Welp, the Bears lost in a game that I’m not even sure how to fully describe. This match wasn’t completely ugly but it wasn’t pretty. It also wasn’t a good game and it wasn’t a bad game either.
Here we go.
1. Mitch Trubisky …
Trubisky proved – at least to me – that the game against Tampa Bay wasn’t a fluke. I heard a take form Laurence Holmes from 670 the score that I actually agree with. Trubisky’s game against Miami was actually better than his game against the Buccaneers. The two deep throws to Taylor Gabriel, the back shoulder throw to Allen Robinson near the sideline and throwing his receivers into pass interference calls are all veteran quarterback plays.
He didn’t look like he was playing his 17th NFL game and was outstanding in the second half. Though the red zone interception is one you can’t have. Trubisky still is completing 70 percent of his passes on the season and wasn’t exactly the reason the Bears lost.
2. Matt Nagy …
Nagy is still learning just like Trubisky is. If he goes for a pass on 3rd and medium in overtime and it’s incomplete, you’re debating on a 4th and medium or a 60-yard field goal for your kicker that only has a career-long of 53 yards. If he runs the ball and it’s short, he at least picked up a few yards.
Nagy has been preaching about being aggressive all season. Most times he’s shown it but in this instance, I think he was just a little too conservative. It’s a learning experience nonetheless, and I think he’s shown that he learns from his mistakes.
3. Khalil Mack …
Mack was quiet for the day. Give credit to Miami Dolphins offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn. He’s become one of the more respected position coaches in football. Maybe the ankle injury Mack picked up slowed him down a bit but the front seven just couldn’t get to the quarterback much at all on Sunday.
He’ll be evaluated throughout the week, and hopefully, Mack will be good and ready to go versus the great Tom Brady and Bill Belichick when the Bears return home this week.
4. Miami Heat …
The NBA season started on Tuesday. (Here’s to being able to always have something to watch between NFL games!) A lot of people are making valid points about the heat exhausting the Bears team but it’s not an excuse for the defense looking completely flat and the offense lacking a punch in the first half. I strongly believe this was just a one-off game for the Bears.
Coming off of a full week of rest, I don’t think they come out and respond with a similar performance. I think there’s a slight advantage for the Bears. They run the same offense as Kansas City with a better defense and New England just played them on Sunday Night Football. Nagy should be studying his predecessor in Andy Reid very thoroughly.
5. Next week …
The Bears aren’t in some deep, dark pit of despair. They actually match up pretty well against Tom Brady and the Patriots. Without a deep analysis, I’d expect Nagy to target the linebackers all game. The Bears defense needs to remember who they are this season and have a strong showing.
Brady doesn’t play as well when he’s consistently being hit and New England isn’t particularly great on the road. The Bears can win this game, they just absolutely, positively, cannot beat themselves with ridiculous penalties or blown assignments or missed tackles or – sorry I’m having flashbacks.
6. It’s time to start talking about Akeim Hicks …
Hicks is easily one of the most underrated players in the NFL and definitely on the defensive line. He was really solid against the run and caused a fumbled that could’ve saved the game on the goal-line. He’s for sure a pro-bowler this year in my honest opinion and really should be considered for an All-Pro nod. The problem is he’s listed as a defensive end and the NFC has a ton of talent at that position.
Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus “Tank” Lawrence is having quite a year on the franchise tag trying to be the next pass-rusher to eclipse 20 million dollars a year. Chandler Jones in Arizona is listed as a defensive end again after a scheme change, and he’s made plays in virtually every category. Danielle Hunter with the Vikings is leading the league in sacks.
It’s a shame he likely won’t get the credit he deserves again, but some recognition would be nice at least.
7. Taylor Gabriel …
He is on pace to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his career. He’s been everything that Nagy hoped he would be and more. He’s also catching approximately 80 percent of his passes and probably has the best chemistry with Trubisky in the passing game outside of Tarik Cohen. He’s been reliable in the red zone and there are simply few corners that can keep up with his speed. It’s probably why Trubisky is connecting with him so well down the sidelines.
Gabriel is getting boundary corners in man coverage and running right by them. Bears fans should be pleased with his play.
8. Turnovers …
Turnovers this game killed the Bears. I predicted that this game would be a blowout victory for Chicago and it should’ve been. If Jordan Howard doesn’t fumble on the goal line, Trubisky doesn’t throw a red zone interception and Cohen doesn’t fumble in the middle of the field, this is a totally different conversation.
9. It’s not time …
It’s not time to re-evaluate where the rest of this season is going to go. However, the Bears’ performance against New England is going to say a lot. If they turn around and win against the Patriots in a convincing way, people will start to believe the Bears aren’t fraudulent.
If Trubisky goes for another 300 yards or more with multiple touchdowns again, we can officially say that he has arrived, and he’s still not even close to a finished project. I’m really curious to see how Sunday goes against Brady, who only threw for a single touchdown against the Chiefs’ 32nd ranked defense.
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