*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
Now, do you believe in the Bears? Not believing that they’re ‘good’…but that they are bordering on ‘great’. They’re probably a year away from ‘great’ but they could get on a roll and rumble through the playoffs pretty deep. Not out of the question they could find their way to the Super Bowl.
The Bears have the one thing the other NFC high-flyers don’t…a top defense. The best defense in the NFL. Not Jacksonville, not the Ravens – it’s the Bears.
Also, Mitchell Trubisky is going to be one of the all-time greats…that helps too.
I love where we are at in the Trubisky story with football/fantasy analysts. They’re all starting to realize they were extraordinarily wrong about Trubisky, so now they are wandering on-board…same thing with the Bears team. When analysts ‘discover’ a player, like Trubisky now (or Goff this time last year) they cannot admit they have no idea what they’re doing in scouting. Instead, they go overboard praising the coach and the system, it’s a veiled shot at Trubisky (or Goff) – it’s not that they couldn’t identify their talent, as analysts, it’s the magical system that created all this. I’m starting to hear more and more ‘Matt Nagy/great system’ talk during games, so it will be another 3-4-5 weeks and analysts will start to really endorse, tepidly, that Trubisky is the real deal.
Hmmm? What scout was proclaiming Trubisky’s greatness two years ago? That Trubisky was elite? I’ll never get the proper credit for this (or any of these calls) because they don’t track being ‘early’ or ‘alone’ on a scouting a call…they track who ranked Trubisky higher or lower than Goff in Week 10 of 2018. Who cares about that (per se)? You needed to know about Trubisky a year ago, or this preseason, or 3 weeks into the season when everyone was mocking him.
I don’t want to go too overboard, but it’s possible I’m the greatest football scout of quarterbacks that has ever lived or will ever live. Divinely appointed…and anointed. I lived most of my life not realizing I had this gift. Oh, well…I’m here now. Let’s all prosper from it.
Speaking of that...get ready to cash your 6.0 and 6.5 win total ‘over’ bets we went heavy on with the Bears – another way of prosperity on me ‘seeing’ things way before anyone else. I think we all realize we got this Bears ‘over’ win total in the bag but some of us went a little deeper…betting them as ‘NFC North champs’ and ‘NFC Super Bowl representative’. Suddenly, those don’t look that ‘long-shot-ish’ any more. We project the Bears win this week against Minnesota but are ripe for the picking on Thanksgiving at Detroit coming off the emotional Vikings win at home.
If the Bears go 1-1 the next two games, they are near locks to get 10 wins (f Trubisky is healthy). If they beat Minnesota Week 11 for that one win in the next two…they have the NFC North. Detroit is done. Green Bay and Minnesota are about to get wiped about by schedule to 8-9 wins max. Playoff game, in a sense, on SNF Week 11…I love it!
Detroit, as I mentioned the past few weeks, has gone from super-sleeper to dead. You can thank Matt Patricia. Trading Golden Tate was his undoing/tipping point of something that was already underlying. Not a bad move because Tate is anything special, just that the message to the team…a group that already dislikes him…was defeat-ish. The Lions are headed to 5-11 and a two-year countdown until the ex-Patriots HC-GM combo is dumped…a typical outcome of ex-Belichick coaches/GMs.
I like Patricia, in general, but he does not have the coaching personality or gravitas to carry the ‘tough guy’ coach personality. That’s where Matt Nagy is more ‘the future’, a reasonable human being with reasonable human being words and not swearing all the time like a fool…not the Bill Belichick/Tom Coughlin/Bill Parcells tough guy coaches – that ship has sailed in the NFL, but the NFL is always five years behind emerging trends/reality.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I love to talk about my Bears’ assets, and I usually begin with Trubisky-Cohen defenses or hyping, but we have to start by discussing the reemergence of Allen Robinson (6-133-2/8). There are five things we need to discuss here to put everything into perspective.
1) Weeks ago…I said, “Sell high,” and that was the right call at the time. His name held weight. He just had a good game (Week 5 and 6 with a TD each game). But I could see he didn’t look ‘right’ at all. Those who watched Bears’ games agreed. No ‘pop’, no nothing. He had an ACL injury in 2017 and he just didn’t look right in 2018 the first few weeks…not the ARob that I remember.
