Solid Day for Gordon, Not So Much for the D-Line, Tapering Expectations, and Other Bears Bullets

Good morning, Bears fans! Well, those of you who are up this morning. For those lucky suckers who have today off, know I’m biting my thumb at you. Seriously though, whoever thought that Christmas on a Sunday was a good idea, we need to have a conversation.

Before we get into it this morning, I’ll share a little Christmas parenting humor that I got a good chuckle from yesterday.

Anyways, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with your loved ones. Let’s get things going this week!

  • I figured that a lot of offensive damage would be done on the ground for both teams, but the Bills ended up being the only team with much success in that department. Plenty of success, in fact. Buffalo racked up 254 yards on the ground and got rushing touchdowns by Devin Singletary, James Cook, and Josh Allen.
  • The game might have been much different if not for Buffalo’s success on the ground. The Bears depleted secondary, missing Jaylon Johnson, actually punched above their weight class pretty well, holding Josh Allen to 172 yards on 15 completions while intercepting him twice, including this gem by rookie Kyler Gordon.
  • Speaking of Gordon, he had himself quite the game against the Bills. Kyler Gordon looked lost early this season, but he’s been coming around lately and did some excellent work against Stefon Diggs and Josh Allen on Saturday.
  • Gordon earned a 70.8 grade from PFF this week, his third-best performance of the season behind last week (76.2) and Week 6 against the Commanders (77.8). Let’s take another look at his interception of Josh Allen from a different angle:
  • Gordon played 51 of his 69 snaps wide, often matched up with Stefon Diggs, who played 25 of his 43 snaps from the wide position on Saturday. Diggs was limited to two catches for 26 yards and received a 62.4 receiving grade from PFF. By my count, only one of Diggs’ catches was against Gordon.
  • Gordon received a 70.6 coverage grade for his efforts against Diggs, specifically. Excellent afternoon overall for the rookie, one of the silver linings on the afternoon for the Bears.
  • Back to Buffalo’s rushing attack for a minute, or more specifically, the Bears’ Swiss cheese run defense; the Bills gashed the Bears right up the middle on Saturday, picking up 110 of their 254 yards to the left and right of the center position. Remember, that doesn’t include four of Josh Allen’s QB scrambles, which accounted for 40 of those 254 yards. The Bills did nearly 50 percent of their rushing damage right up the gut.
  • The Bills averaged 14.0 yards per attempt on five attempts to the left of the center and 10.0 yards on four attempts to the right of the center. That’s just not going to cut it. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the Bears defensive line get bullied, but it’s a continuous reminder that the defensive line will be a significant priority this offseason. Hello Jalen Carter.
  • It’s been said plenty of times lately that the Bears have a great draft ahead of them, picking as high as No. 2 within reach and an exorbitant amount of cap space to spend. With none of those resources needed to be spent on the quarterback, something of uncharted territory for this franchise, it’s easy to feel like the Bears are in a pretty good position moving forward.
  • It’s not as easy as slapping Jalen Carter or Will Anderson Jr. into the mix on that porous defensive line and going on a spending spree. The Bears will also have to add to a young secondary that’s coming along nicely, add to the linebackers, add weapons at receiver, and fix the offensive line, which is far easier said than done. There’s plenty of reason to be excited about the Bears’ future; much of it centers around Justin Fields’ transformative season. No doubt about that. While pivotal to the big picture, I would caution that this offseason won’t be the magic fix that closes that talent gap between the Bears and their last two opponents, the Eagles and Bills.
  • Playing competitively in December and competing for something in December are two different things. While I think the Bears are heading in the right direction, I don’t think we can expect a 10+ win team competing for a division title like the Eagles or Bills this time next season. The way the Eagles and Bills wore the Bears down in the second half of these games was a perfect reminder of such.
  • Before we get out of here this morning, Happy Birthday to Trevor Siemian and Jarrett Payton!
  • The World Juniors start today, and the Blackhawks have five prospects participating. Plus, Team Canada has this Connor Bedard kid playing, who you might be interested in taking a look at. Tab’s got you covered on the preview:
  • The latest on the Cubs and MLB front this morning from Brett:
  • written by

    Patrick grew up in Chicago's Bridgeport and Garfield Ridge neighborhoods before moving to the Western Suburbs of Chicago before eventually relocating to the Las Vegas area with his family in 2023. He started with Bleacher Nation in 2021 and has spent time as a Staff Writer and on the Chicago Blackhawks beat. He is currently a writer and editor at Bleacher Nation covering the Chicago Bears and the NFL at large and the author of the Bleacher Nation Newsletter. Patrick is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).

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