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TOPIC: Now the 2018 Chicago Bears will find out how they

Now the 2018 Chicago Bears will find out how they 2 months 5 days ago #65953

  • zhangzk
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GLENDALE , Ariz. (AP) — handle success.After a close loss to Green Bay, the Bears got a nice win over Seattle. Now they face an Arizona team that’s been outscored 58-6 in the Cardinals’ first 0-2 start since 2005.It’s a game Chicago is supposed to win, maybe even dominate.“Just like last week when it was coming off a difficult loss, now the team is feeling good in the fact that we got a win,” s first-year coach Matt Nagy said. “Sometimes when you have that, with bad teams, complacency sinks in. That’s not what we want. We want our guys to continue to stay hungry, to realize how important it is to stack wins on top of each other.”Arizona, under first-year coach Steve Wilks, is at the bottom of the league offensively and near the bottom defensively.To try to boost an offense that got past midfield once — on the next-to-last play of the game — in last week’s 34-0 drubbing by the Rams in Los Angeles, Wilks and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy say they’ve scaled down the game plan, simplified things. They also say they want to get the ball to David Johnson more often.While Chicago quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has been inconsistent, Arizona’s Sam Bradford has been mostly bad, struggling with his accuracy, usually a strength in his game.“Sam is known to be able to put the ball where it needs to be,” Wilks said. “Regardless of why, we need to try to make sure we correct that moving forward. Is it the line? Is it just him? Is it the receivers? Again , everybody has a hand in it. Everybody’s working on their craft, trying to correct it.”Here are some things to consider when the Bears visit Arizona.MACK’S IMPACTNow Bradford, Johnson and the rest of the beleaguered offense must deal with Khalil Mack, who has two strip sacks and returned an interception for a touchdown in his two games since joining the Bears.“You just turn the film on, you can see it,” Wilks said. “He’s doing some great things: a sack/fumble, interceptions for touchdowns, you name it. So, you’ve got to make sure you try to slow him down, neutralize him a little bit. I don’t know if you can stop him, but we’re going to do a great job of trying to create some things and hopefully we can try to slow him down a little bit.”UP-AND-DOWN TRUBISKYTrubisky has had some great moments and some that weren’t so great. He completed 25 of 34 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns against the Seahawks, but had two intercepted.Trubisky said it’s a matter of making progress.“I’m just trying to enjoy every single day you have to come out, practice and play with your teammates, develop great relationships and just continue to get better and better,” he said, “and when things go wrong, you just go back that it’s part of the process. There is going be ups and downs. You’ve got to celebrate the small victories. There is going to progress along the way , but there is also going to be setbacks. It’s all about just staying positive and keeping your head down and staying on track.”CARDINALS QBWhile Wilks is sticking with Bradford at quarterback, Arizona’s supposed franchise quarterback of the future is waiting in the wings.Arizona moved up in the draft to pick Josh Rosen at No. 10 overall with the idea he’d learn by watching Bradford thisseason. But the Cardinals’ offensive woes could wipe out that timeline.“Sam, right now, is the quarterback, as I’ve stated before,” Wilks said. “I don’t think it’s just the quarterback position. I think we have some issues across the board in all three phases, and we’re working on those issues. I think we’ve done a great job of trying to correct those issues, starting with trying to simplify things with the game plan, allowing guys to play fast.”BOOED AT HOMETo try to motivate his team, Wilks played audio of the home crowd booing the Cardinals in their opener. Cornerback Patrick Peterson called the booing “an embarrassment.” Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald seemed to think they were understandable.