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Reviewing The Combine’s Best Potential Chicago Bears

| March 4th, 2024

The latest episode of Bear With Us is out — give it a listen below!

In it, we talk through:

  • Standout performances from throughout the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine
  • Which players do (and don’t) fit the Bears? Why?
  • Robert’s reasoning for why either Rome Odunze or Malik Nabers will be available at #9 Overall
  • Thoughts on Caleb Williams’ medical info decision, general impressions from the weekend
  • And much, much more

Check it out and let me know what you think!

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How Does the NFL’s Increased Salary Cap Affect Chicago? Plus, NFL Scouting Combine Rumors

| February 29th, 2024

The latest episode of Bear With Us is out — give it a listen below!

In it, we talk through:

  • The effects of the 2024 NFL Salary Cap’s ~$13 Million rise over expectations
  • What the NFL Scouting Combine’s rumor mill does (and doesn’t) mean for the Bears
  • Takeaways from Ryan Poles’ Combine press conference
  • Comparing & contrasting Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, Justin Fields, and the rest of the Bears’ QB options
  • Which defenders we’re most excited to see run, jump, and drill in this weekend’s events
  • And much, much more

Your Turn: Who are you excited to watch in this weekend’s drills?

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Grading Chicago’s Final Exam: Nobody Passed

| January 8th, 2024


If the Bears’ visit to Green Bay was intended to represent a benchmark for their 2023 season’s progress, they failed their final exam quite emphatically.

Chicago’s report cards are currently under review and will be returned to our students throughout the next week. Until then, let’s review yesterday’s season finale one last time.


The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly


The Good:

  • The Silver Lining… is that there is no Silver Lining. There’s no easy excuse for why Chicago lost — after all, the ball bounced the Bears’ way early and often:
    • Packers’ K Anders Carlson missed an early Field Goal
    • Green Bay’s rookies allowed the clock to run out on the 1st half before picking up extra points
    • Packers’ WR Bo Melton dropped a sizzling TD pass that hit him in the hands
    • A Packers’ DB dropped an end-zone INT as Chicago rallied
    • And then on 4th & 1 I thought the officials credited Chicago with a first down they may not have actually gotten.
  • Still, despite all of this, Chicago lost an emphatic 9-17 game. George McCaskey, Ryan Poles, and Kevin Warren are going to have to look this loss in the eye — they have no one to blame for it but the players in the locker room and the coaches that lead them. Do they think this plan would’ve worked if the team had more talent on it? Do they think this Quarterback gives them their best chance at success going forward? These questions felt easier to answer last week than they do now… and that’s likely for the better. If they can’t beat Green Bay, what’s the point?
  • Tyrique Stevenson, have a day. The Bears’ 2nd round pick felt like the only reason the game remained close during the first half of yesterday’s game — his pass deflection in the endzone robbed Green Bay of 7 points, then he stole another 3 points just before the first half ended. As if that wasn’t enough, he created the game’s only turnover as well by dislodging the ball from Jordan Love’s grasp in the mid-3rd quarter — He came to play.
    • On a day where Chicago’s DBs struggled to compete with Green Bay’s receivers, Stevenson stole downs back for the Bears throughout the game and I loved watching him do it. Hopefully the All-22 paints as rosy a picture of his performance as watching the game seemed to.

The Bad

  • Same song, different verse. Chicago opened the season with a game-plan in mind: stop the run with our front 4, play Cover 2 & Cover 3 behind them, and make opponents grind their way down the field. Early in the year, that’s exactly what opponents did.
    • Then, as the defense delivered one underperformance after another, the defense pivoted to running more Man Coverage defenses paired with blitzes up front — this worked, shutting down the offenses in the middle of the Bears’ schedule. As Chicago dominated lesser offenses, they rode this mix of Man Blitzes and Zone-Drop looks to becoming the NFL’s leader in Interceptions.
    • But then, for reasons I cannot explain, it is as if Matt Eberflus grew tired of the risk involved with his pressure packages and reverted back to his early-season game plans — after all, the media was so mean to him about Justin Jones dropping into coverage that one time, how could he possibly call plays like that again?
    • Thus, the door opened for Green Bay to exploit holes in soft zones with a quick-hitting pass game paired with a wide-hitting run game and, unsurprisingly, Matt LaFleur had no issues walking through that door. The vaunted Bears defense gave up 400+ yards, including a 6-minute backbreaker of a drive that closed the game, as Matt Eberflus’ best-laid plans unwound in front of his eyes.
  • Luke, I think it’s over. A Week 18 performance with less than 200 yards of offense feels like it should seal Getsy’s fate in Chicago. His tenure has been mired by poor communication across the offense, an inability to adjust to mid-game defensive changes, and a seemingly frayed relationship with the Bears’ signal caller… but at least we got a few nice opening game scripts.
  • Coffee is for closers only. Maybe I’m writing this out of frustration, maybe I have a point, honestly it’s hard to tell. But yesterday would’ve been a great day for Justin Fields to make a statement with his play in the 4th quarter. Instead, his two final drives resulted in a would-be interception and the final punt of the season.

