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The Shadow
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Gameday week 7
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Bears roster update: Williams activated from COVID list, Hicks downgraded to out, 2 players flexed up

By Lester A. Wiltfong [email protected] Oct 23, 2021, 2:16pm CDT

On Saturday the Chicago Bears activated running back Damien Williams from the Reserve/COVID-19 list, so he will be able to play tomorrow against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Williams will join running backs Khalil Herbert and Ryan Nall on the game day roster.

The Bears also announced that defensive lineman Akiem Hicks did not travel with the team to Tampa, and that his injury status was downgraded to out from questionable. You can check out the full injury list for both the Bears and Bucs here.

Since the Bears still have two players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, tight end Jimmy Graham and outside linebacker Robert Quinn, they were allowed to bring two practice squad players up to take their places. Offensive lineman Dieter Eiselen and defensive lineman Margus Hunt have been brought up for Sunday’s game. Since these were COVID replacements both players will revert to Chicago’s practice squad on Monday.

The Shadow
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Re: Gameday week 7
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Bears place Caleb Johnson on the Covid Reserve list

2021  At least I am not a Lions Fan!

Fire Nagy now!

 

The Shadow
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POST COUNT: 11151
Re: Gameday week 7
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12 Thoughts On The Bears’ Disastrous, Predictable Loss To The Buccaneers

By  Dhruv Koul

Oct 24, 2021

Dhruv Koul shares his in-game reactions, thoughts and observations from the Bears-Buccaneers game at Raymond James Stadium.  Follow him on Twitter @DhruvKoul to continue the conversation.

TAMPA, Fla. — The Chicago Bears had a rough afternoon last Sunday.  Not only did they lose again to the rival Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field, but Aaron Rodgers announced his ownership of the franchise, unbeknownst to the McCaskey Family.  (It was just awesome and hilarious to hear Rodgers shout that to the Soldier Field crowd after his TD run.)

That loss dropped the Bears to 3-3.  And they faced a *rough* follow-up matchup today in Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Bears did defeat the Bucs in prime time at Soldier Field last season.  The upset ended with Brady famously losing track of downs on the Bucs’ final drive; this, after a wild Bears drive, highlighted by Nick Foles’ beautiful toss to David Montgomery on third down, set up a game-winning field goal by Cairo Santos.  That loss to the Bears spurred the Bucs “figuring it out” en route to their Super Bowl championship.

You bet the Bucs were thinking revenge all week.  Brady doesn’t let slights like this go.  He remembers.  And you just knew he was going to come out firing, looking to leave no doubts against Chicago this time around.  And as highlighted in the thread above, this matchup was just all-around bad for the Bears.

In the end, the Bears ran into the buzzsaw everyone expected, getting absolutely torched to a 35-3 halftime deficit en route to a brutal demolition in Tampa.

I shared my in-game reactions, thoughts and observations from the game below.  Follow me on Twitter @DhruvKoul to continue the conversation.

Thoughts and Observations

1a.  (PREGAME) — Before the game, the Bears put RT Elijah Wilkinson on the reserve/COVID-19 list.  This is his second stint on the list, and it means the Bears will be without their new starting RT (after Germain Ifedi’s injury) against that ferocious Bucs front.  Arlington Hambright was flexed up from the practice squad.  Just not good.

Meanwhile, the Bucs will have Jason Pierre-Paul today against the Bears’ depleted OL.  Here’s hoping Justin Fields ends up okay health-wise after today’s game.

1b.  (PREGAME) — It’s raining at Raymond James Stadium before kickoff, and the forecast has rain possible throughout the afternoon.

While usually the weather elements can even things out game-plan wise, it usually puts higher emphasis on the running game and ball security.  Given the Bucs’ run defense is their strength… you see where I’m going with this?

2.  The Bears, for some reason, chose to take the ball after winning the toss.

It went about as you’d expect.  A first down pitch got nothing.  Fields was sacked on second down, with his fumble recovered by Khalil Herbert, and they proceeded to punt.  They gave up a 43-yard return on the punt, and then the Bucs scored two plays later.

Bucs up 7-0 extremely quickly, and it was too easy for them.

3.  After a beautiful run by Khalil Herbert for 29 yards got the Bears in Bucs territory, Cole Kmet dropped a perfect throw on third down to kill another drive.  If he’s going to be the starting TE, he *has* to make those plays.  It’s inexcusable.

Luckily for the Bears, Roquan Smith is incredible and made sure it wouldn’t hurt the Bears on the ensuing drive.  He snuffed out a screen on a Bucs third down and tackled Gio Bernard for a loss.  He got there very quickly.

FWIW, on the play prior, Eddie Jackson had a chance for an interception in deep plus territory.  It was probably thrown faster than his reaction speed, though.  Tough play, but would’ve been a big one.

