So the Bears scraped out of Denver and Joe Flacco’s clutches with a win last week thanks after a bizarre finale, but if they have any ambitions of going to the Super Bowl they’re going to need a lot more from their own, very much non-elite quarterback, Mitch “Just call me Mitchell” Trubisky.
Chicago spent a fortune in draft capital on the 2017 second-overall pick and last season he looked serviceable, bordering on good at times. That was partly down to the strength of schedule Chicago enjoyed as the rest of the NFC North pooped their collective pants.
It’s all clean under-garments this season up there though, and that’s not great news for Chicago. While it’d be nice to scapegoat any and all issues on Cody Parkey or whoever is kicking for the Bears this season, coach Matt Nagy has clearly adjusted his game plans to accommodate the weakness at QB – Trubisky ranks 23rd in the league for downfield distance of passes this season – which might make sense, but would worry me if things go badly.
We’ve seen what a team with Super Bowl aspirations thanks to an elite-level defence can turn into when their quarterback isn’t up to it – look at Jacksonville.
Yes, I am comparing Trubisky to Blake Bortles.
Fortunately this week they’re up against Washington, whose porous secondary should allow Mitch-ell to poke and prod further downfield than he has so far, and that’ll mean fantasy points. On the other side of the field, Case Keenum hasn’t been bad so far, but there’s obvious interest among fans to get rookie Dwayne Haskins involved. The Bears defence is terrifying and could hasten his appearance – not that you’d necessarily want a young QB debuting against Khalil Mack et al.
We’re looking at two committees here, though David Montgomery presents the most upside because he’s being worked into this offence as a rookie. Tarik Cohen and Mike Davis are going to be a factor in the game, but Montgomery impressed in Denver, nabbing a crucial go-ahead touchdown late in the game before all hell broke loose, and Washington have allowed over 100 yards in the first two weeks on the ground.
For the ‘Skins, Adrian Peterson was resurrected to fantasy relevance by the unfortunate Derrius Guice and his continuing injury woes, but I’d be more inclined to look at their third-down back Chris Thompson here, because Chicago are likely to lead this game from the front, and that’ll mean more passing situations for Washington. Peterson not much use in those.
Terry McLaurin may sound like a cast member Dad’s Army but he’s actually the primary receiving threat on the Washington roster this season. Fantasy heads should be familiar with him by now as he’s been a top option for those scouring the waiver wire in season-long leagues and presents the best opportunity to suck points out of their passing attack, especially when tight end Jordan Reed looks doomed to another lengthy absence after sustaining a concussion in week 3 of the preseason.
For Chicago, Allen Robinson’s stood out despite the caution being exercised by Chicago where their QB is concerned. He has 143 yards through two games off 15 catches. The next nearest receiver is Taylor Gabriel with 36 yards from just three receptions.
At tight end, Trey Burton’s been hurt, and that’s meant Adam Shaheen, a second second-year TE, has seen what little passing-catching work there’s been for the Bears. I can’t believe I’m saying this in 2019, but Vernon Davis might be the best option in this game. Bah Gawd.
Let’s not complicate things. Yes, the Bears defence can’t hope to recreate last season’s alchemy that saw them collect defensive score after defensive score, but if they played the Redskins every week, they might go close. Washington’s injury bug has already struck along the defensive line with Jonathan Allen missing last week’s game. There’s a chance he suits up here, but he won’t be full strength, and it shouldn’t make much of a difference either way as the Bears defence should smother Keenum and whatever Jay Gruden tries to muster.