Thursday Night Football, Coexisting Running Backs, Unexpected Receiver Value, and Other Bullets

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Thursday Night Football, Coexisting Running Backs, Unexpected Receiver Value, and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

Who else is excited as hell for Thursday Night Football?

Sure the Packers are the heavy favorites and the Bears are working on a short-week and with plenty of injured players, but I don’t know – I feel ready for it.

That week three win against the Steelers (and the near week one win against the Falcons) has shown that this team – despite it’s many issues and injuries – can stick with some of the best in the league. Maybe they’ll surprise us once again this Thursday.

  • ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson wonders how long the Bears passing offense can survive with Glennon’s passing style, which is football’s equivalent to death by a thousand paper cuts. Head coach John Fox said Glennon played well enough to help the Bears come out with a win, despite another lost turnover and some other mistakes along the way. While Fox is correct in the most technical of ways, winning that kind of ugly football isn’t sustainable over the course of a 16-game season. Especially when defensive starters are dropping at a rapid rate. If the Bears are going to be as good as Fox thinks they can be, they’ll need all facets of their game working to give themselves a fighting chance. And that includes Glennon throwing a few more passes beyond the line of scrimmage.
  • While the Bears’ receivers aren’t garnering too many targets from Glennon, it’s not as if they’ve been completely useless. Even though only 37.5 percent of his completions have gone to wide receivers, Bears wideouts have found other ways to be productive in the offense. While we looked at Adam Shaheen’s blocking prowess earlier – specifically on Howard’s game-winning run – the Associated Press notes Bears receivers Deonte Thompson and Josh Bellamy made key downfield blocks to spring Cohen and Howard on the game-winning drive.
  • If the Bears were searching for an identity entering Week 3, they might have found it in being a selfless, run-first team that receives contributions from unexpected places.
  • This piece by’s Michael Beller regarding whether or not Howard and Tarik Cohen can co-exist in the same backfield has a fantasy football slant, but also real life implications. Since 2012, there have been at least two pairs of teammates who have ranked as top-24 fantasy running backs. As football continues to evolve, it looks like there will be at least one team that will develop a two-back tandem worthy of fantasy play. And as far as real life gridiron contributions are concerned, this could help backs stay healthier and fresher over the course of a grueling season.
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • As it stands, the Bears need Cohen and Howard to co-exist because they’re the most productive players on the offense. Their two skill sets do different things for the offense, which makes it difficult for defenses to account for them when they’re on the field at the same time.
  • Meanwhile, JJ Stankevitz of CSN Chicago writes about the Bears offensive line still coming into form despite its successes in Week 3. Kyle Long was a key contributor in his return to the lineup, anchoring the offensive line and playing solid football in his return to the right guard spot in place of an injured Josh Sitton. Still, the Bears are playing musical chairs along the line with Sitton being joined by Hroniss Grasu on the injury report. If both players are still out of action come Thursday, expect the Bears to continue to roll with Bradley Sowell and Long at left and right guard, respectively, as well as Cody Whitehair at center.
  • Another starter on the mend? That’s been the story of the Bears season through three weeks, and Patrick Finley of the Sun-Times asks whether or not the team can afford to lose its third defensive starter in as many weeks. After watching Jerrell Freeman and Nick Kwiatkoski go down with injuries in consecutive weeks, Quintin Demps joins the group with his broken arm. As was the case with Freeman, the Bears have a serviceable backup plan with an in-house replacement with starting experience. Adrian Amos is expected to slide into a role as strong safety, where the Bears can best take advantage of his tackling ability and run-stopping instincts.
  • And you thought the Bears were beat up, check out the Packers’ injury report:

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.