Editor’s be aware: That is the “beat author breakdown,” a weekly collection the place he pose 5 inquiries to a reporter who covers the Detroit Lions’ opponent. This week, Bears beat author Wealthy Campbell of The Chicago Tribune is our sufferer. Observe his work right here and discover him on Twitter here. Detroit (4-6) hosts Chicago (7-3) at 1 p.m. Sunday on Fox.
MLive: Mitchell Trubisky is at risk of not enjoying in opposition to Detroit due to a sore throwing shoulder. How does this offense change if he cannot go?
Wealthy Campbell: Chase Daniel cannot escape the pocket and make off-schedule performs along with his legs like Trubisky can. In equity to each, Trubisky’s working capacity is what distinguishes his sport at this level in his second NFL season. In spite of everything, he leads all quarterbacks in speeding (363 yards).
That complete stems from a mixture of designed runs and off-schedule performs. Neither will likely be as efficient with Daniel because the quarterback Thursday.
MLive: Chase Daniel hasn’t thrown a go since 2016. What are you able to inform us about him, primarily based on what you have seen in apply or in any other case?
Campbell: Daniel is aware of his athletic limitations. He additionally is aware of he has to distribute the ball shortly to function the scheme successfully. His upside is his data of the offense, which truly is extra superior than Trubisky’s due to his previous expertise enjoying for Matt Nagy.
Within the Bears’ penultimate preseason sport, Daniel carved up the Chiefs starters within the first half by getting the ball out shortly on quick throws — precisely what Nagy’s West Coast offense is designed to do. So possibly the Bears will not take as many downfield photographs Thursday, however they nonetheless ought to be capable of transfer the ball.
Behind the scenes, Daniel is the epitome of a job participant. Get this: His profession earnings exceed $28 million, however he has solely thrown 78 regular-season passes. That claims all of it about how supportive he’s as a backup and the way he accepts that function. Can he win a sport, although? We’re about to search out out.
MLive: The Bears went with a pass-heavy sport plan within the first assembly to assault a Lions secondary that was with out Darius Slay. Now Slay is again, and Trubisky is perhaps out, which may lend itself to extra of a run-oriented sport plan. How have Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen been this yr?
Campbell: The Bears’ working sport has been a supply of consternation for Nagy. After Howard and Cohen mixed for 36 yards on 18 carries within the first sport in opposition to the Lions (some simple math for you there), Nagy mentioned: “I did not see loads of (out there) yards. It was powerful sledding. … To me, it is a problem. Because of this I am a coach. Because of this all of us coach, is to get these solutions, determine it out. And we’ll do all the pieces we will — we’re not going to cease attempting till we get this factor proper.”
I feel the Bears’ speeding issues begin with blocking breakdowns, to which Nagy alluded. A’Shawn Robinson and Snacks Harrison did effectively controlling blocks within the first assembly. I am to see what the Bears attempt to do to vary that.
MLive: Chicago has received 4 straight video games and is cruising towards an NFC North title, all below a first-year coach. Detroit, in the meantime, has fallen into final place below a first-year coach. I am simply curious, how has Matt Nagy been in a position to obtain a lot fast success?
Campbell: There have been individuals at staff headquarters who reached the top of final season believing that the Bears have been nearer to rivalry than their 5-11 document indicated. These people thought the Bears have been solely a brand new coach and a few new receivers away from contending. That is a great distance of claiming Nagy has exploited the additions of Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller and Trey Burton within the passing sport.
Defensively, the Bears already have been good from a yardage standpoint. They only lacked huge performs. Properly, after buying and selling for Khalil Mack, they lead the NFL in takeaways.
To Nagy’s credit score, his misdirection-filled, quarterback-intensive offense has helped, as has his quarterback experience in creating Trubisky. He is also relatable, energetic, pleasant and aggressive. He is simple to work together with, and the early success has inspired gamers to observe him. The result’s a staff brimming with confidence.
MLive: The Bears throttled Detroit a week-and-a-half in the past. They get their first season sweep within the collection since 2012 if …
Campbell: … they do not flip the ball over. Trubisky threw three picks within the second half at Ford Discipline final December, because the Bears offensive ineptitude carried the day. Daniel will likely be purposeful as a result of he is aware of the offense and is aware of his limitations. Perhaps I will eat these phrases, however I even assume it is potential that Daniel’s data of the offense permits him to be extra environment friendly in spurts than Trubisky.
That mentioned, I do not assume the Bears ought to be favored on this sport. The three.5 factors is an excessive amount of for me. The Lions’ run protection seems improved, and they need to be aggressive, even with out Kerryon Johnson and Marvin Jones.
The Bears protection may find yourself scoring, as they’ve 3 times within the final three video games, and that has constantly tilted the sphere of their favor this season. In a sport that would go both means, I will go: Bears 22, Lions 20.