Haters will say the image is fake:
Game recognizes game.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) November 7, 2017
After eight games, Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard is on pace for another 1,300-yard rushing season. If Howard can reach the 1,000-yard barrier before season’s end, he’ll do something Walter Payton never did, and that’s record 1,000-yard rushing seasons in each of his first two years. And if he doesn’t, at least Howard still finds himself in Sweetness’ company as he became the fastest player in franchise history to record 10 100-yard rushing games.
The Bears are 5-5 when Howard reaches 100 rushing yards … and 1-12 when he doesn’t.
As long as the Bears continue to slow-play Mitch Trubisky’s development, establishing the run with Howard literally gives Chicago its best odds of winning.
- Speculation surrounding John Fox’s job security has hovered around the Bears all season. And things didn’t quiet down during the bye week, as Jason La Canfora reported Fox was “firmly on the hot seat” and Chicago Sun-Times columnist Rick Morrissey stoked the flames of a possible Jim Harbaugh homecoming.
- David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune counters, writing the signs of progress the Bears have shown in Year 3 have done more to justify keeping Fox than letting him go. Fox has led the Bears out of the Marc Trestman era, aiding in a defense flirting with top-5 status that is led by four Pace draft picks and three free agent additions who were signed within the last two years. Still, it’s hard to ignore a 12-28 record (including a 3-5 mark in 2017) and think Fox has earned job security. Though, the second half of this season could go a long way in dictating how safe Fox is in Chicago.
- Even if Fox has earned some sort of benefit of the doubt, the fact remains his team’s offenses have not shown any progress during his three-year stint. The latest evidence comes from Johnathan Wood of Da Bears Blog, who diagnosed the Bears’ play calling tendencies, which can best be described as predictable. While Offensive Coordinator Dowell Loggains has leaned heavily on the running game since Mitch Trubisky was inserted into the starting lineup, it hasn’t helped put the rookie in advantageous third-down situations. Wood notes the Bears have too often been in 3rd-and-long situations too often with Trubisky under center, leading to some predictable passing situations where he has yet to be consistently successful. Trubisky owns an 85.1 passer rating on third down, but has completed just 51.6 percent of his passes. His most success has come when running on third down, where he has nine attempts and 105 rushing yards.
- I suppose you must give the coaching staff credit where it’s due. Remember when the Bears beat the Pittsburgh Steelers with Mike Glennon as their quarterback? Well, check out where the Steelers rank on this updated list of power rankings:
There's a couple new faces in this week's Top 5️⃣
- The Packers are winless since Brett Hundley took over for Aaron Rodgers. He has thrown more interceptions (4) than touchdowns (1) and has been sacked eight times. Still, Mike McCarthy stands behind his young quarterback. “I believe in Brett, and that’s not just a press conference statement,” McCarthy said in his postgame press conference. “He’s got what it takes. He has it in his body, he has it in his mind, and he definitely has the heart.” McCarthy seemed opposed to bringing in a quarterback from the outside and previously talked about the investment he has made in Hundley since the team drafted him in the fifth round in the 2015 NFL Draft. Though, perhaps the front office doesn’t feel as attached to Hundley, considering it tried to sign ex-Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer before he signed a three-year deal to return to the New England Patriots.
- It would be nice if the Bears offense was able to replicate what the Lions did against the Packers. Detroit’s offensive performance was so good, it was historic. Because for the first time since 1971, Detroit did not punt the ball away once. The Lions scored on six of their eight offensive possessions. The two missed opportunities came on a missed field goal and a fumble.It’s the first time a team has done that since the Atlanta Falcons did it to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on November 4, 2016.
- Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler missed a game against the Baltimore Ravens because of injured ribs, but bounced back to throw for 311 yards and three touchdowns (no interceptions!) in a 27-24 loss against the Oakland Raiders. The Dolphins are 4-3 in Cutler’s starts and the long-time Bears quarterback has a respectable 87.1 passer rating this season, which could put the brakes on potential retirement talk. Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune writes Cutler’s broadcasting career could be shelved for a few more years if he continues to play at this level and avoid crippling injuries. If you’ll recall, Cutler was slated to join FOX’s No. 2 broadcast crew (and do a pair of Bears games) with Kevin Burkhardt and Charles Davis before he signed with the Dolphins and returned to football.