The Chicago Bears Week Fourteen Game Preview and Week Thirteen Notes

By Bryan Dietzler

The following is a mix of Week Thirteen notes and observations and a preview of the Chicago Bears versus the Cincinnati Bengals game this Sunday. We will look at some numbers and see who is on the injury report for both teams.

Here are some news and notes from the 49ers game.

49ers Game

Kyle Fuller

Kyle Fuller had a big game coming up with his first interception of the year as well as breaking up a few passes to keep the ball out of the hands of the 49ers receivers. One other important thing that Fuller brings to the defense is his ability to hit hard. He is consistently hitting opponents with force and maybe the hardest hitting player on the team. But he’s too inconsistent. He’s up one game and down another and isn’t a very well adept at getting turnovers.

The biggest question with him is, will the Bears bring him back next year or will they let him move on? Remember that they didn’t pick up his fifth-year option (from his rookie contract) so he will be a free agent. With a solid finish to the season the Bears may consider bringing him back.

Consider his status up in the air for now.

Injuries

The Bears had a few injuries during the game. Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee spent most of the game on the sidelines with a shoulder injury. It’s frustrating seeing him hurt because he has been hurt so often. Plus, the Bears could use his pass rush ability right now. Kyle Long left with a shoulder injury. Long has been suffering a lot lately and now the Bears’ have put him on injured reserve. They added Mitch Unrein to the injured reserve list as well.

Danny Trevathan appeared to get hurt again. Not much has been said about the injury so perhaps we will learn more as the week goes on. Finally, one more player who was hurt either during the game or before it was kicker Cairos Santos. Santos kicked only the Bears’ two extra points on Sunday and did not kick on kickoffs. Ironically, he was placed on injured reserve the next day and Mike Nugent was signed.

To fill the roster spots left open by sending Long and Unrein to IR, the Bears called up offensive lineman Cameron Lee and linebacker Howard Jones. To fill those two player’s spots on the practice squad, the Bears signed offensive lineman Will Pericak and tight end Colin Thompson.

Chicago versus Cincinnati Game Preview

The Cincinnati Bengals come into this game with a record of 5-7 and have had a tumultuous year. They let their offensive coordinator go early on and haven’t been terrible despite their record. Cincinnati almost beat the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night and have played several close contests this season.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the numbers behind this game looking at the offense and defense for each team. We will see where they rank and how they compare against one another.

Chicago’s Offense versus Cincinnati’s Defense

The Bears passing offense, manned by Mitchell Trubisky, is ranked a lowly 32nd in the league averaging just 160.2 yards per game. The coaching staff has not allowed Trubisky to break out and throw the ball down the field more. Perhaps the coaching staff is nervous about doing damage to Trubisky’s psyche? Maybe they lack confidence in the rookie and/or his wide receivers?

This team has nothing to lose and needs to see what Trubisky can do. Let’s hope they open the passing game up against the Bengals and not only give Trubisky some experience but try to win the game.

When it comes to passing defense, the Bengals are allowing teams to gain an average of 210.3 yards per game which is good for 8th in the NFL. That’s a strong pass defense. Chicago may not be able to find much success against that defense, but they must try. They can’t just assume nothing is going to work. But trying has been difficult for the Bears in recent weeks and unless they change and open their offense up, their passing game won’t do anything against the Bengals.

They must try to move the ball through the air on Sunday.

The Chicago Bears mantra has typically been that their offense has a strong rushing attack. This was true up until the Philadelphia Eagles game. Since then, they haven’t been able to run the football. Even against the 49ers last week the Bears’ rushing attack was weak. Right now, they are ranked 13th in the NFL earning 115.5 yards per game.

There are dropping in the rankings because they cannot get anything going on the ground.

Cincinnati’s defense is allowing teams to gain an average of 123.8 yards per game which has them ranked 28th in the NFL. The Bears can run the ball on their defense and they will have some success. The problem is, injuries and struggles on the offensive line may not allow them to do that. With Kyle Long on injured reserve and the offensive line struggling, running the ball may be hard Sunday.

Chicago must open their passing game up on Sunday and get Trubisky the experience he needs to be successful. They must find a way to run the ball and keep the Bengals’ offense off the field. If they can’t do those two things they will have no chance to win this game.

Let’s hope that the Bears can do something on offense to at least be competitive or possibly even win the game.

Chicago’s Defense versus Cincinnati’s Offense

The Bears’ defense has been on a bit of a decline over the last few games. Something isn’t right any longer, as they are getting beat too easily through the air. They had been keeping teams from beating them that way most part but against the Eagles and the 49ers, the Bears have struggled with opponents passing games. With the Bengals, there isn’t much happening on their offense so if the Bears can step it up on defense, they will be able to stop the Bengals and make the game evener.

Right now, Cincinnati’s offense is averaging 200.7 passing yards per game which is good for 26th in the NFL. The Bears’ defense is allowing 221 yards per game which is 12th in the league so the Bears can stop the pass. They just need to do it consistently. If they can get a pass rush going, which may be difficult, they can keep quarterback Andy Dalton on edge and force him to make mistakes.

Where the Bears might have some trouble is in coverage. The Bengals have A.J. Green and the lightning-quick John Ross at wide receiver. The secondary is going to have their work cut out for them. They need to blanket these guys to keep them from getting big gains down the field or breaking away for a long touchdown run. Does Chicago have the players that can keep up with these guys? Will they have success against Cincinnati’s receiving corps?

Should the Bears be able to shut down their passing game, the Bengals may not be able to turn to their running game for help. The Bengal’s rushing attack is anemic averaging just 80.2 yards. That makes them 30th in the NFL. Chicago’s rushing defense is holding teams to 112.2 yards on the ground which has them at 16th in the NFL. The Bengals may find some room to run and the Bears need to shut things down but Joe Mixon is out and the Bengals will rely on less than adequate running backs.

Chicago may have an advantage here.

What may hurt the Bears defense in this game is injuries. As we will soon find out, the Bears are banged up at several positions and will have some starters out. Will the Bears play well and win despite the fact some of their top talent will be sidelined?

Let’s find out who the Bears will and won’t have available as we look at this week’s injury report.

Injury Report

Chicago Bears

Chicago’s injury report is not looking good. By all accounts, there could be three starters on defense out for this game and that doesn’t bode well for the Bears. Let’s see who’s out and how it might impact Sunday’s game.

