All right, Packers Week is behind us, but before we move on to Week 3, I have a few final thoughts from my final rewatch of the Sunday Night Football clunker at Lambeau Field.
Trevis Gipson Didn’t Keep His Promise, But He Sure Impressed
I said last week that while the vibes were good heading into Packers week, I wouldn’t go as far as Trevis Gipson did and guarantee a victory at Lambeau Field. That’s because I’ve been watching this team a lot longer than Gipson, and I know better, although I won’t knock him for the fire.
Gipson was quoted last week saying that the Bears were going to beat Green Bay, and went as far as saying that Matt Eberflus told the team that they were better than the Packers.
“We gonna win. You’ve got my word.” Gipson said to reporters. “Our coach told us this morning – we’re better than they are.”
Well, they didn’t. But Gipson had himself a pretty darn good game against the Packers. Gipson got to Aaron Rodgers for two sacks and logged four pressures (including the two sacks, a hurry, and a hit) in the losing effort, good for an 80.1 pass rush grade on PFF.
Gipson’s 75.5 pass-rushing grade is 19th in the NFL among edge rushers this season and tops on the Bears. Hopefully, the Bears can find a way to get him some more snaps on pass rush downs. We’ve seen Gipson successfully rush the quarterback from the outside and inside through the season’s first two games.
Missing Person Reports
We’re nearing the point where we might have to file missing person reports with the Chicago Police Department regarding Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet. Mooney and Kmet were expected to be Justin Fields’ top two targets this season. Instead, the two have combined for seven targets, two catches, four yards, and zero touchdowns.
Mooney owns five of those targets, both catches, and the whole four yards that the two have combined for. Coming off a 1,055-yard season in which he was targeted 140 times, Mooney has got to become a bigger part of the game plan for the Bears.
While it would be nice to see Kmet get more involved, it would also be nice to see him catch the ball when his number does get called.
Also, maybe make a block…
Matt Eberflus said on Monday that the Bears want to target players that can create big plays for the offense in multiple ways, and that includes getting Mooney and Kmet more involved:
“In the passing game, let’s highlight our skill,” Eberflus said Monday. “Let’s feed the guys that have skill that can take a short throw and turn it into a big gain, that can go downtown. And we have a good deep ball thrower, so we should utilize that too. And we’re going to look at all aspects of that.”
That sounds like a perfect job for the tandem of Mooney and Kmet, but I suppose we’ll see if that rings true moving forward.
Jaylon Johnson has been that kid standing against the wall at recess through the first two weeks. But not because he’s the stinky kid in class. It’s more like no one want’s to play with him because he’s the class bully.
No one wants to throw the ball to Johnson’s side of the field because they’re scared of him making a play.
Rodgers and the Packers didn’t throw the ball to Johnson’s side of the field once on Sunday night; instead, they picked on rookie cornerback Kyler Gordon and Kindle Vildor all night. The strategy worked as Rodgers completed 19-of-25 passes for 234 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Green Bay victory.
But that’s Aaron Rodgers. Will Davis Mills look Johnson’s way this week? I hope so.
Lowly Texans are a Perfect Opponent to Open Things Up Against
With another Packers week clunker in the rearview mirror, the Bears have a golden opportunity to open up the playbook against the Houston Texans this weekend.
Justin Fields has to throw the ball more this week, plain and simple. Like I said in this week’s Fields Film, I understand the logic that the Bears wanted to lean on the part of their offense that they’re comfortable with in their first visit to Green Bay. I don’t agree with it, but I understand it.
But you’re not going to get a better shot at seeing what Justin Fields and the passing game could look like this season than the Bears will have this weekend against the Texans. Luke Getsy has to put the ball in his second-year quarterback’s hands and let him be a quarterback this week.
The Texans are ranked 19th in the NFL when it comes to coverage grades on PFF and rank 26th in passing yards allowed (571) through two weeks. Houston’s secondary is allowing opposing receivers a 62.2 percent catch rate and giving up 14.2 yards per reception.
Rookie Derrick Stingley Jr. has been getting torched through the first two weeks:
- Week 1 (vs. IND): six catches allowed, 66.7% catch rate, 81 yards allowed
- Week 2 (vs. DEN): six catches allowed, 60.0% catch rate, 87 yards allowed
The ball better be flying at Soldier Field this week, or the Bears coaching staff is doing their second-year quarterback a major disservice.