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Next Man Up, Garrett’s Graveyard, Ertz Flies to Cards, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

As a reminder, the BN Team is doing something cool and fun with a Bears-Packers hang at Nisei Lounge in Wrigleyville. Tell your friends, neighbors, crush … whomever. Come on down. I’m looking forward to having the shared fan experience for the NFL’s longest-standing rivalry.

•   If the Bears are going to upset the Packers, it’ll take the best efforts of a handful of players taking the “next man up” mantra to another level. Elijah Wilkinson is set to start at right tackle with Germain Ifedi on IR. Wilkinson has 45 games (26 starts) worth of experience under his belt. And while his best work has a been at guard in the past, he had some moments at right tackle last Sunday after Ifedi went down with his injury. This offensive line has really taken it on the chin in terms of getting hit by the injury bug. But injuries are unavoidable, which is why the team made upgrades from last year’s depth players. Remember, the Bears were starting a converted defensive lineman when their line was decimated by injuries last year. So having someone with experience is a modest upgrade.

•   With Damien Williams unavailable due to a positive COVID-19 test result and his subsequent placement on the Reserve/COVID list, Khalil Herbert now finds himself in the spotlight. The sixth-round pick from Virginia Tech could be the latest Day 3 RB find for a Bears front office that has a knack for unearthing late-round gems. For what it’s worth, Herbert had more rush attempts and yards than Williams last week. And yet, I’ll miss how Bill Lazor deployed a 1-2 punch the Raiders couldn’t hold down forever.

•   Here are some Herbert college highlights to hold you over ’til Sunday:

•   Doing to the Packers what they did to the Raiders was always going to be a tougher task. But the numbers do wonders to drive home the uphill battle. ESPN ranks the Packers as the 10th best run-stop win rate team and 11th in pass-rush win rate. In other words, good luck finding an exploitable weakness. Then again, the Packers defense ranks 20th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA. So … it’s not like the ’85 Bears are walking onto the field from the opposing sideline.

•   Hmm: Per Yahoo Fantasy Sports, the Packers are allowing the 13th most points to TEs, 14th most points to QBs, and 15th most points to RBs. Do with that information what you will.

•   Don’t let ’em butter you up!

•   But also, let the big dawgs eat!

•   He says it so matter-of-fact-ly:

•   On the one hand, the Bucs are impossibly tough to run on. But on the other hand, this is just absurd:

 

•   Episodes of Big Guys in a Benz don’t get much bigger than the 6-4, 328-pound monster known as Jason Raynard Peters:

•   If given another chance, I don’t think Peters would allow his QB to be in Myles Garrett’s QB graveyard:

•   One of the most unique stories you’ll come across this year is that of Bears beat reporter Adam Hoge, who is double-dipping as a special teams coach at Carmel Catholic High School:

•   Between covering the Bears, podcasting, and coaching up high schoolers, Hoge has a full plate. Much respect.

•   The Chargers got a real one in Brandon Staley:

•   A surprising football trade:

•   Who would’ve thought the TD pass Zach Ertz caught last night in Philly would be his last with the Eagles? Ertz hasn’t been able to match his prime years in Philly lately. But even still … Ertz is on pace for a 51-catch, 535-yard, 5 touchdown campaign in his age 31 season. Part of me was hoping the Bears could make a run at Ertz or Dallas Goeddert, as Philly was set on moving one of its two top tight ends. Instead, it’s a pass-happy Cardinals bunch landing the former Eagles standout. This now leaves Goeddert in line to get an extension in Philadelphia, or end up receiving the Franchise Tag this coming offseason. In other words, if you were hoping to poach Philly’s tight end abundance, look elsewhere.

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•   The Cardinals making it to three consecutive postseasons wasn’t good enough for Mike Shildt to keep his job…

•   … to which I say: If that organization can push that guy out the door in this manner, then I don’t see why the Bears couldn’t do something similar if the current regime doesn’t live up to the lofty expectations it set for itself. Let me be clear. I’m not shoving anyone out the door days before a Bears-Packers kickoff. However, if things aren’t looking like they should at the end of this 17-game season, I wouldn’t be against changes to take this thing from Point A to Point B. It’s one reason I found yesterday’s news nugget connecting Bills OC Brian Daboll and the Bears to be juicy.

•   While baseball is on the brain, that Dodgers-Giants NLDS was a wonderful series. One of MLB’s best rivalries featuring a stupendous elimination game was nearly a storybook finish until the ending made you cringe:

•   Has the preseason taught us anything?

•   This wouldn’t be the worst idea:

 



Author: Luis Medina

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