Hope for the Offense, Kmet is Climbing, Mooney Fast Rising, Raiders Losses as Bears Gains, and Other Bears Bullets

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Hope for the Offense, Kmet is Climbing, Mooney Fast Rising, Raiders Losses as Bears Gains, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

Election Day is over, which means we can watch football in peace knowing we aren’t going to be bombarded with political ads. And no matter your political affiliation, I think we can all agree we’re looking forward to this.

  • In case you slept in this morning, Justin Fields is bringing home some hardware:
  • Fields’ record-setting performance made him a real contender to earn the nod as the NFC’s top offensive player this week. Not only is it rare to see a Bears quarterback earn the honors, ESPN’s Field Yates notes that Chicago’s QB1 winning the award makes him the first player this year to win a weekly award from the NFL in a losing performance. Hey, it’s not Fields’ fault the defense coughed up a bunch of yards and scores to Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill, and Jaylen Waddle. And it certainly isn’t Fields’ fault that officials failed to see a blatant pass interference penalty play out in front of them. All in all, this feels like a turning point moment for Fields. And I hope this is the first of many such awards to come his way.
  • Because I know you’re thinking it: Yes, Mitchell Trubisky won this award last in 2018 for a performance against the Lions. And that breakout performance against the Buccaneers was unlike anything we had ever seen. But Fields’ showcase game is different than both of those games. Mostly because of the competition. Throwing up numbers against a hapless Lions squad is something all quarterbacks should be doing. And beating the 2018 Bucs who were in the middle of a quarterback tussle and would soon enough dump their head coach and change their entire organization is something that Trubisky should’ve been doing. But shredding a Dolphins team with a winning record that just traded for an elite pass-rusher should put everyone on notice.
  • Fields is sooooo gonna win some fantasy leagues this winter:
  • Jason Lieser (Sun-Times) writes Fields is only beginning to show what he can become. Think of Fields as an artist with a blank canvas. Fields has tools to sketch something nice. But once GM Ryan Poles gives Fields some quality materials to work with, QB1 can create a masterpiece.
  • Darnell Mooney taking flight would definitely help matters. After a slow start, Mooney is beginning to hit his stride:
  • This isn’t the breakout we were hoping for (to this point). But Mooney’s in-season turnaround has been fun to follow. The Bears are getting him out in routes more, Fields is targeting him more often, and he is making things happen when the ball is in his hand. The arrow is pointing up for Mooney, who should see an increase in playmaking opportunities with defenses also needing to account for Chase Claypool out wide.
  • Another pass catcher whose stock is on the rise is Cole Kmet, who has three touchdowns in his last two games after going without scoring for 693 days. Maybe that first TD since 2020 has opened some paths for the 2020 second-round tight end. It sure sounds like he is starting to come into his own just as the offense is starting to pick up some speed:

“I think at the end of the day, as we’ve been getting more comfortable in this offense, you can see guys starting to execute better in the red zone and things like that. It takes all 11 on offense,” Kmet said, via NBC Sports Chicago. “I’m not a defensive end going one-on-one against a tackle, you don’t get those just a win your matchup type deal. Everything has got to click around you. Yeah, I think when I look at those two things in the pass game and run game, I’ve seen a lot of growth from myself now from last year.”

  • Kmet’s development arc has been frustrating to follow as a fan. Tight end growth is hard to come by because of the nature of the position and the things they have to do well in order to garner playing time (not to mention succeed). So, sometimes, it takes longer than you might otherwise like. And with how the previous regime failed to deploy him properly, it probably took Kmet to unlearn some stuff before getting into his current groove. Being patient with a second-round pick you want to contribute immediately is a challenge. But the last few weeks have seen Kmet show signs that our patience could ultimately be rewarded.
  • Admittedly, we’re dealing with small samples here when it comes to the recent developments concerning the growth of Fields and Kmet. But I must say that seeing the QB and TE make notable improvements with this coaching staff after Matt Nagy and his previous staff blabbed on and on about the importance of the quarterback and tight end in their offense (only to fail in developing both positions) is equal parts worthy of a dap up of the new regime and damnation of its predecessors.
  • We’ve got high hopes for the offense moving forward. And so does the fantasy community, which projects another big Bears scoring output this week:
  • The Raiders are straight up not having a good time right now. And a big reason for it is because they’ve come up empty in a bunch of recent drafts:
  • We can argue the Bears could eventually get more out of the Raiders recent drafts than the Raiders. Think about it. Chicago got three Pro Bowl seasons, two playoff appearances, a second-round pick (which turned into the aforementioned Cole Kmet), and an injection of life into an organization that had been bad-to-middling since the Lovie Smith era out of the Khalil Mack trade. And have since turned Mack into another second-round pick (Jacquan Brisker) and a bunch of salary cap space. They could very well get the best out of the Raiders’ Alex Leatherwood pick, but that is a low bar to clear. Even still … not bad! Well, not bad for the Bears.
  • I’ll tune into Thursday Night Football for this:
  • No one knows scary linebacker play like Ray Lewis:
  • Well, at least it won’t be the same referees from last week:
  • Justin Fields and some other award winners:
  • There is still time to make your vote count:
  • Chicago/Whitney Young product Kay Adams is on board with the Justin Fields hype train:
  • Fields is rolling. But to be a Chicago sports fan with a star quarterback and max player on your favorite NBA team doing work is something we’ve never seen in this city before. Zach LaVine shaking off the cobwebs against the Raptors was a pleasant surprise. Eli has more on that at BN Bulls.
  • I’m thoroughly enamored with the potential of a 1-2 punch of José Abreu and Matt Mervis at first base and designated hitter at Clark and Addison:
  • Now here’s a name I’ve not heard in a long time:

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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.