I pulled a lot of this from from "Feel It In My Plums" betting blog today. Treading water around .500 I don't doubt anybody for not reading it, but this part about today's 49ers at Bears game plays.
First off, who remembers this Bears team?
Secondly, there is some incredible news for Bears fans today.
So that means Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor will be calling the shots.
If you don't think the Bears win in this spot, then you don't know the Chicago Bears and what it means to be tortured as a Chicago Bears fan.
Not only will they win, but they'll look dominant. Like the team they would be had they not had Matt Nagy holding them back.
Now, you can point to facts like Kyle Shanahan is 5-13-1 ATS when laying more than a field goal.
And take into account that the Bears have looked like a (somewhat) competent team at home, beating the Bengals and Lions and nearly covering against the Packers. (Somehow)
But today, with a play-caller with a brain, (yes, I know he's a special teams coach), Khalil Herbert (4.8 yards per carry) will have success against a middle-of-the-pack San Fran rush defense, giving Justin Fields some manageable third downs. Expect to see the first play-action calls of his Bears career, and possibly some calls to move the pocket and use his mobility as well now that Nagy is out of the picture.
Should be a great day and major bounce back for Fields.
Who DESPERATELY needs it.
Yes he's a rookie, on a bad team that nothing was expected of, but for his actual development, a concept that is as foreign to the Chicago Bears Pro Football Organization as winning is, it is crucial.
As an outsider, who has been in Chicago watching my poor friends I love and care about go through agony each and every fall and winter, year after year after year, I have a unique perspective. Being a Patriots fan (I'm from Worcester. Shout out C-mass baby), It's like being Will Hunting hanging out with all my knucklehead buddies.
We both like football.
That's about the ONLY thing Bears and Patriots fans have in common.
Getting to watch, and obersve, and learn, and admire the fuck out of the pinnacle of sports greatness (The New England Patriots) over the past 20 years gives you a lense to view other teams through nobody else quite has. You get to see just how dog-shit some of them really, truly are. Like the Bears.
You notice patterns and cycles that seem to just perpetuate themselves over and over. Not just on the field. But even more so off.
New faced coaches and personnel, but same old story.
I predicted this back in August.
Which lead to them doing exactly that a month ago.
Which lead to last week's abortion of a football game.
3 FUM (2 lost)
3 total points
He took 4 sacks and 6 QB Hits.
But none of that compares to how badly a game like that, and more, will destroy his confidence.
After their pathetic 38-3 loss to Tampa Bay, Matt Nagy ironically discussed the challenges of a new quarterback playing in a big game.
“Early on it's just important with a young, rookie quarterback … to get off to a fast start and get some confidence and some momentum going,” Nagy said.
Nagy might be the least self-aware person I've ever seen.
He went on continuing to bullshit reporters that he and his coaching staff were "teachers" for Fields', and in classic Nagy fashion, was sure to slide in an excuse that they were also "prisoners of Fields' inexperience".
“It’s making sure his eyes go where our eyes are going … we’re trying to make him comfortable and feel good with what we do schematically … we have to continue to stay patient …”
Yet Nagy did little to acknowledge the coaching error that led to Fields’ first interception, the one that all but eliminated any kind of “fast start” or “confidence” or “momentum.”
That one came on third-and-5, midway through the first quarter. That’s when Fields was told through his headset that Tampa had 12 defenders on the field. Fields immediately called for the snap, hoping to catch Tampa Bay in a penalty that would allow him a risk-free shot down the field.
“We have a free play,” Fields said he thought. “So I was trying to snap the ball quick. Me snapping the ball quick, I think it caught our receivers off-guard.”
The play was a mess, with protection quickly breaking down. That caused Fields to stumble and then scramble. Still believing the Bears had 5 yards and a first down in the bag, he gambled and threw deep only to have his receiver fall down. The ball wound up intercepted by the Bucs' Dee Delaney.
This is the kind of bullshit a kid who you're hoping to develop into your franchise quarterback can't be, and shouldn't be subjected to if you want him to, you know, "develop".
It's the details. With everything important in life. It's all about the details.
