The Bears were up 11 with under four minutes to play. Coach John Fox was on his way to his first road win since 2015. Then, the Bears happened.
After failing to convert on 3rd and 1 with two minutes left in the fourth, the Bears brought out the punt unit, motioned their gunners from wide to tight as Pat O’Donnell tried to pin the Ravens deep into their own territory. It was a good punt, but the coverage fell threw as moving the gunners left the sidelines wide open. Returner Michael Campanaro took it 77 yards down the home sideline for a score and cutting the lead to two. Nick Boyle caught the pass from Joe Flacco with one hand and walked into the end zone for the two point conversion.
The Bears would go onto win in overtime, a 40 yard field goal from Connor Barth would give the Bears their first road win in 658 days. It should have never reached extra time, but the Bears lack of execution and coaching put them in that position.
Coming into Sunday’s game, it was a winnable game for the Bears. The Ravens were going to be limited on offense with WR Jeremy Maclin and RB Terrance West inactive. Flacco had six interceptions coming into the game and did not look sharp to start the season. It was the perfect opportunity for the Bears defense to grab their first interception of the season.
The Bears did not just grab one, but two interceptions off Flacco in a very impressive defensive showing on Sunday afternoon. First, it was Bryce Callahan who dove for the ball after Eddie Jackson forced the ball out after a big hit on WR Breshad Perriman. Callahan returned 52 yards to the Ravens 20. The turnover set up a Bears touchdown, a toss pass from Tarik Cohen to Zach Miller, which was an unexpected but awesome play.
Adrian Amos is in his third season and has yet to record an interception. With around 40 family members and friends at the game, Amos did not disappoint. Amos took an interception 90 yards for six in his hometown of Baltimore.
You know it had to be close for Amos to finally get an interception. No one will ever doubt his aggressiveness, but his range and ball skills have been in question for quite some time now. His limitations is the exact reason why the rookie Jackson beat him out for the free safety job. It was the injury to Quintin Demps that got Amos back on the starting defense. Overall, it was a great return and good to see Amos make a big play not only for the Bears but in his hometown.
Let’s switch it up this week. Outside of the Bears defense having a great day, Thomas Gibbons will take a look at three other players that made an impact in the Bears win on Sunday.
Mitchell Trubisky was not a superstar, but he made the big play when called upon. The rookie making his first road start of his career finished the day 8/16 for 113 yards and one touchdown. The 23-year old also added four rushes for 32 yards.
The Bears wide receiver group is not going to scare any defense right now. Injuries have killed the group, leaving inexperience and lack of star power for Trubisky. When it was all said and done, Trubiksy only had two completions to a wide receiver, both to Kendall Wright.
There were times where Trubisky held onto the ball too long, there were some inaccurate throws, but when push came to shove, Trubisky delivered. The touchdown pass on the run to Dion Sims was a remarkable throw, putting the Bears up 17-3. Then after some very poor possessions, Trubisky trotted out onto the second offensive possession of the overtime, needing to get the Bears in field goal range to set up a possible Barth game winner. How about that throw to Kendall Wright? It was a special play that few players can make, and Trubisky’s abilities set up the game winning field goal earned him his first NFL win.
The play-calling was questioned all game. I wanted to see more play-action and sprint out to get Trubisky outside the pocket, but Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains relied on the run game and it worked out fairly well.
There were plenty of signs that Trubisky is still a rookie and there is plenty of work still to be done. Though when it was overtime and his back was against the wall, Trubisky stepped up and lead the Bears to victory.
Jordan Howard played like a pro-bowler on Sunday, carrying the rock 36 times for 167 yards, one being a 53 yard run in overtime.
Since Howard broke onto the scene last season after Jeremy Langford went down with injury, the Indiana product has not disappointed. Sunday’s performance marked his ninth career game of 100 yards or more on the ground.
Howard reportedly was suffering from a sprained AC joint going into the Steelers game three weeks ago. You could tell during the game it was bothering him. Yet Howard ran for 140 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown. Also, he has not been on the injury report since that game at Soldier Field. Warrior.
With the Bears having no threats on the outside, Loggains will continue to rely on the run game. Inside zone is the Bears go to run play, and Howard is so patience and ability to read his blocks is why he is so successful in the scheme. If you watch the tape from last and this season, his reads improve every game. As long as the offensive line and Howard stay healthy, the Bears should have no problem moving the chains on the ground.
Kyle Fuller’s performance was one of his best games in his four year career.
After missing all of last season after a knee scope in the preseason, fans and media questioned if he was even going to make the team. The former first round pick was overlooked by a lot of people and even if he made the team, his role would probably be limited. But with Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper missing games early in the season, it paved the way for Fuller to get meaningful playing time and a chance to make the Bears regret declining his fifth-year option.
Fuller had six tackles and three passes defended in the Bears win. He looked sharp, fast, and aggressive. The Virginia Tech standout is playing with an edge and despite missing an entire year and showcasing that he is very capable of playing at a high-level.
Sunday was on of Fuller’s best games of his career, and if he continues to play this well, the Bears could find themselves looking to re-sign him.
I’ll say it again, it was embarrassing that the Bears could not close it out in the fourth. The Bears should not be letting games get away from them like this. It comes down to discipline and that is something the Bears have lacked this season. It relates back to the coaching staff who are on the hot seat already.
Now standing at 2-4, the Bears will play three of their next four at Soldier Field. Trubisky will get to know the Bears fans really well during the highs and especially the lows.