It’s really easy to lose track of time in a Las Vegas casino, when you’re inside a building where the only light comes from slot machines and what not. But I’m sure you’ll be glad to know I’ve done my best to stay out of trouble the last few days.
- Height doesn’t measure heart (look left):
h/t to @thecheckdown who posted the TV version of 181-lb Tarik Cohen smashing 260-lb Dante Fowler
Here's the end-zone version if you'd like … pic.twitter.com/QjjpRr9E7K
— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) December 11, 2018
- Tarik Cohen is listed at 5-6, 181 pounds. Dante Fowler checks in at 6-3, 255 pounds. Cohen was a fourth-round pick (119th overall) in 2017. Fowler was a first-round pick (third overall) in 2015. Cohen stopped Fowler in his tracks like it was nothing. I mean, my goodness!
- We can break down height, weight, size, prospect pedigree, and anything else in the realm of football. But when it comes down to 1-on-1 matchups, being the bigger and stronger player oozing with gobs of talent doesn’t matter if you don’t have leverage in this game. Tarik Cohen leveraged the heck out of Dante Fowler on Sunday in what was a winning play that should be applauded.
- Cohen doesn’t get a ton of pass-blocking opportunities (and that’s good because he’s way too valuable in so many other facets of the game), but a willingness to hang in as a pass protector could be one way to make it known to coaches you deserve more snaps.
- For what it’s worth: Not only is Jordan Howard Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded pass-blocking running back on the Bears, his 83.4 grade ranks fourth among all qualifying backs on the site. Impressive work, No. 24.
- Before we move our full focus to the Packers, let’s enjoy some more highlights from last week’s win against the Rams:
- Matt Nagy is really going out of his way to give fans love for their support because of the element they provided in a winning environment. Some might believe it comes across as folksy, but I see it as someone who is trying to re-connect with a fan base that hasn’t had much to cheer about in a while. Let’s face it, it was easy to become jilted after the Marc Trestman and John Fox experiences. Neither coach seemed particularly interested in reaching out to the fandom, though that’s not necessarily their job (remember, coaching is their top priority). But still … fans who have stuck through the down times appreciate it and fans who walked away in disgust because of prior regimes can reach out for the olive branch at any time. It’s long past time to be rebuilding trust from the team side of things.
- This is nothing short of brilliant:
- How about that offensive line!? The unheralded stars of Sunday’s win were the interior linemen who created running lanes that made the difference in beating the Rams. This is a good find by Zack:
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) December 11, 2018
- Boomer Esiason is loving on the Bears defense:
— Inside the NFL (@insidetheNFL) December 12, 2018
- Don’t even think about getting the keys if your an offense going up against the Bears “D” because you’re not going on a drive:
— NFL Matchup on ESPN (@NFLMatchup) December 11, 2018
- Taylor Gabriel is an elite pass-catcher:
Players with more than 50 catches and 1 or 0 drops (catches/targets/drops):
* Antonio Brown: 86/144/1
* Stefon Diggs: 88/125/1
* Robert Woods: 71/111/1
* Tyler Boyd: 72/103/1
* Brandin Cooks: 66/97/1
* Larry Fitzgerald: 52/86/1
* Taylor Gabriel: 57/83/0
* Mohamed Sanu: 51/70/0
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) December 12, 2018
- Any time you’re on a list with Antonio Brown, Stefon Diggs, Brandin Cooks, and Larry Fitzgerald, you’re doing something right.
- Unlike the last few years, wide receiver isn’t going to be a high-priority need for the Bears in next year’s draft. And while the team doesn’t have a pick in the first two rounds, I’m still going to browse through lists like this one cooked up by Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller.
- As of right now, the Bears aren’t picking until the 90th overall selection. So even though that doesn’t look all that appetizing from a draftnik’s perspective, I have a hunch that some players on Miller’s updated top-50 could slide out to the middle rounds and bring unexpected positive value. And since Ryan Pace has shown a knack for getting things done outside of the first round, I’m curious to see how he continues to build upon the strengths of this team without premium picks.
- I’m not sure I like the Bears look, but points for creativity:
— Jesse Alkire (@JesseAlkire) December 12, 2018
- I wonder if Mike Ditka was a floor-slapper:
— PGH Sports History (@PGH_Sports_Date) December 12, 2018
- Ditka told The Athletic’s Dan Pompei he doesn’t remember what happened when he suffered a heart attack in November, but added: “I got my ass kicked pretty good there, but I’m feeling a lot better.” Heart issues aren’t something to be taken lightly, so I hope that (for his sake) Ditka takes it easy for a while.