On the surface, the conditions in which Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff had his worst game of 2018 are notable. 
 
Goff completed 14 of 28 passes for 201 yards with no touchdowns, one interception and a passer rating of 58.8 on Oct. 14 against the Denver Broncos, when the temperature at kickoff was a brisk 25 degrees at Mile High Stadium. The forecast for Sunday night’s Bears-Rams tilt calls for the temperature to be 27 degrees at kickoff, according to the Weather Channel. 
 
So is there something to the cold being a factor in favor of the Bears on Sunday night?
 
“There were some different things — you want to give credit to Denver, they did a nice job, whether it’s cold or there’s some times where you just miss a throw, that’s an inevitable thing that occurs with a quarterback,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “There’s so many different things, he made some pretty dang good throws in that game as well. But I don’t think that affected him at all and hopefully it won’t be a factor as we continue to move forward and then seeing how the weather is in Chicago this week, we expect to prepare the best of our ability and go play like we can.” 
 
More likely is we don’t have a large enough sample size — one game is hardly predictive — to know how Goff will handle the cold. Then again, the Broncos have the best defense the Rams have faced this year, ranking second in Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA. 
 
The NFL’s top defense, by DVOA? The Bears. 
 
Elite talent, elite paychecks
 
One of the reasons why Jon Gruden and the Oakland Raiders were willing to trade Khalil Mack prior to the season was the contract signed by Aaron Donald in late August. The six-year, $135 million extension signed by Donald was the biggest contract ever given to a defensive player, setting the market for the deal Mack was going to be in line for from the Raiders or whatever team acquired him. 
 
Asked about his reaction to the Donald contract on his first day with the Bears back in September, Mack laughed: “Not saying in front of my parents.” 
 
The Bears topped Donald’s contract with a six-year, $141 million deal for Mack. But beyond their contracts, there’s mutual respect between two of the NFL’s most disruptive pass rushers. 
 
“(Donald’s) of the best in the league,” Mack said. “When you see his play, he just jumps out on film. Hell of a player. Yeah. Hell of a player. For sure.”
 
While Donald is an interior pass rusher and Mack is an outside pass rusher, McVay did draw some similarities between the two players. 
 
“It’s the elite talent matched up with the elite effort and urgency they play with every single snap,” McVay said. “They violently attack the football, I think they both have a repertoire of pass moves, there’s some suddenness, some explosion and some twitch. So I do think you see some similarities even though Khalil is a guy who’s typically coming off that edge, got great length and stuff like that. But you see two great players that find ways to consistently get to the quarterback or disrupt the run game and get the ball back for their offenses. And both those guys are outstanding players.”
 
A final note on Aaron Donald
 
An enjoyable moment from this week’s assistant coach media availability at Halas Hall was when a Notre Dame game from 2013 was brought up to offensive line coach Harry Hiestand. Specifically: When Hiestand was the Irish offensive line coach that year, his unit held Donald — who played for Pittsburgh — to just one tackle and one quarterback hit in a game in November. 
 
“I don’t know why you’d bring that up,” Hiestand said. “I don’t know what that could possibly have to do with this week.”
 
The answer: Not much, of course. But even though one successful college game five years ago isn’t exactly relevant, Hiestand knew how good Donald was, and would be, back then. 
 
“No, there was no question (he’d be a star),” Hiestand said. “There was no question. You didn’t have to be an offensive line coach to know that. You could be the person in the 50th row and can see that. He has the rare ability to change direction, dissect things, make plays, explode when it’s time to go. He closes space instantly and it’s pretty impressive to watch.” 

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