We’ve all seen the “Hot Takes” from the last weekend’s games all over the net.
In this series, I’m letting some time pass, and after reviewing the game tape a couple of times, I’m going to share some “Cold Takes.” about the Bears swelterfest in Miami. These are just a series of my thoughts and observations, presented in no particular order.
- First thing: I’m going to lay my “former coordinator” theory out there for y’all to noodle on a debate. Does it hold water? Here goes: My theory is that teams facing their former offensive or defensive coordinators are, despite talent levels, likely to get rocked. We’ve seen it three times this year alone. First, in the pre-season, when our second stringers went out under the direction of Kansas City’s former offensive coordinator Matt Nagy and demolished Kansas City’s first string defense. Nagy knew every single hole in that defense because he played against it every day in practice. Skip forward to the Lions-Patriots game, where former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia’s Lions absolutely owned the game. He knew the playbook, after all. This last week, the Bears faced not only only their previous defensive coordinator in Dowell Loggains but also his predecessor Adam Gase. What do you think, does my theory hold water?
- I’ve gotta be honest, I’ve never played football in the kind of conditions that the Bears and Dolphins played in Sunday. I have, however, been a photographer on artificial turf when the temps and humidity were that high. I have no idea how either team could have even played in those conditions, I just about melted taking pictures.
- The weather was the same for both teams, but for Miami that’s a legit home field advantage, much like the altitude is at Denver and the ice is against teams from the south in Chicago is.
- Strait up, the defense lost this game. Defensive breakdown after defensive breakdown, it’s just that simple.
- Fumbles at the 1-yard-line are killers, yet they are really common.
- Dear Matt Nagy. Go for the win, not the tie... or at least go to get a LOT closer than the edge of your kicker’s maximum range.
- Dear Patrick Scales, how about we put that ball in the right spot when it’s game winning field goal time, m’kay.
- Dear Cody Parkey. Fans have about nine-million reasons to be unhappy about missed field goals, so let’s find a way to make the big ones.
- Tarik Cohen had a fantastic game up until he didn’t.
- I’ve heard a bunch of times that “Championship Teams win games like this.” OK, probably so... but how many of the people saying that picked Chicago to win the championship before the season started. I picked them to win it, so I have high expectations, but a lot of folks complaining about the Bears performance and record expected Chicago to have a losing season.
- I’ve been telling you all year that Leonard Floyd has be underrated by most people this season. Not this week, though. Floyd didn’t have a good game, at all.
- Adrian Amos was bad this week. Eddie Jackson had his worst game as a pro. Honestly, Amos has seemed to have regressed a bit all year, I don’t know if it’s the contract pressure or what.
- Missed tackles. Wow.
- Zero sacks. Wow.
- Truth, Matt Nagy got conservative in overtime. That was a mistake. Hopefully, like the mistakes he made in game 1, he can learn from it.
- Alex, I’ll take “Phantom Offensive Pass Interference” for 1,000 please.
- In all seriousness, even though the officiating was bad in our game, I don’t think it was one-sided. Now that Green Bay game there at the end... I gotta be honest, it’s games like the Green Bay ending that make me wonder if the NFL rigged.
- Khalil Mack had his least effective game as a Bear, but that in no way changes the fact that Jon Gruden is an idiot.
- Oh, that reminds me, Jon Gruden is an idiot.
- Amari Cooper for Kevin White? Of course the Raiders would NEVER do that, but then again, they value players who “love football” above all else these days... and Kevin White sure loves football. OK, again, it’s just silly, not even Jon Gruden is that dumb.
- I think PFF rankings are flat goofy. Which Chicago Bears are the top players on offense this year according to PFF? Best player, Charles Leno, Jr. Fair enough, he’s playing great. Second best on offense? Taylor Gabriel. OK, fair enough, he’s been a great free agent signing. Third best? Jordan Howard. Really? Jordan Howard is playing better than Allan Robinson II & Trey Burton this year? That’s goofy.
- On the defensive side, PFF has our best player as Akiem Hicks. I kid you not. He has a significantly higher rating than #2 Khalil Mack. The third best Bears defender, according to PFF, is Bryce Callahan, followed by Eddie Jackson then Prince Amukamara then Kyle Fuller.
- PFF’s worst Bears starter is Dion SIms. I can’t argue that one.
- Cody Whitehair is an elite second level blocker.
I asked my fellow WCG contributors if they wanted to share a cold take or two, here are their answers:
Jeff Berkes: My cold take (or maybe it’s a rant - I don’t know):
- I’m getting whiplash from the game to game, quarter to quarter, drive to drive, throw to throw overreactions on Trubisky. Can we all agree, as a fan base, to take a step back and understand a few things: 1. He’s talented; 2. He’s inexperienced; 3. He’s learning a new offense; 4. He’s developing a rapport with new players; 5. The other team is trying too; 6. He doesn’t call plays, tackle people, or attempt long field goals.
- He was the #2 overall pick in last year’s draft. At a minimum, he’s the future of the Bears for 2019 and 2020 and if it all works out, he’ll be the QB through ~2035. He’s made some very good throws and he’s made some bone headed decisions. Let’s all take a deep breath and agree to look at his body of work at the end of the season to evaluate where he is at this point in his career. The Bears don’t need to make any decisions on his future, positive or negative, until 2020 - why should we?
- When Khalil Mack doesn’t play well or do anything of consequence, this Bears defense is thoroughly average. You saw it on Sunday in the midst of the Miami heat as Mack generated minimal to no pass pressure. The Bears wilted against ... Brock Osweiler. Better said, the Bears revert to their 2017 level of defensive play, which was average as much as many hang their hats on a top 10 (in yardage) statistic. There’s a reason Mack has been discussed as a Defensive Player of the Year favorite and even an MVP candidate: he’s lifted a bunch of solid to good players on Chicago’s defense that much.
- There’s a realistic scenario where this team potentially only has one win if Mack wasn’t playing as well as he did in September. Let’s not mince words. The Bears better hope and pray Mack stays healthy and more consistent the rest of the way, because it’s frightening what happens to their unit when he isn’t on top of his game.
- We just saw what the Bears look like without the Mack trade, because Mack wasn’t much of a factor. What do they look like? A team that can force another division leader into overtime while committing three turnovers. Kyle Fuller and Bryce Callahan stepped up big time. Trubisky saw two drives result in no points and he still kept slinging. A win would have been nice, but if anyone would have told me that a) Fuller was going to have two interceptions in a game and b) Trubisky was going to string together two games with a passer rating north of 120, I would have taken it as a sign of progress. Five games into 2018 look better than I would have thought at the close of 2017.
- Brock Osweiler just settled the Cutler debate in my mind. Almost every quarterback playing for the same offensive coordinator has played better than Jay did in Miami last year, and that includes a guy the Texans had to package with a pick in order to get someone to take him. Maybe earlier on in his career it might have been different, but apples to apples, even as a former Cutler defender, I can’t see what Gase was able to do with Osweiler and not think that the problem last year was wearing a #6 on his jersey.
So what do you think Bears fans? Spill the beans!