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Bear Down: Week 9 – The Bye Week

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The Bear Cave

Week 9: Bye Week

Game Balls

Zach Miller­ – I feel like it is rightfully so to just give the man who may have played his last game a game ball. Not only was his injury gruesome, but he had the play call reversed on him, taking away his touchdown. This was one of the nastiest injuries and it almost cost Miller his leg. A game ball won’t give Zach a new leg but the man has battled injuries his entire NFL career. I think it’s time he calls it quits. It’s time to stay healthy (while you can) and save that money you earned and collect the pension on the way out. Cheers to getting healthy and staying healthy.

Akiem Hicks – Returning back to NOLA playing against the team that traded him to New England (eventually coming to the Bears), Hicks was again a force to be reckoning with. I honestly do not know if there is a better defensive lineman right now in football in the interior. Maybe I have a little bias because I watch him every week, but he is easily the Bears best defensive player. His sack total is now up to 7…as an interior lineman.

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State of the Bears

I talked about this last week in my article, but the offense was exposed. The Bears were riding back to back wins. Everything seemed to be right, except it wasn’t. The offense was hiding behind a good Bear defense. The Bear defense again did it’s job against the Saints. The Bears forced two turnovers, stripping Mark Ingram, twice. The Bears limited the Saints offense to 20 points, which to teams many would be a success. The time of possession was almost equal in the game, while the Saints had just over 31 minutes.

The Bears offense has been a real struggle- even with new QB Mitchell Trubisky. With a limited amount of weapons, questionable play calling, and a rookie QB who looks like a rookie at times, the Bear offense has been nowhere to be found. This seems like the last few years of the Lovie-era all over again. You have a defense that is ready to get rolling, but it’s not complimented by an offense that’s on the same page.

To add to the lack of weapons, one of the Bears top receiving targets , Zach Miller, will probably be done for the season (if not his career). Miller suffered a terrible knee injury while attempting to catch a touchdown pass late in the second half (I still believe it was a TD). Miller was rushed to the local New Orleans hospital where emergency surgery was successfully performed. Losing Miller not only hurts on the field, but it hurts off the field. Kyle Long stated that Miller means so much to the locker room. Miller has dealt with injuries in what seems like almost every year of his NFL career – this might be (and probably should be) the last one.

Dowell Loggains at times seemed very lost while trying to call plays for the Bears. The Bears has tried the run, run, pass on 1st/2nd/3rd downs method. The problem for the Bears offense comes when the Bears struggle on first down. Then what do they do? Everyone has to realize Loggains is very limited with a QB in his 4th start and so many weapons down. If you look at the Bears wide receivers as a collective whole – find me someone you can depend on, please. Tre McBride was the Bears leading receiver last week. Can you really depend on him? There are times where it looks like no receivers can create space for the ball to even be thrown. How do you call an offense with all this going on? It is a mess? Hell ya! But, anyone would struggle with calling an offense with all this going on. I wouldn’t be too quick to show him the door just yet. Obviously, we can all look back and ask what he was thinking – but think about all of these things encompassed.

Should the Bears staff be on the hot seat? Heck yes. Does John Fox show that he struggles as a coach many times – yes he does but I wouldn’t put all the blame on just one guy like Loggains or Fox. It is a collective struggle – limited by weapons the Bears have. I think you have to look at Ryan Pace as well. The Bears let Alshon Jeffrey walk for no compensation and really got none for Brandon Marshall. Are those guys the answers? I’m not saying that, but it was nice having some weapons out there. The Bears need to develop some weapons or find some – quick. Otherwise, there are going to be some changes in Halas Hall this off-season (if they make it that far to the off-season).

Quick Hits for the Bye Week

  • Hopefully the Bears can get (somewhat) healthy.
  • If I were the Bears, run through the tape with Trubisky and get it right while you can. Fix what you can but don’t get too crazy.
  • Fox’s seat is heating up big time, while Vic Fangio’s seat is cooling.
  • Fangio has been a name that many of us have seen and heard for possible head coaching spots – he’s made it no secret he wants to be the head guy somewhere and soon. He’s already 59.
  • It will be interesting to see how the Bears use new WR Dontrelle Inman. On any other team he’s a number 4/5 receiver. On this Bears team, he’s probably a #2 or #3. Dare I say, #1?
  • He won’t be a huge game changer early on, but it’ll be nice to see him out there.
  • Hopefully Marcus Wheaton can finally get healthy – he was supposed to be a nice weapon for the Bears. He’s had such a disappointing and frustrating tenure with the Bears so far.
  • The whole Connor Barth thing needs to end. This is the one Ryan Pace thing I still have not figured out and it’s so frustrating.
  • Robbie Gold has been nothing but automatic since leaving the Bears. Missing one field goal since between playing for the Giants and 49ers.

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Predictions

The Bears won’t lose this week, so that’s a plus. They need to get as healthy as possible and fix what they can while they can – otherwise the coaching staff’s seats might be a little hotter…The Bears need to win the bye week by getting healthier, working with Trubisky, going over tape, and regrouping.

  • I believe 7 wins would save Fox’s job. That means The Bears must finish 4-4.
  • Anything less and I think he is gone. 7 wins shows a 4 game improvement and would mean Trubisky would have went 6-6 as the Bear’s starter.
  • Dowell Loggains and the offensive staff need to find some schemes in order to get this offense rolling.
  • Fox and Company need to figure out ways to win ball games, plain and simple. They need to show a sign of improvement.

 

My Prediction: The Bears have two maybe three winnable games in the second have of the schedule. I predict they win a total of six game – 6-10 record. Is that enough to save Fox’s job? I believe not.

We’ll see Bears fans.

As Always, Bear Down.

AB

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