At one point right after the Bears drove the field and ultimately scored on Jordan Howard’s 12 yard touchdown run, putting Chicago up 17-7, they held an amazing 224 to 52 advantage in total yards. Chicago had 137 rushing yards to Detroit’s 14. Chicago had 87 passing yards to Detroit’s 38. This was with 8:30 left in the 1st half. Then it was all downhill. This was about one-third of the way into the game. The time was 1 PM Central time. Over the next two hours, Detroit outscored the Bears 20-7 to win the game as Connor Barth missed the game-tying FG as time expired. Final Score: Detroit Lions 27 Chicago Bears 24. Now Barth is no longer on the roster. GM Ryan Pace cut him on Monday.
After rewatching the game on the DVR, here’s my quick synopsis:
- 1st Quarter : Awesome
- 2nd Quarter : Awful
- 3rd Quarter : Boring
- 4th Quarter : Exciting
My deeper analysis is that the Bears are just not the same team without ILB #59 Danny Trevathan. In my opinion, he’s the #1 difference between Chicago winning or losing these consecutive division games at Soldier Field, putting the Bears at 3-7 instead of 5-5. With his leadership and play in the middle of the defense rather than his replacements ILB #44 Nick Kwiatkoski and/or ILB #52 Christian Jones, I think this Bears defense would have stifled Brett Hundley and Green Bay last week and Matt Stafford and Detroit this week.
Think about the injuries this team has suffered once again this year. It’s two years in a row now of drastic injuries. The Bears front 7 on defense is now down 2 of their 3 “starters” at OLB (#94 Leonard Floyd hurt his knee in the 4th quarter, sounds like a sprained MCL; and #97 Willie Young has been out for weeks), both ILB’s in #59 Trevathan and serial PED abuser #50 Jerrell Freeman. So that’s 4 of your top 5 LB’s. Other guys that were banged up during this game were DE #96 Akiem Hicks and DT #91 Eddie Goldman but those were minor injuries (“owies” according to HC John Fox) in which they came back into the game. Still, this defense is pretty good. It’s not dominant right now with the LB injuries and some weaker play at CB as of late, but the defense can win some games.
The bigger problem is a rookie QB, a rookie 3rd down back, a rookie TE, and a bad injured WR corps. When you look at it from the big picture, from that perch in the press box high above Soldier Field, you’ll wonder how these guys are even IN most games. How many NFL teams would be good and get victories with the roster I just detailed? Not many.
This season is about developing the young players. So sit back and enjoy. Watch the game for fun and stop worrying about coaching changes, etc. Would you like to be HC John Fox trying to win games with this group? I think not. I think GM Ryan Pace understands that too. Let’s face it. We all need time for Trubisky to develop, for a changeover of the receiving corps, and continued roster additions to positions such as cornerback. Only then will this team be a serious contender for the NFC Playoffs.
QB #10 Mitch Trubisky – Overall, Tru played well. His numbers were average: 18-30-179 yards and 1 TD which adds up to an 88.1 rating. He also rushed for 53 yards on 6 carries which added a new dimension to this offense. He is by no means a great player…..yet. But Mitch shows so much talent and promise with some of his scrambling ability, play-making ability, and his strong arm. However, you can tell he’s a rookie QB in the NFL. He makes some mistakes, like the momentum changing fumble on the snap early in the 2nd quarter. He misses some throws. He sometimes doesn’t throw it away. He’s learning on the job. Having said all that, Trubisky makes some plays that we haven’t seen around here since…..a young Jay Cutler. You know, the 2010, ’11, and ’12 Cutler who was actually very, very good and highly underrated in this town. People forget that Cutler was 10-5, 7-3, and 10-5 as the starter over those 3 years for a 27-13 record as starter. I know! Those are really solid numbers. Anyway, back to Trubisky. This kid has moxie. I’m so excited about his future. That potential game-tying drive in the last 1:31 of the game? Don’t let Connor Barth’s missed kick make you barf. And don’t forget that Tru led his team down the field and put them in a great position for OT. Nice job rookie. Here’s a ‘Game Ball’, you’re 2nd consecutive week with the Award.
