Bears

Bears take care of business in Buffalo with critical NFC North stretch looming

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USA Today

Bears take care of business in Buffalo with critical NFC North stretch looming

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Now the real fun begins. 

The Bears took care of business with a 41-9 laugher over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at New Era Field, upping their NFC North-leading record to 5-3 at the halfway point of the 2018 season. With that record will come a string of three critical games in 12 days, starting with next week’s home date with the Detroit Lions. After that, the Minnesota Vikings come to town, then the Bears head to Michigan for a Thanksgiving date with the Lions. 

How the Bears fare in that three-game stretch could tee them up for a legitimate run at the playoffs, or force them into a difficult position come December. 

The Bears did what they needed to do against the New York Jets and the Bills, beating two teams over which they had a significant talent advantage by a combined 36 points. Leonard Floyd had a pick-six and Eddie Jackson forced a fumble and returned it 65 yards for defensive touchdowns, while Mitch Trubisky largely took what the Bills’ defense gave him and Jordan Howard plowed in for two scores himself. This was a game that was over at halftime, with the only drama in the second half revolving around how much worse things could get for Nathan Peterman and the woebegone Bills’ offense.  

That being said, it wasn’t an entirely clean game. The Bears committed 14 penalties for 129 yards and Trubisky sailed a throw over an open Trey Burton that was picked off in the second half, for starters, and an offensive line missing Kyle Long struggled to create room for Howard all game. But it was a more than good enough effort to handily beat one of the worst teams in the NFL, quarterbacked by the worst quarterback in the NFL. 

The challenges will be greater in the Bears’ next three games, though the potential of the returns of outside linebacker Khalil Mack and wide receiver Allen Robinson — both of whom were inactive the last two games — would buoy this team’s hopes. The Bears are 3-16 against the NFC North since the beginning of 2015, and last were .500 against the division in 2012. It’s been eight years since the Bears won more games against division opponents than they lost, which not coincidentally was the last time this franchise made the playoffs. 

The scenarios are tantalizing for the Bears if they were to win two or three games this Lions-Vikings-Lions sandwich. Emerge with seven or eight wins and then take care of business against the New York Giants and a difficult December (vs. the Los Angeles Rams, vs. Green Bay, at San Francisco, at Minnesota) looks manageable for the Bears to navigate into the postseason. 

But for that stretch to be meaningful, the Bears had to handle the Jets and Bills. They did just that. 

And again: Now the real fun begins. 

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Vegas sets Mitchell Trubisky’s pass TD total at 26.5

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USA TODAY

Vegas sets Mitchell Trubisky’s pass TD total at 26.5

If Mitchell Trubisky has the kind of break out year in his second season under Matt Nagy that Bears fans are hoping for, he should have no problem cashing an OVER 26.5 passing TDs ticket for bettors who want to back him.

Per Bet Chicago, Caesars is rolling out division props and they set Trubisky’s touchdown pass total for 2019 at 26.5 and his pass yard total at 3,744.5.

While both those marks would be career highs for Trubisky, this number will surely be seen as a slight by the hometown fans and continue to add to the polarizing nature of the quarterback formerly known as the Pretty Boy Assassin.

In Chicago, and if you’re team Mitch, this number is ridiculously low and you’re probably already pounding the over.

Outside of Chicago, and with some analytical support, there’s a lot of doubt about Trubisky’s future as a viable option as an NFL starter, so I’d guess the Pro Football Focus crowd is probably gonna take the under.

We rolled out some props of our own on the Under Center podcast last week including:

Will Mitch Trubisky pass for 10 or more touchdowns than Craig Kimbrel has saves? (Including playoffs for both)

26.5 regular season passing touchdowns probably gives Kimbrel the edge, but it’s right in range. 

And that Trubisky – Kimbrel prop prompted this bold response from our own Bears insider JJ Stankevitz:

I don’t think I’m in the 40 club with my guy JJ, but the OVER certainly feels like the move here. At least it better be if the Bears are gonna make any sort of NFC North title defense. 

 

Former Bear Greg Olsen randomly walks into marriage proposal, catches whole thing on video

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USA TODAY

Former Bear Greg Olsen randomly walks into marriage proposal, catches whole thing on video

Scenario: you're walking down the street and randomly walk into a marriage proposal. What do you do?

For former Bear and current Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, the answer was to capture the magical moment on video. 

Olsen was in Nashville this week to give a keynote speech at a healthcare conference. While walking back to his hotel on Thursday, he randomly stumbled into a marriage proposal. His first response: hit record on his phone and capture the whole thing on video.

"Did she say yes? I got it on video, dude," Olsen said emphatically. "I'm going to send it to you!

"She said yes and I got it all on video, and you don't even know me, but I'm going to send it to you."

The couple, according to the Panthers, is Max Harvat and Brooke Hartranft. The two were visiting Nashville for the week, but Harvat didn't necessarily plan the proposal. It was as much of a sporadic moment for him as it was random for Olsen.

"Oh my god, you're my hero," Harvat said to Olsen after the proposal.

As it turns out, Harvat grew up a Panthers fan. However, he had no idea that Olsen was the person recording the proposal in the moment, only happy that someone caught it on video. When he stood up, he realized who the mystery man was.

“When I stood up, I looked over and I started having a mini heart attack," Harvat said to panthers.com. "I was like, ‘I’m 90 percent sure that’s Greg Olsen from the Panthers!’

“I'm a huge Carolina fan. I was like, ‘Oh my God, you're telling me that Greg Olsen just recorded the whole thing?’ I was so excited. It was amazing."

The moment wasn't just special for Havrat and Hartranft, though.

"It's the best thing I've ever witnessed," Olsen said in the video.

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