Bears

'Dirty' Rams an exaggeration? Guess again, say Bears

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'Dirty' Rams an exaggeration? Guess again, say Bears

ST. LOUIS — The little tempest last week over whether Jeff Fisher and the St. Louis Rams were practitioners of dirty football subsided, and everything was fine going into Sunday’s meeting with the Bears, won by the Bears, 37-13.

No. No, it wasn’t.

He might have stayed to the high road during the week publicly, but players said that coach John Fox talked to the team — “preached,” according to one member of the defense — about maintaining composure and not getting drawn into shoving matches or other altercations with Rams players intent on inducing a bit of mayhem.

It wasn’t easy.

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“They were trying to be a bully,” said running back Ka’Deem Carey as he was wrapped with an ice bag. “We knew that at the beginning. Man, they play so dirty. One guy was on top of me and started grinding his knee into my knee joint. I pushed him off, and the ref was looking hard at me!”

During the pregame introductions and warmups before the Bears’ destruction of the Rams (4-5), Rams players pointedly moved in the way of Bears players trying to get final work in.

“We knew what it was going to be,” said tight end Zach Miller, whose 87-yard catch-and-run with a swing pass in the first quarter was the Bears’ answer two plays after the Rams opened the scoring with a touchdown on the game's first drive. “We’re over there warming up, and they’re standing in the way of Jay and I and Alshon throwing the football.”

The Rams “did a lot of stuff,” said defensive end Jarvis Jenkins, who added that Sunday was nothing like the bloodbath between the Rams and Washington Redskins when Jenkins played for the latter in 2012. “They might do stuff in between downs, but we stayed away from that.”

(Too) Bold Predictions:

(Too) Bold Predictions:

You've stumbled into (Too) Bold Predictions, a weekly column that is exactly what it sounds like! Here, we'll take nuanced, well-researched information and use to make wildly improbable predictions. Analysis! 

 

J.J. Stankevitz 

 

1. Leonard Floyd has a breakout game.

A year ago, Floyd had a monster game against Sam Bradford, dropping the then-Minnesota Vikings quarterback twice, one of which went for a safety. Floyd does the same on Sunday, recording his first two sacks of the season in his first game not playing with a club on his right hand. A reason for that optimism: Cardinals left tackle D.J. Humphries allowed 10 pressures in 70 pass blocking snaps in Weeks 1 and 2. This should be a good matchup for Floyd, and without the club on his hand, he takes advantage of it. We'll say the "breakout" game is at least two sacks and five total pressures.

 

2. Mitch Trubisky will hit multiple shots downfield.

Trubisky missed Taylor Gabriel and Allen Robinson on Monday night on throws that could've backed the Seahawks' defense off the line of scrimmage. Connecting on those deep shots is critical for freeing up more room for Jordan Howard, especially against a Cardinals defense that's had success stopping the run (3.6 yards/carry, sixth in the NFL). But the Cardinals' defense has been gouged through the air, allowing 9.8 yards per attempt (31st). Trubisky will complete two deep throws in the Bears' first two drives, which will lead to a much easier path for offensive success on Sunday.

 

Cam Ellis

 

1. Tarik Cohen will take one to the house.

 Cohen hasn't contributed too heavily to the offense yet, though you could make that argument for just about anyone not named Allen Robinson. That's less the case on special teams: after averaging 9.38 yards per return last season, Cohen's  jumped up to 17.17 this year (though it's still a bit early to be taking averages seriously). It's part of why the Bears have the 5th-best special teams according to Football Outsiders' S.T. DVOA. In honor of Devin Hester and the Bears' 2006 comeback in Arizona, my bet is that Cohen, who landed on the NFL All-Pro team last year for punt returns, breaks the game open with a  touchdown of 50+ yards. 

 

2. Kevin White will tie his career high in catches 

After playing 12 snaps in Week 1 (12%), White only played two snaps (3%) against the Seahawks in Week 2. Arizona has the 30th-ranked pass defense, per Football Outsiders, so there's going to be plenty of eating to go around. With all eyes on Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel, Kevin White -- should he play -- is going to get a lot of one-on-one matchups. White snagged six catches in games against Dallas and Detroit in 2016, and he'll resurface for at least one game against one of the league's worst pass defenses. 

 

The Way We Hear It: Mike Glennon plays Mitch Trubisky

The Way We Hear It: Mike Glennon plays Mitch Trubisky

With a week of practice wrapping up today, here's what's been happening in the lead up to Sunday's Bears-Cardinals matchup: