I’m trying to do better for myself by cooking more at home and using what I’ve got at my disposal. And while I was stumbling across my friend Jim’s cooking site, I found myself thinking this creamy chicken noodle soup recipe might be what I’ve been seeking.
• After beating the Saints last night, FiveThirtyEight’s calculations have the Dallas Cowboys as a mortal lock at 96 percent to make the playoffs. One reason they’ll make the cut is because of an explosive offense. To that end, I’d like to take a moment to highlight a free-agent-to-be from that class:
Michael Gallup is just 25, has a 1,000-yard season under his belt and is scheduled to be a free agent in March.
If he hits the open market, some team is going to get a major baller. pic.twitter.com/6g47yKNQCy
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) December 3, 2021
• Michael Gallup should ABSOLUTELY be on the Chicago Bears’ radar this offseason. There are some real pre-2018 Allen Robinson free agency vibes here. Like Robinson, Gallup has a 1,000-yard receiving season under his belt. Gallup’s 1,100-yard campaign was just two seasons ago. And just as it would’ve made sense for the Jaguars to retain Robinson, it makes sense for the Cowboys to keep Gallup. But between salary cap considerations and depth elsewhere at the position, perhaps Gallup is the odd-man out. Gallup will play in his age 26 season in 2022, and has the ability to make the type of explosive plays we see above. Just putting it out there now — the fit makes too much sense.
• Teaming Gallup and Darnell Mooney would make for a nice, young tandem for Justin Fields to throw to moving forward. Cam Ellis (670 The Score) breaks down what to make of the second-year receiver’s season. This final month will be crucial for Mooney, who should be looking to prove he is worthy of WR1 status moving forward. At minimum, this makes for a great time to build a rapport with Fields while further establishing himself as a weapon to build around.
• Put some respect on his name:
Darnell Mooney was the 25th wide receiver picked in the 2020 draft. He ranks fourth in his class in catches (107), fifth in yards (1,325) and seventh in TD catches (7).
— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) December 3, 2021
• The Bears have needs at receiver. As of right now, Mooney is the only wideout on their roster under contract for 2022. They also figure to have salary cap wiggle room, with OverTheCap pointing out the team has $44,160,664 in estimated salary cap space in 2022. And considering how the team projects to have just five draft picks, the one area Chicago should be active in is free agency when it comes to wide receiver. Gallup checks boxes. And while we don’t know who will be calling the shots this offseason, we do know the Bears’ need at receiver isn’t going away.
• FWIW: PFF’s Brad Spielberger guesstimates Gallup could get a Corey Davis type deal, something in the three-year, $37.5 million range. And at that price, the Bears should be standing outside of Gallup’s house with a boombox over their head when the legal tampering period of free agency opens in March.
• On the other side of Thursday’s ledger, FiveThirtyEight has the Saints’ playoff odds down to 11 percent. Not quite in Bears territory just yet, but the Saints are teetering and on the cusp of joining six NFC teams with less than 10% chance of making the postseason.
• As Bears fans, we know bad quarterbacking when we see it. But we’ve never seen it this bad:
Taysom Hill Rushing & Passing Charts 📊
🔹 The Good: +53 rushing yards over expected (career-high)
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) December 3, 2021
• Trevon Diggs caught one of the four interceptions Taysom Hill threw last night. Unfortunately, this reminds me that the Bears could’ve drafted both Diggs and Jaylon Johnson in the same draft class. I’m sure the Cole Kmet pick will turn out fine. After all, Kmet is looking like he is growing into the position. But the opportunity to lock down both sides of the field with high-caliber cornerback prospect was right there for the taking. And it stings more with Chicago’s cornerback situation looking like it is right now.
• Speaking of second-round picks, we’re on Teven Jenkins PUP watch:
Have to figure the #Bears will move 2nd round pick Teven Jenkins from PUP to the 53-man roster today or tomorrow. The 3-week window to evaluate him in practice concludes this week. Probably a decent chance he is active for Sunday's game vs #Cardinals.
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) December 3, 2021
• Keep in mind the Bears have until Monday to decide whether to bring Jenkins onto the active roster, or leave him on IR. If Jenkins remains on IR, it will also close his practice window. Perhaps the most prudent thing to do is bring him off IR, while keeping him active and practicing — even if his on-field return is no guarantee. There is value in practice reps, after all.
• A rib injury is keeping QB1’s status up-in-the-air, but these are encouraging(ish) words from OC Bill Lazor:
Bill Lazor on Justin Fields' Wed. practice:
"I didn’t know what it would look like. And I felt pretty good with what I saw. But none of us know how it feels. We’ve all had back, side, core injuries and sometimes sneezing hurts. But I agree, he moved well."
— Dan Wiederer (@danwiederer) December 2, 2021
• The Bears will be wearing their orange tops this Sunday against the Cardinals. And while I’m still miffed they didn’t wear these ON HALLOWEEN, I’ll always think happy thoughts when I see them because of this:
One of our all-time favorite orange jersey moments. 🙌 #TBT
(via @nflthrowback) pic.twitter.com/AZtKJhdohv
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 2, 2021
• “The buck does stop with me,” says Browns Head Coach Kevin Stefanski, who reportedly has a no plans to give up play-calling duties to his offensive coordinator. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
• Football guy quote of the year candidate:
Keenan Allen on if Herbert throws too hard: "If he throws it too hard, go out there and turn the JUGS machine up and get ready to catch the fastball. He throwing the ball to you, you better catch it. Shit. I want the ball. Throw that motherfucker however you wanna throw it."
— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) December 1, 2021
• Storytime with former Bears Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano:
"I woke up & had 3 missed calls from @JimIrsay.. I'm going OH SHIT I blew this getting drunk on a bottle of wine.. luckily he called me the next day & offered me the job" ~Chuck Pagano#PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/vf9LaFUkco
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) December 1, 2021
• Love reading things like this where Bears players (or in Olin Kreutz’s case, former players) reach out to young up-and-comers:
A parent from the other team wanted to meet Alex Knaperek after LW East lost to Loyola. It was none other than Olin Kreutz. – Chicago Tribune @LWEastAthletics @LWEastFootball @LAFootballAC @EDGYTIM @DeepDishFB https://t.co/dQpaTHFbT0
— Jeff Vorva (@JeffVorva) December 2, 2021
• Kitchen appliances, pajamas, action figures and toys, and more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon. #ad
• Even though a lockout is in progress, the MLB rumor mill keeps churning:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) December 2, 2021