John Fox Is Winning Ugly With A Beautiful Defense and Other Bullets

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John Fox Is Winning Ugly With A Beautiful Defense and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears are truly in the holiday spirit:

In the spirit of the season, it would be nice for the offense to dial up some trick plays and treat themselves to a three-game winning streak. We’ll see what the New Orleans Saints have up their sleeves when the two teams clash under the dome.

  • The Saints aren’t the type of team you can beat solely with defensive touchdowns and field goals. Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times writes it’s time for the offense to open up against a team that is averaging more than 30 points per game over the last three seasons. The Bears’ defense has been on a roll, scoring 21 points in the last two weeks. In the same stretch, the Bears offense has scored just 23. It might take some creativity, but this might be the first game where it’s on rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky to make things happen.
  • I suppose there is something beautiful about winning ugly. It’s probably the winning part, to be completely honest. Victories can mask blemishes unlike anything else. Patrick Finley of the Sun-Times offers up the idea that complaints about winning ugly should stop. Of course, there are multiple lenses in which we can view the ugly wins. Bears fans aren’t necessarily in a place to complain about wins, considering the team has lost 27 of its first 38 games since John Fox took over as the team’s head coach. And while it doesn’t look pretty, the continued development of young defenders shouldn’t be overlooked. It would be nice for the Bears to come up with an aesthetically pleasing victory, but player development is a high priority and if the building blocks are producing wins, it would be a sign the team’s rebuild is headed in the right direction.
  • Winning while rebuilding can be a good thing, especially if this from Pro Football Weekly’s Eric Edholm turns out to be true. Edholm speaks to a college scouting director who says the 2018 NFL Draft lacks “sex appeal” at the top. This isn’t to say there aren’t great players to be had in this draft, but that no one has stood out – save for Penn State running back Saquon Barkley – is a bit concerning. Still, it’s only October and there is still plenty of time for breakouts to occur.
  • After seven weeks, the Bears are slated to pick 12th in the 2018 NFL Draft. And according to analyst Lance Zierlein, the early consensus regarding Chicago’s needs a receiver, offensive guard, and secondary help. Wide receiver help is obvious, and has been for some time. But don’t sleep on the other perceived needs. Josh Sitton and Kyle Long have been great in the middle, but Sitton will play 2018 in his age 32 season and Long is still feeling some lingering effects from last year’s ankle surgery. Still, offensive line help would be nice considering Cody Whitehair’s drop-off in production after a strong rookie season, and mediocre play at tackle. The secondary seems set, but Marcus Cooper hasn’t played up to the contract he signed as a free agent, while Prince Amukamara is making good on his end of his one-year “prove it” deal. Kyle Fuller could also leave as a free agent, which would make the Bears’ need for a defensive back as a high priority.
  • To be fair, winning ugly would be just plain ugly without the winning. And the primary reason the Bears have three wins this season is because of their defense, which is getting what might be Danny Trevathan’s best pro season. Bob LeGere of the Daily Herald writes Trevathan is on track to have his best statistical season to date. Trevathan has done it all this year, picking up sacks as a pass rusher, recovering fumbles, picking off passes, and racking up the second most tackles on the team. Lost in the greatness of the Bears’ secondary play was Trevathan making PFF’s Team of the Week for last week’s performance. Trevathan’s 91.4 grade came as he picked up a sack, two hurries, a batted pass, three solo tackles, three defensive stops, and an interception. It was a complete and dominant performance.
  • Trevathan’s partner at inside linebacker is having a pretty solid run, too. Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune writes Christian Jones is making the most of his opportunity to start in place of Nick Kwiatkoski, who was in a starting position after Jerrell Freeman was injured in the team’s season-opening loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Jones has a 73.2 grade from PFF, which ranks him 35th among 100 qualifying linebackers. He has done some of his best work in coverage, where his 76.0 grade puts him as the 24th best among players at the position.
  • The Bears’ defense will need to be firing on all cylinders because Pro Football Talk’s Darin Gantt writes the Saints enter Sunday’s game with a mostly clean bill of health. Receiver Michael Thomas, who missed Wednesday’s practice and was limited on Thursday, was a full participant on Friday. Left tackle Terron Armstead (shoulder) and receiver Willie Snead (hamstring) also participated in practice. Guard Larry Warford (who was ruled out with an abdominal injury) was the only player listed on the team’s injury report.

Author: Luis Medina

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