If you hear me humming the Monday Night Football theme, this is why:
Nothing like a throwback to get the juices flowing.
- I don’t have RedZone at home, so I took advantage of one of my pals having it to take in the first half of Sunday’s action. And my takeaway is that it was mind-blowing to see teams move the ball, score points, and play an entertaining brand of football. It all looks so different than when I watch the Bears. It’s like I was watching a totally different sport. What gives!?
- What Joe Burrow did in the first half of the Bengals-Falcons game on Sunday is what I’d like to see a Bears quarterback do in a game:
- There is no better day than the present for a Justin Fields breakout performance. Especially since a Bears win would keep Bill Belichick from passing George Halas on the all-time coaching wins list. Belichick topping Halas is inevitable at this point. But how about trying to delay the inevitable with an upset win?
- Patrick Finley (Sun-Times) writes about how prime time is a good time for Fields to shine. Finley’s writing took me back to the Steelers game on Monday Night Football last year.
- Remember this?
- Fields took it to a really good Steelers defense, which gives me a glimmer of hope that he can go toe-to-toe with Bill Belichick. And, yes, I know what Belichick does to young quarterbacks. I just know I don’t want to bet against someone with Fields’ tools — even if they aren’t refined.
- At least Fields is trending in a positive direction. Since bottoming out with an 8/17, 106-yard, 0 TD, 2 INT game against the Texans that saw him put up a woeful 27.7 passer rating, Fields has gone 40/70, 572 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 87.3 passer rating. On average, that comes out to 13/23, 191 yards — modest numbers, to be sure. But I’ll take the 1.4 INT% for the time being.
- We are all cognizant of Fields’ struggles because they’re right in front of our face. But the 2021 NFL Draft class of quarterbacks isn’t really stuntin’ on anybody:
- Before we jump off any bandwagons, can we consider what Geno Smith is doing in Seattle? Smith has 1,712 passing yards, 11 TD, just 3 INT, and a passer rating of 107.7. The 32-year-old QB is on a pace to throw for 4,158 yards, 27 TD, and just 7 INT — all while completing passes at a 73.5% clip. If Smith can keep these good times rolling, we should probably re-assess how we evaluate young, developing quarterbacks on poor rosters. Because that’s what Geno was facing all those years prior to landing in Seattle. Given a good running game, worthwhile receivers, and a veteran head coach with championship-winning experience, Smith is looking like a viable pro QB. It’s almost as if setting up a quarterback with good surroundings matters.
- Alex Shapiro (NBCS Chicago) offers up a quality read, which explains how steady pressure from opposing defenses is hurting Fields’ development. Receivers matter, for sure. But blockers up front and a scheme that thwarts pressure could also put Fields in a better position to succeed.
- On the one hand, I’m thoroughly enjoying the Packers waddling in medicority. Losing three consecutive games against the Giants, Jets, and Commanders is the stuff my schadenfreude dreams are made of these days. But on the other hand, I find it annoying that the Giants, Jets, and Commanders — three teams presumed to be in the same tier of rebuilding as the Bears — gave Green Bay a tougher test and rougher ride than Chicago’s football team. To be clear, it’s not as if I was expecting a Bears win at Lambeau in Week 2. But you can see the difference when a team is better coached than what the Bears were in Week 2. The Giants, Jets, and Commanders were all more disciplined and executed better than the Bears did when they played the Packers. And that’s why those teams won (and why the Bears didn’t).
- It also helps having a receiver like Terry McLaurin at your disposal:
- With that being said, I’m looking forward to Week 13. The Bears-Packers rematch comes ahead of the bye week, so Matt Eberflus and friends have no reason not to lay it all out there against their rivals. But more than that, I want to see adjustments, changes, and a more focused plan of attack against the Cheesedoodles on Dec. 4.
- Hook this directly to my veins:
- Brian Daboll has his Giants cooking with oil in 2022. It’s a 6-1 start for the Giants, whose only loss was a one-score defeat against the Cowboys. Daniel Jones is looking like a perfectly cromulent quarterback for the 6-1 New York Giants. Jones has three games with a passer rating of 100+ and two others north of 87. It’s nothing spectacular, but the incrimental growth we’re seeing from Jones is what we’d hope to see from Fields. And, frankly, what we thought we’d see from Fields had the Bears hired Daboll.
- What a stat:
- Maybe Chicago’s decision-makers needed to bring in Joe Schoen and Daboll as a package deal from Buffalo. I don’t think the Bears are 6-1 if you turn back time and go down that route. But the Giants were in dire straits like the Bears this past offseason. Limited cap space, a roster in need of a full overhaul, and questions at a variety of skill positions. Daboll and the gang is certainly making the mot of their situation. Unfortunately, the Bears aren’t there just yet.
- Ah, I can see why the Panthers are hesistant to make DJ Moore available on the trade market:
- Tank Watch: After Sunday’s action, the Bears currently sit with the 10th overall pick and could slide into the No. 9 spot with a loss against the Patriots tonight. On top of that, the fallout from yesterday saw the Bears increase their odds for a top-5 pick (44.7%) and for the No. 1 overall selection (10.2%). I’m not leading a full-on “lose today for a better tomorrow” charge just yet. But the numbers are starting to add up.
- Eero mesh wifi systems are on a huge sale at Amazon today, so heads up there. #ad
- Over at BN Blackhawks, Tab is asking all the hard questions:
- Good things happen when you take down Cardinals Voodoo Devil Magic. Congrats to the Phillies on winning the pennant:
- Your Bears game preview by Patrick lives here:
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