Another week, another game the Bears should’ve won. If the Bears started Mitchell Trubisky Week 1 and had dumped John Fox and hired Sean McVay or Kyle Shanahan…the Bears would be 6-3/7-2 right now. Instead, we watch John Fox embarrassments every week. I never fully appreciated how awful he is at coaching until this season. He has the talent to win…he just doesn’t use it or puts it in a box. The repeal and replace of Tarik Cohen is breathtakingly bad management. You have to want to lose every week to keep him off the field and run with three practice squad WRs every passing down.
This Bears team, their easy schedule – it was set up for a playoff run even with all the injuries they sustained. They have tossed away a gift. Good riddance when John Fox is fired. He has moved past Mike Zimmer but not ahead of Darrell Bevell of guys who I will not rest until they are fired.
The Bears are tracking for a 6-10 finish, which I need 6 wins to get my over/under win total bet here. CLE and SF are on the schedule ahead, so I need one more win somewhere. I want to feel confident but ‘John Fox’.
Green Bay lives to fight (for the playoffs) another day. If they beat the Ravens in Week 11, at home…they move to 6-4 and if the Vikings lose to the Rams – they fall to 7-3…and now we have a race! If this happens, I think Green Bay, because of TB and CLE on the schedule coming up, can get to the point where Week 16 hosting MIN and Week 17 at DET are playoff meaningful games. Aaron Rodgers could return for that Week 16 game. Don’t write the Packers off yet. We see them 8-6 heading into Week 16-17 and if Rodgers is back…10 wins and the division is there for the taking.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Just a quick mental note…
Those who have been with me for a while, have I ever really been wrong on a QB evaluation?
I don’t mean perfect, I mean was I ever way-way off? When I stood alone in the scouting community on high draft pick QBs like Gabbert, Bortles, Winston, etc., I’m usually proven right. When I see something in-season and go bananas 3-4-5-6-7 weeks before the world catches up…I’m usually not wrong – Russell Wilson, Dak, Goff. Barring guys who I like but never got a real shot, and however you want to grade that, I don’t miss by much. I don’t say a guy is an ‘A’’ and then he turns out to be an ‘F’ and get humiliated…nor the reverse. I have a pretty good eye for this stuff. I put a lot of work into it. I have a lot of experience now.
I say all that to add weight behind this statement – Mitchell Trubisky (21-35 for 297 yards, 1 TD/0 INT) is the best QB prospect I’ve ever seen.
Watching him in this game…he’s a treat to watch play. I’m in awe. Usually, I hate everything. I don’t find flaw in Trubisky. His arm speed. His pinpoint accuracy. His character. He’s impeccable.
What I don’t like is watching him throw to a collection of WRs that the Chargers, Titans, and Steelers didn’t deem worthy to be on their rosters. He’s throwing to practice squad talents. Trying to tie the game late, at midfield, 3 rd & 10, Trubisky hits one of the practice squad guys right over the middle for a 1st-down and more, perfectly placed between the spider web of a zone coverage/prevent…and the pass was dropped/gaffed. He also lost a TD when Benny Cunningham did that dive for the pylon/fumble out of the end zone thing. Trubisky should’ve had 300+ yards passing and 2 TDs, in the rain and cold, working with WR stiffs.
There will come a day when he has real wide receivers…and you'll start to see the brilliance. As long as they don’t hire a Rex Ryan-like coach. Which, in Chicago, is not out of the question.
-- A QB evaluation I may have been the most wrong about – Brett Hundley (18-25 for 212 yards, 1 TD/0 INT). I thought he’d be better than this. I thought he’d be more like Marcus Mariota.
I see him making little improvements every week. I’m not ready to shut the door completely, but I’m swinging it closed. There’s no ‘it’ factor with Hundley. We can blame the Mike McCarthy play calling all we want, Hundley can still execute those plays with more urgency, more assurance. He looks half asleep every play. I know it is his nature, and I’d forgive all of it if he was just killing opponents and stat sheets…but he’s not. I thought he’d be a ‘B’ but he’s a ‘C’ at best. A plausible fill-in but not ‘the guy’.
I might think differently in a few weeks, but I see nothing to get excited about or try to defend here. He’s ‘OK’ that’s all.
-- Tarik Cohen (1-1-0, 1-10-0/2) one carry and one catch…I don’t have any more words for this.
I will say, no player has more penalties called on his plays or quarters end/timeouts called when he enters a game than Cohen in the history of football. I see him finally come into a game on like 3rd-down, I get excited, the defense calls a timeout for some reason and then we come back from commercial and Cohen is out. What changed?
Cohen had a brilliant 10+ yard run in this game. A run off-tackle, no hole, he spun out of it, ran backward then sideways then forwards and made something out of nothing…and I’m sitting there thinking this is the best rookie I’ve seen in 2017. And then I hear…‘There’s a flag’. It gets called back for something nothing to do with the play and then Cohen disappears.
NFL coaches are no stupider than the group about to be fired in Chicago as they see this guy making miracles on plays over and over…and they barely use him. The more successful he was this season the less they used him the following week. And the crime of that is – Cohen is being robbed. He should be a star, instead he barely touches the ball. They are stealing income from him. They should all rot. I’ll be glad when they get fired. Not because I’m sadistic, well, maybe I am…but it’s not right that the coach’s incompetence hurts a player’s career and earning potential…and fantasy potential.
-- The Green Bay WR Trio with Brett Hundley at QB (4 games)…
8.2 FF PPG (12.9 PPR) on 4.7 rec. (8.3 targets), 52.3 yards, 0.50 TDs = Adams
3.2 FF PPG (6.7 PPR) on 3.5 rec. (6.3 targets), 32.0 yards, 0.0 TDs = Jordy
3.8 FF PPG (7.1 PPR) on 3.3 rec. (4.0 targets), 38.3 yards, 0.0 TDs = Cobb
It’s pretty clear who Hundley favors, and I thought/wrote about it after his first game thrown in place of Rodgers.
The data trend says Adams is fine to roll with…and Jordy is a sit?
-- Watching Jamaal Williams (20-67-0) at work in this game… It’s Mike McCarthy’s favorite thing in the world – plodding RBs with poor blocking slamming into the line for 0-3 yards per carry. Williams is OK, but this offense isn’t very good overall and Williams isn’t much for the passing game. I don’t see the excitement besides ‘touches’ if Ty Montgomery is out.
If Montgomery can play than Williams is about FF-useless.
-- Dontrelle Inman (6-88-0/8) was fine is his debut. He wasn’t amazing but he wasn’t bad. Seeing how he’s the best of this motley crew of bad WRs…he has some fantasy value because Trubisky can make decent WRs stars. In this case, he may just make Inman a solid WR3 option.
-- Adam Shaheen (2-39-0/2) was getting the early attention from Trubisky, and he had a sweet drag route, short pass catch, and long run…but then he disappeared. Daniel Brown (2-23-0/3) started getting more looks.
In the end, Shaheen will be the better fantasy option – he has draft status and he’s BFF’s with Trubisky. Not viable for FF 2017, at this stage.
-- With all the bears LB issues, Nick Kwiatkowski (12 tackles, 1.0 sacks) came off I.R. and had a helluva an IDP output his first game back…for only 53% of the snaps played. The nice output may keep up for the rest of the season as teams try to attack the Bears on the ground and avoid them through the air.
Snap Counts of Interest…
57 = Inman
46 = Wright
40 = Bellamy
38 = Daniel Brown
31 = Shaheen
29 = Howard
28 = Benny Cunningham
13 = Cohen