Monday Night Football will ultimately decide the fate of my fantasy team’s quarterfinal matchup. I’m facing a 10.54-point deficit with only the Packers’ defense left to play against the Rams. Gulp!
If only I started the Titans defense, which scored 12.1 points — beating its projection by 9.05 points. Oh, brother!
- I’m still gushing over Justin Fields’ stat line yesterday. Fields completed 67% of his passes, averaged 7.2 yards/attempt, threw 2 touchdowns, didn’t toss an interception, and had a 119.5 passer rating. It was another afternoon of progress that came despite the Eagles sacking him six times and registering six more QB hits. They also got away with a late hit/blow-to-the-head that went un-called. Just a friendly reminder that it would be cool if the NFL didn’t let opposing defenders get away with late hits and blows to the head.
- For funsies, here are Fields’ passing numbers after the mini-bye and regular-bye this year: 27/42 (64.3%), 331 passing yards, 7.9 yards/attempt, 3 TD (7.1 TD%), 1 INT (2.4 INT%), 102.4 passer rating. As for his rushing stats: 29 carries, 177 rushing yards, 1 TD.
- Is this a sign Fields is taking to coaching and adjustments? How much credit should coaches get? It’s just nice knowing the Bears have their guy at the position. The future is bright (assuming GM Ryan Poles doesn’t fumble the bag this offseason).
- We love seeing growth as a passer, don’t we?
- It’s wild to see Fields’ throw chart looks like that when he was taking all those hits while targeting Byron Pringle, Nsimba Webster, Velus Jones Jr., and Dante Pettis on the rare occasions he had time to throw.
- Speaking of VJJ, Head Coach Matt Eberflus was none too pleased about the rookie losing a fumble on a jet sweep. “I don’t like it when guys lose the football,” Eberflus said, via the Sun-Times. Rookie mistakes happening this late in the season will irk any and all coaches. But because of the Bears’ injury situation, I think we might see Velus get yet another second chance.
- Yesterday should’ve been a Cole Kmet day. It wasn’t. And it goes down as a whiff for Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy. Inexcusable. Almost as inexcusable as a straight drop back on 3rd-and-1 when you’re one of the NFL’s best rushing offenses. Getsy might have a future as an NFL head coach, but he still has kinks to iron out as a play caller.
- I wanted to gripe about the Bears having 6 penalties for 30 yards. Especially after they had three in the first five plays. But overall, Chicago is the NFL’s seventh-least-penalized team. So … maybe let’s not overreact to yesterday’s early going? (NFL Penalties dot com)
- Fields was this close to popping off the best touchdown run of the year:
- Oh, sure. The one time NFL officials don’t turn a blind eye to the rules and regulations of the game…
- OK, so I’m still watching the highlight on loop this morning:
- FANTASY CORNER: The Eagles were giving up the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, per Yahoo! Fantasy Sports. Fields put up 23 points on Sunday, which was the seventh-best among QBs in Week 15. And that knocked the Eagles out of the top spot in defending quarterbacks. He is H1M.
- Let’s give Fields’ day some additional perspective:
- Want to build a title winner around Fields? Just look at the Eagles and see that their dominance in the trenches is what is sparking this team’s 13-1 record. Quarterback Jalen Hurts was sacked just once. And Bears defenders came up with just one measly quarterback hit. Building out those trenches is something this front office must prioritize this offseason.
- Here’s what Darius Slay had to say about Jordan Love after facing the Packers
QB of the futurepotential piece of trade bait earlier in the year:
- And here is what Slay had to say about Fields after playing the Bears on Sunday:
- I know better than to read too much into what Slay says about opposing QBs. Remember what he said about Mitch? Still … Slay’s noting of Fields’ toughness and competitive nature feels genuine. At a minimum, it isn’t as hyperbolic as the praise he gave Trubisky or Love.
- More signs of respect for Fields from his competition:
- There is still work for Fields to do as a passer. But I want to discuss this tweet from the Trib’s Dan Wiederer:
- I can’t deny Fields has room to improve as a passer. But I feel as if the woeful showing in the net passing yards department (which subtracts sack yardage lost from a QB’s passing yards) is more of an indictment of the offensive line and the pieces around the QB than it is the quarterback himself. Don’t get me wrong. Fields still takes some mind-numbing sacks, but I can’t ignore the offensive line’s issues.
- We’ll discuss this in more detail later today, but that did not look like a top-10 offensive line — especially after Teven Jenkins’ departure due to injury.
- It’s not quite redemption for The Playoff Game We Need Not Re-Visit, but it was fun to see (and hear) an Eagles kick go DOINK:
- Yikes! Chicago’s hockey team gave up a touchdown to the NY Rangers last night. Not quite how you want to celebrate Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane playing their 1,000th game together.
- Double yikes! The Bulls gave up 150 points to the Timberwolves last night. And Eli is right to call this what it is — a disaster:
- There were some notable reported MLB free-agent signings on Sunday, but none included the Cubs. However, a pair of bats I find intriguing found themselves connected to the North Siders on the rumor mill: