Last Sunday is a Bears game we all want to forget. Matt Nagy’s Bears coaching debut got off to an unbelievable start with a 20-0 lead which was then crushed by the Packers and A-Aron Rodgers. I was devastated. Bears fans were devastated. Chicago was devastated. That shit sucked. Time to move on.
Luckily, it was only Week 1 and the Monsters of the Midway are coming home to Soldier Field to take on the “we used to be good” Seattle Seahawks.
While it is still early in the season, this game could serve as an early confidence boost for this young Bears squad against a Seattle team that is in a bit of an identity crisis – especially for the likes of Mitchell Trubisky, Matt Nagy and the entire secondary unit.
And with that, here is my Week 2 preview of the upcoming Monday Night Football showdown between the Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks.
“Last night took an L, but tonight I bounce back”: If I were on the Bears, I would have had “Bounce Back” by Big Sean blasting on repeat all week. Yes, the Bears gave up a 20-point lead. Yes, Kyle Fuller missed a huge interception. Yes, Matt Nagy threw the ball on 3rd and 2 in the 4th quarter on the Packers’ own 14-yard line. But this Monday night? Bounce back. The Bears need to bounce back this game with improvements on both sides of the ball and have the chance to do so in front of their home crowd and on Monday Night Football, baby.
“You play to win the game”: Ohhhh how I love to recite Herm Edwards’ rant to reporters on why football teams play football. But honestly, this quote heavily applies to the Bears this week. What do I mean by this? Finish. Finish. Finish. Nagy’s crew got off to a hot start last week against the Pack: 17 unanswered points in the first half, 2 first half turnovers from the defense and a wholeee lot of momentum going into the second half. Yet, after an opening drive field goal to start the second half, they could not get themselves going. Both the offense and defense need to harness their first half energy over the entire 60 minutes of game action, which is why they need to take it from Herm and PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!
Khalil Mack Has a Buffet Full of Seattle Offensive Lineman to Eat: Khalil Mack was easily Chicago’s best performer in their Week 1 contest after taking a shit on Green Bay’s offense in the first half — all while doing so with a week’s worth of practice in a new system and holding out of an entire training camp. This week he gets a pretty terrible Seattle offensive line that gave up 6 sacks to the Broncos, with 3 of those going to All-Pro linebacker Von Miller. Expect Mack to give Russell Wilson tons of trouble and have another huge day on defense. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll even knows his guys are fucked and said his team is going to run the ball a lot…
…but can they even run???: Something I pointed out in my thoughts on the Bears Week 1 game was the fact that the Bears run defense was pretty good, only giving up 69 yards on 18 carries. The Blue & Orange’s front 3 of Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman and Jonathan Bullard did work against the Packers run game along with sub-help from Roy Robertson-Harris — who is going to be a beast, by the way. The Seahawks combined effort of Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny only had 59 yards against Denver last week. So, if Carroll plans on running more, he better hope his backs can get through the Bears’ D-Line.
AND who are they going to throw to?: Also, I’m not too scared of the Seahawks’ receiving core either. Doug Baldwin is out with an MCL sprain, which leaves Tyler Lockett and Brandon Marshall. Lockett has never had a standout season since his rookie year in 2015 and I’d be scared of Brandon Marshall if he was also in 2015 form – the last good season he had with the New York Jets. Vic Fangio just has to make sure his defense is ready for Seattle tight end Will Dissly, who hauled in 3 catches for 105 yards and 1 TD last week. Back to Marshall – I loved him when he was a Bear at 279 receptions, over 3,500 yards and 31 touchdowns during his three seasons in Chicago – but that is the Marshall of the past…let’s just hope he doesn’t have a revenge game like Robbie Gould did last year when he kicked 5 field goals – including a game winner – against the Bears as a 49er. Not mad at that new haircut though, B-Marsh.
Roquan Smith Should Start: I will come out and say it: Roquan Smith needs to start. The Bears were killed down the middle by Aaron Rodgers with quick throws underneath the entire game, especially on that 75-yard touchdown to Randall Cobb — which also was partly to blame on the secondary. Smith could help mitigate that problem quickly with his quick feet and “ability to be an effective cover linebacker on passing downs,” according to his NFL draft profile. Even in a short eight snaps, the 21-year-old made his presence felt with 3 tackles and 1 sack. Matt Nagy said that Smith “in a position to play more,” so we’ll see if the Georgia product can make some big plays.
Staying Tru in the Pocket: One of the biggest things Mitchell Trubisky was criticized for in his performance against the Packers was his pocket awareness. Many football pundits felt the former North Carolina QB scrambled too early and ran outside the pocket too much instead of stepping forward to make his reads and find his targets. Trubisky vowed this week that he heavily focused on improving his place in the pocket during practice and while everything won’t improve automatically in one week’s time, perhaps 10 God can make some strides and spread the ball out like he did in the first half of last Sunday’s game. Once again, let’s not freak-the-fuck-out about Trubisky after one game in this new offense. If I hear one more person call in on 670 The Score and say that Chase Daniel should start…I’m gonna stick hot giardiniera in my goddamn eyes.
Prediction: Bears 24, Seahawks 16 – You think I gave up on my 11-5 prediction? Get the fuck out of here. The Bears are going to make some slight improvements this week on both sides of the ball and will employ a consistent attack against a once-dominant Seattle Seahawks squad. The Mack is going to dominate again and I think the Bears’ secondary will redeem itself with a pick or two after Russell Wilson tossed two against the Broncos. Expect Nagy to trust more in his run game and dial up some big plays to go deep to the likes of Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller and Trey Burton. Also, expect Tarik Cohen to have few plays dialed up to give him the ball underneath so he can run free. The Bears get their first win of the season and set themselves up for some future ass kicking.
Featured Image: Chicago Bears Twitter