The Chicago Bears have been one of many shock groups of the 2018 season, sitting at 7-Three after a 25-20 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday evening. The Bears now lead the NFC North by two video games over the Vikings and look to be in prime place for a playoff spot.
The largest energy has been the protection, which ranks fourth within the league in factors allowed at a shade beneath 20 per sport, whereas piling up a league-leading 17 interceptions. Move rusher Khalil Mack has offered an enormous increase to Vic Fangio’s unit, accounting for eight of the group’s 32 sacks this season. Because the Bears put together for a fast turnaround sport towards the Lions in Detroit on Thanksgiving, we caught up with CBS’ The NFL In the present day analyst Boomer Esiason to get his ideas on this group’s place within the NFC energy wrestle hierarchy.
You may watch Boomer together with fellow analysts Phil Simms, Nate Burleson Invoice Cowher and host James Brown on a Thanksgiving version of The NFL In the present day starting at 12 p.m. Japanese time main you as much as kickoff in Detroit at 12:30. That’s when Jim Nantz, Tony Romo and Tracy Wolfson take over for the decision because the Bears meet the Lions. (Editor’s be aware: This interview has been calmly edited and condensed.)
CBS Native Sports activities: The Bears face the Lions at Ford Area to open the Thanksgiving festivities. The Bears dominated the Lions simply two weeks in the past, sacking Matt Stafford six occasions. What’s the important thing matchup you’re watching this time round, because the Bears look to place a stranglehold on the division?
Boomer Esiason: For me, it’s all the time going to be in regards to the residence quarterback enjoying towards a top-ranked protection. Matthew Stafford can have a ton of strain on him, particularly with the best way that Khalil Mack has assimilated himself into this Chicago Bears protection.
Apart from that, you need to have a look at Mitch Trubisky for the Bears. He had a good sport towards the Minnesota Vikings, however he does run the ball successfully. He has rushed for extra yards up to now this season than Cam Newton, in order that shall be one thing the Detroit Lions protection needs to be anxious about.
The one factor I don’t like about this specific sport, regarding the Chicago Bears, is that they had been moved to a Sunday evening sport to play towards the Vikings after which have to show round and play an early sport, on the street, on Thursday. It’s a brief week, it’s a street group, and it’s not simple to beat these points. It will likely be fascinating to see how the Bears come out of the gates.
CBS Native Sports activities: At 7-Three proper now, the Bears personal the third-best report within the NFC behind the Saints and Rams. They don’t have the identical form of prolific offense as these groups, however the protection is powerful. Is that protection sufficient to place them in competition for a Tremendous Bowl berth?
Boomer Esiason: With no less than six video games to go for a lot of of those groups, you simply by no means know the place a group will find yourself when it comes to their well being on the finish of the season. The Washington Redskins, only a few weeks in the past, had been story, one of many extra shocking tales within the NFL, after which they lose their beginning quarterback to a horrific damage towards the Texans on Sunday. You simply by no means understand how the fortunes of a specific group can change.
However once I have a look at the Bears proper now, they don’t seem to be within the class of the Rams or the Saints. The Saints are the perfect group in soccer. They’ll do it defensively. They’ll run the ball. Drew Brees is finishing 77 % of his passes, has nearly 3,000 yards with 25 touchdowns and one interception. They’re enjoying soccer on a distinct stage than everyone else proper now.
The Bears are one of many prime 4 or 5 groups within the NFC. They need to go on to win the NFC North. However I don’t imagine they will go on the street and beat the Rams or the Saints within the playoffs.
CBS Native Sports activities: On Sunday, the Browns face the Bengals in Cincy. I’m curious what you consider the best way this group, and among the rookies, particularly, have developed this season?
Boomer Esiason: The fascinating factor about this sport is the story behind the sport, and that’s the incontrovertible fact that Hue Jackson now works for the Cincinnati Bengals about three or 4 weeks after he was fired by the Browns. He’ll have intimate data of what the Browns love to do on offense.
However, there’s no query, since firing Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator, Todd Haley, Gregg Williams has stabilized this franchise a bit, no less than within the quick time period. Baker Mayfield has performed exceptionally nicely. They’re coming off a bye and needs to be well-rested and wholesome.
The Bengals, on their aspect, their protection has simply fallen off the face of the Earth. They’d given up over 500 yards in three straight video games till this previous Sunday towards Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. Nevertheless, Lamar did run for over 120 yards and did full 13-of-18 passes, so he had success towards this Bengals protection.
I might suppose that Baker Mayfield can have success as nicely. This sport has an opportunity to be a really high-scoring sport, a really entertaining sport. If the Bengals have any hope for the playoffs, it is a sport they should win.
CBS Native Sports activities: Within the late sport, the Steelers face the Broncos. Pittsburgh is using a six-game profitable streak after a wild comeback towards the Jaguars on Sunday. What’s the important thing for Pittsburgh to maintain that streak rolling towards a Broncos group that surprised the Chargers this weekend?
Boomer Esiason: You’re by no means going to be excellent in each single sport. And, within the video games you don’t play nicely, if you happen to can come again and win them late, just like the Pittsburgh Steelers did over the Jacksonville Jaguars, that tells you all you actually have to learn about how good a group might be.
Ben went by a tough patch on Sunday, throwing a pair early interceptions, however then he got here again to win the sport. Despite the fact that the Steelers scored 20 factors, you could have to bear in mind the Jaguars threw every part they presumably may on the Pittsburgh Steelers to attempt to save their very own season. Now, the Steelers are enjoying at residence.
To me, they’re clearly one of many prime 5 groups within the NFL. Their protection is under-appreciated, and despite the fact that James Conner didn’t actually get began towards the Jacksonville Jaguars, he can have extra success towards the Broncos. The Steelers are flying, enjoying nicely. And even after they don’t play nicely, they will win.
So far as the Broncos, they may give different groups matches just because they’ve an incredible cross rush with Bradley Chubb and Von Miller. Their protection grinds it out on you. They’ve a terrific operating sport. Case Keenum is a man who can go 10 makes an attempt and not using a completion earlier than coming again to finish 10 in a row. He displays this complete group within the sense they don’t quit. They excel when the sport is shut.