You sensed this was coming…
The Bengals coming off a soul-crushing, physically devastating loss to the Steelers the prior game…a game in which they ultimately lost 4-5 key defensive players for this game with the Bears. The Bears being a ‘good’ bad team with a young QB getting better every week. You had the feeling the Bengals would be flat here and get beaten…but you didn’t think it would be a blowout.
The Bengals answered an earlier Bears’ score to take a 7-6 lead…and then never scored again, allowing 26 unanswered points.
I must thank the Cincinnati Bengals for this game. I bet the Bengals under 8.5 wins as my #2 over/under win total bet of the season…and this loss locks it in. I also had a smaller amount on the Bears at over 5.0 wins…I’m a win away from not losing money there. *My #1 o/u bet in May 2017 was Philly under 8.0 wins because I didn’t believe in Carson Wentz…that’s going to leave a mark…
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- The Bears ran for 232 yards on 38 carries (6.1 ypc) in this game. Why? In large part due to the fact that the Bengals were missing several linebackers/defensive players.
They may be missing all of them again. If so, it could be a very heavy Vikings run game Week 15…and Jerick McKinnon may rise back up for a big game. Latavius Murray is probably assured of 20+ carries for 100+ yards if Vontaze Burfict is out again.
I have to note this about the Bears rushing attack…Tarik Cohen (12-80-0, 2-5-0/2) is one of the most explosive players I’ve ever watched play football. The sheer stupidity of this coaching staff to underutilize him is mind-boggling…and expected.
Cohen nearly had 3 TDs in this game. He has more ‘near TDs’ than anyone in football this season. Early in the game, he took a handoff and bobbed and weaved his way for a 35-yard score. Upon further review, he barely stepped out of bounds halfway in, so TD called back. It was still a thing of beauty.
Cohen would not touch the ball for about a full quarter later…when he would take a bubble screen and weave through traffic for a 15-yard TD. Called back for an offensive penalty.
Later in the game, Cohen took a red zone carry for 10+ yards getting halted at the 1-yard line.
I mention all this for two reasons:
(1) I’m not crazy – Tarik Cohen is going to matter for fantasy, a lot someday. Keep the faith.
(2) If you’re in a dogfight this fantasy week and you know you need a miracle to pull off a win, however you would ascertain that, rolling Cohen dice is not crazy because. You might get a ‘3’, you might get a ‘30’+. He’s that kind of guy right now.
-- I’m going to move Adam Shaheen (4-41-1/5) up in the next Dynasty Stash rankings. I’m not going to fight what I’m seeing with ‘scouting logic’.
Sure, I look at Shaheen and I see a kinda stiff, awkward TE prospect…I see he’s extra tall and athletic for his size (on paper), but I don’t see ‘it’ on the field…yet. I don’t think he’s terrible, but I have my reservations. I could’ve said the same thing about several 2017 TE1s…Zach Ertz comes to mind. I don’t think Ertz is that great but he’s good enough and in a great spot, thus the high FF rankings we dealt out on him this preseason.
I re-watched this game, and I’m watching Trubisky throw back-to-back passes from the 1-yard line to Shaheen, who’s totally covered…and I’ve seen these two do this a couple of times the past few weeks…and it triggered three thoughts…
(1) Trubisky and Shaheen are BFFs and that is going to matter as much/more for fantasy than Shaheen’s vertical or three-cone.
(2) Shaheen never gets open but he’s so tall and has a basketball background, that he makes the catch over-the-top of defenders…a poor man’s Jimmy Graham circa 2017.
(3) Trubisky is such a surgeon, he knows where to put the ball when Shaheen has a smaller guy covering him.
“Opportunity over Logic” is my new fantasy scouting theme for 2018. Shaheen could be my poster child for it.
-- Kendall Wright (10-107-0/11) had a shocking stat output out of nowhere.
Is it the start of something? I’d assume not. I mean, these guys have been playing together for a while now…in the three games prior to this, Wright averaged 2.0 rec., 3.7 targets, 21.7 yards, 0.0 TDs per game…exactly 2 catches each game. I have to say it’s a blip until further notice…a blip aided by Cincy missing a few DBs.
-- Just a quick note on Mitchell Trubisky (25-32 for 271 yards, 1 TD/0 INT, 2-5-1 rushing)…
The last two games for Trubisky – 37 completions in 47 pass attempts…78.7% completion percentage.
Just wait until he gets a new, offensive-minded head coach. IF he gets…
-- Gio Bernard (11-62-0, 6-68-0/8) got the start and he looked solid enough, but this game got derailed and it helped Gio pump numbers as the Bears defense played more prevent-ish.
Bernard has played with a spark since taking over for concussed Joe Mixon last week, midgame versus the Steelers. This team LOVES Gio…so, I’d worry if Mixon gets cleared that there will be more of a split in Week 15 then the continued push of Mixon as a workhorse like was happening before he got hurt.
If Mixon is out again this week, Gio’s a so-so start versus the tough Vikings defense, but if Mixon is back…it could be some kind of split and then it’s the Vikings…it’s not good for Mixon or Gio probably.
Snap Counts of Interest…
45 = Kroft
14 = Uzomah
67 = Inman
48 = Bellamy
47 = Wright
32 = Shaheen
19 = D Brown
44 = Howard
37 = Cohen