Can They Finish After Post-Green Bay Meltdown
The Chicago Bears start the 2018 season with back to back prime time games following the epic collapse on Sunday Night Football. According to sportsline.com, Chicago opens up as a 3.5 point favorite over the visiting Seahawks (0-1) on Monday Night Football (MNF).
Week One has come and gone, Chicago is now 0-1. The Bears need to rebound after last week. The best news heading into this week is the Bears left Green Bay unscathed nfl.com reports the Bears have no one on their injury report. But it appears Seattle will be without #1 receiver Doug Baldwin for the near future. If you know the Bears recent injury history this is a victory.
According to chicagobears.com HC Matt Nagy stated, “We’ve moved on from Seattle and that’s what’s most important.” He was referring to the possibility of a potential hangover from Sunday night.
The Seahawks were tested throughout their matchup with the Broncos but eventually fell short, 27-24. But they come to Chicago with another Super Bowl winning QB, Russell Wilson. Wilson is a monster all on his own, his swagger on the field makes him one of the best dual-threat passers in the NFL.
According to seahawkswire.usatoday.com, Seattle has the highest winning percentage in NFL history on MNF. This does not bode well for a Bears team in desperate need to erase last week’s meltdown.
Here are the matchups:
Wilson brings a Super Bowl winning pedigree, along with seven years of winning football experience to Soldier Field. He has already been selected to four Pro Bowls in his brief career. Last week, he carved up a Denver defense to the tune of 298 yards, 3 touchdowns against 2 interceptions and a passer rating of 92.7.
Mitchell Trubisky reminded everyone that he is only a second-year quarterback entering the first year in a new system. Last week was the tale of two halves as he finished with a 65.7 accuracy percentage but only 171 yards, no touchdowns or interceptions. His 77.2 passer rating was reflective of his efforts.
Chris Carson and first-rounder Rashaad Penny shared the workload at seven carries each. Carson averaged 7.3 yards/carry but lost a fumble, scampering for 51 yards. Penny managed only eight total yards.
The combination of Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen showed what they are capable of averaging, 5.5 and 5.0 yards/carry. Howard got the bulk of the carries totaling 82 yards.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Rookie TE Will Dissly, a former fourth-round pick, led Seattle with 105 yards and a touchdown with only three catches. The speedster, Tyler Locket and former Bear Brandon Marshall round out the Seahawks aerial threat. Each had three receptions and a touchdown for 59 and 46 yards, respectively.
Allen Robinson led the Bears with four catches and 61 yards. Howard and Taylor Gabriel led the team with five receptions each. Newcomer Trey Burton and Cohen were non-factors.
Seattle gave up six sacks last week in Denver. DE Von Miller led the charge with three. It is hard pressed to think the Bears defense cannot replicate this effort.
Chicago gave up only three sacks in Green Bay. LT Charles Leno was a notable secret superstar according to profootballfocus.com with a grade of 83.7.
Seattle managed only one sack last week. DE Frank Clark scored the solo takedown of Case Keenum.
Meanwhile, the Bears managed four takedowns, two a piece on Aaron Rodgers and backup Deshone Kizer. Akiem Hicks earned his new paycheck with a sack and a forced fumble. Roy Robertson-Harris added a takedown of his own.
MLB Bobby Wagner has been the long-time general in the middle of the lineup. He led the group with five tackles and a pass breakup. OLB Barkevious Mingo, who has bounced around the league, followed with three tackles. Newcomer Shaquem Griffin filled in for an injured K.J. Wright but only added three tackles
Khalil Mack earned his contract in a single half of football collecting a sack, a forced fumble, and a pick-six. Newcomer Roquan Smith played eight snaps, earning a sack and collecting three tackles. Danny Trevathan led the group with seven tackles. OLB Leonard Floyd played fast collecting two tackles of his own but was clearly getting used to the recently clubbed hand.
The Legion of Boom is no more but S Earl Thomas is still manning the middle of the field and he already has his first INT of the season. His counterpart, Bradley McDougald collected two INT and earned a PFF Secret Superstar award with a grade of 84.2.
The Bears secondary played poorly in the second half. Kyle Fuller not only got burned deep on a fade in the end zone but he dropped an easy pick that hit him in the chest and hands. The rest of the group made little impact against the Packers.
Unfortunately for the second straight week, the Bears face a Super Bowl winning Coach, Pete Carroll. He has a tremendous record in Prime Time games as previously mentioned. The biggest note is he has been here before. Matt Nagy proved last week he may need a little more seasoning before he catapults his team into the upper echelon of the NFL. The collapse last week regardless falls on him and an offensive unit that stalled most of the second half.
We witnessed the potential of this Bears team at Lambeau when it is firing on both sides of the ball so we know it is there. But until they can finish a game, I am picking Seattle 23-20.
According to chicagobears.com Hicks shared a similar sentiment, he stated, “We’re a hard hitting team. We know how to start real fast, we gotta be able to finish it.”
If, and this is a big if, Chicago can hold Seattle to 21 points they will earn the first home win of the season. But containing Wilson is a problem for most of the league, he has a swagger similar to Mr. Rodgers and a Lombardi Trophy to prove it…
Time will reveal the potential of this squad but Mitchell Trubisky needs to earn his stripes, proving he can handle adversity late in games.
Until then, stay thirsty. JT out!