Bears

And now, a very scientific debate into just how fair all the Bears' Madden Ratings actually are

And now, a very scientific debate into just how fair all the Bears' Madden Ratings actually are

It’s Madden Rankings Day, which can be a blessing I guess but certainly feels like mostly just a curse. You can see where each and every Bears player landed right here, or just take a look at this here tweet: 

Now let’s quickly break this down into tiers, going from Fair to Debatable to Honestly What Gives Madden: 

FAIR 

Khalil Mack (99) - Extremely fair! 

Eddie Jackson (91) - Inarguably fair! 

Eddie Goldman (85) - Most likely fair! He does not get much love because Akiem Hicks happens to be like, one of the most underrated defensive tackles in football, but Eddie Goldman is a starting caliber player. We’ll allow it! 

Leonard Floyd (77) - Probably fair! Floyd grades out in the mid-to-high 80’s when it comes to Speed, Acceleration, and Agility, and sags behind a bit when it comes to Awareness and Strength; that’s sort of always been the book on him. If he finishes the season at a 77, though, it probably didn’t go well. But for now, this feels fair.

Eddy Pinerio (66) - Fair for no reason other than the Bears’ kicking battle probably deserves a D. Sorry, Eddy. 

DEBATABLE 

Mitch Trubisky (75) - I get it - being told the starting QB of the team you root for may not be all that good is personally insulting on the highest level. It’s rude, and honestly how dare they. Did they even watch certain halves of Bears games?! Like Floyd, if Trubisky finishes the season at his current rating, Year 2 went sideways. 75 *does* seem to shortchange him a bit, but there’s also a pretty good argument to be made that this is right on. One might call it debatable! 

Roquan Smith (81) - He lead the team in tackles! And started in 14 games this season as a rookie! It’s the Awareness score (77) that’s keeping him in the low 80’s, which doesn’t seem accurate. 

Anthony Miller (75) - I get that he was hurt, but 75?! His Awareness (75) and Strength (68!) drag down what are otherwise high 80’s, low 90’s across the board. This blog boy’s personal opinion is that Anthony Miller is extremely for real and could easily end up as Madden’s highest-rated Bears WR when the season’s done. 

HONESTLY WHAT GIVES MADDEN 

Akiem Hicks (87) - Honestly what gives Madden? On the surface, 87 is not a bad score, and I have 18 years worth of report cards that would be happy to back that up. But Akiem Hicks is a 90+ player. Speed and Agility scores in the 60’s brings down his average, neither of which seemed to play a huge role in limiting his Pro Bowl level production. 87 for Hicks might be the most scoff-worthy score of them all. 

Cody Whitehair/James Daniels (81/77) - They’re viewed as the future of the Bears’ line, but realistically are way more the present. They’re also listed at the wrong positions, which, eye roll. I know that these aren’t entirely updated to reflect the present but come on guys, this switch was common knowledge back in March. Honestly Madden what gives?

Dax Raymond and Chase Daniel having the SAME rating (63) - Nothing against Dax, who will hopefully be terrific. But, mannnnn, that is disrespectful. An undrafted rookie getting the same ranking as a 9-year veteran who is, by most measures, considered one of the better backup QBs in the NFL. He’s certainly paid like it. 63! Put some respect on his name, Madden. What gives.

Bears Inactives: Unsurprisingly, Mitch Trubisky, Khalil Mack, and all of the starters are sitting once again

trubisky_preseason.jpg
USA Today

Bears Inactives: Unsurprisingly, Mitch Trubisky, Khalil Mack, and all of the starters are sitting once again

To the surprise of exactly no one, the Bears won't play their starters tonight against the Colts: 

By now it's clear that Matt Nagy isn't into giving starters preseason minutes, and he basically admitted as much on Wednesday when he said that not playing the starters "wasn't a secret to anybody" anymore. 

Instead, the Bears will get four quarters to evaluate the final handful of positional battles still taking place. Competitions at cornerback, linebacker, and tight end were specifically mentioned by Nagy as areas of interest on Saturday night. 

Latest Packers, Lions injuries further validate Matt Nagy’s decision to rest Bears starters in preseason

trubisky_preseason.jpg
USA TODAY

Latest Packers, Lions injuries further validate Matt Nagy’s decision to rest Bears starters in preseason

Matt Nagy’s decision to largely sit his starters in the preseason is looking better by the day.

While Bears starters have scarcely seen the field this preseason, the Lions and Packers saw key players get hurt in games Thursday and Friday, respectfully. Linebacker Jarrad Davis and center Frank Ragnow went down with leg injuries for Detroit; linebackers Rashan Gary (neck), linebacker Curtis Bolton (knee) and Equanimeous St. Brown (ankle) exited for Green Bay.

Davis and Ragnow are scheduled to undergo further testing on Saturday, though losing them for any time would be a significant blow for the Lions. Davis (2017) and Ragnow (2018) are two of the team’s more recent first round draft picks. The former led Detroit with 99 tackles in 2018, while losing Ragnow could cause the Lions to shuffle their offensive line.

In defense of Lions head coach Matt Patricia, injuries in football are rather unpredictable. There’s no telling when, or even if, a player will get hurt over the course of a season. However, part of that unpredictability is knowing that the sport is violent and that injuries do happen.

After Friday’s game, Patricia said that “hindsight is 20-20” and broke down the team’s thought process.

“We’re looking at reps, we’re looking at numbers, we’re looking at possibilities of when we can get guys out there, when we think they’ve had enough during the course of the week to take a look at it," Patricia said. “Guys can get injured during practice, guys can get injured during the game.

"I mean, it’s football, to some aspects of it. Injuries are part of the game and that’s something that we all have to deal with.”

Patricia’s last point is exactly why Nagy goes about preseason the way he does. Losing a player to injury in a meaningless game is simply not worth it. Sure, injuries can still happen in practice, and starters not getting in-game reps could be detrimental leading up to the regular season.

However, doing what you can to eliminate injuries in games that don’t count should be well worth the reward, in theory.

“My biggest thing is I’m trying to do what’s best for the Chicago Bears, and every team is different, and that’s okay,” Nagy said about his starter-sitting plan. “… We love where we’re at right now in regards to our starters. We feel really good about it.”

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur mimicked Nagy's plan on Thursday, sitting 33 players due to poor field conditions in a matchup against the Raiders in Winnipeg. This included sitting quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Even sitting those 33 players didn’t prevent the Packers from losing key pieces, though. Gary was the No. 12 pick in this year’s draft; Bolton was positioned to replace injured starter Oren Burks at linebacker and St. Brown was set for a larger role in the offense this season. The statuses of the former two aren’t yet clear, but St. Brown will miss 4-6 weeks with a high-ankle sprain.

Fans may want to see their favorite players play, preseason or not. However, ensuring the health of key players is more important, especially with the Bears' Super Bowl aspirations this season. 

“September 5th is an important day for us," Nagy said”

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