After Monday’s heart-breaking late defeat to divisional rivals the Minnesota Vikings, here’s my quick takeaways from the game.
For the majority of the game the defense, lead by Leonard Floyd, was really impressive. The Bears defense managed to sack the immobile Sam Bradford 4 times leading to a loss of 35 yards. Unfortunately, the lack of depth at linebacker and the Vikings hurry up offense under Case Keenum eventually lead to the Vikings taking the victory.
Trubisky looked positive in the first half and made some really good plays showing strength in his arm and confidence. Unfortunately, the lack of options at receiver made it difficult at times. It is not going to happen overnight but it was definitely the correct call to play him and there is reason for optimism from what we saw on Monday Night Football.
During the first half, Mitch Trubisky came out and played hot! The Bears offense finally started to look more than adequate but once again, the penalties killed any momentum they mustered. A holding call by Cody Whitehair cost the Bears at the very least three points. Some would argue poor officiating held back the Bears most of the night. Marginal calls against Markus Wheaton and Tre Mcbridge being the stand out. The call on Wheaton cost the Bears a Jordan Howard touchdown.
Unfortunately, not for the first time, injuries impacted the Bears performance. With Trevathan suspended, Kwiatkowski and Freeman injured the last thing The Bears needed was another injury. But, true to form, John Timu who was filling in at inside linebacker, left the game due to a knee injury. This left the Bears paper-thin at the position with only Christian Jones to lead the helm.
However, without doubt the worst event of the whole game summed up the Bears’ poor communication and lack of leadership on the coaching staff. The Bears looked ready to go for it on 4th and 2 and due to confusion on the sideline they called for a timeout. You would think it would be impossible to get a “delay of game” called on a team after the play clock reset after a timeout but, The Bears coaching staff figured out how to accomplish this feat. The flag caused for a punt and to rub salt in to the open wound the sight of a laughing John Fox on the side-line made it so much worse. This is a man who’s job is on the line and decisions like this just add further heat around the discussion of his suitability.
For most of the evening, the play calling was mixed at best. With the amount of turn overs the Bears have had in recent months, it might be understandable they tried to hold back Trubisky but for the most part the calls were predictably insipid and lacked imagination and the early sparks of positivity slowly burnt out. However, when the Bears did think outside the box they scored points. The fake to Benny Cunningham lead to a touchdown and we also saw the most beautiful 2 point conversion you are ever likely to see. It is just a shame it’s so rare we see the Bears be imaginative in offense.