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Bears-Vikings Observations

What did we learn in the Bears’ second win of 2016?

Minnesota Vikings v Chicago Bears Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Where has this Bears team been all season long?

That’s a rhetorical question but there is a short answer out there somewhere: injured, mainly.

The front seven on defense all of the sudden has three healthy pass-rushers in Leonard Floyd, Willie Young and Pernell McPhee and that’s really brought out the best in Akiem Hicks who hasn’t been bad this season either.

On offense the catalyst can’t be Jay Cutler alone can it? Just weeks removed from the head coach trying to run him out of town, truly, Cutler stepped in with a memorable Bears performance, leading an offense to the highest output any team has had against Minnesota this season.

Jordan Howard can’t be discredited either, Howard out gained the Vikings by himself!

For the fans who have been clamoring for losing and the No. 1 overall pick, sorry. For the fans who say Jay Cutler absolutely has no place on this team, stop reading.

Yes, the team can do better than Jay Cutler long term. But in the here and now? For the short term? I’ll take Jay Cutler all day everyday and every Sunday.

What caught my eye during the game last night?

The pass rush, it’s fierce and nasty - It was awesome to see Leonard Floyd pick up where he left off last week with a sack, Hicks had two sacks, McPhee had a sack, a forced fumble and four QB hits. As exciting as I was, I was reminded through Twitter that the D is still missing Eddie Goldman. Yes, that was a bad Minnesota Vikings line, but surely this unit could be turning a corner and could be very, very good in the second half of the season.

Cutler is the undisputed starter - Will he turn in a clunker at some point? Yes. Will he make fans tear their hair out? No doubt. However, he is the best QB on this roster, no question about it. The way Cutler played tonight, rusty first half and “almost picks” included, the Bears would’ve beat Indianapolis and Jacksonville with him under center.

Helmet tip goes to Dowell Loggains too, whose play calling was finally in step with his QB. During Cutler’s early outings this season Loggains got pass-happy behind a still-learning offensive line and Cutler took a lot of hits. Perhaps he learned while having to plan for Brian Hoyer or maybe he just got more comfortable and found his own rhythm, but whatever the case last night was a very solid game by Loggains. There were 28 called runs to 32 passes, counting Cutler’s one scramble as a pass. The team had 158 rushing yards against the No. 4 rushing defense and 403 total yards against a unit surrendering 279.5 yards per game, fewest in the league, all without their best two offensive linemen!

Bottom line: With this Loggains and this Cutler, Jordan Howard and a healthy Alshon Jeffery, this offense should not struggle to find the endzone.

John Fox might be the most frustrating part of this team - Fox appeared to be sold on benching Cutler for Hoyer, which looks crazy after last night, he gets conservative at times and he isn’t good at managing the clock (see the last two minutes of the first half). Now, look at the rest of last night’s game: The offense was moving the ball, as it’s been even with it’s back up QB (TDs were lacking), the defense was playing great and even though there were some moments, a secondary held together by nobodies kept a bad offense from playing well.

Do fans still want to ditch this entire staff? Vic Fangio is a great defensive playcaller, Loggains is doing well on the offensive side, the secondary is doing a good job with a lot of injuries. If there were a way to get a different head coach in and keep the assistants in place, I’m not sure I’d be against that right now.

Maybe that’s just the high of the win talking, but I’m actually comfortable with the coordinators and the job they are doing.

What caught your eye last night? Has Loggains become a decent coordinator?