The Ugly

  • The future seems far too uncertain. It’s easy for me, a writer, to write pretty words about the failings of Chicago’s head coach, but do George McCaskey, Kevin Warren, and Ryan Poles see things that way? Surely they can’t be satisfied with verdicts against quality teams always seeming to break away from them, but with Eberflus’ recent string of victories I can’t help but wonder if the front office is willing to move on. It feels like the perfect time to make a change to me, but I’m not the one signing the org’s checks. We’ll see what Black Monday brings.
    • With a new Quarterback likely waiting in the wings and a reset coming at both defensive and offensive coordinator, this feels like the perfect time for the Bears to pick a new direction at HC — either Jim Harbaugh, Bobby Slowik, Ben Johnson, or whoever else you may have in mind would then have the opportunity to customize the team to their needs via Free Agency before drafting a Quarterback that, theoretically, would become the best QB in Chicago’s history given the environment Ryan Poles may craft for him using free agent money and draft capital. But is the front office willing to fire Eberflus ‘one year early’ rather than ‘one year late’? Only time will tell.

Postgame Podcast:

Nick and I recorded a podcast where we talked through the ups, the downs, the ins, and the outs of Chicago’s latest loss here:

Your Turn: How do you feel about yesterday’s game?

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Previewing Chicago’s Final Exam…

| January 4th, 2024


Why would the year end any other way?

At this point, all that’s left is to see how the chips fall.

Nick & I take you through the matchups, the stakes, the ins, and the outs of what promises to be a massive Bears season finale in Lambeau on the latest episode of Bear With Us — check it out below.

Your Turn: How are you feeling about this weekend’s game?

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My New Year’s Resolution? Beat The Atlanta Falcons

| December 28th, 2023


Matt Eberflus continues his final stand this Sunday as he takes on an Atlanta Falcons team that finds itself in a similar position to your Chicago Bears — neither team controls their playoff destiny despite playing in lackluster divisions, both offenses added weapons in the offseason and have subsequently underperformed, but the play of each team’s defense has kept each team alive despite the turmoil on the other side of the ball.

Neither team can make the playoffs with a win this weekend… but both teams will likely be eliminated from contention with a loss. Thus, for both Matt Eberflus & Arthur Smith, this New Years’ Day matchup is do-or-die. That sets the stage for a riveting football game.

Nick and I dove deep into this matchup (and the current state of the Bears) within the latest episode of Bear With Us, including discussion topics like…

  • What went well against the Cardinals on offense? How did they score so easily early? What did Arizona do to curb the offense in the 2nd half?
  • Who played well on defense last week? Who played poorly?
  • Where do the Bears match up well with Atlanta on defense? What weak links in the Falcons’ offense can they exploit?
  • How does Chicago’s offense match up with Atlanta’s defense? What kind of day will this be for Chicago?
  • Holiday chatter & game score predictions
  • And much, much more…

It’s one of our best episodes yet — check it out and let me know what you think!

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Previewing a Christmas Eve Dance with the Desert Birds

| December 21st, 2023


The playoff push may have ended before it started, but with 3 games remaining on Chicago’s schedule backs are truly against the wall now — Matt Eberflus now has three late-game collapses in a 2023 season where, had Chicago taken care of business with all three fourth-quarter leads, he’d have firm control of the NFC’s 6th seed & might be a weekend away from clinching a playoff spot.

It’s hard to imagine the powers that be at Halas Hall aren’t every bit as disappointed as we fans are, leaving three critical weeks for Eberflus to make his final statement — if his team finishes the year with three strong wins, they might just save their coach’s job.

Eberflus’ final stand begins this Sunday as he takes on a hapless Arizona Cardinals team that should be easy prey… but this is the NFL. Nothing’s ever easy, is it?

