Justin Fields needs to improve quite a bit from last season

Justin Fields took entirely too many hits as a QB in 2021, I don’t think anyone would disagree. Being sacked 36 times which puts him at 3 sacks per game, and that’s not including just the hits that he took either running the ball or getting hit as he released the ball. He was sacked 11.8% of the time – in case you were curious, that’s a lot. I respect the effort that he gives on the field but the fact is he struggles getting the ball out is definitely a problem. Fields needs to learn how to chuck the ball – when things are going sideways, instead of running backwards 5 and 6 yards trying to make some phenomenal play with his feet. 

When playing at Ohio State, he was the guy everybody was watching and he was the Top Dog, and teams couldn’t stop him – but now he’s playing in the big leagues, where players are faster, smarter, and bigger.  The rolling out and darting off down-filled is going to be picked up much quicker now.  Now of course the former Buckeye really didn’t have any real weapons at wideout for him to use, Darnell Mooney is a potentially decent WR, at best, and Allen Robinson couldn’t seem to get open. Their best player as an offensive skill player was probably David Montgomery who got them 849 on the ground & 301 through the air last season. The Oline is certainly not anything to be happy with – and Fields did not help them with his decision-making. Although exciting and fun to have a QB with the ability to take off when things break down, it isn’t helping young players with proper decision making and learning how to read a defense. 

The Bears team as a whole were terrible on offense, scoring just 18.3 per game for the year and scoring 27 or more only 3 times. The 6-3 QB is not solely responsible for putting points on the board, but he is a large portion of the offensive identity.  And the Bears offensive identity was not good. I wasn’t a huge fan of Justin Fields when he was drafted, I thought he lacked the ability to read a blitz and struggled with awareness, to be the next big thing for the Bears. I don’t think that a whole lot of people thought that Fields was going to turn around the Bears franchise immediately. But to be fair, we have to remember he’s only played 12 games as a professional football player, I think it’s fair to give any young QB more time before being harshly criticized. The first year for a rookie QB, in my opinion, is the potential year.  

See what they do well and hope that continues to grow. 

See what they did poorly, and hope to see improvement in the next year. 

Very rarely do you see a QB explode in their rookie year, oftentimes I think that fans get caught up in the anomalies, and then expect their QB to do the same thing when they hit the field. And that really is very unrealistic and unfair. Overall his rookie season was pretty forgettable, nothing that stood out exceptional. His passing percentage was 58.9% and his QBR was only 26.4. 2022 is the year that I think the Chicago Bears should be more excited about. Whether they improve or not as a team will definitely be based on what kind of talent they can get around the 22 year old. 

Losing their big offseason signing, former 1st rd WR draft choice, 6-4 N’Keal Harry indefinitely, does not help, and Byron Pringle with his injury status is concerning as well. I think the Bears were hoping to get those guys on the field with their QB and start something new. It looks like they have tried to get him some better quality players, but with their WR issues they have now, they may need even some more help.

Can Mitch Trubisky get to the next level

I never was someone who head first bought into Mitch Trubisky coming out of North Carolina. With an 8-5 season on his shoulder and 13 starts in 2016 – it wasn’t enough for me to think he was going to be a big-time star in the NFL. Trubisky was very accurate in college, with 67% for his career – but had a good college receiving core with Ryan Switzer and Bug Howard, and I feel his one good year in UNC brought him some overvalued praise. But I would think many of us thought Jared Goff was a bust, after his 2016 season with 54% passing and his poor decision making – and we were proven wrong, with his 2 consecutive seasons of 28+ TDs and 62% passing rate – so who knows?
I think there has been some improvement across the board, as he had gone from 59% to 66% completion rate from 2017-2018 and 2.1% to 5.5% TD rate in the same period – all the while learning the QB position in the NFL under different regimes. Not too bad. And Trubisky only had one year under Nagy and before that – John Fox didn’t do anything to help him, and as he gets more comfortable in the Bears offense, I think he should improve his game. This is his 3rd season – in his 1st season, he was stuck with Fox – who was tanking the team, and he only played 12 games. In 2018 he played with a new head coach, with a new scheme, and he helped bring them to the postseason, and being honest – Trubisky was a very big part in last years success. Mitch isn’t the greatest passer in the league and probably never will be, but he has the ability to win the game for his team or lose it for them.
I don’t see Bears Mitch ever being a 40 passes / game, spread offense type QB, and he isn’t necessarily one the QB types that people crave to watch play the game.  In his first season in the Nagy offense – he started out shaky in the first 3 games – but then looked good heading through the last 3 games of the season with 3TD and 0 picks over the last few games. He has been more than subpar this season with 0 TDs thrown yet – so the process needs to stay the course.
A huge problem with this generation of fans – is they expect these young guys to come out of school and dominate the league, and win a SuperBowl right away. Only a small amount of guys have been able to do that – most probably should ride the pine before taking over – and earn the chance to be the guy. He has shown a few glimpses of being the Bears long time QB –  but his WR group have not been great either. Mitch needs to stop getting so anxious, and trust his guys – one of his biggest issues has been his consistency, with several games of less than 60% passing and 4 games with 2+ picks and then 3 games with 3+ TD passes and 3 games with 70%or better passing along with carrying a 10+ YPA in those games in 2018 – and it is obvious he is still working out some off season rust.
I wasn’t a fan of the pick in 2017 – and I still don’t think they should have traded what they did for him – and he has been awful so far with 174 YPG and a 58% completion pct. I think this season cam still end up as a leap for him and Nagy – Mitch Trubisky should get better – and I do look for him to improve. He still is making some poor decisions, and I think this high expectationed season could make or break him. But, Trubisky is nowhere near his ceiling yet. The Bears have looked less than great so far at 1-1 and are at the bottom of the NFL in passing yards this season – and Mitch has been repugnant at the helm. Trubisky seems to be getting more comfortable in the pocket – but the 25 year old still needs to get better with going through progressions, I don’t think I see him ever cracking the top 5 – but I think he could be in the top 12-15 conversation.
So here we go.

Can the Chicago Bears defense carry them to the championship

With how good the Chicago defense has been this season, what can we
expect from the Bears in the playoffs?

This team has great play-makers at every level of the defense. The
Chicago D is currently rated 3rd in points allowed, 2nd in yards
gained/pass attempt, 1st in passing ints, with 27 pilfers at the time
of this article, 1st in rushing TDs allowed with just 5 on the ground,
and are playing with a defensive 3rd down conversion percentage of 35%
– there is no team that lines up vs the Bears and is thrilled. In 8
regular season games, the Bears have given up just an average of 17.5
points/game at home and only 19 ppg on the road. If the Bears are to
make a big-time run in the playoffs – opposing teams might be fortunate
to reach those numbers, their smothering defense is something that
travels well, and a lot of fun to watch. They have been so successful
by keeping everything in front of them, and not allowing many big
plays. They give some really difficult looks, and some exceptional
blitzes, where they have forced bad throws and created havoc.

Pro Bowler DB, Kyle Fuller and 27 year old Khalil Mack get the bears
share of the attention, and deservedly so. But there’s even more to
that nasty Chicago defense than that. 340lb Akiem Hicks has gone from
just a pass rushing specialist to complete player, and the 7 year vet
has absorbed his role as more of a DT, as a run stopper, QB crusher,
and disruptor, and has made huge plays over the 2018 season. Roquan
Smith or Mack typically stuff any screen on the right side, and Hicks
shuts it down on the left side. And if a back gets around him, they’ve
got Danny Trevathan or Leonard Floyd waiting to greet them 3 yards
out. Mack epitomizes the term “collision sport” with 12.5 sacks and 18
QB hits – he has been the centerpiece for the top ended ranked D all

The Monsters of the Midway have a very stout, and also very fast D
line. It’s a tough situation for any team to deal with only 4 games
giving up 100 or more running yards. So they force you to throw the
ball, where they stalk the field like starving wolves with 2 guys with
6 or more picks. Fuller is the magical “shutdown” corner, and QBs
struggle oftentimes to get a pass get completed against him. Same goes
for the active handed Eddie Jackson and Prince Amukamara. The deadly
CBs are playing on the receiver’s hip, especially Fuller. QB’s
obviously hate dealing with that mess – so they then try throwing deep
on them, but the problem with that game-plan has been that Jackson
doesn’t get fooled much – and he isn’t all that grabby, either. Which
doesn’t leave a whole bunch of options for down field passing, so
teams need to throw the short routes and screens

Chicago have been playing the “team defense” of containing the QB and
stopping the run brilliantly . Creating turnovers like they do, is a
huge game changer for Chicago – if they keep it up and get into the
playoffs. If the Chicago defense keeps forcing turnovers, they way
they have been during the postseason – then that makes anyone they
play, play disorganized. They know they simply cannot make mistakes.
As this defense is set up to crush teams up both in the passing and
rush game.

The Bears defense plays with a genuine level of grit I haven’t seen in
a team in quite awhile. They don’t fold, the defense tightens up when
it matters, as shown when they played the Rams, who were shaking up
the NFL with a 32ppg scoring avg – but then they held Todd Gurley to a
measly 28 yards on the ground, picked off highly rated, Jared Goff 4
times, and beat the explosive Rams,15-6. The interesting thing to me
is, though a great defense should be able to allow the offense to take
more chances, knowing the defense can cover for them, if there is a
bad play. Chicago Head Coach, Matt Nagy, needs to open up the offense
a bit more, as the Bears defense plays even better with the lead.

But, for the Chicago to win the championship – their running offense
is going to have to put up some better numbers to keep the team on the
field longer, and their RB1, Jordan Howard getting just 3.6/carry.
They cannot just keep picking up 1 yard lunges and always hope that
their defense will shut down their opponent.

If they can keep teams off the field, with 22 or less 1st downs – they
stand a very good chance of winning, if not, it could be tough, when
they give up 23 or more they have been 2-3. They don’t want to tire
out their D, just let it do what it does, get the RBs more work on the
outside, and let Mitchell Trubisky sling the ball down the field more,
let him get Allen Robinson more involved down the field.

