2019 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 14 – Bears 31, Cowboys 24
If you watched this game, you know it wasn’t as close as the score indicated. The Bears were up 24-7 to start the 4th-quarter and Dallas was lucky it wasn’t worse than that. It’s not that the Bears played exceptionally well…it’s just Dallas played poorly, and the trend I’ve been betting against Dallas on the last few weeks held up here – any team with any physicality handles Dallas. The Bears aren’t great, but they’re not patsies…and at home, on a national TV solo night game, in the colder temps…the perfect setup for a Dallas flop.
You know I’ll get into Trubisky and his Mitch-slapping of Jason Katz’s Dallas Cowboys – it will be in the player notes section, and it will probably be lengthy (surprise!).
As far as the game itself went…besides the physicality edge for Chicago (and passivity of Dallas), I have to give kudos to the man I’ve cursed the past 1.5 seasons – Matt Nagy. I said, like every week of this season it seems, that the thing killing the Bears was telegraphing David Montgomery on 1st-down, and him putting the team in a constant 2nd & long, then 3rd & long. Nagy has stopped pushing Montgomery so much as the lead-punch the last few weeks, as I’ve also noted, and whaddya know?!?! They’ve won four out of their last 5 games.
The two moments of death for Chicago in 2019...
1) When Vic Fangio left.
2) When they drafted David Montgomery.
My Bears fans, you know it’s true…and you know I called it in the preseason and pre-Draft. Mitch Trubisky was not their biggest problem.
Chicago has gotten itself up off the mat and won four of five and are 7-6…and needs Minnesota and the Rams to fall, while the Bears keep winning to make magic happen. Likely not going to happen…the next three games are two games at the worst places to go on the road and win – at Green Bay in December and at Minnesota any day of the year. Wedged in-between that…Kansas City. Bears fans…don’t get too excited – you might lose the next three games and be back to wanting to fire Nagy and blaming Mitchell for everything. Enjoy this week…it’s the peak of the 2019 season for you. Chicago will finish 8-8 at best. If they beat the Packers Week 15, then I’m sucked back in.
And then…there’s the Dallas bygod Cowboys.
Losers of four of their last 5 games…a 6-7 record. If the Bears were in the NFC East, Bears’ fans would be overjoyed with their division lead. Dallas at Philly Week 16 could clinch the division for Dallas and then there would be a temporary stoppage of the media/fan complaining and mocking. I think we’re looking 8-8 winning the NFC East, but it remains to be seen if that is Dallas or Philly. I still say the Eagles because Dallas has been exposed as frauds, and Philly is nothing great but that game at Philadelphia in the December cold – that’s a game NOT for finesse, not for S-A-W-F-T Dallas.
The NFC East winner likely hosts Seattle (or SF) the 1st-round of the playoffs. Either team could beat Seattle, and then face maybe the Saints 2nd-round…a team Dallas always plays tough, the only time we see Dallas with a backbone. It’s like Fantasy Football – just get into the playoffs and it’s a whole new season and you can get on a run and make the regular season struggles be a faint memory. I think if Dallas makes the playoffs, they could be a bit dangerous with/if two dome games the first two matchups.
If Jason Garrett wins the division, and wins two playoff games and loses in the NFC Championship…he has to return for another season, right? Shutters just went down Cowboys’ fan’s spines.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- OK, Mitch Trubisky (23-31 for 244 yards, 3 TDs/1 INT, 10-63-1)…
You saw this game, right?
At minimum, can you stop calling Trubisky ‘Blake Bortles’ as part of your comedy routine? He’s not Blake Bortles. He’s got issues. He may never hit his ceiling. But you make yourself look dumb echoing that ‘Bortles’ nonsense. Have a spine. Stick up for Mitch (possible t-shirt idea).
I’m not asking you to claim Trubisky is one of the NFL’s next great QBs or build your dynasty team around him. I just want you to admit – he’s not that bad and there is an upside to seek, but he may never get there…but there is a real hope that there is a ‘there’ there.
