Useless Lions, Needlessly Weird QB Updates, Storytime on MNF, and Other Bears Bullets

One of the hip-hop reunions I’ve been longing to see is finally coming to fruition:

Giddy up!

•   The Detroit Lions had us in the first half, I’m not gonna lie. Detroit came out, punched the Packers in the mouth, held firm for the first half, and even took a lead into the locker room after Green Bay goofed by icing the kicker on a miss attempt, only to see them drill the re-do. But then the Lions remembered they were the Lions. And the Packers remembered they were playing the Lions. And, ultimately, Green Bay beat Detroit 35-17 at Lambeau Field. The Lions remain useless, as the Packers join the Bears atop the NFC North at 1-1.

•   If the demise of the Bears’ “D” was greatly exaggerated, then I suppose we could say the same about Aaron Rodgers. The long-time NFC North tormentor went 22-of-27 for 255 yards with 4 TDs, 0 INTs, and a 145.6 passer rating. If Rodgers has *THIS* in his bag still, then I might just throw a party when he leaves the Packers for greener pastures. And if there is anything we can do to accelerate that departure, I hope Mr. Rodgers doesn’t hesitate to let us know. ENOUGH ALREADY!

•   At this risk of being out of pocket, I’ll say this: The Bears can hang with the Packers. No, seriously. Hear me out. They aren’t this intimidating force that will run roughshod over the rest of the NFC. And it starts up front where Rodgers was sacked 3 times and was hit 7 other times. BY THE LIONS. If those Lions can hang with the Packers, then these Bears can do the same (if not, better).

•   Admittedly, the last two Bears-Packers games being blowouts doesn’t give us much of a base for hope to stand on. And I have moments where I wonder if a fully packed Soldier Field voicing its displeasure with a second double-digit loss in the span of six weeks would’ve nudged George McCaskey to pull the plug on things despite a second playoff appearance in three years. But let’s remember that the first four Bears-Packers games of the Matt Nagy era were all one-score affairs. Without getting too much into the weeds, if the Bears can muck up an entire game the way the Lions did for one half, then another set of blowouts might not be on the horizon.

•   Nagy was so needlessly weird when side-stepping QB questions the last two days. And sending out a PR flak, in an attempt to straighten things out, only made things worse in my opinion. It was all just needlessly tiresome. But I’ll say this in defense of a coach (who may not actually deserve it): Nagy shouldn’t declare a starter if both players are healthy. It is a competitive advantage — no matter how small — to keep the Browns playing the guessing game. Putting it out there that Andy Dalton will be the starter (when healthy) one day after suffering an injury is as much of a tell as anything.

•   Let’s simplify this further: Dalton’s injury is one that will likely come with a week-to-week designation. And because Dalton didn’t necessarily do anything to “lose” the QB1 gig, I can see why Nagy would try to save face and do right by a veteran by handling it this way. Could he have done it better? Absolutely. Moving forward, Justin Fields can ultimately win this job and run away with it, leaving Nagy in a position to say that Dalton didn’t lose his job due to injury. From that point, it’s a win-win situation. But only if Fields takes the job and runs with it. If not, then they can re-install Dalton, make the necessary tweaks with Fields, and then go from there. But for the sake of development, I hope Fields gets his shot to grow without any yanking back-and-forth.

•   The fantasy community suggests you go get Justin Fields on your team:

•   This feels like such a straw man argument, that I’m mad at myself for even sharing it:

•   Let’s be clear: The Bears have a lot of work to do before they can prove they’re a “good” team. They aren’t there yet. And in the eyes of many coming into this season, they weren’t “good” to begin with. But that’s neither here or there. We know better than to base our opinions solely on what prognosticators think. However, beating a Bengals team with a dynamic offense and limiting them to 17 points is a nice feather in the cap. Gotta give credit where it’s due, right? Especially after the praise Cincy’s squad was getting after defeating a Vikings team many believe have real postseason aspirations.

•   Former Bears do-it-all dude Cordarrelle Patterson as the top of fantasy waiver wire wish lists because OF COURSE. The Falcons (who employ former Bears coaches Dave Ragone and Charles London) were using Patterson last week the way Nagy should’ve used him while in Chicago. But instead of using him sparingly, Patterson has a carved role out as a change-of-pace back who can catch passes out wide and run the ball in open space. Ugh. This annoys me, especially since we were beating the drum for Chicago to re-sign him.

•   But I’ll say this — so far, so good when it comes to Damien Williams in that change-of-pace role:

•   Circling back to MNF, this behind the scenes stuff is cool:

•   As was story time with Pat McAfee:

•   I can’t wait until Week 8 comes around and NFL officials stop pretending like they’re changing the game for the better by enforcing these asinine taunting penalties:

•   When NFL GMs state they are searching the earth for talent, they’ll really mean it:

•   Over on the baseball side of things, executives still expect Javy Báez to cash in on a large free agent contract. And why not? Since living out the dreams of many by telling Mets fans to buzz off, Báez is slashing .382/.468/.662 with a .474 wOBA and 206 wRC+ in 79 plate appearances. Sure, some of that is driven by a wild as heck .467 BABIP. But that 10.1 percent walk rate while striking out at just a 22.8 percent clip is pretty dreamy, in its own right.

•   Go get ’em, JLIII:

•   #BestShapeOfHisLife alert:

written by

Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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