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Bears need fast start vs. Lions … or else

Bears coach Matt Nagy greets Lions coach Matt Patricia after the Bears' 34-22 victory over hte Lions on Nov. 11, 2018 at Soldier Field.

Bears coach Matt Nagy greets Lions coach Matt Patricia after the Bears’ 34-22 victory over the Lions on Nov. 11, 2018 at Soldier Field. | David Banks/AP Photos

After an historically bad first half against the Eagles last week, the Bears could be one half, one quarter, one drive or even one play from home-field disadvantage.

That the wolves are ready to pounce doesn’t make the job any tougher for Bears left tackle Charles Leno.

“It doesn’t, because I never think about what other people have to say,” Leno said.

Yeah, but this is different. This isn’t a Week 1 opener after a playoff season. This is Week 10 of a disappointing 3-5 season marked by a mystifying offensive regression. The Bears have used up an entire playoff season’s worth of good will in record time.

The warning signs were there two weeks ago. The Bears were booed as they left the field at halftime against the Chargers on Oct. 27 when they had six snaps inside the 5-yard-line — including three at the goal line — in the final minute of the half and settled for a field goal. After an historically bad first half against the Eagles last week, the Bears could be one half, one quarter, one drive or even one play from home-field disadvantage.

“Like I said, I don’t care what anyone says. I never have. And I never will,” Leno said. “I go out there and just do my job. At the end of the day, we’re out there playing football.”

Coach Matt Nagy, quarterback Mitch Trubisky and the Bears’ offense that ranks 29th in the NFL in total yards, 27th in rushing and 30th in passing will be under the microscope of scrutiny like never before in the Nagy era today against the Lions. It’s a perfect spot for a rejuvenation. They’re playing a Lions defense ranked 31st in total yards, 27th in rushing and 30th in passing. And they’re at home — though that’s a double-edged sword in this one. The weather should be decent, with temperatures in the high 30s and light winds. But the angst is high and the patience thin.

The three keys to this one are simple: 1. Start fast; 2. Start fast; and 3. Start fast. The Bears are in a tough spot. A team that has not scored an offensive touchdown in the first half in its last four games needs to score early or face the wrath of a disappointed, disillusioned home crowd about to burst with pent-up frustration.

Nagy knows his team can’t afford to worry about that.

“You start getting into how people think … if you do that going into the game, you’re beat,” Nagy said. “Everybody says, ‘What if, what if, what if.’ Why can’t you be positive about it? And say, ‘No, we are going to — mentality wise — go into this thing and think positively.’ Because if you go into it thinking negatively, you’re in trouble. So let’s …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

      

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