Week One Game Preview, Volume II: Nagy, Dalton, LA Movies & Predictions!

| September 10th, 2021

Yesterday was the breakdown of what the Bears must do to beat the Rams, a team superior to them at almost every facet of the game. The Bears don’t run it better. The Bears don’t throw it better. The Bears don’t stop the run better. The Bears don’t stop the pass better. The 2020 Bears were better in the return game but their kick returner has left town. It is not difficult, at all, to see why the Bears are opening as more than a touchdown underdog on the road.

But hope is not lost.

Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

But they’re testing me right now. And I’m failing.

Big Night For Nagy, Dalton

To paraphrase the great Hyman Roth, “This is the life they’ve chosen.”

By not giving Justin Fields even so much as the opportunity to win the starting job, Nagy has effectively forced the NBC cameras to cut to Fields with every three-and-out, every Dalton blunder, every quarter that goes by with the offense flailing. No, this group shouldn’t be expected to flourish against unquestionably one of the league’s best defenses, but that doesn’t matter.

Because every time Dalton gets sacked, fans will wonder if Fields could have avoided it.

Every time Dalton checks down, fans will wonder if Fields could have extended the play a few seconds with his mobility and made a big gain down the field.

Every time Dalton throws a ball into the fourth row, fans will wonder if Fields could have used that 4.4 speed to race by the sticks and extend the drive.

Matt Nagy and Andy Dalton don’t need to win Sunday night. But they need a tight, clean performance. They need to look like this offense is heading the right direction. Because the eyes of the football world will be upon them.

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Not Good Enough: Rapid Fire Response to the Bears Falling to 5-2

| October 27th, 2020

Tonight’s notes were compiled at the end of the first half and then at the end of the game. So don’t judge my first half comments until you’ve seen the thoughts completed.

First Half Thoughts

  • The big takeaway: the Bears scored three points in the first half. Three. And the blame lies solely on the coaching staff. How could you watch five weeks of Rams tape and think it was wise to run up the middle, at the best defensive player in the league, with this offensive line? How could you not see this as a prime opportunity to spread the Rams out, quick toss them to death, get Montgomery involved in the passing attack?
  • One has to think the Demetrius Harris era is quickly coming to an end. Not only is he over-targeted, but he never catches the football. Wouldn’t the Bears be better served by Cole Kmet making mistakes on the field, and getting better, than seeing Harris drop passes weekly?
  • I had high hopes for a broadcast with Lou Riddick. This broadcast is terrible. Stupid animations. Brian Griese put Cody Whitehair on the Rams at one point. I miss watching football in bars and not having to listen to this nonsense.
  • Pat O’Donnell has become a better punter in 2020.
  • Roquan Smith needs to stop missing tackles for loss. It’s become a recurring theme.
  • Kyle Fuller played his worst half of the season. Why was he so damn soft on a third-and-long?
  • Sean McVay going up tempo and moving Jared Goff’s pocket was terrific coaching. But the Bears defense is just hard to score touchdowns against. A mediocre defense allows 20+ points in that first half.
  • Danny Trevathan had improved in recent weeks. That was a rough first half. McVay and Goff are clearly trying to isolate him in coverage.
  • Tashaun Gipson batting down an easy pick six was one of the more surreal moments of the season. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a defensive intentionally bat down a ball thrown directly to them.
  • The coaching at the end of the half was abysmal on both sidelines. Why is McVay riskins Goff throwing passes over the middle? Why isn’t Nagy making the Rams punt? Insanity.

In fairness, this was the half I expected. Boring. Low-scoring. Defensive struggle. But it’s hard to see the Bears pulling out this game if they don’t dramatically change their offensive approach.

Second Half Thoughts

  • Best thing that happened in this game? Eddie Jackson going off the field and coming back on. Those non-contact injuries often end up very, very bad.
  • Akiem Hicks was unblockable for most of this game. He also commits way too many penalties. The question is, does one automatically come with the other?

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