The Chicago Bears entered Sunday with more questions than answers, in all phases of their football team. That includes roster holes, depth concerns, coaching issues, and three units worth of scheming questions.
Those questions were what led to an 0-3 start to the 2016 season, and fans sitting at home wondering just how bad this year would possibly be.
On Sunday, their second home game of the season almost seemed like a ‘win or else’ situation for John Fox and his crew, and boy did they rise to the occasion. The Lions strolled in with a top-5 offense led by Matthew Stafford, but were sent packing without having scored a single touchdown on the day.
The Bears offense was in a great rhythm for four full quarters, and Soldier Field was rocking for 60 minutes of football.
- Quarterback, Brian Hoyer: For the second straight game, Hoyer filled in for an injured Jay Cutler, and for the second straight game, he threw for over 300 yards with no interceptions. Hoyer marched the Bears offense up and down the field, threw the football with pinpoint accuracy, and closed out with this stat line: 28/ 36, 302 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT, 120.1 rating. If Jay Cutler needs another week for his thumb to heal, Hoyer has given this team enough to earn their trust.
- Offensive Coordinator Dowell Loggains: Through the first three games, Loggains drew sharp criticism from fans and analysts alike. His play-calling and scheming was too conservative, often times seeing the offense sputter before it could even get off the ground. But on Sunday against the Lions, he stepped up and called a great game, and had the offense moving at a quickened pace. They played in an impressive rhythm for four quarters, and he got every key play-maker on offense involved.
- Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio: We mentioned above the top-5 offense of the Detroit Lions... The Bears defensive unit is among the most beat-up and depleted in the league, but Fangio was able to out-scheme the Matthew Stafford- led offense, and sent Detroit home without scoring a single offensive touchdown.
- Honorable mentions: Eddie Royal, Jordan Howard, the entire Offensive Line
- Special Teams coach Jeff Rogers: The Bears ST unit has struggled for most of this season so far, and Sunday was no different. Against the Lions, they missed a FG, had a punt returned for a touchdown, and nearly botched an onside kick attempt by the Lions late in the game.
- Running Back Joique Bell: Is it fair to criticize a guy who only had three carries in the game, and who just got signed by the team a few days ago? Normally, of course not. But in one of Bell’s carries, the Bears were 3rd and short in a critical time in the game, needed a conversion, and Bell took the handoff and passively ran forward. He did not seem to be running with aggression, but more or less floated forward until he was knocked down by the Lions defense. The Bears didn’t convert, and Bell didn’t do anything to ensure he stays on the team if/when Jeremy Langford and Ka’Deem Carey come back. [Note: This is probably unfair.]
- The guy who ran onto the field in a gorilla suit:
A guy dressed as a gorilla wearing an "all lives matter" shirt just ran onto the field at the Bears game pic.twitter.com/QJLfuS1b1U— Nik Gaur (@Gaur_Nik) October 2, 2016
Who were your winners and losers from Sunday?