The Chicago Bears sent their cross-town baseball-playing friends some love after a dramatic Game 5 win which clinched a third straight NLCS appearance:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) October 13, 2017
While you can read about all of the baseball-ing at Bleacher Nation, I’m here dreaming of a day where Mitch Trubisky, Jordan Howard, and Leonard Floyd provide postseason heroics, where a Bears coach is walking off the field with his arms held high in triumph, and where high fives and hugs are exchanged between strangers who are brought together because of football. Someday.
Rebuilds are difficult, but ever-so-rewarding. If done right at Soldier Field, the juice will be worth the squeeze.
- Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times writes about Pernell McPhee ahead of his return to Baltimore. McPhee’s presence becomes increasingly important now that Willie Young is on injured reserve with a triceps injury. Prior to the team’s loss on Monday Night Football, McPhee had played in less than 40 percent of defensive snaps. But against the Vikings, McPhee played a season-high 45 snaps and has been in on more than 61 percent of the defensive plays in each of the last two weeks.
- There won’t be a player more motivated on Sunday than McPhee, as ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson writes the former Ravens standout is still hurt by the breakup that occurred when he left town via free agency. McPhee put together a solid career in Baltimore, winning a Super Bowl ring in 2012 and picking up a career-best 7.5 sacks two years later. McPhee has been limited by knee injuries in Chicago, and his injury status likely played a role in Baltimore not retaining him when he hit free agency in 2015. However, injuries to other Bears edge defenders puts McPhee – who won’t turn 29 until December – in a position to make the most of increased playing time.
- McPhee isn’t the only one who is returning for a homecoming of sorts in Baltimore. Eric Edholm of Pro Football Weekly also makes note of former Ravens running back Taquan Mizzell, as well as Baltimore-born safety Adrian Amos and cornerback Kyle Fuller returning to a place they called home.
- Hopefully, Amos and Fuller can celebrate their respective returns with an interception. Granted, the Ravens offense looks to have righted the ship after a 30-point outburst against the Oakland Raiders in Week 5. However, Joe Flacco could provide the Bears with an opportunity to come up with their first interception if he plays similarly to how he did in the season’s first four games. But if he plays interception-free ball and posts a 98.6 rating like he did against the Raiders, the Bears defense could still be left searching for answers … and turnovers.
- Bob LeGere of the Daily Herald wonders if the Bears are about to break out of their turnover slump, making note the defense hasn’t performed all that poorly – save for the lack of turnovers. LeGere notes the Bears are on pace to record fewer turnovers than last year’s franchise-low 11 as they’ve recorded just three turnovers in five games. Despite being on pace to record fewer turnovers and having not recorded an interception, the Bears defense ranks sixth in total yards, eighth in passing yards allowed, and 10th in sack percentage. Defensively, the team needs to take the next step and take the ball away. If not, we’ll be beating this drum until they finally turn the tables.
- The Bears offense will need to score some points. How they’ll do that after losing another receiver to injury remains to be seen, so instead let’s watch Dowell Loggains explain the magical two-point conversion that still has us swooning. Larry Mayer goes inside the origins of that play, which dates back to a successful attempt by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Beyond that, there were a ton of moving parts, including tight end Zach Miller channeling his old quarterbacking days when he ran the option at Nebraska-Omaha. Let’s re-visit that magic moment from Monday:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) October 12, 2017
- Did Loggains draw up the special effects, too?
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) October 11, 2017