Quick Game Comments: Jets at Bears 10/28/18


  1. The Bears came out in the 3-4 against 3 wide. They were obviously thinking to stop the run first. The Jets ran into the teeth of it obviously thinking that they could run anyway. You figured play action passing would be a big part of the game plan later on.
  2. Sam Darnold wasn’t particularly accurate early on. Still, he was unflappable and he looks like he belongs out there. Good size. Good arm. Decent release. I like him.
  3. Akiem Hicks appeared to be pretty up for this game. He looked like he was doing a lot of jawing. I’d like to think that the absence of Khalil Mack made him want to pick up the slack even more.
  4. The Bears did a good job of dominating the line of scrimmage in the first half. They held the Jets to less than 3 yards per carry.
  5. They did a good job in the defensive backfield as well against a Jets receiving core that was hurting.
  6. The Bears blitzed way more than usual this game in an effort to get more pressure without Mack and to confuse Darnold. I’d say it was effective.


  1. The Bears came out trying to break some tendencies. They ran Tairk Cohen up the middle rather than to the edges and they rolled Mitch Trubisky out to the left rather than to the right. Trubisky had a good run on an option play where he kept the ball. They obviously wanted the Jets guessing.
  2. The Bears stuck with the short passing game, obviously worried about countering the Jets tendency to blitz.
  3. The screen pass that went 70 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter was probably designed to do that as well. It caught the Jets bringing the house. Nice block by Taylor Gabriel on that play.
  4. Nice job at the line of scrimmage by the Bears offensive line. For the most part the Bears did what they wanted up front. James Daniels did fine at left guard.
  5. As I implied above, I was impressed by the things that the Bears did counter the Jets blitz. Nagy showed a nack for knowing when Jets head coach Todd Bowles was going to dial one up and what they did really helped keep Trubisky comfortable against just the kind of defense that has caused him the most trouble over the course of the year.
  6. It’s not a revelation for anyone now but Trubisky is struggling badly with his accuracy. So many open men missed… [head shake] Very frustrating.
  7. I’ve noticed a hesitation on the part of the Bears ball carriers to cut back inside. There are often reasonably big gaps there but they seemingly refuse to take advantage. Jordan Howard’s vision has not been as evident this year.
  8. I thought Trey Burton was strangely absent given the game plan. The Bears may have concluded that, too, because it seemed like they started to look in his direction more late in the third quarter and into the fourth. They tried a couple shuffle passes that didn’t go anywhere.
  9. Really hope Kyle Long is OK. It ws kind of funny that about 6 guys were needed to give him a hand up.
  10. Was glad to see Trubisky finally connect with Anthony Miller for a touchdown. Miller seems to be a particularly common victim of Trubisky’s wild throws.


  1. Jim Nance, Tony Romo and Tracy Wolfson were your announcers. Romo is among the best there is right now though he didn’t get much of a chance to show it in this low scoring snoozer. Frankly, if he had a fault it was that he was too complimentary of the Bears.  Romo played quarterback at Eastern Illinois.I wouldn’t be too surprised if the Bears turned out to be the team he was talking about by the end of the year. But they aren’t there, yet, and I don’t see a playoff team.
  2. Special Teams
    1. Cody Parkey isn’t making anyone forget Robbie Gould as he missed a 40 yard field goal after a good opening drive by the Bears offense.
    2. Parkey didn’t look comfortable hitting the ball all game. Every extra point felt like an adventure.
  3. Drops weren’t a factor.
  4. Penalties
    1. The Jets had a lot of pre-snap penalties throughout this game that made their work quite a bit harder. That sort of lack of discipline, particularly the false starts against a defense that didn’t have Khalil Mack, doesn’t speak well for anyone.
    2. Kyle Long had a particularly stupid unnecessary roughness penalty that brought back a long completion for a first down.
    3. The Bears had the Jets off the field on a 3rd and 13 and Eddie Jackson leveled a helpless receiver in the 4th quarter. The lead was only 14 points and they needed to get the ball back in the offense’s hands. The Jets turned it into a touchdown. It was inexcusable.
  5. No turnovers for either side was surprising given the lack of discipline both teams showed when it came to penalties.
  6. Loved the shot of Anthony “Spice” Adams on the side line dancing away during the game.
  7. You knew the Bears were in trouble when they dominated the Jets in every category in the first half including both rushing (59-33 yards) and passing (115-54 yards) but were only up 7-3. They dominated a team at the line of scrimmage that wasn’t playing well and had 5 penalties for 30 yards) but couldn’t take advantage. It was a recipe for disaster for a team that has so often given up leads in the second half. Against a better team it might have hurt them.
  8. The Bears really seemed to want this game. They needed to get what playoff hopes they have alive against a team that they knew was beatable at home. Anthony Miller on offense and Akiem Hicks on defense seemed particularly vocal. They played a pretty good game all around outside of some of the usual poor throws from Trubisky. They need to string a few together like this.

