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All That Matters, Plus Off-Season Needs Power Rankings

| November 15th, 2022


Where do the off-season needs rank? We’ll keep updating our top five.

5. Corner. Jack Sanborn showed that Roquan Smith’s replacement is quite possibly on the roster. Jaylon Johnson showed the Bears don’t have a top tier corner in the building. Johnson is good. Kindle Vildor is serviceable. Kyler Gordon has potential. The Bears need to address the CB position with urgency in March.

4. Right Tackle. Braxton Jones is having the kind of rookie season one might expect. But the Bears need to improve their protection and if there’s an elite tackle prospect available to them in the first round, they have to consider it.

3. Wide Receiver. In Claypool and Mooney, the Bears have solid pieces to a receiving corp. But they need to find game-breaking talent at the position. This wasn’t just evident watching the Bears Sunday, but it was vividly on display in the Vikings v. Bills game, where two top receivers on two top teams squared off.

2. Defensive Tackle. The Bears get blown off the ball every Sunday. They need size in the middle.

1. Pass Rush. There is no such thing as a contending team that can’t pressure the opposing the QB. The Bears can’t do it without blitz packages, and even those are failing to get home. Strengthening the pass rush will remain the focus for the next six months.

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Bears Fall to Lions at Home, now 3-7: Quarter-By-Quarter Analysis

| November 14th, 2022

Quarter One

  • Fields is an athletic mismatch for every defense he faces. On the opening drive he simply ran around the Lions defense. When that athleticism is paired with a serious passing attack, the Bears are going to have one of the best offenses in the league. And there’s no reason to believe that isn’t possible for September 2023.
  • The Bears now have a pretty horrific defense, and it all starts up front. This defensive line is blown off the ball weekly.
  • The story of the quarter for the Bears offense was two penalties. A bad call on Braxton Jones derailed the opening drive and a 50/50 facemask on Cole Kmet put the Bears behind the chains. When calls like these get made, I always ask the same question: who wants the game called this way? How does this increase the entertainment value of the sport?

Quarter Two

  • Already in this game, Nick Morrow, Jack Sanborn and Joe Thomas are making plays. They don’t completely account for the loss of Roquan Smith, but they are showing – quite vividly – that spending $100 million at the position is not necessary.
  • Bears well aware they have nobody to rush the passer and are selling out on blitzes. When they haven’t batted down the Goff pass, they’ve been burnt. The number of wide-open receivers on these plays is jarring but expected.
  • Bears could easily have Fields drop back and throw every down, but they need to possess the ball for as long as possible. Their defense can’t stop anyone. They’ve got to stay on the field offensively as long as possible.
  • What a play by Aidan Hutchinson on David Montgomery at the goal line. He looked like Jake “The Snake” Roberts.

Overall, I’m not sure I have watched a first half with less to write about.

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Week 10: Lions at Bears Game Prediction

| November 11th, 2022


Four Things I Think Will Happen.

  • The Bears have been building to this game. Their offense is improving weekly. Their quarterback is taking the leap before our very eyes. And Chase Claypool will have a full week of practice and certainly see an increase from his 26 snaps against the Dolphins. This is the week where the Bears offense, at home, simply isn’t beatable.
  • Jared Goff will throw two interceptions, both in the middle of the field, and one each to Eddie Jackson and Jaquan Brisker.
  • Bears stat line for the game: 31 carries between the two backs and QB, 224 yards, 3 touchdowns. (Quite possible Velus Jones adds to these numbers as well.)
  • Bears learned in the fourth quarter of the Miami game that they must blitz to generate pressure. They’ll sack Goff three times, with none of those sacks coming from a defensive lineman.

Chicago Bears 34, Lions 20

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Week 10: Lions at Bears Game Preview

| November 10th, 2022


Does the question even need to be asked?

Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears this Week?

I.

Always.

Like.

THE.

Chicago.

Bears.


Here’s the Game.