Last week, I started mentioning to ‘buy low’. To get as a throw in on deals just to sit on and see if maybe the few weeks off allowed for ARob to get more comfortable and more healed. Heck, Robinson was on waivers in some 10-team leagues. That call looks genius now. I didn’t think it would be so instantly genius. I didn’t push it full throttle because I figured I’d ‘see it’ ahead and buy back in early/cheap if I ‘saw it’…but Robinson had other sped up plans.
2) This was not ‘right place, right time’ TD catches. Not a guy on the field and happened to get 2 TDs. No, this was Robinson looking totally different than he has all year – athletic and speedy. Like he got ‘unlocked’/unchained the last few weeks.
One of his TDs was him catching the ball slicing across the middle and then just outrunning everyone. He did the same on his first catch of the game that ended up 2-3 yards short of a score.
This game performance was 80-90% of the old WR1 Allen Robinson flashing. Not just a ‘good game’/circumstances.
3) Robinson was damn close, I mean DAMN close to 5 TDs in this game. I’m not kidding.
His first catch and run was for 25+ yards running away from defenders and heading up the sidelines but he got knocked out by pursuit 2-3 yards shy. Tarik then ran for the score the next play.
On another trip to the red zone soon after – Trubisky two end zone shots to ARob, more desperation/only you can get this throws…but if one had connected…
Later in the game, Trubisky tried to hit Robinson slanting towards the end zone for a 30+ yarder near the goal line but he was covered well and the throw disrupted.
Robinson scored twice but could have easily had 3 TDs…and had strong chances at a 4th and 5th. This game, for him, was better than you might realize from just the box score.
4) What Trubisky was doing earlier this year, which I hated…and did again here, but now I understand…was when Trubisky is in trouble/everyone covered he’ll throw a pass towards Robinson hoping for gold.
Trubisky tries to get cute with Taylor Gabriel (0-0-0/3) on a lot of deep balls here and there -- but his mind is locked on Robinson, which makes sense…if he’s the old, healed ARob. Gabriel could be a WR2 ahead like Tyler Boyd was with Cincy – a beneficiary, to a degree, of #1 WR A.J. Green taking coverage heat. But Green still got the main looks and production too, while Boyd also flourished. Robinson might be getting ready to be the Bears’ A.J. Green/DeAndre Hopkins.
I don’t think ARob is all the way back, yet. I’ve seen him jump and move better in his career…but this week was way better than earlier this year. Night and day.
5) You’re mad you gave up on ARob weeks ago or traded him. You want back in. Slow down. You probably opened up space for Marlon Mack or something worthy in his place. You’re OK. You probably would have never patiently kept him on a normal-sized roster for 3-4 weeks during his downfall.
I hoped we’d have time to re-enter this when Robinson came back spry…but this 2 TD game of spryness messed with that a bit. If you want in on ARob, shop for him as a WR2. Yes, he scored 2 TDs and everyone’s excited again and valuing him higher…but they lived through the ARob nothingness prior. They remember the dark days, and THEY don’t trust the Bears, so maybe you can steal him for WR2 valuation.
If the other person loves ARob/the Bears/Trubisky…you can’t make a good deal, in your favor, so walk away. You want to steal ARob -- not overpay and have him have a sore knee in a week or two and get depressed. ARob is not a lock ahead, but it’s looking very much better today than it did for weeks.
-- Taylor Gabriel (0-0-0/3) saw only 3 targets and all three were bombs. He saw 120+ air yards worth of targets. Had his hands on one in the end zone but the defender knocked it away.
Yes, Gabriel got an egg Week 10 and you’re going to quit him with the fiery passion you may have ditched boring, sluggish Allen Robinson with weeks ago. You don’t have to clutch Gabriel, but he’s not chopped liver. He’s probably going to become Chicago’s Tyler Lockett now…4-5-6 targets and one long TD most weeks. Robinson’s step up just re-opened things for Gabriel to work in a different manner…you watch.
Anthony Miller (5-122-1/6) is benefiting as well, but in a ‘guy forgotten in coverage’ sort of way…which we’ll take in FF, but I just don’t see Miller emerging or bumping Gabriel in the pecking order. The 2-21-0/4 from Miller is right around the corner to deflate his bubble.
-- And then there’s the reason to even talk about this…Mitch Trubisky (23-30 for 355 yards, 3 TDs/0 INTs, 3-18-1). You know the guy you still don’t fully trust as your starting fantasy QB. You know why? Because ESPN is not on-board fully and (from what I am told) Pro Football Focus had Trubisky as the lowest rated QB of 36 qualifiers for the season going into this week. How is that possible? San Darnold exists, as does Josh Allen, right? How is it possible?
