Posts tagged Bear Down
Nagy Wonka and the Monster Factory

After a shaky beginning to the season, Mitchell Trubisky flashed his potential by posting passing touchdowns leading the Bears to a 48-10 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was a huge win for the Monsters of the Midway as they establish their place as one of the top teams in the league heading into an early bye week. Here are my takeaways from this week.

Trubisky is taking form

As you may have noticed, I’m a huge critic of Trubisky’s play. It’s not that he doesn’t have the ability to be elite; he just hadn’t embraced the realization. Well toss all that shit out the window because the kid dropped the mic at Soldier Field this Sunday.

For the most part of the game, Trubisky was clean in the pocket, calmly dicing up a poor Buccaneers secondary. He showed no signs of “happy feet” and remained poised under pressure. He progressed through his reads, although many of the plays appeared to be designed to disguise the first read by leading defenders onto decoys. Still, Trubisky tossed some absolutely gorgeous passes to receivers in full stride, proving that he can be an elite QB.

Hell, he damn near looked like an MVP candidate. But we gotta chill… it’s only one game.

The Real MVP?

Although Trubisky isn’t knocking on the MVP door, another Chicago Bear is breaking it off the hinges. The most dominant player in the NFL, Khalil Mack, proved his worth yet again, posting another sack and forced fumble, putting him at five sacks and four forced fumbles for the year. There is no doubt that Khalil Mack will more than likely walk away with the Defensive Player of the Year award, but can he pull off the nearly impossible task of securing the MVP trophy on the defensive side of the ball? 

The last defensive player to win MVP was Lawrence Taylor in 1986. Taylor single handedly changed the face of football as the pioneer of the 3-4 outside linebacker and the sole catalyst for the creation of the H-back position. Don’t get me wrong, Khalil Mack probably won’t cause of the creation of two new positions, but the way he tears shit up on a frequent basis, he just may change the forefront of offensive scheming. There isn’t a player in the NFL this year that has made more of an impact for a franchise than Khalil Mack, and I’m pretty sure that is what the league’s overall MVP award is suppose to emphasize.

Forgotten Hero?

Overall, the Bears look like an entirely new team. From the trippy two quarterback “Willy Wonka” formation, to the high-powered wide receiver depth, there are definitely no signs of John Fox left on this franchise. Unfortunately, the backbone of Fox’s basic offense and arguably the backbone of the Bears franchise prior to the hiring of Matt Nagy has been a forgotten soldier during the Bears recent success.

Jordan Howard has appeared to play second fiddle to Tarik Cohen throughout the first quarter of the season. During the landslide victory against the Bucs, Howard only recorded 11 carries, and those were all in garbage time during the second half. It doesn’t appear that the Bears are willing to completely do away with the under-appreciated workhorse - he’s played in 65.31% of the Bears snaps this season, but Cohen has been the hot hand that Nagy wants the ball in.

Based on the pace of the offense , It just seems that Cohen is more fit for the various schemes that Nagy has designed. This was an issue that everyone knew would arise before the season, and Sunday showed that the Bears may not need their dominant running back as much as we think. I wouldn’t be surprised if the young star was shipped away in the upcoming weeks.

Tough trail ahead

After the bye week, the Bears will face their true test as they travel south to face a surprisingly competitive Miami Dolphins, followed by a huge battle at home against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. If the Bears can withstand those two challenges, a Super Bowl could be in the near future.

(cover photo by Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

UnBearable Expectations

The Chicago Bears needed another dominant defensive performance to lift themselves to victory over the Arizona Cardinals Sunday. While the defensive unit was able to close out the game, they did not leave without a scare...

The Cardinals found the endzone twice on their first three possessions, jumping out to an early 14-0 lead, while the Bears ended their first three possessions with a missed field goal, fumble and a punt. Shit wasn’t looking good on either side of the ball until the defense took its true form, creating turnovers and keeping the Cardinals from putting points on the board for the remainder of the game. Thank you again Oakland for the blessing you bestowed on us.

The biggest woes for the Bears was unquestionably the offensive production

For the third straight game, Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky failed to establish his presence as a franchise QB. From lacking poise in the pocket to failing to see open receivers, it seems like Mitch is still infected with the rookie bug. The plays are there, the opportunities are there; Mitch just has to capitalize on them.  Putting up a goose egg in passing touchdowns isn’t what you want from your signal caller if you plan on be a serious playoff contender.

Is it almost time for a change at quarterback?

No fucking way.....Although his play was erratic, it was not the worst performance from a second year quarterback in a new offense. Fellow members of his draft class - Deshawn Watson and Patrick Mahomes - are outplaying Trubisky by a significant margin, but this does not mean that Mitch is a hopeless player. He still shows significant flashes of talent and potential to be a star in this league. Like most quarterbacks, it takes time to develop into an elite passer in the NFL. Unfortunately, many Bears fans are not patient enough for this to happen.

Be emphathetic to Bears fan’s woes.

It’s hard to be patient when you’ve faced the same old story so often: an elite defense (with a former defensive player of the year), weapons on offense, but shaky quarterback play. Trubisky needs time to develop, and being that the last Bears quarterback drafted in the first round (Rex Grossman, 2003) was a complete shit show that arguably prevented the Bears from winning Super Bowl XLI, time isn’t something that Bears fans are willing to give so easily. 

Enjoy the W and prepare for next week

It wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win, and the winless Cardinals proved they’re still a tough matchup. Beating a winless team may not seem like a big deal, but beating a hungry, talented NFL team is not an easy feat for any team. Ask the Minnesota Vikings.

Don’t forget, this is still the NFL. Any given Sunday.....

The Monsters have returned, but Mitch Trubisky is underwhelming

It’s starting to smell like 2006......

The Chicago Bears pulled off a dominant defensive performance against the Seattle Seahawks with a 24-17 victory.

If one thing is certain, the Bears defense is one of the most dominant units in the NFL, if not the most. They’ve forced takeaways and scored defensive touchdowns in back-to-back weeks, and the success of the D can be directly attributed to the walking Hall of Famer, Khalil Mack.

But we’re not going to continue glorifying what we already know.

Lets talk about Mitch Trubisky.....

We didn’t really have a chance to see Mitch in full swing last year. Former head coach John Fox made sure to keep the rookie inside his playpen by limiting his pitch count. The small flashes that were shown gave Bears fans hope for an end to the everlasting quarterback drought. 

This year, new coach Matt Nagy Is letting the rookie show his talent. Outside of the rollout touchdown pass to Anthony Miller, the first of his young career, Mitch is struggling to consistently make throws. He overthrew receivers all night, and underthrew a bomb on the sidelines to Allen Robinson that led to his first of two picks. The only flash we’ve seen from Mitch has been with his legs.

Based on the first two games of the season, Mitch has lacked field vision, panics in the pocket and frantically lobs ducks over the heads of wide-open receivers. Against a trash Seahawks defense, Mitch had a 75% completion rating, but only completed two passes beyond 10 air yards, according to Next Gen Stats.

With Patrick Mahomes shattering records in Kansas City, he’s now entered the conversation, along with Deshaun Watson, on whether the Bears made the right pick in Trubisky. Maybe the Bears snagged an Alex Smith and missed out on an Aaron Rodgers. He still has time to reach his potential, but right now Mitch looks like a game manager. Matt Nagy’s offense needs more than that to flourish, and Mitch has to grow if the Bears plan on being an elite team.

I have to remind myself that Mitch is very much still a rookie. He has yet to eclipse 16 games as a starter and this is only his second game under a new head coach In a brand new offense. Maybe it’s his nerves, or the pressure of playing in primetime, or maybe the kid needs that high noon sun to bring out his talent.

Game three is in Arizona against the Cardinals, another trash defense featuring future Hall of Famer Patrick Peterson at corner. They’ll throw various blitz packages in their gameplan, so this will be a game where Mitch’s field vision and pocket presence has to boost from the past two games. He can’t use Allen Robinson as a crutch, or he’ll be looking at another multiple interception turnout.

Coach em up Nagy… there’s a long season ahead for the promising QB.

Bears preseason ponders
 Jacob Funk/Chicago Bears 2018   

 Jacob Funk/Chicago Bears 2018

 

So week 2/game 3 of the Chicago Bears preseason is in the books, and the Monsters of the Midway pull away from the Denver Broncos with their first victory!!!

