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The Season Ends. Rapid Fire Recap of Pathetic Bears Loss to Lions.

| December 7th, 2020

Bears blow a game they had no business blowing.

The season is over.

Now what?

[Note: The thoughts below were written in REAL TIME. So as things change, thoughts change. That’s life.]


Quarter One

  • Cordarrelle Patterson’s opening kickoff return told me something: the Lions have not realized that kicking to Patterson is a terrible idea with this offense.
  • Television perfectly frames the sport of football. Why on earth would Fox move the camera off the line of scrimmage?
  • On the second first down of the opening drive, Mitch could have run for 20 yards. But instead throw a ball into Cole Kmet’s crotch. Can we officially stop calling Trubisky a running threat?
  • Would I have gone for it on that first fourth down? Yes. But Matt Nagy is coaching with a different mindset than I would be. Nagy is coaching to make the playoffs this year and field goal is the clear percentage play.
  • The thing I miss most about watching the Bears in a bar is not listening to broadcasters. Did Spielman just refer to Roquan Smith as RAEKWON Smith? Like the rapper?
  • The back-to-back tackles from DHC and Buster Skrine on third and fourth down were exactly the kinds of plays Nagy was looking to see from his defense after Sunday night’s debacle.
  • Bears first TD drive: no third downs faced, ran it down their throats, brilliant David Montgomery drive to finish. Can the Bears play the Lions every week?
  • The pass rush is officially non-existent. Mack is invisible. Quinn continues to be invisible. No lead is safe if you’re completely unable to pressure the quarterback. Stafford did not have to complete a difficult pass on the quarter-closing touchdown drive.
  • A blocked and doinked extra point in one quarter. It’s not surprising that neither of these teams have winning records.
  • Trubisky actually throws the football away on first down, instead of taking a ten-yard sack. But why is he so opposed to getting a few yards with his legs? At this point it is malpractice for him not to use what is his most unique asset.

Bears 9, Lions 6


Quarter Two

  • There is nobody in this Lions secondary that can cover Allen Robinson. He should have 150 yards today.
  • One positive thing about Mitch is he does have a good hard count. And for this offense, the difference between 1st & 5 and 1st & 10, is miles.
  • Cordarrelle walks in for an easy touchdown and makes the game 16-6. This is the best performance by the offensive line and backs all season. And it’s not close.
  • Mack sacks Stafford and Skrine commits an illegal contact, giving Lions life. Just feels like a moment the Bears will rue. (On replay, the call is abysmal.)
  • 3rd & 10, 4:36 remaining in the half: Mitch throws a ball over the middle that should have been intercepted. Slow read, slow delivery, tight window. It is simply a throw he can not attempt in that spot. And it’s those kinds of decision that hold back his development. When it’s not there on 3rd & 10, dump it off to Mooney in the flat and let your playmaker try to make a play.
  • Roquan “Don’t Call me Raekwon” Smith just defended a screen to Kerryon Johnson about as well as a linebacker can. Sniffed it out, the ball got completed, tracked down the back for a two-yard gain. Brilliant, brilliant stuff.
  • Then on 3rd & 13, no pass rush. Zone defense. Easy completion for Stafford. Then a bomb touchdown on the next play. What has happened to this defense? Why is there zero pass rush? How much money has to be poured into that position to make Stafford mildly uncomfortable? On both of those big completions, per Adam Hoge, Mack and Quinn were in one-on-one situations. Nothing.
  • Every time I watch Stafford I think the same thing. Put him on a contender next year and he’s winning playoff games.
  • Anthony Miller performing on the first-half ending drive like he’s expected to perform. Tough catches. Tough runs. If this kid showed up weekly, he’s be a viable second option for this club. But he doesn’t do that.
  • David Montgomery played his best half as a Chicago Bear.
  • With time winding down, Skrine gives Jones the inside leverage for ANOTHER long completion. No, the pressure did not do its job, but with safety help over the top, why are the corners giving this kind of space?
  • The Hail Mary could easily have been caught.

Hard to see a scenario where the Bears don’t hit the 30 mark in the game. So if this game is lost, it falls entirely on one side of the ball: the defense.

Bears 23, Lions 13

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Week 13: Lions at Bears Game Preview!

| December 4th, 2020


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

And the Lions stink.


Best Tweets from Patricia & Quinn’s Former Players

These guys seemed…popular.

What is it going to take for franchises to realize there is no “Patriot Way”. There is Bill Belichick, a certifiable football genius. There was Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback to ever play. That – and an historically bad division around them for two decades – was why they won all those games.

(Also, it is thought that Patricia has been lighting up the Lions via a Twitter burner account in the last few days.)

__________

__________

__________

__________


Trubisky vs. the Lions For the Final Time?

Wrote the following in the Week One Game Preview:

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.

Trubisky’s week one performance? Crap until the fourth quarter but he ended with 242 yards, 3 TDs, a 104.2 rating and the victory. I mean, seriously, is there any reason to think Trubisky won’t beat the Lions Sunday?

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A Pragmatic Pause: If Bears Win Next Two, Pace/Nagy Should Be Allowed to Finish Season

| December 3rd, 2020


The story feels written. The outcome assured. After the full-team collapse Sunday night in Wisconsin, it will surprise no one if, at season’s end or sooner, George McCaskey and family fire Ryan Pace, fire Matt Nagy and reassign Ted Phillips within the organization, away from football operations.

But for those wanting these changes to take place yesterday (or the day before) it is time for a pragmatic pause. Because while this season feels over, it is not actually over. The Bears face the bad Lions, with an interim coach and lame-thumbed quarterback, Sunday at Soldier Field. They face the bad Texans, who were apparently popping PEDs like Sweet Tarts, in that same building the following week. If they win both of those of those games they will be 7-6 and viably challenging for spot in the tournament.

And making the tournament still matters. The Bears, for as bad as they’ve looked offensively through this five-game losing streak, are one game out of the 7th spot and a game and a half out of the 6th spot currently held by Tampa, a team they have beaten. Just because this current incarnation of the club has zero shot of winning the Super Bowl doesn’t mean a playoff berth ceases to be an achievement. Winning these next two games would, if nothing else, earn Pace and Nagy the right to complete this 2020 campaign. That’s it. It would allow them the opportunity to fix the mess they’ve created. Is that likely? Of course not.

If the Bears lose EITHER of these next two games, the time for pragmatism ends. A seventh loss with three (or four) to play ends the dream of January football. And not making the playoff field in a year where the NFC has this little depth is certainly cause for termination. If the Bears lose either of these next two games, Pace and Nagy should be fired the following day. (The Ted reassignment can happen whenever.)

Will making changes in-season have any tangible impact? Unlikely. A few reasons:

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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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