Once in a while, I need the reminder that I’m a mere mortal. My preference would be for that reminder to come without me needing to have a 12-hour NyQuil-induced nap. But the road to recovery has a lane open. Thank goodness.
• An ominous start to this set of Bullets:
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 19, 2021
• One thing a team doesn’t want to be is the squad that others get healthy against. And ESPN’s Mike Clay paints a picture suggesting the Ravens could feast on the Bears, primarily through the air. Maybe this will serve as some nice bulletin board material that inspires defenders to take their game to another level. The numbers are what they are, and I can’t argue against them. However, what data can’t encapsulate is the human will and the drive to be better than expectations. No doubt the Bears have a mountain to climb. But maybe the bye week, a clean slate, and external motivational factors will play a role in a surprise performance. It’s the NFL, stuff like that happens on a weekly basis.
• I guess things could be worse:
Since 28-3, the Patriots have outscored the Falcons 79-7.
OK. I'm done now.
— Jeff Schultz (@JeffSchultzATL) November 19, 2021
• Hey, now! Baltimore is coming off a game in which it scored just 10 points against the Dolphins. I’m going to type this out slowly to really drive it home. Ten points. Against the Dolphins. Yes, I realize it was a short week. And the Ravens are a little banged up here and there. But it just goes to show you that anything can happen in any given football week. This is what the NFL strives for — a type of parity that keeps fans involved no matter the records or trends. And, frankly, the unexpected is one of the reasons we watch in the first place. The NFL is the best reality show going. Bar none. And, yes, that includes The Bachelor.
• Admittedly, having Justin Fields in your corner allow you to dream the biggest dreams. Moreover, Fields’ recent play hints that he could be the type of player who wins the types of games teams aren’t expected to be in. It’s possible the most recent flashes are driving folks to hint at some regret in passing on Fields. But Mike Florio takes it a step further, via 670 The Score:
“Urban Meyer was at Ohio State. Justin Fields was at Ohio State. I think that the benefit of seeing what Justin Fields can do at the NFL level would have been enough to get Urban Meyer to pivot back to Justin Fields. Having that half of a season of laboratory experimenting to see what Fields is on the verge of becoming, I think that would be enough to get Meyer to say, ‘I want my Ohio State guy.'”
• Ahead of the draft, I found myself wondering if Urban Meyer would pull at his Ohio State ties and team up with Fields. But Trevor Lawrence was held in such high regard, I couldn’t even bring myself to share that thought publicly. Let’s face it. Former Ohio State coach drafts former Buckeyes quarterback is the stuff of fantasy football fan-fiction. Then again, we’re seeing what Kliff Kingsbury is doing with Kyler Murray, a QB he recruited as a college coach, and maybe that’s something that could work moving forward. The idea of marrying college concepts with pro schemes and the possibility of easing that transition with a certain coach could be something that trends in the NFL in the coming years. It’ll need to be the right coach-quarterback combo. But it’s probably worth exploring.
• Justin Fields’ teammates sure seem to love having Justin Fields on their side:
Tashaun Gipson says "that's huge" to have a QB like Justin Fields:
"As long as we give him the ball back, we know that good things are gonna happen and that was just one of those things where I just felt confident that whole drive (vs PIT) that No. 1 was gonna make a play."
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) November 17, 2021
• Chicago’s football team is reportedly on the verge of signing Bruce Irvin, a pass-rusher who happens to be friendly with Khalil Mack (whose presence is greatly missed while he has been out with an injury). It’s not officially official just yet, but that won’t stop me from sharing some highlights.
• I feel like this is a fair guess:
Guessing we don't see Khalil Mack until Week 13 at the earliest.
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) November 18, 2021
• A Week 13 return puts Mack back for the Bears’ Dec. 5 game against the Cardinals. It will have given him 41 days of rest for his injured foot and will have cost him just four games. Don’t get me wrong. Four games without Khalil Mack is no fun. We’ve seen how teams have been attacking without having to worry about Mack wrecking opposing ball carriers and quarterbacks. But considering this was an injury that was bad enough to put the brakes on, getting Mack back in the fold for any games is better than the alternative. We’ll keep an eye on this situation.
• With Matt Nagy’s future being clear as mud, we recently took the opportunity to explore some possible future head-coaching candidates. Among them was Kellen Moore, the Cowboys offensive coordinator whose stock is rising with good reason:
Kellen Moore is employing the same philosophy that turned him into one of the best QBs in NCAA history, and it's driving the Cowboys to the top of the NFC.
I wrote about Dallas' anti-system offense and how it harkens back to Moore's days at Boise State.https://t.co/6ZnsVmnneY
— Steven Ruiz (@theStevenRuiz) November 18, 2021
• This might be the run of the year in college football:
Malik Cunningham to the HOUSE!pic.twitter.com/PuZgzzAdJK
— Stadium (@Stadium) November 19, 2021
• For your listening pleasure:
This week on @FiresideBears, we breakdown:
➡️What the rest of 2021 holds for the #Bears
➡️Can the defense bounceback?
➡️What Justin Fields strong play could mean for Matt Nagy's future
— Usayd Koshul (@usaydkoshul) November 18, 2021
• Lanterns, water filters, pants, and more are your Early Black Friday Deals at Amazon. #ad
• One look at this weekend’s temperatures makes me think it’s a good time to make my friend Jim’s beef short rib chili recipe.
• Alex DeBrincat does that hockey quite well:
If You Didn’t Know, Now You Do: Alex DeBrincat is a Superstarhttps://t.co/TdWQiMCOjw
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) November 18, 2021
• The G-League is a treasure trove of underrated highlights:
Devon Dotson Threw Down an Absolutely Ridiculous Dunk in the G-Leaguehttps://t.co/dXQw0nAjM5
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) November 18, 2021
• Narciso Crook is a great baseball name:
If you missed it, the Cubs did sign a player today! https://t.co/DnvTve0vSC
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) November 19, 2021