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.
When the Bears head to D.C. next Monday, it'll be their second nationally-televised game in three weeks. It's not dissimilar from 2018's start, when they started with back-to-back Sunday nights: first in Green Bay (remember?!) and then the home opener vs. Seattle.
Last year, that Seahawks game would be the last nationally-viewed Bears game until they played in Detroit on Thanksgiving almost two months later. Flexed Sunday night games against the Rams and in Minnesota made it 4 on the season.
Things are a bit different this season. As it stands today, the Bears are scheduled to be on national broadcasts five more times this year, and seven times on the season. Two weeks after D.C. they'll be in London against the Raiders, and then have Sunday night games against the Rams, Cowboys, and Chiefs. Throw in another noon Thanksgiving kickoff in Detroit and that's a whole lot of exposure.
"Bring the prime time, bring the prime time," linebacker Danny Trevathan said. "That’s what we strive for, that’s what we wanted. Coach talked about being 100… that’s prime time."
There have been a lot of night games in the Matt Nagy era, a testament to how quickly he brought the franchise back into the national conversation. It's not without it's cons, but that many late kickoffs means you're doing something well.
"There’s a little bit more attitude when you’re playing on Thursday night, Sunday night, Monday night," said Allen Robinson. "You know the whole world is watching – there’s only one game on at that time."
"Everybody’s watching," Trevathan added. "And it’s a chance for us to go ahead and play our type of ball, come away with a dub, and put it on for the whole world to see."
The Bears might have helped the New England Patriots shut down the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl.
When Chicago handed Sean McVay his second loss of the season back in Week 14, they established the metaphoric blueprint to stopping Jared Goff and their high-powered offense.
It turns out, Bill Belichick was paying close attention.
McVay noticed the Patriots doing the same things the Bears had done, even after just one play of the Super Bowl.
The Rams head coach was mic’d up for the game, and the camera crew caught him citing Chicago.
It’s a high compliment to former defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, now the head coach of the Denver Broncos.
Chuck Pagano now has to follow Fangio’s blueprint for how to run the Bears defense and keep that unit at a championship-caliber level.