“We can’t play any worse than we did the last two weeks,” he said. “All you can go is up.”HELP ARRIVESArizona should have the services of tight end Jermaine Gresham and defensive end Markus Golden for the first time this season. Both were recovering from significant surgeries, Gresham’s to repair a torn Achilles tendon, Golden a torn ACL.Both would be significant contributors if healthy. Wild-card weekend was great for me, not so great for MDS.I went 3-1 for the first four games of the postseason, nailing upset selections in both Houston and Chicago. (A prediction of a 17-15 Eagles win missed by a single point.) MDS, on the other hand, ate a donut in the straight-up picks game , guessing wrong on all four contests.This week, he has a chance to gain some ground, because we disagree on two of the games. For all of the divisional round selections, keep scrolling.And check out the “best bets” video accompanying this post, for our picks against the spread. With points factored in, we’re on the opposite side of three of the four games.Last week, we picked the opposite side of one game, fueling my 3-0 performance and keeping MDS at 2-1.Colts at ChiefsMDS’s take: These may be the two hottest teams in the NFL right now. The Colts had a dominant all-around performance against the Texans, and that’s the way they’ve been playing for three months. The Chiefs have been the best offense in the league and one of the best offenses in NFL history all season. If this were in Indianapolis I’d take the Colts to win this game with their stout defense and balanced offense, but I just can’t pick against the Chiefs in Kansas City.MDS’s pick: Chiefs 28, Colts 21.Florio’s take: The Chiefs haven’t won a home playoff game since 1993. In fact, they’ve won as many playoff games at Arrowhead Stadium as the Colts have: Two. The problem, as evidenced by various big games lost by the Chiefs this year, is the defense. Can they keep Indy’s offense from not outscoring Patrick Mahomes? That’s where the game will be won or lost. This one could go either way, but I’ll say it will be won by the Chiefs, barely.Florio’s pick: Chiefs 30, Colts 27.<hr />Cowboys at Rams MDS’s take: The Rams’ biggest weakness is their run defense , so I see Ezekiel Elliott having a big game. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, that’s the only area where I anticipate them having an advantage over the Rams. Elliott probably gets off to a hot start, but after the Rams put some points on the board and the Cowboys are playing from behind, Dallas will be forced to pass, and Aaron Donald will make it a long night for Dak Prescott.MDS’s pick: Rams 31, Cowboys 21.Florio’s take: In most Dallas games, it becomes obvious whether the Cowboys will win within the first half of the first quarter. This week, it quickly will become evident that their approach is working against a Rams defense that will have its hands full with one of the best offensive lines in football, and against a Rams offense that isn’t as good as it was before Jared Goff‘s skills regressed and Todd Gurley‘s knee became swollen. In their home away from home, Dallas gets its first road playoff win in 26 years.Florio’s pick: Cowboys 17, Rams 13.<hr />Chargers at Patriots MDS’s take: I actually think the Chargers are a better top-to-bottom team than the Patriots right now. But the Chargers’ disadvantages are having to play against the Ravens while the Patriots were resting, two long cross-country flights, and an early kickoff. The Patriots’ playoff experience can’t hurt, and the Chargers are going to have to radically change their defensive approach this week against Tom Brady from the way they played last week against Lamar Jackson. The Patriots will pull out a close win.MDS’s pick: Patriots 24, Chargers 23.Florio’s take: Something’s got to give. The Chargers are 9-0 away from L.A., the Patriots are unbeaten at home, and Tom Brady has never lost to Philip Rivers. Playoff experience becomes the difference for a New England team that was left for dead not long ago.Florio’s take: Patriots 24 , Chargers 17.<hr />Eagles at SaintsMDS’s take: When these teams met in the regular season, the Saints won in a 48-7 beatdown. That was the second-biggest margin of victory in the NFL during the 2018 season, second only to the Ravens destroying the Nathan Peterman-led Bills in Week One. If Nick Foles can lead the Eagles to a win over the Saints after the same opponent dominated Carson Wentz in the regular season, it’s going to lead to increased calls to make Foles, not Wentz, the Eagles’ franchise quarterback. Fortunately for the Saints (and for Wentz), I don’t see that happening. Drew Brees should have a big day against the Eagles’ defense, and although the Saints aren’t going to win by 41 again, they should win by a healthy margin.MDS’s pick: Saints 31, Eagles 17.Florio’s take: Few believed the Eagles could beat the Bears in Chicago. (I did.) Fewer believe the Eagles can beat the Saints in New Orleans. I do. Coupling the bye week with a lackluster Week 17 game against the Panthers, and it will have been a long time since the Saints played a meaningful game. The Eagles have been playing meaningful games week after week after week. The road team has improved greatly since losing 48-7 in the Superdome, and the Saints peaked during round one. So push the chips into the middle of the table, hope the Eagles keep it close, count on a little magic late in the game, and prepare for the biggest debate of the offseason regarding whether the Eagles should keep Nick Foles or Carson Wentz.Florio’s pick: Eagles 20, Saints 17.
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