I don’t know how I’ll celebrate a Bears Victory Monday, but I know I’ll do it in style.
• The best teams are ones where the best player is also the hardest worker. It also helps when he is a heck of a motivator, too:
Khalil Mack showing off that leadership. LET'S GO. pic.twitter.com/NRXIg6GhO2
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) September 14, 2020
• These Bears had no business giving up 20 points to the Lions. None. Even if anything can happen on any given Sunday. But credit the defense for pulling it together when the Lions could’ve ran away with the game. After that TD drive to open the second half, the Lions’ drives went as followed: FG, Punt, Missed FG, INT, End of Game. After going up 23-6, the Lions ran 28 plays and gained just 102 yards. Most of those came while the Bears played in whatever shell they were in on that final drive. And while it almost cost them in the end, it didn’t. The defense still has “it” … but needs to show it with some consistency.
• I didn’t really notice Mack on first watch, but the advanced metrics suggest he was doing his thing:
through some of the 1 p.m. games…here are the early leaders in pass rush win rate from the edge. exactly who you'd expe– pic.twitter.com/4Al4PoAuob
— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) September 13, 2020
• On the other side of the ball, Mitchell Trubisky continued his complete ownership of the Lions franchise: 137/203 (67.5% completion rate), 1,601 yards, 14 TD, 4 INT, 106.0 passer rating in 6 games. Extrapolate those numbers out to 16 games and we’re looking at 4,269 yards, 37 TDs, and 11 INT. Pure domination. And to further rub salt in the wound, Trubisky KNEW WHAT WAS COMING:
Mitch Trubisky said the Lions did a good job of mixing up coverages early in the game, but…
"When they got down to the wire, they’re going to play what they trust most and that’s man for them. And we knew that."
Never change, Matt Patricia.
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) September 13, 2020
• Trubisky had his issues yesterday. There were timing problems, accuracy issues, and footwork concerns. We’ll dive into that stuff later. But that Trubisky out-foxed Matt Patricia, once believed to be another brilliant branch off the Belichick tree. Knowing that Patricia would ultimately go back to the defense’s bread-and-butter must absolutely pain Lions fans. More importantly, I think this counts as growth for Trubisky. Maybe it’s a small step, but it’s not nothing.
• The amazing Allen Robinson:
• Let’s not lose sight of how Robinson running that extra crispy underneath route clears up things on the backside for Wims. That’s wonderful play design and execution. It’s also reason No. 9,692 to put an acceptable extension on the desk of Robinson’s representatives right damn now.
• Cairo Santos made both of his field goal attempts and all three of his PATs. Recent trends had me worried about Santos, who made less than 70 percent of his kicks from 2017-19. But perhaps a healthy Santos is just what the Bears needed. I’m never going to take the kicking game for granted again. So when Chicago’s kicker has a good game, I’m going to acknowledge it promptly.
• Fun fact: Santos is the fourth different kicker the Bears have employed for the season-opener in as many years. He follows Connor Barth (2017), Cody Parkey (2018), and Eddy Piñeiro (2019). For what it’s worth, those kickers made 7 of 7 field goals and all seven PATs. I know better than to put the cart in front of the horse when talking about Chicago’s kicking game. However, Santos is off to a nice start in relief of Piñeiro. Keep up the good work, new guy!
• No, I’m not really over how the Lions farted that one away. Matt Prater doinked a field goal. Matthew Stafford took a bad, drive-killing sack and threw an interception to Kyle Fuller. The D’Andre Swift drop was frosting on the cake. Detroit did as much to lose that one as the Bears did to win it. But I’m not sorry about it. Not one bit.
• This is old hat for the Lions, who have lost 11 games in which they held a fourth-quarter lead since the start of 2018. They had seven such games in 2019. Tough scene.
• It’s a small sample (21 snaps/32% of offensive plays), but I can’t wait to see more from Darnell Mooney:
#Bears average yards of separation gained against the Lions:
Jimmy Graham: 0.81 yards
Javon Wims: 1.01 yards
Anthony Miller: 1.78 yards
Allen Robinson: 1.86 yards
Darnell Mooney: 3.16 yards
League Average: 2.83 According to @NextGenStats
— The Chicago Audible (@ChicagoAudible) September 14, 2020
• Block or charge?
I’m aware you aren’t allowed to touch the ref. But it almost looked like the official leaned into it! pic.twitter.com/Mn1gxdYrLd
— Jordan Dajani (@JordanDajani) September 13, 2020
• Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune writes about the Bears’ mixed approach during the national anthem:
Bears take a mixed approach to the national anthem in Week 1 — some stand, some kneel and some stay off the field https://t.co/mfTMoGRay3
— Colleen Kane (@ChiTribKane) September 13, 2020
• Games without fans in the stands means epic streaks like the ones below came to an end on Sunday:
• Moments after I pushed send on the Bears post-game recap, Alec Mills finished off a no-hitter against the Brewers. Yesterday was a fun one for the BN fam:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) September 13, 2020