It’s the final day of the baseball season. Good luck to all of our favorite teams and fantasy players.
• In an attempt to not preoccupy myself with worrisome small samples, I’m not going to stress out too much over the production (or lack thereof) from Bears’ tight ends through two games. For starters, it’s just two games. And that Jimmy Graham already has a red zone touchdown under his belt from Week 1 feels like a win after last year’s struggles in that area. Even still … I want a little more from the group. Because in addition to their helpful blocking, I think this group has potential to make things happen.
• Cole Kmet is the main reason I have optimistic vibes when thinking about this group. The first tight end taken in the 2020 NFL Draft has talent and potential, but is already battling the learning curve. “It takes a lot of patience,” Kmet said, via the Bears’ official website. “Going from being the guy to kind of being in a learning’s position right now with, obviously, two vets ahead of me interns of Demetrius (Harris) and Jimmy (Graham) is something that I gotta learn to be patient with, something that I fully embrace right now.”
• Kmet has appeared on 42 offensive plays this season, which has him third on the TE pecking order behind Graham (92) and Harris (62). This isn’t unexpected. I figure this will be the case as Kmet acclimates himself to the game.
• There’s no such thing as “too early” for silly season. And it doesn’t get much sillier than this:
• Long-time NFL linebacker (and fellow SIU product) Bart Scott went off the board as he tried to right the ship for the struggling Eagles. Because if Philadelphia were to lose to Cincinnati and drop to 0-3, Scott requests the Eagles trade for Nick Foles. Yes, the same Nick Foles the Bears traded for with the intent to bolster their own quarterback room. I’m not opposed to trading a backup quarterback for a usable asset. But I don’t imagine Chicago wanting to push Foles out the door after just two starts from Mitchell Trubisky.
• But I’ll be honest, I love the idea that the cure to what ails an Eagles team that has made the postseason three consecutive years under Doug Pederson is the guy they allowed to walk away after their playoff run ended in January 2019. Throw in Carson Wentz and I’ll be willing to listen.
• All ha-ha’s aside, the Bears will go to battle with Trubisky under center. Well, unless he lines up in shotgun. Brad Biggs of the Tribune highlights the Falcons’ struggles defending the pass. Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott blazed through Atlanta’s secondary in the first two weeks of the season. And while Trubisky has a long road to travel before being on either player’s level, it will be tempting for the Bears to try and air it out. Because in addition to the numbers, we know the Falcons enter Sunday without three starting defensive backs. I imagine Trubisky is licking his chops thinking about this, but it’s up to Head Coach Matt Nagy to reel in his quarterback.
• Don’t get me wrong. I’m not opposed to the idea of Trubisky trying to work a weak Falcons secondary. But the passing game hasn’t been the Bears’ strength to this point. The aerial attack has been streaky at best, but the ground game has seen a re-birth. Chicago’s 142.0 yards per game is good enough for ninth best in the league. Last year, the ranked among the 10 worst. So to say this is a significant improvement doesn’t do it justice. Ideally, the Bears could double-dip by using the ground game to open up passing lanes.
• FWIW, PFF likes what it sees from Trubisky to this point:
Highest rate of big-time throws in 2020
T-1. Tom Brady
T-1. Aaron Rodgers
3. Mitchell Trubisky
4. Russell Wilson pic.twitter.com/ZfhmwTDzce
— PFF (@PFF) September 27, 2020
• Over at NBC Sports Chicago, JJ Stankevitz analyzes why Nagy is committing to the run in a way he hasn’t before.
• On the other side of the ball, new safety Tashaun Gipson chimes in on what it’s like joining Chicago’s highly touted defense:
• Here’s a fun fact I learned from watching that player profile: Gipson was the first to intercept Deshaun Watson. That’s a good get if you can snag it. He also has an interception of Patrick Mahomes on his résumé. That’s pretty dope.
• I love quotes like this: “You look around and you can’t help but be comfortable around here.” Jumping into the fray with a group that has been together for the better part of three years probably isn’t easy. And yet, Gipson feels right at home. Hopefully, his first Bears interception can come as soon as later this afternoon.
• Do it, guys:
Oh man, I hope the Bears secondary takes notes on this one. pic.twitter.com/ExiZeCcklE
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) September 26, 2020
• Updates regarding Julio Jones’ status for today’s game:
It doesn’t sound overly encouraging, but Falcons WR Julio Jones – who is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury – is not expected to have his final status decided until 90 minutes before Sunday’s game vs. Chicago. “It’s nip and tuck, up in the air,” one source said.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 27, 2020
From @NFLGameDay: The #Falcons will let WR Julio Jones (hamstring) workout pregame, as he's a true game-time decision, while the #Panthers plan big things for RB Mike Davis and #Giants RB Devonta Freeman should get the chance to be a starter. pic.twitter.com/josBDDYvGw
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 27, 2020
• A pretty cool thing from the Tribune:
Gale Sayers' life of activism and incredible athletic feats: A timeline https://t.co/fxamtzjYgu
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) September 26, 2020
• Some updates from the league offices:
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 26, 2020
Bears CB Kyle Fuller was fined $15,000 for his hit on Lions TE TJ Hockenson in the first quarter of the season opener, a source said.
— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) September 26, 2020