By: Thomas Gibbons
The Bears avoided embarrassment, defeating the Browns 20-3 on Christmas Eve. The Browns secured the first overall pick in the NFL draft for the second straight year and for the Bears, they defeated every team in the AFC North.
Hooray for moral victories!
We have just one game left in the 2017 season. It is a sad week because our beloved Bears will be away from our T.V’s for quite some time. I miss Bears football more than anyone, but we will be looking forward to the Bears new head coach search in the coming weeks.
The Bears did a lot of great things on Sunday and a few players stood out above the rest. I dove into the All-22 film and checked out the snowy day at Soldier Field.
Mitchell Trubisky completed 60% of his passes and ran for 44 yards in one of his more promising performances of his rookie season. The raw quarterback made some good throws, tuck and ran when no one was open, and most importantly, no turnovers.
On film, it is so evident that a lot of the time that Trubisky has no one to throw to. There is very little separation from his receivers. Dontrelle Inman has fallen off the face of the earth, totaling just 24 yards receiving in his past three games. You really have to wonder if he is worth bringing back next season. Kendall Wright has made some plays for the young rookie, 21 receptions in the past three games, but is not a down field threat. Trubisky has a solid arm but has been unable to showcase that this season.
The Bears use of Markus Wheaton is so bad I cannot put it into words. This staff is really bad. Waste of talent.
Outside of the lack of play-making ability at the receiver position, Trubisky has done fairly well dealing with what he has. He finished with 193 passing yards on Sunday and made some pretty good throws, including one to Dion Sims that kick started the Bears first touchdown drive in the first quarter.
Another great throw from the rookie was to Josh Bellamy in the second quarter. Here is the All-22 look. Trubisky went through his progressions and delivered a strike to Bellamy for a gain of 28.
Trubisky displayed his athleticism on Sunday with his 44 rushing yards. With no one getting open, he ran to open grass. It is a very good sign of a young quarterback to not force throws and either throw it away or make plays with your feet.
This win was definitely another step in the right direction for Trubisky. His rookie finale in Minnesota will be his last with this staff and then he will be able to make a huge jump in his development.
Eddie Goldman does not get a lot of recognition and is one of the underrated players of this defense. His stats do not jump out at you, but he does so much more than the stat book says.
Goldman, who only played in six games last season, is on track to just miss one game this season. The former second round pick dominates the line of scrimmage every week and could be a center-piece to the defensive line for years to come.
Not much of a pass rusher, Goldman is great with his hands and plugs up the middle. I have always been a fan of the former Seminole and last year’s injury really hurt his development. Yet this season playing alongside Akiem Hicks makes a great combo on the 3-4 front.
Goldman added plenty of highlight tape material in Sunday’s win. His violent hands allow him to get rid the blocker and make the play.
The nose tackle has one more year on his rookie deal. Do the Bears lock him up this offseason? I would not rebel if they did. Goldman has proven he can be a efficient run stopper and Pace must continue to lock up guys that play well in the system.
Kyle Fuller was credited with six passes defended on Sunday and completely shut down Josh Gordon. It was another great showing for the former first round pick and is going to get big money this offseason.
After missing all of last season with a knee scope, the Bears signed two cornerbacks to start over Fuller. Yet after poor play from Marcus Cooper, Fuller re-took the starting job and has proven why the Bears took him at 14th overall.
Given his production, it is going to be very hard for the Bears to move on. Remember, they declined his fifth-year option. It was a good move by Ryan Pace considering he missed an entire season. Now, the Bears will have to decide if they will want to pay Fuller. He is going to test the market and will have a high price tag as he should. Pace missed out on top cornerbacks last season like A.J. Bouye and Stephon Gilmore. This time around, you cannot make that mistake again. The Bears should do everything they can to bring Fuller back to Chicago.
Going to the tape, Fuller was all over the field in the falling snow. His footwork was excellent along with his coverage, allowing no catches on nine passes thrown his way. Given this production, it is going to be hard to see Fuller go if he does not agree to a deal. Just months ago, many fans wanted him traded or release considering missing an entire season and the hopes that Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper would pan out. Amukamara is a solid corner and Cooper lost the job. Fuller won over the hearts of Bears fans again pretty quickly, earning Pro-Bowl talk and an overwhelming stance to re-sign him.
Fuller did say in a press conference a few weeks ago that the Bears would be in consideration this offseason but money talks. I think it would be a huge mistake if the Bears let him go. Pace is in a tough spot here and all of Bears nation is relying on him.
Did you see Adrian Amos deliver yet another big hit? We know Amos is an aggressive, run stopping safety but his lack of ball skills is concerning.
The Bears still need help in the secondary, but Amos is worth keeping around. If not in the starting role, Amos impacts special teams. He will enter the last year of his deal in 2018 and his turnover numbers will be a big factor come free agency for the Bears or any team.
I am glad the Bears did not select Deshone Kizer in last year’s draft. His turnover numbers are very high and concerning. Despite not having a lot of talent around him, another year at Notre Dame would have been very beneficial. There are decisions that he makes that I cannot get my head around. The Browns will likely be drafting another quarterback and Kizer will not be favored to win the job.
Be sure to check out windcitychronicle.com this week and all of the offseason for all your Bears news!