…..I need to chill on the exclamation. Its preseason. No one gives a fuck…..

     Although wins are obsolete at this time of the season, The Bears first quarter of play gave us in-depth insight on the productivity of our starters. Outside of a few fuck-ups (Most notably, a holding penalty that led to a fumbled snap causing a safety) the offense seemed to click across the board.  We got a chance to see some of our regular household names put in some work, as well as our newcomers display their fit in our scheme.

     On the defensive side of the ball, the Bears first team looked quite basic and somewhat suspect. The Broncos were able to convert several third down attempts. On a few occasions, The Broncos wide receivers created great separation from Bears defensive backs, but thankfully Case Keenum played like shit for most of the game

 Here are five key takeaways from Saturdays game

Roquan Smith didn’t play.

General manager Ryan Pace FINALLY got the job done and inked the eighth overall pick to a four-year contract. The Bears teased us by allowing Smith to dress for the game, but the promising rookie was merely an equipped fan on the sidelines….

Stop playing games with us Nagy…

Leonard Floyd is hurt…. again…

Well shit….Just as I was hoping for a full breakout season from the 2016 ninth overall pick, Leonard Floyd fractured his hand on Saturday. Granted, a hand injury is an injury that most guys can play through (See the ninja turtle Foot at the end of Jason Pierre-Paul’s arm), edge rushers need every advantage they can get in this league. Let’s hope he can overcome this and give us a double digit sack season.

The Bears insist on making Kevin White relevant

I’ve been trying my hardest to stay as optimistic as the Bears are about Kevin White, But I just haven’t seen anything worth salvaging

…until Saturday

White shook a few of the Broncos defensive backs as he took a pair of quick comeback routes for positive gains during Saturdays game. Again, I said QUICK comeback routes.

Basically, handoffs....

The kid showed mad squabbles but nothing first round worthy as of yet.  

Oh, so THAT’S the Anthony Miller we been hearing about!

His bark just might match his bite! A very vocal rookie, Anthony Miller has been the topic of Hype since May. Typically, I hate draft hype because most players end up being garbage against elite NFL talent but Miller might overcome the curse. Against the Broncos, the rookie effortlessly made a remarkable catch over two defenders. Is he the next Odell Beckham!?

Chill, it was one catch….

Trey Burton and Mitch Trubisky: Did we just become best friends!?

I can assure you that we will hear about this duo all season long. Trubisky targeted Burton five times for 45 yards and one touchdown. For at least two drives, it seems like the duo were the only two players on the field like a couple of chums playing a game of pitch and catch. Burton displayed the chops the break down nearly any linebacker or safety covering him in the slot. Can you blame Mitch for making Trey his #1 man?

79th and Halas EP 99 - Preseason preview ft. Jarrett Payton
Monsters of None: How the Bears have fooled their faithful fan base

The cold and I do not mix. I'm south side born and bred and still I dread the days of busting my ass on a sheet of concrete ice in zero degree wind chills. So if I leave the house to go sit in single digit temperatures on Christmas Eve to watch you play, you better damn well believe I'm irrationally in love with you.

I wish I could quit the Chicago Bears. I'm almost at that point. Bomani Jones frequently refers to the time he got "off that narcotic" and stopped being an Atlanta Falcons fan, giving hope to the idea that one could be heartbroken so much, in such cruel ways, that he finally said enough is enough.

I'm not ready to give up. Not just yet. I wanted to gauge the temperature of the fan base - literally and figuratively - so I did what any twenty-something Chicagoan lacking sensory receptors would do: I grabbed a $10 ticket off a scalper by the Field Museum to see two of the worst teams in football! It's like watching The Red Wedding on repeat, you do it because you enjoy misery.

17,539 rabid Bears fans decided they would rather spend the day curled up on their warm & cozy couch to watch the game, or they had better shit to do. Who am I kidding? It's probably the latter. The other 41,256 (announced) clowns and I split our time between standing in the beer line, huddling up next to three(!!!) space heaters in the concourse, and having a huge snowball fight with all the broke boys in the 300 level.

