The New England Patriots are the gold standard of modern professional football. They are quarterbacked by a sure-fire Hall of Famer who is the best in the league and arguably the greatest of all-time and led by a head coach who can make those same claims. Facing the Patriots is a daunting task, but if you’re a true competitor, it’s a welcome one.
As Bears fans, we can only dream that Matt Nagy and Mitch Trubisky getting on the level of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. But because those two have laid out the blue print of what a successful coach-quarterback tandem can do when they’re on the same page, then that’s exactly what they should aspire to be. Always shoot for the moon, because in case you miss, at least you know you’ll land among the stars.
Sunday’s game will be a test for each member of the Bears’ active 46-man game-day roster, but no one will be tested as much as Trubisky. The defense he goes up against has long been one that has frazzled young quarterbacks and limited opposing playmakers on the outside. I feel as if the best way to view this challenge is to see it as a chance for Trubisky to put his name on the national radar for the right reasons.
Trubisky has shown measurable growth since the start of this year and is considerably better now than he was at this time during his rookie season. His completion percentage is improved, but it’s not a product of completing short passes (the Bears have thrown the fifth fewest passes of 5 yards or less) and as we discussed in our weekly trip to the video-room, he entered Week 7 with the highest percentage of pass attempts that traveled 20+ yards. That’s one way to lead an offense.
There is a part of me that is unsure if Trubisky will even get this opportunity. The Bears might want to slow the pace of the game down in order to keep Brady and the Patriots offense off the field. It’s hard to score when that guy isn’t under center. Meanwhile, the Patriots – having just played a similar style of offense in the Chiefs – could be positioned to limit the deep passing options with their defensive scheming and could try to utilize the rushing attack behind stud rookie Sony Michel.
In the end, opportunity will be there for Trubisky in one form or another. Soon, we’ll see how he goes about turning chances into points on the scoreboard.
Chicago Bears (3-2, 1st NFC North) vs. New England Patriots (4-2, t-1st AFC East) – noon CT, CBS (Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn), WBBM-AM 780, WCFS-FM 105.9
Odds: Patriots (-2), Over/Under 49, via the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas.
Note: The Bears opened the week as 3.5-point underdogs on Monday.
Game Thread and Week 7 Preview
Your game thread is down in the comments, so let’s have some good, clean (safe-for-work) fun. And hopefully, we can keep the good times rolling.
Matt Nagy (3-2) vs. Bill Belichick (254-120 overall, 218-76 with Patriots)
Bears: Mitch Trubisky: 1,261 yards, 11 TD, 4 INT, 70.2 completion pct., 105.6 rating
Last week at Dolphins: 22-31, 316 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT, 122.5 rating
Patriots: Tom Brady: 1,599 yards, 13 TD, 6 INT, 67.8 completion pct., 98.2 rating
Last week vs. Chiefs: 24-35, 340 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 109.2 rating
#Bears Inactives vs. New England:
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) October 21, 2018
Bears Expected Offensive Starters
- QB Mitch Trubisky
- RB Jordan Howard
- RB Tarik Cohen
- WR Allen Robinson
- WR Taylor Gabriel
- TE Trey Burton
- LT Charles Leno Jr.
- LG Eric Kush
- C Cody Whitehair
- RG Kyle Long
- RT Bobby Massie
Bears Expected Defensive Starters
- DT Akiem Hicks
- NT Eddie Goldman
- DE Jonathan Bullard
- OLB Khalil Mack
- ILB Danny Trevathan
- ILB Roquan Smith
- OLB Leonard Floyd
- CB Kyle Fuller
- CB Prince Amukamara
- FS Eddie Jackson
- SS Adrian Amos
- Cody Parkey (kicker), Pat O’Donnell (punter, holder), Patrick Scales (long snapper), Benny Cunningham, Tarik Cohen (kick returners), Tarik Cohen (punt returner)
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) October 21, 2018
Patriots Offense Expected Starters:
- QB Tom Brady
- RB Sony Michel
- RB James White
- WR Julian Edelman
- WR Josh Gordon
- TE Dwayne Allen
- LT Trent Brown
- LG Joe Thuney
- C David Andrew
- RG Shaq Mason
- RT LaAdrian Waddle
Patriots Defense Expected Starters:
- LDE Trey Flowers
- DT Lawrence Guy
- DT Malcom Brown
- RDE Adrian Clayborn
- LB Dont’a Hightower
- LB Elandon Roberts
- LB Kyle Van Nnoy
- RCB Stephon Gilmore
- LCB Eric Rowe
- S Patrick Chung
- S Devin McCourty
- Stephen Gostkowski (kicker), Ryan Allen (punter), Joe Gardona (long snapper), Cordarrelle Patterson (kick return), Julian Edelman (punt return)