My friend Jim’s Air Fried Chicken Taquitos recipe seems perfect for the first weekend of October. It’s equal parts easy and delicious. What else could you ask for?
• Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell said (via Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press) he thinks “you’re going to see a lot more” of running back D’Andre Swift. And here I am thinking that kind of thing was kept under wraps because of “scheme” or for game-planning purposes. A coach coming out and telling the media that he plans to use a skill-position player is unheard of in these parts. Swift has just 123 rushing yards on 33 carries to go along with two total touchdowns. But if you let Campbell tell the story, more is coming.
• If it was up to me, Campbell wouldn’t be the only coach who saw more of their top running back option on Sunday:
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) October 1, 2021
• Montgomery was at his best against NFC North foes in 2020, averaging 4.78 yards per carry. Let’s put that in perspective. Over the course of a full 17-game season workload, a 4.78-yard per-carry average would come out to a 1,254-yard rushing season. Want to do right by Justin Fields? Get Montgomery involved early and often. Power runs. Draws. Screen passes. Texas routes. All of it.
• The Lions game up a 104-yard rushing game to Elijah Mitchell in Week 1. Then came back a week later to see Aaron Jones score four total touchdowns against Detroit in Week 2 on Monday Night Football. Sure, the Lions held the Ravens rushing game in check. But that is no reason not to give Montgomery 20 touches (minimum) on Sunday.
• Maybe this could be a get-healthy weekend for Allen Robinson II and Darnell Mooney. Deebo Samuel went OFF for 9-189-1 in Week 1. A week later, Davante Adams put up 8-121, but didn’t score. At the tight end spot, George Kittle (4-78), Robert Tonyan (3-52-1), and Mark Andrews (5-109) did some things Chicago should try and emulate. The Ravens offense was pretty quiet against Detroit, but that doesn’t mean the Bears need to follow suit.
• There are times when self-awareness just isn’t Matt Nagy’s thing. Good thing Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor gets it. “The players have to take a look in the mirror, ‘OK, this is what I put on film. So be ready,'” Lazor said during his Thursday media availability, via the Tribune’s Colleen Kane. “And then as an offense, we have to make sure, ‘OK, this is what they’re going to see.’ Usually, even if you solve the problem the next week, it’s going to last a couple weeks … because people are going to be watching that film for a couple weeks. … The last game of the season people might still look at that number of sacks and go back. So we better solve it.” Sounds like Lazor is getting down to the “why’s” of the matter. It’s a decent starting point.
• On the other side of the ball, keep bringing this energy:
• The Bears have some sneaky good defensive pieces still rocking and rolling. Keep them healthy, and that unit has a fighting chance.
• Ah, yes. Health. It is encouraging to see “full” next to Eddie Goldman’s name on the injury report. Double up with another one today and Bears fans should feel good about the big nose tackle making his 2021 debut on Sunday at Soldier Field. Same with Justin Fields, whose throwing hand is at the center of his injury report status. Sunday could mark Fields’ first regular-season start at Soldier Field if he gets a clean bill of health. More from the injury report here.
• Admittedly, I have a long way to go before I embrace the Bears’ pending move to Arlington Heights. But in the meantime, I enjoy answering these types of questions:
As for the naming rights situation, i'm not familiar with Lou's financials. But I imagine everyone is gonna want a piece of that.
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) October 1, 2021
• Do you think Allen Robinson II saw the Bears make a $197 million expenditure, then called GM Ryan Pace asking “Where’s mine?” I’m half joking, as I understand we’re talking about two different budget pools. But it would be only human to see those headlines and wonder “where’s mine?” Heck, I thought about it and I’m not even up for an extension from the Bears.
• OK, I laughed:
Bears Twitter if we lose to the Lions pic.twitter.com/DN0dCp5m25
— MikeyBets (@RealMikeyBets) September 30, 2021
• Louis Riddick needs to forward the memo to Matt Nagy before it’s too late:
What Kyle is doing with Trey Lance is exactly what Chicago should have been/intended on doing for Justin Fields…before Dalton got injured.
— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) September 30, 2021
• The Bears’ Lauren Screeden interviews Chris Witaske, who turns out to be the brainpower behind the Chicago Party Aunt Twitter account/Netflix comedy:
• I think we all knew @ChiPartyAunt wasn’t someone in the city’s out-of-pocket auntie. But I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t some born-and-bred Chicagoaan with a sense of humor and way too much time on their hands.
• For Joe Burrow’s sake, I’m glad he went bonkers in the second half and the Bengals won. Because had they lost to the Jaguars, the football world would be talking about this ad nauseam:
I'm not sure what's more ridiculous, the fact that nobody covered Auden Tate or that Burrow didn't audible out of the play and just throw it to him pic.twitter.com/9OgjNMBD9d
— Jeremy Layton (@JeremyLayt0n) October 1, 2021
• Gosh, I bet this must feel nice:
Watching Green Bay's OL against SF and becoming more and more convinced that Brian Gutekunst is one of the best OL evaluators in the game. Just amazing how well they've identified talent up front and for so long now too.
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) September 30, 2021
• Hope springs eternal:
So far my hypothesis stands …https://t.co/NxQ1Slzowt
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) September 30, 2021
• The Blackhawks play hockey TONIGHT. In the meantime, Mario comes through with a look-ahead to hockey goodness:
Division winners, Award winners, Stanley Cup predictions and more!!https://t.co/l1oo963epE
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) October 1, 2021