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Good morning, Chicago.
Well, I guess we can erase “Ohio State has never produced a good quarterback” off the list of reasons Justin Fields will never blossom here.
Thanks, CJ Stroud!
With that said, let’s get to this week’s 10 Quick Thoughts …
- I think even Cris Collinsworth and Boomer Esiason can admit it’ll be nice to get Justin Fields back under center for Thursday night’s visit from the Carolina Panthers. Thumb permitting, of course. Look, Tyson Bagent may go on to have a successful career in the NFL in whatever capacity and his rise to the NFL from Division II is still a great story. Sunday’s second half was proof positive he needs more time with a clipboard. He’s flashed nicely in some spots, but not enough to prove he deserves a full-time gig in the NFL at this point. He’s thrown six interceptions in 3 1/2 games so far.
- Also, make no mistake: This Tankathon staring contest against the 1-7 Panthers is as close of a “must-win” as there is for a 2-7 team. There are so many bad teams bunched up together at the bottom of the NFL the Bears can’t afford to allow Carolina an extra win on the total considering they’re currently a win ahead of them in the standings.
- That said, if the Bears want to gift the Cardinals a win at Soldier Field on Christmas Eve, by all means. It’s looking like the stiffest competition in the Tankathon standings will likely come from Arizona, New England and the New York Giants.
- A quiet debut effort from Montez Sweat, who had just two tackles a day after signing a four-year, $98 million extension with his new team. That’s no cause for alarm considering he was a Washington Commander at this time last week, but seeing Sweat getting to the quarterback while elevating his teammates will be a prime concern over these last eight games. He’s now one of the few Bears who are guaranteed to be here past 2024.
- I loved Herb Howard’s description of Sweat’s freakish physique during Sunday’s pregame show: “He can scratch his knees while standing up.”
- Matt Eberflus mentioned last week that the organization has standards to meet both on and off the field. If that were 100 percent true, there’s no way Velus Jones Jr. would still be receiving opportunities to drop footballs.
- That’s 14 career touchdowns for Cole Kmet, which places him fourth on the all-time list of Bears tight ends. It seems likely he’ll pass both Desmond Clark (18) and Greg Olsen (20). But only scoring twice in his first two seasons means that topping Mike Ditka (34) is still firmly in dream territory for the time being.
- Watching two NFC teams on AFC-centric CBS will never not be weird.
- The Saints are favorites to win the NFC South, but probably still aren’t going anywhere. How do you win the turnover battle 5-0 and only get flagged once, yet still only beat the league’s reigning worst team by a single touchdown?
- Bringing it back to CJ Stround and the Texans, is it possible the football gods rewarded Houston for playing hard in Week 18 last year? Similar to how the Blackhawks still won the Connor Bedard lottery despite a few late victories last spring? Had Houston laid down against the Colts, they’d likely be led right now by Bryce Young instead of Stroud, who just posted a 470-yard, five-touchdown effort in a win over Tampa Bay on Sunday.
It’s all just more proof the more we think we know about the NFL draft, the less we actually we do. Something to keep in mind as we get closer to an offseason full of Caleb Williams and Drake Maye talk …
PS — Thursday night will be a lot of fun at Joe’s On Weed! CHGO and Circa Sports are teaming up for a watch party that will be attended by Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher! Get a shuttle and priority access to the event when you attend our last CHGO Bears Tailgate earlier in the day!
More coverage from CHGO Bears:
• Adam Hoge and the CHGO Bears crew broke it all down in postgame
• Mark Carman and Greg Braggs had an emergency pod for the Sweat extension
• Nicholas Moreano talked to Tyson Bagent, who called the loss “embarrassing”
• Carm issued his Bears grades for CHGO Diehards
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