The Chicago Bears kicked off the second half of their

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regular season on a high note Chicago Bears T-Shirt , defeating the Detroit Lions 34-22. Though it was far from a perfect win, it was a win, and an important one at that. The Bears improved to 6-3 with a divisional victory and extended their lead in the NFC North. Here are some of my takeaways from Sunday’s action.OffenseMitchell Trubisky is not Blake Bortles.Trubisky had one of the best games of his career this week. He ended up completing 23 of his 30 passing attempts for a career-high 355 passing yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He looked poised in the pocket, comfortable and ready to strike at any moment. His footwork has looked progressively better throughout the season, which has improved his accuracy as a result. His pocket presence has also improved, as he is nuch less jittery under pressure than he was in the beginning of the year. Eight of his passes resulted in gains of 20 yards or more, which speaks to his accuracy, Matt Nagy’s confidence in his quarterback, and Chicago’s receivers’ ability to create separation. Trubisky hasn’t been perfect this season, and the fact that Patrick Mahomes, who was drafted after him in 2017, has been having an MVP-caliber season automatically makes him look like a bad pick in the eyes of those who don’t actually pay attention to the team. Despite what some particular pundits may say online, Trubisky is a good quarterback who has proven that he can lead the Bears to the playoffs, as opposed to one who has to rely on his defense to carry him there.Running the ball, the Bears were pretty ineffective. Jordan Howard picked up a nine-yard gain on the very first offensive play of the game but failed to pick up a gain that went for longer than that. Tarik Cohen had a lackluster game, as well, only gaining 15 yards on seven carries. He also caught six passes, but he only ended up with a total of 29 yards. A new-look Detroit run defense led by stud defensive tackle Damon Harrison Sr. did a number on Chicago’s ground game, but their secondary failed to slow down an electric Bears passing attack.Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller both put together their best performances of the season on Sunday. A-Rob was the dominant presence that the Bears signed him to be, catching six passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns in his return from injury. He made a phenomenal touchdown grab on a contested ball in the end zone on a 45-yard bomb, putting his size and physicality to good use. Miller has the best game of his career with five receptions, 122 yards and a touchdown. He showed off the ability to separate from cornerbacks and pick up yards after the catch that had him so highly touted coming out of Memphis. Trey Burton also caught four passes for 40 yards, and he caught a two-point conversion pass from Trubisky in the third quarter. It’s encouraging to see so many weapons in Chicago’s offense doing well this year, and the presumptive return of Adam Shaheen from injury next week should open up even more opportunities for them to get open looks.Although the Bears’ run blocking was less than ideal, they did a good job of giving Trubisky a fairly clean pocket. He was only sacked once, and he was given several chances to deliver darts under very little pressure. Though unlikely they play that well every week in their stretch of divisional games, it was a good sign to see them successful against an underrated Detroit pass rush.DefenseThe Bears took their feet off the gas pedal in the fourth quarter, as they allowed 12 points in the span of one minute and nine seconds. Granted, a recovered onside kick gave the Lions very good field position on their second touchdown drive of the quarter, but Chicago’s defense was not fantastic late. Still, their performance in the first three quarters was nothing short of great.Khalil Mack made his triumphant return from injury on Sunday, and he came back in a way that only he could: by dominating. Despite missing the previous two weeks, he finished the game with five tackles and two sacks. His impact was definitely evident throughout the game, as he opened up opportunities for several teammates. Leonard Floyd continued his hot streak by snagging that ever-so-elusive first sack of the season. Bilal Nichols, who was limited with a knee injury, also picked up a sack and a forced fumble.Roquan Smith had another good game, picking up 10 total tackles, a sack and a pass deflection. His speed and ranginess really helps the Bears get bailed out on some plays that may otherwise blow past the second level. Danny Trevathan picked up five tackles of his own.Kyle Fuller didn’t have any pass deflections or interceptions this week, but he did a good job in coverage for the most part. Save an allowed touchdown catch by Kenny Golladay, Fuller had a solid game. Prince Amukamara wasn’t necessarily perfect, but he lit up the stat sheet with eight tackles, two pass deflections Chicago Bears Hats , one interception and