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Jeff Berckes: The Chicago Bears are NFC North Champs.

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InlggPostat: tis jan 14, 2020 5:23    Rubrik: Jeff Berckes: The Chicago Bears are NFC North Champs. Svara med citat

They clinched the division by beating the Packers and in the process Marcus Cooper Jersey , knocked the Packers out of the playoffs. Oh, and it was only week 15. Eddie Jackson broke that silly little streak Rodgers had going between interceptions (when your team is 5-8-1, you have to hang your hat on something) and Trubisky looked like he shook off the rust from the shoulder injury. I think I even got my moment of Rodgers heart breaking after Leonard Floyd ran him down at the end of the game. Rodgers staggered to his feet with his shoulder pad exposed, looking longingly over at the better team as he was ushered off the field so the Packers could kick a FG to try and save face. It was one to savor. What was your biggest takeaway from Sunday?Patti Curl: My favorite moments from Sundays game were watching Rodgers run away from one hulking Bear after another. It wasnt the cool evasive roll outs weve seen in the past, it was a man being chased by a bear with appropriate fear in his eyes. So many giggles.But you asked for my biggest takeaway. For me it was Trubisky. This might be the first time I felt confident that he could really carry the team. He didnt have to burden the whole load, but he moved the ball with confidence and conviction. The offense had struggles and mistakes, but not when the ball was in Biscuits hands. The two big failures (fake punt flop and wildcat fumble) Trubisky literally wasnt on the field.I knew the defense would terrorize Green Bays offense. I wasnt sure what wed get from Trubisky and I couldnt be happier.But back to you. What was your smallest takeaway from Sundays game?JB: When you say smallest, my mind jumps to Tarik Cohen because hes only 56 despite acting like hes 65. I think its fair to say that I was very excited about Cohen coming into the year when we were projecting current players and their fit into the Chiefs / Andy Reid scheme that Nagy would bring over. On Sunday, when he ran that little Texas route, adjusted to the pass and used that ankle-breaking agility to somehow turn the corner, dive, change hands, and extend the ball over the pylon - it hit me that he has turned into my favorite offensive player. By my count he has 18 explosive plays and a whole bunch of nice punt returns this year. He leads the team in receptions, receiving yards, total touchdowns, and yards from scrimmage. He has the longest catch of the year along with the longest run by a non-Trubisky on the team. He deserves his Pro Bowl selection and Im really excited to watch his career unfold. The one thing that doesnt sit right with me is the default nickname - The Human Joystick. Its not a bad nickname, it was just used before. Daniel Jeremiah from NFL network nicknamed Cohen Chicken Salad. I love that nickname and apparently Cohen agrees. A comment with Pro Football Reference has been filed to amend this error of omission. I know you love all Bears more or less equally, but has someone on offense emerged as a personal favorite for you?PC: This is a tough question. If you asked me last year, it would easily be Jordan Howard. I wouldnt be lying if I still said Jo Ho today, but there is just so much more to love about the Bears skill players and I need to protect my heart from the possibility of a separation between JHow and our Beloved. At the beginning of the year , I would have guessed it would become Anthony Miller, but hes played a smaller role than I expected and Taylor Gabriel and Allen Robinson have both won me over in their own ways. So Im going to dismiss the skill positions altogether and go with a long-time growing favorite of mine in Charles Leno Jr. Hes the definition of easy to root for--large, playful, underrated, and humble--and its adorable to think of him getting a false start at the beginning of Sundays game not because he was scared of the Packers pass rush but nervous about proposing to his girlfriend. His now fianc茅 has retweeted me in the past, so I can confirm she is a woman of high character and good judgment.Speaking of good judgment, arent the Bears about to visit the team that once traded Mitch Trubisky for what amounted to Solomon Thomas, Adrian Colbert, 4/5ths of Dante Pettis, Fred Warner, and the capital to trade up for Reuben Foster?JB: Im so not surprised you are taken with Charles Leno Jr. and as a former offensive lineman, Im always happy when the big guys find someone to settle down with. Congrats to Charles and his fiance - may I suggest navy and orange for wedding colors? Prince Amukamara and the Chi-Town All-Stars for the band? Staley as the ring bearer? Anyway, that trade... honestly, the trade is something that I still dont completely understand given the lay of the land at the time, but before I explain myself, know that I 100% love that Pace had the conviction to follow through with what he believes. I relate this only for the record of where my mind was at the time. I was convinced that the Bears were going to trade down to accumulate picks to feed a starving roster or take Jamal Adams to give us a leader in the secondary. Adams, by all accounts, has been a stud, but thats not really the point. I