Eddie Goldman-NT-Goldman had been playing extremely well up until he started suffering hip problems. Now, he is doubtful for Sunday and his absence will leave a big hole in the middle of the defense. Will John Jenkins be able to pick up the slack? Note that the Bears also brought up Rashaad Coward (and waived Jonathan Anderson) to help.

Adrian Amos-S-Amos appears poised to miss his second straight game with a hamstring injury. The Bears are getting a little healthier at safety but the talent they have available doesn’t compare to what Amos can provide. We saw last week how injuries could affect the safety position and it looks like the problems could happen again this week.

Deon Bush-S-Bush will be available this weekend after practicing in full all week. He previously had an ankle injury.

Pernell McPhee-OLB-McPhee suffered a shoulder injury in the Bears’ game against the 49ers last week and didn’t play most of the game. With McPhee out and Leonard Floyd on injured reserve, it looks like the Bears pass rush will need to rely on what it can get from the defensive line. Hopefully, Vic Fangio has something up his sleeve to help get some pressure on Andy Dalton from the players he has left.

Bryce Callahan-CB-Callahan missed some time with a knee injury but appears poised to return this Sunday.

DeAndre Houston-Carson-S-An ankle injury limited Houston-Carson this week and he is questionable. The Bears have some depth at the safety position with Bush coming back but could use Houston-Carson on special teams.

Joshua Bellamy-WR-Bellamy had an illness this week and didn’t practice on Thursday. However, he practiced in full on Friday. Bellamy will be a go on Sunday.

Cincinnati Bengals

Here are the players the Bengals list on their injury report this week.

Vontaze Burfict-LB-The starter will be out with a concussion for this game.

Geno Atkins-DT-The starter is questionable and did not practice at the end of this week with a toe injury.

John Ross-WR-Ross didn’t practice two days this week because of a shoulder injury but practiced on Friday. Should he miss some action, the Bears defense might have an easier time defending the Bengal’s passing attack.

Darqueze Dennard-CB-Dennard didn’t practice Wednesday or Thursday and was limited on Friday with a knee injury. He will be questionable for Sunday.

Dre Kirkpatrick-CB-Kirkpatrick will be out Sunday recovering from a concussion.

Joe Mixon-RB-An important part of the Bengals’ rushing attack, Mixon will not play because of a concussion. This bodes well for the Bears as he helps to make the Bengal’s rushing offense better. Hopefully, Chicago will do well against the run because of this.

Adam Jones-CB-The starter will be out with a groin injury on Sunday.

Vincent Rey-LB-Rey was limited in practice all week with a hamstring injury and is questionable for Sunday.

Nick Vigil-LB-Vigil will be out with an ankle injury this Sunday.

Brandon Williams-S-Williams will be out with an ankle injury on Sunday.

Shawn Williams-S-He will be out with a hamstring injury this Sunday.

Follow me on Twitter @bdietzler.

Chicago Bears versus the San Francisco 49ers Game Preview

By Bryan Dietzler

The Bears will face the 1-10 San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Field this Sunday at noon in a game that they should be able to win. But the Bears didn’t win the last game they were favored in (Green Bay), so nothing is guaranteed. As Bears’ fans, we hope they will win and start to look respectable. Losing is getting very old.

Chicago’s Offense versus San Francisco’s Defense

The Bears’ offense took several steps back last week against the Philadelphia Eagles, but they were going up against the best team in the NFL. This week, they will be going against one of the league’s weakest teams.

When it comes to passing the ball, Chicago’s offense is ranked 31st getting just 167.1 yards per game. That’s not going to win you many games, and it hasn’t. The Bears must find a way to get the ball down the field through the air, but they are hampered by the growing pains of Mitchell Trubisky and the lack of weapons to the throw at receiver.

The 49ers’ pass defense is allowing teams to pass for an average of 244.6 yards per game which is good for 26th in the NFL. If the Bears could get their passing game going, they could have some positive opportunities against the 49ers. They just need to get Trubisky headed in the right direction and get his receivers open. If they could get going this could be a breakout game, of sorts, for the passing offense.

Let’s hope it is.

Despite their effort last week, the Bears are still ranked eighth in the NFL gaining 120.4 yards per game on the ground. They will be going up against the NFL’s 30th ranked rushing defense which is allowing 129.5 yards per game. Chicago can run on the 49ers all day long it appears and will need to do that to win. If they can get the running game going and get Trubisky playing well enough to get them out of tough spots, they should be able to beat San Francisco.

Should be able to win it.

San Francisco’s Offense versus Chicago’s Defense

We are going to have a bit of an unknown in this game. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is going to start in place of the injured C.J. Bethard and we aren’t quite sure what we have with him. He has played before and played well but that was a while ago and we aren’t sure just how ready he is to take over. Remember, he hasn’t been with the 49ers long and before, when he was in New England, he didn’t play this year, so he will be rusty.

Let’s just hope he doesn’t shake that rust off against the Bears and have a big game.

It’s not fair to use San Francisco’s passing stats as a basis for seeing how they could do against Chicago because Garoppolo hasn’t been there that long. We will just talk about how well Chicago does against opponents passing attacks. Currently, the Bears are ranked 12th against the pass and are allowing 215.8 yards per game. The Bears passing defense is better than it would appear and hopefully will have a good game.

The Bears aren’t terrible at stopping the run either. Chicago is allowing 112.4 rushing yards per game which is good for 16th in the NFL. They are in the middle of the pack. San Francisco is gaining 99.3 rushing yards per game which is ranked 23rd in the league. They have Carlos Hyde who is averaging 4.1 yards per carry and that’s the guy the Bears need to key on and shut down. If they can take him out and force the 49ers to be one dimensional, then they will have a better chance of winning this game.

Look for this game to be a good example of how teams struggle. I would suspect the offenses of both teams will have problems scoring points. So, it will be a low scoring game. The Bears appear to have the better defense and that will account for something. But with the injuries they have suffered, especially on defense, just how will they stack up against the 49ers?

It could easily be anyone’s game Sunday.

Call this even.

Injury Report

The following is a look at the Bears’ and 49ers injury reports as of Friday with some details on impacts on the game.

Chicago Bears

Joshua Bellamy-WR-He had a concussion but has practiced fully all week and will play. The Bears need him to help move the ball down the field through the air.

Deon Bush-S-Bush did not practice the last two days of this week after being injured in preparation for Sunday’s game. He is questionable. The safety position has been rocked by injuries and so hopefully Bush will at least be available for depth.

