Bears

DeShone Kizer believes he can be the best QB in NFL history

DeShone Kizer believes he can be the best QB in NFL history

The recent perception is that DeShone Kizer's draft stock has slipped to either the fourth- or fifth-best quarterback in this draft class, depending on one's evaluation of Davis Webb. So his comments to USA Today this week caused a bit of a stir:

"No one else can do what I can do. And I’ve truly figured out in this (draft) process, if I can maximize all my potential in every aspect of the game – this is bold – I do have the ability to be the greatest quarterback to ever play. Imagine taking (Tom) Brady’s intellect and Brady’s preparation and putting it on a guy with Cam Newton’s body. Why can’t I be the greatest? The only thing stopping me from it is me. That’s what’s driving me now."

While that quote created flashy headlines, there's some interesting introspection from Kizer in the article that pushes back two of the biggest negatives about his game. 

But with regard to Kizer's comment, it's fitting with his personality. Even through the weekly misery of Notre Dame's 2016 season, Kizer took responsibility for those eight losses but remained confident he and the Irish could improve. In media sessions, he always came across as supremely confident -- and was confident enough to be hard on himself after games that weren't up to his standards. So that he said this isn't too surprising, and probably wasn't to any NFL team that did its due diligence on him. 

[VIVID SEATS: Get your Bears tickets right here!]

Rotoworld's Josh Norris, too, explained why he loved Kizer's confident quote in the USA Today story:

https://twitter.com/JoshNorris/status/855506094751326208

Bears-Packers Inactives: No Roy Robertson-Harris against Green Bay

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USA Today

Bears-Packers Inactives: No Roy Robertson-Harris against Green Bay

The Bears' inactives have been released, and there's only one real "surprise": 

They'll be without Roy Robertson Harris, who was listed as DNP (foot) for Wednesday and Thursday's practices. He was a limited participant in Friday's practice, however, and was considered questionable when the Bears sent out their Game Status report on Saturday. 

"As far as Roy Robertson-Harris and Javon [Wims] — both questionable," Matt Nagy told reporters on Friday. "The goal is to get them ready and see where they’re at, but we’ll kind of see here tomorrow and the next day. But they’re arrow-up." 

In better news, both Akiem Hicks and Prince Amukamara will play. Hicks was activated off the IR on Saturday, and Amukamara has been out for several weeks with a hamstring injury. 

(Too) Bold Predictions: Akiem Hicks' return to the Bears will be felt immediately. Literally.

(Too) Bold Predictions: Akiem Hicks' return to the Bears will be felt immediately. Literally.

(Too) Bold Predictions aims to take nuanced, well-researched information and use it to make wildly improbable predictions. Analysis! 

Cam Ellis
1. Akiem Hicks has a sack on the first series of the game
The Packers have the best pass-blocking unit in football, and Aaron Rodgers is averaging something like three seconds per dropback to throw. Still, there are going to be far more one-on-one matchups on the line because of his return, but I imagine the Packers are still focused on stopping Khalil Mack first and foremost. With so much attention to both edges – because you'll remember Leonard Floyd is basically Khalil Mack against the Packers – Hicks is going to get some single-man looks. Hicks gets to Rodgers somewhere on the Bears' first defensive series, and the upset is off.

2Kyle Fuller finally connects on jumping a route ... twice 
It feels like Fuller's been painfully close to a pick-six a bunch of times this season. There was the one in Denver, and in Los Angeles, and the latest came against Dak Prescott last Thursday night. I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting one or two also. At one point, he's going to connect, and the weirdest possible moment would be against a quarterback that doesn't throw interceptions that plays on a team that doesn't turn the ball over. We'll say only one goes for a touchdown, but if tomorrow gets weird, it's going to get weird. 

Rob Schaefer
1. Khail Mack logs three sacks in Akiem Hicks' return
Our long national nightmare is over. Akiem Hicks is back, and with him, could come an unleashing of Khalil Mack the likes of which we haven’t seen this season.

We’ve written about the impact of Hicks’ presence on Mack’s production before. The theory is simple: With another all-world talent eating up the inside of opponents’ offensive lines, teams have less capacity to focus extra attention on Mack. Granted, the Bears have gotten decent production along the line this season in the form of Nick Williams (six sacks), Roy Robertson-Harris (10 QB hits) and flashes of Leonard Floyd. But this week, the potential is there for their pass rush to return to its 2018 form, and that starts with Mack.

The Packers have the fourth-highest PFF pass block rating (79.4) in the NFL and Aaron Rodgers is notoriously slippery, which is what makes this prediction bold. But Mack has been trending up recently (two of his 7.5 sacks and six of his 13 QB hits have come in the Bears’ last three games). Perhaps the return of Hicks will push him to new heights.

2. David Montgomery has his second 100+ yard rushing performance of the season
If there’s a soft spot in this Packers defense, it’s in the heart of their front seven. On the outside, Preston and Za’Darius Smith are often used to edge-rush and contain — roles they’ve been effective in — but the two backers in the middle of their base 3-4, Blake Martinez and B.J. Goodson, both enter this one with average PFF grades (as do defensive ends Dean Lowry and Tyler Lancaster). Frank Clark is, admittedly, a beast, but again… Bold predictions.

As a team, the Packers allow the eighth-most rushing yards per game (122.8) in the NFL, and Matt Nagy has displayed intention in establishing the run as the season has worn on. With conditions set to be frigid and Montgomery coming off his third game with 20+ rush attempts of the season last week against Dallas, a breakout from him is plausible.