Khalil Mack Has to Sit for Himself as Well as For the Good of the Team

Dan Wiederer at the Chicago Tribune on the Bears injury situation:

“[Bears head coach Matt] Nagy continued to characterize outside linebacker Khalil Mack and receiver Allen Robinson as “day-to-day” with their injuries. Mack has played through a right ankle issue the last two games and has been hindered. Robinson couldn’t finish Sunday’s loss due to a groin injury.”

“With Mack, in particular, Nagy was asked how the Bears will decide whether the outside linebacker should continue to play through his injury or sit out to aid his recovery.

“’It’s not easy,’ Nagy said. ’That’s where the trust level from both ends has to be there. The player has to understand where we’re coming from as a team as to (asking) where you’re at percentage-wise. We all now that he’s not 100 percent, but where are you at? That’s where we trust him, he trusts us and then we go ahead with the action plan.”’

Nagy has to take charge of this situation. It’s easy to see that Mack can’t play. He has nothing like the power that he showed early in the season and, at times, seemed to actually back up off of blocks against the Patriots.

Mack almost certainly doesn’t want to come off the field. But he’ll recover faster if he does and with Leonard Floyd struggling they need to get someone else like Kylie Fitts or Isaiah Irving onto the field.

Quick Game Comments: Patriots at Bears 10/21/18


  1. The Patriots came out attacking the edges of the Chicago defense with a lot of success.
  2. They also came out with a lot of short passing, challenging the Bears to converge and make the tackle. There was still some bad tackling on the first touchdown drive but kudos to the Patriots for some good fundamental football. They did a nice job of blocking up the plays.
  3. The Pats were picking on Leonard Floyd in coverage, especially when they thought they had him matched up on Julian Edelman.
  4. Bilal Nichols had a real good game and it was nice to see someone step with with Khalil Mack apparently suffering while playing on the bad ankle. Nichols stood out in the preseason and was one of reason why there was some hope that the Bears had some more depth on defense than they had in the past.
  5. More missed tackles on a long pass to Josh Gordon 55 yards to the Bears 1 yard line that resulted in a touchdown. There was no pass rush to speak of. The Bears defense looked tired again without the excuse of being in the Miami sun. These long plays with bad tackling in the fourth quarter have to stop.
  6. Its now evident that Mack is really hampered by the bad ankle. He’s not rushing with any power at all. The other Bears have to pick it up without him because he’s not going to be the dominant pass rusher that he was until he recovers.


  1. The Bears came out running against the Patriots nickel look. Eventually they went to the air and struggled but it may have been enough to keep the Patriots honest as the Bears did a decent job of running it in the first half.
  2. Eventually the Patriots started bring a lot of blitzes and they were getting a lot of free guys. They obviously watched the Arizona film.
  3. The Bears tried a long pass to Allen Robinson and it occurs to me that they might be better off trying to throw to the back shoulder on those. Its very difficult to defend, especially when the defensive back is with him step for step.
  4. Similar to what the Dolphins did, whenever Tarik Cohen was in the game, the Patriots perked up and keyed on him. Whatever happened , they weren’t going to let him beat them.
  5. Mitch Trubisky got good protection early when the Patriots weren’t blitzing but he really looked uncomfortable and confused by the zone defense the Patriots were playing under those circumstances. Most of the Bears offense in the first quarter was Trubisky running the ball rather than throwing it. It seems one thing the Bears have to do better is getting Trubisky comfortable at the start of the game.
  6. Trubisky was especially effective avoiding the rush in the pocket. Its a good thing because the Patriots had them totally confused with the blitzes they were bringing. Trubisky made some really dangerous throws under pressure and once again he was erratic with his accuracy. Handling the blitz is something he has to get better at.
  7. The knock on Jordan Howard coming into the year was that he couldn’t catch the ball. But every time I see him go out for a pass it seems like he catches it and makes a good play. Seems like they could use him more this way.
  8. Good game by Trey Burton who turned in some big plays inclusding a touchdown catch lat in the game to get the Bears to 7 points down.