Adrian Amos-S-Due to a hamstring injury, Amos is doubtful for Sunday. Chicago did activate Deiondre Hall off injured reserve, so he can step in and play safety if needed. And it looks like he will be needed. The Bears also brought back former safety Chris Prosinski for depth.

Tom Compton-RT-Compton was limited on Wednesday but practiced in full Thursday as he is still nursing an ankle injury. His status for Sunday is up in the air.

Bryce Callahan-CB-Callahan was limited with a knee injury this week and is questionable for Sunday. If he can’t go then Cre’Von LeBlanc may get the nod at nickel depending on his health.

Roy Robertson-Harris-DE-A hamstring injury limited Robertson-Harris on Wednesday but he practiced in full Thursday, so it appears he will be ready to go.

DeAndre Houston-Carson-S-The backup safety did not practice all week due to an ankle injury and is officially listed as questionable for Sunday. It’s likely he will be inactive. The Bears need their safeties to get healthy and hopefully, Houston-Carson will soon.

Cre’Von LeBlanc-CB-Illness-LeBlanc did not practice Friday due to an illness. The Bears may have some trouble at the nickel position if both LeBlanc and Callahan can’t play. Hopefully one of them will be healthy enough to play and stay in the game.

Josh Sitton-G-Sitton is questionable after being in the NFL’s concussion protocol this week. He didn’t practice on Wednesday and was limited the last two days. He could be cleared to play at the last moment.

Danny Trevathan-ILB-Trevathan has missed considerable time with a calf injury but finally appears to be ready to play. He started out the week limited but practiced in full on Thursday and wasn’t even on the report Friday.

Isaiah Irving-LB-Irving suffered a knee injury in practice earlier in the week and didn’t participate on Thursday or Friday. On Saturday, he was placed on injured reserve and Hall was called up to take his place. Irving’s season is over.

San Francisco 49ers

Here are the players that San Francisco lists on their injury report this week.

Elvis Dumervil-DE-Not injury relayed-Full participation.

Trent Brown-OT-Shoulder-Limited and questionable.

C.J. Bethard-QB-Knee and Hip-Full participation.

Ahkello Witherspoon-CB-Ankle-Limited participation and is questionable.

Joe Staley-OT-Not injury related-Full participation.

George Kittle-TE-Ankle-Full participation.

Adrian Colbert-S-Thumb-Limited participation and questionable.

Eric Reed-S-Knee-Full participation.

Solomon Thomas-DT-Knee-Full participation.

Earl Mitchell-NT-Not injury related-Full participation

 

The Chicago Bears versus the Philadelphia Eagles Game Review

By Bryan Dietzler

The Chicago Bears, hoping to at least blunt the powerful Eagles offense and stay competitive, went into Philadelphia this Sunday afternoon and laid one gigantic egg. The Eagles were way too much for Chicago on both offense and defense, and the Bears couldn’t do anything positive.

Granted, we don’t want to relive the game but to find out more about the Bears identity and see where their problems lie, we should look at what they are doing.

And yes, the loss was hard to swallow but better things are ahead for the Bears.

Read on to find out how it went and what happened to the Bears. We will also look at some tidbits and details from the game.

The Eagles got the ball first as the Bears won the toss but decided to defer. Philadelphia was forced to punt on that possession. The Bears got the ball back deep in their own territory and went three and out. The Eagles took the ball and wound up just short of the fourth down after three plays. They decided to go for it and got the first down.

Philadelphia’s drive continued and ended up with a touchdown from Carson Wentz to tight end Zach Ertz. Chicago took the ball on their next drive in great field position, and Mitchell Trubisky was intercepted but the ball was fumbled, and the Bears recovered. Chicago was back in business. However, on that drive, they couldn’t convert and were forced to punt.

Philadelphia got the ball back at their own seven and gave it back on a fumble by LeGarrette Blount which was forced by Adrian Amos. Chicago committed a penalty and found themselves getting pushed further and further back. In the end, they came up just short of a first down on a long pass from Trubisky to Inman. Cairos Santos came in for a 54-yard field goal and missed. The score remained 7-0.

The Eagles marched methodically down the field and appeared to be held on the drive. But a holding call against Prince Amukamara kept the drive alive. Philadelphia would score on a Wentz to Nelson Agholor pass on the next play and go up 14-0.

It was time for Chicago to get something going. On their next drive, they were hurt by penalties and a fumble down at the goal line. They were forced to punt from their own end zone and the punt was partially blocked. The Eagles had very good field position. After a good defensive stand, they were forced to kick a 45-yard field goal attempt which was good.

Philadelphia went up 17-0.

With 6:52 left to go in the half, Chicago went three and out. The Eagles went for it again on fourth down and made it, so their drive continued. They finished off the drive in the closing seconds of the half with a Wentz to Alshon Jeffery pass. That made it 24-0.

That’s how the half would end.

At this point in the game, Chicago had no first downs and six penalties.

What a terrible effort.

Chicago got the ball to start the second half and managed to get their first first down of the game on a Trubisky to Daniel Brown pass. The drive was on the verge of stalling out several times, but the Eagles jumped offsides a few times to help keep it going. Santos attempted a 38-yard field goal and made it giving the Bears some points.

The score was 24-3 with 8:40 left in the 3rd quarter.

Philadelphia went for it again on fourth down on their next drive and was successful. That was their third fourth down conversion of the game. They attempted their fifth fourth down conversion of the game on fourth and six but the pass was broken up and Chicago took over. The Bears couldn’t do much and they were forced to punt. The Eagles scored on a wild play that saw running back Jay Ajayi fumble then Agholor recover the ball in the end zone for the touchdown.

The Eagles went up 31-3.

On their next possession, the Bears went three and out quickly. Philadelphia punted on their next drive. Chicago got down the field a bit on the next drive but faced a 4th and 2. They couldn’t convert, so the Eagles took over on Chicago’s side of the field. Philadelphia put Nick Foles in at quarterback to finish the game and on their first drive with him in Blount fumbled for the second time and Isiah Irving recovered it.

Chicago took the ball and Trubisky was almost intercepted by Rasul Douglas as the Bears were driving towards the red zone. The Bears dodged a bullet there. But on a fourth down play, Trubisky was intercepted, this time for real. The Eagles knelt and the agony for the Bears, at least on the field, had ended.

Here are some news and notes from the game.

