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Bears Fall to Jets in Jersey: A Quarter-by-Quarter Recap

| November 28th, 2022


Quarter One

  • Defense looked noncompetitive on the opening drive. Wide open Jets all over the field.
  • Offense moved it well in response, with Trevor Siemian’s accuracy issues the only thing keeping them out of the endzone. When you have Chase Claypool’s size advantage in the end zone, the ball must be elevated. (Siemian also missed throw to Kmet earlier on the drive.)
  • Claypool’s integration into the offense is happening slowly, but this quarter showed the advantages of having a receiving threat that can separate from defenders and win 50/50 balls.
  • If Velus Jones is only going to run jet sweeps, don’t be surprised when defenses key on it. The Jets knew what play was coming as soon as Jones walked onto the field.
  • Very solid quarter for Siemian overall, however. You want your backup quarterback to be a stabilizing force. He’s unlikely to win games but you don’t want him to lose them. Siemian looked the part in the first quarterback.

Quarter Two

  • What a catch by Byron Pringle for the touchdown. Blanketed in coverage. Poor throw. But Pringle went and got the football.
  • Bears simply can’t get off the field on third downs and the reason is their total lack of pass rush. With the Bears likely to find themselves in the top five or six picks in the draft, it won’t be a reach to seem them look at the edge over wide receiver.
  • Jets fumble the field goal attempt, and it leads to a lengthy Benny Hill sketch. The rain is going to be a factor the remainder of the afternoon as a storm is approaching the NYC area. (I know because I just had to turn the lights on in my living room. That’s how dark it’s gotten outside.)
  • Siemian trying to sneak the ball off tackle is one of the silliest things you’ll see in an NFL game. After watching Justin Fields over the last month, Siemian looks like he’s operating in slow motion at times.
  • Bears let an interception go through their hands and lose Eddie Jackson to a non-contact injury on the same play. Brutal moment. Bears will now play the rest of this game with backups at all over their secondary.
  • Joe Davis: “This is a big drive for the Bears.” Is it? Not a single moment of this game feels “big” for the Bears.

Bears down 17-10 at the half. And the difference on offense has been the lack of explosive possibilities. Fields presents a nightmare for opposing for defenses to defend. With Siemian, the game is right in front of them. That’s why the Bears only have 10 points.

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Week 11: Bears at Falcons Game Preview

| November 17th, 2022


Let’s bowl, let’s bowl, let’s rock and roll…

Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears this Week?

I.

Always.

Like.

THE.

Chicago.

Bears.


Stats of Relevance

  • Due to the emergence of Justin Fields, the Bears are now rushing for 201.7 yards per game. That’s obviously best in the sport. The Falcons are fourth in that category, but they are FORTY yards behind. The correlating stat is also interesting. Chicago has thrown the fewest passes (208) in the league, while Atlanta has thrown the third fewest (231). Passing aficionados might want to spend their Sunday watching the FIFA documentary series on Netflix.
  • Of the teams in the top ten (including ties) in sacks, only the New Orleans Saints have a losing record. There are so many interesting stats in the NFL these days, but the sport still comes to playing well at quarterback and stopping the other guys from playing well at quarterback.
    • Chicago is 28th in sacks. Atlanta is 31st.
  • These teams are very similar. Is turnover differential the reason for their differing records? No. Both have a turnover differential of 0.

Three Bears Who Need to Start Playing

(3) Chase Claypool. Kadarius Toney was acquired by the Chiefs around the same time the Bears acquired Claypool and the former is already a prominent contributor in Kansas City’s offense. Come up with a dozen plays for him and run them.

(2) Velus Jones Jr. It must be “tough love” coaching because benching Jones on Sundays makes no sense otherwise. Jones has speed and this offense desperately needs it. Who cares if he is struggling with his route tree? Who cares if he misses a few blocking assignments? Put the ball in his hands a few times each Sunday and see what he can do with it.

(1) Alex Leatherwood. It is time to see everyone in the offensive line room. This is a pivotal eight weeks of evaluation, and the Bears can’t waste a day of it.

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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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Dannehy: Claypool Trade the First Sign Bears Might Be in on Fields

| November 2nd, 2022


With Tuesday’s trade for Chase Claypool, Ryan Poles gave his first actual indication the team is looking to build around Justin Fields.

Claypool doesn’t have a single 1,000-yard season and is currently struggling with an average of 9.7 yards per reception, but failures in Pittsburgh may not carry over to Chicago. Claypool will be best used as a downfield target at 6’4” with low-4.4 speed, but the Steelers, with Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett, have struggled throwing deep. That’s an area in which Fields excels. Claypool also entered the league known for devastating blocks and, at nearly 240 pounds, should be an asset in the running game.

The move is about more than the player, it’s about the vision of the team. It’s clear that Poles wasn’t sold on Fields until the last month. This move is a strong indication that now he is ready to push the pedal to the floor and build an offense around the quarterback that is already on the roster, not sure prospect currently in the college ranks.

Ultimately, Poles will be defined by the players he brings to the Chicago Bears, not the players he lets go. Claypool has a chance to be a very good player for a long time.


Roquan Trade Leaves Huge Hole

While focus regarding the Smith trade has been on his contract and the second-round pick received, the Bears created another problem: they have to replace him.

Linebackers have always been crucial to the success of this defensive scheme. Perhaps off-ball linebackers aren’t important in some schemes, but it is for the Bears and, suddenly, they need to find not one, but two high level linebackers.

And that’s not all.

As was apparent last Sunday, the Bears very likely will need a complete overhaul of their front seven. They’ll need blue chip players at defensive end, defensive tackle and linebacker, along with solid starters elsewhere.  While fans have been mocking wide receivers to the team – a projection that certainly seems unlikely after the Claypool trade – the Bears are much more likely to look defense early in the 2023 draft.

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