It turns out Tampa didn’t have 12 defenders on the field. Either the voice over the headset had it wrong originally or failed to estimate how quickly the extra player would reach the sideline. There was no flag. The play stood. Tampa’s ball. Six snaps later, Tom Brady threw a touchdown to take a 14-0 lead. The game was essentially over.
What transpired this week is a perfect microcosm of the man Matt Nagy really is.
“In the headset, they were telling me we had 12 men on the field,” Fields explained. “… it just went bad from there.”
Boy did it ever. Although at least some, if not most, of that had to do with an offensive line that is incapable of protecting Fields.
You’d think Nagy would shoulder much or all of the blame, if he wanted to try to keep Fields’ confidence up and move on from what was always a likely loss at the reigning Super Bowl champions. If not, he could at least point out the coaches screwed the kid on the first pick that set the tone for the day.
That didn’t happen though, which leads to wonder about how this development works for a raw prospect being led by a hot-seat coach? The 12-men interception was, according to Nagy, apparently Fields’ fault, not the coaches.
“As these young quarterbacks go through this development, there’s situations like this that can happen,” Nagy said. “We have techniques within our system to take advantage.
“And when that happens, if they do have 12 guys on and you catch them obviously it’s a free play. If they don’t, and you hear that, that’s where you have to understand that and learn from that. And that’s our job that we are teaching that the right way. Not just him, but everybody.”
Which is a small man, and definitely not a leader at all.
What do you gain by slamming your rookie QB, deflecting blame here? Even if it was Fields' fault, which I'm 99% sure it wasn't, why make him look like a liar, or a moron, or both, here? Why not just suck it up and say it was miscommunication. Take the fall for the kid. Take responsibility for once in your God damn head coaching career.
What's really sad, for Bears fans, more than Fields, is that this piece of shit didn't stop there.
“The one thing you can’t do is give a short field to a great quarterback like that, and a great offense that’s well-coached,” Nagy said. “And you can’t lose, that drastically, the turnover battle.”
It might help if Nagy and Co. called some designed runs, which it hasn't in either of the past two games. Setup and then run some fucking play-action. God forbid. Roll the kid out (like you said you were going to do with Trubisky and didn't ever, and said you were going to do with Fields and still haven't). Or at the VERY least stop barking about too many defenders on the field, which even if it were accurate is complicating the already complicated.
“I’ve never been in this position where I'm losing,” Fields said. “I don’t know how to feel. My only reaction to this is to keep working. … You can get depressed or you can get up the next day and keep working. I'm going to keep working, I’m going to keep going.”
This poor kid deserves better.
Poor Bears fans deserve better.
Win this game today, tell Nagy "thank you, but your services are no longer needed here. Good luck with Covid and the rest of your life in Canadian football, tell Mark Trestman we said hi." Put Fields back on the bench to keep his body in one piece, and to learn and develop the rest of the year. Then find a real, actual GM soon as this season is over. One who can find and bring in an actual coaching staff who can develop this kid the way he needs to be and the way Bears fans deserve to have him.
Back to today's game and why I think the Bears cruise-
On the other side of the ball, it's a homecoming game for Chicago native Pretty Jimmy Garoppolo. Who clearly misses his TE George Kittle, who won't be back Sunday.
The 49ers also will be without starting strong safety Jaquiski Tartt, and pass rusher Dee Ford is in the concussion protocol.
There are some injury concerns for the Bears that need to be taken into account - Chicago will be without Pro Bowl pass-rusher Khalil Mack due to injury. Stud defensive tackle Akiem Hicks missed Week 7 and is in major question, too.
But I think the Bears have a lot to prove. This San Fran team desperately needs a W to keep any chance of a post season dream alive. They play better on the road than at home. But I think the Bears come out way too fired up, and actually execute today. Showing their fan base not only what they're capable of, but tormenting them with memories of it to last the second half of the season when Nagy comes back and returns to nose-diving the team.
- San Francisco are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games.
- San Francisco are 1-4 SU in their last 5 games.
- San Francisco are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games this season.
- San Francisco are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against an opponent in the National Football Conference conference.
------- UPDATE ------
The Bears are even worse than I thought.