was shocked we went in the opposite direction and gave up a fair, but not insignificant amount of draft capital to do it. When we took Trubisky Womens Bryce Callahan Jersey , honestly I was stunned - I had just been on the Chicago airwaves giving an interview to a local sports show and sneered, nay, scoffed at the idea of drafting a QB, thinking the Bears were eyeing the supposedly great class of 2018. Pace had me fooled! But alas, at the end of the day, no one cares about my or anyone elses prediction at the time and those that go out of their way to tarnish Trubisky or Pace to try to justify a meaningless position are just sad. Maybe the Bears sit tight and still get their guy, maybe another team jumps over them for Trubisky. Maybe the Bears had a huge grade disparity between Trubisky and Watson and Mahomes. Maybe, maybe, maybe. The important thing is the Bears are really freaking good at football right now, Mitchell Trubisky is steadily improving, and this team is so much fun to watch. The 49ers? Who cares? Theyre a mere footnote in the biography of MT10.But we should probably actually talk about those footnoted 49ers. This weeks matchup does seem like a lot of elements are tracking against the Bears. Coming off a big, emotional win against the rival Packers to win the division and officially reducing the cheeseheads to their natural state of internet trolling and sobbing, the Bears must travel to the west coast to play a team with a poor record but who have played well as of late. Add in the likely absence of Eddie Jackson and a sense of fate of being locked into the #3 seed, are you worried at all the Bears slip in this one? What are your keys to the game to prevent it from happening?PC: I think Nagy and this team have the right mindset to avoid phoning in a game, even under extreme champagne-fountain circumstances such as these. In terms of keys to success, like any game they lie in the three phases. Defense against an inexperienced quarterback such as Mullens comes down to being just tricky enough to confuse him but not so tricky that he doesnt notice the trick hes supposed to fall for. Special teams means limiting Robbie Gould at all costs. To do this, the Bears will have to let the 9ers score or force a turnover any time they enter field goal range. Finally on offense, the 49ers have some enviable big boys on their line and I think focusing on the mismatch passing game rather that working too hard to establish the run is a must.JB: Im looking at some team stats and the one that jumps out at me is the stark difference in takeaways. The Bears lead the league with 35 takeaways, a full five ahead of the 2nd place Browns (Browns? Yes, Browns). The 49ers on the other hand are 32nd in takeaways with Josh Bellamy Jersey , checking to make sure thats right, yes, 5 takeaways, a full 6 behind the 31st place Ravens. Kyle Fuller has more takeaways than the 49ers this year. Eddie Jackson has more takeaways than the 49ers this year. Khalil Mack and Prince Amukamara have more combined takeaways than the 49ers this year. I think youre right, well be just fine. Add to the blither blather below in the comments or take to the Twittersphere and find us @gridironborn and @opinionbear~*UPDATE*~ Pro Football Reference has come through and added Chicken Salad to the Tarik Cohen page after my request! Success! The Bears are going to play the NFLs worst offense on Sunday in the Bills. Not only does Buffalo have pro footballs worst offense this individual year, its also historically the worst ever. If there were an ideal week to hypothetically give a defensive cornerstone another day off to get fully healthy, itd be this one. By no coincidence, expect that to be the likely case when it comes to Chicagos Khalil Mack. On Wednesday, Mack entered what head coach Matt Nagy called a similar practice plan of what the Bears star has been through in recent weeks. That means not participating on Wednesday and Thursday, and a limited designation on Friday. It also means evaluating the situation honestly and deciding you can afford to give Mack rest against a putrid Buffalo offense that will in many ways beat itself. The moral of the story, is that even if he was closer to 100 percent healthy: dont expect Mack to play against the Bills on Sunday. In other major injury report news, Allen Robinson is still dealing with a groin injury he suffered a little under two weeks ago. There was no official update on his status aside from the fact that hes still dealing with it. Buffalo actually does have a competent defense, so you could make the case that the Bears need their No. 1 receiver to enjoy offensive success on the road. Meanwhile, Eric Kush was limited with neck stingers that bothered him for most of October. With unfortunate news that Kyle Long will most of the rest of the Bears regular season, the status of Kush looms large the rest of the way. Chicagos top interior reserve offensive lineman is more than likely going to have to play this Sunday, even if he isnt fully recovered. Thats just the nature of the NFL beast where most players arent technically healthy by this time of year. Robert is the Editor-in-chief of The Blitz Network (subscribe here!), the managing editor of Windy City Gridiron, and writes for a host of other fine publications. You can follow him on Twitter @RobertZeglinski.
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