*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
Well, the mainstream football people, Vegas, and the fans got burned by another night not ‘getting’ the Bears/2018 at all. The Vegas line dwindled all week against the Bears. Mitchell Trubisky was roasted in the analysis week leading up to the game. To the masses, the Bears are just Khalil Mack single-handedly stopping everyone on defense and then, somehow, playing offense…because the Bears having a top offense can’t be possible unless you can tie it back to Khalil Mack.
To cover the football intelligentsia’s bad read on the Bears all calendar year, they ‘blame’ everything on the Mack trade as the reason why they didn’t get it…which glosses over the fact that they didn’t get it even after the Mack trade. They still don’t get it now. This was the same pattern that they didn’t see the Rams coming all last year.
They never admit they are wrong about anything. They just ignore their mistakes or blame it on something as a distraction…the Rams are because of Sean McVay only and the Bears are because of Khalil Mack only…it’s that simple for them to live with themselves. God bless them. If they ever change, we’re all screwed in fantasy. And they will NEVER change, in fact…they’ll get worse. *See: the regular news on everything (weather/storms, politics, etc.) getting worse every year.
The only consistent thing in football coverage and scouting is that they’re almost always wrong or late to the party on the obvious.
Thus, I’ll be cashing in my Bears ‘over’ win total ticket now…thank you, mainstream. Seven wins in 10 games, paying off the 6 and 6.5 ‘over’ win wagers (I need to go cash it in now, because I lost everything on Arizona -4 Sunday). Not even listening to Cris Collinsworth discover the Bears in the 1st half of this game on SNF could dampen my day. He only owns Pro Football Focus…so he should have seen this coming by now, right? Oh, yeah. PFF still has Sam Darnold ahead of Mitchell Trubisky as NFL QBs.
The Bears won 25-20, but it wasn’t that close. It was terrible Matt Nagy coaching that put this game in some peril. Visually, the Bears totally dominated the Vikings for about 50+ minutes. However, the Bears fall into a predictable pattern that drives me crazy…it’s the old Andy Reid playbook – start the game with a whirlwind of offensive smarts, get the lead, reel everything back in to running up the middle and short passes to sit on the lead. The reason the Bears can’t be taken seriously for the Super Bowl, despite being a legit contender in talent – they don’t have a killer instinct (yet). They have an Andy Reid ‘playing not to lose’ instinct. That may change someday, but it didn’t show up here.
Despite the mid-game siesta, the Bears won. They move to 7-3 and a huge upper hand for the division title. The Bears are 7-3…they could be 10-0 if they had any killer instinct that would have become ‘their way’ by now – like the killer instinct the Rams have developed. Instead, the Bears are still susceptible to blowing leads. In their three losses (GB-MIA-NE) they led/had control of each of those games…some by two scores at certain points and they reeled it in and got caught. The Bears are better than this, but they aren’t being groomed for greatness…they’re being groomed not to lose. It will cost them versus the Rams or the Saints down the road. With time they might assassins, but the Bears are not there yet.
Chicago projects to 11-12 wins and the NFC North title with ease. They’ll be the #3 seed hosting MIN or SEA-DAL-GB with home field and probably losing if it is an experienced team like GB or SEA.
The Vikings fall to 5-4-1, beating bottom of the barrel teams/all teams with losing records this season and losing to all teams with winning records. I’ve said it a million times, even back to this summer, that the strength of schedule would get the Vikings. It’s not all their fault. GB-@NE-@SEA the next three could be a 1-2/0-3 stretch that kicks them out of the playoffs.
The Vikings season could come down to being 8-7-1 hosting the Bears Week 17…and the Bears not needing the game at all and resting players – where MIN would win, get in, and would then face the Bears in the playoffs round-one.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Mitchell Trubisky (20-31 for 165 yards, 1 TD/2 INT, 10-43-0) probably played his worst game since Weeks 1-2-3, when the offense was super-stiff, before his outbreak. Credit the Vikings defense some, and credit Matt Nagy putting the offense back in a box after they raced out in style on their first few drives, per usual. Also, credit Trubisky for making some stupid throws.
When Mahomes tries to force or anticipate and chucks a dumb pick…he’s just trying to make plays. When Trubisky does it…he’s dumb. As Kirk Cousins was making bad throws on the other side most all game…it was blamed on the Bears defense. That’s how narratives work…they are applied no matter the reality.
Trubisky is fine. Trubisky is still under development and figuring out how great he is. Just think…he’s mistrusted and maligned by the masses (and some of you still) and he’s been a top 1-2-3 fantasy QB since Week 4.
You saw his specialness in this game…if you were looking. An excellent runner of the ball. Probably the best arm strength/release combo in the NFL, and NO ONE even mentions or considers him on that front (his arm talent). Watch this game again – no one throws like that except Aaron Rodgers.
Trubisky, in his 2nd NFL season, will win the NFC North, maybe win a playoff game, be a top 3 fantasy QB…and still people will doubt and STILL Trubisky hasn’t even hit his full potential. This (2018) is the worst Trubisky you’ll see for the next decade…and that means ‘division champ’ and ‘top fantasy QB’ this season.
Imagine what he’ll accomplish when he ‘gets it’?
