Posts tagged Football
79th and Halas - Heartbreak on the Lakefront

It's a sad day for 79th and Halas as Pierce joins Flows and Scott after the Bears heartbreaking loss to the Eagles in the Wild Card Round.

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79th and Halas - From Worst to First

The Bears go worst to first! Flows and Scott talk about Sunday’s season-ending sweep of the Vikings before looking ahead to the Bears’ first playoff game in eight years this Sunday against the defending champion Eagles!

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.

79th and Halas EP 99 - Preseason preview ft. Jarrett Payton

For the 99th episode and return to a new season of 79th and Halas, the guys invite WGN Radio's own, CLTV's own, THE U's own and the son of the GOAT Walter Payton, Jarrett Payton, to discuss the upcoming Bears season and predictions for it.

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Bear the pain, trade Jordan Howard
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears offseason has been a busy one. For the second time in 10 years, the Mccaskey family forked out big dollars for an elite WR, giving QB Mitchell Trubisky enough weapons to develop into an elite Player. The Bears offensive roster has upgraded tremendously, but there is one more move that the bears must make for the sake of the team...

That nigga Jordan Howard gotta go

Don’t get me wrong, Howard is a fucking beast! Averaging nearly 1,200 yard rushing seasons is no easy feat. He’s easily one of the Top 5 running backs in the NFL. But let’s face the truth: that won’t last long

Dominant power Running backs come and go every year. Remember When Eddie Lacy was good? How about Peyton Hillis? Alfred Morris?. There are VERY FEW runningbacks  that have a shelf life over 4 years, and those running backs can catch the football. Jordan Howard can’t do that.

Howard is a pro style running back. He will thrive best  in singleback & “I” formations, which the Bears will see less of with new coach Matt Nagy. Although, most of Howard’s great runs have come from outside zone plays, he lacks breakaway speed. His acceleration is great, but he’s overall slow as fuck and he definitely isn’t gonna get any faster as the years continue.

At best, Jordan Howard has about three good years left, meaning he’s at the peak of his career and he’s closing in on the end of his rookie contract. Why not trade him while his value is high? The Chicago bears can put him on the Block and possibly get a 2nd & 3rd rounder or even two 2nd round picks for him! 

So is Tarik Cohen the answer? Hell no. The kid is a beast, but he’s a tiny ass nigga. No way he can bare 20 carries a game for an entire season. If someone make that trade this year, the Bears can/should draft a younger, more versatile back with breakaway speed such as Rashad Penny, Derrius Guice, Sony Michel,  even Nick Chubb.