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Week 8 NFL Mailbag: What are the Chicago Bears?

Last Updated: Jan 9, 2021

Welcome to the Week 8 NFL Mailbag! Here are your best questions from Twitter about the NFL and the upcoming slate of games.

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Week 8 NFL Mailbag

What are the Chicago Bears? I can’t figure them out. What do you think?

(from @Arguing_Cowboys)

The Chicago Bears are one of the most frustrating teams in the NFL.

They are clearly talented; they might have the best defense in the NFL. They can rush the passer, they can stop the run and they can create takeaways.

But their problems lie on the other side of the ball with Nick Foles and their offensive line. Chicago is probably a playoff team in the NFC, and the Bears could even win a playoff game, depending on the matchup.

They are a good team, but the lack of a stable quarterback situation is holding them back from being a great team. Unfortunately, that isn’t going to be fixed anytime soon, so this remains a team in limbo.

Is there any chance the New Orleans Saints trade Michael Thomas?

(from @d_mallory17)

Probably not. New Orleans is in a Super Bowl window, and this may be Drew Brees’ last season.

The Saints aren’t going to do anything to jeopardize their playoff chances and they need to be adding talent, not removing it given the current arms race in the NFC South.

It wouldn’t be a complete shock if the Saints moved on from Thomas this offseason, but don’t expect it to happen before Tuesday’s trade deadline.

Week 8 NFL Mailbag: Michael Thomas probably won't be traded during the 2020 season
Don’t expect the Saints to trade wide receiver Michael Thomas this season. (USA TODAY Sports)

Who is the greatest red-zone receiver of all-time?

(from @NEFFL)

A historical question! I love it.

So I’m glad you mentioned “receiver" because I believe Rob Gronkowski is the greatest red-zone weapon I’ve ever seen.

His combination of size, strength and ability to track the ball in the air was nearly unstoppable at his prime.

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But if we are narrowing down this to only wide receivers, I think the answer is Dez Bryant. Bryant had/has a lot of holes in his game as he was never the most polished receiver, but his ability to win in the red zone was incredible. I’ve never seen a receiver with his ability to win on back-shoulder fades and traditional fade routes as consistently as Bryant.

Eventually, teams started doubling him in the red zone, and the Cowboys still found ways to get him the ball. His touchdown rate on passes inside the 5-yard line was unworldly, and I’m not sure we will ever see anything like that again.

If the Cowboys have a top-three pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, should they take a quarterback?

(from @dawes76)

This is becoming a common question over the last few weeks and a fair one. Dak Prescott is scheduled to be a free agent after the season, and the 2021 class has two elite quarterback prospects in Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields.

However, we know Prescott is developing into an elite quarterback, and he’s an even better leader. Prescott is proven and already has chemistry with the Cowboys’ receivers and the rest of the offense.

While there is a chance that Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields could become better players in the NFL at a lower price (initially), you don’t ever move away from a young, elite passer.

If Dallas winds up with a top pick, look for them to move back a few spots and address their league-worst defense.

Week 8 NFL Mailbag: Can Dez Bryant make noise in the red zone for the Ravens?
Dez Bryant, seen here in 2017, could eventually help the Ravens and QB Lamar Jackson when he’s promoted from the practice squad. (USA TODAY Sports)

How long until Dez Bryant is on the Ravens’ active roster?

(from @HaydenCowboys)

Speaking of Dez Bryant….

I think it may be a few weeks. Dez hasn’t played since the end of the 2017 season, and he’s had a few injuries since then.

With Bryant on the practice squad, they can use that time to make sure his conditioning is right, and he can learn the playbook. I don’t expect him to have a significant role in the offense anytime soon, but for the Ravens to potentially use him near the red zone as previously mentioned.

Do you think the Raiders will make any moves at the trade deadline?

(from @JamaicanM1ke)

I wouldn’t be surprised if they are in the market for a veteran defensive end. I thought Carlos Dunlap would have made a ton of sense given his relationship with defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, but the Raiders obviously weren’t interested, and he wound up in Seattle.

Keep an eye on Falcons DE Takk McKinnley and Cowboys DE Aldon Smith as potential options.

That is all the time we have today! Please make sure to follow us on Twitter and you can follow me @Marcus_Mosher to ask me NFL questions for next week’s blog!

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Author

Marcus Mosher

Marcus Mosher is an NFL analyst at The Game Day, residing in Erie, PA. He covers the NFL from a betting and fantasy perspective, producing written and video content. Marcus currently hosts multiple football-related podcasts and is a managing editor at USA Today’s Sports Media Group covering the Las Vegas Raiders. He has previously worked at The Athletic and Bleacher Report.

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