  1. Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn were your announcers.  I liked Fouts a lot.  He’s not a big Xs and Os guy but he peppered in good, sharp comments throughout the game that I really thought enhanced the viewing experience.  Eagle is a pro.
  2. Special Teams
    1. I was really surprised that they Bears went for it on 4th and 4 in the second quarter. The alternative was a 48 yard field goal and given that head coach Matt Nagy went with Cody Parkey for a 53 yard penalty last week at the end of the game, I thought going with him for the 48 yarder would be a no brainer. The Bears made the first down.
    2. Cordarrelle Patterson had a really nice 95 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Looked like some bad tacking by the Bears on the play.
    3. Dont’a Hightower scored a touchdown on a blocked punt in the third quarter.
    4. Patterson had a big kick return after the Bears touchdown late in the fourth quarter to get the Pats to their own 40 yard line. They eventually punted to pin the Bears back at their own 20 yard line with 24 seconds left to play.  The game was basically over.
    5. As was the case last week, special teams made a huge difference in this game with the Bears coming out on the short end. I think that the third phase needs to come out of this game and take a good look at itself in the mirror.
  3. The Patriots had a number of bad drops, some of which took away some big gains. The Bears seemed to do better in this respect.
  4. Penalties
    1. A series of bad penalties by Patriots defensive backs kept the Bears second scoring drive alive after they recovered a fumble on the Patriots 35 yard line. Eventually they jammed the ball into the end zone. These sorts of penalties on their defensive backs plagued the Patriots all game.
    2. The Pats also had a dumb unsportsman like penalty on Keion Crossen when he failed to immediately come back in bounds as the gunner on a punt.
    3. Yet another illegal formation penalty took a touchdown off the board at the beginning of the second half. That’s becoming a bad habit.
    4. This wasn’t a great game for either teams in terms of penalties but it was particularly bad for the Patriots with 7 for 64 yards.
  5. Turnovers
    1. A bad fumble by Patterson on a kickoff return cause by his own man was recovered by DeAndre Houston-Carson gave the Bears the ball at about the Patriot 25 yard line. That eventually turned into a Mitch Trubisky run for a touchdown with some real good blocking by the Bears down field on the off schedule scramble.
    2. Sony Michelle had another bad fumble giving them the ball at the Patriot 35 yard line. The Bears turned it into a touchdown.
    3. Trubisky threw an interception to J.C. Jackson late in the third quarter at the New England 31 yard line. He then threw another one early in the fourth quarter to Jonathan Jones at the NE 4 yard line. Neither of these throws was really horrible. I thought they were both good plays by the defensive backs.
    4. Kyle Fuller had a nice interception late in the fourth quarter that the Bears needed if they were going to have any chance at coming back from 14 points down to win this game. The Bears got the ball at their own 37 yard line. They converted it into a touchdown on a pass to Trey Burton.
  6. What struck me about this game was how good the Patriots are at doing the little things. They didn’t play well coming off a tough game against Kansas City without Rob Gronkowski with a lot of penalties, turnovers and some dropped passes. But good blocking, good special teams and good fundamentals will go a long way.The Bears have a long, long way to go to compete with the elite of the NFL. Trubisky has to get better at handling the blitz and he has to get more accurate. The defense has to pick it up without an injured Khalil Mack.

Quick Game Comments: Bears at Dolphins 10/14/18


  1. The Dolphins came out running at the Bears right up the middle. They had moderate success early and probably planned to wear the Bears defense out over time. It may have worked as the Bears looked a little tired in the heat in the second half. The Dolphins upped the tempo in the third quarter to take advantage. Under the circumstances, you had to like the Dolphins chances at home in over time.
  2. The Bears were flat on defense and there was some pretty bad tacking out there from start to finish. It resulted in some very big plays including a Dolphins game tying touchdown by Albert Wilson late in the fourth quarter. In particular, Kyle Fuller really needs to start wrapping guys up.
  3. The touchdown to Wilson came on another of those shallow crossing routes that the Bears seem to be so susceptible to.
  4. The Dolphins gave Ja’Wuan James plenty of tight end help and they did a pretty good job of containing Khalil Mack.
  5. The Bears struggled to generate a pass rush. Eventually they started playing more games up front and blitzing. They got a bit more on Oswieler in the second half after that.
  6. Roquan Smith had a good job tracking Kenyan Drake around the field. Drake is a pretty good pass catcher out of the backfield.
  7. The Dolphins evidently liked their tight ends matched up against safety Adrian Amos. They went to them a number of times and had some success doing it.
  8. One of the things the Patriots did a good job of against the Dolphins was chip their smaller receivers off of the line of scrimmage, especially Danny Amendola in the slot. Surprisingly the Bears decided not to do that and the Dolphins receivers frequently ran free through the defensive backfield.
  9. Two Dolphins possessions in the read zone in the third quarter resulted in field goals both times with the Dolphins struggling in the red zone. If you are a Dolphins fan those have to be touchdowns.