TE #87 Adam Shaheen – Now that #86 Zach Miller is out forever and #88 Dion Sims is sick or something, Shaheen is stepping up! He caught 4 balls on 4 targets this week for 41 yards and his 2nd career TD. He is starting to look like the guy we saw on his Ashland College highlight tape. Just wait til Trubisky and Shaheen grow up together and gain a rapport. Dude, it’s gonna be so much fun. Think about it. This has the makings of a Romo and Witten, a Brady and Gronkowski, an Aikman and Novacek type of QB/TE combo.
DE #98 Mitch Unrein – I rarely notice Mitch Unrein while watching the tape or browsing the box score. Not this week. Unrein actually had a really solid game. He had 5 tackles, 4 of which were solo tackles, 2 TFL’s, 1 sack and 1 QB hit. He just looked like a good DE in a 3-4 defense. This is why Vic Fangio seems to like him. He played hard and recorded some stats. Hip hip hooray for Unrein!
Player of the Game
RB #24 Jordan Howard – Howard is consistently one of the best players on the Bears roster. It seems like he makes the “Dutch Lion’s” list every week with either a ‘Game Ball’ or a ‘Player of the Game’ performance. This week was no different as Howard rushed for 125 yards and 1 Touchdown on 15 carries. In our Preview, I mentioned in the “Watch Out For” segment that it would be interesting to see how OC Dowell Loggains would utilize the RB’s this week after receiving criticism for how they were used in last week’s Green Bay game. Well, I would say Loggains did a fine job. On top of Howard’s 15 productive touches, #29 Tarik Cohen had 13 touches from scrimmage on 9 carries for 44 yards and the game-tying TD late in the 4th quarter. He also had 4 catches for 15 yards. Meanwhile, #30 Benny Cunningham had 1 catch on a well designed screen play for 18 yards. This time, he didn’t fumble because he was nowhere near a pylon.
CB #31 Marcus Cooper – What happened to Cooper? Why does he stink now? Is he still embarrassed about that bonehead play back in Week 3 against the Steelers? On the Lions TD drive to make the game 17-14 Bears, he gave up two huge pass plays. The first one was to Tailer “T.J.” Jones on 3rd and 15 when the Bears had Stafford backed up on his own 9 yard line. The second one was the 28 yard TD to Marvin “Shade Tree” Jones. I heard someone on the local sports radio this week wondering why he is still on the team. I agree. He might be done.
In the Preview I wrote :
1. “I predict the Bears will have a strong game running the football. Chicago averages over 120 yards rushing yards per game. Detroit gives up about 102 ypg on the ground, but gave up 201 last week to Cleveland. Look for a minimum of 130 yards rushing for Chicago. In fact, I think it’ll be about 150 yards.
RESULT : Bears rushed for 222 yards, including 148 in the 1st half which was their most since 2010. Great job Dutch!
2. “I predict Chicago will sack Stafford at least 3 times, possibly even 4 or 5 sacks. Look for #96 Akiem Hicks and #94 Leonard Floyd to have big games.
RESULT : Bears indeed had 3 sacks, one each for Unrein, #52 Christian Jones, and #44 Nick Kwiatkoski. Nice Dutch!
3. “Just when you thought the Bears stunk, they’ll probably surprise us with a solid performance. PICK Chicago! Chicago Bears 16 Detroit Lions 13
RESULT: The “Dutch Lion” was almost right. Maybe his “Lion” heritage cost the “Bears” the game to a different kind of animal. FINAL SCORE: Detroit Lions 27 Chicago Bears 24.
Bears Record : 3-7 (Lost 3 in a row)
Dutch Lion’s Record : 5-5 (Lost 2 in a row)
Enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday this week! Look for my Bears/Philadelphia Eagles Preview in a few days. Happy Thanksgiving!