Do the Bears have their franchise QB in Mitch Trubisky on MNF

When  Mitch Trubisky was drafted at the #2 overall spot for Chicago, many Bears fans were booing the selection. Was it who they drafted, or how high he was drafted?
Trubisky certainly has the “good NFL size,” at 6-2 225lbs, a solid arm and the good ability to throw from the pocket. And he can also throw decently when he gets rolling out. Fact is though, Mitch finds himself behind the proverbial 8 ball in Chicago now though. And there is also a ton of pressure on him – as the Bears traded picks, and went up to get him at 2nd overall. Bears fans will be expecting this guy to waltz in and toss 4500 YDs and 30 TDs for the team in a very short time.
I also feel, in sorts, Trubisky was a forced pick in Chicago. Considering who they potentially passed on, including WR Mike Williams, and DE Solomon Thomas, as of this article, already has shown quite quickly why he was so heralded. It ends up he has to be Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers for this pick to actually be worth the move up. Chicago really needs to look at top notch organizations like the Patriots or Packers as examples of how to run a successful football organization, with great drafts and player moves.
Trubisky shouldn’t yet be hailed as this team’s savior. Like most young QB’s, he has found himself staring down his WR1 for far too long. And as of the preseason –  for the most part, had only played against teams 2’s and 3’s, and was mediocre at best. He needs to learn how to throw the ball vs much better defenses than he’s ever seen in his football lifetime. He is going to need to learn to read defenses a lot faster.  Make those big adjustments when the pocket caves in around him. It seems, from what I have watched, he also tends to throw the ball, in bad spots, when pressured in the pocket.
It’s possible the Bears could still put together a decent defense on the field, with team sack leader, Akiem Hicks and upstart DB Kyle Fuller who has been a pleasant surprise with 20 tackles, good for 2nd on the team – along with a very good ground attack with former 1300+ YD rusher, Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen, who has been really fun to watch this year with his utilitarian ability.  And the TE option of 13 catch Zach Miller – could also greatly pick up the lack of their healthy WR options.
The Bears should also not be too shy about exploring looking at options Head Coach next season, maybe a guy who can help a young QB like Trubisky out. If the Bears and Trubisky really want to go forward, full throttle – Fox may not be the guy to ride the boat with. Fox has shown in the past, he oftentimes holds onto some players a bit too long. He had Jake Delhomme starting in Carolina even when his quarterbacking ability decline was obvious, as he was completing under 58% of his throws, and putting up a few random TD passes and throwing picks every 35 seconds. I was not totally surprised Glennon got benched after just 4 games with a passer rating of 76.9 and throwing 4 TDs and 5 picks. And now, Trubisky now takes over as a starting QB, but can he put up better numbers and complete around the 66% completion percentage that Glennon had?
The vast majority of Trubisky’s passes and drop backs in college were from the shotgun. So he lacks the experience of under center play. He is going to have to learn fast footwork playing from under the center. When playing at North Carolina, he also wasn’t asked to throw into the tight windows in traffic, his guys were spread out, almost all the time. Those widows close in a real quick hurry in the big league. Truth be told, Mitch Trubisky was good but he was in a mediocre conference that didn’t have much great talent and he still couldn’t win big games. As the Tar Heels finished 8-5.
This move was looked at, as not a great one – and could go down as one of the riskiest moves in NFL draft history. The Bears may have made a poor decision – especially considering the players they could have tried to get over him. You simply don’t draft a player that high – unless a team plans to get him on the field right away and, the part that could bite them, is they passed on many different players that could, and will, start for their teams much faster, and succeed much quicker.
It just doesn’t tend to be logical thought when a team drafts a “project player” with the #2 overall pick in the draft.
That’s usually what the later rounds are lauded for.
The Bears may have blown it.
Chicago will find out soon enough.

3 Best Sporting Events To Watch This Week


The coming week in the world of sports will involve some college football and college basketball, while the NFL still commands center stage on the larger scene.

NCAA Basketball: Duke Blue Devils vs. UCLA Bruins (In New York – Thursday)

This is a game in Madison Square Garden, and it’s one in which UCLA will be asked to prove itself. The Bruins, under new head coach Steve Alford, are trying to regain the aura and consistency they possessed from 2006 through 2008, when they made three straight Final Fours. UCLA will have its hands full with one of the more athletic Duke teams Mike Krzyzewski has fielded in quite some time. The Blue Devils play an above-the-rim game, and UCLA will have to be very active on defense in the paint if it wants to contain Duke’s offense. NCAA Football: New Orleans Bowl Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns vs. Tulane Green Wave

This is an all-Louisiana affair, played in Tulane’s home stadium. There should be a big crowd in the Superdome for this game, which involves two teams that, a few years ago, had no momentum at all. Now, ULL is making its third straight bowl appearance, while Tulane is making its first appearance since 2002. This will be a special game for every player involved, especially on the Tulane side. Players will need to channel their emotions and not get caught up in the moment.

NFL Football: Chicago Bears @ Philadelphia Eagles

This is one of the more attractive games of the week in the NFL. The Eagles hope that Dallas loses to Washington. If that happens, Philadelphia could clinch the NFC East with a win here. Chicago is involved in a three-team race with Detroit and Green Bay in the NFC North. The Bears would suffer a huge blow if they lost here.