Trubisky is a five-tool prospect…excellent arm, perfect size, speed equal to Deshaun Watson (that’s a fact). Will he develop the passer skills like a Deshaun has? Maybe. He hasn’t been 100% endorsed and coddled by the media like Watson has…so, he’s had to work through non-stop maligning and questioning. No ever questions Watson, for good reason, but go look at his 2018 season -- it roughly the same per game as Mitch’s 2018, Watson slightly better. But the echo chamber NFL analysts love Watson, so everything he does is labeled great and they cheer his talent shining through making Bill O’Brien look smart…but they never liked Trubisky, so his numbers were pooh-poohed and attributed to Matt Nagy play calling.
I compare Trubisky and Watson because Trubisky has the same speed/agility while carrying 20+ pounds more frame and has a better arm by a mile – and, yet, we are told Trubisky is Bortles and Watson is the future. If Trubisky starts running on purpose, like he did last year, and did in this game – what might be with Mitch for numbers? Trubisky has more new era QB skills/attributes than about 25+ starting QBs in this league. He’s one of the top 5 ‘like Lamar Jackson’ profiles in this league…yet, the analysts all unoriginally pile on to the ‘he’s Bortles’ sentiment.
There’s a real talent with Trubisky…untapped, waiting for more development, hasn’t played as a starter as much as other names going back to their college days. Sam Darnold isn’t anywhere near the total package that Trubisky is. Nor is Daniel Jones or Kyle Allen or Philip Rivers or Jacoby Brissett or Jameis Winston or Drew Lock or Jimmy Garoppolo or Ryan Tannehill or Dwayne Haskins, well…you get the picture.
Also, a name that should be on that list of QBs that Trubisky is more all-around more talented/gifted then – Dak Prescott (27-49 for 334 yards, 1 TD/0 INT).
If you just judged them by this game…you would not believe Dak is better than Mitch. No how, no way.
In 2019, Mitch has terrible O-Line (lost his top OL to injury months ago) and no running game and one great WR and no tight ends – and has had the entire media calling for his benching and are not only critical of him, but mocking him like his name is a euphemism for terrible QB play.
On the other hand, in this 2019 season, Dak Prescott has a great O-Line, wonderful run game, two great WRs, two solid TEs, a shitty division to put numbers on, and for most of the season people had Dak as a top five MVP candidate…no real criticisms.
With all the advantages Dak has had over Mitch in 2019…one of them is 7-6 this season and has won four of his last 5 games…and the other is 6-7 and has lost four of his last 5 games. One of them just beat the crap out of the other one on a solo night game. One of them personally ran the ball 10 times, on purpose, to help his team win…the other one ran a few times for 1-yard.
So, what is it? If Mitch is so terrible, then you have a moral obligation to call Dak ‘Blake Bortles’ from now on too, right? Or, if you think Dak is a pretty solid young prospect…then you better not disparage Mitch like he’s miles beneath the holy Dak.
Trubisky has played three NFL seasons. Let’s look at their last two seasons (2018-2019) -- Trubisky’s 2nd and 3rd NFL seasons…supposedly where all the growth is and compare Trubisky’s numbers to Dak’s last two seasons (his 3rd and 4th years in the NFL, so an experience advantage). *Less Week 4 of 2019 for Mitch, broke his collarbone and left 3 passes in.
16-13 record, 66.7% Comp. Pct., 1.69 TD passes/0.66 INTs, 27.8 rush yds per game = Dak 2018-19
17-8 record, 66.3% Comp. Pct., 1.60 TD passes/0.80 INTs, 22.1 rush yds per game = Mitch 2018-19
Wow! What a huge difference! No wonder they say Mitch is Blake Bortles and want him benched -- and the same people want Dallas to spend $100M on a Dak extension.
Mitch has been in Dak’s output range for the last two seasons, despite not playing in a dome, not playing in a total garbage division, and sustaining and playing through major shoulder issues. They’ve both won a division title. Dak won a playoff game last year, Mitch lost his because of a kicker.
Dak is in every commercial that Baker Mayfield and Aaron Rodgers couldn’t get to -- and Trubisky wouldn’t be recognized in your local mall and is considered a punchline.
Speaking of commercials… Will analysts mock Dak for being in too many commercials like they hit Baker on? Answer = no.
