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Final Game Preview of the 2021 Chicago Bears Season

| January 6th, 2022


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

And it’s only one week so why not?


What Positives Can We Take Away From the 2021 Season?

This season was not without promising developments, and some of those developments came at key positions. Let’s take a moment to accentuate the positives.

  • Fields Flashes.
    • All that should have mattered in 2021 was Fields. And we saw plenty that portends a future star in the league. There is still a long way to go for the young quarterback, but that journey could be a fun one for Bears fans.
  • Young Tackles.
    • Can Jenkins and Borom bookend this offensive line for years to come? It’s possible. And that possibility is incredibly exciting.
  • David Montgomery/Khalil Herbert/Darnell Mooney/Cole Kmet.
    • The Bears still need explosive weapons on the offensive side of the ball, but the pieces are falling into place. (And for those super critical of Kmet, ease up. He’s a kid. And in a productive offense he’s going to be a productive piece.)
  • Robert Quinn’s Dominance.
    • The Bears enter the 2022 season with one of the sport’s best pass rushes, barring a trade. (And the only way the Bears should trade Quinn or Khalil Mack is if they’re getting significant return.)
  • Jaylon Johnson.
    • Johnson has not only emerged as a top corner but his comments late in the season, questioning the integrity of the folks around him, show he possesses the leadership qualities this secondary desperately needs. But Johnson won’t realize his full potential until a second corner emerges on the other side.
  • Roquan.
    • This is – simply stated – one of the best defensive players in the league and the kind of talent you build a defensive roster around.

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Vikings at Bears MNF Game Preview: West Side Story and…Bears Win?!?!?!

| December 20th, 2021


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

And with the Bears depleted, and the Vikings unable to stop anyone from throwing the ball, this game could potentially be a fun watch. Right? Isn’t entertainment the ceiling now for the remainder of the 2021 season?


Tweet of the Week


Go See West Side Story

I’ve hesitated to write fully about West Side Story in an effort to avoid hyperbole. But after two viewings, I’m done with that. This is one of the greatest films ever made. What are my six favorite things about the picture, you ask?

  • The custodian and the floodlights in Maria, a number that took my breath away on both viewings.
  • Gee, Officer Krupke is a song I’ve skipped whenever watching the original film (and sort of tuned out in the theatre). In Spielberg’s masterpiece, it’s the most ingeniously staged number in movie musical history.
  • America. If you’ve seen it, you understand.
  • Ariana DeBose. Same note.
  • Rachel Zegler’s Maria is a gorgeous creation, but she is never better than in a silent sequence in the film’s first act, attempting to present both herself and her bedroom as being slept in.
  • Mike Faist. He’s not going to win the Academy Award, but his Riff absolutely deserves

Game Prediction

Minnesota fields one of the best offenses in the sport and it’s unlikely this dilapidated Bears defense will keep them under 27 points. So, the question is, can the Bears offense match that output?

Yes.

This is Justin Fields’ breakout performance as a passer.

Chicago Bears 30, Minnesota Vikings 27

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FOCO Week 10 Game Preview: Vikings at Bears, Volume I

| November 13th, 2020

It’s gonna be a rough winter across the country, as we find ourselves once again in the throes of Covid-19. So when FOCO reached out to me about partnering, I wanted to find a way to incorporate their stuff into DBB and try and have some fun with these crazy times.

Above is the gaiter scarf. They sent me one. It’s warm as hell and it can serve as a mask. And it ain’t that expensive. (Like $15.) Here’s the link to the product. Christmas is coming, folks, even if we’re not spending the day with our families. (We’ll have a giveaway from FOCO in Monday’s Volume II post.)


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

But this is a unique time. I have reached the point with this offense where I no longer believe they’re capable of first downs. And when they do manage a few first downs, or make a splash play, I just assume the penalties and sideline mistakes that follow will sabotage the progress and keep the offense from scoring points. There can’t be a less fun unit in the NFL, especially considering their talent on the outside.


A Little Look at Minnesota

  • Minnesota is 25th in points allowed, allowing nearly 30 points per game. But ask yourself, does that matter? Is there any scenario in which you can imagine the Chicago offense scoring 30 points?
  • Dalvin Cook has been torturing bad defenses for the last five weeks. Outside of Seattle holding him to 65 yards on 17 carries, Cook’s rushing totals have been 206, 163, 130 and 181. The Bears did the job against Derrick Henry a week ago. The test doesn’t get an easier Monday night.
  • Vikings don’t have a single player on their defense in the top 50 in sacks. This is not a team that threatens the opposing passer. (Neither was Tennessee and one of their DL ended up Defensive Player of the Week in the AFC.)
  • Stefon Diggs is having a remarkable year in Buffalo but the Vikings have a younger, more-talented version of Diggs in Justin Jefferson. He’s averaging 18.4 yards per reception, which is better than DK Metcalf and DJ Moore and probably DL Hughley. (The only player with a higher average is Nelson Agholor in Vegas but he’s got half the number of catches.)
  • Doesn’t this Courtney Cronin headline from ESPN tell the story for the Vikings? “Key to Vikings’ success: Keep ball out of Kirk Cousins’ hands?”

