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A 100 Years Of History, And Friday Before The Bears

It's been more than 100 years since the first meeting between the Cardinals and the Bears – Nov. 28, 1920, in the first of two games between the teams that year during the inaugural season of the league that would eventually be come to known as the NFL.

Sunday's game in Chicago is the 91st meeting between the teams. The last game? That just happened to be the last time Sam Bradford appeared in a Cardinals' uniform, opening the door for Josh Rosen to play during that disastrous 2018 season, the results of which begat Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray.

The last two times the Cardinals went to Chicago? They were both blowout wins for the Cardinals, with excellent quarterbacks, on the way to an NFC West championship that season (2009 and 2015). So yeah, that tracks for this visit.

Of course, the storyline is and will continue to be Murray and DeAndre Hopkins, and if they will play. (IMO, my guess is that Murray is in the lineup and Hop might be a little more tenuous. But again, that's a guess.) I know the wait has become frustrating to fans, but if the Cardinals keep winning, it doesn't matter.

(Unless the frustration is fantasy football-related, and then, well, not much you can do.)

-- We will see what the Cards look like post-bye. In Kingsbury's two seasons, they are 0-2 in their first game after the bye, losing to the Super Bowl-bound Rams in 2019 and then to the Dolphins last year. Both those games were at home. Kingsbury said the Cards did some research on going into and coming out of the bye, so we'll see if it works. Since the Cards are, objectively, better than the Bears, that's a good place to start.

-- Pro Football Focus compiled a quarterback ranking that included a QB's accuracy rate over expected, expected points added, and the player's raw PFF grade. The best in the NFL when all of that is combined? Kyler Murray. (Dak Prescott and Justin Herbert were No. 2 and No. 3 heading into this week's games.)

Expected points added, by the way, measures how much a drive might be worth when it starts, and then adding or subtracting the results of subsequent plays. (A Murray 15-yard completion on the first play is going to help the number; a sack taken will drive it down.)

-- With it being Bears week, normally I've by now made all kinds of comments about someone being who we thought he was, or someone treating the first game back after the bye like it's bullbleep, bullbleep. But why do all that when we have a great episode of Folktales that tells Denny Green's story, an episode of which I am very proud since I took the lead in directing. If you haven’t, please check it out.

And listen to the podcast! (There is bonus Denny Green press conference gold at the end.)

-- The Bears have allowed the most sacks in the NFL. I'm thinking Chandler Jones and Markus Golden will take notice.

-- Kingsbury said defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence, who is on IR but in the middle of his window to return, will not be activated this week for the Bears.

-- Kingsbury shrugged off the weather forecast, which as of Friday was low 40s with 20 mile-an-hour winds and an 80 percent chance of rain. Everyone has played in it, he said. As for the wind, "I coached in a place called Lubbock Texas, which is about the windiest place on earth. I'm accustomed to it. Kyler played at Oklahoma, where it's quite gusty."

(Wait, does that mean Kyler is definitely playing?)

-- Speaking of wind, that can impact the kicking game too, and Matt Prater did not have a good game his last time out. But Kingsbury said the veteran kicker – who missed two field goals and an extra point in Seattle – is fine.

"He really hasn't blinked at it," Kingsbury said.

-- The last word comes from Kyler Murray, who did say that watching the game from the sideline when you don't play is "kind of relaxing."

"You're getting a different perspective of the game" Murray said. "Not necessarily making it as crucial as we do, in a sense. I think when you're back there playing quarterback there's a lot of moving parts, things are moving faster than they may seem. And then watching it from the sideline, everything slows down, and you see it for what it is. I definitely think I took something away from it."

See you Sunday.

Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald straight-arms a Bears DB in Chicago in 2015