  1. The Dolphins came out with 8 in the box, basically daring the Bears to pass.
  2. Mitch Trubisky was erratic despite having time to throw. He threw two uncatchable balls in the first possession.
  3. Rahad Jones had a very good game. He was pretty much everywhere.
  4. The Dolphins evidently had some pretty good coverage on the back end. Trubisky had all day to throw but he struggled finding open receivers.
  5. As I feared, this was the Trubisky that we saw against Arizona. The Dolphins played a heavy dose of man coverage and Trubisky had a very difficult time finding his receivers and looked confused. If he doesn’t have a very well defined read, he’s got a problem. The Dolphins didn’t blitz much but when they did, he reacted poorly. In fairness, he looked better in the second half but he’s got a long way to go.
  6. The Bears offensive line did a pretty good job but there were breakdowns in protection on obvious passing downs that need to not happen.
  7. The Bears continue to target Taylor Gabriel on the deep passing game rather than Allen Robinson. Robinson is taller and is better going up to get the 50:50 balls but the Bears believe that Gabriel is fast enough to out run the cornerbacks in the league. I haven’t seen that much in the games, though. In fairness Gabriel caught two long passes but he was well covered. I’m not a believer, yet.
  8. The Bears finally caught the Dolphins in a stunt on the third touchdown by Tarik Cohen. This was a testament to continuing to run the ball despite limited success. The Patriots pulled off some similar big runs against the Dolphins two weeks ago but it takes discipline to pull it off.
  9. Another monster game for Tarik Cohen. He’s a terrible mismatch with any linebacker. By the end of the game the entire Dolphins linebacking corp and a safety were all following him around the field.


  1. Brian Custer, Greg Jennings and Doug Gotlieb were your announcers and didn’t impress me much. There wasn’t much in the way of unique insight and they did teach the audience much of anything.
  2. Jason Sanders hit a solid 60 yard field goal in mid-third quarter that looked like it would have been good from 60. The Bears missed 53 yard field goal in overtime Jason Sanders made his and that was the difference.
  3. The Bears had a delay of game late in the first quarter. That killed a drive in which the Bears went for it on fourth own and didn’t get it.The Dolphins had a pass interference and a defensive holding call in the same series, giving he Bears a first down both times.Minkah Fitzpatrick had a damaging pass interference early in the second half. I’m not really that surprised. He tends to be pretty physical in coverage. The Bears converted it into a touchdown.

    Frank Gore got shaken up on what should have been a helmet to helmet call. That was a bad miss in terms of player safety.

    The Bears had a couple illegal formation calls that were irritating. Apparently they had a receiver that wasn’t lining up on the end of the line. They need to clean that up.

    Bad pass interference call on Trey Burton on what would have been the fourth Bears touchdown. Burton barely touched Kiko Alonzo on what looked like a legitimate NFL play. It was followed by an interception in the end zone and eventually it turned into a Dolphins touchdown with a two point conversion. That’s a 15 point swing.

  4. Albert Wilson dropped one early. Amendola had a drop early in the second half. Other than that, I don’t think they factored into the game much.
  5. Jordan Howard lost a devastating fumble late in the second half on the goal line that likely cost the Bears 7 points. Brock Osweiler returned the favor by throwing an interception near the Bears goal line shortly afterwards with less than a minute left in the half. Kyle Fuller had a bad Osweiler interception early in the second half. The Bears converted it into a touchdown on a pass to Allen Robinson on the next play.Of course the crowning turnover was the Tarik Cohen fumble with less than two minute left at mid field.  Until Kenyan Drake fumbled on the goal line in over time.Too many turnovers on both sides today.
  6. If I see one more “9-1-1” commercial I’m going to puke. Cops, firemen, doctors! Everything you need to be a hit! If you’re about 70 years old.
  7. If you are a Dolphins fan, the continuing lack of discipline has to be worrying. They shot themselves in the foot a lot today and they were working a small, dink and dunk game plan where they really couldn’t afford set backs. Both teams had too many penalties. Third and nine late in the fourth quarter and you have a broken coverage. If you are the Dolphins, that really hurts.
  8. I didn’t love the decision by the Bears to run the ball three straight times into the center of the line in over time to settle for a fifty-three field goal.  I know that both teams were giving the ball away in key moments at the drop of a hat but if its me, I trust my guys and stay aggressive to make that a better shot if possible.  I wasn’t surprised that Cody Parkey missed it.
  9. The Bears looked flat coming off of the bye, especially on defense. On the other side, the Dolphins looked like they were pretty high for this one, evidently seeing it as a winable game. Sometimes teams pull together in the face of adversity and with Ryan Tannehill out, the may have been the case here.The Bears were a step slow all over the field. The Dolphins have some speed which, of course, didn’t help. The heat probably didn’t help either. Eventually the Bears defense wore down and it was over.