10 thoughts after the Bears lost to the Patriots 38-31 on Sunday at Soldier Field. 1. Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky…
10 thoughts after the Bears lost to the Patriots 38-31 on Sunday at Soldier Field.
1. Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky has come a long way, but he still has a long way to go. Even when first-year coach Matt Nagy appears to be on the defensive, he’s conversational while delivering his thoughts. He came across like a defense witness Sunday in support of Trubisky. Men han gjorde ikke det i “I’m-the-coach-and-i-know-more-than-you” manner that some use. Nagy made a handful of points that made a lot of sense. He made some that did not seem to pass the eye test for those who had just finished watching another game get away from the 3-3 Bears, who had led in the second half of all three losses.
Trubisky was not awful. He was not great either.
Trubisky’s final line was 26 or 50 passing for 333 yards with two touchdowns, two interceptions, two beatdowns, two interceptions and a 69.8 fits rating. He was also the game’s leading rusher, carrying six times for 81
yards and one touchdown. More on his fleet feet in a little bit. A good chunk of his passing yardage came with the Patriots defense backed off, and when you interpret the numbers, that’s significant.
The Bears took possession of the ball on their own 38-yard line with 14 seconds remaining in the second quarter . Trubisky hit tight than Trey Burton across the middle for 17 yards before the Bears used their second timeout. Then came a 5-yard pass to run back Tarik Cohen, who scampered out of bounds at the Patriots’ 40 to stop the clock with one second remaining. Passing on what would have been a 58-yard field goal attempt, the Bears ran a play (maybe a Hail Mary would have been a good idea here?), And Trubisky threw an intermediate pass to Cohen, who gained 20 yards but never had a chance of springing loose. That’s 42 passing yards on that possession.
With 24 seconds left in the game, the Bears took over on their own 20. Trubisky completed 4 of 5 passes, and the Bears moved the ball 79 yards, stopped at the 1-yard line on the Hail Mary to Kevin White. Add it up and you’ve got 121 of his 333 yards against prevent shells.
I’ve written before that every Sunday is not a referendum on Trubisky’s future as the leader of the Bears and the trigger man for Nagy’s offense. That was not the case when Trubisky bombed the Buccaneers for six touchdown passes, and it’s not here. Han har gjort nogle rigtige fremskridt fra sidste år, mere enn nok til at fortryde et frontkontor og en fan base, der er tungt investeret i ham. With experience and more time in this system, he should continue to improve.
“I thought that Mitch played a good game,” Nagy said. “There was a lot of things you will not see on tape that I will See. He had a really good game mentally. Det var en par passes han gjorde hvor han var den første til å komme ud og si, “Skyt, jeg burde ikke ha gjort den kaste, eller?” Og så jeg likte fordi han visste det.
“But there was a lot of throws where he gave some guys chances. We had some big drops. And again, this is collectively. Dus iedereen in daar, we hebben allemaal nodig om elkaar te maken. … You saw he was using his legs, and that’s a huge weapon.
“I came away pleased with how he played, and it’s unfortunate because all three phases we just were not good enough, and any time you give up two touchdowns, and oh, by the way, it’s the Patriots with Tom Brady, your chances are smart. “
When Nagy and the offensive coaches review the movie, they will find elements they like that fans reviewing The game as many times as they want, will not pick up. For starters, Nagy and the coaches know the pre-snap adjustments that are made on every play. They know the route progression. They have all sorts of insight.
Trubisky could have finished with four interceptions if the Patriots did not have the drops, and there was a bad one by linebacker Elandon Roberts in the end zone.
Other missed throws stood out.
Take for example the first and 10 play from the Bears’ 37 with 6:24 remaining in the game. Rookie wide receiver Anthony Miller, lined up in the lock, made a nice move inside to shake cornerback Jonathan Jones. Miller was open down the seam, and Trubisky missed him on what would have been a gain of at least 30 yards – maybe a touchdown. The ball was overthrown and a little offline. Earlier there were underthrown balls.
