It’s been a while since I’ve woken up and not felt the need to drink all the cold medicine in the world to feel better. Maybe the cure to my cold was watching a well-played Bears victory and following it with a frosty adult beverage? Updates to come later.
- The Bears won their first division game in 11 tries, which is truly something worth celebrating:
- We are all Khalil Mack today:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) November 12, 2018
- Mitch Trubisky pulled the “I don’t even know him” card and it was GLORIOUS:
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) November 12, 2018
- Some additional perspective from QB1:
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) November 11, 2018
- The best part of Sunday’s win is that I found it difficult to find one player whose performance was the focal point of the win. Sure, quarterback Mitch Trubisky had a huge game with a career-best 355 passing yards, four total touchdowns, and a 148.6 passer rating. And we’ll dive deeper into that later today, but for him to have a big game, his receivers had to make plays. (SPOILER ALERT: They did.)
- Allen Robinson had his first 100-yard and multi-TD games as a member of the Bears, showing how valuable his return was to an offense that missed him during his two week hiatus. And it’s not just the catches, yards, and touchdowns Robinson brings to the table. Check out Trubisky’s numbers in the six games in which Robinson has been healthy enough to play: 136/191, 1,616 yards, 14 touchdowns, 4 interceptions. That adds up to a 71.2% completion rate, 8.5 yards per attempt, a 7.3 TD%, 2.1 INT%, and 112.4 passer rating. When Robinson hasn’t been healthy or available, Trubisky’s numbers slump to 688 yards, 5 TD, 3 INT, an 80.7 passer rating and a 54.6 completion percentage. It’s not a coincidence the Bears are better when Robinson is healthy and on the field. No wonder the Bears played it cautiously when it came to his injury.
- On the other side of the field, rookie Anthony Miller put together his first career 100-yard receiving game, too. Miller has caught 15 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns in his last four games as he continues to emerge as one of Trubisky’s favorite targets. Extrapolate that over the course of a 16-game season and that’s 60 catches, 972 yards, and eight scores. The Memphis product is only getting better and more confident as the season goes on.
- Fun fact: Trubisky has a 107.1 passer rating when targeting Miller this year. It’s good to see the bond between two young players strengthen before our very eyes.
- Miller has been so good, you almost forget about the shoulder injury he suffered earlier in the year. I’m not sure how close you can get to being fully healthy after separating a shoulder, but it doesn’t look like it’s negatively impacting him right now. Isn’t that a relief?
- It warmed my heart to see this early and often on Sunday:
- It can be easy to over-look the defense’s contributions when the offense puts up huge numbers. Let’s not do that. Specifically, let’s underline Roquan Smith’s performance against the Lions. The rookie linebacker collected a team-leading 10 tackles (nine solo), one sack, a tackle-for-loss, a QB Hit, and a pass break-up. Smith was a stat-sheet filler on Sunday and continues to get better with each game rep he plays.
- If Sunday was the first time you sat down to take in a Bears game, I bet it’d be hard to convince you that Smith missed all of training camp and didn’t play a preseason game. Because, yeah, Smith doesn’t look like someone who was missing in action all summer. And that’s a good thing for the Bears moving forward.
- Prince Amukamara took some guff from the internet for making this interception and I don’t understand why:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) November 11, 2018
- Look, I get it. The smart play is to knock the ball down and give the offense possession near mid-field. No argument here. On the other hand, that’s one of those things that’s easier said while on the recliner than in the heat of battle. That type of thinking is counter-intuitive to what players are hard-wired to do. Coaching instincts and aggressiveness out of players is a dangerous game and one I don’t really want to play.
- It’s easy to say “just knock it down” when so many things could go wrong when you try playing that game. I’ve seen players whiff on the bat-down leading to catches. There have been times where a player doesn’t hit it correctly and a fortuitous bounce leads it to an opponents hands (like in that crazy overtime loss to the Dolphins). Leaving things to chance isn’t something I like signing off on. So while Amukamara didn’t make the “smart” play, I’m not going to be mad about a player creating a turnover.
- Besides, players don’t get paid for pass break-ups and knocked down throws. The turnover bug is contagious and it’s good to see a Bears defensive back successfully make a play on the ball and catch it. Keep up the good work, guys.
- How bad was it for the Lions? Their players were trying to just hang out with the Bears and hope no one noticed:
Caption this pic.twitter.com/YlrJlXFDJ5
— 360°FantasyFootball (@360FFB) November 11, 2018
- A 6-3 start and plus-94 point differential has the league singing a different tune when talking about Bears GM Ryan Pace:
It’s early in the season but, @ChicagoBears GM Ryan Pace has got to be at the forefront for executive of the year in the #NFL -Hit on all 3 of his big free agent signings and Home Run’d his Head Coach hire.
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) November 12, 2018
- Sunday’s stars were a first-round quarterback, first-round linebacker, second-round receiver, free-agent receiver who was at the top of his respective class, and a pass-rusher who cost the team two future first-round draft picks (as well as the largest contract ever handed out to a defensive player). Oh, and they were led by the hand-picked first-year head coach from a successful coaching tree. Tip your cap to Bears GM Ryan Pace, who seems to have gotten a grasp of how to be a successful front office executive after some rough times in the early going.
- The only thing more fabulous than Allen Robinson’s six-catch, 133-yard, two-touchdown game might have been this sweater:
— Jarrett Payton (@paytonsun) November 11, 2018
- That’s savage:
What exactly has Matt Patricia accomplished during his first year coaching the Detroit Lions? Can’t think of anything meaningful, unless you count making Jim Caldwell look like Knute Rockne.
— Terry Boers (@RealTerryBoers) November 11, 2018
- I didn’t want to pick on the FOX broadcast team again, but I feel like they spent way too much time talking about what has been a mostly unsuccessful Bill Belichick coaching tree.
- So much stuff happened in Sunday’s game, I almost forgot this happened:
#Bears had nickel back Bryce Callahan motioning and safety Eddie Jackson in the backfield. Lions called a timeout.
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) November 11, 2018
- As for the Bears’ next opponent, you’ll notice that they’re in a similar boat as the Bears:
The Vikings' best win so far this year is against the 4-5 Eagles. Other wins are against shit teams (SF, NYJ, DET, ARI), just like Chicago.
But nobody is dunking on them for not beating good teams.
— Johnathan Wood (@Johnathan_Wood1) November 12, 2018
- That’s quite an astute observation. The Vikings are good. So are the Bears. The two will meet on Sunday night. Can’t wait!