Doesn’t matter, though, because Fields was picked three plays later on what seems to be a typical Fields play lately.  Great escape, terrible throw.

And of course, a few plays later, it’s 14-0.

4.  It’s the end of the first quarter, and it’s 21-0 Bucs.  Justin Fields was sacked/stripped again, and the Bucs went right down the short field for another TD.  Brady is two TD passes away now from being able to put up four fingers in a mockery of last year.

5.  An update: Three fumbles (two lost) and an interception in 1.5 quarters of football.  This is a big problem, folks.  Yes, the Bears’ OL has been bad, but Fields is looking overwhelmed and not protecting the football.  I get everyone wants to stick up for their QB, but he is complicit in some of this and needs to improve.

Don’t get me wrong, it appears the Bears have no chance this afternoon, down 21-0.  But Fields is really struggling himself.

6.  The Bears had a decent drive going after Ryan Succop missed a field goal… until the red zone.  The Bears had 4th and goal at the Bucs’ 9 yard line and elected to kick the FG.  That made it 21-3.  Khalil Herbert was outstanding on that drive.

BEARS TAKE THAT MISSED FG BY SUCCOP AND LOOK TRANSFORMED, AT LEAST FOR ONE DRIVE… UNTIL THE RED ZONE.

STILL, SOME SUCCESS.

21-3.

Against Tom Brady, though, that usually doesn’t pay off.  And the next drive proved it, as Brady hit Mike Evans on back-to-back perfect throws — beating Jaylon Johnson on both — as it resulted in a quick TD.

Brady is up to three TD passes.

It’s every bit as ugly as feared, folks.

7.  And Brady gets his fourth TD pass of the half.  It’s 35-3 at halftime.  Thirty-five to three.

I wanted to watch Fields today while the game was close.  See how he did against the pass rush.  He has struggled immensely.  Not everything is his fault today, but he has failed his own test(s) today.  Unfortunately, he’s not looking like a premier prospect so far.

8.  Halftime thoughts:

There really might not be much left to analyze from this one.  The Bears’ press conferences tonight and Nagy’s tomorrow will be very interesting.

9.  Bears’ first drive of the second half was going well, until it stopped.  A holding call set up a 3rd and 12 near the Bucs’ red zone, and then Fields throw to Mooney went off his fingertips and was picked.  No points for the Bears on what was looking like a solid drive.

The positive on that drive, though, was Fields was blitzed several times and he reacted much better than he had earlier in the game.  Maybe some progress to build on.

10.  Bilal Nichols was ejected from the game for throwing a punch in the red zone.  This is the third time it’s happened under Matt Nagy.  I’d expect some significant discipline for Nichols.  Meanwhile, it’s a contract year for him… that is not something he can afford to do moving forward.

11.  Whew.

It’s really, really ugly, folks.

There’s not much more that needs to be analyzed.

12.  The Bears host the San Francisco 49ers on Halloween next Sunday.  While there may have been some optimism in this game being winnable before the Tampa disaster, I’m not sure how anyone can have any sort of confidence going into a game against a tough, physical team like the 49ers.  Justin Fields has a chance to show Kyle Shanahan he made a mistake passing on him at #3 overall, but I don’t think that’ll happen.

Early prediction:  49ers 26, Bears 10.

2021  At least I am not a Lions Fan!

Fire Nagy now!

 

The Shadow
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Re: Gameday week 7
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Matt Nagy Has Finally Had His Marc Trestman Moment

By  Erik Lambert

 Oct 24, 2021

One could argue he artfully dodged it the first time in Cleveland since the defense managed to only give up 26 points despite a historically bad offensive effort. A quick pair of wins against Detroit and Las Vegas managed to ease some of the tension after that. This time though? There was no escaping. The situation sets up so eerily to Marc Trestman for Matt Nagy. Facing Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady in back-to-back weeks. Just like Trestman in 2014.

After falling to Rodgers yet again 24-14, making that a 1-6 record against the Packers, Nagy had no answers for what happened on Sunday in Tampa Bay. Despite playing a Buccaneers team badly depleted by injuries, it didn’t matter. Their defense smothered Justin Fields, slicing through the offensive line like butter for four sacks and forcing three turnovers. Tom Brady and the offense turned all that into 35 points.

In the first half.

People will blame Fields for the way he played. That is the nature of things. He wasn’t good enough and he is the quarterback. The problem is this goes so much deeper than the quarterback. Chicago has a systemic issue that has been evident for years. Every time the Bears seem to run into a competent opponent with solid coaching? They aren’t just beaten, but often badly beaten. Just look at the results against the following opponents this year.

