Chicago, IL – December 26, 2010. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?
I always like the Chicago Bears…
…and this is the first must-win of the 2018 campaign. If the Bears are going to mount a serious challenge for the NFC North they have to be 5-3 after eight games. That record will more than likely give them the division lead at the halfway point with five division games remaining.
The Game Haiku
From Ed, the chants come.
J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets!
The Asshole From the Haiku
Why the Bears Will Win!
- Prolific Bears Offense.
- Chicago has scored 48-28-31 in their last three.
- Jets defense has allowed 30+ in three of their last four games, and are bottom third against the run, pass, overall and in turnover differential.
- This is a game that should allow Matt Nagy, Mitch Trubisky and the entirety of the offense to flourish. Especially at home.
- Sam Darnold vs. Bears Secondary.
- The Jets are decimated by injury at wide receiver, with Robby Anderson being their only viable outlet on the outside.
- This week they signed Rishard Matthews after needlessly cutting Terrelle Pryor a week ago. When you’re trying to find contributors on the waiver wire after Week 7, things aren’t where you want them to be.
- The Jets drop a million passes, often into the hands of defensive backs.
- Darnold leads the league in interceptions with ten. Kyle Fuller is tied for the league lead with three interceptions.
- Bears NEED the Game. It is only their seventh game of the season but all one has to do is listen to comments from coaches and players to realize they feel a sense of urgency right now. Matt Nagy said the Bears are “in a valley” and need to get out. Roquan Smith and Mitch Trubisky – the young leadership of this team – wouldn’t accept “close” a week ago and both stated unequivocally it is time to get a win. The Bears are a touchdown favorite at home to a rookie quarterback. Good teams don’t lose in that scenario.
- Text From My Brother: “If the Bears throw it to back in the flat or the tight end over the middle, we can’t cover it.” Yea, I think the Bears can do these two things.
Why They Won’t
- Bears Rush Defense. Both New England and Miami got every yard they needed on the ground, with the Dolphins flat out dominating the line of scrimmage and pounding Frank Gore into the second and third levels. The Jets are one of the rare run-first teams left in the league. Everything they do offensively flows from the two-headed monster of Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell. With Powell on IR one would expect rookie Trenton Cannon to play a larger role at Soldier Field. The Bears can’t let the Jets keep the game in second/third-and-short.
- Todd Bowles Loves to Blitz. It’s how he made a name for himself as a defensive coordinator, matching Bruce Arians’ offensive aggressiveness on the defensive side. Bowles will want to send pressure at Trubisky from every direction and try to force the young QB into mistakes. Bears will need outlets ready. (They don’t need to look much further than last week’s tape to see how Flip/Cousins handled this.)
- Special Teams. The three best return men in football will now be facing the Bears in three consecutive weeks and the Jets’ Andre Roberts is a top five kick and punt returner. The Bears allowed the Pats to score on specials; a cardinal sin. But with the Jets, they can’t allow Roberts to flip field position. Make the Jets play on long fields and the Bears will find themselves on short ones.
Charity of the Week
Today we’re highlighting an organization called STOKED, located in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. They come highly recommended by my good buddy Brian, a charter member of the Josie Woods Crew, who sat with me at Bears v. Cowboys on Monday night in 2013, the coldest game I’ve ever attended.
Check this group out. The description:
Passion and perseverance at its backbone, STOKED boasts a community of thrill-seeking doers who embrace challenge and create change.
Whether your calling is shredding a mountain or chatting career plans with ambitious high school students, STOKED has a place for you to get involved. Our programming ranges from action-packed surfing weekends to after school mentoring sessions. We boast a network of fearless leaders that empower the next generation to address challenges and create change. Whether a volunteer coach or financial donor, we invite you to get STOKED and give back.
To become a mentor, develop a business partnership, make a donation or view a listing of upcoming STOKED events, please visit their “Get Involved” page by CLICKING HERE.
Daily News Cover of the Week
(The jagoff at the front of the image above? My brother Jonathan, lifelong Jets fan, in his Aaron Glenn jersey. We grew up a few miles from Giants Stadium. The headline refers to the Jets’ decision to pass on Warren Sapp for Kyle Brady.)
Don’t Gamble, But if You Do… (3-3)
I’m the 2018 Chicago Bears of gambling on the 2018 Chicago Bears. I also need to get to the halfway point at 5-3 if there’s any hope of making money off this team. Odds from the FanDuel Sportsbook:
Odds aren’t great.
- So tease the Bears down 6½ points to -½ and take ’em.
- Then tease the total down 6½ to 39 points and go over.
- Then put the Steelers (-350), Chiefs (-500) Patriots (-1200) into the deal on the moneyline.
Bet $100. You’ll get 3-to-1 or better odds, depending on what book you’re using.
Better team. At home. Desperately need the game. Bears win easily.
Chicago Bears 30
New York Jets 16