Football

Three Things We Learned From Week 3

This is a feature I used to do at FanSided last season. But it’s not something I want to waste on those evil fucks, so I give it to you, the people, every week. 

Khalil Mack Is The Most Enjoyable Athlete To Watch In Chicago

Oh sure, maybe one say this will be Eloy Jimenez. You could make a case for Lucas Giolito this year. Or Javy Baez every year. Patrick Kane would have an argument, except the best years of his career (statistically) have come as empty calories for useless Hawks teams.

But none of them have redefined a team the way Mack’s arrival has for the Bears, and none of them are consistently making the opposition look like they’re simply not there as Mack. When Mack showed up, the Bears went from an interesting team to the best defense in football. Hope became expectation instantly. And whenever he faces a team that hasn’t made any or all specific plans for him, he simply runs the show.

Note: You should know that this post pretty much is just Mack adulation every week, because he’s just so much fun. You’ve been warned. 

Look at this shit:

Yeah, I know that Washington’s normal left tackle is still holding and out and refusing to play for them (and why shouldn’t he, really?). Still, much better tackles than this don’t even get a hand on Mack. He alters every game he plays, even if it’s offenses shifting three blockers that way and opening up the other side of the field. And yet when you watch games he’s always there, either scaring the piss out of the quarterback or being held on his way to scaring the piss out of the quarterback. It’s real live video game shit. We really are lucky.

It’s Never Enough With Mitch

I think my favorite part of last night’s game was checking on Twitter during the Bears first scoring drive on offense, watching everyone bitch about Mitch’s inaccuracy as he didn’t actually throw an incompletion and the Bears scored. I was sure that was the point of the exercise. Maybe I’m wrong.

Yeah, there were some throws that maybe cost his receivers a few yards after the catch. He also had a rating of 116.5 for the game. Yeah, maybe they didn’t push the ball down the field as much as you would have liked…until he hit Taylor Gabriel on the run in the corner for the killer score. This offense was never going to go from 0-to-60 in one week. They ran the ball a ton in Denver, partly because of the altitude and temperature. The next week they’re going to turn into the Fun-n-Gun? I don’t think it works that way.

All of this felt like it was undone by the simply awful “fade” route throw in the third that was somewhere in the same stadium as Allen Robinson but much closer to the seemingly toast Josh Norman. There’s no way to explain that one. There’s just going to be one or two of those per game, and we can only hope they’re either dropped or so bad they’re not near everyone. But that’s what every QB below the three or four best do. Live with it, because there were other dimes on the night that everyone is neglecting to mention.

Akiem Hicks Is Probably As Important As Mack, Which We Probably Knew

We only have to pray that injury isn’t that serious. Because the one or two drives Washington put together in the third and fourth came without him on the field, and it was the only time Casey Kasum had any time to do anything. The whole thing is predicated on the Bears being able to get pressure with four, especially up the middle when they leave the QB nowhere to go or look. They can’t do that without Hicks, and far better QBs than Keenum will enjoy that more.

That’s what still gnaws about last year. You may never get that health and that level combined from both Hicks and Mack again. Perhaps if the game wasn’t already basically done Hicks could have kept playing. But you’ll notice if he’s hobbled against the Vikings next week, that’s for sure.

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