The Chicago Bears were expected to beat up on a lesser opponent in Washington, and for the first half, that’s exactly what they did.
Mitch Trubisky responded to the critics by throwing three touchdowns, including what might have been the best throw of his career on a 36-yard dime to Taylor Gabriel, who caught all three of Trubisky’s touchdowns.
While the offense sputtered in the second half as they only scored a field goal as they were able to hold on for a 31-15 win, my first takeaway is all about what the first half showed me.
It wasn’t quite on the level of his six-touchdown performance against Tampa Bay last year, but Trubisky did exactly what had to be done against a bad Washington team.
While he noticeably slowed down in the second half and had an inexcusable interception at the goal line, he showed the accuracy that fans have been demanding by going completing 25 of his 31 pass attempts.
He’s going to need to do more against the Minnesota Vikings next week if the Bears hope to win, but today was a big step in the right direction.
That interception is surely concerning, but now isn’t the time to be greedy after Trubisky’s putrid performance the first two weeks of the year.
At this moment, Bears fans should be happy with how he looked overall.
2. Defensive Takeaways
Speaking of showing improvements …
Remember when fans were concerned with the lack of takeaways the defense has produced so far?
Crickets should be all you hear in that regard this week after the defense forced two interceptions and three fumbles.
They looked gassed towards the end of the game (thank you, offense), but they were still able to come up when it mattered most as Danny Trevathan forced a fumble in the red zone, which Eddie Jackson recovered.
Khalil Mack had the best game of his young season as he collected two sacks and two forced fumbles and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix had quite the homecoming, as he had two interceptions against his former team, the first coming as a pick-six.
The defense doesn’t need to prove anything; they haven’t missed a step from last year, and are good enough to lead this team on a dominant tear as long as the offense is decent.
While the overall performance on offense and defense were improvements, both units are still lacking discipline as they committed nine more penalties, bringing that total up to 26 on the year, which is the 5th most in the NFL so far.
Whether fans feel that refs are calling cheap penalties on the Bears and complaining about how Khalil Mack gets held on every other play without getting a call, 26 penalties through three games is inexcusable and they must be better in all three phases.
The penalties weren’t costly this week, but a good team will make the Bears pay for their mistakes.
4. Eddy Piñeiro is “Chicago” Tough
It’s old news that Chicago is a city where you will struggle to find success in if you’re soft.
It doesn’t matter what sport you play; if you aren’t leaving it all out there on the field, fans are going to come for you with no remorse.
After coming out onto the field with an obvious limp and missing his first attempted field goal, twitter was calling for him to rest the remainder of the game so he wouldn’t make it worse.
There were no negative comments about him missing a kick, which is rare here in Chicago.
He’s already a hero after last week’s performance, but his commitment to this team by hobbling onto the field, making all four of his extra points and a field goal later in the second half, he proved how much he wants to be on the field and kick for this team.
5. Running Back Usage
It took three weeks, but Matt Nagy might have discovered the best way to use his running backs.
David Montgomery got the majority of the touches for the Bears, getting 16 touches for a total of 81 yards, while Tarik Cohen only got the ball 6 times for a total of 24 yards, with 24 of those yards coming on a clutch third down reception.
It always seemed like Mike Davis would be the odd-man out and it was obvious today as he only had one carry while Montgomery caught his breath on the sideline.
There may come a time where Davis has a big game or Cohen takes over a game, but this offense is at its best when Montgomery is the centerpiece.