One change that the Chicago Bears must make before Week 6
The Chicago Bears have a short week as they face the Washington Commanders on Thursday night. The team is coming off a close loss to the Minnesota Vikings that propelled the Vikings into first place in the NFC North and the Bears remain in third behind the Packers. Luckily, the Lions keep being the Lions and losing football games. However, this is a must-win game for the Bears if they plan on keeping pace with the top dogs of the NFC North. It’s also a very winnable game.
There is one change though that Chicago Bears need to make before Week 6. This change isn’t a guarantee that the Bears win, but I think it couldn’t hurt. It also is the right move for the team long-term. I have been one of the biggest proponents for Dante Pettis. I correctly projected them keeping him on the 53-man roster. That said, it’s time for him to take a backseat to rookie WR, Velus Jones, Jr.
The Chicago Bears should be playing Velus Jones over Dante Pettis going forward
Throughout the first five weeks, Dante Pettis has averaged 54% of the offensive snaps each week. In Week 5 vs the Vikings, he saw 60%. That said, he has five targets between Week 4 and Week 5 with three drops. All season he only has one catch — although a nice one where he was wide open for 51 yards and a touchdown. It’s now time to move on — again coming from a Pettis supporter. He is now Dante “Drops” Pettis and that’s not someone you can count on.
If you want to give Pettis the reps that Ihmir Smith-Marsette was seeing, that’s fine. I have now given him the nickname of Ihmir “Brain Fart” Smith-Marsette because he cost the Chicago Bears a touchdown on the 50+ run by Fields for a touchdowninstea. Then, instead of going out of bounds to stop the clock, he fights for more yardage which leads to a fumble and the end of the game. He saw 10% of the offensive snaps in Week 4 and 38% in Week 5.
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No matter which of these two — Pettis or Smith-Marsette — the Bears coaching staff wants to use is fine by me. However, I want to see Velus Jones, Jr. given a legit chance at playing more than just on special teams. If he’s not on the field, it’s not due to his prior hamstring injury. Is he not caught up on the playbook? He had one touch on three snaps in Week 5 and turned one into a touchdown. This team needs more of that efficiency. There isn’t a logical reason to not play through his growing pains in the same way they are with other rookies who are starting.