawks 16