Some quick thoughts on a 16-6 Bears win over the Vikings:
How it Happened
After already losing Akiem Hicks due to a knee injury suffered last Monday Night and Roquan Smith being inactive due to personal reasons, things looked grim to start. It looked even worse when Mitch Trubisky injured his shoulder in the first drive and was declared out fairly soon after.
Fear not, because even without three defensive starters in the front-seven, the defense stepped up big time. Nick Williams had two sacks stepping in for Hicks while Nick Kwiatkoski had eight solo tackles, one sack, and two tackles-for-loss replacing Smith.
Meanwhile Khalil Mack was his normal dominant self with one-and-a-half sacks, one of which was a strip sack leading to a Bears field goal.
Stepping in for Trubisky, Chase Daniel 22-for-30 for 195 yards and one touchdown, good for a passer rating of 101.4. Most of the production was in the first half as the team went into a more conservative approach in the second half.
Allen Robinson caught all seven of his targets for 77 yards and Javon Wims had four catches for 56 yards as the two main recipients of targets in the passing game.
In the running game, David Montgomery had 21 carries for 53 yards as the teams run game is still struggling to get going. Tarik Cohen added a pedestrian five yards on 11 carries.
The Next Men Up
As previously mentioned the Bears were without three starters defensively in Hicks and Smith as well as Bilal Nichols who has missed the last two games. One of the National Football League’s favorite sayings is “the next man up” for a reason though.
Well, not only did the combination of Nick Williams, Nick Kwiatkowski, Kevin Pierre-Louis and Abdullah Anderson not screw things up but they had huge games.
By the end of the game those four had a combined three sacks, four tackles-for-loss, and 21 tackles. I would go as far to say that the aforementioned players were key reasons as to why this team won. Everyone knows what Mack, Danny Trevathan, Leonard Floyd, and Eddie Goldman can do.
Now we know the team has the depth to withstand injuries even to key players.
With that being said, let’s hope Hicks can get healthy and nothing is too serious about Smith’s situation.
Dalvin Cook 14 carries for 35 yards
Everyone knew coming into this game this was the matchup to watch. The Vikings rushing attack versus the Bears stout run defense. Through the first three weeks the Vikings were averaging nearly 194 yards on the running game and had won games largely because of that.
With three starters out, many fans were worried about how the Bears would handle this elite rushing attack.
Well it did not take long for that fear to be squashed. Cook never really could get going and ended the game with a 2.5 average yards per attempt. Just a reminder that he came into this game averaging 6.6 yards per carry.
In fact, his longest run was only nine yards, and his only run that surpassed five yards, as the Bears defense just absolutely smothered him all game long.
So far this looks like a defense who saw all the articles and predictions on regression and took them personally. Not only have they not regressed but some might argue that they have improved.
Check out this week’s postgame show for complete game coverage …