Do I sense a bit of gamesmanship between the New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears?
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) October 18, 2017
The Saints are in the market for running back depth after trading Adrian Peterson to the Arizona Cardinals, who immediately stepped in and won the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Week award. But surely it wouldn’t hurt to get an advanced scouting report on quarterback Mitch Trubisky two weeks ahead of the team’s matchup against the Bears.
I’m not saying, I’m just saying …
If you’ll recall, the Bears parted ways with Carey in September before the regular season opener after he was sidelined with a wrist injury. The team doesn’t necessarily miss him in the running game, where Jordan Howard has run for the fifth most yards and Tarik Cohen has proven a valuable #2; however, you can make the case the special teams unit misses his presence.
- Seven years into his head coaching career, Ron Rivera is still learning as he goes. He might be 57-44-1 with three playoff appearances and a NFC Championship under his belt, but it’s how he’s managed the sort of things that don’t go in the record books that really stick out, for example: Handling the post John Fox rebuild (in Carolina … you didn’t fast-forward a few years), aiding in the development of Cam Newton, and scheming for a top-flight defense that has dealt with its fair share of departures, to name a few.
- And to that last point, Sunday’s matchup could turn out to be a defensive struggle between a pair of defensive-minded head coaches.
- Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks dropped the nickname Spatula Hands on Adrian Amos, who played nearly 2,000 snaps before coming up with his first interception. Amos has been a solid starter for the Bears since being drafted in 2015, but you could argue his best performance has come this season since replacing Quintin Demps in the starting lineup. Amos’ 87.7 grade ranks sixth among NFL safeties. Not bad for a guy who played just one snap in the first two weeks.
Akiem Hicks called Adrian Amos "Spatula Hands" cause he didn’t have an interception … now who’s laughing? pic.twitter.com/d5o7g3w85i
— The Ten-Yard Line (@TheTenYardLine) October 18, 2017
- Unfortunately, injuries can always derail things and deliver an unexpected matchup. One player whose injury status is worth keeping tabs on for the Panthers is all-world linebacker Luke Keuchly, who was held out of practice drills on Tuesday as he deals with a head/neck injury while in concussion protocol. Keuchly is one of the league’s best linebackers who is an impact player in defending the run and pass. If he’s on the field, he’s the first player quarterback Mitch Trubisky should be accounting for on every play.
- Trubisky dropped from 21st to 26th in Bleacher Report’s Doug Farrar’s weekly quarterback rankings. Farrar writes that Trubisky missed too many open opportunities when given a clean pocket and time to read the defense. Thus, improving Trubisky’s field vision should be a top priority for the rookie and his coaches moving forward. As he gets better at going through his reads and progressions, the Bears could unleash a less risk-averse game plan.
- All things considered, quarterbacking could be worse in Chicago. ESPN’s quarterback evaluation metric, QBR, has the Cleveland Browns at 21.9 this season. If the numbers don’t improve, the Browns will be sitting among some of the worst quarterback play in the QBR Era – which dates back to 2006. Only three teams have posted worse quarterback numbers, and the Browns certainly don’t want to be named with the likes of the 2010 Panthers, 2008 Raiders, and 2007 49ers.
- A pair of former Chicago Bears players have found new homes, with receiver Deonte Thompson signing with the Bills and safety Harold Jones-Quartey signing with the Jets practice squad.
- Off the field, Danny Ecker of Crain’s Chicago Business writes that the Bears are looking for office space in downtown Chicago. Offices located in the Loop would be for Soldier Field-based staff members moving out of the space at the stadium where they are currently set up. The move could ship 25-30 employees to the new space within city limits, which would be the first time the Bears have had those in approximately 40 years.
- The traveling circus known as the NFL Draft will hit a new stop in 2018. The greater Dallas area has been selected to host the 2018 NFL Draft, with Arlington’s AT&T Stadium – home of the Cowboys – serving as home base for the festivities. It will be the first time an NFL stadium has hosted the draft.
- Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Chris Long, the brother of Bears offensive lineman Kyle Long, is doing a very, very admirable thing by donating all of his 2017 game checks to charity. You can check out additional details in the tweet below:
Let's make a difference this season & ensure education is attainable for everyone. I made a pledge; it's your turn: https://t.co/yCKRaeYXT1
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) October 18, 2017