Taylor Gabriel is Looking Like Mitch Trubisky's Favorite Target and Other Bullets

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Taylor Gabriel is Looking Like Mitch Trubisky’s Favorite Target and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears News

I couldn’t get this thought out of my head, so maybe you – our fine reader – can help me out: is there an NFL version of “Playoff Kershaw.” OK, so cross-sport comps are rarely easy. But I couldn’t help but wonder if there is a football version of a player who is so well-regarded and highly-acclaimed as Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, but has major blowups under the brightest of lights. We can chew on it for a while and see if something pops up.

  • The story of Taylor Gabriel’s confidence being driven by the passing of his mother when he was 15 hit me right in the gut:

  • Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune really dives into some places that might not be easy to read if you’re the emotional type, but it’s fulfilling once you get through it all. And since I’m the emotional type, I really found myself connecting with Gabriel here on another level. This is a guy who is easy to root for and I’m glad he’s found strength from a tragic situation. Not everyone could channel that energy the way he has in order to get to this point.
  • From an on-field perspective, JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago writes about how Pace’s roll-of-the-dice on Gabriel – a speedy receiver some pigeon-holed as a gadget player – is paying off early. At first blush, you’d think Gabriel would slide into a slot receiver role immediately … but Gabriel has been more than that. In fact, Gabriel is making a case for being Mitch Trubisky’s best, most trusted, and most productive receiver. When targeting Gabriel, Trubisky has completed 22 of 29 passes (that’s a whopping 75.9%), for 193 yards, and two touchdowns. That adds up to a 116.0 passer rating. Keep up the good work, gents.
  • Elsewhere in what is looking like a much-improved wide receivers corps, Rich Campbell of the Tribune details how an eager Anthony Miller can help the Bears try to re-capture the magic they had on offense while he was sidelined with his shoulder injury. Miller’s return makes me a bit nervous. Shoulder injuries are nothing to mess with and they take a toll on a receiver differently than other positions. And we’ve already seen him struggle to play through the injury when it first happened in Arizona. But still … I admire Miller’s gumption and passion as he put in the necessary work to get back onto the playing field sooner than I would have expected.
  • For what it’s worth, hearing Miller speak confidently makes me feel better about things:

  • The early bye week continues to be a blessing that I didn’t see coming.
  • Nick Petrusevski of The Loop Sports believes the Bears have to successfully run the ball in order to pick up a road win against the Dolphins. I’m never opposed to lining up man-to-man and running the ball straight down an opponents throat, and Sunday might present the right opportunity to do so.
  • With that in mind, here’s a thought:

  • I really wish someone would’ve told me to sit Alex Collins on Thursday, but I told myself I wasn’t going to be mad about fantasy football this week.
  • The heat factor is something to keep in mind heading into the game, which has me thinking about the value in long, sustained drives that keep the defense rested and off the field. Running the ball could be key, but this is where the depth the Bears have built in recent offseasons can pay off the most.
  • A tale of two perspectives on a Khalil Mack jersey:

 


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Luis Medina

Luis is the Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation Bears, and you can find him on Twitter at @lcm1986.