two forced fumbles. Bryce Callahan had yet another fantastic game, tallying five tackles, two pass deflections, an interception and a sack on a nickel blitz. He should be Chicago’s top priority to bring back this offseason, as he has been one of, if not the best nickelback in the league. Both Eddie Jackson and Adrian Amos had their fair share of mistakes, but neither of them were particularly terrible. Jackson in particular showed some tenacity as a tackler and added on a pass deflection. While not an elite safety duo, they have more than serviceable for most of the year and complement each other well.Three and out3. Cody Parkey...yikes. The kicker, who was signed to a four-year, $15 million deal this past offseason, missed both of his field goal attempts and missed two of his four extra point attempts. Every single one of them hit the goalpost. Between this, Pat O’Donnell’s struggles and an inability to both defend and return kickoffs, Chicago’s special teams might just be one of their biggest weaknesses at the moment. Poor performance on the third phase could potentially cost the Bears down the line if they don’t get something figured out.2. Many have compared Trubisky to Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes, the two other quarterbacks selected in the first round of the 2017 draft. Because of the latter two quarterbacks’ success on a national stage, many have forgotten about Trubisky and have considered him to be a bust. Let’s break down how each signal-caller has done so far this year.Trubisky: 9 games, 2,304 passing yards, 19 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 65.5 completion percentage, 6-3 team recordMahomes: 10 games, 3,150 passing yards, 31 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 67.0 completion percentage, 9-1 team recordWatson: 9 games, 2,389 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 64.9 completion percentage, 6-3 team recordMahomes has easily been the best quarterback of the three, even if you take out the extra game he has played. However, Trubisky’s performance has been on par with, if not better than that of Watson, who has been praised much more often by the national media. While one can argue that Mahomes is the best quarterback of the class - which is definitely warranted with the way he has played this year - all three of them are playing at a high level and are helping their teams win. 1. The Bears take on the Vikings next week in a Sunday night matchup, and it is one that promises to be a fun one to watch. Chicago currently sits as the two-point favorites, but Minnesota could realistically come away with the win. The Vikings are 4-1 in their last five matchups, and their lone loss came against the red-hot New Orleans Saints. Their defense is playing better than the one that gave up 27 points to the Buffalo Bills, and their offense seems to be clicking quite nicely. The Bears are themselves in the midst of a hot streak, having won their last three games. Next week will surely be an entertaining battle for NFC North supremacy. Join Me In The Conference RoomSometimes, it almost seems like Chicago is cursed to have polarizing Quarterbacks for all eternity. Rex Grossman. Kyle Orton. Brian Hoyer.Jay Cutler. Mike Glennon (OK. Maybe not Glennon). And now Chicago Bears Womens Hoodie , Mitch Trubisky. Half of Bears fans are remaining patient with the youngster, believing he’ll develop into a franchise QB with more experience. The other half believe he’s complete trash that is incapable of developing into a competent starter in the NFL. The more things change, the more they stay the same.In light of that polarization, we’re going to have a quick look at his tape (and that of one Patrick Mahomes), and have an honest, yet delicate conversation using a management technique known as the Compliment Sandwich. For those unfamiliar, you offer a compliment, then a critique, and then another compliment. The goal, is to deliver criticism in a more palatable way, with the goal that it will be accepted more easily than straight criticism. And yes, I learn all my business etiquette from Family Guy.We don’t all have MBAs, ya know!This is far from an exhaustive list, but hopefully we can take an objective look at his play, point out the good, point out the bad, and everyone can find some common ground. Or I’ll just piss off everyone equally. Honestly, that’s probably more likely.We’ll find out soon enough.Sandwich 1Compliment Trubisky has thrown some excellent tight window passes. When he knows where he’s going, and has time to set his feet, he can deliver very accurate balls.Critique Though it wasn’t a completion, this was also a good tight window throw with excellent ball placement. However, both Howard AND Miller were open in the flats for much easier completions with a yard after the catch potential that Burton didn’t have. So this is a failure of vision more than execution.Compliment For as good as Patrick Mahomes looks (and he does look good), he hasn’t been asked to throw into many tight windows through two games. His receivers consistently get