Nagy is Swaggin', That "D" is Back, Quirky Roster Decisions, and Other Bears Bullets

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Nagy is Swaggin’, That “D” is Back, Quirky Roster Decisions, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

What a difference one week makes, eh?

•   It turns out reports of the Bears’ demise after their Week 1’s loss to the Rams was largely exaggerated. As were the feelings that Head Coach Matt Nagy was losing his locker room. Because *THIS* doesn’t sound like a locker room that is on the verge of a football coup d’etat:

•   Sure, it was the defense doing the heavy lifting while Nagy’s offense could barely get out of its own way. But give credit where it is due: On a week where it would’ve been easy to fold — short week after a long SNF affair, quarterback controversy bubbling underneath the surface, and injury issues surfacing here and there — the Bears came out as the aggressors. The offense executed early, the defense was great throughout, and Chicago’s football team emerged victorious. That is the type of game that we can chalk up to as being a testament to playing good, complementary football. And if blame for losses can start at the top, then credit for success can start there, too.

• This was a reminder of why it’s good to have a short memory in football. It’s also a reminder of what can happen when you go back to the film, work through mistakes, and apply knowledge to the next game. One bad showing doesn’t have to roll over to the next game. Remember, it’s less about what happens when you fall and more about what you do when you get up from being knocked down. Resiliency and perseverance are king. Ultimately, the Bears have too many talented players – at each level and on both sides of the ball – to have what happened in Los Angeles occur every week. Sunday’s win was a refresher course in that.

•   Also, let’s not let anyone minimize this because it’s the Bengals. We saw Cincy shred last week, and so did the rest of the league. There isn’t anyone in football circles who doesn’t believe in Joe Burrow’s tremendous upside. Toss in the firepower that comes with having Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, and Joe Mixon in tow, and the Bengals offense should be going places. There is no doubt Cincinnati’s offense will generate points. So credit the Bears’ defense for swinging the pendulum in the other direction by roughing up Burrow throughout Sunday’s game. Four sacks and nine QB Hits, plus six tackles-for-loss and eight passes defended. The “D” brought its “A” game to Soldier Field.

•   And to think, this defense could still stand to get better as it gets healthy. Nose Eddie Goldman still hasn’t played since Week 16 of the 2019 season. We’ll continue to monitor his progress as he enters another week on the injury report. Danny Trevathan could return as early as Week 4 once his short-term IR stint expires. Oh, and let’s not forget Mario Edwards Jr. is set to return for Week 3 after serving a two-game suspension for violation of the NFL’s PED policy. This could be a rich-get-richer scenario. Who saw that coming at this time last week?

•   An odd quirk and a bone to pick with the Bears. It’s worth noting the Bears have an open roster spot after putting offensive tackle Larry Borom on IR. Edwards figures to fill that vacancy. But that doesn’t explain Chicago’s weird roster tweaks this weekend. If you’ll recall, the Bears promoted offensive tackle Alex Taylor to the active roster, expanding it to 55 players. But they didn’t suit him up. What gives? But, hey, at least he gets an NFL game check. That’s gotta be nice.

•   Flexing Taylor onto the roster was surely a contingency plan in case Jason Peters couldn’t give it a go. But to make him inactive didn’t make sense. What would’ve happened had Peters been unable to start because of something that happened in the 90-minute window between Inactives being announced and kickoff? Maybe the Bears were confident in Peters’ health, plus having Elijah Wilkinson, Alex Bars, and Lachavious Simmons available. Even still … what an odd flex that turned out to be. Now, the Bears can promote Taylor just once more before making a decision to have him on the full-time roster.

•   FWIW: Jason Peters looks alright to me:

•   Stop me if you’ve heard this before. The main beneficiary of all this defensive excellence is a QB on his rookie deal. Justin Fields will get credit for navigating the Bears to victory while the official “QB Win” goes to Andy Dalton. But this is what this team was built to do, and has done for the better part of three years. Play good enough defense to mask quarterback deficiencies, and call it complementary football. Fields doesn’t want to lean on the defense forever. And when you trade up for a quarterback, you’re not doing so with the intent of hiding him behind a run game and defense. But with minimal first-team reps and the plight of a rookie QB being what they are, you’ll take what you can get for now and live to fight another day.

•   Although, I’ll say this — Fields doesn’t sound like someone who is satisfied with their performance:

•   No, I don’t want to look back on the Trubisky era any more than I have to … but for the sake of content, even I can appreciate the difference in tone and context when answering this kind of question:

•   But seriously, let’s work hard to leave the past where it is and move forward with Fields without even thinking about what went down previously. And while I think we can draw from our past, it doesn’t need to be our identity. It’ll take some work, to be sure. But it will be worth it to give Fields a clean slate and look at him through a lens without a Trubisky-colored filter.

•   You gotta love how Fields always circles back to putting in work:

•   Can we fast forward to Week 8 when we can look back at the early part of the season and say “I’m glad they’re not calling that silly taunting penalty any more” … or am I asking for too much?

•   I couldn’t leave this set of Bullets without sharing some SNF highlights:

 

•   Every prime-time NFL game has been a banger so far. Well, except for the obvious one that sticks out.

•   This gets better with every listen:

•   Eli coming from the top rope and delivering a body blow to a coach who’s made the playoffs twice in three years is … something:

•   There is reason for optimism in Blackhawks camp:

•   It’ll be a longer offseason this year for a Cubs franchise which had made the postseason five times in the previous six years. Manager David Ross better be ready to work:



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.