You pick your lane – either you call Dak ‘Bortles’ from now on as well, or you acknowledge Mitch is a solid QB prospect…and if Dak is worth a $100M contract extension to be the face of a franchise, then Mitch Trubisky sure as hell has that hope.
However, I know the NFL…they will never allow this. Dak will be hit with a soft pillow of criticism (it’s Garrett’s fault!), while Trubisky will continue to have media and fan nuclear bombs dropped on him. The Bears will likely acquiesce to the NFL groupthink and ditch Mitch, and then no one else will really want him because everyone says he’s ‘Bortles’ (See: Nick Foles’s career).
However, I’m not changing my stance on Trubisky for Dynasty/Fantasy. He’s likely never going to hit his peak because the NFL intelligentsia will sweep his leg any time they can and undercut and undermine his career until he becomes a backup. I won’t change my stance that Trubisky is much better than given credit, and that in another time and place…he could’ve been developed into something great. I hold out hope he just naturally becomes good/great.
I will change my mind on the following thought I’ve expressed recently – I thought Mitch didn’t have the mental toughness to rise up to the entire world of criticism, but guess what? In his last 5 games…a 4-1 record with 2.2 passing TDs per game and 0.40 rushing TDs per game. He has thrown for 3 TDs in a game in three of his last 5 games. Doing all of that under constant mocking and daily articles/polls on what QBs should replace Trubisky before the trade deadline and for 2020.
You can do it. You can say it. Don’t be shy. It’s will be hard to spit it out, but you have a moral obligation to say it… https://youtu.be/WkqgDoo_eZE
You were wrong…in that you went TOO far on the anti-Trubisky sentiment, and you were duped into grazing with the herd on it because it was the easy, safe place to be. Trubisky is not without hope.
-- So, the Bears suddenly have producing tight ends?
Rookie UDFA’s J.P. Holtz (3-56-0/3) and Jesper Horsted (4-36-0/4) combined for 7 catches for 92 yards against Dallas.
Something to consider for fantasy? Probably not, but maybe on Horsted – a WR turned TE.
What it was really more a sign of? Did anyone notice that Chicago attacked Dallas LB Jaylon Smith (8 tackles, 1 TFL, 3 PDs) in the passing game every time they could? Did anyone notice David Montgomery (20-86-0. 0-0-0/1) had one of his best running efforts of the season here? Why? Because Jaylon Smith is an overrated hack as I’ve been saying since his entry into the NFL.
BUT, BUT, BUT…R.C…Pro Football Focus says that Jaylon Smith is like the best linebacker in the NFL.
They also think David Montgomery is great and Mitch Trubisky is terrible, so good luck with all that. They see what they want to see, I’m convinced. You wanna trust PFF or your eyes watching the Bears attack Jaylon as a primary plan? You want to trust PFF or your eyes watching David Montgomery run the ball? The Bears must not subscribe to PFF anymore after they got burned with picking Montgomery…and just figured the opposite was true on anything they claimed, and thus they attacked their top graded linebacker Jaylon, and it paid off.
-- Anthony Miller (3-42-1/4) in a prime spot this game…just 4 targets. He’s not a sought-after weapon, he’s just a guy who is on the field a lot sometimes and is someone to throw to. Trubisky has a better connection with Taylor Gabriel, when he returns from injury.
-- How good does Blake Jarwin (6-50-0/7) look? Man, when Dallas ditches Witten…or makes him head coach, Jarwin is going to be a TE1 for the future.
Worse use of talent…the Bears pushing David Montgomery all year or Dallas pushing Jason Witten and not utilizing Jarwin to the fullest?
-- I didn’t even realize Kevin Pierre-Louis (5 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 PDs) was even on the Bears roster. Forgot all about him. He looked like an all-star here filling in for Roquan Smith, who is now done for the year.
I’ve always liked KPL. He never hit the heights I thought he would in the NFL. He had moments but nothing sustainable, just a quality long-time special teamer. He might get his shot the next few weeks with Roquan gone, and then maybe he’s an IDP sleeper ahead?
Snap Counts of Interest:
47 = Montgomery
34 = Cohen
71 = ARob
65 = Miller
33 = Wims
29 = Ridley
56 = Witten
22 = Jarwin