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Bears Steal One in Detroit: Non-Trubisky Rapid Fire

| September 14th, 2020

[NOTE: Reader “sactown#1” guessed that Trubisky passer rating on the number, 104.2. Please email me and we’ll coordinate your prize package from Lou Malnati’s.]

Yesterday, on Twitter, was dedicated almost entirely to Mitch Trubisky. So today let’s spread out the commentary beyond the QB, knowing full well he’ll remain the focal point moving forward.


This tape should be shown to the defense on loop all week. So many mistakes, it’s hard to know where to start.


  • Poor performance generally from the defense but that was to be expected. This was the first live game action for the group and there were many new pieces.
  • Both Kyle Fuller and Jaylon Johnson has me great moments but both let interceptions go through their fingertips down near the goal line. Can’t happen. Have to make those plays.
  • Danny Trevathan looked awfully slow.
  • Akiem Hicks was downright invisible until the fourth quarter.
  • Without Robert Quinn active the pass rush was 2019 all over again. Khalil Mack fighting through doubles and triples while nothing happens on the other side. (Mack still won many of those battles.) Bears need Quinn.
  • Matthew Stafford played a terrific game. Sometimes you have to acknowledge that. Biggest mistake Lions made was taking the game out of his hands late.
  • Saw a lot of positive things from Bilal Nichols.
  • Barkevious Mingo was more active than I imagined he would be.

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The Lou Malnati’s Game Preview: Week One

| September 11th, 2020

In just a few days the Bears will play football. Someone will keep score. It’ll count. We’ll take it.


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

And I don’t see any way the Lions are able to get the Bears blocked up front. The early days of this season should favor ability over scheme and that’s a lot of ability rushing the passer. Legendary NYC radio host Mike Francesa always used the phrase “wreck the game” when it came to the elite pass rushers and the Bears have three guys – Mack, Quinn, Hicks – who can potentially wreck this one. Expectations are for all three to play, and play well.


Actual Football Thoughts Re: Detroit

  • Mitch Trubisky’s success against the Lions is not a myth. But it is absurd.
    • In five career games, he has completed 70.1% of his passes for 1,359 yards, 11 TDs and only 4 INTS. That’s a passer rating of 106.3.
    • In his three starts against them under Matt Nagy, those numbers move to 74.7%, 9/1 TD to INT and a rating of 132.4. And most importantly, three victories.
    • Let’s take just touchdowns and interceptions for a second. Remove the Lions numbers from Mitch’s totals and he’s at 37 TDs and 25 INTs. That’s…horrendous. It’s quite remarkable how these Lions performances have skewed his poor career statistics slightly more positive.
  • Remember the Thanksgiving game a year ago? (I honestly didn’t before doing a bit of research for this.) Matt Patricia had Matt Prater squib a kickoff, trying to avoid a game-breaking return from Cordarrelle Patterson. The ball takes a weird bounce, hits a Bear, recovered by the Lions. (People actually tried to argue Prater hit a Bear on purpose because people are generally dumb.) In a game certain to be low-scoring and close, expect similar tactics from Patricia Sunday. The Lions know the pressure facing Trubisky and there’s no way they’ll allow the Bears to score cheap points, or create short fields, from explosive plays on specials.
  • The Lions need to run the ball against all three teams in this division and their selection of D’Andre Swift in the second round was a move in that direction. But Swift isn’t healthy and might not even be active this week. Expect the Lions to come with a committee of Kerryon Johnson and Adrian Peterson as they attempt to test the Bears’ rush defense without their best rush defender, Eddie Goldman.
  • The talk of Lions camp? Kenny Golladay. Not only is the rising star wideout expected to sign a lucrative extension very shortly but he’s been absolutely dominating their over-matched secondary in practice sessions. If there’s one player on this Lions team the Bears can’t let beat them, it’s Golladay. Chuck Pagano should expect the Lions to find ways to get him matched up with Jaylon Johnson or Buster Skrine early and often. And while it’s not their usual tactic, they should shade Eddie Jackson to Golladay all day long. If Marvin Jones or Danny Amendola win their one-on-ones, so be it.

The Malnati’s Opening Day Giveaway

Our partners at Lou Malnati’s are generously giving away another prize package – exclusive to DBB readers and followers – to celebrate the first football Sunday. The package includes two Malnati’s deep dish pizzas and the Chicago football cookie trio from Deerfields Bakery. (See the cookies right here.)

What do you need to do to win this package worth north of $100? Just guess Mitch Trubisky’s passer rating for Sunday. Rules:

  • You can only guess once.
  • The guess must be a stand alone comment on this thread. Don’t bury your guess inside a 34-comment conversation about South African Troskyist Ted Grant. I’m not digging for entries.
  • No tiebreakers. If someone has already posted 79.6, don’t post another 79.6. The first one is going to be the winner.
  • Your only responsibility is to share photos of the Malnati’s experience with me via Twitter or email so they can promote it on their social channels.

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How the Bears Stack Up in the NFC North: Offense

| June 3rd, 2020


It could be argued that no NFC North team improved as much as the Chicago Bears this off-season. Whether they can reclaim their spot on top of the NFC North is still a major question.

Starting today with the offense, here is how the Bears stack up with the rest of the division.


Quarterback

1. Minnesota

2. Green Bay

3. Detroit

4. Chicago

Analysis: It is impossible to rank Chicago’s quarterback — whether it be Trubisky or Foles — ahead of the others in the NFC North.