Nick and I dove deep into this matchup and the state of the Bears within the latest episode of Bear With Us, including discussion topics like…

  • What was Luke Getsy doing throughout that game in Cleveland? What could he have done better?
  • Who played well on defense last week? What went wrong at the end?
  • Where do the Bears match up well with Arizona on defense? What weak links in the Cardinals’ offense can they exploit?
  • How does Chicago’s offense match up with Arizona’s ragtag defense? Should this be a big day for Chicago?
  • A review of Matt Eberflus’ defense against the Lions, including the driving forces behind Chicago’s success.
  • Holiday chatter & fan Q&A
  • And much, much more…

It’s one of our best episodes yet — check it out and let me know what you think!

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Previewing a Regime-Defining Trip to Cleveland

| December 14th, 2023


Four weeks ago, I wrote the following about the Bears’ trip to Detroit: “This game in Motown may be one of Matthew Eberflus’ last chances to show Chicago’s powers-that-be that the Bears are in good hands.” Since then, he’s shown exactly that.

This defense is playing with their eyes on fire, both by blitzing the QB fearlessly and dutifully executing assignments in coverage. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.

This Chicago offense sputters at times, but between each sputter Justin Fields, DJ Moore, and Cole Kmet are producing explosive plays that move the ball down the field in the chunks they need to set up points for their defense.

Add the two units together, and you’ve got yourself a winning recipe. Because of that, against all odds, these Chicago Bears are in the playoff hunt.

But with a 5-8 record at this point in the year, the Bears need to win every game from here on out if they want to have any hopes at a playoff run — luckily, this weekend they face a Cleveland Browns team that’s been ravaged by injuries. As you’ll see below, they’re a team in rough shape.

Matt Eberflus has a chance to send Chicago into a frenzy by beating a weakened team on the road and kickstarting a playoff push — everything is on the line for Eberflus from here on out, and I expect him to coach like it. That should make for some exciting Bears football, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Nick and I dive into this topic and plenty more within the latest episode of Bear With Us, including…

  • Where do the Bears match up well with Cleveland on defense? What weak links in the Browns’ offense can they exploit?
  • How does Chicago’s offense match up with what’s left of Cleveland’s defense? How well does the Bears’ offense really need to perform?
  • A review of Matt Eberflus’ defense against the Lions, including the driving forces behind Chicago’s success.
  • A look at what Justin Fields was (and wasn’t) during last Sunday’s game
  • An outline of Chicago’s playoff scenarios, including the teams you’ll need to root for outside of Cleveland this weekend.
  • And much, much more…

It’s one of our best episodes yet — check it out and let me know what you think!

Your Turn: How do you feel about this weekend?

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A Big Game Looms Sunday — What Happens Next?

| December 7th, 2023

As we inch ever closer towards Sunday’s game, the Chicago Bears stand a pivot point — the results of these next 5 games may very well decide the direction of the biggest Bears offseason in recent memory, and if Head Coach Matt Eberflus wants to be on the safe side of that decision he’ll need to start winning games soon.

Could the Bears spark a win streak off of a divisional home defense? Cole Kmet seems to think so, but with a hungry Detroit team visiting town on a day that’s slated for snowy, cold weather, all we should expect is a knock-down, drag-out fight.

Anything could happen — after all, if Chicago manages to finish the season 9-8 they may very well land an NFC Wild Card spot. But before us fans dare to dream of the playoffs, first Chicago must force these Lions to settle a debt Detroit incurred only a few weeks ago. The Bears had the Lions within their grasp but let them slip away… if they’re to surge this season, they’ll have to start by winning on Sunday.

There’s enough within this game to unpack that Nick & I managed to record our longest Bear With Us episode yet — in this episode, Nick and I dive into…

  • How can we work to talk about Justin Fields as rationally as possible? What does he need to show by the end of the year?
  • What on earth has happened to the Lions’ defense?
  • Where are the Lions winning on offense? Where are they losing?
  • How does a healthy Bears team match up with this Detroit squad?
  • What does this game mean for every Bear involved
  • What have we learned about defense in the NFL from Eberflus’ 2023 season?
  • Is the league as down on Luke Getsy as most Bears fans are?
  • And much, much more…

I know I say this often, but this really is one of our best episodes yet — check it out and let me know what you think!

Your Turn: How do you feel about this weekend’s contest?

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