My friends know I’m not too crazy about winter. But that first snow dusting is a beautiful thing to witness from the comfort of your front-room. It’s not gonna be enough to build a snowman or make snow angels, but our day will come.
• I want to keep it light today because I’m in a good mood for no particular reason. So here’s Spice Adams and Sam Mustipher yukking it up on the latest installment of Big Guys in a Benz:
• Mustipher’s trek has been fun to follow. The rise from second-year undrafted free agent on the practice squad to starting center in the NFL isn’t a path often taken. But Mustipher’s climb is a testament to hard work, perseverance, and a bit of luck. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. Mustipher’s situation is one where both luck and skill are sprinkled in.
• Seeing Mustipher get to this stage leaves me tipping my cap to Harry Hiestand. The Bears’ former OL Coach had his hands on Mustipher at Notre Dame and during his rookie season. Sure, Juan Castillo deserves credit for his role in the development process. But let’s not forget about Hiestand getting the ball rolling. Should this line continue to play well, it will be worth mentioning that Hiestand had a hand in two starters (let’s not forget about RG Alex Bars) among the group.
• On the other side of the line, Khalil Mack is doing Khalil Mack things:
• Khalil Mack is so good — how good is he!? — Khalil Mack is so good that he went through a four-game stretch without collecting a sack and is still PFF’s highest-graded edge defender. This is what true excellence looks like, my friends. Soak it in. Mack is still good.
• It would be nice if Mack’s tag-team partner could contribute in ways we expected when he signed with he Bears. Unfortunately, it appears as if previously undisclosed injuries have kept him from operating at a high level.
• As one might expect, Mack made PFF’s Pro Bowl squad. But what if I told you Mack wasn’t the only Bears player to make the cut. Running back David Montgomery and return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson join Mack as Bears on the squad. Montgomery joins Dalvin Cook (Vikings) and Alvin Kamara (Saints) among the Pro Bowl running backs. With an 80.5 grade, Montgomery is one of the site’s highest-graded backs. How’d he get there? Racking up 43 broken tackles (trailing only Cook and Derrick Henry) helps a ton. As for Patterson, he’s a special teams game-changer who’s still putting up highlight-reel greatness weekly. Well, at least whenever they kick the ball to him.
• You can check out the rest here:
• Seriously … let Monty run more than 11 times per game:
• Fun with numbers: If you extrapolate Montgomery’s numbers since returning from concussion protocol over a full 16-game season, we’re looking at 208 carries, 1,536 rushing yards, and 16 touchdowns. Tack on 64 catches for 645 receiving yards, and 5 touchdowns for good measure and … WHEW! Get that man the ball early and often!
• A tale of two rookie standouts:
• I love these plays from Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet for different reasons. And I love that I love them for different reasons. For instance, I like what I see above because it means the Bears offense has the potential to have layers. Mooney is fast, but he also runs hard and with a purpose. There’s no wasted movement in his actions. Kmet chugs hard. It’s not the most aesthetically pleasing style, but it’s clear Kmet is hard to bring down.
• Gosh, this is sobering … but also provides perspective:
Where the Bears rank in the NFL on offense…
4.98 yards per play (28th)
4.22 yards per carry (18th)
5.72 yards per pass (29th)
2.52% INT rate (23rd)
31.9% on third down (32nd)
59.0% in the red zone (t-16th)
21.7 points per game (25th)
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) December 15, 2020
Where the Bears rank in the NFL on defense…
5.28 yards per play allowed (10th)
4.00 yards per carry (9th)
6.69 yards per pass (13th)
1.55% INT rate (28th)
6.65% sacks per pass (16th)
37.2% on third down (8th)
52.3% in the red zone (t-4th)
22.4 points (10th)
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) December 15, 2020
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• Some of these playoff scenarios need Bears things to happen:
Playoff scenarios for Week 15: pic.twitter.com/gN9TEfAfLj
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 16, 2020
• If the Bears make the postseason, they won’t be forced into a Bubble:
The NFL sent out a memo to teams today alerting them to the decision that there will be no local bubbles during the playoffs… among other things: pic.twitter.com/7wHVBTk7h3
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 16, 2020
• I nerd out watching the Senior Bowl every year, so I’m glad this year’s game is getting the green light:
Checkout 2nd Annual @seniorbowl Roster Reveal Show today at noon ET. Includes breaking news on previously unannounced early-round commitments and interviews with Florida QB Kyle Trask, Oklahoma St. WR Tylan Wallace, Wake Forest DL Boogie Basham, and Notre Dame HC Brian Kelly. pic.twitter.com/QTBo7rkXt1
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) December 16, 2020
• So. Many. Prospect. Notes. Can’t wait!