Penalties

I talk about penalties each week. The Bears had nine of them for 56 yards and they came, again, at critical times. It’s all about discipline folks. The Bears are not well disciplined and are making mental errors. The false starts are mental errors. The holding calls are errors in technique as well as mental breakdowns and they always come at bad times. The Bears seem to have a lot of problems with those types of penalties and there doesn’t seem to be a remedy in sight.

Once again, this goes back to how well the coaching staff is preparing the players for game action as well as coaching them on the sidelines after the penalties happen. The Bears coaching staff is not doing their job.

Injuries

There were only two injuries that that took players out for long periods of time but there were a couple of instances where players went out for just a few plays. Guard Josh Sitton went out of the game with a concussion and didn’t return. Safety Adrian Amos had a hamstring injury and wasn’t seen on the field that much in the second half. Not much is known about Amos’ injury but Sitton is in the concussion protocol.

Dontrelle Inman was shaken up and went out for a bit. Thank goodness, he was able to come back. Cre’Von LeBlanc went down for a while. Nothing much is known about their injuries.

Whose Fault is It?

I have written about the fact that head coach John Fox should be fired. However, some are pointing the finger at management and ownership. Even the players are being looked at as the root of the Bears’ woes this season. Ultimately, the blame for this mess can fall on every level of this team from ownership, to management and to the players that took the field on Sunday. Everyone is at fault. But this had to start somewhere.

Where did it start?

Everything starts at the top. It starts with ownership. Ownership needs to take a long look at the management they have in place and realize that there are problems that need to be solved all along the line with this team. The owners need to realize that Ted Phillips has done more harm to the team than good and his long tenure needs to end. They need to provide more tools to Ryan Pace and he needs to make better decisions. They need their players to perform better and their coaching staff to teach the players correctly.

The identity of a team is typically taken from either the owner, the general manager, the head coach, the players or all the above. In this case, all the above have a hand in the Bears woes and this team needs major changes.

We will explore what some of these changes could and should be in future articles.

Something Positive?

Is there anything positive that could have come out of this game? If you are not a fan of John Fox, a positive might be that it could have put a nail in his coffin and that he will be fired. Maybe it was good to see the defense force two turnovers? There isn’t much of anything to hang your hat on after this game. It was just another terrible game and a perfect example of the Bears’ futility.

Hopefully, things will get better. They will, won’t they?

Chicago Bears versus the Philadelphia Eagles Game Preview

By Bryan Dietzler

The 3-7 Chicago Bears will travel to Philadelphia to take on the 9-1 Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday. The Eagles have been red hot this season and present one of the toughest challenges the Bears have had to face. Chicago has played teams close this year, for the most part, and will hope to keep the score close enough Sunday to possibly upset the Eagles and knock them off track.

Let’s see if it will be possible for the Bears to, at the least, compete with the Eagles on Sunday.

The following is a quick preview of the game with some numbers, individual matchups and a few tidbits thrown in. We will also look the injury report for both teams and see how that will impact the game.

Chicago’s Offense versus Philadelphia’s Defense

We can now start using the numbers from the Bears’ passing attack as an indicator of how their passing game works. This is because quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has a few games under his belt.

The Bears’ passing offense is ranked 31st in the NFL getting just 170.4 yards per game. The Bears have started to let Trubisky throw the ball a bit more, but they need to continue to keep letting him loose even more and help them win through the air. The problem is, he doesn’t have the receivers to throw the ball to, so he is struggling along with the whole passing offense.

The Eagles pass defense is ranked 20th in the NFL allowing 238.5 yards of passing per game so the Bears, if capable, can throw on them. They may have to because they will be putting their 5th ranked rushing attack (131.8 yards per game) against the league’s number one rush defense (allowing 71 yards per game). If the Bears can’t run, their hands may be tied unless they can get that passing game going. But the passing game hasn’t shown up all year, so unless Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen can work some magic, this will be a very difficult game for the Bears to keep up in. We can only hope that the Bears can do something on offense against this stop Philadelphia’s defense.

Chicago’s Defense versus the Philadelphia Offense

The Eagles have one of the best offenses in the NFL. They have one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Carson Wentz. At wide receiver, former Chicago Bear Alshon Jeffery is set to face his old team. With some other weapons, this offense is formidable. Believe it or not though, when it comes to throwing the ball, the Eagles are getting an average of 233 yards per game which is ranked 15th in the NFL.

You would think that they are getting more through the air the way their offense is going.

Chicago’s pass defense is allowing 213 yards per game which is 11th in the NFL. Things are about even here. But the Bears will be without pass rusher Leonard Floyd for the rest of the season. Even though his sack numbers weren’t that high, his quarterback pressures and ability to force quarterbacks to move were important. The Bears will miss him.

Hopefully, the rest of the defense will be able to step up and provide some help in getting to Wentz and throwing Philadelphia’s passing game off track.

Where the Eagles shine is in running the football. They average a whopping 144.6 yards per game which is good for second in the NFL. This means that they have good running backs, including Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount as well as a strong offensive line. Will the Bears and their 12th ranked rushing defense (allowing 106 yards per game) be able to stop the Eagles powerful rushing attack?

With some key pieces missing it might be difficult for the Bears to win. However, you can bet the Bears will put up a strong effort against the Eagles. They just need to play some of their best football of the year, and they will be able to compete at least a little bit.

Injury Report

The Bears Friday injury report was littered with injuries especially to some starters. Here is the list of injured players heading into Sunday’s game.

Bryce Callahan-CB-He has a knee injury and was limited in practice this week. Cre’Von LeBlanc is a capable replacement, should Callahan not be able to go, but is prone to mental errors.

Tom Compton-OT-Compton, with an ankle injury, was limited in practice this week and may play on Sunday. The Bears like having him available because of the depth he provides on the offensive line.

Joshua Bellamy-WR-Bellamy suffered a concussion in the Bears’ game against the Lions and has been in the NFL’s concussion protocol. He was limited and may play on Sunday.

Akiem Hicks-DE-A knee injury kept him out of practice last week. Hopefully, he can play on Sunday because the Bears will need him against that great Eagles rushing attack.

DeAndre Houston-Carson-S-Houston-Carson missed practice this week due to an ankle injury. He provides depth at the safety position, so the Bears will hope there aren’t any injuries there should he not be able to go Sunday.

Dion Sims-TE-The tight end did practice on a limited basis after missing some time with an illness the last few days. Hopefully, he will be able to play Sunday and give Trubisky someone else to throw the ball to. Trubisky will need it.

