Because I wanted to feel better about Sunday’s loss, I had a big ol’ sundae at one of my favorite ice cream joints. It was bigger than what I was expecting, but totally delicious and 100 percent satisfying … unlike the end result of Sunday’s football game.
- Right tackle Bobby Massie isn’t ready to pack it in and call it a season:
Right tackle Bobby Massie said the Bears' confidence is still high: "It’s early in the year, still a lot of games left, a lot of ball to be played and we’re a good-ass team. There’s no need to be like oh, woe is me. We’re still gonna make a run at this thing."
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) October 21, 2018
- Legendary NFL coach Bill Parcells used to say you are what your record says you are, which leads me to wonder what does the Bears’ 3-3 record say about them after six games. A .500 record says a lot more about a team than you might think, but finding that sweet spot isn’t easy. Are they one of those too good to be bad teams? Is it possible they are too bad to be good? I suppose neither option is out of the question, but they’re probably just some less exciting place right in between.
- There’ve been times the Bears have looked good enough to merit talk of a team that deserved to be 5-1 but didn’t always play to its potential, hence, a 3-3 record. Wins against the Seahawks and Cardinals could have easily gone the other way had things played out differently, much like losses against the Packers, Dolphins, and Patriots. I’m coming away from the first six games with feeling that the truth is in the middle. The Bears have shown they can be better than what their record indicates, but are clearly a work in progress. At least the good news is that there are still 10 games to sort things out. Chicago could still ultimately be a “good-ass team” but it will need to play like it in order to receive that type of praise moving forward.
- Here is an interesting perspective from a long-time respected voice in NFL circles:
Give Mitch Trubisky some credit. He has grown from a QB who can execute a first quarter script to one who can make fourth quarter comebacks. His Hail Mary was one yard short of tying the game
— John Clayton (@JohnClaytonNFL) October 21, 2018
- Clayton might be onto something here. Trubisky orchestrated fourth-quarter scoring drives the last two weeks that I wasn’t sure he could put together after watching Week 1. That’s because Trubisky has made strides as a pocket passer, with reading defenses, keeping his head up, and eyes downfield. At minimum, this should be viewed as a step in the right direction. Trubisky has come a long way, but still has a ways to go.
- Bobby Massie’s perspective on Trubisky’s development comes with an optimistic slant. “Mitch is a good-ass quarterback,” Massie said, via JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago. “He’s got ability to do a lot of things. He’s young, but he’s going to be a special player. You see glimpses of that last year, and you see more of it this year. In years to come he’s going to be a hell of a player.” Ahhhhh, optimism. It’s refreshing on a Monday morning.
- There is plenty to break down about the details in Trubisky’s performance, but let’s briefly take a big-picture view of his game: 400+ yards of total offense, three touchdowns, the defense isn’t where it was earlier in the season and the special teams turned in its worst game. And the Bears lost to the Patriots by just seven. Things could have been worse. Sure, they could have been better, but they could have been much worse.
- There is a tendency to go hard one way or another when discussing Trubisky. But as mentioned above when discussing extremes, the truth is most often in the middle. There is no denying Trubisky is better than he was last year and that the things he has put on tape in 2018 should give Bears fans hope that his growth will continue as the season progresses. But he still makes mistakes that force you to snap back to reality. Trubisky should have probably thrown four interceptions, but some of his receivers also had key drops that cost him completions, passing yards, and most importantly, kept the team from extending drives. It works both ways.
- When Trubisky flashes, it’s a ton of fun:
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) October 21, 2018
- Cody Whitehair leading the charge is low-key my favorite part of this play:
Look at what Cody Whitehair does to Duron Harmon pic.twitter.com/X2rduKAf4l
— Bears Barroom (@BearsBarroom) October 21, 2018
- One of the early season knocks on Trubisky was that he couldn’t improvise with his mobility like fellow first-rounders Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes, so it was good to see him do it and make something special happen. And yet, these are names you wouldn’t want Trubisky sharing a list with:
- Trubisky was the game’s leading rusher, and that can’t happen if the Bears are going to be a “good-ass team.” To be fair, it’s hard to run the ball when you’re trailing because you want/need chunk plays, but Matt Nagy needs to find a balance. Now might be a good time to review how he used Kareem Hunt down the stretch in Kansas City last year. Because without Trubisky’s rushing success, the Bears’ backfield was pedestrian at best.
- Bears rushers not named Mitchell Trubisky gained just 53 yards on 19 carries. Jordan Howard scored a rushing touchdown (and would’ve had two had it not been for an illegal formation penalty) but never got a chance to build up a lather against a suspect Pats rush defense. That’s a shame.
- Trey Burton was the benefactor of Trubisky throwing a whopping 50 passes on Sunday. Tight ends are often viewed as security blankets, but Burton was more than that as he put up his first career 100-yard receiving game. We’ll dig into Trey’s day more later, but it’s worth pointing out right now that Trubisky targeted Burton when the Patriots shaded safety help on Taylor Gabriel, whose impact was minimal on Sunday. I feared Trubisky would force-feed Gabriel because of his recent success. That he didn’t is a good adjustment by Trubisky and a sign that he’s starting to get a grasp on the position (Michael: And it’s totally fine that I started Gabriel in Fantasy Football like a schmuck).
- It was a rough day for tight ends not named Trey Burton:
Ben Braunecker was really hard on himself about the blocked punt TD. He wasn’t really sure how it happened, but said he was tripped up, losing his anchor vs Dont'a Hightower.
"It’s really unacceptable and frankly, I’m really embarrassed about it."
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) October 21, 2018
- It’s the second straight week where weird/bad things happened when Ben Braunecker was in the frame. Braunecker must be doing something right in practice because he has out-snapped Daniel Brown 28-4 this season. In fact, Brown hasn’t even been on the field for a passing snap. That’s alarming if you consider nearly 75 percent of Brown’s snaps in 2017 came on pass plays.
- Speaking of alarming trends: the Bears have blown double-digit leads in each of their three losses. That’s not something “good-ass teams” do.
- We’ll do some deep diving on special teams later, but at least this didn’t happen to the Bears on Sunday:
— History of Sports (@BeforeFamePics) October 21, 2018