Bears-Steelers: Best case, worst case and prediction

Bears-Steelers: Best case, worst case and prediction

The best case scenario

The Bears play like they did in Week 1 against the Atlanta Falcons, only without those two blown coverages and drops near/in the end zone. This means Mike Glennon doesn’t turn the ball over and tries to stretch the field a bit with Markus Wheaton back. And if Glennon can successfully complete some deep balls, perhaps it opens up more opportunities for Jordan Howard to get to the second level of the Steelers’ defense and break off a couple of explosive runs. 

Here’s where it’s worth noting Ben Roethlisberger’s home/road splits from 2016, too:
Home: 70.8 completion percentage, 20 TDs, 5 INTs, 116.7 rating
Road: 59.4 completion percentage, 9 TDs, 8 INTs, 78.4 rating

If last year’s road Roethlisberger shows up, the Bears could have a chance to keep things close, as they did against Atlanta. It’ll come down to whichever team makes the fewest mistakes, and if the Bears can eliminate turnovers on offense and special teams and avoid allowing big-chunk plays on defense, they could have another chance to win at the end of the game. And if they do, they can’t afford more drops near or in the end zone. 

The worst-case scenario

This starts with Glennon turning the ball over and, like last week, the game effectively being out of reach by halftime against a team eyeing a playoff run. Pittsburgh is likely to load the box against Howard and the Bears running game until Glennon proves he can stretch the field, and if he can’t, it could be another long day for last year’s second-leading rusher in the NFL. 

The Bears’ defense may have success rendering ineffective Le’Veon Bell — who’s averaging only 3.2 yards per carry in two games — but the Antonio Brown/Martavis Bryant/JuJu Smith-Schuster trio presented a difficult challenge for the secondary. That challenge will become even more difficult if the defense has to deal with sudden-change and short-field situations. 

Prediction: Steelers 31, Bears 16

Kyle Fuller believes he's a Top 5 cornerback in the NFL

USA Today

Kyle Fuller believes he's a Top 5 cornerback in the NFL

Kyle Fuller caused a bit of a panic late Friday afternoon when a report dropped that he signed an offer sheet with the Green Bay Packers. For a few hours, the prospect — even if it was always unlikely — of the Bears losing their best cornerback to their arch rivals to the north loomed over Chicago. 

For Fuller, though, he said he barely had time to think about the possibility of cashing in on his breakout 2017 season with the Packers. The Bears quickly matched the offer sheet, officially announcing the four-year deal Tuesday that makes Fuller one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in the NFL. 

“It was crazy not really knowing what to expect,” Fuller said. “I would have never expected it. But when (the Packers’ offer sheet) came, it was definitely something to consider, just on the business side of it. At the end of the day, how it all played out, I’m definitely happy.”

Fuller sounded like someone who took a more passive role to his quasi-restricted free agency that was set about when the Bears placed the transition tag on him, allowing them to match any offer sheet that he were to sign. Fuller said he didn’t know all the details of what was going on with offer sheets coming in and negotiations with the Bears.

“I kinda was just getting the information from (my agents) and going with the flow of everything and knowing that at the end of the day it would end up working out,” Fuller said. 

The $14 million average annual value of Fuller’s contract ranks fifth among cornerbacks, behind only Washington’s Josh Norman ($15 million), New York’s Trumaine Johnson ($14.5 million) Minnesota’s Xavier Rhodes ($14.02 million) and Arizona’s Patrick Peterson ($14.01 million), according to Spotrac. 

Fuller said he considers himself a top-five cornerback in the league, and he played like someone who could wind up in that discussion in 2017. The 2014 first-round pick was one of four players to break up 20 or more passes last year, and he picked off two passes in December while providing excellent support against the run. 

“We could not be happier to have Kyle under contract for four more years,” general manager Ryan Pace said. “We feel he is an ascending player on our top 10 defense and we look forward to him having many more productive seasons here in Chicago.”

That's right, Chicago. John Fox is coming to a studio near you


That's right, Chicago. John Fox is coming to a studio near you

So apparently John Fox is getting bored.

The former Bears head coach who led the team to three consecutive last-place seasons from 2015-17 just signed with ESPN as a NFL studio analyst.

He’ll be getting paid to dish out insider information on players and what’s happening on the field — details that frustrated Bears fans could not get out of the often elusive Fox

This is great news if you had a void in your heart that only John Fox quotes could fill — especially in case his “We don’t know exactly what we’re doing” and "Sometimes it's hard to measure what's behind the left nipple"  hot takes weren’t cutting it anymore

But more importantly, Fox’s new position brings up a new burning question: What ex-Bear will be a better analyst?

What will the Fox say? Will he be able to muster more than 10 words out of Jay? The NFL season needs to get here sooner.