Bears Urged to Make Better Use of Former 2nd-Round Pick

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The Chicago Bears rivalry with the Green Bay Packers “means something to me”, third-year tight end Cole Kmet said. This week will mark the 205th meeting between the two franchises and Kmet, a native of nearby Lake Barrington, is no stranger to how significant every meeting is even though the hated rival has had the upper hand for a long time now.

It’s still a big game.

TE Cole Kmet Must Be a Bigger Part of the Bears’ Gameplan

Built for This

Big games need big-time players to step up. And the 6-foot-6 Kmet would seem to be a fitting target heading into Week 2 against a Packers defense that was in the bottom half of the league in catches and tied for the sixth-most touchdowns allowed to the position last season.

“If the Bears are going to get more consistent play out of [Justin] Fields—and keep the chains moving via the pass,” argues Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox, “tight end Cole Kmet should be one of the QB’s go-to outlet options. Kmet, who had 60 receptions and 612 yards last season, appeared to be developing some preseason chemistry with Fields.”

He finished Week 1’s slop fest with just one target and zero catches but some solid blocking in the run game.

With Fields completing 8-of-17 passes and the offense going 5-of-14 on third down, Knox points out that both touchdowns came on long plays of 18 and 51 yards.

He caught seven passes for 66 yards combined in two meetings with the Packers last season. But the hope is new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy – formerly of the Packers – identifies that potential weakness.

Fields’ tendency to look touchdown-to-checkdown (the latter often coming too late) means that he can sometimes miss the easy throws to the tight end.

This would be a game to lean on that budding relationship.

“They need to ensure that Fields is regularly looking in his tight end’s direction,” concludes Knox, “beginning this Sunday night against the rival Green Bay Packers.”

It would be the Bears’ first victory over the Packers since 2018 and their first victory in Lambeau since 2015.

Kmet Sees the Bigger Picture

After the Bears’ Week 1 victory, I asked Kmet how he felt he played considering he was unable to record a catch. He said he felt he “played well” given the conditions. A deluge led to the Bears needing to lean on their run game and Fields hitting those scoring bombs.

“I think we scored at the right times before the weather hit…so we got lucky in that regard. And our defense was able to hold it off the rest of the way.”

Kmet added that weather games are fun “once in a while” but he prefers a dome if the Bears move to Arlington as planned, a sentiment teammate Ryan Griffin agreed with.

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One for the Road

Fields completed 34-of-60 passes for two touchdowns and three interceptions in two games against the Packers last season. 13 of those targets went to tight ends with 10 going to Kmet directly.

If the Bears want to sneak out of Lambeau Field with a win on Sunday they might want to try exploiting that matchup more frequently.

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