In my season prediction article, I had the Bears at 3-5 going into the bye week.
(pat myself on the back)
The Bears fell to Drew Brees and the Saints 20-12 in New Orleans on Sunday. The Bears fought but came up short as Trubisky overthrew wide receiver Tre McBride right into the hands of rookie Marshon Lattimore to seal the deal with 1:22 left in the fourth quarter.
After Trubisky had rallied the troops with a banged up offensive line in which Josh Sitton played center to close the game out, the rookie fell short of pulling off an upset.
Trubisky is improving every game, it’s in the tape. Whether it’s making plays with his feet or his progressions, the franchise QB is learning from his mistakes. And that is all you can ask for. No one said it was going to be easy, and while he may not be having the success that Deshaun Watson is having, you have to have some perspective. Watson is surrounded with weapons, DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller while Trubisky is playing with McBride and Tanner Gentry. So at the moment, let’s put the Watson/ Trubisky talk to a halt right now because the comparison is unreasonable at this point in time.
Jordan Howard finished with 102 yards on the ground, averaging 4.4 yards a carry. His low point of the game was a dropped ball that would have been a walk-in touchdown. Luckily, Cohen punched it in on that drive.
Howard posted his third game of the season with a 100 or more yards rushing. The Bears are a run heavy offense, and the pro bowl running back played like one on Sunday. Going into the second half of the season, the Bears are going to lean on Howard more than ever. The Indiana product should have no problem though because his patience on the zone scheme and his want to get those three, four yards is what makes him such a productive running back.
The Bears offense may have came up short, but the Bears defense had another strong game. This unit continues to grow and they are becoming a special group. It was pretty damn impressive to hold a future Hall of Famer in Brees to zero passing touchdowns.
The Saints offensive line has been one of the best in the NFL, allowing minimal sacks. Akiem Hicks, who made his return to the stadium he called home for several years, picked up his seventh sack of the season in the first quarter. Hicks has tied his career high in sacks and is playing at a very high level. His speed and power is hard to stop.
Leonard Floyd, who had a sack last week vs. Carolina, picked up another one on Sunday, totaling four on the season. The second year pro has been playing better as of late after a slow start to the season. It is a big year for Floyd’s development and the good news is he has not missed a game yet.
As a whole, the Bears defense made big stops when they needed too. After chewing 4:22 off the clock in a 11 point game in the fourth quarter, Jonathan Bullard punched the ball out, giving the Bears the ball back with 7:32 left in the game. Trubisky would lead the Bears down the field, one play being a 46 yard run by the rookie. Trubisky lead the Bears all the way to the 1, where Tarik Cohen channeled his inner Walter Payton and jumped the pile of jerseys for the touchdown. The 2 pt was no good, keeping the Bears down five with 3:58 left.
Then nearly 2 minutes later, Adrian Amos forced a fumble and recovered it, putting Trubisky back on the field down down 5 with 2:12 left. The Bears would turn it over on downs, failing to convert and 3rd and 1 and 4th and 1. The Saints would add three more on their next possession and you know the rest.
The Bears bye week could not have come at a more perfect time. After a rough first half to the season, the Bears escape only two games under .500, pretty impressive given the injuries and lack of star power on the offensive side of the ball. The Bears now will regroup, get healthy and make an attempt at a playoff push with a more favorable schedule in the second half of the season.
These two weeks are very crucial for Trubisky. There is still more to be done with the playbook and I think Loggains will bring out more in Week 10 at home vs. Green Bay. Also, Trubisky has a new WR in town, Dontrelle Inman, who he will have to gain some chemistry with pretty quick and help him with the playbook. This comes along with fixing the little mistakes and mastering the game plan, as the Bears will have two weeks to prepare for their longest rival.
I have the Bears finishing 9-7, which could be a wild card spot. We shall see.