Colts @ Bears
Welcome back to a simpler time when quarterbacks didn’t throw much and defenses were stout. This game didn’t feature many yards (just 279 per team), much scoring (15 points per team), or even any exciting defensive plays (there was a single interception by Nick Foles). The Colts held off the Bears thanks to a first-quarter touchdown and a string of four field goals. Chicago managed a late touchdown and 2-point conversion but was held to three points for the first 57 minutes of the game. Here’s what I saw in this game.
Philip Rivers: 16/29, 190 yards, 1 TD; 3 carries, -4 yards
Philip Rivers shouldn’t be on your fantasy radar, save for deeper two-quarterback leagues. Despite the praise from the announcers for career achievements, Rivers’ day was a mix of short throws, the occasional deep shot, and more than a few throws that should have been picked off. Rivers escaped without a turnover but still failed to hit 200 yards passing. Through four games, he is averaging one touchdown per game and just under 250 passing yards. He is just a guy and there isn’t much more to say. His longest throw came on the first drive on a pass to Zach Pascal when the Bears’ defense broke down.
Philip Rivers will dish out some smack talk any time he can pic.twitter.com/jOkYlvOEUS
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) October 4, 2020
Jonathan Taylor: 17 carries, 68 yards; 1 target, 1 reception, 11 yards
Nyheim Hines: 9 carries, 24 yards; 3 targets, 3 receptions, 8 yards
Jordan Wilkins: 9 carries, 15 yards; 1 target, 1 reception, 16 yards
I can’t be alone in wondering when Jonathan Taylor will squeeze Jordan Wilkins out of this backfield. Taylor was clearly the better runner, and I don’t see why Wilkins is getting as much play as he is. Throw Nyheim Hines into the mix, and the margin for Taylor to succeed gets thinner and thinner. I have to imagine this is the Colts bringing the rookie along slowly, and Taylor is still destined to dominate at some point. I just hope it’s sooner than later. He made a couple of nice runs, but things were mostly bottled up today. Nyheim Hines remains usable, though he is going to play better against worse defenses. While the Chicago defense is not what it was a couple years ago, it still slowed everything to a crawl. Jordan Wilkins is only interesting if something happens to Taylor.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Zach Pascal: 8 targets, 3 receptions, 58 yards
TY Hilton: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 29 yards
Parris Campbell: out
Michael Pittman: out
Trey Burton: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 16 yards
Mo Alie-Cox: 2 targets, 1 reception, 13 yards, TD
Philip Rivers to Mo Alie-Cox For the second time in as many weeks. #FantasyFootball | #Colts pic.twitter.com/eSSaxrqYG2
— QB List (@TheQBlist) October 4, 2020
As I said before, this was not an inspiring effort by the Indianapolis passing game. After the first drive, the Colts totaled only 130 passing yards the rest of the way. Zach Pascal was clearly the favorite target, but he was quiet after the aforementioned first long target. T.Y. Hilton made a few nice catches, but he only saw five targets in total. With Parris Campbell and Michael Pittman out, I will continue to have low expectations for this passing offense and its weapons. Stick with Jonathan Taylor, but ignore the rest. Keep an eye on Trey Burton to see if his role increases to something more meaningful.
Nick Foles: 26/42, 249 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 2 carries, -1 yard
Things will be better with Nick Foles behind center. Look what happened last week! Remember that amazing Super Bowl? I’ll admit that I drank the kool-aid too. I was excited to see what the Bears would do this week with Matt Nagy and Nick Foles back together at last. Well, I’m going to have to keep waiting. Foles struggled early against an Indianapolis defense that was completely stifling. Don’t look at those final numbers; Foles had 159 yards and no touchdowns with four minutes left in the game. He only salvaged things on the last drive against the Colts prevent defense, which included another 90 yards and a nice touchdown catch by Allen Robinson. He had a few nice throws, but there were just as many bad plays. The offense also stayed short too often, becoming predictable as we’ve seen with Trubisky behind center. If this doesn’t change, the outlook is poor.
David Montgomery: 10 carries, 27 yards; 6 targets, 3 receptions, 30 yards
Cordarelle Patterson: 3 carries, 5 yards; 2 targets, 1 reception, 0 yards
David Montgomery remains the lead back in Chicago, and it seems like he will eat the workload that Tarik Cohen had. Still, that won’t matter if this offensive line can’t do a better job blocking. Through four games, my take is that David Montgomery is just a guy, but one in line for plenty of carries and receptions. He needs this offense to function better, though. I believe the Bears want him to eat, but they couldn’t get things working today. The result was Montgomery constantly being met at the line–or behind it–with nowhere to go. He is not a speedy or agile back who can make guys repeatedly miss. He needs some space to get himself moving and to bounce off contact. Chicago just isn’t creating that space. As long as they don’t, this backfield is tough to count on.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Allen Robinson: 10 targets, 7 receptions, 101 yards, 1 TD
Darnell Mooney: 9 targets, 5 receptions, 52 yards
Anthony Miller: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 16 yards
Jimmy Graham: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 33 yards
Thank goodness for garbage time. Before the Bears’ last drive, Allen Robinson was sitting on 2 receptions and 32 yards. He made some excellent grabs–as usual–including Chicago’s lone touchdown. With his team 16 yards out, Robinson ran down the sideline to the end zone. He elevated over his defender and made an excellent grab while managing to keep his feet in-bounds.
We don’t deserve Allen Robinson
— PFF (@PFF) October 4, 2020
Robinson’s 2019 was clearly not a fluke, and I hope that he gets the new contract he is seeking. He deserves it. Outside of Robinson, no one here is usable in most leagues. Darnell Mooney was the second-favorite target on the day and he turned it into 5 catches. Mooney’s best grab came early in the second with the Bears deep in their own territory. He elevated to pluck the ball out of the air for a 33-yard gain. Mooney should be owned in dynasty leagues, but this offense can’t support two wide receivers. Anthony Miller was quiet and played the third fiddle. It’s safe to drop him for more enticing waiver options. Jimmy Graham made a few catches but failed to find the end zone. I don’t recall a single red-zone target for him today–mostly because Chicago wasn’t ever in the red zone.
Mike Miklius (@SIRL0INofBEEF on Twitter)
not sure how splitting the work out of the Rams backfield is “very encouraging from a fantasy perspective”