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This was a spirited preseason game, and for the most part I would say the Chicago Bears were the better team top the bottom from what we were allowed to see from the players working this game.
Arizona has the same exact issue they did last year – a shoddy secondary where ever Patrick Peterson is not. A 10+ win group of talent that seems to have a 6 win execution… Probably leading to somewhere around an 8–8 disappointing season.
The Bears have pieces waiting to come together. A really nice offensive line, interesting skill players, a high energy but erratic defense…who their quarterback is will probably determine the outcome of the season. So let’s start there…
— I like Mike Glennon (13-18 for 89 yards, 1 TD/1 INT) OK, but he can absolutely not start this season over Mitchell Trubisky…but it sure as hell looks like it’s going to happen. John Fox is out of his mind. I don’t think the GM is forcing Glennon to start either. GM Ryan Pace put his entire career on the line with Mitchell Trubisky (6-8 for 60 yards, 1 TD/0 INT), which means he’s about to have a nice career, so he can afford to be embarrassed for a second about the Glennon signing. At the time it made sense. Contract really isn’t that bad. He could have no idea Trubisky would fall in his lap with a little effort to get his lap into place.
Mike Glennon just does everything too slow. He has good quarterback instincts. When his feet are set in the pocket he makes the right throws with the right velocity. He’s better than Josh McCown but maybe not as good as Matt Ryan…he lies somewhere in that nether region.
Trubisky is the Andrew Luck everyone was hoping for – big body, way above average feet, quick release and a cannon of an alarm, but where Trubisky wins the day is he may be one of the three most accurate quarterbacks throwing downfield in the NFL right this second.
Regardless of all that, Trubisky still ran 3rd-team working behind Mark Sanchez. Unless John Fox is playing a rope-a-dope, he’s about to make a very silly mistake for opening day. I still say Trubisky starting in Week 1 is 50-50. Starting by Week 4 is almost 90%.
— When Trubisky takes over, it’s only going to mean good things for Bears #1 wide receiver Cameron Meredith (2-26-0/4). Even with Mike Glennon a quarterback, Meredith is going to work. This game was evidence of that.
Meredith’s stat line may not look all that hot, but consider two things that happened outside the box score — (1) Meredith was on his way to a 30+ yard catch on a bomb from Glennon early, where Meredith was pulling away from his defender — so the defender just grabbed him and gave up the penalty versus what might’ve happened on a long catch and run. Later, in the red zone, Glennon sought Meredith on a slant pass crossing into the end zone but the defender had his arm holding Meredith’s hip in tight coverage and the connection could not be made. I say all that to note that Meredith is clearly the #1 option for Glennon and you could see it in this game even if you couldn’t see it just looking at the box score.
Our last two years of reporting and our current draft guide rankings on Cameron Meredith speak for themselves. I’m highly confident of where we are at with Meredith for fantasy football purposes.
— I’m especially confident in Meredith because any fear of Kevin White (2-2-0/3) coming back as a #1 WR is going out the door quickly. That guy looks like he’s lost 20 pounds since college and he’s playing like a frail/undersized #5 wide receiver. He looks terrible. The Bears forced him the ball a couple times in this game and he did absolutely nothing with it.
I think it’s time to put a fork in Kevin White – a WR prospect I thought it would make it in the NFL… That was before all his serious leg injuries and this weight-loss he’s battled for a couple years now. In my original scouting, I was concerned that White would not be able to mentally step up in the NFL…that he may not want it that bad or had a tough enough to him. It looks like that was the case, the injuries didn’t help. I don’t know that he has the fortitude to fight back from the injuries – it doesn’t appear so.
— There’s good news and bad news about Tarik Cohen’s (11-77-0) performance in this game.
The good news is: he looked absolutely terrific. He looks like a junior Tyreek Hill. I’m absolutely not saying he’s going to have that kind of season – you couldn’t if you wanted to because the Bears seem to be running him is it mostly a traditional running back. But that guy runs with confidence and has an accelerator that’s very impressive. He hasn’t even really shown is exquisite ability to catch passes. The stock keeps going up with Cohen.
The bad news – if you own Jordan Howard, this game was bad news. Not that Howard is going to the bench or anything, but some of his output is going to get shifted to Cohen in some way shape or form. The Bears are using Cohen too liberally in the preseason for anyone to believe they will not use him some right away in Week 1.
With John Fox, I wouldn’t rule out if Howard had a bad game, that he shoved Cohen into more carries and if Cohen pops with those carries — a full-fledged controversy wouldn’t erupt. That’s how good Cohen looks right off the bat. That’s no slam on Jordan Howard – but it is now risk being introduced into the equation…a risk that Todd Gurley, Leonard Fournette, LeSean McCoy, etc., do not have.
— Jaron Brown (1-8-0/2) started at wide receiver for the Cardinals with J.J. Nelson, and Larry Fitzgerald sitting out. Jaron Brown is going to start and be the #2 WR on this team…a team where defenses are going to follow David Johnson everywhere and then give primary pass coverage to Larry Fitzgerald. It’s also a team that does not use its tight ends in the passing game much. Brown could a top surprise fantasy wide receiver to begin the season.
More on Jaron in my FantasyPros very deep sleeper article coming out tomorrow/Wednesday.
The contenders for the #2 receiver spot for Arizona are falling by the way side…
John Brown could go on IR or could even be cut. He’s been a massive disappointment after one great play or two early in his career.
Chad Williams (1-15-0/4), their high draft pick WR this year, looks lost every other play.
Krishawn Hogan (2-32-0/4) should be taken more seriously, but I don’t even know if he’ll make Arizona’s 53-man or not. He doesn’t seem to be getting much love from the coaches or media – but he looks like the best young wide receiver they have.
— FYI, Zach Miller (2-17-0/3) started at tight end for the Bears in this game. I wondered if it was a showcase to try to trade him? It may just mean they realize Adam Shaheen is not ready and Dion Sims is more for blocking not receiving.
I still think Miller is gone one way or the other – treated or released due to payroll.
— Roy Robertson-Harris (3 tackles, 2 sacks) second-year DE out of UTEP had a pretty impressive game here. I’ve never even paid attention to the guy, but he was making several plays working late in this one. He someone I’m gonna have to look into a little bit more. He’s working with the lower teams so he’s not an IDP option at this point, but someone I’m gonna study up on a bit more because he has decent measurables.