Twas The Day Before Football…

| September 6th, 2023

After months and months of waiting, the eve of the 2023 NFL Season is finally upon us. Buckle up, because this ride doesn’t end for another 19 weeks.

On this tranquil Wednesday, I can confidently tell you that there is nothing left to say about this weekend’s Bears-Packers matchup that hasn’t already been discussed (and discussed and discussed) since March — I think we’re ready for the game. All that’s left is for it to kick off.

Later today we should see official Wednesday Practice Reports from both teams that will give us hints as to the severity of injuries like Rashan Gary’s ACL, Cody Whitehair’s hand, and whatever is going on with Lucas Patrick, but outside of that the stage is set and ready for it’s players.

Tomorrow, Nick and I will preview the schematic strengths and weaknesses of each team’s offense & defense as well as talk through the impact players on both squads. We’ll cover everything from basic score predictions to assessments on each team’s advantages in the key situations that often determine games — 3rd downs, play in the red zone, drives late in the half, and much much more on the latest episode of Bear With Us.

But until then, soak up these last few hours of anticipation — the 2023 NFL Season is right around the corner, and what better way for it to start than watching Patrick Mahomes face down a Bears’ division rival with his hand effectively tied behind his back?

Can Mahomes carry a Chiefs team that may be missing both Chris Jones and Travis Kelce? I don’t know, but I’m glad we get to find out tomorrow — football is back.

Your Turn: What, if anything, do you have left to say about this weekend’s Packers game?



If Not Now, When?

| September 5th, 2023

In my 15 years as a Bears fan, I have seen the Chicago Bears sweep the Green Bay Packers once.

One single season. Across Fifteen years.

Since Aaron Rodgers took over at Quarterback, Green Bay has consistently throttled Chicago — the Packers have won a staggering 26 out of 31 contests and have left the Bears with a lower win percentage vs Green Bay in that span (16.12%) than Chicago finished with in a last-place 2022 season (17.65%).

As a matter of fact, Chicago enters this weekend’s game with two concurrent losing streaks against the Green Bay Packers:

  • The Bears are 0-8 in their last 8 games against Green Bay
  • The Bears are also 0-8 in their last 8 September matchups against the Packers

Thus, if you’ve ever felt like Chicago simply couldn’t beat Aaron Rodgers, you were right.

But Chicago doesn’t face Aaron Rodgers this weekend.

After more than a decade of dominance, a new face now leads Green Bay. Jordan Love has taken the reigns at Quarterback, and he brings with him a wildly young offensive skill core with nothing to lose and everything to gain.

There are virtually no expectations for this Packers team, save that the young guns develop on offense, but that’s not to say they’re without talent — with high-pedigree draft picks like Christian Watson, Luke Musgrave, and Jayden Reed, the 2023 Packers are a dangerous team. But, as of the time of writing this article, they’re also as weak as they’re likely to be this year.

The Packers’ starting CB2, Eric Stokes, will open the 2023 season on the PUP list. Tyler Davis, GB’s veteran TE3, will start the season on IR and force rookie Luke Musgrave into a starting role early.

2nd year possession receiver Romeo Doubs tweaked his hamstring and missed the Packers’ final preseason game. Star EDGE rusher Rashan Gary tore his ACL in 2022’s Week 9 and, though he’s slated to play in Week 1, will assuredly lack some measure of explosion for at least a few more months.

This Packers team is young, untested, and banged up. If Chicago can’t beat them now, when will they?

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Chicago Bears 2023 Season Predictions

| September 4th, 2023

With the Chicago Bears’ 53-man roster set for Sunday’s Bears-Packers game, it’s finally time we talk through 2023 Season Predictions — on the latest episode of the Bear With Us podcast, that’s exactly what Nick and I do.

In a Monday morning mega-show, Nick and I talk through every Bears 2023 topic possible in lieu of this weekend’s season kickoff:

  • What will Chicago’s overall record be?
  • Which games will Chicago win? Which games will they lose?
  • Where in the Bears’ schedule are there natural rest advantages over opponents? Are there any disadvantages to watch for?
  • What should we expect from Fields in 2023? And what constitutes a “good” season from him?
  • Who do we have our eyes on defensively?
  • What would be a good year for Eberflus’ 2023 defense?
  • And much, much more…

Start your week right with the latest episode of Bear With Us — now available in both video & audio forms. Give it a listen/watch and let me know what you think!

Podcast Form:

Note: Video Form is available after the ‘jump’

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The Calm Before the Storm

| September 1st, 2023

Happy Friday Bears fans — this is it, the last Friday that leads into a weekend without NFL football until the end of the 2023 season.

Enjoy it. Plenty more analysis to come next week as we gear up for Week 1, and plenty more coming after that.

DJ CanadaBear’s Choice:


Reviewing the Bears’ Final 53-Man Roster

| August 31st, 2023

Chicago Bears waiver wire madness is over, and with the dust officially settled their initial 53-man roster is complete!

