Tight end Zach Miller, one of two Chicago Bears that led their team and the fantasy football world in week 10.
THREE BIG-PLAY BEARS FEAST AT RAMS’ HOME IN 37-13 VICTORY, FOLES BENCHED AFTER
Although the game in St. Louis was not as one-sided as the score indicates, it was still a long way from belonging to the favored Rams. In fact, outside of their very first drive, the Rams looked out-coached as well as outplayed for most of four quarters on both sides of the ball.
The improving Bears played superbly off a short week and appeared to be more than ready for a team with a growing notorious reputation on defense. In fact, rookie running back Jeremy Langford expressed more concern for doing well when the Rams send the blitz to help his quarterback than the match-up between he and the NFL’s latest ground game sensation Todd Gurley. And play well he did, with 73 yards on 20 carries and adding a damaging 109 yards on 7 receptions. 83 of his receiving yards came on one play, a perfectly-time screen pass just outside of a Rams all-out blitz that allowed him to outrun the remains of the St. Louis secondary untouched for a score, one of his two TDs.
Bears tight end Zach Miller also had two heaping helpings of that same dish, scoring once on a similar play; a pass that traveled only two yards past the line of scrimmage was taken the 87 yard distance after Miller put a move on Rams corner Trumaine Johnson. Miller, who missed the past three seasons with injuries, doubled his season output to ten receptions with 5 Sunday for 107 yards and 2 TDs.
Quarterback Jay Cutler, who has actually been seen smiling on the sidelines, completed 19 of 24 for 258 yards and 3 touchdowns. Not overly amazing as it’s expected of him and the two short passes inflated his statline. What’s slightly shocking, however, is the take-off he displayed on a 26-yard run up the middle of Rams open real estate, his longest run since 2010. The good news for Rams fans is that Alshon Jeffery was not 100% and quite ineffective.
TWICE THE FANTASY FOR BEARS’ FANS
Both Langford and Miller topped their respective fantasy football categories in week 10, while Cutler — 22nd overall entering the day — finished third-best behind Kirk Cousins and Ben Roethlisberger. Most likely, you had to be a fan to play any of the three if you had better available on your roster.
NICK FOLES BENCHED FOR WEEK 11
For now, it appears that the offseason move to re-acquire quarterback Case Keenum was at least as smart a move as the straight-up trade that sent Sam Bradford to Philadelphia for Nick Foles. Case, who returned to the Rams from the Texans for a 7th-round pick, will get the start next week for the struggling Nick Foles. The decision (no doubt aided by the two season-ending injuries to linemen Jamon Brown and Darrell Williams) came the afternoon after coach Fisher stated that Foles would remain the starter. In pre-season spot play, he had impressed the Rams enough for them to release gunslinger Austin Davis and rookie draft pick Sean Mannion from Oregon State, throwing for 255 yards on 20 of 34 passes with 1 TD and a QBR of 92.2, a rating that would make Rams fans dance in the streets from St. Louis to Los Angeles.
Scoring summary per quarter:
FIRST QUARTER: Bears won the toss but deferred and the Rams uncharacteristically took the opening series straight up the field on a brilliant mixture of play-action pass plays that fooled the Bears badly early on, scoring on a determined 6-yard Todd Gurley run. The Bears answered on their second play of the game, a two-yard pass that tight end Zach Miller took the distance of 87 yards after one Rams defender fell and another got fooled on a nifty move by the larger Miller. The Rams went three-and-out but Chicago’s punt return was fumbled (Rams recovered). A holding penalty helped stall things and they settled for a 26-yard Zuerlein field goal. The Bears got a field goal of their own (35-yarder) off a Trey Mason fumble. Score: Rams 10, Bears 10
SECOND QUARTER: The Bears scored a touchdown on a drive that went only 65 yards in 12 plays to consume the clock (K. Carey, 6 yards). They scored again on their next series when defensive coordinator Greg Williams threw nearly everything at Cutler on a blitz, which he picked up and dumped a 5-yard pass to Jeremy Langford who found no resistance ahead for nearly 80 YAC yards. Halftime Score: Rams 10, Bears 24
THIRD QUARTER: Highlighted by a 37-yard pass to receiver Brian Quick, the Rams settled for another field goal of 38 yards. Score: Rams 13, Bears 24
FOURTH QUARTER: A 23-yard Langford run set up a quick 37-yard field goal reply for the Bears as both defenses had clamped down in the second half. However, with little hope as the final quarter clock ran continually, the Rams were forced to take a risks, once on a fake punt that failed, setting up another Bears field goal (36 yards), and another after they failed to move the ball yet again on third down, failing the 4th down pass attempt and setting up the last of the Bears scoring, the second Langford score (6 yard run). Final Score: Rams 13, Bears 37
For the Rams, Todd Gurley finished a second game in as many weeks without reaching 100 yards, mostly due to the Rams inefficiency on third down. He led his team, however, in both running and receiving yards with 45 yards on only 12 carries and 1 TD, and 44 yards by air on 3 receptions. Quarterback Nick Foles, in another losing effort, reached 200 yards passing for only the second time this season and the first time since week 1’s upset of the Seahawks. His QB rating this week was a sad 14.4. He has had a QBR of over 65 only once this season.
The Bears and Rams have identical records now at 4W-5L. The Bears find themselves in third-place, three games behind the Vikings and two behind the Packers in the NFC North division and faced the Denver Broncos, who have now lost two in a row and will be without Peyton Manning next week. The Rams remain in second, three behind the Cardinals but still even with the Seahawks, who lost to the Cardinals later in the day. They travel to Baltimore to take on the 2-7 Ravens, and will now try Case Keenum at quarterback.