A Bears win on Sunday would help the team accomplish something it was never able to do under John Fox, and that’s end October with a winning record. Chicago was 7-15 in September/October in Fox’s three years and haven’t had a winning record through the first two months since 2013 – which was Marc Trestman’s first season. So, yeah, so getting through the first two months of the year would feel like a big deal.
- Are you that guy or girl who gives your friends better fantasy football advice than what you end up doing yourself? It’s OK, don’t feel bad. Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky is that guy, too:
And now… some bad fantasy advice from Mitchell Trubisky. pic.twitter.com/UAee2smw9M
— Matthew Berry (@MatthewBerryTMR) October 25, 2018
- Trubisky has been on fire from a fantasy perspective since bottoming out in Week 3 against the Cardinals. Using ESPN’s standard scoring as our guide, Trubisky has scored 43, 26, and 31 points in his last three games. And while the Patriots limited Trubisky to a 52 percent completion rate, he still put up volume (52 pass attempts) and numbers (414 scrimmage yards). It wasn’t enough to get the Bears a win, but it is good enough to make Trubisky worthy of consideration to be your starter if you need him.
- With Philip Rivers on bye, I’m starting Trubisky this week in the ESPN fantasy league I’m in. The Jets defense has allowed multiple touchdown passes in each of the last four games and five of the last six. Even Case Keenum (377 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT) and Blake Bortles (388 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT) put the Jets defense through the spin cycle. Baker Mayfield put up 201 passing yards in a little more than a half of a game. Sure, the Jets came away with four interceptions in Week 1 against Matthew Stafford and three more against Andrew Luck in Week 6, but other than that, they haven’t been as fortunate in that department.
- Let’s put it this way: Since limiting Stafford to 5 fantasy points in Week 1, opposing quarterbacks have averaged 18.5 points against the Jets defense in ESPN standard leagues. That’s nearly two points above their season average and a point higher than the NFL average. At best, the Jets fantasy defense is average against quarterbacks with recent history (20.8 points per week since Week 4) trending against them.
- The defense’s recent struggles have taken some of the luster out of what the offense is doing. And it’s not just raw points, either. The Bears are running 66.2 offensive plays per game, which is tied for the 10th most in the NFL. Or to put it another way, that’s 7.8 more plays per game than they averaged last year. The increase in plays is more in line with what we have seen with the Chiefs and Eagles offenses in recent years. You can’t win if you don’t score. You can’t score if you don’t have the ball. You’re not going to have the ball if you can’t sustain drives. As long as the Bears aren’t turning it over, their offense is giving them a chance to win.
- Having guys like Taylor Gabriel who can get open down the field surely helps matters:
For the culture 🚀 pic.twitter.com/I1rEvq0PG6
— Taylor Gabriel (@TGdadon1) October 24, 2018
- If it’s true what Trubisky said about the bar being raised and the standard being higher, then it shouldn’t come as a surprise that other players are falling in line. Trey Burton’s first career 100-yard game was an impressive showing, but Burton comes off as unaffected by his accomplishments in this piece by Mark Potash of the Sun-Times. “We didn’t win,” Burton said, essentially echoing Trubisky’s sentiments that being close wasn’t good enough.
- Being close not being good enough starts with the quarterback, so it’s good that Trubisky has some sort of self-awareness. Colleen Kane of the Tribune highlights five quotes from Trubisky, including one in which he discusses his need to improve his footwork. For Trubisky, it all starts with his base. And as we’ve seen with his biggest miscues, if his feet aren’t set, then bad things are destined to happen.
- Trubisky isn’t the only young offensive player whose development needs to continue trending in the right direction. Adam Jahns of the Sun-Times checks out what’s going on with second-round picks James Daniels and Anthony Miller, whose progress as their rookie seasons roll on will go a long way toward the offense reaching its potential.
- The Bears didn’t use zone or read option plays often last year, but they were pretty good at it (especially on RPO run plays) whenever they were called. So I’m not surprised that Chicago’s offense is better at it now that it’s a focal point of their game:
— NFL Matchup on ESPN (@NFLMatchup) October 24, 2018
- This isn’t football-related, but Darius Miles was a huge deal coming out of high school and thought it would be neat to pass this along to readers who might be interested in a look at what happened to a guy who was supposed to be a star:
— Darius Miles (@21Blackking) October 24, 2018