“When you throw the ball 50 times, there’s going to be some that are inaccurate,” Nagy said. “This is this kid’s second year in the NFL, and this is his first year in our offense. So not everything is going to be dead on.
“You go back to Week 1 against Green Bay. … Remember you guys were asking, “Why are your eyes always down at the linemen?” Now you can see he’s taken a step further or, OK, it’s downfield, that touchdown to checkdown to run now and when teams are going to play certain coverages and try to take certain guys away from our offense, that’s a weapon we have to use, and I thought he did a great job. “
I’ll agree wholeheartedly that Trubisky has improved in the pocket and done a better job keeping his eyes downfield. That really stuck out in the Packers game, and he’s been better since. I just struggle with the idea it was a “good” game, especially if we are evaluating the passing aspect that’s far, far more important than anything he can do with his legs.
2. In the season’s sixth game, after 70 snaps without a target, Kevin White finally got involved in the passing game. He caught two passes – including the 54-yard Hail Mary on the final play – on three goals, with one of them being wiped out by an accepted penalty.
“I knew where I was at,” White said. “For a split second I (thought I could get in the end zone) until I felt a bunch of guys. Så jeg visste at det var over, men jeg prøvde bare å strekke ballen, og jeg faktisk prøvde å hånden det til T.G. (Taylor Gabriel) but there was no time left. “
Gabriel was calling for the ball from White. Patriots safety Duron Harmon heard him and tried to wrap his arms around both White and Gabriel in the scrum of humanity.
“We practice it all the time,” White said. “There was just nowhere I could go to pitch it. Basically the whole defense was back in the end zone. I knew it would come down to a jump ball, and I just tried to make the best of it and make a good play.
“Maybe it would be a different game if it were a touchdown, but those are the ones we ‘ve got to have just before that play. We should definitely have won that game. I just tried to fight and get in. Tried to change the game. Make a big-time play. After I caught it, I thought I had a chance. It sucks a little bit. If I had Kyle Long or one of the lines to push me in, it would have been a different game. “
White admitted it felt good to finally get involved in the passing game. He’s had some nice blocks in the running game, but the ball was not coming his way when he got on the field. In my unofficial tally of Sunday’s snaps, which includes plays wiped out by penalties, I had White for 20. He got more action near the end of the game as receiver. Allen Robinson, who was questionable with a groin injury, was not on the field for the final three offensive possessions.
“It was a long time coming,” White said. “You just have to say ready. Det ville ha følt meg riktigt bra (to score på finalespillet), stille støj og vis alle. Jeg er den samme fyren – endnu bedre og jeg lager de big-time plays. I’ve just got to stay focused and control what I can control. “
White did not necessarily sense he would play more against the Patriots, but he had to know that it was possible with Robinson hampered somewhat in practice during the week .
“You never know,” White said. “Just kind of happened that way. Hver uge i praksis prøver du å gå hardt og gjør mitt jobb og gjør hva jeg kan gjøre for å hjelpe teamet. “
The throw came up just short. Trubisky certainly has the arm strength to get the ball to the end zone, but he was in a tough position as linebacker. Kyle Van Noy was bearing down on him and he was not able to completely follow through.
“Tried to get a chance to get close to the end zone, “Trubisky said.” Offensive line did a great job buying me time, stepped up, move to the left and just chucked one deep. I saw a group of our receivers down there, Kevin made a heck of a catch, and it was much closer than I’m sure a lot of people saw it, but I thought from my vantage point, I thought he was in.
“So you just have a never-give-up mentality, and that’s what we have here. We were that close. It was like 1 yard, 2 yards away. It was a great effort by Kevin and the rest of the guys, especially up front, just giving me time to be able to chuck that down there, so yeah, never-give up mentality, it was real close.