The big knock on Cousins has been his performance in big games, but he seemed to disprove that last year with a road playoff win over New Orleans. Rodgers is coming off of one of the worst seasons of his career and is 36 years old. He hasn’t sniffed his career passer rating of 102.4 in three years and has finished with passer ratings below 98 in four of the last five years. (While many have blamed his relative lack of production on a poor supporting cast, Green Bay’s front office clearly doesn’t agree as the only position they invested a major asset into this off-season was quarterback.) And despite Detroit’s constant attempts to ruin him, Stafford is right there with the other two, although a back injury makes him a bit of a question mark heading into the 2020 season.

Bears don’t have quarterbacks of this caliber.


Running Back

1. Minnesota

2. Green Bay

3. Chicago

4. Detroit

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Bears Beat Lions, Move to 6-6

| November 29th, 2019

Short post. Thanksgiving hangover. Rapid fire.

  • Forget the stats, yesterday was Mitch Trubisky’s finest game. Made early mistakes. Got physically beat up. Refused to run for easy first downs. But he put the Bears on his back late and won the football game. It doesn’t change his career trajectory. But it’s a day he needed.
  • When Roquan Smith plays that way, he looks like the best linebacker in the league.
  • It would probably go to someone on the defense but Cordarrelle Patterson should get serious consideration for team MVP.
  • Kyle Fuller. Tackle of the year.
  • Nick Kwiatkoski. Most improved on defense. Pay him.
  • Taylor Gabriel should go on IR by Monday. Anthony Miller should never leave the field.
  • Did Jerome Boger’s crew have a block in the back quota to hit? Just let the football happen!

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Week 13: Bears at Lions Game Preview & Prediction

| November 27th, 2019


It’s rather pointless to write these breakdowns every week. The Bears have a terrific defense and an abysmal offense. That’s what they’ve shown for two and a half months. That’s what they’ll show the next month and a half. Nevertheless, here are some thoughts heading into Thanksgiving.

  • Bears defense is 4th in both yards and points allowed per game. Lions are 29th in yards allowed and 25th in points allowed. This is once again a monumental mismatch of defensive units and would lead one to assume, especially with the nightmare that is the Chicago offense, it’s going to a slow, boring, low-scoring game. (But a good opportunity to chat with some family members?)
  • Here is the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett on Jeff Driskel’s performance (Grade: F) against the Redskins Sunday: “Jeff Driskel had his worst start as a Lion on Sunday. He ran for 63 yards on nine carries and kept several drives alive with his feet, but he also threw three interceptions and should have thrown a fourth. Driskel badly underthrew Marvin Jones on a interception with 48 seconds to play that set up Washington’s game-winning field goal and nearly threw a pick-six one play earlier. He did have 207 yards passing and a touchdown, but he didn’t see a wide-open Kenny Golladay on the goal line on third-and-4 when the Lions had to settle for a second-quarter field goal and he missed an open Jones in the end zone on a deep shot in the third quarter.”
    • Driskel is playing, per Chucky P.
  • Can the Bears convince themselves they are still in a playoff fight? No. But it’s unlikely even the Thanksgiving showcase will be enough to motivate this Lions team. (There were even rumors on CBS from Jason LaCanfora – who is unreliable at best – that the Ford family might consider making major changes should the team no show this game with the Bears.) While many of us in Bearsland are bemoaning this disappointing season, Thursday could be one of those truly awful days for a Lions fan base that has experienced their share.
  • Mitch Trubisky’s numbers (under Matt Nagy) vs. Matt Patricia’s Lions defenses: 39-53, 528 yards, 6 TDs and a passer rating around 140. He’s played his best football against this opponent, although both of those performances were at home. (Chase Daniel started at Detroit last year.)
  • One sneaky stat line for the Bears. They are second in average punt return yardage and third in average kickoff return yardage. They’re the best return team in the league. And that might have a massive impact Thursday.

Chicago Bears 23, Detroit Lions 16

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ATM: Respectability Matters for the 2019 Bears

| November 26th, 2019

The playoffs are almost certainly out of the picture, but the Chicago Bears still have a chance to at least make the 2019 season a respectable one.

And while disappointing, respectability matters.

One could argue the only real difference between the 2007 and 2014 Bears is the fact that one was able to remain respectable, no matter how frustrating the losses and how apparently bleak the quarterback situation looked. A year after a Super Bowl berth, the Bears managed to win their final two games – including a 35-7 win over NFC North Champion Green Bay – to finish 7-9. (The 2014 Bears embarrassed themselves on and off the field.)

The difference between those two seasons was just two games, but those two games can define perception and perception can determine if a coach keeps his job. If a GM gets another draft. If a quarterback gets to compete for his job. Those two games matter can be the difference between bad and respectable. The Bears have a chance to make the 2019 season at least respectable.

What shouldn’t be lost in this, of course, is the fact that the Bears don’t have a first round pick, so there really is no benefit to losing games. If they can finish .500 or better, however, they can argue they were at least close. They were a couple of missed field goals, a few bad interceptions or a blown assignment away from actually making the playoffs. And, if they can craft an argument that they were competitive and bordering on being a contender, they can possibly convince players to leave money on the table for a chance to compete for a Super Bowl. We saw that last year with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

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Week Nine: The Game Poem & Prediction

| November 8th, 2019


“Lion”

by J. Hughes

As a child, I was lost at the zoo,

and found myself looking into the sad eyes of an old, lady lion.

I was not afraid of the lion, but of being lost. Of being somewhere unknown.

She seemed to know that fear, the lion.

As if she had once been somewhere she didn’t belong, somewhere she didn’t know.

Her eyes had once been filled with those same tears that now filled mine.

Maybe she was still there.

Maybe that’s why her eyes remained sad.


Prediction

David Montgomery takes the pressure of Mitch Trubisky for a week and the Bears finally get back in the win column. (This is the only way the Bears win. Trubisky isn’t beating anyone.)

Chicago Bears 24, Detroit Lions 18

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