The Road to 3-1, Cole is Hungry, Giant Problems, Mac and Dak, Rihanna's Turn, and Other Bears Bullets

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The Road to 3-1, Cole is Hungry, Giant Problems, Mac and Dak, Rihanna’s Turn, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

How about some highlights from the Bears’ Week 3 win to get your juices flowing?

It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but they all count in the record books just the same. And re-watching that clip was more exciting that most of last night’s MNF snooze fest featuring the Giants and Cowboys.

More on that as Bullets gets underway…

  • OK, so the last two primetime games in Week 3 were clunkers. That’s a tough way to end your football week, but at least the Cowboys’ 23-16 win against the Giants it gave us some clarity in evaluating a pair of future Bears opponents. There is no great analytical takeaway beyond: “The Bears could totally beat either of these teams, as currently constituted.” Maybe the Cowboys and Giants feel that way about the Bears. Who gives a diddle? The Bears have already shown they can win games that are played in the muck — both literally (Week 1) and figuratively (Week 3). Who’s up for another taffy pull that results in a Bears win? I know I’m down to clown.
  • Part of me was *REALLY* hoping this would turn into some sort of kerfuffle…
  • … Not because I’m promoting postgame violence. Or rooting for someone to do something stupid enough to catch a suspension. But if the Giants — who are already operating on a short week — want to tucker themselves out with a late-night tussle then who am I to stop them? Boys will be boys, after all.
  • On the field, Giants QB Daniel Jones got roughed up. And I hope Matt Eberflus, Alan Williams, and the rest of Chicago’s defensive coaching staff was taking notes. Jones took five sacks and 12 QB Hits against the Cowboys. At some point, ESPN flashed a graphic that Jones had been pressured 21 times. If ever there was a time for Robert Quinn to eat, it would be Sunday against the Giants. Perhaps Justin Jones can flash again as a 3-technique defensive tackle. Maybe Al-Quadin Muhammad can break out of his early season funk. It could be a time to get pass-rushers such as Dominique Robinson and Trevis Gipson more game reps. I’m just saying, the opportunities will be presenting themselves on game day. And I hope the Bears are ready for them.
  • Is it too late to change time slots?
  • Either the Bears or Giants will be 3-1 after Sunday’s game. And it blows my mind.
  • Keep bringing this energy, Cole:
  • Sometimes, it is OK to be a little selfish. What one person might call “selfish” another would frame as “hungry.” Go get ’em!
  • Jerry Azumah has the right idea in putting his mind on the positives:
  • At some point you have to believe that Teven Jenkins is part of the “right combo” of offensive linemen. Especially when he is clearing the way with blocks like the one seen below:
  • Despite Jenkins’ stellar work here, Head Coach Matt Eberflus Jenkins gets better during Wednesday practices in order to get a large piece of the playing time pie:
  • I feel awful for Sterling Shepard, the Giants receiver who went down with a non-contact injury on his team’s final offensive snap:
  • If you thought the Soldier Field turf was a mess, just know that it isn’t the only stadium taking guff for its grass. There are several recent articles bemoaning the state of the green stuff at MetLife Stadium (which is only 12 years old). One prominent piece from Dan Benton (GiantsWire) in October 2020 highlighted NFLPA President JC Tretter calling for the Giants and Jets to lay down natural grass at MetLife. And even has some data to back his request. From the NFLPA’s site:

The data supports the anecdotes you’ll hear from me and other players: artificial turf is significantly harder on the body than grass. Based on NFL injury data collected from 2012 to 2018, not only was the contact injury rate for lower extremities higher during practices and games held on artificial turf, NFL players consistently experienced a much higher rate of non-contact lower extremity injuries on turf compared to natural surfaces. Specifically, players have a 28% higher rate of non-contact lower extremity injuries when playing on artificial turf. Of those non-contact injuries, players have a 32% higher rate of non-contact knee injuries on turf and a staggering 69% higher rate of non-contact foot/ankle injuries on turf compared to grass.

