Chicago Bears: Look for this player to breakout vs the Rams

Chicago Bears (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /

When looking over this matchup, it is hard to determine anyone on the Chicago Bears roster who may break out versus this Rams team. The Rams have a serious depth chart at major positions, while the Chicago Bears have some serious holes. I could easily point out how Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods could dominate this weak Bears secondary. I could easily point out how Matthew Stafford should also do well in this Sean McVay offense.

While attempting to find a weak spot on the Rams roster, the one area the Chicago Bears might have success is the tight end position. It will be difficult to narrow down exactly how the tight end position will play out from a snaps percentage, however, Cole Kmet is the legitimate starter now and at the end of the season last year, his snap share was over 50 percent higher than Jimmy Graham.

The Rams corners are legitimate with both Jalen Ramsey and Darious Williams. The Chicago Bears will struggle to find areas to attack the field with those two playing on the outside. Jalen Ramsey is well known and clearly one of the better corners in the league — if not the best. For those of you unfamiliar with Williams, he has seen his importance increase over the last couple of years.

Williams is an undrafted free agent who has worked his way up into a starting role for the Rams. He originally signed with the Baltimore Ravens in 2018. After being waived, the Rams claimed him and he’s been with Los Angeles ever since. He hardly saw any action in 2018 outside of a few snaps here and there. His role increased in 2019 though and he started three games. Last year, Williams played on 81 percent of the team’s defensive snaps.

Williams was targeted 72 times last year and only allowed 54.2 percent of those passes to be completed. Quarterbacks have only found the end zone once versus him and had a quarterback rating of 61.1. He also walked away with four interceptions and 14 pass deflections last year.

Now that you know why I do not have Darnell Mooney listed, sorry to everyone who loved the Wikipedia changes stating that Mooney is Jalen Ramsey’s father. Mooney could play well, but I don’t trust him as a breakout in this game.

The Chicago Bears must use their tight ends successfully for a chance to win

Instead, I’ll go with Cole Kmet (or what I should say is the tight end position as a whole). The Chicago Bears will need to use their tight ends to attack the Rams linebackers. The starting linebackers for the Rams are Kenny Young, Troy Reeder and the ever-familiar Leonard Floyd.

Kenny Young is not the best while in coverage. He allowed 82.1 percent of the passes thrown his way to go for completions in 2020. Over the last two seasons, Troy Reeder has allowed 94.1% and 76.9% of his targets to go for completions. Then they have Leonard Floyd, who hardly goes in coverage for the Rams. He allowed all seven of the balls thrown his way to go for completions. He struggled in this area with the Bears though too.

All three of these linebackers were on the roster last season for the Rams and Chicago already saw some success by using the tight ends in the passing game. Last year, Jimmy Graham caught five passes for 31 yards while Kmet caught two for 45. Even Demetrius Harris got in on the action with two catches for 15 yards. That’s nine catches for 91 yards. I expect Kmet to be better too as he split the snaps with Graham evenly in their last meeting versus the Rams.

If I am Matt Nagy, I am going to use his speedy wide receivers to spread the ball downfield with some deep routes that will help open up the middle of the field for the tight ends. I am expecting to see plenty of heavy (two tight ends) sets with either 12 or 22 personnel formations. We saw in training camp and the preseason how Jesse James can be useful in the passing game this season.

Next. Just how bad was Ryan Pace this offseason?. dark

Matt Nagy should use all three of his top tight ends, but as Cole Kmet should see the lion’s share of snaps, He is my prediction to be the actual breakout. I could easily see him come away with seven catches for 85 yards and a touchdown in this game, especially with Andy Dalton being a slight upgrade over Nick Foles.