Kyle Long-G-Long seems to always be on the injury report. He was limited in practice with an ankle injury, but it appears he will be able to play Sunday.

Dontrelle Inman-WR-The wide receiver has a groin injury and was limited this week. Hopefully, he will be able to play of the Bears receiving corps will be hurting even more.

Leonard Floyd-OLB-The outside linebacker was put injured reserve and will be out the rest of the season.

Danny Trevathan-ILB-The Bears’ star linebacker was not able to practice all week. It looks like he will miss Sunday’s game and the Bears will miss him.

Roy Robertson-Harris-DE–Harris didn’t practice with a hamstring issue all week. He will be doubtful for Sunday.

Mitch Unrein-DE-The defensive lineman was limited all week with a knee injury but looks like he will be a go.

Here are the players that the Eagles listed as injured this week:

Trey Burton-TE-Back-Questionable

Jake Elliot-K-Concussion-Is out of the concussion protocol and will play.

Beau Allen-DT-Knee-Questionable

Rodney McLeod-S-Oblique-Will play.

Chicago Bears Versus the Detroit Lions Game Review

By Bryan Dietzler

The Chicago Bears played host to the Detroit Lions this Sunday at Soldier Field in their second divisional game in a row. Chicago played well in the first half but stalled out a bit in the second half. Still, they managed to keep it close. In the end, Chicago couldn’t get a tying field goal through the uprights and they lost 27-24.

Here is how the game unfolded including some of the key plays that happened throughout the game.

The Bears got the ball first and went on a methodical drive using a good mix of running and passing. That drive included a big pass to tight end Adam Shaheen, but the Bears couldn’t capitalize and score a touchdown. Instead, they settled for a 23-yard Connor Barth field goal to make it 3-0. It was their first score on an opening drive of a game all season.

Detroit got the ball after that and Chicago’s defense came through as Akiem Hicks recovered a Matthew Stafford fumble (thanks to a Nick Kwiatkoski sack/strip) to end Detroit’s drive. Chicago got a big run down to the five-yard line by Jordan Howard and capped the drive off with a Mitchell Trubisky to Shaheen touchdown pass.

The Bears went up 10-0 with 3:23 left in the first quarter.

The Bears got the ball back after a stalled Detroit drive. On that drive, the snap was mishandled by Trubisky. Detroit’s D.J. Hayden scooped the ball up and ran it into the end zone. That made it 10-7 with 14:00 left in the second quarter. On their next possession, Chicago capped off a long drive with a Howard touchdown to go up 17-7 with 8:30 left in the first half.

On Detroit’s next possession they scored a touchdown on a pass from Stafford to Marvin Jones for 28 yards. With the extra point, the Lions closed to within three of the Bears, 17-14. Chicago got the ball back with 5:17 left in the second quarter and had to punt after the drive stalled. With 3:43 left, Detroit got the ball back and went up 21-17 on a Stafford to Ameer Abdullah touchdown pass.

That’s how the half would end.

The Lions got the ball first to start the second half and were forced to punt. The Bears couldn’t do anything on their next drive and went three and out. The Lions had to punt on their next possession and the Bears got the ball back inside their own five-yard line. Chicago was unable to get that far on that drive and gave the ball back to Detroit. The Lions fell short in that drive and gave the ball back to Chicago.

The Bears started a drive with 4:18 left in the third quarter and ended it with a punt. On Detroit’s next possession, both Kyle Fuller and Leonard Floyd went out with injuries. There will be more on that later.

Detroit would be held to a field goal on that same possession making it 24-17 with 10:01 left in the game. The Bears would get some big runs and passes, as well as a roughing the passer penalty in their favor and cap a tying drive off with a touchdown by Tarik Cohen.

The game would be tied up at 24 all with 5:02 to go.

The Lions took the ensuing kickoff and drove towards the Bears end of the field but stalled out and had to kick a 52-yard field goal. The field goal was good, and it gave Detroit a 27-24 lead with 1:35 left in the game. The Bears had one shot to tie it up or take the lead.

The Bears managed to get close enough to try a 47-yard field goal attempt, but Connor Barth pushed it right with three seconds left. Chicago lost the game.

Interesting to note is the 4th down run Trubisky had on that drive to keep the drive alive. It was a thing of beauty.

News and Notes

Injuries

Injuries hit the Bears at bad times during this game. I had mentioned that Fuller and Floyd went out on the same play. Fuller came back in and his injury was noted as a wrist issue. But Floyd’s injury appeared to be much more serious and could keep him out for longer. He sprained some ligaments in his knee after struck by Fuller on the play. Floyd was carted off the field.

Bearsgab will update you on what is happening with Floyd when more information is unveiled.

We also saw Josh Bellamy leave the game and not come back. He suffered a concussion and is going through the NFL’s concussion protocol. There were some minor injuries suffered by a few other players who missed a few plays including Eddie Goldman (wrist), Akiem Hicks (leg), and Bobby Massie (hand).

We will see how they progress as the week goes on.

Penalties

I touch on this every week. The Bears, once again, had critical penalties at critical times in this game. Possibly the most damaging of all the penalties was Kyle Long’s late hit, which drew an unnecessary roughness penalty for 15 yards wiping out a nice run by Trubisky. That set the Bears back. Long had another penalty, being an illegal man downfield, which cost the Bears five yards and put them behind the chains again.

Overall, the Bears had five penalties for 64 yards. It was a little better this week, but they still need to eliminate those critical penalties at critical times.

Adam Shaheen

This write-up wouldn’t be complete without saying something about tight end Adam Shaheen. Coming from a Division II program, it was thought that Shaheen’s learning curve would be steep. Some felt that he wouldn’t be ready for the big time until 2018. But an injury to Zach Miller and Dion Sims’ illness has forced Shaheen to take a larger role in the offense. He proved Sunday he can be a good pass catching and blocking tight end.

His touchdown catch was a high point in the game.

Shaheen is catching on but still has a lot of learning to do. It’s nice to see him finally start to pan out though and make a difference in his first year in the league.

Kicking Woes

After missing that critical kick on Sunday, Connor Barth was released, and Cairos Santos was brought in. Santos should help cure what ailed the Bears in the kicking game and give them a weapon that they can use to score points and win close games. It’s sad that it took Chicago so long to conclude that Barth was not a good fit. And Barth cost them some games in the past as well.