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Week 17: Bears at Vikings Game Preview (With Nothing at Stake)

| December 27th, 2019


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears…

…and we’re only guaranteed 16 of these ballgames a year. The next time the Bears will take the field is nine months away. Might as well enjoy seeing the colors out there.


Three Reasons to Sit Through This Game

  • It won’t mean much to disappointed Bears fans but 8-8 will feel much better to this locker room than 7-9. They can endure this miserable campaign and know they were only a play or two away from being in the tournament ANYWAY.
    • And 4-2 in the NFC North will reaffirm the club’s belief that they are only a few moves away from being back atop the division in 2020. (Of course one of those moves needs to be at the most important position in professional sports.)
  • There are four metrics one can look at to get a good sense of a quarterback’s play: FO’s DVOA (value per play), DYAR (total value), QB rating and total QBR. None are close to perfect but I believe if you take the average ranking of the four you can get a clearer picture. Here is where Mitch Trubisky ranks in all four:
    • DVOA: 26th
    • DYAR: 26th
    • QB Rating: 28th
    • Total QBR: 28th
    • Fan of old school stats? Mitch is 32nd in average yards per completion and 27th in touchdowns. There’s not a single, discernible stat one can look to for optimism regarding Trubisky’s performance this season.
    • Verdict: he’s been better than rookies and backups this year. Nobody else. So why is this a reason to watch? Maybe it’s his last start?
  • Khalil Mack needs a sack and a half to get to double digits on the season. One has to believe he’ll be motivated to get there. And the Vikings offensive line will help. They are bad in protection.

Tweet of the Week

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ATM: North Might Be Tighter, But Bears Are Still Best

| June 4th, 2019

There is little question that at least a couple of other teams in the NFC North are better than they were a year ago, but the Bears were so much better than the field it doesn’t seem likely the gap isn’t still significant. In addition to having four more wins than any other NFC North team last year, the Bears outscored their divisional opponents 153-109. That’s a differential of 44 points, meaning a +7.3 point average in divisional contests.

While the Lions and Packers made significant additions via free agency and, presumably, through the draft, they were so far behind the top two teams. The Lions were outscored by the other three teams 131-118, while the Packers were outscored 162-110. In fact, the Packers needed late field goals to avoid three double-digit losses and were handled by the Lions, twice.

Of course, the 2018 Bears were a great example of going worst-to-first, losing every divisional game in 2017, with most of them not being particularly close. But the Bears spent most of the 2017 season with a rookie quarterback and made more significant roster additions than any of the NFC North teams,

Here’s a quick look at the division.


Minnesota Vikings

Best Addition: Irv Smith Jr. The Vikings have some really good offensive players, but they reminded me of the 2014 Bears, who were basically playing 10-on-11 offensively without a decent second tight end or third receiver. Smith gives them another weapon, who should allow them to play big and run the ball.

Biggest Loss: Sheldon Richardson. Playing on a one-year deal, Richardson was second on the team with 20.5 combined quarterback hits and sacks last year.

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Week 11: Vikings at Bears Game Preview, Volume Three

| November 16th, 2018


Game Prediction

  • Both teams abandon their run games early. These are two of the three best run defenses in the game and neither team has been successful running it themselves. (Chicago’s stats are skewed by Trubisky’s gaudy numbers on the ground, mostly accumulated on broken down plays.) This is a game that will be won through the air and these two passing attacks are pretty evenly matched.
  • Minnesota will do everything possible to keep Kirk Cousins clean and that means the quick passing game. Tackling will be the key for the Bears secondary because if they tackle well it’ll force the Vikings to execute long drives to score points. The longer the drive, the greater turnover potential. And this defense is turning folks over like its the mid-aughts.
  • This game feels like a close one. And close ones often come down to special teams. Right now there’s no way Matt Nagy can send Cody Parkey onto the field and expect a positive result. Will that alter how he calls the game? Doubtful. But it should. The Bears may need to be over-aggressive at big moments to protect their awful kicker.
  • One of these quarterbacks is going to throw a game-deciding interception. And I think it’s going to be Cousins.

Chicago Bears 26

Minnesota Vikings 23

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