“FIND OUT WHAT THE OTHER TEAM WANTS TO DO. THEN TAKE IT AWAY FROM THEM”. George Halas. Monday night was the 2nd opportunity for a National audience to see the Bears under the lights. The exposure highlights what many had predicted and after 2 games confirmed, Defense is this teams’ strength. Two pick 6 conversions in back-to-back games were reminiscent of a time when Brian Urlacher played. You folks remember that great ESPN coverage Monday of the halftime ceremony honoring #54?
Arizona Cardinals enter week 3 with a couple tough losses to open their season. The hiring of Steve Wilks as head coach ushered in change of direction the Cardinals fan base had confidence in for 2018. The Sam Bradford- led offense has only managed 19 first downs, going 4/20 on third down. This has Steve Wilks calling for a simpler play book and wanting players to just play faster. So Fangio expects shorter passes and the defensive priority is tackling and the rallying to the ball!
“When They Boo You, You Know They Mean You.” George Halas. Trap? What trap you may ask? Trap#1 First this is the NFL and contrary to a SB Nation report written by Seth Cox stating “Cardinals fans have less than a 3% view this team is headed in the right direction down 90% before the season started”, this Arizona team has pride that leaders like, Larry Fitzgerald, Patrick Peterson and Chandler Jones will not simply roll over for the Bears at home. David Johnson is an elite talent at running back, who is a weapon out of the backfield and in the passing game. Sam Bradford should play better, and this Bears defense must still defend for all 60 minutes. Coach Nagy also chimed in with the wounded animal or cornered enemy analogy and cautioned in taking an opponent lightly. Trap? Over confidence!
Trap #2 this team needs to avoid is an offense becoming too predictable either in play calling or players that Mitchell Trubisky targets. Mitchell Trubisky had two interceptions game 2 and had 2 that were inches away from turnovers. Patrick Peterson will simply take away his receiver and so far Matt Nagy has used a limited roster other than the starters. Matt Nagy stated he has someone working for the Bears that looks for his tendencies with play calling. Week 2 called for more Jordan Howard in this offense; instead we saw more bubble screens? Trap? Being too cute or not allowing Jordan Howard to gain momentum with consecutive runs.
Trap #3 the foot of the gas offensive syndrome, that showed earlier in-game 1 and was on full display in-game 2 in the fourth against the Seahawks . Vic Fangio has displayed a softer zone and a dialed back rush scheme at times, allowing for interior pass plays to help offenses be able to score. The defensive lapses can be attributed to players getting gassed and good quarterbacks making plays. That being said Matt Nagy has an obligation not to just settle for 3 and outs later and put that D back out there. When Tarik Cohen has had good punt returns, the offense also needs to be more vigilant to take advantage of the quality field position. Trap? 60 minute execution in all 3 phases.
Trap #4 Matt Nagy has shown his player personnel choices are limited to only the starters? No plays for Kevin White, Javon Wims, Daniel Brown, or Ben Brauneker. Josh Bellamy, touching the ball with a run call, offers limited film for other teams to focus on preparing for the Bears. Mitchell Trubisky is either limited in his read progression or only 13 attempts to guys not named Allen Robinson 14, Taylor Gabriel 9 and Jordan Howard 8 other options need to be utilized moving forward. Trap? Limited personnel getting game experience or stunting their ability to fill in when a player goes down. This is making it more predictable for defenses to key on certain players.
Now many of you may be saying what about all the good stuff? This team is showing us many positive signs on both sides of the ball. There is no doubt 2018 has already shown marketable improvement from THE FOX YEARS! Matt Nagy’s offense has such a small sample size and may be just testing what attributes he can build on. We all hope those deep pass routes begin to take shape, giving Mitchell Trubisky more confidence as the year progresses. Vic Fangio has 3 guys just barely getting their legs in-game shape and will continue to become more dangerous. Overall this defense has unlimited ability to control the other teams’ offense. Chris Tabor’s special teams has been good and expect his units to only get better. Trap? Probably not this team has leaders up and down the roster. If somehow caught early the Defense will chew off a paw and keep on playing! “Nobody Who Ever Gave Their Best Regretted it.” George Halas