Monday, Sept. 12, 2011
Posted: 12:21 p.m.
By Pat Boyle
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READ: Peppers, Melton a dominant duo
WATCH: Inside Look with Mike Ditka
Dan Jiggetts had the Kool-Aid flowing yesterday on CSNs "Bears Postgame Live". What a way to kick off the most daunting early schedule in recent memory for the Bears!
Matty Ice turned into slush with Henry Melton, Julius Peppers and company bearing down on him. Apparently, Brian Urlacher didnt get the memo that hes entering his 12th season and the experts say hes already on the 18th hole of his football career.
Come to think of it, there was a Matty Ice that was on display yesterday at Soldier Field. His name is Matt Forte. No pay raise, no problem! Watch him maneuver through the Falcons defense like hes winding his way through a bank teller line.
Which in a way, he is. As our buddy Lance Briggs said on "Countdown to Kickoff" last Thursday night, Pay the man!
Pat Boyle hosts Bears Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet. You can also watch Pat on SportsNite, Sunday through Thursday at 6:30 and 10. Follow him on Twitter @CSNBoyle.
Akiem Hicks finally earned the recognition he deserved in 2018 with his first trip to the Pro Bowl, and playing on the NFL’s No. 1 defense provided the national attention he should have received in his first two years with the Bears.
He’s a solid interior pass rusher, but where he dominates is in run defense, leading the NFL in run stops last season according to Pro Football Focus.
When Hicks beats an offensive lineman at the line of scrimmage to make a big tackle in the backfield, it’s a work of art, and he revealed the secret to those flashy plays on NFL Game Pass.
He broke down the film of a play against the Green Bay Packers where he beats center Corey Linsley because he knew right guard Jordan McCray was going to pull to the left.
“I read it before the snap happens. I know that McCray is going to pull just based off his stance,” Hicks said. “I know his stance for every play that he’s going to do. I’m going to be at least 75 percent right.”
Hicks looks at how much weight an offensive lineman is putting on his hand, how far apart his legs are and how much bend is in his hips.
“If you do your due-diligence as a defensive lineman and prepare like a professional during the week, you’re going to know,” Hicks said.
Any little deviation from a normal stance is an indicator to Hicks of what the play is going to be, and that pre-snap knowledge keeps him a step ahead of the blocker in front of him.
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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.