If the Chicago Bears are to beat the Titans in Tennessee today, they are going to have to get much better offensive production in the third quarter. I don’t know what happens at halftime in the Bears locker room, but head coach Matt Nagy is not firing up the team or making the necessary adjustments to properly attack the opponent. Chicago has been outscored 49-7 in the third quarter, their lone score coming on a one-yard run by Nick Foles against the Panthers in Week 6. The Bears needed three plays to get that final yard.
Nothing scarier than the Bears in the third quarter. https://t.co/hcK7BEqT60
— jon greenberg (@jon_greenberg) November 2, 2020
Perhaps the Bears should elect to receive if they win the coin toss, setting up the defense to take the field at the start of the second half because the offense just isn’t sparking the team. In Week 2, quarterback Mitch Trubisky threw an interception on the second play of the third quarter. When he did it on the third play of the second half the following week, he was benched for Foles. But that’s just a small sample size of the sloppy play that has hurt Chicago coming out of intermission.
Nagy’s squad has been just as ineffective running the ball after the break, and the offense has turned the ball over seven times, six by interception, and once on downs. They’ve also punted seven times, and have just five third quarter first downs. Yikes.
Today’s game is relatively big for the 5-3 Bears because the Packers (6-2) won on Thursday night. Chicago is also struggling to create distance in the race for a Wild Card berth in this year’s playoffs. The 49ers and Lions are each within striking distance. The Bears’ next three tilts after today’s game are against each of their NFC North opponents starting with the Vikings next Monday night.
Bears News & Notes
- The Bears placed safety Deon Bush on the reserve/Covid list, noting that he did not test positive, but is considered a close contact to someone away from the team who did test positive. Bush made the trip to Nashville, but is now quarantined from the rest of the team and will not play today.
- Running back David Montgomery graded out as the NFL’s best offensive player in week 8.
- Fans voted WR Allen Robinson the team’s best offensive player, but Montgomery actually grades out slightly higher.
- There hasn’t been much talk about Robinson’s contract lately, but the wide receiver sure deserves to make to get paid. He’s potentially the best weapon the Bears have. Pay that man his money.
- Akiem Hicks is a very talented defensive lineman and roars like a monster while playing.
- Trubisky will not need surgery on his injured throwing shoulder. What’s still unknown at this time is how long the backup QB is expected to be out.
- Tyler Bray has been activated from the practice squad to serve as Foles’ backup for today’s game.
- If you want to really impress your friends with an old-fashioned, Chicago-style tailgate or halftime spread, retired guard Tom Thayer has your back.
- Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton leads the list of 10 Greatest Bears of All-Time, per Sports Illustrated.
There’s a Flag…On the Play
No. 4 Notre Dame upset No. 1 Clemson 47-40 last night in what is now the signature game of coach Brian Kelly’s career with the Fighting Irish, but the postgame celebration is cringeworthy.
I think all 11,011 fans in the stadium not wearing orange and purple are on the field. pic.twitter.com/tIX1thGDAQ
— Eric Hansen (@EHansenNDI) November 8, 2020
Lions QB Matthew Stafford will start Sunday’s game against the Vikings after testing negative for coronavirus earlier this morning. Stafford landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday after recently coming into contact with someone who had tested positive for the infectious disease.
“The results are not final. There is a path to victory, however narrow or challenged. The path winds through battleground states and traditional strongholds. Patience is advised, and there is no need to declare a winner until all of the results are in.” Sorry, I’m talking about the 2-5, last place Vikings, and not Donald Trump.
League News & Notes
Saints QB Drew Brees was a full participant during Friday’s practice and is expected to play against the Buccaneers tonight. WR Michael Thomas is expected to play barring any setbacks in his recovery from ankle and hamstring injuries.
New Orleans safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson was fined $5,128 for unsportsmanlike conduct for the incident against the Bears that led to a scuffle with WR Javon Wims, who has been suspended by the league for two games for his role in the incident.
The Cowboys may have some colorful options when it comes to replacing injured punter Chris Jones. One is backup P Hunter “The Punter” Niswander, a 6-5, 240 pound ex-XFL player who can kick with either leg. They’ve also brought in Marquette King on a tryout. ing set records as a punter for the Raiders but also brought a great deal of attention to himself with his celebrations following successful punts. King even wrote a reggae song called “Here Comes the King” about his on field exploits.
The Seahawks are deviating from their all-blue uniforms for today’s game against the Bills.
Gimme Bradshaw’s Money
If you are not aware, Fox Sports is trying to give away $1 million in its NFL Sunday Challenge. The money allegedly belongs to Terry Bradshaw, but we know better. Here are my picks for today.
- Chiefs minus 7-9 points against the Panthers.
- Bears over the Titans by 1-3 points.
- Seahawks minus 4-6 points against the Bills.
- The Washington Football Team defeating the Giants by 4-6 points.
- Colts over the Ravens by 1-3 points.
- Buccaneers minus 4-6 points against the Saints.
By the way, last week I went 1-5, though I did pick five winners. I was way off on the point spreads.
Antonio Brown is back, and hopefully lessons learned will be the prevailing attitude.
"After nearly seeing his career come to an end, Antonio Brown is thankful for what might be his best, and final chance to save it."
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) November 7, 2020
At The Podium
- “The biggest thing is just going in at halftime and talking through things, and it’s making sure we’re ready to roll going into the third quarter. And that’s something we can work through and get right. But once again, it goes back to trusting one another to get it right. The third quarter has been a lull for us throughout the season.” – Nick Foles
- “Penalties [have] really derailed many of our drives. We’re getting close to the 50-yard line, something like that, third-and-four, third-and-five, we get a delay-of-game or a false start or whatever penalty, and now it’s third-and-11. Things like that really take the momentum out of your drive.” – Allen Robinson
Creeque Alley by The Mamas & The Papas – Did you know the phrase “gettin’ fat” used to meant getting paid what your due?