Avoiding the Packer Trap, Switching it up for Fields, How Was Your TNF Experience? And Other Bears Bullets

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Avoiding the Packer Trap, Switching it up for Fields, How Was Your TNF Experience? And Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

A weekend of watching football in Evanston (Ill.) and Green Bay (Wis.) should be a treat. It’s just that I have to make it through Friday first.

  • There are few broadcasters I enjoy more than Mitch Holthus, whose calls of SIU wins during Arch Madness in St. Louis back when I was in college were iconic. You’ll want the sound on for this game-changing pick-six:
  • Alternatively: How did you like the Amazon Prime Video coverage of Thursday Night Football? In addition to the game being good, I thought all the bells and whistles were good. This might already be the best all-around football broadcast the NFL has going. The only mixed reviews at this point were in picture quality. I saw plenty of opinions from both sides. From where I was at home, it made me realize that I should probably upgrade my television set. But I’m just not ready to do so, even if football in 4K is elite.
  • That QB matchup was pretty much everything we were looking for, right?
    • Patrick Mahomes: 24/35, 245 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT, 106.2 rating
    • Justin Herbert: 33/48, 334 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT, 100.5 rating
  • Herbert didn’t speak to the media after TNF while dealing with injured ribs. Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley says Herbert is “OK” and isn’t expecting the injury to be a problem moving forward, via The Athletic’s Daniel Popper. Meanwhile, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reports Herbert is getting more tests today:
  • Here’s hoping the Bears offensive line is up to the task this week. The last thing we want to see is Fields dealing with a Herbert type of injury issue in primetime on Sunday Night Football. I still marvel at how adequately the offensive line played in Week 1 against the 49ers. Maybe I set the bar too low for this group. It’s not like I haven’t seen a path to respectability. But line play improvements from one year to the next just have to be seen with the eyes.
  • Small sample size being what it is, I like this year-to-year change from Matt Nagy’s offense play-calling to the stylings of Luke Getsy:

“Fields really shined in play action when you look at the big time throw rate compared to turnover worthy plays. He was one of the best QBs in the NFL in both marks, which is what you want to see. While turnover worthy plays in general see an uptick on play action passes, Fields’ fell dramatically, indicating how much more comfortable he was in these settings.”

  • This feels like a good place to share some Fields numbers I find interesting from the 13-game sample we have to work with:
    • Play action (29/53, 486 yds, 9.2 Y/A, 3 TD, 0 INT, 104.8 rating) vs. non-play action (138/234, 2,505 yds, 6.4 Y/A, 6 TD, 11 INT, 67.0 rating)
    • Under center (29/55, 421 yds, 7.7 Y/A, 3 TD, 0 INT, 96.1 rating) vs. shotgun (138/232, 1,570 yds, 6.8 Y/A 6 TD, 11 INT, 68.7 rating)
  • I can’t see into the future, nor do I have a crystal ball that can help me with that. But after seeing Getsy veer away from the shotgun after things were looking clunky early, I feel as if we’ll see more under center stuff *AND* more play action looks as we move along this season. And, frankly, that is a massive improvement over how Fields was handled last year.
  • A Bears offensive play-caller taking accountability is refreshing after what we had been dealing with in recent years:
  • Both Bears coordinators (Luke Getsy via the Sun-Times and Alan Williams via 670 The Score) were throwing out the warning to not fall into the Week 2 post-loss Packers trap. But let’s keep it real. If ever there was a time to strike Aaron Rodgers and his gang of merry men, it’s this week. We’re still early in the season, the pieces haven’t fully gelled yet, there is still part of the ironing out process that needs to occur, and the Bears are hungry as heck. This is beginning to remind me of the lead-up to the Bears-Bucs game in 2020. Remember how the chatter before that one was that the Bears hadn’t ever beaten Tom Brady? Then you might remember how getting Brady (1) on the road, (2) in a short-week turnaround situation, (3) while still working out some new guy kinks, and (4) after a closely fought game was seen as the best chance this franchise had to knock off Brady. Having GOAT-slayer Nick Foles helped matters, too. And so did old-man memory fog. History has a weird way of repeating itself. Just throwing it out there.
  • For your listening pleasure as you gear up for Week 2:
  • Who knew Matt Eberflus had an eye for fashion?
  • The Bears are one of those 1-0 teams that still has doubters. And until this team rolls off a string of wins, they’ll still be around. But this, from NFL analyst/former player Bart Scott is over the top:
  • I’d expect better from a Southern Illinois University Carbondale product. But maybe that’s just me and my high expectations of people from my alma mater.
  • WAIT … If the Bears “are barely a professional football team” … then what are the 49ers?
  • I’m looking forward to seeing what overlapping MNF coverage looks like for ESPN:
  • Make a slap shot first pitch part of the MLB All-Star Game skills competition and just watch the ratings go through the roof:
  • If I could have any Michael Jordan jersey (and money is no issue), I’d buy a game-worn black-with-red-pinstripes one. MJ didn’t love the black ones, but maybe Mike would just give it away instead of having me go through the loop of buying it in auction. I’m definitely not going THIS far for one, though:
  • Weird things happen when the Cubs and Rockies hook up at Wrigley. Consider this fair warning:

Author: Luis Medina

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