Bears

Forte return: Looking like playoffs

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Forte return: Looking like playoffs

Dont look for Matt Forte under the Bears Christmas tree. The franchise running back told ESPNChicago.com that realistically, playoffs would be the only thing I would have my mind set on."

Forte suffered a left knee sprain against the Kansas City Chiefs, an injury that typically as a 2-6 week range for recovery. He is receiving therapy but the reality is that the return is more likely toward the long side.
Duly noted
Seattle quarterbacks have been sacked 41 times this season, 33 of them suffered by Tavaris Jackson. Only Arizona, Miami, Minnesota and St. Louis, all with losing records, have given up as many or more. The Bears have allowed 38 and nearly one-fifth (7) of those came in the Kansas City debacle

Few teams have been consistently as good as the bears against the run. But cracks are beginning to show. The defense allowed 100 rushing yards in just one of the five wins that pushed them to 7-3 but has given up 73, 113 and 124 in the last three games, and the three losses were to teams (Oakland, Kansas City, Denver) that were willing to stick to the run even without dramatic success. Oakland ran 27 times, Kansas City 37 and Denver 34.

The Bears controlled Willis McGahee in Denver (17 carries, 34 yards), held off Dexter McCluster of Kansas City (9 carries, 61 yards) and shut down Michael Bush in Oakland (24 carries, 69 yards).

But no back in the NFL has been more effective over the last six games than Seattles Marshawn Lynch, who has 706 rushing yards and has scored seven touchdowns (six rushing) over those six games.

Tim Tebow, bumblebee
When you switch over from the Bears game to Denver-at-New England, consider what youre watching.

The trashing of Tim Tebow is trending down pretty much just sour-grape grumping that the Denver Broncos leader isnt really an NFL quarterback. Never mind the six straight wins and seven in his last eight starts.

Tebow is just your basic bumblebee. A bumblebee by all laws of biology and physics cannot fly. Cannot. But it does give a very convincing imitation of it, wouldnt you say?

You know Tebow. Poor technique, not a particularly accurate passer, limited in so many areas not really an NFL quarterback. Pretty good imitation, though, wouldnt you say?

And so

There was going to be no way the 7-3 Bears could lose all three remaining games to AFC West teams. But they did, even to a Kansas City Chiefs team that fired its coach after the following game. The Bears cant pass very well, havent run the ball anything consistently close to what they did with Matt Forte, and in a disturbing pattern that typically defines losers, have found ways to lose.

The Seattle Seahawks have been the opposite, winning four of their last five. But while the Bears were playing Oakland and Denver with a virtual rookie quarterback, the Seahawks were playing the woeful Rams twice plus Redskins and Eagles opponents with a combined 13-37 record, counting the Rams twice.

The Bears are not the Rams. This will be the third time the Seahawks are playing in Chicago in the last 14 months and they arrived Friday to mitigate the effects of travel across time zones. It wont be enough.

Bears 16 Seahawks 13

Bears show interest in Tulsa pass rusher Trevis Gipson

Bears show interest in Tulsa pass rusher Trevis Gipson

It's early (extremely early) in the 2020 NFL Draft process, and the Bears' team needs between now and when their first pick (No. 43 overall) is on the clock are certain to change. The general consensus right now is that offensive line, tight end and quarterback will be early draft targets, but edge rusher can't be overlooked.

Leonard Floyd's failure to emerge as the pass rusher the Bears need to complement Khalil Mack is a bigger problem than GM Ryan Pace or coach Matt Nagy want to admit. In fact, Floyd's ineffective style of play could cost Chicago a chance at becoming a truly elite defense and potentially limit the astronomical upside Mack has as a generational talent.

If the Bears decide to pull the fifth-year option from Floyd, they'll have no choice but to attack the position early in the 2020 draft. It appears like they're doing their homework for that scenario, too.

Bears scouts met with Tulsa edge rusher Trevis Gipson at length following Wednesday's Senior Bowl practice, an indication that the position is at least high enough on their wish list that extensive homework on pass rushers is being done.

Gipson helped his draft stock at the Senior Bowl and was an early winner among edge rushers at the game. His practice reps confirmed his tape; the dude knows how to get to the quarterback. He had eight sacks in 2019 and plays with a high-energy style that's certain to entice Chicago's coaching staff. He isn't an elite athlete, but he has an appealing frame (34-inch arms) and powerful hands.

Gipson began the week as a late-Day-3 prospect. He helped his stock and may have jumped a round or two along the way.

Bears' rookie class ranked 8th-best in NFL

Bears' rookie class ranked 8th-best in NFL

The Bears didn't have much of a rookie class in 2019. Last April's draft produced just five picks, two of which didn't appear in a regular-season game for the Bears.

But the production of running back David Montgomery was enough to carry the rookie class to a top-10 ranking, according to Pro Football Focus.

The Bears checked-in at eighth.

The Bears have a strange class. They had only five picks, none before Round 3, with three of those five selections coming after Round 6. As a result, their expected return was low. Running back David Montgomery was really the only Bears' rookie to play significant snaps, and he managed to provide enough return from his third-round selection to land them at No. 8.

It's pretty remarkable that Chicago's 2019 rookie class — essentially, Montgomery — garnered this much respect from PFF. Wide receiver Riley Ridley showed signs of life late in the season and cornerback Duke Shelley will be given an opportunity to carve out a role on defense next season, but with running back Kerrith Whyte, Jr. and cornerback Stephen Denmark making no impact whatsoever (Whyte is no longer with the team), the 2019 class won't be remembered as one that laid a championship foundation in Chicago.

Sure, Montgomery has a chance to become one of the NFL's more talented starting running backs (he ended his rookie season with 889 yards and six touchdowns), but if Ridley and Shelley don't turn into legitimate contributors in 2020 or 2021, the class will go down as an epic failure for GM Ryan Pace.

Remember: The Bears didn't have a first-round pick because of the trade for outside linebacker Khalil Mack. That's a win for Pace, but it doesn't change the fact that he had five selections at his disposal and ended up with what appears to be just one impact player after their rookie seasons.