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The Roquan Smith Game: Rapid Fire Reaction to Bears 41, Jags 17

| December 28th, 2020


Playoff scenario is clear. If the Bears win Sunday, they are in. If the Rams beat the Cardinals, the Bears are in. Simple as that. Somehow the team that many of us left for dead after an absurd collapse against the Detroit Lions is alive and well and living in January.

Some thoughts on Bears 41, Jaguars 17.

  • Yes, Trubisky is going to have several moments in almost every game that leave the world scratching their collective heads. But Mitch’s stat line for the season is now 1,803 yards, 16 TDs, 7 INTs, 95.3 rating. His 2018 stat line was 3,223 yards, 24 TDs, 12 INTs, 95.4 rating. This is what he is as a player and the Bears can win with that.
    • Until yesterday, I had never seen a quarterback attempt a Hail Mary from the 10 yard line. But that’s exactly what Trubisky did. How do you coach this out of a player? Is it even possible?
    • But it’s difficult not to be impressed with his bounce back drive coming out of the half. He had one incomplete pass, was pinpoint accurate and used his legs to get six. His short memory is becoming a real asset.
    • So is his hard count.
  • Was Roquan Smith motivated by his Pro Bowl snub? After a slow start from the defense, Roquan delivered his most dominant performance as a Bear. It will never make any sense that this franchise – which hasn’t had a franchise QB in sixty years – consistently churns out Hall of Fame inside linebackers. Oh and hey, I have a crazy idea! Maybe we should wait to choose who makes the Pro Bowl until after the season is actually over? If voting started today, Smith walks onto the Pro Bowl roster.

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  • The Bears’ identity on offense is quickly becoming clear: they are tough to tackle. David Montgomery. Cole Kmet. Even Darnell Mooney. These guys almost never go down on first contact. This has become a physical group.

  • Peripheral thoughts:
    • Every time Jerome Boger is the referee, the crew seems to have zero control over the game. What was up with those extended conversations between plays in the first half? They sapped the flow of the game.
    • Fox has ruined kickoffs with their silly cameras. Why does CBS take so damn long to get the camera to the line of scrimmage? It’s become impossible to take note of formations/personnel groupings pre-snap because the camera doesn’t get to the play until a split instant before the ball is snapped.
    • Didn’t see it mentioned on Twitter but Rich Gannon actually used the word “retarded” correctly – as a verb to describe Mike Glennon’s career. Not sure he’ll do it again, though.
    • What the hell did Aldrick Rosas have tattooed on his right arm? It looked like a full paragraph. (I’d like to pretend it was something from the My Teacher is an Alien series.)
  • I get that fans fixate on play-calling. But they only do that when plays DON’T work. The Kmet hand-off at the goal line was blown up because the Bears didn’t block the play. But if the defense is expecting Montgomery up the gut, that play should work. And Matt Nagy said in his postgame presser the team had worked on it all week. In 2018, the coach was praised for throwing passes to defensive linemen in the end zone. Now, he’s vilified for that same level of creativity.
  • A few statistical updates:
    • The Bears are now 18th in the NFL in scoring. That is a dramatic jump for a single month.
    • The Bears are now 10th in scoring defense. The only defense in the top ten not currently in the postseason is New England, primarily because they’re quarterback can’t throw the ball six yards.
    • Montgomery is now over 1,000 yards and 5th in the NFL in rushing. What an achievement considering he spent half this season playing without an offensive line or quarterback.
    • Allen Robinson is north of 1,200 yards and is 9th in the NFL in receiving. Robinson has rejected several recent offers from the Bears but his agent must know what’s coming: the franchise tag.
  • I wish I could buy stock in D.J. Chark. Trevor Lawrence is going to put that kid in the Pro Bowl next season. Without Chark’s two incredible catches yesterday – including the underrated third-down grab on the opening drive – Jags don’t get to double digits.
  • Mooney made two special catches. Both out of bounds.
  • Trubisky’s inaccuracy/mechanics cost Kmet a big game.
  • Did Doug Marrone really think the Bears were going to try an actual Hail Mary at the end of the first half? What sense would that even make?
  • Bears need Jaylon Johnson back. The left side of their secondary is being harassed. In the second quarter, it looked like Mike Glennon could complete out routes all the way down the field.
    • But it looked like the Bears made an adjustment in the second quarter and got Kindle Vildor and Duke Shelley closer to the line of scrimmage.
  • People surprised by the number of Bears fans in attendance don’t know Jacksonville. It’s not a real place. Nobody is from there. It’s all northern transplants who went down twenty years ago to work at Merrill Lynch and Bank of America. (And some retirees who really like golf.) Half the people I’ve met down there are from the midwest.
  • How did Deandre Carter get up after that hit in the third quarter? How did he not get escorted directly to the hospital? And they hit him late on the next return too!

The stage is set. Welcome to Week 17. Welcome to Packer Week.

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