So it turns out Mike Ditka’s presence at Wrigley Field wasn’t enough to inspire a Cubs victory. Tough break. Maybe he should’ve tried some motivational coach speak instead of singing. Just a thought.
- PFF shared its Team of the Week for Week 4, which has its fair share of Bears. Running back Tarik Cohen, wide receiver Taylor Gabriel, and edge rusher Khalil Mack made the cut after their excellence was on display on Sunday. Gabriel slid into the “flex” spot on the Team of the Week after earning a 92.0 grade, catching a pair of deep targets for 63 yards. In the offseason, we went out of our way to not pigeonhole Gabriel as only a slot position player and it was evident on Sunday that sentiment was correct. Gabriel owns blazing speed, is blessed with quick-twitch ability, and has a knack for creating separation and creating big plays down the field.
- Speaking of being blessed with remarkable ability, check out Khalil Mack blowing things up in the Buccaneers backfield:
Khalil Mack is an absolute game-wrecker. Pass or run, from the left or right, doesn't matter. All-around elite player: pic.twitter.com/ZwzrN78apU
— Brandon Thorn (@VeteranScout) October 2, 2018
- Your weekly Mack-related fun fact: He has forced a fumble in every game he has played in for the Chicago Bears. Mack has been a force upon arrival, picking up 24 quarterback pressures in four games. And while teams will eventually adjust, they should be weary of the other playmakers on the defense who could hurt them because their focus is on stopping Mack. The Mack Effect is real, as is the trickle-down effect of having an impact star pass-rusher.
- And because you’re curious, Mitch Trubisky wasn’t snubbed … it’s just that his grade wasn’t as high as Jared Goff’s:
Mitchell Trubisky earned a career-high 93.7 overall grade in Week 4, the second-highest grade of the week behind Jared Goff
— PFF CHI Bears (@PFF_Bears) October 1, 2018
- It’s good to see the two offseason roommates shine with big games in Week 4. Here’s hoping they both keep it up and set up a studly matchup in Week 14 when the Rams visit Soldier Field on December 9.
- More Trubisky goodness: He connected on six passes of 30+ yards after doing so on just three such passes in his first three games. Trubisky’s biggest gains had distances of 47, 39, 35, 33, 31, and 30 yards. It’s good to see some of those deep throws find the hands of Bears players, after previous attempts in prior weeks fell unsuccessfully.
- A big-time lopsided win followed by a bye week has us in cruise control for the time being, but Chicago Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy can’t let his team get complacent. John Mullin of NBC Sports Chicago writes about Nagy issuing a warning about believing the hype. “Do not think that you’re a playoff team. Do not think that you’re a team that can just go out in the field and win because you’re 3-1 and you’re the Chicago Bears. That’s not true,” Nagy said. “We need to understand that every game we need to bring our best. That was a rare game yesterday to win by 38 points. There’s too much parity in this league. And as a young team, we need to have the mentality of one game at a time.”
- Nagy seems like the kind of coach who would keep pushing his team with a game-by-game mentality if they were 1-3, which is good because the NFL is a week-to-week league. Some days you’re the dog, others you’re the fire hydrant. Enjoy the wins, don’t be too beaten down by the losses, and approach each week as hungry as you did before. You get out what you put in when it comes to football, which is something the Bears should keep in mind moving forward.
- Sticking at NBC Sports Chicago, JJ Stankevitz issued straight A’s for the Bears for their top-to-bottom dominance of the Buccaneers. You can’t say this group didn’t go out and earn these high marks. Everything was in sync and all three phases brought positives to the table. Let it sync in and enjoy it for as long as you humanly can because well-rounded performances like the one we saw on Sunday don’t come around often enough around these parts.
- An interesting nugget from Stankevitz via PFF: Kevin Toliver II limited all-star wide receiver Mike Evans to three catches (five targets) and just 23 yards. Evans finished the day with six catches (nine targets) and 59 receiving yards, but no touchdowns. That’s as nice of a performance by Toliver and the Bears’ secondary as a collective group as you’ll get. For perspective, Evans was averaging nearly eight catches and 122 yards per game in his first three contests. To put that in a different light, that’s a 123-catch, 1,957-yard pace per 16 games. Impressive work by the Bears’ DBs.
- Toliver’s strong play allows us to exhale when thinking about Prince Amukamara’s recovery process. A hamstring injury forced Amukamara to sit out Sunday and it’s something that could linger for a bit and keep him off the field until the middle of October. The Bears’ depth was tested by that talented Bucs offense, but Toliver was up to the task. At minimum, he has earned some more playing time moving forward.