Hopefully, the Bears don’t make such a horrible mistake at the kicking position again.

Next Up

Chicago will travel to Philadelphia to take on the red-hot Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles are coming off a big win against division rival Dallas. We will have a full preview of that game coming up later in the week.

Chicago Bears Week Ten Game Notes and Observations

By Bryan Dietzler

(Sorry for the delay in this post. I thank you for your patience)

The Chicago Bears played host to their hated rival, the Green Bay Packers, this Sunday and ended up losing 23-16. Almost everyone thought that the Bears would have beaten the Packers, but in the end, the Green Bay got the best of the Bears, again. They have done that so much over the course of the last few years and it’s become frustrating to Bears’ fans.

Even without their star, Aaron Rodgers, they still end up beating the Bears. How did that happen?

We are going to look at why some of what happened Sunday happened and look at a few key points in the game. Some are obvious, but others are not that obvious perhaps.

Let’s look.

The Challenge Heard Round the World

Many people are pointing the finger at John Fox for what happened with that big challenge on Sunday, and they are right but only partially.

I assume there is someone advising Fox, someone up high or viewing a replay, that tells him whether to challenge a play. If there is such a person, then that person responsible for doing that in the game Sunday should be fired.

Fox should take some of the blame for that but not all of it. He couldn’t see the play over and over like those in position to review the replay were. Ultimately, if there were any chance they would have lost possession of the ball on that challenge, he should not have challenged it.

What a bad thing to have happen.

The challenge and loss of possession was a real turning point for the Bears. Had they been able to score, they would have been in a great position to win the game. Perhaps the game was lost on that play. The challenge and its outcome are a good representation of what we have had with Fox and his staff over the last two and a half seasons.

Letting Fox Go

To go along with the whole issue of the challenge, people are now coming out in droves and demanding that Fox gets fired. There are even reports that ownership is upset and ready to let Fox go. The last time we heard reports like that were when the Bears were about to let go of Marc Trestman. None of these reports are confirmed but you can get a feeling from many that Fox will go. The fanbase is dissatisfied with what they are seeing and that’s not helping the team or ownership. It has the “air” of the Trestman firing all around it.

Fox needs to go. That’s plain and simple. He needs to be let go at the end of this season. But after suffering through two bad coaching stints, the team needs to be much more careful about who they chose as their next head coach. The fan base won’t want to endure much more of the basement dwelling the Bears have had in recent years.

But if Fox does go, who should replace him?

That’s a story for another day.

Penalties

What about the penalties the Bears suffered Sunday? Wow! They came often, and they came at bad times. The Bears need to firm things up with their discipline and play tighter. They cannot afford to keep struggling with penalties like they did on Sunday.

I have talked about this before. A team that commits a lot of penalties on the field represents a direct reflection of the coaching staff and how they are teaching their players off the field.

The penalties are a direct reflection of the Bears’ coaching staff.

With bad coaching comes penalties. We have seen that over the course of Fox’s tenure and have seen it with other teams that struggle with penalties. You can’t win a game when you are behind the chains. Your chances of winning decrease when you have to make up those extra yards. The Bears cannot afford to do that. Every extra yard they must get makes it even more difficult to win with the type of offense they have.

They must get rid of the penalties.

Hot and Cold

Cornerback Kyle Fuller was both hot and cold on Sunday. For some reason, teams like to throw at him at times he comes out ahead, sometimes. Fuller had the one good knockdown but that was about all he could do. The Packers completed 5 of 6 passes for 111 yards while the other members of the secondary combined allowed just 101 yards. He especially struggled to defend against that touchdown catch by Davante Adams. That was the biggest and most critical score of the game against the Bears.

I have called Fuller a near Pro Bowl talent before and believe that he has some good in him. However, despite the fact he’s been in the league four seasons, he still lacks experience. Maybe some additional experience or even a change of scenery might do him some good. The Bears didn’t pick up his 5th-year option so he will be a free agent in 2018.

Is he worth bringing back?

Injuries

The Bears, coming off a bye week, seemingly had more injuries coming out of it than they did going into it. The key injury of the game was Danny Trevathan’s calf strain. Not much about it was said after the Bears’ game against the Saints. Then he popped up on the injury report to start the week and didn’t practice. It was pretty much known he wouldn’t be able to play against the Packers by the time Friday was done.

Kyle Long suited up for Sunday but sat out with a hand injury. His replacement, Cody Whitehair, was adequate but the offensive line still struggled. Long has slowly missed more and more time due to injuries and is starting to look like he has some health issues. When he’s on, he’s good but he has also seemingly been a little out of rhythm this year. It may not be a good year for Long. Perhaps next year will be better barring a major injury at the end of this season.

Finally, why was tight end Dion Sims inactive for the game? He had been suffering from an illness all week and was unable to play on Sunday. Hopefully, he’s back and better when the Bears play the Lions this Sunday but it’s looking more and more that he won’t be back.

Final Thoughts

This was a winnable game for the Bears. The Packers have been reeling from the loss of their star quarterback, Aaron Rodgers and the stars were aligned for the Bears. But in this case, as they have done in the past, the snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. While the coaching staff should shoulder the blame for some of it, the players had a hand in it as well. They did not play as well as they could have and made some mental errors. But the coaching staff didn’t put them in a position to win.

The Bears were on a bye last week and had a lot of time to prepare for this game. However, they came out and fell flat. Then there were the injuries that popped up over the bye week and caused guys like Trevathan and Sims to miss the game. Then there were the mental errors by guys like Fuller. There were the penalties that cost the Bears field position.

These things added up to one big rotten loss. And although it wasn’t a beatdown, the loss might have stung worse than being crushed by 30 points. The Bears could have won this game and they just couldn’t do it.

That’s frustrating.

The Bears Gab Chicago Bears Mid-Season Defensive and Special Teams Grades

By Bryan Dietzler

The Chicago Bears’ defense has been playing increasingly well over the last few games and is starting to look like Bears’ defenses of old. How do they stack up now that the season is half over? What do their grades look like?

Most everyone on Chicago’s defense has been playing very well so far, this season. From the guys on the defensive line to the safeties in the backfield, this defense looks great. And as fans, we have the individual players, as well as defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to thank for the success that they have had.

Now if the Bears could have that same success on offense, they would be a playoff contender.

We will look for the defense to help win additional games this season by continuing to play the way it has been over the course of the last few games.

And we should see no letdown in what the defense can do in the team’s remaining eight games.

