448 Comments

Bears Hold On, Beat Panthers, Move to 5-1: Rapid Fire

| October 19th, 2020

The Bears are 5-1. They have played six games and won five of them. They are still not very good in almost every facet of offensive football but that doesn’t matter yet. 5. And. 1.


First Half

Score: 13-6 Bears.

  • Let’s call it The Drive 2: Just Worse. After the Bears picked off Teddy Bridgewater on the opening Carolina drive, this happened:
    • Slow flat toss to Jimmy Graham for minimal gain.
    • Run that didn’t work
    • Graham off the field, clock winds down, timeout needed.
    • Graham back on the field, clock winds down, delay of game.
    • Graham back off the field, Foles threads a beauty to Cole Kmet for a touchdown.
  • For all the talk of Kmet’s lack of production, I’ve continued to make the same argument. If the Bears wanted to involve Kmet, they could. That’s how TE’s function in this offense. Today they seem to have chosen to involve him.
  • DJ Moore on the crossing routes. Think you might have read about this in this space last week. Jaylon Johnson – and most other corners – can’t track that speed across the field. Johnson should have given up a touchdown to end the first half.
  • Kyle Fuller is good for one borderline personal foul hit a game. But what was he supposed to do on the hit to Kirkwood? Kirkwood lowered HIS head. If Fuller supposed to go after his legs? Is that what the league wants?
  • Bilal Nichols had a lovely first half, specifically the first few drives.
  • Ted Ginn looks like a disaster waiting to happen on punt returns.
  • Anthony Miller not getting the first down on 3rd and 3 is inexcusable. How can you not be aware of the game situation, especially on an offense that struggles like this one does.
  • Fuller’s tackle on Bridgewater to prevent the touchdown run is one of those great plays that gets forgotten by game’s end. I’ll make sure this one doesn’t.
  • There’s not an entirely different feeling with Nick Foles in at quarterback. Confidence. Foles knows what he’s doing. He’s limited. He knows that. But he gets the football where it need to go.
  • Did a Bears kicker just make a 55-yarder? Santos. You stay.
  • On defense, Bears have struggled with containing the outside run game and keeping Bridgewater from moving the chains with his legs. On offense, Bears don’t look like they can run it at all. If those are not corrected, this game will stay close.

Read More …

Tagged: , ,

113 Comments

26Shirts Chicago Game Preview: Bears at Panthers

| October 16th, 2020


The Giveaway!

Thanks to Del Reid and Dan Gigante – the fine folks at 26Shirts – we’ll be giving away our collaborative Darnell “Money” Mooney shirt this week. (The shirt is pictured above and you can read all about it by CLICKING HERE.)

The Contest.

  • Guess the total yards from scrimmage for Mooney this Sunday in the comments section below. Receiving yards. Rushing yards. And if he throws a pass, that counts too. Total yards.
  • Do not put the guess in the body of a larger comment. I’m not wading through your thoughts on the electoral college to find it.
  • Make sure you don’t replicate someone else’s guess. First time the number appears, it’s locked in.
  • If nobody nails the number, or gets super close, we’ll swing this contest to next week’s game. But that’s unlikely.

Good luck!


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

And I think something clicked for this group in the second half against Tampa.


Panthers Game Tape

  • 10,11,12.
    • The engine of the Carolina offense lately has been former-Bear Mike Davis. But the fuel is a trio of speedsters they utilize in a variety of ways. They spread ’em out. They isolate defenders.
      • Curtis Samuel (10) has assumed an almost Tarik Cohen-like role for Matt Rhule and Joe Brady, spelling Davis in the backfield and becoming a weapon in the screen game.
      • Robby Anderson (11) has been among the best receivers in the sport this season and the Panthers are utilizing him to perfection. He’s a threat to score on every slant and if a corner is sleeping he’ll burn them over the top with his speed. For my money, he’s been a borderline All Pro through five weeks.
      • D.J. Moore (12) is a damn good player and hell to deal with on crossing routes.
  • Steady Teddy.
    • Will he take a shot or two each week? Yea. But Bridgewater’s game is think quickly, throw quickly and get the ball to the playmakers.
  • Attack the Interior.
    • Teddy handles pressure from the edge okay but he struggles mightily when that pressure comes up the middle and the Panthers have clear vulnerabilities when it comes to handling delayed blitzes and stunts, especially in the A gaps. This feels like a good opportunity to get Danny Trevathan into the flow of the season by sending him on a quarterback hunt.
  • Potential Game Wrecker.
    • Bears better pay attention to #53, Brian Burns. He spends most of his time harassing the right tackle and he’s been all over the quarterback the last two weeks. Expect Bobby Massie to get help. (If the Bears use Cole Kmet to provide that help, it could open up some plays for him in the passing game.)
  • A Tweet.

    • Here’s what I see when I look at that defense. They like to rush four and sit back deep. The entire system seems predicated upon not allowing the opposing quarterback to attack over the top. And their secondary closes very well on the football, making the underneath stuff difficult to consistently hit. This a smart, disciplined group.

The 5 Best Teddies, Bridges and Water in Movie History

(#5) The Bridge on the River Kwai

The most important bridge in cinematic history.

Read More …

Tagged: ,

343 Comments

ATM: Make Teddy A Bear 

| December 31st, 2019

Debate all day if you’d like, but the problem the Chicago Bears have had offensively the last two seasons boils down to one position: quarterback.

It’s time to fix that and, at the very least, find a way to get consistency out of that position by signing Teddy Bridgewater.

The bottom line with Mitch Trubisky is that he either doesn’t have (a) the football intelligence or (b) the instincts to play the position. Whether it’s a dump off on fourth-and-long, taking bad sacks or — his favorite — refusing to throw the ball away, Trubisky didn’t get the job done in 2019 and there’s little reason to think he will in 2020.

Where Trubisky struggles, Bridgewater excels. He’s smart and decisive with the ball, delivering accurate passes on all levels — completing 47.8 percent of his passes beyond 15 yards, while Trubisky sat at 38.4. (While Bridgewater had a passer rating of 90.8 on deep passes, it would’ve been higher had Ted Ginn not dropped what ended up being an interception.) Meanwhile, six of Trubisky’s interceptions came on deep passes.

Bridgewater went through his early struggles in Minnesota, but even then he was better than Trubisky was last year. And there’s reason to think he is even better now after spending two years with Drew Brees and Sean Payton.

The idea that Bridgewater was just a cog in the Saints offense isn’t reality. The team had plenty of struggles around him, including dropping 8.6% of his pass attempts, a mark that would’ve led the league by a wide margin if he had enough attempts to qualify. He was also hurried, hit or sacked on 19.5% of his drop backs – not much different than the pressure Trubisky faced.

Yet, the Saints kept moving the ball and the more Bridgewater played, the better he was.

Read More …

Tagged:

89 Comments

Around the North with Andrew Dannehy: Minnesota

| January 28th, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 11.28.47 AM

The following is part two of a three part wrap-up of the division from DBB contributor Andrew Dannehy.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

The common theme with the Vikings is they’re an up-and-coming team but that could be more perception than reality.

The Vikings remind me a lot of the team they had almost a decade ago when they won the NFC North with a 10-6 record. Adrian Peterson was great and their defense was really good, but they didn’t have a quarterback and without a quarterback it’s hard to see them staying on top for long.

The 2008 team upgraded with Brett Favre, which was enough to win them the NFC North again and make them Super Bowl contenders, but I don’t see such an upgrade available to them this time around and they don’t seem to know they have a problem.

Teddy Bridgewater doesn’t make a lot of crippling mistakes. But he also can’t consistently make plays down the field. Will he improve? It’s certainly not a guarantee. Coming out of the draft, he was billed as a “finished product” and didn’t make a noticeable improvement from his rookie season to his second year. If he’s Alex Smith, that’s fine. But quarterbacks like Alex Smith don’t win championships.  Moving indoors next year should help hide his arm limitations.

Bridgewater is not their only issue.

