After the past four season’s you would think Bears Nation would be rejoicing after winning their home opener but there was a cry throughout the land of, “The Quarterback is a bust!” Well, perhaps that is a bit dramatic but there were more than a few folks who definitely echoed that sentiment after the Bears win Monday Night versus the battered Seahawks.
The fact that Seattle was less than 100% is a huge factor in this less than satisfying feeling one should feel after a win. Of course the less than spectacular performance by Mitch Trubisky was the caper. Especially with the recent performance by new sensation Pat Mahomes.
Such is the nature of sports fans and the seat gets awfully hot for someone who has been tabbed as the franchise Quarterback of said fan base. Fortunately, the people who matter are not going to have gross over reactions like fans will. Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace will remain unwavering in support of their future team leader.
I also do not see Trubisky getting down on himself. Not only is he a smart tough kid who appears to have the proper perspective to thrive in his role as the franchise leader at Quarterback. The Bears have also added a few fail safes to ensure Trubisky’s development goes smoothly. Like signing Chase Daniel to a contract to back Trubisky up and Tyler Bray as well and carrying both on the roster.
The moves to ensure Trubisky succeeds are both obvious and vast. It’s clear what goal number one is. It’s to make sure Trubisky fulfills his destiny as the franchise Quarterback. As it should be too by the way. For those who want to suggest the Bears tone it down and let the running game and defense carry the kid while he learns you can forget it. No way does Pace do all he did to both acquire Trubisky and than add the coaching and offensive Free agent talent and invest two high seconds on offense to make him a game manager. Especially with the early success of Mahomes this season and DeShaun Watson‘s start last season. Both players he could have had without trading up one spot to get his guy. He had his breaking in period last season.
So those jumping off the cliff after a win no less please, by all means, continue so we more level headed and logical fans and media members who have to deal with you on the radio and social media won’t have to anymore.
Now, there was reason for criticism. There was the pass along the right sideline to Robinson for the pick. Robinson had a step and if Trubisky plants and drives and gets the proper distance that’s a catch and possibly a touchdown. There was the scramble where he should have darted forward even though there was a Linebacker closing but he would have had the first on third down or at least had gotten close enough to go for it on fourth down. Instead he saw the Linebacker and tried to go outside and got dropped for a loss. There was the missed pass on the crossing route to Gabriel in the flat. I don’t have as big of an issue on that as that’s just an overthrow. It happens. Read was right, mechanics were sound. The tipped Interception I have no issue with. Just a good play by the defense. It was the right read on a quick slant attempt to Robinson. Perhaps the play action could have been sold better, but give credit to the defense there.
The one I had The biggest issue with was the near pick at the goal line in the red zone late in the second quarter. Again, Trubisky left the pocket way too soon. He sensed pressure that wasn’t there and rolled left and ultimately forced the pass that should have been picked. That was just one of the mistakes on that play. By bailing out of the pocket too soon He missed a broken coverage. A Defensive Back at the goal line passed a receiver (Miller I believe) to a safety that wasn’t there in the corner of the end zone. Trubisky missed it because he decided to twirl out of the pocket and as he was twirling with his back to the play is when the receiver got loose.
Going back to the all-22 and researching it for the most part, the Seahawks just played good defense. They played hard and rallied to the ball against the run and were extremely physical. Coverage was on point as well. I thought the Bears ran too many short routes and most of the routes were at the same levels. I would have liked to see some more vertical routes like Levels, Smash or even the Dirk Koetter four vertical concept the Bears should have in their playbook with Bears Offensive Coordinator Mark Helfrich being mentored by Koetter early in his coaching career. To me, it looks as though Nagy is easing Trubisky into things and calling a more conservative game. As dedicated as Seattle was to stopping the run one would have to think they’d Bite hard on play action creating one on ones on the outside and opportunities for a striker downfield. Think the presence of Earl Thomas influenced this game plan as well. However, from what I saw Trubisky made the right reads on the majority of the plays he was given.