  • The Bears allow 147.2 yards per game on the ground. Only two teams are worse in that category, including the Lions, allowing 148.8. That’s a push.
  • The Bears have the league’s top ranked rushing attack, anchored by their quarterback’s ability to gain huge chunks of yardage. But the Lions are ranked ninth in that category. Might not be a push, but pretty close.
  • The Bears have only 13 sacks on the season. Only three teams are worse in that category, including the Lions, with 12. That’s a push.
  • Jared Goff’s last four QB ratings: 62.7 (Patriots), 71.2 (Cowboys), 108.1 (Dolphins), 78.5 (Packers).
    • When one watches Goff tape, two things stand out. First, he throws 3-5 balls a game that should be intercepted. Second, Amon-Ra St. Brown is now his only reliable weapon, with T.J. Hockenson shipped off the Minnesota. He’ll look to force him the ball on most third downs.
  • Justin Fields’ last four QB ratings: 71.5 (Commanders), 85.2 (Patriots), 120 (Cowboys), 106.7 (Dolphins).

With both of these teams being able to run it, neither being able to stop the run, and neither being able to generate pressure, this game will come down to quarterback play. And right now, that is a mismatch that favors the Chicago Bears.


Tweet of the Week, Lions Edition

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Dannehy: “Special, Special, Special, Special Special” Justin Fields.

| November 9th, 2022


It should not be possible for a quarterback to run toward the line of scrimmage, leave his feet for a pump fake, come back to the ground, and then outrace the defense for a 61-yard touchdown.

But that’s what Justin Fields did on Sunday and such plays are becoming a weekly occurrence.

What makes Fields special isn’t just what he’s doing, it’s that so often the defense appears to be in position to make a play and they don’t because he is too good. Perhaps most telling are the comments from opponents. 

Melvin Ingram has been around the block, he said Fields is special five times. Jaelan Phillips called him a monster, Mike McDaniel said Fields is “as dynamic with the ball in his hands as any player in the league really.”

Luke Getsy deserves credit for checking his ego and installing an offense that works for his quarterback. It’s fair to question why it took so long to do that, but that’s old history. The true challenge for Getsy will be coming up with a counter when opponents are able to adjust.

That said, the Bears offense is taking off because of the quarterback.


Did Poles Mess Up?

Imagine if this offense was paired with a top fifteen defense? It isn’t that crazy because that’s exactly what the Bears had prior to the trades of Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith.

When the Bears entered the season, the common thought was that the defense would be good, and the offense would be only as good as Justin Fields. That proved true through the first seven weeks as the team struggled to score points. The defense was still pretty good.

Now they have an offense that looks like an absolute machine, but they’re still not likely to win many more games simply because their defense cannot get a stop.

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Dolphins Coach Asks Justin Fields to “Stop it!”

| November 8th, 2022

Justin Fields has thrown for 1,322 yards and ten touchdowns.

He has now rushed for 602 yards, with four touchdowns.

That gives the young quarterback a total of 1,924 yards and 14 touchdowns.

If you project that production for the rest of the season, Fields is looking at 3,634 yards and 26 touchdowns.

The Bears don’t just have their quarterback of the future. The Bears have one of the most dynamic talents at the position in the sport.


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Week 9: Dolphins at Bears Game Prediction!

| November 4th, 2022


Five Things I Think Will Happen:

  • The Bears will continue their offensive progression, and this week Chase Claypool will be a big reason why.  Claypool is a big-bodied receiver who can operate over the middle of the field, but lives on the barrier. He certainly won’t be able to operate the full playbook but I expect the Bears to use him enough to excite their fans.
  • Tyreek Hill won’t get the Bears deep. Jaylen Waddle will dominate them underneath. Matt Eberflus will sit Eddie Jackson in centerfield and Jackson will pick off Tua early. After that the Miami quarterback will pepper short crosses to Waddle and Waddle’s speed/YAC will wreak havoc on the Bears. 11 catches. 141 yards. 2 touchdowns.
  • This is a good Dolphins run defense. And the Bears will still eclipse 150 yards rushing.
  • It won’t quite be “The Trevis Gipson Game” but he will swarm Tua’s blindside consistently and create a game-changing sack fumble in the fourth quarter.
  • Cairo Santos makes a 51-yard field goal as the clock expires.

Chicago Bears 29, Miami Dolphins 27

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