The Bears are going to win the NFC North in 2018

Welcome to the Podcast AF offseason review series, astutely titled “The Probe” – the unofficial official NFL offseason review series of the Vegas Golden Knights. Here, like most NFL “writers”, I will regurgitate takes I read or heard somewhere else and pass them off as original thoughts. Will Ryan Tannehill breakout in 2018? Was Mike McCarthy abandoned by the run game as a child? Does Saturn have a playoff atmosphere? Your questions, answered! Sponsored by “Ready Player One”, in theaters now!

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#8 – The Chicago Bears (5-11, Last NFC North)

I couldn’t come up with a title so I made it what I made it.

The go-to statistic folks will cite when trashing the Bears is their passing offense. Dead last. Most folks nowadays are engulfed in enough media that they should know what a red herring is. Hizdahr’s bullshit excuse to Daenerys right before the Sons of the Harpy attack and kill him. The ten times we think Professor X is going to be crippled in First Class. How every fucking time you put someone away in LA Noire it turns out someone planted evidence and it was the hotel front desk guy the whole time. That time a QB sucked under Jeff Fisher then teamed up with Sean McVay and ruled the galaxy together.

The Bears being ranked 32nd in passing yards has nothing to do with how Trubisky will be in 2018, and also is not indicative of how he performed in 2017. There’s only so much you can do when all the defense has to do is press your receivers and suddenly they’ve been turned into paninis. Folks a panini cannot catch a football, create separation, or beat the press. It’s existence implies it did not beat the press.

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My favorite spot.

The scheme wasn’t great, but if Allen Robinson was there (as he is now), Cam Meredith was healthy, throw in Taylor Gabriel, and why not have Trey Burton (is he really even that good?), then Trubisky’s numbers would’ve at least somewhat reflected how accurate and successful his rookie season was.

While it won’t be the same exact thing as the Andy Reid offense, Matt Nagy’s hiring as the head coach means this the Bears will be a west coast team. Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard will make the transition easier, but the question is how long it will take Trubisky and his rebuilt WR corps to get their timing down.

Their offensive line is fairly dynamite – Bobby Massie could be upgraded at RT and the LG spot needs a solid started. But aside from those two spots, the rest of this offense is filled out with talent from top to bottom. The question isn’t the players, it’s how quick they pick up the new offense. There could be a slow start type of deal, but the defense should give the offense some short fields…

DEFENSE:

Movie Comparison: Logan Lucky. Wasn’t nominated, is never cited as one of the best, but was a standout film of 2017.

I’m obviously a strong proponent of not just citing statitistics, but granted the Bears lost 11 games this year, their defensive numbers should standout: 9th in points allowed, 10th in yards allowed, 7th against the pass, and 11th against the run. But 21st in sacks…

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By the way, assume a number closer to “1” means it’s a good thing. My trusty cohost, the “F” in “AF”, once had a meltdown whilst playing Madden, complaining there were too many fumbles. He then opened the sliders screen to reveal he had put the turnovers slider all the way to the right. Assume the number closest to “1” indicates the positive outcome. 

These numbers are very representative of the Bears’ defensive talent. In Vic Fangio’s scheme (3-4), the ILBs are expected to dominate the run game. Danny Trevathan and Nick Kwiatkowski do just that. DBs are expected to play aggressive coverage. CBs Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara, both re-signed, and safeties Eddie Jackson and Adrian Amos, who is PFF’s #2-ranked safety in the NFL, do just that.

You know the secondary is good when the defense as a whole is great against the pass despite the lack of a pass rush. Between the three down lineman and the two OLBS, all they’ve really got going is Akiem Hicks and 2016’s 9th overall pick Leonard Floyd. There are some young guys who are fine, but are clearly bailed out by the secondary in the pass game. DE Aaron Lynch and OLB Sam Acho were signed to maybe get an effective rotation going, as Fangio seldom blitzes with his ILBs.

The Bears schedule is the biggest issue in 2017. Aside from the Vikings, Packers, and Lions twice a piece, they have to play the Patriots, Seahawks, 49ers, and Rams. Any who knows what the Cardinals, Giants, Bills or Dolphins could be in 2018. I could see the Bears stealing some wins against teams perceived to be better, although I hope I conveyed the message that the Bears will be better than folks think. 9-7?

Major Draft Needs: OG/OT, OLB/DE

Reader Question:

Bro I finally decided to click on one of these things and they’re honestly horrible. Why do you even bother doing them?

– Brendan from Quincy

Well thanks Brendan. I’m not sure how you can “finally click on one” yet declare them all horrible. But I’m doing them because I spent the span from the Super Bowl until free agency researching and compiling all this information, and this step is kind of an exercise in conveying the information and my own takeaways so that as time goes on, I become better at doing so in a colloquial manner and without needing to review notes I’ve taken. It’s something I enjoy doing on the side while I wrap up my internship and it’s a step in my diabolical plan to someday get to make no money posting dumb stuff on indie blogs. Also writing about it makes you remember and it and seeing as I’m going to work in radio, this kind of stuff needs to be within recall’s reach.

Prisco’s Pickanosis:

In honor of Pete Prisco telling me I’m dumb and that I’ll fail, here’s this entry’s edition of “Prisco’s Pickanosis,” where I highlight something the Tom Brady of acting like an infant on Twitter was completely wrong about.

Petey Piranha is refering to the Bears trading up one spot for Trubisky. I’m not sure why they had to give like 90 3rd’s and 4th’s to do so, especially since the 49ers probably weren’t taking him, but considering the amount of talent on their roster (aside from the WRs and TE, most of the players I named above were on the team last year too) it makes sense to try to get a franchise QB. It was one of about the three things the Bears lacked.

@JohnAnders42