Running game woes and the Offensive Line:
So far the Offensive Line has been very good in pass protection. Even Bobbie Massie, who has been very good minus the one sack he gave up to Seahawks Right Defensive End Frank Clark who appeared to get a little bit of a head start missed by the referee crew in particularly the Line Judge. In the first game they also ran the ball well. However, in this game they just averaged 3.2 yards a pop. The failure of the run blocking was highlighted by the fact the Seahawks were without four of their projected starters and one of their backups to one of the starters who were out at Cornerback in the form of Tre Flowers.
The Seahawks did do a good job of selling out and stacking the box to stop Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen and admitted as much in post game player interviews in the locker room. They clearly saw Trubisky as not being ready and Pete Carroll correctly assuming the Bears young signal caller was likely far from mastering Nagy’s voluminous playbook, dared the Bears beat them with the pass. The Seahawks did a great job playing hard nosed physical run defense and stopped the Bears cold.
I will say that a few times I noticed guys not staying on their blocks. Dion Sims had a couple of blocks like those that directly resulted in the eventual tackle of the Running back. Kyle Long mentioned it in his portion of the presser today at Halas hall as well. I also noticed Eric Kush miss a few blocks himself. Looked like he had a hard time keying in on his assignment on the fly. I saw him take guys that were blocked and let guys go that weren’t. At this point it appears he is probably someone who should be a swing guard on a good team a starter on a bad one. The faster second round pick James Daniels develops the better this team will be.
Do the Bears have the best front 7 in the NFL:
Through two weeks it has been arguably the best unit in all of football. Even better than the Rams who have a great front 7 themselves and maybe the best all around defense with that elite secondary they have. You can also throw in the Elite Unit the Vikings bring with them on a week to week basis. However, going on strictly performance the Bears win this one hands down. Will it sustain? There is good evidence to suggest it can.
For one, Leonard Floyd has been playing without the use of his fingers on his right hand. Once he can watch out. Two, Bilal Nichols is still in the development stages. Once this kid gets it look out part 2. He’s already shown plenty of flashes suggesting he’s going to be a real good player on the interior of that Defensive Front 7. Three, Roquan Smith has just finished playing his first full game and will be even better. Four, it’s looking like Aaron Lynch will be a contributor. Something I personally did not expect. He had a real strong game versus the Seahawks. We’ll see if he can sustain that play. Especially against a real Offensive Line. Five, the Bears may very well have the best defensive player in the game in Khalil Mack. As we’ve seen through two weeks he creates opportunities for others.
The entire front 7 has balled out. There is no evidence suggesting the likes of Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman will slow down. There is the injury history of Goldman to be weary of but that may be the only thing stopping him and Hicks from making the pro bowl this year. Than there are the two young Linemen in Roy Robertson-Harris and Jonathan Bullard who both flashed again Monday night. The linebacking crew is out of this world. Danny Trevathan was the defensive player of the week for a reason. I don’t see any offense dominating that group. There’ll be plays here and there but this group will not get manhandled. If they continue to play like this and even improve as expected once the younger players evolve and Floyd gets that cast off they have a chance to beat the record the Bears set in sacks with 72 back in 1984.
Secondary on verge of getting a windfall of picks?
This is a bit of a part 2 discussion from the front 7 observations. It would appear that the Bears are in for a few opportunities coming up with lesser Quarterbacks than Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson on the docket. It starts with the Cardinals who have not protected their Quarterback too well either. One would think Sam Bradford &/or Rookie Josh Rosen or dare I say Mike Glennon will be throwing balls into a few congested areas trying not to get squashed.
Prince Amukamara may very well have had two pick 6 Touchdowns if Brandon Marshall didn’t elbow him knocking him off his path as he broke for an out route and was converging on it. Somehow the refs missed that one too which should have been offensive pass interference. Looks like he has the mindset to become more opportunistic this season than years passed. Kyle Fuller dropped one that he likely catches 9 out of 10 times. Is there improvement to be made in the secondary? Sure of course there is. They have let some plays be made on them, but I am willing to bet the secondary will be looking to hold up there end of the bargain. It’s a prideful group and I expect them to get it together here real soon and start getting the all important interceptions that have been far and few between.
In closing it’s been more good than bad. The Bears should be 2-0 right now and outplayed the Packers who just tied the Vikings and probably should have won who many believe to be the best team in the NFC and likely all of football. This young team is on the come and the league will soon take notice if Trubisky works out his issues in the pocket and his indecisiveness.