The following are the Bearsgab mid-season grades for each positional unit on defense. I will assign individual grades to some of the players and then unit grades. The grading system for the players is based on a points system which on a 1-5 number system and goes like this:

5.0-Elite/All-Pro

4.0-Solid/Pro-Bowl

3.0-Average

2.0-Below Average

1.0-Poor

0.0-Incomplete

And the grading system I will use for the units is by letter grade, and that should be self-explanatory.

Here are my unit and individual grades for the Bears offense.

Defensive Ends

This group has been solid this season and is led by a player who may be the Bears’ only All-Pro, Akiem Hicks. Hicks has been a force on the defensive line and has proven that he was well worth his contract.

Hopefully, he will continue to be productive.

Jonathan Bullard has stepped it up this season and is seeing situational duty while Mitch Unrein has been holding his own. Roy Robertson-Harris suffered an injury in the Carolina game but should be back soon.

Akiem Hicks-5.0

Roy Robertson-Harris-2.2

Mitch Unrein-2.5

Jonathan Bullard-2.6

Unit Grade-A- -These guys are spot on and one of the better groups in the NFL. If they can continue to produce they will be a top tier unit by the end of the season.

Defensive Tackles

Chicago has just two defensive tackles or nose tackles as they are commonly referred to in the 3-4 scheme. Eddie Goldman, who has spent a lot of time injured in the past is having a Pro Bowl season in the middle. He has become one of their best players. John Jenkins has been inactive on gameday, for the most part, participating in just one game.

Goldman makes this a stellar group.

Eddie Goldman-4.0

John Jenkins-0.0

Unit Grade-B+ -This is pretty much a one-man show with Goldman. Will he make his first ever Pro Bowl? It’s possible.

Outside linebackers

This group is manned by two very capable starters. Leonard Floyd has been showing some flashes of greatness this season and is coming along nicely. The Bears just need to get more production out of him. Pernell McPhee is finally healthy, and the Bears are starting to see what they thought they had in him. Now, if he can just remain healthy and set it up a bit this combination may be one of the best in the NFL.

Sam Acho is solid. He comes in to help provide some rest for the starters now and then.

Sam Acho-2.6

Pernell McPhee-2.8

Leonard Floyd-3.2

Isaiah Irving-0.0

Unit Grade-B+ -If these guys can finish the year strong, this grade will be an A. They are so close to being one of the best outside linebacker tandems in the NFL, we just need to see them step it up a bit.

Inside Linebackers

The Bears have some quality inside linebackers despite the fact Jerrell Freeman is on injured reserve. Danny Trevathan has come back from an injury last year and has played well. Christian Jones is playing at a high level. This is the best year for Jones who has been with the Bears for several seasons but has not stepped up until this year. Trevathan is as good as advertised and gets better with every game.

Both Jones and Trevathan are the backbone of this Bears’ defense.

Nick Kwiatkoski was injured early in the season but is back. He cannot regain his starting job, however, thanks to the way Jones is playing. That’s a good problem for the Bears to have. John Timu has had to step in and play at times but got hurt. He should be ready to go now.

Danny Trevathan-3.6

Christian Jones-2.9

Nick Kwiatkoski-2.2

John Timu-2.1

Unit Grade-A- -This grade will get better if these guys can continue to play like they have been. They should be one of the best inside linebacker groups in the NFL.

Cornerbacks

The Bears have three capable starting cornerbacks in Kyle Fuller, Marcus Cooper, and Prince Amukamara. Fuller, especially, has been playing lights out this season and is one of the reasons why the Bears’ pass defense has been so solid. This rotation works well and gives the Bears some depth and options at the position.

Bryce Callahan has been solid at the nickel spot but is a little banged up. He is also struggling with tackling which was evident against the Saints. Hopefully, he gets healthy and learns how to wrap up the ball carrier. Cre’Von LeBlanc is a capable replacement and can fill in as needed.

This group is so much better than it was last year and should continue to play well for the rest of 2017.

Prince Amukamara-2.7

Kyle Fuller-3.3

Marcus Cooper-2.6

Bryce Callahan-2.4

Cre’Von LeBlanc-0.0 (he has not seen enough action to be graded)

Unit Grade-B+ -There is so much improvement here but a little more room for it. This could be a top unit in the NFL by the time the season is over.

Safeties

The Bears have finally gotten to the point where they have a good set of starters at safety after suffering through several seasons without quality talent. They started out the season with Quintin Demps and Eddie Jackson as their starters but after Demps got hurt, Adrian Amos stepped in and has done very well. Jackson and Amos just might be one of the best safety duos in the league right now.

This is easily one of the Bears’ best units on defense.

Adrian Amos-3.1

Eddie Jackson-3.2

Deon Bush-0.0

DeAndre Houston-Carson-0.0

Unit Grade-A- -This group is near perfect. Just a little more production is needed, and we can call them one of the best in the league.

Kicker

What can you say about Connor Barth? He’s inconsistent that’s for sure. Having made just 7 out of 11 attempts this season Barth is not a reliable kicker. The Bears need to do something either this season or in the offseason. However, it’s highly doubtful the Bears will let him go this season.

Connor Barth-2.0

No Unit Grade

Punter

With an average of 48.2, Pat O’Donnell can be considered a successful punter. He’s had some booming kicks and is a weapon in the field position game.

Pat O’Donnell-2.9

No Unit Grade

Return and Coverage Teams

The real star of this group is Sherrick McMannis. McMannis is one of the best special teams players in the NFL and has been an asset to the Bears. The unfortunate thing for him is that he has been hurt. You can tell the Bears need him too as their play in special teams has declined just a bit since he’s been out. Long snapper Andrew DePaola is doing well and may return next season.

The return teams still need some work as the Bears have used a combination or return men but still haven’t found the right one

Sherrick McMannis-2.8

Andrew DePaola-2.5

Unit Grade-C -This group has had its good and bad moments and its bad moments showed in the game against the Ravens. Hopefully, they tighten things up and play better over the course of the last few games.

The Bears Gab Chicago Bears Mid-Season Offensive Grades

By Bryan Dietzler

The Chicago Bears have hit the midpoint of the 2017 season and are at it with a 3-5 record. There have been some good things and some bad things that have come out of the first eight games.

But one thing is for sure, and that’s the fact that the Bears’ arrow is pointing up.

The Mike Glennon experiment may be over, and it looks like it’s going to be Mitchell Trubisky’s team now. Glennon lasted all of four games and had a 1-3 record. Trubisky has fared better than Glennon with a 2-2 record, but he’s had a lot of help from his defense.

But one group he hasn’t gotten a lot of help from is his wide receivers. Hopefully, that will change when Dontrelle Inman is available. But even with Inman, the Bears still have a way to go in the passing game.

The offensive line has been both good and bad. There are some things to be happy and frustrated about with that group.

But overall, things are looking up for the offense. At least for their future.

Without further delay, here are the Bearsgab mid-season grades for each positional unit on the offense. We will assign individual grades to some of the players and then unit grades. The grading system for the players is based on a points system which on a 1-5 number system and goes like this:

5.0-Elite/All-Pro

4.0-Solid/Pro-Bowl

3.0-Average

2.0-Below Average

1.0-Poor

0.0-Incomplete

And the grading system I will use for the units is by letter grade, and that should be self-explanatory.

So, without further delay, here are my unit and individual grades for the Bears offense.

Quarterbacks

The Bears have suffered a lot at the quarterback position. They thought that Glennon was going to be the short-term answer while Trubisky learned and grew in the offense but that did not happen. Glennon was so bad; the Bears had to put Trubisky in and start moving forward. While Trubisky has shown some promise, his growth has been stunted by the lack of talent at the wide receiver position.

Glennon is probably going to be gone next season unless the Bears want to keep him as a backup. The “out” clause in his contract doesn’t tie the Bears to him beyond this year. That would make it a clean break. Letting him go might make sense but then who will back up Trubisky?

Worrying about that is a long way away.

Trubisky will get better when the players around him get better and for now, he will learn and grow and eventually be the player the Bears hoped he would be.

Mike Glennon-1.75

Mitchell Trubisky-2.5

Mark Sanchez-0.0

Unit Grade-C- There is a lot of potential here and hopefully this grade will improve by the end of the season.

Running Backs

The Bears have gotten some good production out of their running backs this year although they might have been able to do more at times. Jordan Howard has played well but has suffered from two problems. The first is that he has fought through some shoulder problems and has struggled to stay healthy consistent. Second, Howard has dropped some critical passes and needs to work on his pass-catching skills. He must improve in that area.

Tarik Cohen was great to start but hasn’t done a lot since the first four games. Teams figured him out and he has been taken out by double coverage. Benny Cunningham does ok in relief and Michael Burton has been blocking well. We might see more of Cunningham if he can stay healthy, as the season goes on.

Jordan Howard-4.1

Tarik Cohen-3.5

Benny Cunningham-3.0

Michael Burton-3.0

Taquan Mizell-0.0

Unit Grade-B+ Mix in Howard’s pass-catching woes and Cohen being a non-factor recently and this group drops down to a B+. They are close to being an “A” group though.

Wide Receivers

All I can say here is yikes! This group has been called the worst in the NFL by some experts and they aren’t doing the Bears’ quarterbacks any favors. They have no star power here, no one to stretch the defense or even a true number one receiver. They need help and they got some with Dontrelle Inman, but we don’t know what we have with him just yet. Everyone else is poor to mediocre and hasn’t helped the Bears’ cause.

There are rumblings that Kevin White could come back off injured reserve. How can he help? We aren’t sure because he hasn’t played but at this point, anything or anyone is better than the current crop of wide receivers the Bears have.

Let’s see what the Bears do.

Joshua Bellamy-2.0

Tanner Gentry-2.2

Dontrelle Inman-0.0

Tre McBride-2.7

Markus Wheaton-1.0

Kendall Wright-2.6

Unit Grade-D- This group needs some new blood. Let’s see what Inman can do.

Tight Ends

This group isn’t going to be the same without Zach Miller. Dion Sims needs to pick up where Miller left off and be the guy that they thought he would be when they signed him as a free agent. So far, he has shown flashes but hasn’t lived up his lofty payday.

He needs to step up now.

Adam Shaheen needs to step up as well. Shaheen, a second-round draft pick, is nowhere near where the Bears need him to be right now. He needs to grow up and get things right.

With the injury to Miller, guys like Brown and Braunecker, if they call him up from the practice squad, are going to have to help as well. This group needs to step in and help give Trubisky someone to throw the ball too.

Zach Miller-3.0

Dion Sims-2.6

Daniel Brown-2.0

Adam Shaheen-2.2

Unit Grade-C+ -When it comes to blocking, this group does a good job against the run. They need to become Trubisky’s pass-catching outlet and do more to help him out. Hopefully, they can do that in the second half of the season.

Offensive Tackles

The Bears signed Charles Leno, Jr., to a big brand-new contract but he has not lived up to that lofty contract’s status. He struggles at times but he’s the best of what the Bears have at the offensive tackle position. He won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Bobby Massie has had his troubles but is all the Bears have at right tackle right now. Chicago must do something about that position during the offseason.

Bobby Massie-2.1

Charles Leno, Jr.-3.0

Tom Compton-2.3

Bradley Sowell-2.5

Unit Grade-C -There isn’t much to write home about with these guys. They have been average and will remain so.

Offensive Guards

Things have been a bit of a struggle for the guards this season. Both Kyle Long and Josh Sitton have been hurt and have missed time. The fill-in players, mostly tackles playing guard, have helped but they couldn’t be long-term solutions if needed.

Right now, Kyle Long has a hand injury and it’s not known whether he will miss any time. Josh Sitton is getting older by the game and may not be around after the season is over. There were even rumors that the Bears were taking trade offers for him before the trade deadline last week.

Still, they are the best the Bears have and hopefully they can step it up in the second half of the season.

Kyle Long-3.5

Josh Sitton-3.6

Unit Grade-B- -If it weren’t for all the injuries here this would be a better grade, but this unit has struggled with health. Hopefully, they can play the remaining eight games together.

Centers

I am torn with what I see in Cody Whitehair. How could he be so good last year as a rookie but struggle so much this season? The Bears may want to move the undersized Hroniss Grasu in at center and possibly keep Whitehair as a reserve and let him learn, again. Is that a viable option?

Maybe neither Whitehair or Grasu are any good.

One thing is for sure though; the Bears must do something to help improve the center position because it’s almost cost them this season.

Hroniss Grasu-2.6

Cody Whitehair-1.9

Unit Grade-D -Whitehair has regressed and Grasu has struggled to stay healthy. The Bears need some help here but it’s not coming this year. Let’s hope they can turn things around here.

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