It is Nov. 7 and I still haven’t made Thanksgiving plans. That stuff is usually done on Nov. 1 while I’m scooping up discount Halloween candy. I’ll get to it eventually I’m sure.
- The Bears lost to the Dolphins by a final score of 35-32 yesterday. And one play I’m sure we’ll be discussing around the water cooler (and/or in our group text threads) this morning is the non-call of defensive pass interference on Chicago’s second-to-last offensive snap:
- Yeah, that’ll bug me for a while. Especially since Chase Claypool drew a pass interference earlier in the game. And it really stings after Eddie Jackson was called for DPI on this play:
- I’d love it if NFL officials (1) stopped rewarding quarterbacks for underthrown balls by giving away pass interference penalties or (2) made sure they called it both ways. Do the right thing or be consistent. I’m not asking for much.
- OK, so I could use one word to describe this, but my grandmother wouldn’t appreciate me using that type of language. How about you give it a shot?
- Instead of talking about officiating, we should be spending ample time discussing today the four touchdowns Justin Fields accounted for on Sunday. One thing I’d love to highlight is the variety of the scores. You’ve got the deep bomb to Mooney, a pair of tight end strikes, and a run that was a special play that only a handful of players can make. And the Bears have one of those players. What a time to be alive.
- Let’s be clear here, this is NOT a designed run. Trent Green caught it in real time and did a wonderful job breaking it down in the moment. As does Brett Kollman in the aftermath:
- Fields since the mini-bye: 47/72 (65.3%), 453 yards, 6 TD, 1 INT, 104.7 rating; 37 carries, 320 rushing yards 3 TD. Now *THAT* is how you come out of the mini-bye blazin’.
- If we were to extrapolate Fields’ three-game run over a full 17-game season, it would look like this: 266/408 (65.3%), 2,567 yards, 34 TD, 6 INT; 210 carries, 1,813 rushing yards, 17 TD. I’m not sure how sustainable any of those numbers are over a full season. However, I’m totally here to find out.
- Also? I could probably make a strong case that the uptick in Fields’ development started coming before the post-mini-bye breakout. Since Week 4, Fields is on a 6-game run in which he is 87/142 (61.3%), for 1,025 yards, 8 TD, 2 INT, 96.1 rating as a passer. And as a rusher, Fields has put up 64 carries, 507 rushing yards, and 3 touchdowns. What do these six games have in common? They’re all games in which Fields has thrown at least 20 passes. Remember how ugly the numbers were in the first three games when Fields wasn’t being given chances to throw? It’s almost as if Fields needed time and reps to build up a lather (and open up the field).
- Because I’m feeling frisky when it comes to turning small samples into prorated stats over 17 games, Fields’ numbers based on the last six-game sample: 246/402 (61.3%), 2,904 passing yards, 23 TD, 6 INT, 96.1 passer rating; 181 carries, 1,436 rushing yards, 8 TD. I think that’ll play in an NFL world where defenses are daring Fields to beat them on the ground. And he’s doing just that.
- Good catch by MB here as the Bears continue to take from the Ravens playbook:
- No word if Ravens plays coming to Chicago were part of the Roquan Smith deal.
- Let the record show that this isn’t a gimmick offense. Anyone who says it is is just trying to start a ruckus because they haven’t been getting the attention they so desperately need. The current iteration of the Bears offense is what everyone who has been critical of Chicago play-callers has been asking for over the last few decades. This is a legitimate NFL offense utilizing the quarterback’s skills. Isn’t this what everyone has been begging the Bears to do? All of a sudden it’s working for a little bit and it’s a gimmick? C’mon, man! Anyway, don’t let the opinions of fools take the fun out of what these last few weeks have been.
- Not to be lost in all the ground game exellence is Fields proving himself as a pocket passer yesterday. This throw to Darnell Mooney had me feeling things:
- On the other side of the coin, the Bears need to get that pass defense in shape:
- Tyreek Hill is going to make a lot of cornerbacks look bad. But this felt like a step back for the rookie second-round pick. Even still … Kyler Gordon had been playing better recently. Moreover, we’ve already seen Gordon struggle, work on his craft, and bounce back. This year is all about development. And for Gordon, rebounding from this showing is the next step in his NFL journey. I can’t wait to see how he goes about bouncing back.
- There is so much fun stuff to read today. Losing can be fun, writes 670 The Score’s Cam Ellis. Sun-Times columnist Rick Morrissey writes Fields is making the Bears’ rebuild bearable, which feels like an impossible feat. I didn’t see these headlines coming this morning.
- It is wild to see this list with multiple NFC North quarterbacks on it — and no Bears signal callers:
- Is Aaron Rodgers’ reign of terror coming to an end?
- A tough year for the Packers is getting rougher with news of Rashan Gary’s injury:
- Gary, a first-round pick out of Michigan in 2019, has been a star for the Packers defense in recent years. Last season, Gary collected 9.5 sacks, 8 tackles-for-loss, and a whopping 28 quarterback hits. Through nine games this season, Gary had 6 sacks, 7 tackles-for-loss, 12 quarterback hits, and was on pace for his first 10+ sack campaign. Not much has gone right for Green Bay this season, but Gary was one of those things the Packers could bank on. An injury that takes him out for the rest of this season is a major set-back.
- I don’t know what Kirk Cousins is doing here. And frankly, I don’t think I want to know:
- Sigh. I can’t believe THAT GUY is the quarterback of a 7-1 team. And the Bears won’t get a chance to exact revenge against Cousins and the Vikings until Week 18 in Chicago. Hopefully, Minnesota has something to play for in the regular-season finale. Heck, here’s to the Bears playing for something (or at least playing spoiler).
- Patrick Mahomes is a magician. That’s it. That’s the Bullet:
- Consider this an extremely early heads-up: The Bears play the Chiefs in Kansas City next year. And while it is probably too early to project what both teams will look like when they play, if KC stays the course and Chicago continues its climb (and spends wisely during the offseason), the Mahomes-Fields battle royale will be must-see-TV. You’ll want to be there in person for it. So start saving your pennies now.
- Looking ahead to next week:
- Dusty sticks it to the Cubs one last time:
- Another tough loss for the Bulls, who are trying to find their footing with a 5-6 start to the season:
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