It was in this moment in which I yelled “BANG!” so freaking loud the people upstairs definitely heard me:
Something, something, favorite team’s best player wearing No. 1 making a spectacular play in a huge moment. Yeah, that tracks.
But enough about Saluki buckets. We’re onto Bullets.
- Thursday Night Football got the small TV treatment last night because of the college basketball game referenced above. And part of me feels guilty about it, if only because of the ex-Bear factor. Cordarrelle Patterson, MyCole Pruitt, and Eddy Piñeiro were among the former Bears making an appearance in the box score from last night’s game. If you want some blasts from the past, that box score is for you.
- I can’t believe Piñeiro doinked in a field goal last night:
- Al Michaels calling a successful doinked kick by a former Bears kicker would’ve triggered me in the past. But I’m in such a better place now than where I have been. And I think many Bears fans can say the same.
- It’s not just because Justin Fields taking off has our full attention. But also because Cairo Santos has been nails since the start of the 2020 season. Santos has made 92 percent of his kicks and 95.1 percent of his extra points over the last three years. It feels good to have Santos’ leg to fall back on in case the Bears can’t find the end zone. A sure-footed kicker feels like a luxury for a rebuilding team. But if you want to build your offense’s confidence, then this is where having someone like Cairo helps. There are few things more demoralizing than scratching and clawing your way toward a scoring drive, only for the kicker to misfire.
- Looking ahead, the Falcons (on extra rest!) host the Bears next week. But while the mini-bye is great (as the Bears can attest!) the Falcons will be coming off a loss to a Panthers team that really is no darn good. Suddenly, I’m thinking about the Bears having games against the Lions, Falcons, and Jets back-to-back-to-back and the case to be made for them rattling off three straight before the Packers game on Dec. 4. Part of me hates that I’m already looking ahead to a Packers rematch. But part of me feels like this is the time to topple that green giant.
- In all honesty, I’m not necessarily concerned about the wins and losses when Justin Fields’ development is the thing that still matters most for these Bears. Don’t get me wrong, I want the Bears to have the best picks they can possibly get. But we’ve reached a point in the year where if Chicago’s football team wins because of Fields’ efforts and further development, then that is more important than the difference between picking 7th and 10th … or 12th and 15th.
- Even though the Bears’ draft spot is far from settled, I’ll never turn away from an early look-ahead to what the 2023 NFL Draft could bring:
- This PFF mock has the Bears taking Florida State edge rusher Jared Verse with the ninth overall pick. PFF has Verse as the second edge defender off the board. And while the Bears have needs along the offensive line and at wide receiver that need to be addressed this offseason, attacking gaping holes in the pass-rushing department with a top-10 pick isn’t the worst way to go about bolstering the roster.
- Speaking of pass rushers, this is a nice reminder that Trevis Gipson has moments where he flashes and gets to the quarterback:
- Gipson had two sacks, three quarterback hits, and two tackles-for-loss in Week 2. In the seven games since, Gipson has zero sacks, four quarterback hits, and one tackle-for-loss. That isn’t going to cut it. I think Gipson has done a nice job as a rotational pass-rushing defensive end. But he needs to pick up the production, especially since next year is the last one on his rookie deal. I can’t imagine it’ll take much for this new regime to draft (or even sign) another player to the position next offseason. However, Gipson can make them think twice about it with how he plays down the stretch.
- Elsewhere on that side of the ball, Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams said of linebacker Jack Sanborn: “He looked like he belonged. Didn’t have errors. Tackled well. Ran around well. You come out of that game going, ‘OK, (that was a) step forward. Now let’s taken more step forward.” (Sun-Times)
- No, I don’t think the Bears are going to take an off-ball linebacker with a premier first-round pick. But circling back to pick watch, that the Bears could land higher in the top 10 than what PFF projects right now has my interest:
- Chicago landing the sixth selection could open a bunch of doors for GM Ryan Poles. At six, the Bears could conceivably be in a place where they could dangle the pick to a quarterback-needy team. Or perhaps there is another player who a team could jump up to get, giving Poles a bunch of draft capital to move out of that spot. Poles could also keep the pick, choosing from any number of prospects. In short, landing in the top 10 would be superb. But the Bears have so many needs, getting a top-15 pick would allow them to take the best player available without it being seen as a reach.
- We said it during the summer, but it bears repeating: Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski is an odds-on favorite to be the people’s choice to be a Bears draft pick next spring. And it’s not just because he is playing collegiate ball in Evanston:
- As for what’s fueling the Bears’ current offensive showing, Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy says there is no secret sauce:
“There’s no magic potion,” Getsy said, via 670 The Score. “This isn’t like ‘Space Jam,’ you’re drinking Michael Jordan’s special water. This is the work you put in back in April, all the way through now. The guys are just doing a really good job of buying into our philosophy, into our play style, the way we want to play a game and being the most physical football team on the field. So, we’ll stay committed to that.”
- Gosh! Now I’m wondering what they’d be like if they *DID* have Michael’s secret stuff.
- The way this is trending, it looks like the Bears are approaching “Good OL, Bad DL” territory. And that’s just weird to look at. Nevertheless, I’m into this graph:
- I’d like for more of Fields’ runs to be a product of scheme and design than elusiveness and impromptu playmaking ability. Because, as Rhiannon Walker of The Athletic points out, Fields could threaten to break Lamar Jackson’s single-season regular-season record for most rushing yards by a QB (1,206). Since Week 3, Fields has 72 carries, 554 rushing yards, and 3 touchdowns. That would put him on a 17-game pace of 175 carries, 1,345 yards, and 7 scores. Uhhh … yes, please!
- Fields is just so different:
- It’s not just you! We’re seeing a ton of close football games this year:
- A salute to our vets from the Bears:
- The Cubs should be active in the shortstop market, but I’m starting to wonder if they’ll land someone we’re not expecting:
- It seems as if Lauri Markkanen is coming into his own out in Utah:
- The Blackhawks scored just one goal last night. And this is what it looked like: