Ready For the Herbert Show? Second-Half D, Dancing With Daboll, and Other Bears Bullets

Yours truly has all sorts of football watching lined up for the weekend. But I have a bit of a hangup. I’m preparing to see my alma mater (Lane Tech) on Saturday, which will mark my first high school football game (as a fan and not a reporter) since 2003. And while I’d love to wear my school colors, I don’t have any myrtle green or gold. Heck, I don’t have much of anything that is green or yellow (for obvious reasons). What do I do? What can I wear?

Decisions, decisions…

  • The Chicago Bears have a shot at a 3-1 start to the 2022 season. Let that sink in for a moment. Keep in mind that the Bears lost 4 of 6 to end the 2021 season, so this has the chance to mark a refreshing turnaround compared to last year. At minimum, a 3-1 record to open up the first quarter of your first year could do wonders in helping establish a new regime’s foundation.
  • Of course, the Bears’ opponents — the New York Giants — are also aiming to go 3-1. There is more riding on this game than you might’ve otherwise been expecting:
  • A Bears win on Sunday has the potential to be a narrative shifter. Remember, the Bears had their choice of any number of GM-head coach combos before landing on Ryan Poles-Matt Eberflus. But before they did, Giants GM Joe Schoen and Head Coach Brian Daboll were among the Bears’ interview candidates. Daboll was a popular choice among fans (and I was among them) and analysts alike. But when Schoen (who was another intriguing candidate in his own right) took a second interview with New York and was hired shortly after it, then it felt obvious that Daboll would follow. Did the Bears miss out on a golden opportunity? This one game won’t give us the answer. But that won’t stop folks from taking that leap.
  • Through three games, Giants QB Daniel Jones has more TD (3) than INT (2), has completed a higher percentage of passes than Justin Fields (64.1% to 51.1%), and owns a better passer rating (82.7 vs. Fields’ 50.0). It’s just three games. And we’ve seen Jones stumble after starting off OK. But we’re in the midst of seeing some hard regression from Fields. So much so, I feel as if it is fair to ask if things would be different if Daboll was calling shots in Chicago. Don’t give me that look. I can almost guarantee this will be a point of conversation on Sunday, so I might as well prepare you for it now.
  • Notable! Jones is coming off a game in which he produced the following line: 20/37 (54.1%), 196 yards (5.3 yards/attempt), 0 TD, 1 INT. That Cowboys defense has some hard-hitting mothertruckers. They sacked Jones five times and hit him 12 more times. This Bears defense has some smash mouth mothercluckers of their own. Particularly with Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith in the front seven. Should the Bears jump out to an early lead and force the Giants into a passing mode, Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams better unleash Quinn, Trevis Gipson, and Dominique Robinson from the edges like it’s nobody’s business.
  • Maybe it’ll happen:
  • Here’s the thing: I don’t expect the Giants to be in passing mode. For starters, wideouts Wan’Dale Robinson (knee) and Ladarius Toney (hamstring) haven’t practiced this week. Additionally, their top returning starting receiver (Sterling Shepard) went on IR with a season-ending knee injury. From a personnel standpoint, New York might not have enough warm bodies in its receivers room to throw a bunch of passes. In other words, the Bears should be bracing for a fully healthy and operational Saquon Barkley out of the backfield.
  • Roquan is ready for the challenge:
  • Then again, the Giants — who just gave up 178 rushing yards on 28 carries to Ezekiel Elliott (15-73) and Tony Pollard (13-105) on Monday Night Football — better be ready for the Khalil Herbert show.
  • AHEM!
  • A lot is riding on this Bears defense. A fun fact from the Trib’s Dan Wiederer, who points out the Bears haven’t allowed a second-half touchdown yet. No second-half touchdowns in three games stands out when you remember that the Bears allowed three second-half touchdowns to a Vikings team playing out the string in the regular-season finale last year.
  • Moreover, this Bears “D” has allowed just four field goals in six quarters played in the second half in their first three games. That is impressive stuff on multiple counts. Firstly, the in-game adjustments to keep opponents out of the end zone is a nice touch. Secondly, it is a testament to the defensive coordinator for coaching up players after intermission. Keep in mind the Bears have been trailing at the half in each of their first two games. In previous years, it would’ve been just a matter of time before that second-half spiral came around.
  • It’s the football dork in me, but I love when teams bring in lefty punters on a tryout basis just to give their returners some prep work:
  • Hoping for some positive developments from the final injury report update of Week 4. That Thursday’s injury report was larger than Wednesday’s bugs me.
  • Kids these days know nothing about that pre-HD struggle:
  • The Bears caught strays on Thursday Night Football:
  • I was out with friends at dinner, so I didn’t see it live. But holy moly this league allowing Tua Tagovailoa to take these types of hits twice in the span of five days is problematic as heck:
  • And, yes, I know football is hard-hitting by nature. But it doesn’t feel right to see this play out as it did over the last five days. It’s been a rough year for the Dolphins handling situations. Whether it’s Brian Flores’ allegations, Stephen Ross’ issues, the Tom Brady drama, and now THIS? With your QB1? C’mon man. Get it together.
  • I expect to see a handful of posts like this one in the coming days in the wake of the Tua situation:
  • Are you watching Sunday morning football? Bless your heart if you’ve got it in you to watch Kirk Cousins the Vikings go up against the Saints at 8:30 a.m. CT on NFL Network. But if you are, then it might be worth knowing that New Orleans WR Michael Thomas is OUT and Jameis Winston is listed as doubtful. Which leaves Andy Dalton as the Saints’ likely QB1. Again … why are you going to lose out on precious hours of sleep to watch this?
  • You can really tell which teams DeMar DeRozan had beef with based on box scores because there is nothing like NBA petty:
  • Some love for Blackhawks prospect Landon Slaggert:
  • I didn’t think the Carlos Correa-Twins situation would be a long-term thing, but the all-star shortstop isn’t being subtle about what he wants out of his next trip to free agency:
  • written by

    Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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