The Bears managed to add 4 new faces to the roster through trades, signings, and waiver claims:

  • OL Dan Feeney
  • WR/PR Trent Taylor
  • DE Khalid Kareem
  • DB Quindell Johson

But what do these four bring to the roster that the 90-man roster didn’t already have? What does the ultimate shape of the roster tell us about the Bears’ plans for 2023? And how on earth did Velus Jones Jr. keep his job?

Nick and I break down all this and more on the latest episode of Bear With Us — now available in both video & audio forms. Give it a listen/watch and let me know what you think!

Podcast Form:

Note: Video Form is available after the ‘jump’

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Waiver Claims, Rosters, and Bears — Oh My!

| August 30th, 2023

The Bears’ 53-man roster is set, and with that in mind there’s only one thing left for us to do — wait until 11AM this morning.

As Chicago is 1st on the Waiver Wire, I struggle to imagine they won’t be active — when they are, we’ll take a look at the claims they made. I’ve got my eye on former Colts’ CB Darius Rush (who only just got drafted), but I’m sure Ryan Poles has targets of his own.

Keep an eye out, claims are coming!


Breaking Down New Bears’ OL Dan Feeney

| August 29th, 2023

The more preseason football I watch, the less I’m convinced much of it matters. All you really need to know from Saturday’s game (which we may talk about tomorrow) is that the Defensive Line had their hands full so long as the Bills’ starters remained in the game — in particular, the Bears’ rookie DTs got a healthy dose of reality against the kind of talent they’ll be facing in just 12 days time.

But today is a special day for us Bears fans — it’s 53-man cut-down day, and Chicago is first on the waiver wire! With that in mind, we’ll track moves all day and update this article as-needed. But, as we wait, we’ve got a brand new Bear to break down in former New York Jet Dan Feeney, who signed with Miami this offseason and was just traded to Chicago for a 2024 6th round pick.

I’m not one to grouse over draft capital, but for an organization looking to build through the draft I’m surprised they paid more than a 7th round pick– the various injuries of Tevin Jenkins, Cody Whitehair, Lucas Patrick, and Nate Davis must have the Bears brass thinking about extra depth, and Feeney is nothing if not versatile depth.

Feeney has played full games at Left Guard, Right Guard, and Center in the last 2 years alone, and he did so within a Mike LaFleur Jets offense that shares many of the Bears’ run concepts and general offensive themes.

When watching his tape I see solid feet, veteran hand placement, and a weak upper-half — he’s good at getting himself to his spot both on zone runs and when pulling in the power run game, but he’s not powerful with his hands and gets out-muscled if his OC doesn’t scheme him leverage. He’s better at ‘getting in the way’ than he is ‘moving his man’, but on combo blocks that’s all he needs to be when taking on Linebackers.

In pass protection his feet and hand placement show off the experience he’s gained from his 6 years of professional football, and he looks particularly sound on the snaps where he has to recognize & catch a stunting defender. His troubles arise when faced with powerful DTs that can frustrate his anchor and force him to lunge, which creates whiffs like the one you see at the 1:00 mark of the reel below.

Take a look at the reel below and get to know your latest Bear:

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Breaking Down Justin Fields’ Saturday Afternoon

| August 28th, 2023

Justin Fields played 13 snaps in a preseason game, and because his offense had the nerve to look rusty many on social media, of course, went haywire.

With that in mind, let’s break down all 13 of his snaps — in this video, you’ll see:

  • Improved post-snap process
  • The most vanilla passing calls you’ll find
  • Physical mistakes throwing the ball
  • Much, much more

Check it out and let me know what you think!

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Mountains, Molehills, & Gervon Dexter Sr.

| August 25th, 2023

Happy Friday everyone! As we head into the Bears’ final preseason game, I want talk about the way we talk about Gervon Dexter Sr — many fans are way, way too fixated on his get-off, and I believeit’s a molehill that’s become a mountain.

Here’s Dexter’s first 10 snaps from the Colts game where I’ve put the moment of the snap in slow-motion — Dexter is never once the last man off the ball, and he even gets off the line first on a few plays. Yet despite Dexter getting off the line well, his play-to-play impact was still too inconsistent throughout this reel — why? Put simply, there are other growth areas within Dexter’s game that are much more important for his future success than simply firing off the ball quickly.

Dexter’s pad level & hand usage need to improve, and I’d like to see him apply & maintain his natural power within each step he takes. Dexter has a bad habit of standing up straight after he & his OL initially make contact and currently it’s hurting his ability to remain powerful as a play progresses.

He’s also clearly raw in his hand-placement, especially as a pass-rusher, but in the reel above we see good news in regards to his improvement — He’s clearly working on new pass-rush moves, including a cross-chop that you only see explosive 3Ts attempt to pull off. Perfecting rush moves takes time, but by mid-season I would hope that he’s found a groove with a go-to rush and can contribute in his rotational reps.

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