Your bewildered uncle wants to desperately talk to you about Donald Trump, and in a similar vein, we’re trying to talk to Windy City Gridiron about the Chicago Bears. Neither is going to go well, and someone is going to get cut out of social circles before too long.
It’s only been a hot minute since the last time the Lions saw the Bears, but we’re bringing in Jeff Berckes to break us down on all the pressing information all the same. Let’s go.
1. Let’s assume apocalypse scenario, Trubisky is out due to injury, or even if he’s cleared something happens where like, he gets eaten by a resurrected Tyrannosaur on his way to Ford Field. How would the Bears offense fare in his absence? Who’s up next? Is this more Nagy’s scheme or Trubisky’s talent?
Of all the places I expected Jurassic Park to take place, Detroit wasn’t even on my radar, but whatever can bring in some tourism dollars, I’m all for it. Chase Daniel, veteran backup, would assume control. The Bears paid Daniel a lot of money to be the backup in Chicago and part of that has to be a presumed ability on the field. His main role has been mentor and teacher for Trubisky to learn the scheme. There were moments in Daniel’s preseason play that were very encouraging and other times that, well, made you want to scream like that girl from Jurassic Park.
In a totally emotionally detached kind of way, I think it would be very interesting to see what Nagy would do with Daniel. Some of Trubisky’s best plays this year have been designed runs and scrambles when the play breaks down. Daniel is an athletic guy but not in the same zip code as Trubisky. My assumption is that you wouldn’t have to cut the passing game calls down much but I’d be surprised if Daniel pushed the ball down the field as much as Trubisky does.
Overall, I’d say Daniel could come in with about 60-75% effectiveness of Trubisky in a situation like this given his comfort in the system and limits in his abilities.
2. Since we last saw each other (speaking as blog-to-blog here) the Bears have put a commanding grip on the NFC North, in part thanks to two divisional victories. What is the most important function of this team that can help them put a lock on the division - or, if it breaks down, will doom them to misery?
I think that it has to be the difference between the Bears pass rush and the rest of the NFC North’s pass blocking. Khalil Mack appears to have recovered from his ankle injury that basically rendered him ineffective or inactive in the month of October. When he’s played healthy, this defense has looked like the best defense in the league—and most of the metrics I can find back that up. I think that element of the Bears defense will put them in a good position in all 3 rematches with divisional opponents. As for the rest of the Bears schedule, that pass rush should also be able to feast against the Giants and 49ers in games the Bears should be favored to win. The team on the schedule that can really nullify a great pass rush is probably the Rams with their creative scheme. The Saints, who could be a potential opponent in the playoffs if the Bears keep winning, would be a scary matchup with a great offensive line and QB with a quick release. I hope the Bears are able to be in a position to find that out.
If it breaks down? Well, then it’s like playing the second half against GB or against the Patriots with a limited Khalil Mack - that defense will get picked apart.
3. Is Cody Parkey ready to face Audible Dong again? How can he improve against the Lions Special Teams MVP, our great Lord of the Upright?
He was certainly your best defender against the Bears in the absence of Darius Slay the first time around. In a weird way, I thought it was kind of incredible that it kept happening - I mean, it was like a homing device pulling the ball over. Bears players and coaches did a great job to rally around Parkey after that unbelievable effort and he had a good night against the Vikings. It’s not like there are Pro Bowl caliber kickers just hanging out at home, waiting for the Bears to call. This is their guy and it is much better to try and get his mind right in the near term than it is to let one bad day ruin his year. He hasn’t been particularly good this year, and this seems to be the area that General Manager Ryan Pace just can’t get right after cutting Robbie Gould as one of his first acts on the job. For what it’s worth, I think trying to save money at kicker is an idiotic approach and I’d go after the best kicker in the league and pay him top dollar so I never had to worry about it.
4. *Sweating profusely because we just had a 5 Questions a couple weeks ago* how’s the uh...how’s the Bears punting game, yeah, how is that?
I mean, yeah, it’s okay, besides that one block that one time, yeah, it’s fine, it’s fine...
5. If the Bears win (BIG “IF” HERE POD FAM) who do you think wins the Galloping Gobbler?
Is that what it’s called? The Bears had this guy named Red Grange who was called the Galloping Ghost so I’m now just imagining old time film of a turkey wearing a leather helmet. Anyway, the obvious answer is Mack as he is just absolutely dominating right now, but I also like Tarik Cohen in this game. The Bears gave Jordan Howard a little more time against the Vikings, but Cohen is a better matchup against the Lions D, particularly if Daniel gets the start. I could see him having a couple of splash plays that could make the difference.