Written by: John Stocco
I don’t know if this game was good, or if it was really bad, but I’ll tell you it was a thriller. This type of game took me back to when I was 10 years old. Elite defense, an offense that can’t get anything going, and a kicker who is the entire offense. That’s right. The Chicago Bears have found their kicker, and they have a defense that can keep this team in any game, but they have an offense that’s struggling to put up points. Here’s why I believe we’re about to see an offensive breakthrough that will put this team back as one of the best teams in football.
First I want to talk about the defense because what they did was sensational. No, they didn’t light up the box score, they didn’t make huge YouTube caliber hits, but they did all the little things the right way. Going to Denver early in the season is never an easy win. The altitude and the atmosphere is never easy for anybody, even Tom Brady. The Bears were facing an offense that game-planned well against them. Vic Fangio knows this defense inside and out, and the Bears still found a way to shine and keep this team above water. The Broncos knew they couldn’t have Flacco hold the ball too long with a banged up offensive line, and they knew it wasn’t going to be easy running the ball. The Bears relied too much on their defense, and they were exhausted, but the defense answered the challenge every time. The Broncos were dinking and dunking all over the place. Joe Flacco threw 50 passes, completing 35 of them for 292 yards, Emmanuel Sanders had 11 receptions for 98 yards, Noah Fant, Courtland Sutton, Phillip Lindsey, and Royce Freeman were all involved in the passing game. The Bears kept everything in front of them, and they didn’t break. Khalil Mack got his first sack of the season, Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan were covering the entire field with combined 18 tackles, Kyle Fuller came up with a clutch interception, and Buster Skrine had a breakout game by pressuring Joe Flacco with minutes left in the football game. Again, winning at Denver isn’t easy. The last 18 home openers the Broncos were 17-1. The Bears made it 17-2 Sunday night.
On the offensive side of the ball, it wasn’t great. Just looking at the numbers it almost feels impossible that the Bears won this game. Trubisky was 16 for 27 and threw for only 120 yards, David Montgomery ran for 62 yards on 18 carries, and Allen Robinson had 41 yards the entire game. It wasn’t pretty, but here are the silver linings. Matt Nagy let David Montgomery control the offense. The Broncos were stacking the box, almost begging the Bears to throw the football. Montgomery looked smooth out there. Breaking tackles, creating opportunities for himself with excellent vision, and he showed great patience to find holes in Denver’s defense. Sure there were some questionable calls by Matt Nagy, but that’s Nagy. He’s going to be stubborn, he has an arrogance about him, but overall he did better than week one. He used Tarik Cohen in the screen game, he called Taylor Gabriel’s number, he used Cordarrelle Patterson in more misdirection in an east to west type of play calls instead of north and south and used a tight end, Ben Braunecker and Adam Shaheen as safety blankets for Trubisky whenever he rolled out. There’s still a lot of improvement that needs to be made, and I think Matt Nagy needs to start simplifying the offense a lot more. The offensive line was better, David Montgomery showed his potential, Tarik Cohen and Taylor Gabriel were effective in the short passing game, and in the end, Mitch Trubisky put this team in a position to win the football game. There’s no denying that.
Again, it was far from pretty, but it was a win and a win is all that matters. It was an emotional win and this type of win builds confidence and momentum in the locker room and it’s exactly what the Bears need to take off. This game was too similar to last years game in Arizona. It was tougher than most people expected, Trubisky didn’t look good, the defense was gassed, but in the end, the Bears walked out with a win, and the next week the Bears humiliated the Bucs. Onto DC where the Bears play a walking defeated Washington Redskins team, and the week after that we’re off to London playing the Oakland Raiders. The Bears can easily put themselves back on top of the NFL in the next couple of weeks.
The Good: The Bears found a franchise kicker. The Bears found a running back that can carry the offense on his back. The defense is elite. And the Bears won a game that was a must win.
The Bad: Anthony Miller and Trey Burton do not look healthy at all and those are two receivers that are crucial to the offense and the development of Mitch Trubisky. Speaking of Trubisky, he just simply needs to be better. The Bears need to rely heavily on Montgomery, Tarik Cohen, and the offensive line so that they can run a more play-action to get Trubisky out of the pocket, but Trubisky needs to start making the easy throws to make this offense start clicking.