excellent separation (90% open throw rate beyond the LOS, meaning a step or more of separation, by far the best in the league), which is a luxury Trubisky hasn’t been afforded often. This makes some of the comparisons between the two a bit tougher to judge:Sandwich 2Compliment This back shoulder fade to Allen Robinson is a thing of beauty. He’s clearly capable of putting touch on intermediate and deep passes when he’s comfortable. This ball couldn’t have been placed anywhere else and been caught.Critique This ATTEMPTED back shoulder fade to Allen Robinson is the exact opposite of a thing of beauty. The pocket held for 4 seconds, he went through his progressions calmly, but by the time he realized Robinson had a step on the defender, the pocket was shrinking and he hurried the throw. The lack of drive caused it to fall well short, and, you know the rest. Speeding up his recognition would help this a lot.Compliment This floater to Cohen was really nice. He nearly threw to him on the hitch route early, but pulled it back when Cohen lost his footing a bit. Immediately after, the pressure started to get close, so he wiggled out to get some space. He continued to look down field while drifting to his right, and put up a nice 25 air yarder to an ad libbing Cohen who turned his hitch route into an elongated hitch n’ go.Sandwich 3Compliment This touchdown pass to Anthony Miller is fantastic. He’s rolling to his left, sees Miller come open, and delivers a strike that travels 20 yards through the air with a guy in his face. It’s the kind of play you want your QB to be able to make in the redzone to help close out a game (someone needs to get Miller a dance instructor though, because, damn).Critique This throw into coverage in the endzone was... not good on, like, a bunch of levels. First, he had Gabriel open in the endzone for basically, the ENTIRE play. Just look at him Womens Customized Chicago Bears Jerseys , standing there, all alone at the top of the screen. He seemed to look in his direction for a moment, but was flushed by the pressure from the edge. He escaped it and rolled to his left, but never really reset. So when he FINALLY went to Gabriel (or Cohen, by this time they were both in the vicinity), the ball was very low. Had he set his feet and drove the ball, he could have placed it over the defenders heads where only Gabriel had a shot at it (or simply looked his way at the beginning of the play). This SHOULD have been a TD. Instead, it was nearly a pick.Compliment Tyreek Hill catches this ball. Not that it was a particularly wise throw from either QB, but none the less, this shows some of the differences between Trubisky and Mahomes respective situations, and why comparisons between the two need to keep context in mind.Sandwich 4Compliment In just his 3rd pass of the season, Trubisky delivered a nice ball to Gabriel on a deep out. The ball traveled 28 yards in the air, and the play wound up going for 31 yards total. Another sign that when he knows where he’s going, and feels comfortable, he can deliver deep and intermediate passes with force and accuracy.Critique All these overthrows. Not good. Not good at all. Gotta settle down, set your feet and drive the ball young man.Compliment Trubisky isn’t alone in sailing the ball. Mahomes has more than a few overthrows as well. All Qbs over throw receivers occasionally, especially young ones. So both these guys should see these things clean up with experience.There now, don’t we all feel better? We got some constructive criticism out there for the bad, while softening the blow with praise for the good. There’s plenty that needs worked on, but in this world of hot takes and twitter rage, we shouldn’t lose sight of the positives. Obviously there are reasons for concern, but there’s more than enough promise to build off of here for MT10... so lets all try and keep some perspective moving forward.Every errant pass doesn’t make him trash, and every rifle shot into a tight window doesn’t make him an all-pro. He’s simply a young QB, in a new offense, learning on the job. We should all expect inconsistency at least for a while. In the mean time, we should endeavor to keep our hot takes luke warm, and try and enjoy the ride. Just remember, you don’t get extra points if your predictions about Trubisky come true, so try not to fall victim to defending a preconceived belief regardless of what is actually happening. No one cares if you were right in July, no matter which way you leaned.If he does something good, praise him. If he does something bad, chide him. Don’t simply wait for something to happen that fits your pre-arranged narrative, and pounce.And, as always, remember the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln: Be excellent to each other.(Note:Writing isn’t particularly my thing, so you shouldn’t expect a TON of non-graphics related articles from me.I do, however, occasionally have an idea pop into my head that I feel compelled to jot down, grammar mistakes and all.This just happened to be one of those times.)
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