This year has been so wild, I almost forgot about the “murder hornets” storyline that moved quickly in (then out) of the limelight. But over in Washington state, officials have found their first “murder hornets” nest. Who had that as our October surprise?
• Today I learned Dunkin’ Donuts has a “Spicy Ghost Pepper” donut. I’m a Boston Creme guy, myself. However, I also love spicy, so I’m tempted to try something new. But first, here’s Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy giving a taste test of his own:
• “Oh yeah. That’s just right, right there. I love it.” Alright, fine, I’ll try it … eventually.
• Here’s hoping that donut fires up Nagy’s play-calling for the team’s upcoming game against the Rams. Chicago’s offense ranks 28th in total yards and 27th in points. The 4.8 yards per play Nagy’s offense is averaging isn’t going to cut it as the schedule gets tougher. And it’s not as if moving the ball will come easy against a Rams defense that ranks fifth in points and fourth in yards allowed. Here’s hoping you took the under for Monday Night Football.
• Robert Schmitz of Windy City Gridiron unearthed some interesting stats:
More #Bears offensive stats:
Shotgun runs (5.8 YPC) currently out-gain runs from under center (2.9 YPC)
Shotgun formations (5.21 YPP) out-gain under-center formations (4.19 YPP)
No-Huddle is out-gaining both (6.96 YPP) and suggests this offense may have something long-term. https://t.co/v0qZrm06pM
— Robert Schmitz (@robertkschmitz) October 24, 2020
• At this point, I wish the Bears had an earlier bye week because it would give them ample time to figure out how to better prepare their offense. The mini-bye after the Bucs win on TNF was nice, but this group needs more time to gel, gain familiarity, and get into a rhythm.
• Even though the Rams rank 10th in yards, they’re only checking in with the 19th scoring offense. And as if scoring against the Bears wasn’t already going to be hard enough, wide receiver Robert Woods missed Friday’s practice because of a groin injury. Woods has 27 catches, 329 receiving yards, and three touchdowns. That puts him on pace for a respectable 72-catch, 877-yard, 8-touchdown season. Woods hasn’t been as productive as he was in Week 1 when he hauled in 6 passes for 105 yards, but he’s the type of playmaker who can break out at any time. If the Rams are without him, that passing offense takes a hit.
• In other injury news:
The Packers have 14 players on the injury report, and they're about to have a 15th https://t.co/GZCAlocw4j
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 23, 2020
• Coming off a lopsided loss stings. But doing so while 15 guys pop up on the injury report ahead of the team’s next game is straight up pain. We’ll continue to monitor the Packers’ situation as they get set to take on Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans.
• I breathed the biggest sigh of relief when I heard Ngy talking about Khalil Mack’s back injury:
Matt Nagy on Khalil Mack missing practice today with a back issue: "More than anything, it's just soreness. There's no that much concern." Adds it's more preventative than anything.
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) October 23, 2020
• An update regarding Akiem Hicks’ illness:
Matt Nagy on any concerns about Akiem Hicks' illness having any COVID links: "It's not that. I don't have any idea in regards to the amount of symptoms he has or anything like that. I just know he has an illness, he's sick and wasn't able to practice."
— Dan Wiederer (@danwiederer) October 23, 2020
• Roquan Smith is ballin’:
#Bears LB Roquan Smith has been on another level this year.
– 52 tackles (T-6th in NFL)
– 7 TFLs (T-4th in NFL)
– 61.5 comp. % allowed (9th for LBs)
– 66.9 passer rating targeted (8th for LBs)
He looks a lot quicker and smarter on tape, and that's showing in the stat sheet.
— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) October 23, 2020
• The things teams have to do to play football in a pandemic:
Also notable here: Players cannot travel with the team if they’re still in high risk COVID protocol, but the club can elect to transport them via private transportation. Reducing the COVID home-field advantage. https://t.co/KdUQxzgf1O
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 24, 2020
• Play ball:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 24, 2020
• Ho, ho, ho:
If you missed the big news, the NBA is currently eyeing a pre-Christmas start for next season. https://t.co/LqHRfRL1gH
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) October 24, 2020
• Our friends at Obvious Shirts are having quite the sale:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) October 23, 2020