Thursday, December 2, 2021

3 Up 3 Down: Week 4 Bears vs Lions

It’s 3 up 3 down time again and man wasn’t week 4 a better showing. Well this was a much better week. The Bears played some good progressive offense and made up for the dismal effort of week 3. It wasn’t perfect, but I feel like we came out of the game with an identity.

An identity of what the Bears are born to be – a smash-you-in-the-face type of team that will run you over both with and without the ball. It was a wonderful way to bounce back and one I feel can be a huge motivator going forward as a hard schedule kicks in from now.

3 UP 3 DOWN: THE UPS

The play calling

Let’s cut to the chase, keep Nagy off the calls. It was quite clearly Bill Lazor who called the plays this week and if last years’ run wasn’t a good enough audition surely now, especially after the first 3 weeks, we can see that Bill needs to continue.

After hardly seeing any ground work the last few weeks, the Bears ran the ball 39 times. 39! And it was excellent. Our 3 TDs all came from runs and running the ball in general took the pressure off our patched up OLine and also Fields.

Such a simple change that solved a great many issues – granted we played the Lions – but it worked and worked well. If something isn’t broken, don’t fix it. Bill’s system worked, so let’s hope Nagy doesn’t try to fix it.

More sacks!

I wanted to just say, “Well done defense!” because they have played really really well again – and a special shout out to Jaylon Johnson who had the 3rd best grade in the NFL after week 4. 125 yards given up, no TDs allowed, an interception and 2nd in NFL in pass break ups – well done sir!

But sacks!

Listen, we were all worried about our edge rushers. Whether you admit it or not, you remembered Quinn from 2020 and knew that Mack was a not getting any younger and you were like “well crap”. Don’t worry, we all were.

But lord we are here and living for this team up. Quinn has stepped up to the mark and with him playing so well, means that teams are second guessing the double teaming of Mack. Last season, Quinn wasn’t performing and teams could focus on Mack; but now teams have more to think about and ultimately deal with.

The Bears are tied at 1st for sacks in the NFL with 15 sacks. Quinn is 6th and Mack is 10th; and with other players coming up with their own sacks it certainly feels like feeding time for the Bears this season. Long may it continue, let them feast!

Monsieur Montgomery

This guy is needs the praise, all of it. He is gifted and deserves the world, but it’s hard to put it into words! He is legit. I mean did you see that 2nd TD? Was there ever a moment that illustrated a man’s toughness, drive, determination, strength, power and sheer willingness to succeed? Unreal.

He finished the game with 2 TDs, and 106yards on 23 attempts. Literally 2/3 of the Bears TDs came from Monty and they weren’t just 3yard rushes. The man worked his tail off for them, proving how important he is to the Bears’ offense. Give him the ball a let him do what he was seemingly born to do – run over fools.

3 UP 3 DOWN: THE DOWNS

Injuries

Something we need to be mindful of going forward. Seeing both Monty and Hicks come off the field is a worrying sign, and even our backup RB Williams wasn’t too happy by the final whistle. We already have Jenkins, Borum and Cohen sat on the sidelines, Goldman just coming back and Peters previously leaving the field multiple times.

With what we have seen from the defense and the new running game after today, we need to keep these boys in top shape. We know that they will get banged up, but the way Monty went down was scary to watch. We have people to fill in, but these are big time players and we need them on the field. Take them away and we look very thin on the ground.

If Monty and Williams are out, you’re trusting Herbert to come in and do a job. If Hicks leaves then you bring in Tonga. Both freshmen to the NFL circuit and a lot of responsibility suddenly thrust upon them. I want them to do well, but whether they would do is another story.

2nd Half

The Bears dominated the first half with 2 TDs and fat 0 for Detroit. By the 3rd quarter the Bears had extended the lead, but lost a TD and then ‘lost’ the 4th quarter all together with the Lions scoring a 2nd TD unopposed.

Does this show a hint of complacency? A team who thinks they’re so far ahead that they take their foot off the pedals? Hell no, I don’t want that in my team. They need to take the game from start to finish, because better teams could have kept our score down / come back stronger than the Lions and slowing will just make things harder.

Or does it show tiredness, a fatigue both mentally and physically? That their output reduces as the game goes on? This suggestion has me worried, because that means the effort is there but if you can’t move you just can’t move, and we’re in week 4, with tougher teams to come. It suggests a sluggish, damp end to the season with a lot of Ls.

Maybe I’m going in to too deep, but something to watch out for. We need to play until the final whistle, but we came out into the 2nd half a little bit colder than the 1st.

No thrown TDs

It’s not a major deal, but it would have been nice for Fields to cap the day off with a pass into the end zone. The passes that were made downfield to his receivers were good, with both Allen Robinson and Mooney averaging between 20-25yards per catch, but none in the glory spot.

That will be 2 weeks on the spin without Fields getting a passing TD. Last week was not the best game to judge, but this week was set up for it; a poor Detroit secondary with Mooney and Robinson both legit targets to aim for and Jimmy Graham waiting in the wings for that redzone action after last seasons 8 TD receptions.

Fields seems like the type of guy with good mental toughness, but going forward if the running game is stopped by an opposing team; it could certainly add more unwanted pressure onto his shoulders waiting to get that first passing TD. They will come, I’m sure of that, but the sooner the better.

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