” It’s never one play. Der er en kulmination af spiller i hele spillet, som har gjort forskellen, og vi har lige fået at finde disse skuespil, sørg for at vi forbedrer dem, vær hårdt på os selv i filmrummet og sørg for at vi bliver bedre denne uge. “ 3. The connection on the Hail Mary makes one wonder why the Bears did not throw the ball into the end zone on the final play of the first half. They were at the Patriots’ 40-yard line, and Nagy explained that wind conditions toward the south end zone took what would have been a 58-yard field goal attempt for Cody Parkey off the table.
Instead, Trubisky threw to Cohen , who was cutting across the middle. Cohen caught the ball at the 33 and was able to get to the 20 but was never close to springing to the end zone.
Said Nagy: “Typically what you hope for there, and I’ve seen it happen a few times, ice … you have a sack, quarterback-gets-hurt type fumble, than half, where a bad play gets worse. Men det er blevet gjort hvor en fyr fanger ballen underneath, og enten løfter det for en touchdown eller der er et ansvarsfullt ansvarsfordel, og nå er det en straff og det er et gratis spill å skape et feltmål. That’s kind of the mindset behind some of that. “
Either way, percentages are stacked against the offense whether you’re throwing the ball into the end zone or going underneath and relying on a bad or missed tackle or a penalty to extend
4. You can bet the Patriots will spend considerable time reviewing their ability to stop quarterbacks from hurting them with their legs. Trubisky ran for 81 yards on six carries, with a nifty 39-yard gain and an 8-yard touchdown in which he ran forever, at one point 22 yards behind the original line of scrimmage. It was the most rushing yards by a Bears quarterback since Cade McNown ran for 87 yards in the 2000 season-opening loss to the Vikings. Trubisky now has five career games with 47 or more rushing yards. According to Pro-Football-Reference, which tracks quarterback rushing statistics going back to 1999, the Bears has had only nine other games in which a QB has done that – five by McNown, two by Kordell Stewart, one by Caleb Hanie and one by Henry Burris. I was surprised Jay Cutler, who ran well for a quarterback, was not on the list, but his best day on the ground for the Bears was 39 yards, which he achieved twice. Trubisky’s 81 yards were the most a quarterback has gained against the Patriots since Tim Tebow ran for 93 yards in the Patriots’ 41-23 win over the Broncos on Dec. 18, 2011.
“(Trubisky) made some great plays,” Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said. “Even that last one, that last thewow was an incredible throw. Rolling left, had a guy in his face and he’s obviously got the ability to throw it and he made some great plays put in the pocket running. “
What’s impressive when Trubisky pulls the ball down and runs is that he seems to have
“We’ve been working on it,” he said. “It’s all about just – I mean , sommige mensen krijgen nerveus omdat de quarterback’s zijn gekomen om te gaan en gezond te blijven, dus het is gewoon om je hoofd te houden op een zwivel, weet je wanneer je kan uitbreiden en weet wanneer je moet komen. “I generally go running the ball you do not get live reps in practice, but I’m going to continue to use my running ability to make teams pay, and I get more and more comfortable running the ball every week.
og de forsvarer i praksis, de reagerer ikke på deg som kjører på banen, fordi de forventer at du skal skyve eller gå ned. You get better in the games throughout the week from getting those experiences, and yeah, I’ve been working on that hesitation move a little bit. “
Bobby Douglass holds the Bears record for rushing yards in a season by a quarterback with 968 in 1972. Douglass had 127 rushing yards in the final that season against the Raiders and 117 against the Browns. The Bears do not want Trubisky to run for that kind of yardage, but he’s got 245 for the season putting him 66 behind Jordan Howard for the team lead and on pace for 653.
5. Tight than Trey Burton had a big game, catching nine passes on 11 goals for 126 yards and a touchdown. It was the first 100-yard game of his career, and it came against the team he starred against in Super Bowl LII with the “Philly Special” touchdown pass.
“It’s overshadowed by the loss,” Burton said.  He figured he might get plenty of opportunities with the Patriots known for relying heavily on man coverage.
“You know what happens,” Burton said. “You can gameplan something and when game time happens, it’s totally different. It changes quickly. Det var bare konkurrerende med (sikkerhed Patrick) Chung the whole game. He’s a great competitor. I love going against this guy.
“They play a lot of man. They have always done that, so that’s what we were getting a lot of. Mitch was throwing me balls on time. I knew I could play. I was not really worried about stats. Just wanted to win. “
Burton’s emergence helped the Bears
6. Rough, rough day for the Bears on special teams. They got a big play early when linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski stripped kickoff return Cordarrelle Patterso n, creating a fumble that DeAndre Houston-Carson fell on. But after that, Patterson’s 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and the blocked point by Dont’a Hightower that Kyle Van Noy scooped and returned for a score were backbreakers in a one-score game. It’s certainly out of character for the Bears, who had been doing a nice job on special teams.
Tight than Ben Braunecker, who was run over by Hightower before the blocked point, was gutted after the game. Braunecker has been a reliable special team performer since arriving in 2016.
“It was unacceptable, and frankly I’m really embarrassed about it, but it’s what it is,” he said. “It all happened so fast. I was protected on point so many times before and it was just like in an instant. I was flat on my back so I’m still really trying … I have not seen the movie, just a little picture.
“He’s very stout and he’s 265 pounds, listed on there. I know that if he lines up wide I’m really going to have to kick back and anchor in. I was not able to do that on that play. “
Hightower said it was the first point he’s blocked at any level. I asked him if there was something that led him to believe a power move would create an opening.
“I’m just playing myself,” he said. “I’m power. I’m not a finesse guy. If I’m in there I’m trying to play strong, trying to play physical. That’s what it was. “
Plenty of other players had a rough day on special teams. The Bears will have to sort out what went wrong on the kickoff return by Patterson, who has a nice combination of speed and strength. It was his sixth career kickoff-return TD. His first came against the Bears during his second career game in 2013 with the Vikings.
“We just have to execute our job,” Bears special teams ace Sherrick McManis said. “We’ve all got responsibilities and, you know, things to do and we’ve just got to execute it. We’ve got to make plays. Every returner we are going to face is going to be dangerous or else they would not be back there. He’s a great return and we can be great cover people. We have to do our job and execute. “
7. The pass rush did not get it done, and surely the sprained right ankle or Khalil Mack hampered him a bit. Interestingly, the Bears had Mack rush mostly from the right side, a departure from what they’ve done with him before. My hunch is they made that move because, in part at least, they believe Leonard Floyd is a little better on the left side. Tyvärr, det var et stille spill for Floyd, som nu har gått sju på rad, starter uten en sack som går tilbage til hans sidste kamp i fjor, da han led knepskader mot Lions på Nov. 19. Mack did not have a lot of success against left tackle Trent Brown, and he finished with only one tackle. Floyd had three.
“I do not know if it affected him yet,” Nagy said of Mack’s ankle. “Again, in my role, I do not get to see the individual – how they feel and what they are doing. Obviously you did not feel it from our team as far as just getting the overall general pressure on (Tom Brady), so I’ll be anxious to see really where he was at, how he looked, and then we’ve got to evaluate and listen to him too: “Ok, you just went through a game on this, how did it feel and where are you at?”
“ He felt pretty good and like he could give it a go, and we trusted that. So we’ll go ahead and check it on tape and see how he was last week and this week. “
8. Rookie defensive lineman Bilal Nichols made an impact. He forced a fumble from Sony Michel when he twisted the Patriots rookie running back to the turf, and he put a hit on Tom Brady. Nichols was credited with four tackles, and he recovered the fumble that he forced.
“Really starting to get a feel for things, and my teammates helped me out a lot,” Nichols said. “Akiem (Hicks), Eddie Goldman), Nick Williams, all those guys helped me out a lot and give me opportunities to make those plays.
“When you are playing with guys that dominate like Khalil (Mack) and Akiem, it gives you an opportunity to get some one-on-one chances. “
Nichols had 34 hits at my unofficial count, and he’s really turning into a nice find for the Bears as a fifth-round pick. It will be interesting to watch him grow as the season develops.
