Three Bears necessities to a win over the 49ers


Three Bears necessities to a win over the 49ers

Golden out of the gate

Through their first 11 games, the 49ers have no touchdowns and have scored just 12 points in the first quarter this season. While the Bears have certainly been resilient, they've needed to be because they've scored first just three times all season. While they've won five of the last eight games, they've allowed first quarter touchdowns in each. Their home opponents each of the next two weeks are the league's only winless road teams. The Bears shouldn't give this Niners team (being outscored by an average of 35-14 away from home) any sign they can stick around, while improving their own 1-4 mark on the lakefront.

[MORE: Bears-49ers: And the winner is...]

Swarm Shaun Draughn (say that fast five times...)

347 yards. That's how much combined rushing damage the Broncos and the Packers have inflicted the past two games. But these Niners' top three running backs to start the season (Carlos Hyde, Reggie Bush and Mike Davis) are all injured. Enter Shaun Draughn, whose two-game Bears career ended after a special teams snafu last season in San Francisco. The Niners are his sixth team in his four-year career after being signed a month ago, and he's averaged just 3.4 yards a carry in his three games. Vic Fangio's latest fix-it project has to be completed this week and next versus Washington, because after that, they face the league's top two rushers who've already eclipsed 1,000 yards, Adrian Peterson and Doug Martin.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bears fans!]

Dink, Dunk & Run

Stud receivers have burned this Niners defense all season, but with Marquess Wilson out and with (presumably) Eddie Royal and Kevin White joining him on the sidelines, you'd think Alshon Jeffery will be afforded extra attention. As Tony Soprano's "ManGenius" (Eric Mangini) dials up his blitzes, establishing the ground and short passing games might be the best way to possess and march. I have trouble thinking it won't be a good day for Martellus Bennett in his return from his rib injury, with targets aplenty.

**Be sure to join Dan Jiggetts, Lance Briggs, Jim Miller and Chris the hour before kickoff on "Bears Pregame Live, brought to you  by Meijer" at 11 a.m. Sunday on Comcast SportsNet. When the second quarter ends, log on here at for "Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois Bears Halftime Live," as Jim and Chris break down the first 30 minutes and discuss second half adjustments. And as soon as it goes final on Fox, flip back to CSN as the three ex-Bears and Chris bring you 90 minutes of analysis, reaction, live press conferences and locker room interviews on "Bears Postgame Live, presented by Nissan."**

Which Saints player would you want on the Bears?

Which Saints player would you want on the Bears?

The Chicago Bears have a tough test ahead of them Sunday at home against the 5-1 New Orleans Saints. Not only is New Orleans rolling on offense, even without QB Drew Brees in the lineup, but their defense has ascended into near-elite territory over the last few games.

This shouldn't come as a surprise to NFL fans, either. The Saints are overflowing with talent on both sides of the ball and there are several players who would represent an upgrade on the Bears.

Let's start on offense, where the obvious pick is Brees. But since he won't take the field in Week 7, we'll look elsewhere. 

Running back Alvin Kamara is about as dynamic as it gets at the position in 2019. He offers an equally lethal skill set as a runner and receiver with the kind of contact balance and burst to flip the field in one play. Imagine him working in Matt Nagy's offense? Scary.

There's also wide receiver Michael Thomas, who may just be the game's best all-around player at the position. He can beat defensive backs on all three levels of the passing game and is off to an incredible start to the season with 53 catches, 632 yards and three touchdowns. I'll do the math for you: those numbers equate to a 141-catch, 1,685-yard season. Yup. He's going to be a tough assignment for cornerbacks Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara.

New Orleans' offense isn't limited to just talent at the skill positions, either. Tackles Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk are two of their four highest-graded players on offense, per Pro Football Focus, and each would represent a potential upgrade over Charles Leno, Jr. and Bobby Massie. Armstead and Ramczyk each rank in PFF's top 15 at offensive tackle in 2019, while Leno, Jr. and Massie are both outside of the top 50.

On the defensive side of the ball, it's hard to find a player who the Bears would prefer over a current starter, but one candidate is cornerback Marshon Lattimore. 

Lattimore hasn't been great this season, but his incredible blend of long speed and ability to change directions quickly established him as one of the league's most talented cornerbacks during his rookie season. It's a volatile position where players go through peaks and valleys during their careers, but Lattimore's physical gifts are borderline rare.

Cameron Jordan, the Saints' premier edge rusher and most recognizable name on the defense, would be enticing as well. He leads the team with five sacks and has accumulated 31 pressures over six games, proof that he's a handful for opposing offensive linemen. He wouldn't be a perfect scheme fit for the Bears, but lining him up opposite Khalil Mack would be fun to watch (to say the least).

This is a tough call. What say you? Head over to Twitter and share your thoughts here.

Rams' trade for Jalen Ramsey will have a direct impact on Bears' season

Rams' trade for Jalen Ramsey will have a direct impact on Bears' season

The Los Angeles Rams pulled off a blockbuster trade for Jacksonville Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey Tuesday night, sending two first-round picks (2020 and 2021) and a 2021 fourth-round pick for the superstar defender.

It's the second trade the Rams have accomplished in one day. Los Angeles shipped CB Marcus Peters to the Baltimore Ravens for LB Kenny Young and a 2020 fifth-round pick earlier on Tuesday, completing a makeover in their secondary that will have a direct impact the Chicago Bears this season.

The Bears travel to Los Angeles to face the Rams in Week 11 as part of a brutal five-game stretch coming off of their bye week. Ramsey makes it even worse.

The Rams had little choice but to pull off a mega-deal like this. They're entering Week 7 with the 19th ranked pass defense and an underwhelming 3-3 record, a far cry from the expectations for last year's Super Bowl runner-up.

Mitch Trubisky and the Bears offense will have their hands full on November 17. The combination of Aaron Donald on the defensive line and Ramsey in the secondary is as intimidating as any defensive duo in the NFL and is capable of destroying even the smartest and most efficient passing attacks. And that's not exactly Chicago's pass offense so far.

Trubisky, who's expected to return from a left shoulder injury Sunday against the Saints, hasn't proven this season that he's capable of staring down the barrel of a Donald-Ramsey alliance. It will be a ridiculously difficult challenge for a quarterback who's still finding his way as a pro.

Ramsey has missed the last three games for a variety of reasons, most of which appear as tricks to remain healthy in anticipation of a trade.  He's a two-time Pro Bowler and has nine interceptions from 2016-2018.

Now, Ramsey is an opponent on Chicago's 2019 schedule.