What We Saw: Week 1

Deebo Samuel became the King of the Jungle after his performance against the Lions.

Bears Rams

Final Score: Rams 34, Bears 14

Writer: Corey Saucier (@Deputy_Commish on Twitter, /u/Lights_Kamara_Action on Reddit)


With so much hype surrounding QB Matthew Stafford‘s first year at the helm of the Rams’ high-flying offense, fantasy expectations were riding high coming into this Sunday night matchup. Stafford delivered – finishing with over 300 passing yards and 3 TDs in his first appearance in his new home stadium. Chicago’s defense actually did a decent job of keeping Stafford and the Rams’ offense in check for long stretches, but ultimately fell victim to the big play, repeatedly. Chicago held the ball for longer than Los Angeles (35:14-24:46) and ran significantly more plays (69-50) as well, but two early turnovers and some questionable play calls later on ultimately sunk their chances of a comeback. The brightest star in the Bears’ offense was clearly RB David Montgomery. Montgomery was able to do what not a single back could throughout the entire 2020 season – rush for over 100 yards against the Rams’ stout rush defense. Were there any major surprises worth taking a look at? Let’s dive into what we saw:


Chicago Bears




Andy Dalton: 27/38, 206 yards, INT

Justin Fields: 2/2, 10 yards | 1 carry, 3 yards, TD


Let me just say that I feel bad for Bears QB Andy Dalton. He is in an impossible situation while the entire world watches rookie QB Justin Fields waiting in the wings. Dalton has had the starting vote of confidence from Bears’ head coach Matt Nagy from day one. And while it seems inevitable that Fields will ultimately overtake Dalton for the starting job, how long must this offense sputter under Dalton’s direction? To be fair, I would honestly feel bad for any QB that has to go against Rams’ DT Aaron Donald for an entire evening. In the meantime, Sunday night’s game was not a vote of confidence for Dalton by any stretch. Dalton and the Bears’ opening drive ended with this interception on a tipped pass in the end-zone:



And while Dalton finished with a respectable 71% completion percentage, his lowly 5.4 yards per attempt really highlight just how infrequently he was able to take chances downfield. The Rams’ defense deserves much of the credit for leaving Dalton without much time to throw all night.

Fields only entered for a handful of snaps, completing both of his pass attempts, and also found his way into the end zone for this TD to bring the game within one score:


It will be interesting to see if Fields will slowly start to eat into Dalton’s workload, or if this mediocre Bears’ offense is here to stay.


Running Backs


David Montgomery: 16 carries, 108 yards, TD | 1 target, 1 reception, 10 yards

Damien Williams: 6 carries, 12 yards | 5 targets, 4 receptions, 28 yards


As I mentioned above, RB David Montgomery was the star of the show for Chicago’s offense. He repeatedly shed tacklers and picked up tons of yardage after contact. While he wasn’t utilized in the passing game much, Montgomery’s efficiency on the ground more than made up for it. Here’s his lone TD run, stumbling through contact and reaching over the goal line:



Montgomery appears to be well on his way to another season of solid fantasy production. We also saw former Chiefs RB Damien Williams getting all of the backup run while RB Tarik Cohen is out for at least the first six weeks of the season on the PUP list. Williams saw a bit of an extended role midway through the third while Montgomery appeared to have one of his fingers worked on by medical staff. Williams struggled on the ground but averaged a respectable 7 yards per catch out of the backfield.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


Allen Robinson: 11 targets, 6 receptions, 35 yards

Darnell Mooney: 7 targets, 5 receptions, 26 yards

Marquise Goodwin: 4 targets, 4 reception, 45 yards

Cole Kmet: 7 targets, 5 receptions, 42 yards

Damiere Byrd: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 19 yards


Dalton’s struggles under center became the struggles of the Bears’ pass-catching group. WR Allen Robinson had a healthy 11 targets but many of them were nowhere near catchable, nor could he get much going after the catch. First-year Bears WR Marquise Goodwin (yes, that Marquise Goodwin) led the team in receiving with just 45 yards. If Dalton is able to push the ball downfield, TE Cole Kmet could ultimately benefit the most. Kmet tied WR Darnell Mooney for the second-most targets behind Robinson, and Dalton looked for Kmet over the middle of the field often when he was feeling pressure in the pocket. Was the Rams’ defense just too much for Chicago to handle, or will the Bears’ pass-catchers be doomed to a dud of a season?


Los Angeles Rams




Matthew Stafford: 20/26, 321 yards, 3 TD


Rams’ QB Matthew Stafford appeared to be having the time of his life as he carved up Chicago’s secondary on Sunday night. Stafford took advantage of some poor defensive execution by Chicago’s secondary on several occasions. On this touchdown pass to WR Cooper Kupp, clearly, someone missed their assignment:


On this absolute bomb to WR Van Jefferson, we see another mistake in the secondary as the DBs fail to touch him down – allowing him to just pop back up and scoot into the end-zone:


Defensive mistakes or not, Stafford was out there throwing absolute bombs all over the field, and it looked like he had a great time doing it. This offense could be scary good.


Running Backs


Darrell Henderson: 16 carries, 70 yards, TD | 1 target, 1 reception, 17 yards

Sony Michel: 1 carry, 2 yards


Yes, you read that right: RB Sony Michel only touched the ball once on Sunday night against Chicago. We knew that RB Darrell Henderson would be the first one to get the ball, but his usage was very encouraging throughout the entire game. While Henderson wasn’t so efficient with his touches – especially early in the game – Rams HC Sean McVay clearly seems to be comfortable with Henderson in a three-down role in this offense. It doesn’t seem like a stretch to picture more games with the Rams well ahead in the 4th quarter and a steady dose of Henderson to run out the clock. It’s fair to imagine that Michel could be mixed in more as he becomes more familiar with the offense. That being said, this appears to be Henderson’s backfield to lose, and he didn’t do anything to lose it on Sunday night. Also, here’s a bonus TD run:



Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


Cooper Kupp: 10 targets, 7 receptions, 108 yards, TD

Robert Woods: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 27 yards, TD | 1 carry, 7 yards

Van Jefferson: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 80 yards, TD

Tyler Higbee: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 68 yards


If we had any questions about the chemistry between Rams’ QB Matthew Stafford and their receiving group, a lot of them were answered on Sunday. It’s been speculated that the entire group would benefit from Stafford’s replacement of former Rams QB (and current Lions QB) Jared Goff, and Sunday night’s performance seemed to prove exactly that. WR Cooper Kupp could be on tap for the biggest season of his career, and he got off to a great start by pacing Los Angeles’ pass-catchers with 108 receiving yards and nabbing that wide-open TD. Stafford only completed 20 passes, so the lower volume for the other receivers certainly hindered their performances. WR Robert Woods saved his performance from being a complete bust with this impressive display of body control to get both feet down in the back of the end-zone:



TE Tyler Higbee got off to a modest start, but with Los Angeles running the ball so often, Higbee fell victim to the low overall passing volume. This offense’s performance is an encouraging sign that Higbee will be a startable TE without any real competition for snaps.


Corey Saucier (@Deputy_Commish on Twitter, /u/Lights_Kamara_Action on Reddit)

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