9. The NFL has been accustomed to high-profile draft prospects for skipping games in order to preserve their health. Running backs Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey, outside linebacker Bradley Chubb and cornerback Denzel Ward all have skipped bowl games recently. Ohio State defensive than Nick Bosa left school last week to prepare for the upcoming draft. He was suffering a core muscle injury that required surgery, and originally the thought was he would return for the Buckeyes this season.
Prepare for more of this, predicted a national scout for one NFL team. It’s the tip of the iceberg.
“I think if there is any semblance of any type of injury that could keep a kid out for any extended period of time, players are going to walk and I’m OK with that,” The scout said. “They’re going to leave to get healthy for the draft and can you blame them? Det virker som vi har kommet til det punkt hvor de bare får betalt. They are not making any money in college. “
The scout pointed out that Cowboy’s Linebacker Jaylon Smith suffered a devastating knee injury playing for Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl. A sure first-round pick, he fell to the third round. In his third NFL season, Smith finally plays well for the Cowboys.
The scout also referred to Oklahoma cornerback Aaron Colvin, who suffered a torn ACL in the Senior Bowl in 2014 and wound up being drafted in the fourth round by the Jaguars .
“That Colvin kid was a back end of the first round guy,” the scout said. “That injury cost the kid what? Maybe $ 3.5 million. Maybe more. Der er en risiko som er der for disse børn, og det er derfor et barn som ser ud som om han kommer til at være en første runde pick, de kommer ikke til at spille i Senior Bowl. Why would they? Now we’ll see how much it trickles down to bowl games.
“It does not bother me. Some guys, it bothers them because of the whole thought process that you should always fulfill a commitment and be a team guy and blah, blah, blah. Du kan være en lagkarl, men at universitetet ikke giver en (hoot) om dig. What’s a scholarship cost? Fifty grand. The schools make a hell of a lot more than that of the kids.
“Sure, there’s the,” He’s a team guy and he fulfilled his commitment and he’s a great team member and he played for a national championship. “Great that’s all good. Men gjør noen av det som om et barn gjør det til Week 9 og da han blår ut hans knee? Er det positivt at en fyr stikker rundt og alle ønsker at se det, men gør det virkelig så stor forskjell i evalueringsprosessen? “
I asked the scout if Bosa is a top-five pick in April. He said absolutely. I asked if he’s top three.
“I’d say he probably is,” the scout said. “But I have not seen anyone yet.”
10. The Bears are getting top billing from CBS this week when the Jets are coming to town. For Sunday’s game at Soldier Field, the network is scheduled to have its No. 1 broadcast team or Jim Nantz, Tony Romo and sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson call the game. Det er første gang at Bears have drawn a network’s No. 1 broadcast team for a non-prime-time game.
10a. The Bears opened as a 6-point favorite over the Jets at Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas.
10b. Center Cody Whitehair and defensive than Roy Robertson-Harris switched their representation to Sportstars. Whitehair now is represented by Jonathan Perzley and Brian Mackler, and Robertson-Harris is represented by Ron Slavin, according to NFLPA records. Whitehair, the second-round pick in 2016, is eligible for a new contract after this season. Robertson-Harris will be an exclusive rights free agent after this season. Sportstars represents six other Bears: left tackle Charles Leno, tight ends Adam Shaheen and Dion Sims, and defensive linemen Nichols, Jonathan Bullard and Williams. They also represent cornerback Michael Joseph, who is on the practice squad.
10c. Veteran tight than Dion Sims was on the field for only two snaps in the second half, by my count. That came after a bad dropped pass earlier in the game. That created more opportunities on offense for Braunecker, who got a season-high 13 snaps at my count. Sims has not been the receiving threat of the Bears envisioned; It’s a good thing they have Burton for that role.
10d. The schedule sets up nicely for the Bears. They close out the first half of the Jets and then travel to Buffalo to face the struggling bills. A 5-3 record at the halfway point would put them in a good spot and match the number of victories they had in all of 2017. They’ve got to go out and win those games.
bmbiggs @ chicagotribune .com
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