The Chicago Bears closed out their home schedule on Christmas Eve at Soldier Field by soundly defeating the Cleveland Browns 20-3. It was a cold and snowy day and the Bears did what they needed to do to avoid embarrassment. If the Bears had lost to the winless Browns, the few fans at Soldier would have booed the Christmas cheer right into Lake Michigan. It was not to be for Cleveland (0-15). The Browns secured the top pick in the 2018 NFL Draft while the Bears (5-10) won their fifth game with one to play after only winning three times all of last year. Not only can we see the improvement in the record, but we can see general improvement in the entire team from 2016 to ’17.
The defense is pretty solid. The offense is showing improvement weekly with rookie QB #10 Mitch Trubisky getting more experience each and every game. Despite the completely destroyed offensive line due to injuries, this offense is doing enough to win some ballgames they should be winning (Cincinnati & Cleveland) while staying in games even if they are outmanned (the last two Detroit games & San Francisco, who is really hot since Jimmy Garoppolo arrived).
Most of you may think we’re nuts, but the “Dutch Lion” and I have big hopes for this Bears squad moving forward into 2018. The foundation is there. With some solid free agents and draft picks to shore up weak positions, this Bears team could show huge improvement record-wise next year. But that’s talk for another day. Today let’s just analyze this Browns game quickly.
QB #10 Mitch Trubisky – We say it almost every week. This kid Tru is going to be a star! He shows ‘All the Right Moves’. He’s got the leadership and the intangibles necessary to be a great NFL quarterback. This week he used his legs on a messy field to gain important first downs by running the ball. Trubisky carried it 7 times for 44 yards and 1 TD. He passed it 23 times, completing 14 for 193 yards. His passer rating was a solid 87.8. Most importantly, he didn’t turn it over and he led the team to a victory that they needed to have to keep positive momentum that is often underrated as a team moves into the offseason. Big win for the rookie!
ILB #59 Danny Trevathan – We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. This Bears defense is a much different and better defense when Danny is out there healthy and playing for DC Vic Fangio’s unit. He’s a leader. He tells his teammates what to do and they believe in him. The guy goes all out. Is it a secret why Denver’s defense was awesome when they went to two Super Bowls with Trevathan and now that he’s gone they’ve taken a step back? I think we know the secret. It’s Danny. In this game vs Cleveland, Trevathan recorded 7 tackles, had 1 PBU, and forced one BIG fumble by Browns WR Rashard Higgins inside the Bears 10 yard line. CB #20 Prince Amukamara recovered and it proved to be a huge play in Chicago’s victory. That’s a Game Ball…….for Danny!
Player of the Game
CB #23 Kyle Fuller – We talked about Fuller last week in our Lions recap (He received a Game Ball). Once again, Fuller dominated. In fact, Head Coach John Fox remarked, “It’s as good a game by a corner as I’ve seen since I’ve been here.” Fuller earned that comment by intercepting Browns rookie QB DeShone Kizer as well as breaking up 6 passes on the day. 6 PBU’s!!! I’d have to look at the Bears record book but that might be a new record. 6 PBU’s in a game is unbelievable. Fuller’s interception was his 2nd of the season. With one game to play, Fuller has 67 total tackles and 22 PBU’s. Again, is that a record? I’m sorry but I didn’t have time to look it up yet. Do yourself a favor and search online or find a Chicago Bears media guide and look it up. Great game for Kyle Fuller!
In last week’s Preview, we wrote:
“………the “Dutch Lion” is calling for a Chicago victory on the holiday. Take the Bears to cover the points too. Merry Christmas everybody!
Chicago Bears 24 Cleveland Browns 12″
RESULT: Chicago Bears 20 Cleveland Browns 3
Solid prediction by the “Dutch Lion”. He was right both S/U and ATS. He had the Bears winning by 12 and they won by 17. “What is ‘well done’ Alex?” – in response to Alex Trebek’s answer: “The Dutch Lion accurately predicts THIS Bears/Browns score will happen on Christmas Eve.”
Bears Record : 5-10
Dutch Lion’s Record : 8-7
The Bears finish up their 2017 season on Sunday, December 31 in Minneapolis where they will face the NFC North Champion Minnesota Vikings at Noon. Look for our Season Finale Preview later this week.