I don’t even want to get into the PFF flaws with their grading models.
I want them to all keep up the good work because it makes it easier for me to operate. For the millionth time…Trubisky may be the best raw QB talent in the NFL and is a 4pts per pass TD god. A top 1-2-3 the ROS and ROD (decade) in 4pts per pass TD leagues.
He flashed some more ‘brilliant’ here as he keeps progressing rapidly. We haven’t even gotten to when Trubisky fully clicks.
Coming soon… NFL analysts all going, “You know I always liked Trubisky and most people don’t realize how good a season he is having...”
-- Tarik Cohen (7-15-1, 6-29-0/7) is so the center (weapon-wise) of this offense it isn’t even debatable. If you cry over 7 carries and 7 targets in a game they were blowing their opponent out in, then I don’t know what to tell you. Cohen is going to get 12-17 touches in a game and he’s a high probability TD guy and gets good catch counts per game.
He might have had a bigger game here, but the Bears did their usual…get up big, run it out late. When it mattered, Cohen was in at RB or WR about every play it seemed. 31 snaps…got 14 touch opportunities.
This was why Jordan Howard (11-21-0) was a top ‘sell high’ last week – it’s not his type of offense, he just had two good weeks due to playing sad sack teams prior. Every week, you can only hope for a 1-3-yard TD plunge from Howard to justify his FF existence…which there should be plenty of on this offense. He’s an RB2-2.5 in PPR. RB2 in non-PPR.
-- Kenny Golladay (6-78-1/13) finally got a heavy targeting treatment this game…where he was ignored for three weeks prior. We’ll see if it is Detroit getting religion or just a one-off. I’m hopeful but skeptical. Marvin Jones was hurt and missed a chunk of the game – which helped push Golladay more targets.
-- Brandon Powell (1-6-0/3) is the Golden Tate replacement, and he finally got some playing time this week. It’s asking a lot for a UDFA rookie to step in and make an impact halfway into the season…however, it’s a simple throw to Powell and then let him work after the catch. They didn’t do that here, fully, but they started taking some shots.
-- Kerryon Johnson (14-51-1, 6-38-0/6) was bottled up pretty good when it mattered and then got some TDs when CHI took their foot off the pedal. He’s going to fine for FF that way…getting touches.
Every game it seems like he has an issue with his foot, though.
Might KJ go down in-game ahead? Might he go on I.R.? Why keep pushing him if his foot is not ‘right’?
With the Lions season in the crapper…might Zach Zenner (1-12-0) be pushed into action if KJ goes down in 1-2-3 weeks or just put on the shelf? I’m just sayin’ for deep roster leagues…
-- Rookie Roquan Smith (19 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PD) has 10 or more tackles in three of his last 5 games – which starts right around the point he began playing full games (after sitting out most of the offseason and working back in partially for a few weeks).
His last five games: 9.0 tackles, 0.60 TFLs, 0.40 sacks, 0.20 PDs per game.
-- The Bears-DST is starting to enter the point where they are unbenchable. The problem is, you can’t go into Week 14/the FF-playoffs with them hosting the Rams (unless it’s -10 degrees). Week 15 hosting Aaron Rodgers is no treat – but I’d face Rodgers with the Bears-DST before I entertained facing the Rams.
The Bears have the best defense in the NFL…according to my eyes. I don’t care what the numbers say, they may be #1 there too…but there’s garbage time, strength of opponents, etc., messing with metrics. This is the one defense that just ‘pops’ to my eyes this season. Like…it’s 3rd & whatever, and I’m almost sure the opposing offense won’t covert (when it matters). Every snap seems like it might be a sack…like a poor man’s Denver 2015.
It’s the only elite NFL defense down the stretch. Denver, a defense to consider as a possible #1 – they can’t stop the run and will likely be out of the race/be done caring by Weeks 14-16. The Jags died weeks ago, and might have been a fraud all along. The Bears are ‘it’.
-- Note: Cody Parkey missed two FGs and two XPs in this game. He hit the upright four of those four times. Stunning. His confidence is shaken, you could see it – I’d jump off him and onto some other random-good kicker just in case a meltdown is about to occur. FYI.
Snap Counts of Interest:
31 = Cohen
30 = Howard
08 = Mizzell
74 = Golladay
50 = TJ Jones
48 = Marvin Jones
25 = Br Powell