The Bears are not in a must-win situation Monday night. But the entire locker room needs to approach the game like they are. They’ve said all the right things since Sunday’s debacle. Will they show up and play with urgency? We shall see.
Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears this Week?
I always like the Chicago Bears.
Yes, the Green Bay result was dreadful. But one has to remember it was merely Week One. The arrow is pointed decidedly up for this group and things are going to start moving in that direction quickly.
Why the Bears Will Win?
- Pass rush. Khalil Mack was with the Bears one week before delivering one of the best halves of football the organization has ever seen. Roquan Smith won’t be spending much time on the bench any longer. Akiem Hicks and Roy Robertson-Harris both looked like massive disrupters against a good Packers front. Seattle’s front is not very good. Russell Wilson was sacked six times by Denver and it could have been ten if he weren’t so damn elusive. The Bears will get to him early and often.
- Jordan Howard. The Broncos averaged 4.7 yards per carry against Seattle with two backs not in Howard’s league. Couple that with Nagy taking heat for abandoning his best offensive player at pivotal junctures against Green Bay and the stage is set for Howard to have a big, 25+ carry night.
- The Crowd. Outside of a few outspoken Twitter folks there is genuine enthusiasm surrounding this team right now and the crowd should reflect that Monday night. Primetime. Lubed up. Good weather. Soldier Field should be an exceedingly difficult place for the visitors this week.
Why They Won’t
- Offense in Neutral. Progress should be expected from Week One to Week Two but it’s nowhere near guaranteed. If the Bears struggle on offense like they did in the second half at Lambeau Field, will the defense be able to get them over the finish line?
- Elusive Russell Wilson. He keeps more plays alive than any other quarterback in the league and he’ll be expecting to see Mack, Leonard Floyd and company in his backfield all evening long. This is not a receiving corps, especially without Doug Baldwin, that is going to get a ton of separation off the line of scrimmage. But if Wilson can keep plays alive 3-4 seconds longer, players like Tyler Lockett, Brandon Marshall and Will Dissly will find space in the secondary.
- I Heart Michael Dickson. Have you seen this guy punt yet? He’s the most incredible young punting talent to enter the league in generations. As a punting enthusiast I debated flying to Chicago Monday morning to see him in person. (But alas, I have jury duty here in Queens.)
Tweet(storm) of the Week
— Kevin King (@King_kevvoo) September 11, 2018
A few thoughts on this:
- Dan Durkin thinks he’s a professional NFL scout. He’s not. And yesterday he faced an onslaught of criticism (King, Gil Brandt, Dan Orlovsky, all of ESPN) for this Tweet because it reflected the amateurish and incompetent manner in which he approaches film study. Durkin would benefit from spending time in tape study with actual professionals. As someone who HAS DONE THAT I can assure you he’d stop this screenshot bullshit pretty damn quickly.
- The Durkins and PFFs of the world simply need to stop. They have no earthly idea what plays are being called or what the assignments are. And yet they evaluate and grade performance? That’s like writing a book report on the original text of El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha without the ability to read Spanish. And the bigger problem is agents are using these evaluations in negotiations now, see: Amos, Adrian.
- Durkin bought Twitter followers. A whole bunch of them. And nobody seems to care. But I’m going to make sure that information stays available.
Song of the Week
There is no more heightened emotional period for NFL fans than the week between the first and second games. The winners are going to the Super Bowl! The losers are never going to win again! Here’s some calm, lovely music that will keep the emotional scale balanced until Monday evening.
Don’t Gamble, But If You Do… (1-0)
The Packers under last week felt like a no-brainer and never really got threatened.
This week, get a bit creative. The Bears are -180 to win on the money line and the over/under of 43.5 is -110. Parlay the Bears to win and the under and a $100 bet pays at just about 2-1. (Normally I don’t like the play unders because it’s an incredibly boring way to watch football. But this Bears defense has a chance to dominate Monday night.)
Charity of the Week
Step #1: You go to this link at 26 Shirts Chicago: https://www.26shirts.com/modern-offense.html.
Step #2: You buy a tee shirt, co-designed by me. It’s $25.
Step #3: $8 of that gets sent to the great people at Windy Kitty Cafe so they can build their Kitten Korner and save the lives of kitties across Chicago.
Step #4: You feel good about yourself.
Nagy rebounds. Trubisky rebounds. Howard dominates. And the Bears defense delivers a complete, four-quarter, five-sack effort.
Chicago Bears 23
Seattle Seahawks 10