To say it’s been a while since the Chicago Bears have won back-to-back games would be an understatement:
The last time the #Bears won back-to-back games they won in cities that no longer have NFL teams (St. Louis & San Diego, 2015).
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) October 21, 2017
- The Bears can take a big step if they can win consecutive games for the first time since 2015, writes Arthur Arkus of Pro Football Weekly. Arkush describes the team’s Week 6 win against the Baltimore Ravens as cathartic, but another win today could clear up some questions about where the Bears are and where they are headed. The Carolina Panthers provide a unique challenge because of an offense led by a star caliber quarterback and a defense with a strong front seven. If the Bears can pull off a second straight upset, it will be because the defense minimizes the damage Cam Newton can do and the offense limits Mitch Trubisky’s mistakes.
- While the Bears prepare to take a big step as a team, the process of how the team develops Trubisky takes center stage. Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times dives into the team’s developmental process, which is challenging on multiple levels. Offensive Coordinator Dowell Loggains is at the forefront of the movement as he pieces together a detail-oriented game plan for Trubisky, who is challenged in the classroom and on the field. It’s still a learning process for Trubisky, where the Bears are still balancing limiting the quarterback’s responsibilities and making him comfortable with college-type plays.
- It’s likely Loggains will channel last week’s run-based game plan when making this week’s play calls, but it turns out the Bears aren’t the only team that can drive opponents crazy with their running backs. Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times writes about Panthers rookie Christian McCaffery as a potential tough match-up for a Bears defense that has been more stingy than not against opposing running backs. McCaffery hasn’t been an impact player running the ball, but has 37 catches, 293 receiving yards, and a pair of touchdowns.
- For what it’s worth, Bears Head Coach John Fox was intrigued by McCaffery during the draft process – because who doesn’t need ALL the running backs? Lorin Cox of Bears Wire writes the team had a high grade on Stanford’s star running back, even though Fox said he never saw him in college.
- Carolina’s defense will be challenged by Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen, but make no mistake that defense is no slouch. Defensive lineman Kawaan Short and linebacker Thomas Davis are solid, dependable defenders. And we can’t forget about Julius Peppers, a familiar face who returns to Soldier Field once again – but this time as a member of the Panthers. Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune notes the 37-year-old defensive end has 6.5 sacks in six games, which puts him on pace for a career best 17 sacks in his 16th NFL season.