Brad Biggs’ 10 thoughts on the Week 6 loss

10 thoughts after the Chicago Bears had 4 pictures from the 5-yard line and nearer in the ultimate minute however couldn’t convert in a 12-7 loss to an embattled Washington Commanders workforce on Thursday night time at Soldier Field.

It’s unattainable to measure on a weekly foundation, however such a lot of are speeding to resolve the particular second issues are starting to click on. It results in a bunch of questions searching for declarative remarks.

Bears trainer Matt Eberflus stated he concept Fields took a step ahead in the Week 6 loss when requested if it used to be in truth a step backward for the QB. I believe everybody authorized Fields used to be higher final Sunday in a 29-22 loss at Minnesota, however the second-half enhancements in that sport led to twelve issues. It’s now not find it irresistible used to be an offensive explosion. Expectations for quarterback play have fallen so ridiculously low that any spark results in giddy reactions that most often forget about the large image.

I completely perceive Eberflus desires to face via his man, however I’ve a difficult time purchasing into the thought Fields took a step ahead in a sport which the Bears scored seven issues.

“I think he took a step forward,” Eberflus stated. “I really do.”


“Because of the toughness, the ability to take the ball and drive it down at the very end to give us a chance to win it,” he stated. “That’s to me what was the improvement. Was there other moments we need to clean up and offense needs to clean up? Sure. But we have the drives down there, and if we punch those in, the game is a different game. That’s 21 points, right? So for me, that was really inspiring to watch him doing that at the very end. Got to do better job next time.”

The Bears went 0-for-3 in the crimson zone and that in the long run price them the sport. Fields’ throw on fourth down from the 4-yard line used to be bobbled via Darnell Mooney and via the time the large receiver got here down with the ball, Commanders cornerback Benjamin St-Juste had driven the defender again throughout the goalline.


Fields made an awesome play with simply greater than a minute left in the sport after the Bears crossed midfield. He dropped again to cross and wound up escaping out the left facet, operating 39 yards to the Washington 5-yard line. The Commanders best had 10 defenders on first down from the 5; Fields scrambled for a 1-yard achieve. A second-down throw for Mooney used to be deflected via defensive finish James Smith-Williams. I assumed a slightly cross would had been a very easy rating there. Fields neglected Dante Pettis, who used to be coated tightly via protection Darrick Forrest on 3rd down, and Fields concept it will had been defensive cross interference. Then, Mooney couldn’t come down with the ball close to the pylon on a pivot course on a well-thrown ball.

The Bears had been in place to take the lead in the ultimate minute towards a Commanders workforce that entered with a 1-4 document. Sure, you need to look the offense mount the pressure there, however calling {that a} step ahead turns out large of the mark bearing in mind the whole lot else that took place.

“I’m just saying that — he asked if it was step forward, step back,” Eberflus stated. “For me, taking that drive to take us down for a chance to win it, that’s a step forward. It was during two-minute and it was when it counted, so to me, that’s encouraging. That’s a step forward in that light.”

I I’s simple to know what Eberflus is pronouncing, however this used to be perhaps the biggest instance of Fields now not making it deep into his progressions on many performs. Fields completed 14 of 27 for 190 yards with a 40-yard landing cross to Pettis and an interception via defensive take on Jonathan Allen on a cross that deflected off the helmet of defensive finish Efe Obada. He used to be sacked 5 instances and had 12 rushes for 88 yards with just about half of coming on a longer term in the ultimate minute.

There had been a pair great throws to Mooney and Pettis, however the passing sport used to be rocky once more with the proficient Commanders entrance bringing a large number of force. Defensive finish Montez Sweat overmatched rookie left take on Braxton Jones two times in the sport’s opening sequence — an indication of items to return. Sweat had 4 of Washington’s 12 quarterback hits and one sack.

“(Shoot), I give a lot of credit to Justin,” Sweat stated. “He kept getting up. That wasn’t our goal — to knock him out. We just wanted to affect the QB. When you affect the QB, you come out with good results. He was a warrior, for sure.”

Toughness and grit are components you like to look in the quarterback, and Fields displayed an abundance of it. But he’s additionally most probably extra accountable than someone for problems in the crimson zone. He used to be losing his eye degree in the pocket, which resulted in a handful of the runs.

Bears quarterback Justin Fields looks while throwing a pass during the third quarter against the Commanders at Soldier Field on Oct. 13, 2022.

Fields is in a tricky spot for all of the causes detailed right here for some time. The Bears wish to in point of fact dissect his play at the finish of the season — they don’t wish to do it Friday as they assessment sport movie and start a weekend self-study undertaking. They didn’t do it final week after some development at Minnesota. It makes for excellent banter, I guess, however there’s a lot that should make stronger and that shouldn’t essentially be a wonder after Week 6 of Season 2 in offense No. 2.

I listened to the Ross Tucker Football Podcast Thursday afternoon. Respected NFL Films guru Greg Cosell, who spends a huge period of time learning the sport weekly, used to be on with Tucker. Naturally, Fields got here up in the preview of the prime-time sport.

“I thought this week there were a couple of plays that you kind of said to yourself, ‘OK, maybe there’s some incremental progress being made,’” Cosell stated of Fields in the Vikings sport. “They’ve obviously told you as a team and coaching staff that they don’t want him throwing the ball an awful lot, which in and of itself tells you much about where they see Justin Fields at this point in his development.

“Fields is really at this moment still lacking any refined sense of anticipation. He’s a see it, throw it quarterback. And by that, I mean he needs the throw to be clearly defined and he needs to see the throw, and in the NFL that limits the throws you can make because you have to be able to throw the ball with some sense of timing because of the defense. But there were a couple where I said, ‘OK, that’s what you want to see.’ Now, again, I don’t know if that means that there’s incremental progress that will continue or if it just happened to play out in that game. But the way I would say this overall is this: It’s a tough situation for the Bears passing game right now. It’s an O-line that is young and a work in progress. And they’ve got a second-year quarterback who at this point does not possess any kind of nuance or refinement to play the position efficiently from the pocket, so it’s a tough mix right now and you just have to work through it and you hope each week it gets incrementally better.”

If you’re in the Eberflus camp on this one, Fields were given incrementally higher. Just don’t disregard what Cosell stated about environment friendly quarterback play from the pocket. It’s crucial for any dialogue of elite play at the place.

Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney reaches for the ball as Commanders cornerback Benjamin St-Juste defends at the goal line in the final seconds at Soldier Field on Oct. 13, 2022.

On the season, Fields has finished 4 of eleven passes in the crimson zone for 27 yards with two touchdowns and one interception (the person who went off the helmet and into the fingers of Commanders defensive take on Jonathan Allen). One of the touchdowns used to be the little toss to large receiver Velus Jones on the fly sweep at Minnesota final week. Fields has best been sacked as soon as in the crimson zone and has carried the ball 10 instances for 23 yards and one landing. I’m guessing 3 of the ones runs — at maximum 4 — had been designed QB runs.

It used to be a bit one thing other on every crimson zone travel this time and now not completely all on Fields. He focused tight finish Cole Kmet in the finish zone in the first quarter and one way or the other the ball used to be low sufficient to move off the helmet of 6-foot-6 Efe Obada.

“That’s my soccer skills,” Obada stated, joking it used to be like a header. “I saw it coming. I was still rushing. It hit me and I’m like, ‘Where is it?’ I think (Fields) was trying to drive the ball, force it in there for the touchdown. The ball just came out real low.”

The Bears protection briefly were given the ball again after the interception, and Khalil Herbert busted off a 64-yard run on the first snap of the subsequent ownership, the greatest play on the floor in a 238-yard effort. That arrange first-and-goal from the 6, which was first-and-goal from the 3 after a 12 males on the box penalty. Herbert ran for no achieve on first down, after which on an attractive play faux on moment down, tight finish Ryan Griffin used to be large open however Fields overshot him when a gentle contact cross used to be wanted.

“I wasn’t surprised by (being that open),” Griffin stated. “That was the play design. We just missed on it.”

Said Fields: “When the play is there, make it. Plain and simple. There is no logistics. It’s not complicated. It’s when you have that opportunity, finish. We just didn’t do that tonight. You don’t have to make it harder than it is, pitch and catch. The one that’s making me mad is the one to Griff in the end zone. He probably could have ran a little bit more, but he’s wide open. I’ve got to hit that. I’m an NFL quarterback. I’ve got to hit that.”

Fields scrambled for two yards on the subsequent play to arrange fourth-and-goal from the 1. To my wonder, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy known as a handoff to Herbert instantly up the heart. The Bears attempted operating into the center of the Washington line — Allen and Daron Payne — and it didn’t paintings.

Later, the Bears were given some other longer term to set them up once more in the low crimson zone once more — they usually were given not anything once more. Darnell Mooney must have made the catch, pronouncing later on he briefly misplaced the ball in stadium lighting fixtures.

“If I just catch the damn ball the first time, we win the game,” Mooney stated. “I got to be there for my guy, ma. He called my number. I just got to be there for him.”

Commanders cornerback Benjamin St-Juste knew which manner Fields could be taking a look.

“Game on the line and they’ve got their top receiver one-on-one against me,” St-Juste stated. (*6*)

Mooney bobbled it sufficient that via the time he got here down with the ball, the receiver wasn’t even with the goalline. Another failed alternative on an evening the place one rating would had been the distinction.

Velus Jones Jr. drops a punt return during the fourth quarter at Soldier Field on Oct. 13, 2022.

Twice in 3 weeks he has attempted catching a punt whilst transferring to his proper and two instances he’s muffed the kick, leading to a turnover. It took place in his NFL debut in Week 4 at the New York Giants, and in Week 6, it arrange the game-winning rating for Washington.

Commanders punter Tress Way hit a 54-yard punt that Jones made the ill-fated selection to take a look at and to catch on the Bears’ 6-yard line whilst falling to his knees. The ball bounced off his helmet and Washington recovered, scoring two performs later on Brian Robinson’s 1-yard landing run.

Jones has electrical pace, but when you’ll be able to’t accept as true with a returner to box the ball cleanly — Jones has 5 returns, one truthful catch and two fumbles — it doesn’t topic how bad he’s in the open box. Jones spent six years enjoying faculty soccer and used to be used as a punt returner for one season — a 12 months in the past when he had 18 returns for 272 yards (15.1 moderate) for the Tennessee Volunteers.

“Simply I was trying to do too much,” stated Jones, a word he repeated a number of instances. “The ball went deep — it would have went in the end zone — but I tried to run back and make a play on it. Should have let it roll in the end zone for a touchback.

“I know the competitor I am but it wasn’t a smart play. Tried to do too much. We had a one-point lead. Should have let it roll in the end zone.”

Jones had one muffed punt in faculty final 12 months. The Bears didn’t get the rest out of Dante Pettis in the function in the first 3 video games — 3 returns for a complete of one yards and 4 truthful catches — however they are able to’t are living with turnovers, now not when they’re averaging 15.5 issues according to sport.

“Yeah, we are going to have to look at that,” Matt Eberflus stated of the go back sport. “No. 1 job of kick returner or punt returner is to catch the ball.”

Eberflus disregarded the concept that wind performed a task in the expensive mistake. Jones may get a shot at returning punts later in the season nonetheless, however they wish to pull him out for now and take a look at somebody else. He’s now not devoted at this level and groups are going to kick clear of him and hope he tries to box the ball on the transfer, understanding he’s were given a propensity for placing the ball on the floor.

Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney makes a complete pass short of the goal over Commanders cornerback Benjamin St-Juste at Soldier Field on Oct. 13, 2022.

The Patriots are positive to have stuff that Justin Fields isn’t accustomed to and the Cowboys have one in every of the absolute best defenses with a dominant entrance that may get after the quarterback.

Washington felt find it irresistible will have good fortune corralling Fields in the pocket as a result of they didn’t suppose he would make it to secondary reads incessantly or successfully. The Commanders were given a gradual push on the inside andMontez Sweat gave Bears left take on Braxton Jones a coarse journey.

“That’s what it is — one read and he pulls it down and he’s running,” cornerback Benjamin St-Juste stated. “That’s why we sent a lot of pressure and ran mixed the coverages from man to zone. We knew that once he doesn’t see his first read — it’s not open — he just runs. We didn’t want to give him any time. It worked.”

“You gotta be real aware of how you rush,” defensive take on Daron Payne stated. “He’s a slippery guy. You think you’ve got him and then he can get up out of there. You have to have awareness when rushing and really get him down.”

It’s going to be attention-grabbing to take a look at the force numbers. How incessantly did defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio dial it up?

“Everything was fine until we let the kid scramble for (39) yards,” Washington trainer Ron Rivera stated. “That’s the heartbreaker. You’ve got him contained. You have a chance. You sack him on the first play. They convert on their third down. And now you’ve got them a little confused, and he pulls the ball downs and runs. That’s undisciplined. That’s where you get angry because, again, we had a chance to keep him — we’d done a pretty good job with a lot of the rush lanes. And for whatever reason, we got a little undisciplined at the end.”

Northwestern offensive tackle Peter Skoronski in action against Wisconsin on Nov. 21, 2020.

Peter Skoronski is from Park Ridge, starred at Maine South and adopted Rashawn Slater as the left take on for Northwestern.

Skoronski, a real junior, should imagine his choices at the finish of the season. He has been on the radar of scouts and brokers, and the economics main who is operating on a minor in historical past may have a choice to make.

The evaluators I’ve spoken with have questions on the place Skoronski initiatives as an NFL participant, however what in point of fact struck me when chatting with Northwestern trainer Pat Fitzgerald, offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian and scouts is how briefly the take on emerged.

It’s uncommon to look a Big Ten lineman step into the beginning lineup Day 1 as a real freshman — and rarer for a left take on. That wasn’t the plan for the Wildcats all over the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season. Slater used to be projected to be the left take on and Skoronski, one in every of the maximum high-profile recruits Fitzgerald has landed, used to be going to be in festival for a role.

“Probably competing for the right tackle position,” Fitzgerald advised me after a convention previous this month. “Came in ready to go. At Maine South, Dave Inserra and that staff did an unbelievable job. Guy was like valedictorian-level academically, freak show athletically, functional strength, great basketball player, he had it all. We thought he would come in and be an instant impact guy.”

Before fall camp, Slater made the resolution to choose out and start coaching for the NFL draft in the Dallas space with Duke Manyweather, a transfer Fitzgerald and his workforce supported. But it left them with no left take on.

Bajakian, a Bears assistant trainer below Lovie Smith for 3 seasons, arrived after Skoronski dedicated. Offensive line trainer Kurt Anderson reassured the new coordinator that the freshman used to be the actual deal.

Maine South's Peter Skoronski, left, gets ready to block during a game against Evanston on Oct. 4, 2019.

“In terms of him being sharp and his intellect, to put it in perspective, one of the most remarkable things about him is that he came in and was a Day 1 starter despite not enrolling midyear,” Bajakian stated. “The reason he didn’t enroll midyear is because he was the leader of the pack for being valedictorian, so he wanted to finish the school year to earn the honors. Then COVID hits, they throw the whole thing into the tank.

“On top of that, he was a Day 1 starter in the COVID year where we didn’t have a real training camp. We spent half of camp running plays on air because we were going through all the rules of social distancing and we weren’t allowed to have a defense in front of us. … We eventually started practicing against our defense and then we go into Week 1. He’d been there for such a brief time and for him to perform as a true freshman against Maryland the way he did was amazing.”

Said Fitzgerald: “It’s about as unique as I have ever had on the O-line. You might have a skill guy, but on the offensive line with that instant impact, it’s pretty incredible.”

Helping Skoronski alongside the manner used to be Slater, with whom he bonded with in the couple of minutes ahead of the left take on left for the Los Angeles Chargers, about six weeks. They would textual content from side to side and Skoronski would ship Slater observe video with questions.

“Rashawn spent a good amount of time watching practice, watching opponents, watching game film and giving me feedback,” Skoronski stated. “He still does that a little bit now (and has) been a tremendous resource for me.”

Slater hosted Skoronski on his authentic discuss with to NU, and that’s when their bond shaped.

“I looked at his film and I remember thinking he had the most technically sound high school film I had ever seen,” Slater advised me Thursday. “Guys can dominate because they are bigger and stronger, but he had technique. That’s really rare to see out of a high schooler.”

The linemen labored out in combination all over summer time 2020 ahead of Slater, the No. 13 select in the 2021 draft, left Evanston.

“What it shows the most is a love for the game,” Slater stated of Skoronski. “He just wants to get as much knowledge as possible, which is something I really respect about him. It’s crazy because he just showed up and started dominating as a true freshman. It’s been the same story ever since. It’s been cool to watch.”

Northwestern’s fresh struggles — the Wildcats have misplaced 5 consecutive video games since a season-opening victory over Nebraska in Dublin — have made issues difficult for everybody in the program, together with Skoronski, who used to be voted a captain.

“It’s been tough, especially when you are leading a team, you want to lead them to victory,” Skoronski stated. “It’s been forcing me to dig a little deeper and try to bring guys along. You can’t lock down and focus on yourself when you are a leader and things go wrong. ‘Oh, I’ll just play harder.’ You’ve got to bring other guys along with you. We’ve got to get there at some point.”

Skoronski stated his focal point is on the Northwestern season however added he did some truth collecting in the offseason to be informed about the NFL and the procedure that might lead him to the 2023 draft.

“More than anything, just trying to work on my game really,” he stated. “That is what will get me there.”

Northwestern offensive lineman Peter Skoronski talks to reporters at Big Ten media days at Lucas Oil Stadium on July 26, 2022.

Four NFL evaluators I spoke with consider he’ll play guard in the NFL, however there have been identical questions on Slater right now two years in the past — and he used to be a moment workforce All-Pro and Pro Bowl variety final season as a rookie for the Chargers.

“I thought he was a good player when I watched him in the summer,” a countrywide scout stated of Skoronski. “It looks like he’s better than he was last year and he was good in 2021. (Guard) is always going to be the thought when the arms don’t measure out 34 inches, that inside will be the best spot. If the feet are really high level, that can compensate for (shorter arms).”

Skoronski went towards Michigan’s Aiden Hutchinson and David Ojabo and Purdue’s George Karlaftis final season and did nicely. Hutchinson used to be the No. 2 select in the draft, Karlaftis went in Round 1 and best an Achilles harm dropped Ojabo to Round 2. Skoronski carried out nicely and that might assist the argument to play him at left take on, or a minimum of get started him there.

“I absolutely think he can play left tackle,” Slater stated. “It’s just a question of where the team wants to put him. He had two really great games against future first-round picks in Hutchinson and Karlaftis, so he’s shown he can do it at that level. He definitely deserves a chance and I think he will be dominant wherever he goes.”

Fitzgerald used to be steadfast Slater could be a left take on in the NFL and he’s pronouncing the identical factor to scouts about Skoronski. Whether the trainer is true once more is still observed.

“So many similarities between Rashawn and Peter,” Fitzgerald stated. “They are different guys but they’re kind of cut from the same cloth — they’re O-linemen. They’re part of that brotherhood that makes them who they are. Both really off-the-charts intelligent, off-the-charts football intelligence, functional strength, there is so much comparison with their feet. They are such easier movers, it almost looks like they’re floating. Peter coming off the ball was a little bit different than Rashawn coming in — he could move people in the run game. That’s where you have seen Peter now become a complete guy, run and pass, and he was great in pass pro as a freshman. He’s a complete player.”

Bears running back Khalil Herbert breaks a tackle for a 64-yard run in the second quarter against the Commanders at Soldier Field on Oct. 13, 2022.

I am getting steady questions about the offensive line and doable adjustments there, and I’s positive the ones will likely be renewed after this sport.

“We’re going to reassess everything,” Eberflus stated “It might be a lineup change or might be technique, fundamentals, all that, scheme, how we’re running certain plays, who we’re getting ball to, what we’re doing well, what we need to improve on. So that’s going to be — we’re going to look at all that for sure.”

What the Bears are doing nicely is operating the ball. They have 1,025 speeding yards, the maximum thru the first six video games since the 1986 workforce rushed for 1,100 yards. Quarterback Justin Fields is on tempo to hurry for 799 yards, most probably greater than the workforce would really like, however they wish to blank some stuff up in the pocket.

The Bears dodged some harm considerations for the line: Lucas Patrick used to be evaluated for a concussion and returned and Teven Jenkins neglected a handful of snaps with a shoulder factor. I don’t suppose we can see motion except it’s as a result of an harm till Cody Whitehair is wholesome — and he’s were given a minimum of two extra weeks on injured reserve with a sprained MCL in his proper knee. I doubt the Bears are anyplace with regards to comparing how Alex Leatherwood can probably assist them. This goes to be the team. They must cross block a bit higher and the quarterback has to accomplish higher in the pocket, particularly when there may be room to climb and ship the ball.

Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney warms up for a game against the Commanders at Soldier Field on Oct. 13, 2022.

Mooney used to be focused a game-high 12 instances after connecting final week on some vertical pictures. Mooney had a 56-yard reception in Week 4 and a sensational one-handed grasp for 39 yards final week at Minnesota. He ended up with seven receptions for 68 yards, leaving him with 17 catches for 241 yards thru six video games.

Mooney goes to have to select up the tempo to have a 1,000-yard season, a benchmark for large receivers that has develop into a bit more straightforward to achieve since the season expanded to 17 video games final 12 months. Mooney had 1,055 yards in 2021, averaging 62.1 yards according to sport. Many figured 1,000 could be a shoo-in for Mooney this season, equipped he remained wholesome. He wishes 759 yards in the ultimate 11 video games — that’s best 69 yards according to sport, but it surely’s in an offense that’s averaging 144.8 yards.

It’s been a fight for the Bears to search out 1,000-yard receivers, however they’re now not at the backside of the league since 2000.

Most 1,000-yard receiving seasons since 2020

  • 23: Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts
  • 21: Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • 20: Arizona Cardinals, New Orleans Saints and Pittsburgh Steelers

Fewest 1,000-yard receiving seasons since 2020

  • 9: Bears, Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins
  • 7: Philadelphia Eagles
  • 6: New York Jets

I reached out to former Bears large receiver Tom Waddle of the “Waddle & Silvy Show” on WMVP-AM 1000 to get his take on the demanding situations the franchise has in getting main manufacturing from the place, one thing this is carefully tied to the quarterback place.

“As a receiver, I am going to point the finger at the quarterback,” Waddle stated. “That’s tongue in cheek, obviously. But I think you have to draw a line between that, which has been some comparative ineptitude in terms of receiver stats with the fact the Bears have never had a 4,000-yard passer and never had anyone throw for 30 touchdowns. Is it the chicken or the egg?

Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney makes a one-handed catch away from Vikings cornerback Chandon Sullivan during the second quarter on Oct. 9, 2022.

“At the end of the day, they’re complementary positions. When you get the quarterback position right in spurts, you’ll find (good seasons for receivers). Brandon Marshall? Well, Jay (Cutler) had talent. Jay was a flawed quarterback when you look at him in totality. But Alshon (Jeffery) and Brandon, when you look at them, what did they have that others didn’t?

“Marty Booker had a couple of good seasons. Even going back to the end of my playing days, when Erik Kramer came to town, Jeff Graham and Curtis Conway both had a thousand yards in a season.”

The Bears, clearly, have a large number of heavy lifting to do at the place in the offseason forward. General supervisor Ryan Poles is aware of that and there wasn’t a really perfect crop of free-agent choices to imagine. They wound up with Byron Pringle, who’s now sidelined with an harm. Some will say, “Well, they let Allen Robinson walk in free agency!” Robinson sought after to go away — unfastened company is a two-way boulevard — and he hasn’t performed as much as his contract with the Los Angeles Rams in spite of opposing defenses paying additional consideration to Cooper Kupp.

“Those guys are getting drafted high now,” Matt Eberflus stated previous this month when requested about large receivers. “It’s a premium position, for sure. And it’s an impactful position.”

The Bears can proceed to broaden Mooney, however they wish to upload to the place in a large manner. Mooney most probably isn’t a No. 1 receiver. He can nonetheless be of significant price to the offense if he isn’t.

“Guys that are smaller like (Mooney), Tyreek Hill is shorter than Darnell, but he is built like a fullback and he can do things Darnell can’t,” Waddle stated. “Darnell is a very good player, don’t get me wrong. But if you’re expecting him to all of a sudden advance from being a No. 2 to a No. 1, I just think you’re putting too high of expectations on him. One of the only guys in the league that is kind of built like him and can do it is Stefon Diggs. He’s probably comparable (physically). Maybe Stefon is a little taller (6-foot, 191 pounds to 5-11, 174 pounds), but he’s coming from a Vikings offense where a 1,000-yard receiver is a constant, and he goes to Buffalo with one of the top two or three quarterbacks in the league.

“Darnell can be really good, but there is no complement to him on the other side and you’ve got a quarterback that is struggling to do the little things well.”

Bears safety Jaquan Brisker sacks Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz in the first quarter at Soldier Field on Oct. 13, 2022.

This used to be a nice effort via his unit. The Commanders totaled best 214 yards and transformed simply 2 of eleven 3rd downs, a welcome sight.

Washington quarterback Carson Wentz finished 12 of twenty-two passes for 99 yards and used to be sacked 3 times. The Commanders hit a pair respectable runs, totaling 128 on 28 rushes (4.8), and that’s transparent development for a Bears run protection that used to be woeful the first 4 weeks.

Usually the mixture of getting rid of explosive performs — Washington’s longest play from scrimmage used to be 18 yards — and dominance on 3rd down is a successful system. It approach the opposition may have issue scoring.

The go back of cornerback Jaylon Johnson helped a excellent deal. I assumed the tackling used to be higher than it’s been. It’s by no means going to be best, but it surely used to be progressed. But the identical factor used to be lacking as mentioned final week — a game-changing play.

As I wrote previous this season, infrequently it’s now not who you play however while you play them.

Oct. 24: at New England Patriots

Patriots quarterback Mac Jones celebrates a touchdown against the Ravens at Gillette Stadium on Sept. 24, 2022.

Mac Jones, a first-round select in 2021, has been sidelined with a excessive (left) ankle sprain the final two weeks and has been restricted in observe this week main as much as New England’s assembly Sunday with the Cleveland Browns. Complicating the plot: Patriots trainer Bill Belichick declined to mention whether or not Jones would suppose the beginning task when he’s totally wholesome.

“We’ll see,” Belichick stated previous this week, sparking hypothesis. “I don’t know.”

Jones’ backup is Brian Hoyer, a one-time Bear, used to be positioned on injured reserve with a concussion — in order that compelled Bailey Zappe, a rookie fourth-round select who performed 3 seasons at Houston Baptist ahead of spending final 12 months at Western Kentucky, into motion. Zappe has finished 75% of his passes with two touchdowns and one interception in a bit a couple of sport of motion. Maybe it’s vintage Belichick, who merely doesn’t wish to display his hand, or in all probability a intensity chart alternate is imminent. The Bears are up subsequent following the Browns.

Oct. 30: at Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott works out during a practice on Oct. 12, 2022.

The Cowboys are on a heater with Cooper Rush beginning instead of Dak Prescott, who has neglected 4 video games since present process surgical treatment to fix his proper thumb. Prescott is training this week, however reviews are that Rush — 4-0 as the starter in Prescott’s position — will get started Sunday’s NFC East showdown towards the Philadelphia Eagles.

Cowboys trainer Mike McCarthy doesn’t must rush Prescott again as a result of the Cowboys, who’ve been superb on protection, had been enjoying nicely. Prescott advised journalists Wednesday he felt “great” throwing to receivers in observe. Figure there’s a excellent probability Prescott is at the back of heart when the Bears roll into AT&T Stadium, however that’s now not a lock.

Nov. 6: vs. Miami Dolphins

Dolphins quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa (1) and Teddy Bridgewater (5) pass during drills on Aug. 6, 2022.

Tua Tagovailoa has develop into the image for participant protection after he used to be injured in a Week 3 win over the Buffalo Bills with what used to be known as a again harm after which knocked out of a Week 4 sport at Cincinnati with a concussion. He’s already been dominated out for Sunday’s assembly with the Minnesota Vikings, so the Dolphins will get started Skylar Thompson, a rookie seventh-round choose from Kansas State as backup Teddy Bridgewater is in concussion protocol in conjunction with Tagovailoa.

Tagovailoa used to be a restricted player in Wedneday’s observe, however there’s no timetable for him to be cleared from concussion protocol. Could Thompson be the starter when Miami involves Soldier Field?

Here’s a nugget you is probably not conscious about: The Bears have by no means received a street sport towards the Patriots. They are 0-4 all time, with two video games at Gillette Stadium and two at Foxboro Stadium. The final time the Bears defeated the Patriots used to be a Dec. 10, 2000, assembly at Soldier Field. The Bears received 24-17 as operating again James Allen scored two touchdowns. The Patriots received the final 5 conferences with Tom Brady at quarterback.

10a. The Bears, who don’t have their bye till Week 14 (Dec. 11), may have a “mini bye” this weekend. Players will likely be off, and with the Week 7 sport towards the Patriots now not till Oct. 24, they received’t observe till Thursday. They may have conferences previous to ahead of that observe, but it surely’s a possibility for the avid gamers to get contemporary, one thing Eberflus is frequently targeted on. The Bears may have a snappy turnaround following the Monday night time sport ahead of a Week 8 street sport towards the Cowboys.

10b. The Bears have trailed at halftime in all six video games this season.

10c. Former Bears protection Chris Harris may land a defensive coordinator task in the close to long run. Harris started his training occupation in 2013 with the Bears as a defensive high quality keep watch over trainer below coordinator Mel Tucker. He held that spot for 2 seasons. The 40-year-old used to be an assistant defensive backs trainer for the Chargers from 2016-2019 ahead of being employed via Ron Rivera in Washington. Harris interviewed for the Eagles coordinator task in 2021 and the Colts spoke to him as a possible substitute for Matt Eberflus.

10d. The Bears will put on their orange jerseys and helmet once more Oct. 30 towards the Cowboys.

10e. Another offensive certain: there used to be just one three-and-punt.

10f. Pretty great block from Commanders QB Carson Wentz on Roquan Smith. Wentz is indexed at 6-foot-5, 237 kilos, and he knocked Smith over on a Brian Robinson run play.

“It was just an instinctual thing,” Wentz stated. “Any time I see a guy cut back, if I can get in the way, get in the way. If I need to actually block, I’ll block. Situationally down there, close to the end zone, I’m going to do whatever I can to help this team.”

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