  • When the Bears spend gobs of money on the Arlington Heights Stadium To Be Named Later, they better not cut corners on something like the literal playing field. Spare no expense to make it the best of the best. Otherwise, why bother?
  • If Sterling’s injury issue is a long-term problem, then I think we might hear the end of Kenny Golladay trade rumors. Golladay had a chance to make a strong impression in primetime just hours after NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport began floating the disgruntled receiver’s name as a possible trade candidate. Instead, this happened:
  • Seriously. Golladay’s play was giving off “oh, THAT is why this guy is on the trade block” vibes. Golladay didn’t haul in any of his three targets and didn’t come close to passing the eye test. At this rate, the Giants will have to send picks (not to mention cash to cover salary) in order to dump Golladay.
  • Assuming New York can’t pawn Golladay off on some other team before the Nov. 1 trade deadline, I imagine the next big date the Giants are circling on the calendar is June 1, 2023. As in, the Giants can create $13.5 million in cap space by designating Golladay as a post-June 1 cut. It would come at the cost of $7.9 million in dead money. But the juice might be worth the squeeze to cut bait on a receiver who simply isn’t working out in the Big Apple.
  • With all that being said, part of me still has a teeny bit of interest in Golladay. But only if Bears WRs Coach Tyke Tolbert — who was with the Giants in that capacity last season — were to give it the green light. This isn’t me saying that a position coach should be making a call that should be left up to the GM. But what I am saying is that if his former position coach wouldn’t sign off on it, then that should probably be the end of conversation.
  • Today marks an important date on the NFL calendar, as ESPN’s Field Yates notes the waiver wire is now reflective of team records. Prior to this week, waiver order was determined by last year’s record. And for the Bears, that was good news because they had a prime spot in the top-10. But as of now, thanks to their 2-1 start, they’re in the 20th waiver spot. Not ideal for waiver claims. But would you rather be where the Raiders are at 0-3?
  • No, CeeDee Lamb isn’t on the block. Not even after this drop:
  • Lamb figures to be in Dallas for a long time because he makes catches like this:
  • Am I willing to go out on a limb and predict the Bears will swing a deadline deal for a receiver? No. I’m not that bold. And based on my wagering picks, predictions really shouldn’t be in my wheelhouse until I start stacking some wins. HOWEVA, I don’t think a pre-deadline deal is as far-fetched as some (i.e. someone who disagree with the premise of the Bears making a trade) might believe. The Bears (Jakeem Grant Sr.), Panthers (Stephon Gilmore), Broncos (Stephen Weatherly, Kenny Young), and Jets (Joe Flacco) were among teams acquiring players last year for late-round/conditional/undisclosed draft picks. What do all those teams have in common? None of them were playoff contenders. So … yeah, sometimes teams are able to finagle an acquisition just to give a player a trial run without giving up much in the process.
  • A worthwhile comp that we should keep in the back of our minds: The Chiefs traded offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif to the Jets for tight end Daniel Brown (yes, that one!). After cutting this deal, the Jets had Duvernay-Tardif starting in seven of eight appearances for the team. The relevance to the Bears? In addition to GM Ryan Poles being in the Chiefs building when the deal went down, it also gives us a data point highlighting that a rebuilding team can acquire a short-term bridge during the season. Again. This isn’t some far-out idea that hasn’t happened. Now, that doesn’t make it likely for the Bears. But it is important to know your options ahead of the trade deadline, which is now 35 days away.
  • Before the Bears scour the trade market, they should probably check in on free agents. David Kenyon (Bleacher Report) pulls up with a list of free agents who could conceivably lend a helping hand. None of the players are deemed fits for the Bears. That isn’t unsurprising, as most of the team fits for this collection of players happen to be among the preseason Super Bowl favorites. But maybe that ends up driving the Bears toward the trade market. Let’s face it. It’s not as if a team can force a free agent to sign just because it is interested. Free agent contracts are a two-way street.
  • One future Bears opponent might be playing without its starting QB, as Mac Jones’ high-ankle sprain could keep him out for a bit:
  • Meanwhile, Dak Prescott might be back sooner than we might’ve previously been expecting:
  • Either that, or Dak is really good at gamesmanship.
  • Almost lost in the shuffle of the Bears’ Sunday madness was the NFL announcing Rihanna as its Super Bowl halftime show main act (sorry, fellow Swifties):
  • Rihanna is a certified hit-maker. She is one of the best-selling music artists of all-time with nine Grammys, 12 Billboard Music Awards, 13 American Music Awards, and 14 No. 1 singles to her name. Throw in her known musical collaborators (Jay-Z, Kanye West, Shakira, Maroon 5, Drake, T.I., Calvin Harris, etc.) and we could be in store for a star-studded event. And it is one I’m not going to complain about.
  • I did a doubt-take because I thought Brett was doing a Bears post:
  • Even though the Bulls aren’t quite back at 100 percent, Zach LaVine is — and that is important as heck:
  • The Blackhawks play hockey tonight! What better time than a quick prospects thread?

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Author: Luis Medina

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