There may not be any NFL football on our TVs today, but there will be plenty of other sports to watch and even more fun with our family and friends as we ring in a new year. Before talk football here today, I want to take a moment to thank a few people who helped make this year wonderful for me.
Thank you to my wife, Erika, and my children, Patrick and Madison, for giving me a reason and purpose in life and loving me no matter how hard that may sometimes be.
Thank you to Brett and Michael, who have allowed me to have the best job in the world and have been — beyond a shadow of doubt — the greatest and most supportive bosses that anyone could ask for. And I mean that more than anyone here will ever know.
Thank you to my parents, my in-laws, and all of my siblings for simply being you and being here. Thank you to my dad for being my best friend.
And lastly, thank you, the reader. Your presence here every day allows me to make a living doing what I love. We may not always see eye to eye, but I appreciate every one of you. (Especially Darth with the #tits memes on every league roundup post I do!)
- Alright, back to your regularly scheduled x’s and o’s. We’ve heard plenty of praise lobbed Justin Fields’ way by opposing players and coaches this season. Josh Allen most recently. Darius Slay most passionately. Mike McDaniel even begged Fields to stop running the ball down his team’s throats when Miami was in town.
- Lions coach Dan Campbell, a man never short on words, said this week that stopping Justin Fields is more about limiting Justin Fields for the Lions this week.
“It’s not easy,” Campbell said. “I think ‘limit’ is the right word. I think he’s [Fields] hard to stop, but you do have to limit him. And if you want to stop him, you have to limit what he’s able to do.”
- Fields was pretty good the first time these two teams met this season, with Fields throwing for 167 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 147 yards and two more touchdowns, including a 67-yard score. So, yeah, good luck with that, Dan.
- Campbell complimented David Montgomery and called the Bears defense a “physical, high motor” unit that gets takeaways and plays good football. Campbell also complimented the special teams unit and said he was impressed with how tough the team played the Bills last week. You can check out Campbell’s full media availability here:
- Justin Fields is 29 yards away from surpassing Michael Vick for the second most rushing yards in a single season by a quarterback with two games to play. Fields needs 195 yards to pass Lamar Jackson for the most all-time. While the potential opportunity to break Jackson’s mark will have to wait until Week 18, there’s almost no doubt in my mind that Fields will move into second place and put a dent in that remaining 195 indoors this week against the Lions.
- On the injury front, Cody Whitehair and Tevin Jenkins are set to return to action this week against the Lions on the offensive line. While Chase Claypool (knee), Equanimeous St. Brown (concussion), and Dante Pettis (ankle) all have questionable injury designations for Sunday as of this morning, I would expect them to play.
- This is an interesting thought exercise here. Essentially, Fields over Goff long-term is advantage Bears. Still, the Lions are more well-positioned for the future in almost every other area of the roster, especially on the offensive and defensive lines.
- Old friend (zip it) Tarik Cohen said recently that he’s close to making a return to the football field after missing nearly three years with back-to-back ACL tears. “I’m getting close to being back healthy 100 percent,” Cohen said in an interview with The 3-Point Conversion. “I’m just ready for next season. I’ll probably be ready beginning of camp or the end of camp.”
- Cohen also had some compliments for Justin Fields and, like the rest of us, some requests for the front office: “I just wish they would get some more weapons around him, man,” Cohen said. “Like some big names. Either out of the draft or free agency or something. He’s a crazy talented player. My last year, when I was there rehabbing, I got to watch him. The throws he made in practice, he really has an arm.”
- You can watch the full interview here:
- Catch up on the Week 17 playoff picture and clinching scenarios in Friday’s Around the NFL:
- Go to bed, Bert!
- Have a wonderful evening, and be safe, everyone!