Bears back on track, thanks to Mack

It was closer than it should have been, but the Bears are off and running. Having blown a big lead at Green Bay a week earlier, things were getting a little edgy when Russell Wilson hit Tyler Locket in the back corner of the end zone to get Seattle within one score, but this time the defense stepped up and closed out the game…

It’s difficult to know who the Bears are right now after two weeks. Seattle aren’t very good but the Packers clearly are. The Bears should have beaten both. Had Khalil Mack not run out of gas in the second half at Lambeau or if Kyle Fuller had caught a ball that hit him right in the chest they would have.

The Bears could be anything between 10-6 and 6-10. It all depends on the offense and what kind of growth we see. The defense is already spectacular and by the end of the year should be top three in the league. They lead the NFL in sacks already, and that’s with Leonard Floyd only playing with one hand. When he gets that club off he’ll be much more effective than he has been so far. A scary thought for opposing offenses.

The D were utterly dominant against Seattle but when the offense is letting the opposition hang around the outcome is always going to be in doubt. The inability of Mitch Trubisky & co to put points on the board was a huge factor in the loss in Green Bay, and for a while it was looking like it would hand Russell Wilson a lifeline to get back into this one.

As great as the defense were playing, a quarterback like Wilson is always going to be able to put together one or two scoring drives and eventually that’s what happened. The Bears offense started well but for the second week running struggled once the opposition coaches made adjustments.

Trubisky led the offense on a long drive that resulted in a TD for Trey Burton on a nice little shovel pass play straight out of the playbook Matt Nagy used with the Chiefs. Last year Travis Kelce scored on the exact same play for Kansas. A promising start but it soon fizzled out and the Bears led only by 10-3 at half time after Sebastian Janikowski kicked a monster field goal just before the half.

For the second week in a row the Bears defense had played lights out in the first half but the offense just don’t put up enough points. Trubisky missed some easy throws and was also intercepted twice. He didn’t look good, but to his credit he didn’t allow the picks to shake his confidence and he made some nice throws in the second half, including a TD toss on the run to rookie Anthony Miller.

That put the Bears up by 14 but Wilson then led the Seahawks on a drive that ended with a perfectly thrown ball to Lockett. Fuller had great coverage but just like last week when he was beaten by an incredible throw by Aaron Rodgers, he didn’t get his head around to locate the ball. Hard to be too critical of him as the only way he gets beaten on both of those is if the pass is absolutely inch perfect. Unfortunately for Fuller they were.

With just a one score lead there were fears we might see a repeat of the previous game, but after spending all week talking about the ‘need to finish’ the defense did just that. On the Seahawks next possession Prince Amukamura made a break on the ball and picked off Wilson

On Seattle’s next possession, Danny Trevathan stripped the ball from Wilson and Floyd recovered. Wilson was able to take Seattle down the field for a garbage time score but by that point the Bears knew they home and dry.

The offense has a long way still to go but that’s to be expected. Trubisky lacks experience and he’s in a brand new offense. Nagy knows his stuff and in time should be able to get Trubisky and the offense putting up more points than they are right now, but the question Bears fans have is whether Trubisky will ever be the man they need him to be.

It’s too early to tell. There are some worrying signs but also some encouraging flashes. It doesn’t help when Pat Mahomes is throwing 10 TDs in the first two weeks for the Chiefs in more or less the same offense Trubisky is in, but although both were taken in the same draft it’s not an apples to apples comparison. Mahomes was behind Alex Smith last year learning the ropes, and he had the great Andy Reid coaching him. Trubisky had Mike Glennon and John Fox, with Dowell Loggains as his OC. Essentially he’s starting from scratch this year.

It’s going to take time but at least the defense will be able to keep them competitive. It’s going to be a lot of fun watching Mack, Floyd, Trevathan, Akeem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Roquan Smith, Eddie Jackson & co this year.

Next up for the Bears is a trip to the truly awful Arizona Cardinals. That’s a game they have to win, and if they do it sets them up nicely for another winnable – albeit tougher – game against Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bucs a week later.

A Gameball for….

Khalil Mack. I may as well just copy and paste that because I suspect I’m going to be writing it a lot this year.

 

Dave Usher

David Usher (112 Posts)

Day job is writing about footy for 'the Liverpool Way' and ESPN FC. Love the Bears and Bulls too though, which is why I'm here.


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