Don’t get too used to the Chicago Bears winning, folks. The Bears hardly beat the worst team in football on Thanksgiving, where it took them a last-second field goal to beat the winless Detroit Lions.
Matt Nagy might still have a job for now, but next week, things could change rapidly.
The Bears are getting set to face the 9-2 Arizona Cardinals in Week 13, a team that has maintained the NFL’s best record despite their star quarterback not having played since Week 8.
Speaking of Kyler Murray, it is looking as if he will make his return on Sunday against the Bears. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury said on Monday that he’s hopeful Murray will be able to suit up. Kingsbury also mentioned the same sentiment when speaking about All Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
If Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins play on Sunday, the Chicago Bears are in for a long afternoon.
Murray has been out a little while with an ankle sprain, while Hopkins has dealt with a hamstring injury.
You have to believe Murray is champing at the bit to get back, especially knowing his Cardinals are still at the top of the NFL, record-wise. Colt McCoy has done an admirable job filling in for Murray, but it now looks like it’s time for the former no. 1 overall pick to resume his duties.
To this point in the season, Murray is still number one in the league with a 110.4 rating, throwing for just over 284 yards per game. Before getting injured, Murray was on pace to shatter previous career-bests.
In 2020, Murray threw for just under 4,000 yards. This season, if he hadn’t gotten hurt, Murray would have been pacing for 4,828 yards and 36 passing touchdowns. He’s also completing over 72 percent of his passes and averaging 8.9 yards per attempt, which are by far and away career-highs.
As for Hopkins, he’s also eager to get back, as evidenced by checking himself back into the game a few weeks ago after getting hurt. This guy is a competitor. Hopkins has been around long enough for everyone to know just how lethal he is. He is as consistent as they come. Hopkins’ catch radius knows no bounds, as he makes the most difficult receptions look mundane.
The Bears defense has managed to play pretty well over the past two weeks, but it has also helped that they’ve played against Tyler Huntley and Jared Goff. Prior to those two games where they gave up a combined 30 points, the Bears were allowing 31 points per game over their previous four games.
Now, they enter a gauntlet of two weeks featuring these Cardinals followed by Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
If both Murray and Hopkins come back to face the Bears this Sunday, and the defense plays like they’ve played for the majority of the season, it could get ugly — and fast.