Hello, happy Chicago Bears fans — wait, are we happy? Guess that wouldn’t be too on brand for us — here is another weekly Bears post for you from your friends at WARR, in which I, Editorial Director Kyle Means, offer three helpings of fuego takes to spice up the often blah taste that we’ve gotten so used to after Bears games.
There actually was a chance for us to have a mostly positive outlook coming out of the 23-17 loss Sunday afternoon to the defending NFC championship Atlanta Falcons — the final score not being a sobering reflection of how far the Bears are from the contenders of the conference for one, Tarik Cohen and his dazzling debut being another. Plus there were other solid offensive performances from the likes of Jordan Howard (except for a big drop late) and Dion Sims, one receiver who seems to have a rapport with Mike Glennon.
To be a little fair, the first take this week is on the most positive Bear phase to emerge from the day, followed by a salute to Lil’ Tarik and the sad, sobering (yet unsurprising) injury to emerge from the game’s end.
The Monsters May Be Back
The Bears defense was the first thing to emerge from this game as encouraging, holding the Falcons to 13 points through 3 quarters and allowing the Bears to honestly think of a win despite spotty offensive play. Akiem Hicks was a beast (2 sacks), Leonard Floyd showed new athleticism in pass defense and more Atlanta drives were disappointing than not.
But boy, those catches by Austin Hooper, though — hey, it’s hard for a pro defense to maintain the needed discipline to contain a pro offense for 60 minutes and one bad play can make a difference, two can bury you.
Outside of that, the Bears front 7 provided a foundation for the team to win on, it’s a role they are getting used to, and it fits with our traditions here. Here’s to it continuing and not the trend of Bears losing close games (1-6 in games decided by 1 score in 2016).
You Bring Me Joy(stick)
What else can be said about the electric sparkplug rookie who is quickly taking Chicago’s heart? Well, Tarik Cohen proved Sunday that he can take hits and give them on the way to the end zone. A combined 158 total yards gave him a Bears season opening record for rookies — he returned 3 punts and caught balls, ran them and handed off to Jordan Howard for his score.
The 5-foot-6 181 pounder brings a flash of the truly modern to the Bears offense, an all-purpose accountability that can cut holes through just about any defense due to it being so hard to know just how he’ll be used prior to any given snap.
Speaking of snaps though, the lovable scamp of a scat back was only used in 28 of the 67 counted snaps (not wiped by penalty) in the game. Maybe this is a way to ease in a still emerging talent but that certainly won’t be enough to placate a Bears fan base that’s only gonna fall more and more in love with this guy as he breaks more open field plays.
Also, the puzzling non-use of Cohen in the final, game-deciding red zone plays?…maybe offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains didn’t want to tip his hand regarding use of Cohen, maybe there just isn’t many red zone plays for him right now – whatever it is that has to change, cause The Human Joystick is already proving that he can be a in-game glitch used to Chicago’s favor.
Everybody Hurts, Especially Kevin White
It was an overall nondescript game for much maligned (and much delayed) wide receiver Kevin White on Sunday. Not much in the way of highlights but at least he hadn’t got hurt…oh wait… really? Damn.
Yeah, it’s happened again. Third year, third major injury for the No. 7 pick of the 2015 draft, a broken collarbone taking the once promising weapon out for a third consecutive season after a stress fracture in his left tibia ended his rookie season before it started and a fractured fibula derailed his second season after four games.
Once selected to be the icing on the cake for an emerging offense, White is seemingly now counting the days down until he’s no longer a Bear. Under contract for one more season, White will likely not be optioned for a fifth season, a decision due for the Bears by the spring of 2018. White may have to spend the remainder of next year in bubble wrap if he wants to make another NFL dollar past that.
As sad of a development as it is for White, who seems like a nice guy who’s really trying to stay on the field, it’s just as bad for the Bears who are as thin as selfie-taking Al Sharpton at the wide receiver position and the only thing close to reinforcements is an injured Markus Wheaton. Yeah…
Well, there’s also a salsa-dancing receiver we’ve gotten to know this summer who’s available. If anything maybe Victor Cruz’s swivelling hips could distract defenses on the way to Tarik Cohen’s next score. Welcome back football!
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