In the Meadowlands
Lay corpses of slain mobsters.
Will our Fields survive?
Five Things I Think Will Happen:
Both of these teams play slow, ugly football games. And that’s exactly what we’ll see in NJ.
Chicago Bears 23, New Jersey Giants 20
They are coming off one of the least rewarding wins in recent memory. So…
If you were to list the six men playing quarterback at the highest level through three games, who would you list? Jalen Hurts. Tua. Josh Allen. Lamar Jackson. Mahomes. Probably Trevor Lawrence?
Well, those six men currently lead the NFL in passer rating. Passer rating is not a flawless stat by any means. Quarterbacks should not be penalized for throwing the football away or for interceptions off the hands of their receivers. And quarterbacks should be rewarded statistically for avoiding negative plays and extending drives with their legs. But nevertheless, the passer rating stat is still our finest tool for measuring consistency at the position. All six of those players have a rating north of 100, and you don’t fluke your way into that number.
Justin Fields’ passer rating is 50. That ranks him 33rd in the league. And yes, there are only 32 starting quarterbacks.
The gap between Fields and Mac Jones in 31st (Trey Lance is 32nd) is 26.2 points.
That’s the gap between Jones and the top six, with Lawrence at 103.1.
This means that, according to the passer rating statistic, Fields is as far being the 31st ranked quarterback as Jones – who has been terrible – is from being a borderline Pro Bowler.
The Giants, who have a terrible secondary, have played three quarterbacks. Their passer ratings against:
Fields needs a clean game. No turnovers. High completion percentage. A few big plays. Nobody should be asking for (or looking for) more than that at this stage. If Fields can pitch to a QB rating around 90, there will at least be SOME reason for optimism moving forward in 2022.
You see them sprouting up across the internet.
“Five Things the Bears Can Learn from Their Game with the Giants.”
“Which Bears Have Something to Prove Sunday?”
“Why Bears vs. Vikings Matters.”
There is nothing to learn.
Nobody is proving anything.
It doesn’t matter.
These are the sad facts of playing out the string, down the stretch of an NFL season, especially when there’s major organizational change coming in the off-season. It was nice to see the Bears put on a fun show for their fans Sunday at Soldier Field, harassing a Giants offense that would politely be described as sub-professional. Matt Nagy’s team has not quit, and the schedule has presented them with some beatable opponents, keeping the season from being an embarrassment.
But while we all want to find value in each of the 17 games we are given to watch each year, the truth is there’s little to be found in these contests. And there is a certain disingenuousness to writing about them with any level of seriousness. (Star Trib columnist Jim Souhan actually used a game quarterbacked by Sean Mannion as “final proof” that Mike Zimmer should be fired in Minnesota.) There is rarely any correlation between how a team finishes one season and how they begin the next one. There are simply too many variables, too much turnover.
And a week from today, Monday January 10th, a new era will begin for the Chicago Bears. Coach Nagy will be fired; a very good man who just never developed into a very good coach. GM Ryan Pace likely will too; a solid talent evaluator paying the price for whiffing on his two most important decisions. All focus will shift to finding their replacements. The final games of this season will be completely forgotten.
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I always like the Chicago Bears, despite this Allen Robinson situation.
Would I like to see Robinson in Chicago long-term? Of course. Would I be rushing to give him $20 million a year without knowing who my quarterback is in 2021? Nope. No I would not.
Nevertheless, Robinson’s case is only supported by positive play and that’s what I would expect moving forward.
Travel day for me. (Buffalo rocks.) So here are some quick thoughts on a tedious, boring win over the Giants.
“The roni cup, also known as “cup and char” pepperoni, has long been a hallmark of pizza in Buffalo…”
by J. Hughes
While you’re watching Chicago play offense (I think),
I’ll be in Buffalo, at the Old Pink.
While the quarterbacks (plural) are doing their thing
I’ll be in Buffalo, having a wing.
You’ll get to see defense, Chicago does that,
But I’ll be in Buffalo, drinkin’ Labatt.
Maybe you’ll watch from your fav-o-rite bar?
I’ll be in Buffalo, for the cup and the char.
What happens from here, not sure anyone cares.
The title won’t be ours, it will always be theirs.
I’ll still be in Buffalo,
Yes even in Buffalo,
I’ll be in Buffalo, watching the Bears.
I always like the Chicago Bears…
…and if they don’t win this game Sunday, they could lose the remaining games on their schedule. They won’t be a bigger favorite the rest of the season. (And the line was set at 6.5 without a quarterback announcement. This means Vegas – who are quite good at this – see no difference between Trubisky and Daniel.)