-- Dalvin Cook has played 9 NFL games now, and here’s how those 9 games extrapolate to a 16-game season:
983 rushing yards, 382 rec. yards, 48 catches, 3.55 TDs…9.9 FF PPG, 12.9 PPR…which is a #20+ RB in PPG for PPR this season. He wouldn’t even be an RB2 in non-PPR.
3 fumbles in 9 games as well.
When is anyone going to raise as concern in football analysis-land? Never. They ‘like’ Cook. They like Cook better than Trubisky, among other things. They’ll go dark/silent hoping you won’t realize this potential Cook problem.
Mike Zimmer is even worse. All his tough guy yammering about ball security, etc., over the years -- and he has an under-performer/limited talent guy he’s going down with the ship on as he struggles with fumbles and low ypc. If it was anyone else, Zimmer would undermine them in the media and/or cut them (like the tough guy does with kickers). I doubt that will happen with ‘made man’ Cook. He’s untouchable/unquestioned still.
Cook has had the ball in his hands 156 times in his career…two TDs, 3 fumbles.
Curtis Samuel has had the ball in his hands 57 times in his career…5 TDs, 1 fumble. And he can’t get past Torrey Smith in the starting lineup for his team.
Sparingly used wide receiver Curtis Samuel has as many rushing TDs in his last 5 games as Dalvin Cook does in his career.
-- Tarik Cohen (7-27-0, 3-23-0/4) had a letdown FF-performance. He didn’t get his usual targeting levels nor typical TD. It happens…just bad timing in a week where it happened to guys like James Conner and if Trubisky was your QB.
Jordan Howard (18-63-0, 1-20-/1) got 18 carries…and this game/tally has me concerned on Cohen a touch. The Bears are getting so good that they are getting up on every team and then going into cruise control earlier and earlier. When the Bears are under pressure…they hit the gas pedal on offense and Cohen is the key. When they get ahead, Matt Nagy is happy to slam Howard up the middle for 1-2 yards a la David Johnson/2018 and totally halt the offensive momentum.
Hey! They are winning, right? So why question it.
For fantasy it means at DET and at NYG the next two weeks…could be a repeat of what we’ve seen here and against NYJ-BUF weeks ago. The offense is throttled back to the 1970s with Howard running the clock.
Cohen is still an RB1 PPR threat every week because that’s what he’s been for weeks even with a down week sprinkled in. Tyreek Hill has non-WR1/wow weeks sprinkled in as well due to ‘game flow’…it’s the nature of receiving threats like these guys.
-- I thought Allen Robinson (3-39-0/7) looked quick again this week…after beginning the season stuck in the mud/still recovering from his knee surgery – old ARob is almost all the way ‘back’.
The beautiful thing is Xavier Rhodes shut him down, like Rhodes does to all…so it takes some of the ARob heat away from his 2 TD game Week 10. Remember, he was knocking of the door of 5 TDs in that game. You want in on Trubisky’s #1 target ahead – Allen Robinson. The price just came down. Week 10 looks like an aberration now.
Taylor Gabriel (7-52-0/9, 2-17-0) had the game I figured…all attention on ARob and, thus, Gabriel had more room to operate. Trubisky tried to work it. This is Taylor Gabriel (with ARob getting back to normal)…WR2.5…some WR1.5 weeks and some WR3.5 weeks.
-- Adam Shaheen (2pt conv) was activated this week and got in on a key/late 2-point conversion. Does this concern you with Trey Burton (1-9-0/1)?
Burton’s crappy numbers worries me more…before I even start to worry about Shaheen’s impact. I doubt Shaheen will have a huge FF-impact, but he is a neat red zone/end zone target…so maybe Burton takes a slight hit to his TD probabilities?
-- Akiem Hicks (6 tackles, 5.0 TFLs, 1.0 sacks) had more TFLs in this game than his entire season combined. A season high 6 solo tackles. It’s not just all Khalil Mack…the Bears have a lot of talent all over their defense. The best defense in the NFL, hands down.
-- Speaking of the Bears-DST…
Strong FF starts Weeks 13-14…at DET, at NYG. Then what do you do in the FF playoffs? Can you really roll them with LAR-GB Weeks 14-15? I think you’re forced to sit them Week 14 vs. LAR. Week 15…we’ll see. The Bears defense is getting so good and the Packers offense is sputtering…it might be a play. Really tough in Week 15 FF playoffs to roll a defense out against Aaron Rodgers.
-- MIN LB Eric Wilson (7 tackles, 1.0 sacks, 1.0 TFLs) is replacing injured Anthony Barr…and he’s going to be difficult to get out of the lineup. He’s a talent. He might stay in the rotation with Barr-Kendricks ahead. Wilson was our top ILB prospect for the 2016 NFL Draft over on CFM.
-- Why people kept the Vikings-DST through their Week 10 BYE and for this matchup is people getting suckered by the ESPNs of the world…the anti-Bears/Trubisky crowd. Thanks for doing our dirty work ESPN (and others)!!
Why would you keep this DST through a BYE, then start them against CHI…and then what? You’re starting them against GB-NE-SEA Weeks 12-14? Especially, bizarre for a defense that has been neutralized by most winning record teams they’ve faced this season.
Snap Counts of Interest:
48 = Howard
30 = Cohen
59 = Burton
19 = Shaheen
59 = D Cook
06 = Latavius