Sean McVay: Lost 34-14

Kevin Stefanski: Lost 26-6

Matt Lafleur: Lost 24-14

Now they’re getting thumped by Bruce Arians and the Buccaneers. Too often Nagy seems overmatched in a coaching sense. That is never a good sign. It isn’t like the Bears are devoid of talent. They have some good players. Their head coach just seems incapable of maximizing the talent of those players. It was the same issue with Trestman seven years ago. He couldn’t hold a locker room and couldn’t make adjustments. Things eventually fell apart.

Matt Nagy may have wanted Fields but he’s not right for him

Is the rookie QB playing badly? Yes. Are a number of the mistakes his fault? Also yes. Is he getting any help from his supporting cast or the system in general? No. People have been quick to turn on Fields because of his inconsistency. That was inevitable. Fans can be like that. The reality is the guy was thrown into a bad situation and people are shocked an inexperienced kid couldn’t fix it.

Nothing is working. Wide receivers are dropping passes, falling down, and running poor routes. Tight ends can’t get open in the passing game. The offensive line is a block of Swiss cheese. Execution is consistently bad. After watching this for over two years now? There is no getting around the reality. Matt Nagy can’t get it done. His offensive philosophies and strategies don’t work. He doesn’t understand how to establish an identity and put together attacks that defenses respect.

He hasn’t gotten the job done nearly enough.

GM Ryan Pace can take plenty of blame too. His work on the offensive side of the ball in the draft and free agency has been less than stellar. If those two were a package deal coming into this season, then it’s only fitting they get sent out that way. The McCaskeys have a lifeline in Fields that may save them from another long rebuild. They have to find people who can help him though. That is not Nagy.

2021  At least I am not a Lions Fan!

Fire Nagy now!

 

The Shadow
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Re: Gameday week 7
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Buccaneers vs. Bears score: Justin Fields' five turnovers doom Chicago as Tampa Bay rolls to 6-1

The Bucs took command early and never looked back

By Cody Benjamin

10 hrs ago

Justin Fields might be the Bears' future at quarterback, but he wasn't doing anything to help Chicago on Sunday, with the reigning champion Buccaneers rolling all over Windy City to improve to 6-1. Granted, Fields hasn't had much help since taking over under center, and that continued in Week 7, but five turnovers from the rookie signal-caller doomed the Bears in what was always going to be a tough matchup at Raymond James Stadium. Tom Brady wasn't particularly sharp early on, but he never needed to be, riding three interceptions from Todd Bowles' defense to a 38-3 victory that confirms the Bucs as one of the NFC front-runners.

Here are some takeaways from Sunday's big Bucs win:

Why the Buccaneers won

Bowles' defense was superior in every way to Matt Nagy's offense. It's honestly as simple as that, because Brady didn't even need a good day to claim a huge win here. TB12 ended up throwing four touchdowns, and he showed off his ageless arm as the afternoon wore on, hitting Chris Godwin and Mike Evans for big gains on a day without Antonio Brown. But even his aerial dominance came when the game was already out of hand. The real game ball belongs to the "D," where Shaquil Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul and Co. consistently got in Fields' face, pressuring the unsupported rookie into crucial mistakes early and often. Tampa Bay managed to play both aggressively and loose thanks to a massive first-quarter lead, and the duo of Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones (144 combined yards) helped keep the ball in their hands despite some uncharacteristic Brady hiccups before the break.

Why the Bears lost

To pin this squarely on Fields would be to overlook all the issues contributing to the rookie QB's performance; a shoddy O-line and anonymous receiving corps (Allen Robinson, are you there?) rarely helped. But you can't turn the ball over multiple times in the NFL and expect to win, and Fields coughed it up a whopping five times -- twice on fumbles and thrice through the air, and that's not even counting a separate fumble he almost lost early in the matchup. The QB wasn't terribly inaccurate on some key shots but too often took chances when the Bears simply needed possession. The defense, meanwhile, actually played tight coverage against Brady in the first half but had no answers for Fournette, then cratered late as Brady started dicing them up. The only obvious positive takeaway here: Khalil Herbert, who looked explosive almost every time he touched the ball in the ground game.

Turning point

Trailing 14-0 and already losing the turnover battle, the Bears opted to stick to the ground to open their fourth offensive drive of the day. And it worked well enough, with Herbert pushing them close to midfield. Then came third-and-5, with just over two minutes left in the first quarter, and Fields lost the ball on a Barrett sack. Not only did the Bucs take over, killing Chicago's chance at points, but they proceeded to march 35 yards while burning clock, capping the drive with a TD to go up 21-0 after just one quarter.

Play of the game

Give it to Brady, who showed a little pocket mobility before firing the ball to Evans for the wideout's third score of the day:

2021  At least I am not a Lions Fan!

Fire Nagy now!

 

Calbrooks
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Re: Gameday week 7
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I promise, I will get this caught up. Have been offline most the last week

 

Train like you are 2nd, but play like you are 1st.

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