Before I get the no shit Sherlock comments by what’s necessary I mean keep it simple and low drama. Style points need not be involved for the W. Of course big plays hopefully will make their appearances in abundance but without the need for sophisticated game plans and scheme versus Buffalo.
The popular topic of conversation after the Jets game aside from the concerning Kyle Long injury (Who has been put on injured reserve as announced by the Bears yesterday) and the irrational Mitch Trubisky over critiquing, boring and bland were the most thrown about adjectives describing this past Sundays battle at Soldier field. While I won’t dispute such descriptions I’ll probably disagree with some who view it as an unimpressive win.
The beauty in this past win was in it’s simplicity and subsequent blandness. The fact that the ball was put in as little harm as possible on offense and big plays were kept at it’s absolute minimum versus the Bears defense allowed the Bears to never be in jeopardy of losing the lead. I typically want my teams to ere on the side of aggression, and I have been particularly critical of Fangio and the defense’s lack of risk and innovation With his pressure packages. This, versus some immobile quarterbacks coupled together with soft coverages lacking the ability to stop the short passing game schemed to slow the Bears pass rush down.
However, in this case conservatism was and is welcome and even prefered. When facing a bad team there is no need for great innovation. Just let your talent beat theirs mano-a-mano. In some cases you don’t have to beat them at all. You simply allow them to beat themselves. This Coming Sunday should be the Jets game part 2.
The Bears should feast defensively. The Quarterbacking is at the very bottom of the league and the Bills Nathan Peterman is as Skiddish as it gets. Oh, and should he falter badly or get hurt his backup is non other than Matt Barkley. Add in the fact they may very well be facing the worst offensive line in the NFL and the offense may not even have to score as the defense may have the opportunity for 2 or 3 scores. No need for the offense to play around trying to be Air Coryell against a very capable defense on the road.
The Bears did an excellent job at stopping the run cold, and limiting big plays versus the pass and not risking turning the ball over With uneccessary razzle dazzle and risky passes into coverage on offense. Let’s also not forget being sound on special teams. The only way the Jets could have won was by dominating the time of possession, winning the turnover battle and scoring a touchdown or two on defense &/or special teams.
Predictability is not even that much of a concern on the upcoming Bills game especially defensively. Hopefully, the game plan for the Jets wasn’t thrown out because it should be on the trip to Buffalo. Now, on offense the Bears may have to change it up against a pretty legitimate NFL defensive unit in Buffalo. However, more so playing the matchups and scouted tendencies more so than innovative plays. If the Bears repeat Sundays boring performance mark them down as 5-3 going into week 9 versus the Lions at home and in good shape going into three very big division games in a row.
Bears offense turning a corner:
With each passing week it’s becoming evidently clear that the Bears offense is getting dangerously close to being on par with the best offenses in the league. It’s actually scary in itself that this is an offense that’s already in the top 10 in offensive yardage and points scored in just their 7th game played. This with a developing 2nd year Quarterback and a bunch of new parts that have not played together until this season.
One person that is impressed with what’s going on offensively for the Bears is Tony Romo who had nothing but glowing commentary and even so much as predicted it would give teams problems in the post season. With the Bears taking offense seriously and in the age of offensive dominance it’s time for Bears fans to get more educated on the offensive side of the ball. I mean other than a complementary running game between the tackles to the defense.
Should Mack come back?
This question is borderline annoying. I get people worrying about his long term health but don’t those same people think the Bears are even more concerned for his Long term health. They have a very hefty financial investment and gave up a good portion of their future for him and the team’s success hinges on his effectiveness. If he plays he’s healthy enough to play and that is that.
Taking a peak ahead to the 2019 NFL Draft & Veteran Free Agency:
Bears need their version of Kareem Hunt to advance to the upper stratosphere of NFL offenses. It’s blatantly clear that Jordan Howard is not in the long term plans with this team. He may be part of a draft day trade package to get the Bears more picks or higher up the draft board. He may even be back for one final season and perhaps moved at the 2019 trade deadline. However, the Bears will more than likely be acquiring a Running Back at some point next season to at the least groom as their future high volume back.
As good as he’s been, Tarik Cohen is not going to hold up if asked to carry the ball 15-20 times a game and also be in their nickel packages as a receiving threat. Let’s not forget as a punt returner too, although with his latest bad decision last week almost coughing up the football I’m about to sit him down on that phase.
The Bears will have some interesting choices including from within with Ryan Nall currently on the practice squad. He does have an interesting skill set to go along with size.
However, I think it’s a foregone conclusion you will see an investment of significance via Free Angency or the draft and who knows even a trade for a veteran. There are some pretty interesting names out there that could fit in perfectly in Matt Nagy’s offense.
Le’veon Bell comes instantly to mind as far as Free Agents are concerned. Think it’s safe to say with James Conner’s success even exceeding Bell’s he will not be returning to Pittsburgh. Think it’s also safe to say his asking price will be significantly smaller after missing an entire season. Still, will the Bears pony up such a rich deal for a Running Back? One that may be seen as a malcontent after sitting out the 2018 season at that. That being the negative take it’s still fun to envision Bell the football player in a Bears uniform in this system.
There are some interesting Backs coming out of college too. One back I have my eye on and should be there when the Bears pick on day 2 is Oklahoma State Cowboys Running Back Justice Hill. When I watch tape of him I can’t help but think of Kareem Hunt. Maybe even with a little more explosion. His cutting ability in the open field is extraordinary. His ability to plant and change direction on a dime should serve him well on his route running ability. He also shows soft hands and the ability to adjust and contort his body on throws that may be less than perfect.