For a team that loves to tout its charter franchise status, the Bears have not operated themselves like the club with a near-century of history. Since their blowout loss to the 49ers in the '94 playoffs, Chicago has made the NFL playoffs a grand total of four times, winning just three games in that span. In that time the league has added expansion teams in Carolina (seven playoff appearances, nine wins), Jacksonville (seven playoff appearances, five wins) and moved the original Cleveland Browns to Baltimore before restoring the franchise in '99; the Ravens have won two Super Bowls since. The Rams left LA, put on the Greatest Show on Turf in St. Louis, and returned two decades later with a Lombardi trophy.

Saints fans are best known for donning paper bags in shame, but they got that damn Super Bowl. Even the Buccaneers shed years of ineptitude and got a ring. Oh, and that team you beat for your one and only Super Bowl win? They have five, and show no signs of slowing down on the way to number six.

Winners of nine NFL championships themselves, the Bears have just one title in the last 54 years. But it's that one that keeps fans holding onto the past...

1985.

Arguably the greatest Super Bowl winning team ever, the '85 Bears were a force on the field and icons off of it, especially in Chicago. They were so beloved, Mike Ditka held a job all the way through 2016. That team has sent certain personalities into pop culture lore, and has kept checks rolling in for plenty of guys who otherwise would've been forgotten.

One of those guys holding on for dear life is Emery Moorehead. No disrespect, but the dude had one touchdown and a season-long catch of 25 yards. I'm not saying he was trash, but the team would've won the ship without him.

(My father used to park cars in downtown Chicago during the '80s. He has tons of interesting stories, including one of Emery Moorehead requesting the top floor of his garage with two Becky's in the backseat "allegedly." You can piece together how the story goes.)

The Bears introduced Moorehead during a second quarter stoppage to maybe the biggest applause for anything on the field that wasn't a touchdown, turnover or Mitch Trubisky scramble. The love Chicago has for the '85 Bears is deeper than the current team on the field. It sickens me.

The fans are not at fault. The blame is up top, led by the worst of George Halas' many inventions: the McCaskey family. Daughter Virginia is a pissed old lady, never too pissed enough to cede responsibility from grandson George - so much a football guy that he hired Ernie Accorsi to find GM Ryan Pace in 2015 - or Ted Phillips. Ted is the Tom Hagen of the family; started handling the finances and player contracts and eventually worked his way to President and CEO of the organization. He's seldom seen nowadays, but it's imperative he stay away from all football operations if the Bears are going to return to prominence soon.

They have failed the hire the right people to put the best product on the field on Sundays. Sure guys like Trubisky, Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen, impressive personnel on defense when healthy, plus a returning Cam Meredith at wideout and gobs of cash to spend, there is light at the end of the tunnel. But many fans are apprehensive that this won't end up like last time. Like the national embarrassments aren't over. Like the Green Bay beat downs won't end. Like another bright summer in Bourbonnais won't give way to doom and gloom in December.

So as Moorehead showered in the adulation of the mildly raucous crowd, I booed the shit out of him. I wanted this organization to know that 1985 is not the standard of excellence in this town anymore. We've seen six NBA titles, a Hawks dynasty 49 years in the making, and hell THE WHITE SOX AND CUBS HAVE WON THE WORLD SERIES IN THIS MILLENNIUM!!! The Bears are Chicago's team, but what have they done for Chicago?

Some drunk guy behind me took offense and told me that I needed to respect the history of this team. He was wearing a Jay Cutler jersey, which tells me he has a long history of being a loser. Couldn't be me, but only God can judge.

Once he quit his bitching and came to see I was a die-hard who loved his team like him, I realized something: Bears fans are just tired of losing. So tired, we're at each other's throats. It's a hateful time to be a fan of this team, and changes need to be made. Change in the organization, change on the field, even change in us. Demand excellence of the team you support, don't settle for titles won before the BAD Tour.

The Bears won, the Browns remain winless, and Titties Trubisky saved Christmas. For one day, all was well on Lake Michigan, and in Halas Hall.

Some of those changes are underway. John Fox is fired, Dowell Loggains is likely out of here too. Ryan Pace is back to find his head coach, someone who can take Trubisky to the next level. But what lies ahead for the Monsters of the Midway remains unknown.

Let's hope it's a Lombardi trophy or two.