Read More …

Tagged: , , ,

196 Comments

Bears Lose to Vikings & Playoff Visions Fade: Rapid Fire

| November 2nd, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 6.16.26 AM

Predictably boring. And for the fourth straight game the Bears were essentially dead even with their opponent, got a wonderful performance from their quarterback and the game was decided at the death. Rapid fire…

  • Feel bad for Jeremy Langford. If he catches the ball, Bears can do no worse than overtime and knowing Cutler’s season, they probably win in regulation. Other than that moment Langford looks like a real back with a great burst through the hole.
  • Tom Brady aside, Jay Cutler is the best fourth quarter QB in the sport right now. (Brady is the best everything.)
  • If the Bears faced a better quarterback yesterday Mike Wallace might have had a career game. How wide open does Teddy Bridgewater need him to be?
  • So how is Pernell McPhee’s sack on Bridgewater NOT a penalty? Isn’t that 100% always called now? He could have broken his leg.
  • Fact that McPhee continues to produce with no help is astounding. How good is this guy gonna be when the opponent has to block someone else too?
  • I think Alshon Jeffery is going to get his money.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , ,

182 Comments

FrontRowTickets.com Game Preview: Vikings Make First Visit to the City of Chicago

| October 30th, 2015

dabearsblog banner

The Game Poem

“I don’t know what to expect from the Bears on Sunday, but I wouldn’t be surprised if something crazy happened. Something ridiculous that you just can’t believe. And, if it does, I’ll know why.

Goodbye Dad. I love you. Go Bears.”

-From Andrew Dannehy’s farewell to his father. Better than anything I could invent.

Three Actual Quick Thoughts

  • What the hell is Teddy Bridgewater? He doesn’t do anything particular well. He doesn’t do anything particularly poorly. He completes a high percentage of his passes but not for a particularly high amount of yards. Is he getting better? I have no idea. Because oddly enough, tape study doesn’t teach you much about Bridgewater. He’s just there.
  • Stefon Diggs is emerging as a star in the Vikings offense and his speed should frighten the Bears. He’s averaging more than 18 yards per catch the last two weeks. I’d expect Norv Turner to dial up a lot of play action and take shots against this Bears secondary down the field. (If he does, it will work.)
  • Adrian Peterson is averaging 4.4 yards per carry but he has a 75 yarder already. If you remove that run he’s averaging only 3.8 yards per carry on 119 carries. His return season is being exaggerated. Bears don’t need to shut him down. They need to limit the big runs.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , ,

48 Comments

NFC North Preview: Minnesota Vikings

| September 2nd, 2015

AR-141129751

There are many around the league who are quietly optimistic about the Vikings this year. OK, so they’re not quiet at all. They’re actually quite annoyingly loud. It’s kind of weird considering that, in terms of DVOA, they were better than just Jacksonville, Tennessee, Tampa Bay, Oakland, Washington, New York Jets and, of course, the Bears. But they went 7-9 last year with a young roster and the expectation is that they will improve in their second year under Mike Zimmer.

Why They’ll Win The North:

There’s no question that Zimmer immediately changed the culture in Minnesota. Leslie Frazier seems like a nice guy, but there was no personality to him or any of his teams and he has a girls name. The players liked Frazier, but they accepted losing rather easily. Zimmer doesn’t put up with any bull shit. He’s a psychotic competitor and the Vikings seemed to take on that personality at times last season.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , ,

257 Comments

Cutler Dominant, Bears Finally Win a Game: Recap in the Way of the Rapid Fire

| November 17th, 2014

00-broken-clock

Those who are saying the Bears should be tanking the remainder of the season are the types of fans I’ll never understand. Win games. Win as many as you can. Draft where you’re slotted. This was a nice, convincing win from the Bears. But it doesn’t mean anything if they don’t string a few together. It’s step one in a reclamation project for the coach, quarterback…etc. Here are my thoughts:

  • Yes, I’m leading off with the drive at the end of the first half. You are the Chicago Bears. You have been embarrassed on national television in consecutive games. You only have a four-point lead. You take possession at your own twenty-six with more than minute to go and a timeout and you sit on the football? If the Bears had lost this game this sequence would have made the covers of both dailies and been a talking point across the football landscape. How does Marc Trestman not understand his offense is playing at their finest level in months? How does a coach choose not to ride the hot hand and trust his quarterback? I would have loved comments from Cutler and Marshall at the half.
  • The interception thrown by Cutler at the end of that sequence was a necessary act of defiance.
  • Maybe Marquess Wilson being on the field DOES make a difference. Jeffery and Marshall played their best game as a pair by far.
  • When the Bears commit to the vertical passing game, they win. All four wins this season featured Jay Cutler throwing the ball down the field.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , ,