Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?
I always like the Chicago Bears…
…and it would be a big moment for this coach and his program to get this season over .500. I think he does it.
The Game Haiku
I saw Rick Pearson
at the Billy Goat Tavern.
That’s all I recall.
Three Thoughts on the Cowboys
- After struggling to contain Kenny Golladay a week ago, the Bears could have faced a similar issue with Amari Cooper. But the Cowboys’ best receiver didn’t finish their game on Thanksgiving and, while an MRI revealed no structural damage, he won’t be at full strength should he play. Guard Connor Williams, a really good young player, is done for the year.
- From head coach Jason Garrett, in a Dallas Morning News story: “Connor has been a good player for us,” Garrett said. “[He] started a lot of games for us last year as a rookie and then came back after his injury, did a good job for us in the playoffs and again has been the established starter at that left guard spot all year long. He’s really grown and developed as a player and done a really good job for us, got bigger and stronger than he was his rookie year, [and] we expected that when we drafted him.”
- The Cowboys were a solid, if unspectacular defense in 2018, as their coordinator Kris Richard became a name mentioned for several head coaching vacancies. Now his security in Dallas is uncertain, as Dallas has allowed 26 points or more in three of their last four games.
- Let’s look at how these two teams compare with the big ticket numbers:
- Both are 6-6.
- The teams the Cowboys beaten are a combined 18-54. (Really, really bad.)
- The teams the Bears have beaten are a combined 20-50-2 (Not so good either.)
- The Cowboys point differential is +74, which tells you they are beating down the bad opponents and losing relatively close affairs (averaging 5.5 point deficit per loss) to better teams.
- The Bears point differential is +4, which tells you they basically play a coin flip every week.
- If the season ended today, the Cowboys would host a game on wildcard weekend.
Tweet of the Week (Another Cowboys Thought)
#Cowboys ST ranks through Week 13:
27th in PR average
29th in FG %
32nd in KR average
32nd in Gross Punt average
32nd in Net Punt average
T-32nd in Kicks Blocked (offense)
T-32nd in Return TDs
T-32nd in Blocked Kicks (defense)
— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) November 30, 2019
They Bear Watching…
- Kevin Toliver. With Prince likely on the shelf, his replacement could very well determine the outcome of this game. Will the Bears move Buster Skrine outside some? Or will Toliver be given his shot?
- Mitch Trubisky. Of course the quarterback will be everyone’s focus. The Bears are going to be in the market for a veteran quarterback, with Chase Daniel’s return more than unlikely. (There’s been a lot of disappointment in the building about Daniel’s role in Mitch’s development.) But whether that veteran will think he’s walking into a starting gig or walking into a summer-long battle will be greatly determined by how Mitch plays over the final month of the season against four current playoff teams.
- Leonard Floyd. The Bears won’t have many real holes of note to address on their defense this off-season. (There’s a good chance Prince and Clinton-Dix come back on team-friendly deals. They love it here.) But they have been disappointed with Floyd’s production as a rusher. While versatile, and brilliant in coverage, he needs to start harassing quarterbacks or the Bears will be forced to use capital this off-season on a position that costs a ton of it. (Floyd’s injury last week shouldn’t keep him off the field this week.)
- Javon Wims. Everyone expects the Bears to key-in on tight end and offensive line come March-May. They will. But Wims has an opportunity to make wide receiver an off-season afterthought by developing a rapport with Trubisky, being a productive third/fourth option and reducing the number of “rookie mistakes” he makes. On Thanksgiving he caught 5 balls for 56 yards but he also committed several silly penalties and lined up wrong twice. The team isn’t currently invested Wims. But they want to be.
Favorite Chicago Movies
(5) Eight Men Out (1988)
(4) Life Itself (2014)
(3) The Last Rites of Joe May (2011)
(2) Hoop Dreams (1994)
(1) Blues Brothers (1980)
I don’t believe the Lions were some miracle elixir and now the problems on offense are solved. But I do think that much-maligned group, and specifically the quarterback, will play with a bit of a swagger against Dallas. Have some fun. Take a few shots. And I think those shots pay huge dividends.
In 2005, a good Atlanta team came to Chicago late and wanted nothing to do with the cold weather. I can see that repeating itself.
Chicago Bears 23, Dallas Cowboys 18