Hey Chicago fans!
My apologies for the brief hiatus from writing, I’m sure you all know how crazy school and/or young adulthood can get. Nevertheless, I’m back! And boy is it a big week for Chi-Town. We witnessed some crazy playoff games (Sorry White Sox fans, NOT SORRY BREWERS FANS HAHA!), we finally get to see the new look Blackhawks tonight, and most importantly.. it’s Bears vs. Packers week in Chicago this Sunday! So let’s get started…
Man, talk about heartbreaking. I realize that this series wasn’t exactly a close one, but you can’t help but feel terrible for this type of team. This is the type of team that deserves to win a World Series with the group of guys that they have. Luckily for you Sox fans, there’s still a huge chance at better days being ahead. Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson, Dylan Cease, Lucas Giolito, Yasmani Grandal, Andrew Vaughn, Michael Kopech and Liam Hendricks will all be back next season. Who knows who else they’ll be able to add this offseason as well. Keep your heads up Sox fans!
Today is October 13th, so to those of you who’ve been following the Blackhawks closely, you know what that means. It’s opening night!! The Blackhawks went a modest 3-3 in their six preseason games this year. However, it was extremely refreshing to see players playing at levels that you would expect them to play at. Guys like Seth Jones, Kirby Dach, Dominik Kubalik, Patrick Kane (obviously), Alex Debrincat, and most importantly these two: Marc Andre-Fleury and Jonathan Toews. All of those skaters found all sorts of ways to get their name in the box score, whether it be scoring or assisting. Toews didn’t manage a goal until the last preseason game against the Minnesota Wild, when he scored two by doing one of the things he does best, getting around the net and putting rebounds and loose pucks in the net. Young players such as Brandon Hagel and Philipp Kurashev also managed to pick up where they left off last season as well. Unfortunately, Caleb Jones is going to be out for about six weeks due to a left wrist strain, so it’ll be a while till we see what he can do in a Hawks sweater. And as excited as we should all be for the season opener tonight, keep in mind that the Hawks will be going against a talented Colorado Avalanche team. Here’s to a successful Blackhawks season!
Not to keep repeating myself but… IT’S PACKERS WEEK!! The biggest mixture of excitement and anxiety. A week filled with trash talk and reminiscence of past matchups. A game that, for either fan base, can leave them feeling unbelievably happy or devastatingly upset. A couple weeks ago this game might’ve been viewed by Bears fans with a lot less optimism, but after beating a respectable opponent like the Las Vegas Raiders while having running backs Damien Williams and Khalil Herbert fill in perfectly for an injured David Montgomery, the Bears look like they have some momentum to work with. And while Justin Fields hasn’t exactly lit up the stat sheet just yet, anyone who’s watched him play so far knows what he’s capable of. According to Next Gen Stats, Justin Fields has the highest deep pass percentage so far this season. He’s ahead of quarterbacks like Russell Wilson, Baker Mayfield, Derek Carr, and Aaron Rodgers (finally a Bears QB having a statistic ahead of Aaron Rodgers). This is incredibly nice to see considering how rare it seems for the Bears to throw the ball downfield. It’s about time the Bears have a guy that can sling it downfield with precision and accuracy. Do the Bears have a realistic shot at beating the Packers on Sunday? Absolutely, and here’s what I think will need to happen in order for that to happen:
- Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor needs to continue being the only play caller, and he needs to be more aggressive as well. The Bears offense looked good against the Lions and Raiders the past couple weeks, but the Bears failed to bury those two opponents the way they should’ve. The Packers defense has its weak spots, and it’s up to Lazor to show Justin Fields how to exploit them.
- The defensive front seven needs to have themselves a day. Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn need to make Aaron Rodgers’ life a living hell for four quarters of football. Akiem Hicks, assuming he’s healthy enough to play after missing the game against the Raiders and not being able to practice yet, and Eddie Goldman need to cause all sorts of mayhem against the Packers rushing offense that contains arguably one of the best running backs in the league in Aaron Jones and a solid back up in AJ Dillon. These four Bears need to do a huge job of beating their individual assignments.
- Jalen Johnson needs to cover Davante Adams all afternoon. Davante Adams is arguably the best Wide Receiver in the league. There are very few corners in this league that can stay with him for an entire game. The Bears only have one cornerback that I believe can stay with him at all. That man is Jalen Johnson. If the Bears are going to be able to keep the Packers offense from lighting up the scoreboard, containing Davante Adams is going to be extremely key.
- Last but certainly not least, the offensive line. The offensive line has done a steady job at creating holes for Bears running backs to get into open space. The running game hasn’t been the problem. The problem is being able to give Justin Fields a pocket to work with and have time to throw the ball downfield. Justin Fields needs to have a big day, but nobody’s doubting his ability at all. If the offensive line gives him time, he can make the Packers defense pay.
Like I said before, this is an exciting week for Chicago fans (sorry once again White Sox fans). Good luck to the White Sox in the offseason, good luck to the Blackhawks on opening night, good luck to the Bears against the Packers, but most importantly best of luck to all of us Chicago fans living in enemy territory.