It wasn’t as captivating as when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were gunning for the MLB home run record in 1998, but it doesn’t mean following Aaron Judge’s pursuit of the American League mark wasn’t fun.
The wait is over:
Today is the final day of MLB’s regular season. The new-look playoffs with expanded wild card rounds should be interesting. But it would be more interesting if the Cardinals weren’t a part of the action. Just my .02.
- Yesterday, we discussed some Chicago Bears options they should consider if they decide to shuffle the offensive line. And while we know the offensive line isn’t the only point of concern, seeing these numbers should make fixing the line the top priority from a personnel standpoint:
- Chicago’s offense is in a league of its own in all the worst ways.
- There isn’t an in-season cure-all for what ails the Bears line. We can’t manifest a realistic in-season trade that will turn it around. No waiver wire addition will elevate this group to the top. But what Halas Hall decision-makers can do is tinker and tweak until things get marginally better. After all, small steps forward are better than spinning your tires in the mud.
- And … I guess the Bears are sticking with tire-spinning:
- To be fair, the Bears don’t have a starting center just hanging around on the bench waiting to get the call. Not with rookie Doug Kramer on IR. But with that being the case, perhaps GM Ryan Poles should’ve been browsing through the waiver wire for help.
- That Sam Mustipher continues to play center says some pretty damning things about what the powers that be at Halas Hall think about Michael Schofield at guard (especially knowing that Lucas Patrick was supposed to be the center). And why isn’t Riley Reiff an option? I realize he has been a tackle his whole career. But at this stage of his career, maybe he would be open to something new if it helps keep him around?
- It is maddening that we’ve been discussing the offensive line as a problem for years and that it remains so. We can’t put all the blame on Poles. But there will come a point soon where we can’t look back at Ryan Pace’s misdeeds as the reason we are where we are.
- For the record, it isn’t all bad. Jeff Hughes (Da Bears Blog) highlights the offense’s run game as one of the bright spots worth talking about:
Everyone wants to make the blanket statement – “the offense is terrible” – but it’s factually untrue. The Bears have one of the best running games in the league, averaging 5.2 yards per carry and 177.3 yards per game. What they are terrible at is throwing the football and throwing the football is how you score points in the modern NFL. But the Bears are establishing a run-game baseline for the future that will be essential.
- The offense, while still bad, has a run game that others would envy. Through four weeks, Luke Getsy’s run concepts have been mostly good. That they haven’t translated to an improved passing game is what is bothersome. So much so, it makes you wonder how good the ground game is when it isn’t opening up throwing lanes. Ideally, the two should work hand-in-hand.
- The Bears had a tryout:
- Sammis Reyes played 11 games (even made a start!) for the Commanders last year. The Tulane product is a former basketball player who is transitioning into becoming a tight end. At 6-5 and 260 pounds, I’m intrigued by a player with his build and athleticism. Bring ’em in and let him show what he’s made of in an offense that needs playmakers of all shapes, sizes, and positions.
- NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero tweets about a trio of post-hype sleeper candidates Laquon Treadwell, Corey Coleman, and Chris Conley — all receivers — getting released by the Patriots, Chiefs, and Texans, respectively. N’Keal Harry is eligible to come off IR as early as this week, but initial reports were suggesting a November return was more realistic. Even still … it wouldn’t surprise me if the Bears held tryouts for some pass catchers in the coming weeks. And if they do, it might be someone name-checked above.
- Or perhaps it could be Andy Isabella? ESPN’s Field Yates tweets Isabella was put on waivers by the Cardinals on Tuesday. It feels as if Isabella, a 2nd round pick in 2019, has just 33 catches, 447 receiving yards, and 3 touchdowns to his name as a pro. That is wildly disappointing for a second-rounder. But his experience as a special teams contributor and a punt returner makes him an ideal target for a team constantly churning through the bottom third of its roster. Y’know, a team like the Bears.
- Again, to be clear, I’m not pitching any of these receivers as a quick fix to the Bears’ problems. That would be foolish of me. However, the Bears should be proactive in building out the roster by aggressively working the waiver wire.
- I would’ve proposed Chicago using the practice squad spot created by kicker Michael Badgley’s release to get him onto the roster without using a valuable 53-man roster spot. But the Bears have already filled that with defensive lineman Jalyn Holmes.
- A tip of the cap to @CFCBears, which had Holmes on their radar back in August:
- Maybe I’m just scarred from Matt Nagy’s insistence on needing a star tight end for his offense to work, but I wish Matt Eberflus’ defense wasn’t predicated on the success of a 3-technique defensive tackle. But we know from the Lovie Smith era how valuable a game-wrecker in the middle is to the grand scheme of things. This has me re-visiting Tom Thayer’s breakdown of Justin Jones’ importance in that role:
- Speaking of Bears defensive tackles, one of their former ones is joining the Vikings. Is a Khyiris Tonga revenge game coming?
- Or is this one of those things where they’ll extract every bit of knowledge about what Matt Eberflus does defensively from him, then send him off to the waiver wire again?
- I hope the Pats wear these when they play the Bears in Week 7:
- Wanna feel old?
- Seeing these two clips spliced together helps explain why the Steelers are benching Mitchell Trubisky in favor of Kenny Pickett:
- I think we’re going to like Chicago Bulls rookie Dalen Terry:
- Even in a rebuilding year, I’ll look forward to the moments in which Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are on the same line: