I’m riding high after Monday Night Football fun. And I hope you are, too.
- GOT ‘EM:
- Plenty of good reading to be had out there today. The Athletic (Kevin Fishbain), Sun-Times (Patrick Finley), NBC Sports Chicago (Josh Schrock), and Tribune (Colleen Kane) are among the places that came through with my favorite morning reads. And I’d recommend you let it all soak in, because wins like this don’t come around often. But I’m holding out hope that this is the first of many wins of this kind we’ll see in the weeks, months, and years to come.
- THAT was a big one. The Bears beating the Patriots 33-14 … on the road … in New England … under the bright lights of Monday Night Football … against a Bill Belichick led team that was aiming to move the coach ahead of Papa Bear Halas on the all-time wins chart. It just doesn’t get much bigger than that for these Bears. And while I’m not ready to put too much stock into one win, I can see this being a building block to something better. The type of win that serves as a turning-point moment for players, coaches, front office staffers, and even fans. A team win from top to bottom. This is what Bears football is supposed to be about.
- How good were things last night? Cam Ellis (670 The Score) gave the Bears offense an A+ grade. 12/10. No notes.
- Using a skill position player as a decoy? I didn’t even know this was possible:
- In recent weeks, we’ve seen (1) Justin Fields take advantage of a free play on a hard count and turn it into a touchdown, (2) the Bears use hurry up action to prevent an opposing coach from reviewing a close call, and (3) an offensive play-caller use a skill position player as a decoy to open things up elsewhere. Who are these Bears? Where did they come from? Is this how the other side has been living all these years?
- Let Khalil Herbert cook:
- I had been worrying about how the Bears running back splits would go after the mini-bye. Head Coach Matt Eberflus said he’d like to ride the hot hand. However, David Montgomery had been out-snapping Herbert by a notable margin in the first six games. All while Herbert was putting up better numbers. On MNF, we saw a 15-12 split with Montgomery getting the slight advantage. Even still … that is as close as we’ve gotten to a fair share in quite some time.
- One of the reasons I was excited about Luke Getsy’s offense was that I felt as if he could pull from what the Packers did last year in sharing carries between AJ Dillon and Aaron Jones. Perhaps this was a first step toward mimicking that action.
- The best offenses take from other units. And the Pats took notice of the Bears digging into the Ravens’ bag of tricks in using designed runs to get Fields going:
- Hey, that sounds familiar!
- And the numbers bear it out:
- PFF’s Ian Hartitz has Fields as one of seven QBs on pace to have 100+ rush attempts this season. Through seven games, Fields is on pace for 165 rushes, 884 yards, and 5 touchdowns. But if you were to extrapolate the numbers from his last four games over a 17-game season, it comes out to 174 rushes, 1,143 yards, and 4 touchdowns. In other words, not only are we seeing an increase in work load, but also more effective and impactful runs. You just love to see it.
- Hey, now! How about that defense?
- The Bears’ second-half touchdowns allowed in recent weeks have been back-breakers. But they didn’t allow one on Monday Night Football. This defense — with a young secondary and without the mountain movers up front — is ballin’.
- I can’t write about a team win without noting the contributions of Cairo Santos. The Bears’ kicker was 4-for-4 on MNF and 3-for-3 on PATs. Since re-joining the Bears in 2020, Santos has made 91.8% of his field goals (67-for-73) and 94.7% of extra points. Stud.
- Let’s give last night’s win some additional perspective:
- On top of all the historical stuff the Bears accomplished in triumph, they also broke Bill Belichick:
- Belichick was out there sounding like what I imagine Emperor Palpatine had he been contractually obligated to address the media on Coruscant after Death Star I was blown up by Luke Skywalker.
- I couldn’t sleep last night, so I was taking in all the post-game shenangans during the wee-hours of the morning. And I definitely came away feeling like Belichick was shell-shocked by the loss. He probably had this one chalked up in the win column after the Bears were taken down by the Commanders in Week 6. Instead, he was out-coached by Matt Eberflus and his team was out-played by a Bears much-maligned roster of imperfect parts that was intended to serve as a bridge from the past to the future.
- Also? Justin Fields would have an orange lightsaber.
- Out-played, out-coached, out-quarterbacked:
- Things you don’t see every day: Patriots players puzzled by Belichick’s decision-making. And a disconnect between coaches and players? Seriously. When was the last time?
- On the other side of the coin, the vibes were immaculate:
- How did y’all like the ManningCast?
- I was right there with ya, Peyton:
- C’mon man. This ain’t right:
- We can cross this bridge when we get to it later:
- Heads up! The NFL Trade Deadline is ONE WEEK FROM TODAY. My apologies for the all caps treatment in the sentence preceding this one, but it felt necessary. The surprising Jets swung a deal with the Jaguars for running back James Robinson. Jacksonville is getting a conditional sixth-round pick that could beocme a fifth-rounder depending on how things shake out with Robinson in New York. Robinson is a restricted free agent after this season. With that in mind, the compensation is worth tucking away just in case the Bears decide on shopping David Montgomery. And while I understand that is tough to think about after a statement win on MNF, it is something we should be cognizant of with the deadline to cut a deal coming at this time next week.
- The upcoming forecast looks like it’ll call for a bunch of soup. And I think this Italian Wedding Soup with Italian Sausage from my friend Jim might be exactly what I need.
- While the Bears were laying the smackdown on the Pats, Boston’s basketball team was getting beaten by the Bulls:
- Hmmm … a Rizzo reunion could be awfully tempting:
- Power tools and yard tools are among the Deals of the Day at Amazon. #ad
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