CHICAGO (AP) — Errant passes. Shaky blocking.

in F r e i s t i l 15.11.2019 03:56
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Questionable play-calling.It sure looked as if Mitchell Trubisky and company could have used more preseason work.Trubisky and the Chicago Bears were shut down by the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night Eddie Goldman Jerseys 2019 , losing 10-3 in an ugly NFL opener that showered cold water on any championship dreams in the Windy City.“Three points is ridiculous,” coach Matt Nagy said.About 90 miles up the I-94 highway, the Cubs outscored the Bears in a 10-5 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. Kyle Schwarber topped Eddy Pineiro’s 38-yard field goal with a grand slam.Khalil Mack and Chicago’s fierce defense showed up, sacking Aaron Rodgers five times and limiting the Packers to 213 yards.But the Bears’ offense looked inept all night long, hurting itself with repeated mistakes.“It was a frustrating game,” Nagy said. “Couldn’t get into a rhythm offensively. Then when we did get into a rhythm we’d have penalties.”There was no sign of any improvement for Trubisky in his second year under Nagy. He missed several throws and finished 26 for 45 for 228 yards.Chicago had just 46 yards on the ground after trading leading rusher Jordan Howard to Philadelphia in March. Trubisky was sacked five times, and a handful of penalties torpedoed a couple of drives.“It just seemed a little scattered tonight, with all our personnels,” Trubisky said, “and just trying to find a rhythm and trying to find our identity on offense. We just put ourselves in bad situations and shot ourselves in the foot.”Nagy showed a deft touch while coaching the Bears to a 12-4 record and the NFC North title in his first season in charge. Trubisky passed for 3,223 yards and 24 touchdowns, and Nagy was named NFL Coach of the Year.Looking to stay healthy, Nagy barely played his biggest stars in the preseason. Trubisky was behind center for three plays in the first exhibition game, handing off each time.“You could maybe attribute it to that,” Trubisky said. “But I think that’s kind of a stretch. It’s just we were uncharacteristic of who we usually are tonight as an offense.”Nagy brushed off the idea altogether.“Is it a preseason thing? No, it’s not a preseason thing,” he said. “Our defense, they played pretty well today not playing in the preseason. But what it comes down to is just us needing to be better.”While Trubisky struggled, the Bears still had plenty of chances to escape with a victory.Green Bay was ahead 7-3 when Trubisky opened a third quarter drive with a 22-yard pass to Allen Robinson to the Bears 45. But two delay of game penalties helped kill the opportunity.The Bears committed three consecutive penalties on their first drive in the fourth, turning a first-and-10 at the Green Bay 43 into a first-and-40 at the Chicago 27.Chicago drove inside the Green Bay 20 in the final minutes, but former Bears safety Adrian Amos intercepted Trubisky when he threw into double coverage looking for Robinson in the end zone.“That was a frustrating one,” Trubisky said. “I wish I would have had that one back. It felt really good when it left my hand and I thought I put it in a good spot for A-Rob. Didn’t keep my eyes on the safety long enough.” The Bears have a tradition at linebacker, and they have a pair of impact-level players trying to live up to that tradition. How does the entire corps stack up in the division?" From The Desk Of...Roster AnalysisNFC North Roster Comparison: LinebackersNew White Kevin White Jerseys ,21commentsThe Bears have a tradition at linebacker, and they have a pair of impact-level players trying to live up to that tradition. How does the entire corps stack up in the division?CDTChicago has a special relationship with linebackers. Some of the true Chicago legends played linebacker--George, Butkus, and Urlacher to name the most obvious, but the list is long. Once upon a time, off-the-ball linebackers were the heart of a defense, and they helped to define a defense in a way that currently falls to edge rushers and hybrid ‘safety-backer’ types.The actual number of linebackers who see the field varies dramatically, regardless of whether or not the system is designated a 3-4 or a 4-3, because as I mentioned in the Interior Linemen article, the concept of a Base Defense is more or less antiquated. The true base defense in the NFL these days is a Front 6 in some combination (with five defensive backs on the field).This distinction matters slightly less in this series, though, because the entire position group will be evaluated, not just the nominal starters.First, though, I feel the need to give some context. For 2018, an off-the-ball linebacker led the entire league with 38 defeats. This was actually the fourth time that linebacker, Luke Kuechly, was in the top ten. Another off-the-ball linebacker came in second with 37 defeats, and that was Darius Leonard. Leonard, who was named a 1st-team All-Pro, was a rookie last year, having been drafted 36th overall. At this point, I have to point out the following gem from Bleacher Report just after the draft:Yikes. Justis Mosqueda probably wants that call back. I can’t pretend that I had any idea exactly how good Leonard was going to be Kevin White Jerseys 2019 , but I did like Tremaine Edmunds, also taken in the 2018 draft. Edmunds had 23 defeats (7th for his position), which was still 4 more than any linebacker in the NFC North. In short, the truly dominant linebacker play in the league is not in the NFC North at the moment. That might change for 2019, however.1). MinnesotaNot listed on Football Outsiders’ defeats total for 2018 is 4-time Pro Bowler Anthony Barr of Minnesota. He only played in 13 games in 2018, and despite some potential for him to move on, he is back in Minnesota. He is supported by Erik Kendricks and (occasionally) Eric Wilson. Kentrell Brothers and 5th-round draft pick Cameron Smith round out the linebackers that are probably most notable in this group, but I might be selling Ben Gedeon short.One way or another, the Vikings basically have one excellent linebacker (Barr), one pretty good linebacker (Kendricks), and some solid depth around them. Interestingly, Pro Football Focus thinks that Barr and Kendricks are the fifth-best linebacker tandem in football. That seems generous to me, but I have to admit that I’m not willing to give PFF any money to read the rest of their list.By most measures, the Vikings have a slightly stronger one-two punch than the Bears, but they also have just a bit more depth than Chicago. Either one would probably be enough for me to make excuses and move the Bears up to #1. Both, together, and I just have to be honest.2). ChicagoAfter too long in absence, Chicago has developed a solid one-two punch with their off-the-ball linebackers, and as someone accustomed to watching Urlacher and Briggs, that just feels right. Roquan Smith held his own in the middle of the pack for linebackers with 18 defeats (the same as Green Bay’s Blake Martinez and one less than division-leading linebacker Jarrad Davis). In other words, he’s an impact player, but he’s not a star yet. Smith is likely to continue developing, and right now he is already very good White Jonathan Bullard Jerseys , but he’s not on Barr’s level. Nor, for that matter, is Danny Trevathan. Trevathan was a versatile chess piece for the Bears last season, and he has left his own mark on the defense. In fact, Trevathan is a good answer to Minnesota’s Kendricks. As a simple head-to-head with Kendricks, Trevathan holds his own. Over the last four years (since Kendricks came into the league), the Viking has played in 7 more games. In that time, Trevathan only trails him by 3.5 sacks and a Pick-6. He also has 7 fewer quarterback hits. He does have an extra interception, but his total passes defended is down by 1. When adjusted to a per-game basis, however, the two are functionally on the same level. Trevathan’s on-field leadership is probably enough to make up any difference, though a Minnesota fan might disagree. Unfortunately, after their starters, Chicago’s choices thin out dramatically. Kwiatkowski is a serviceable enough rotational piece, but Joel Iyiebuniwe really only intimidates people trying to spell his name correctly. There are a number of players with little to no experience on the roster churning around behind these two, but they are more likely to make for good camp stories than to make an impact on the field.So Chicago has two very good linebackers and very little behind them, and their best linebacker has yet to prove that he can hold his own with Minnesota’s best. 3). DetroitDetroit’s 2017 first-round pick, Jarrad Davis, managed 19 defeats (19th for his position), which was still enough to put him in first place among linebackers in the NFC North, one ahead of Blake Martinez and Chicago’s own Roquan Smith (18 each). Davis led his defense in snaps played, as well, being on field for 98.89% of the plays. The Lions maintained a solid linebacker rotation Jonathan Bullard Jerseys 2019 , though, with Devon Kennard and Christian Jones on the field 88% and 65% of the time, respectively. Kennard is probably a step above a journeyman player, having been transplanted from the Giants and recording 7 sacks in his first season for the Lions. Jones is familiar to Chicago fans as a guy who manages to play decent football most of the time, but in his first season with 16 starts, he did not exactly cause Fangio and Nagy gnash their teeth in regret for letting him go. I am sort of curious to watch the development of Jahlani Tavai. He had a late-round grade on him from most of the sources I saw that graded him at all, but the Lions took him early in the second round. In short, the linebackers for the Lions consist of a remarkable newcomer, a pair of replacement-level contributors, and a rookie who might have been overdrafted. That’s not enough to place them in the top half of the division, unless one of their prospects really emerges soon.4). Green BayBlake Martinez has outplayed his draft position, and while he has not yet earned a Pro Bowl nod, he is a really solid player. After Martinez, the Packers fall back on Reggie Gilbert and Antonio Morrison. Um...okay. Beyond that, Green Bay invested so heavily in improving their edge rushers that they left themselves very little room to improve an already thin linebacker corps. There are some prospects who might develop (Ty Summers comes to mind), but this is a group that is going to need the improved edge rushing unit, and the secondary, to get some work done. Given that Green Bay ran Dime or Dime+ defense over 40% of the time in 2018 (down from 42% in 2017), it’s obvious that the roster is constructed to work without depending on linebackers.Next up is safety, where things get really interesting.Note: All stats come from Football Outsiders and Pro Football Reference unless otherwise noted. When possible, I used roster information directly from the teams’ own websites.

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