2. The Chicago Bears need a career-year from Jaylon Johnson
This was going to be a huge year for Jaylon Johnson. He entered the year without a contract and is going to need to have a strong year to get paid in free agency this spring. The team may try to re-sign him, but at this point, he is expected to be on a new team next year. So, there is a lot on the line.
We wrote this summer that Johnson needed to create more interceptions if he wanted to see the big money. Johnson got his hands on a lot of footballs and broke plenty of passes up over his career, but he did not have the interception numbers that were going to get him paid.
With one pick in three years, Johnson doubled that number in one afternoon against the Las Vegas Raiders. Not only did he pick off two passes, he took one to the house. We wrote that the way Johnson plays should allow him to pick more passes off; it was just a matter of regressing back to the mean from all of his pass breakups. So, it should not be a surprise that they came in bunches. It also means that they may keep coming.
This is obviously a factor he knows about entering free agency, and it is a focus that he has improved on. His improvement, plus being due for a pick or two, could keep this going towards the end of the year. Jaylon Johnson is healthy now, and he may be playing his best football. This could be exciting to watch.