The streak continued Sunday, as the Chicago Bears failed to win a game coming out of the bye week for the fifth straight season. The roller-coaster ride of a game was probably one that was best to view as a fan outside of either team.
Regardless, the Bears are now 3-2 as they head home to face a red hot 4-2 New England Patriots team. Even with a Packers win tonight, the Bears will hold the tie-breaker due to less games played, so for a fourth straight week, they’ll hold onto first place.
While there was plenty of bad to go around in the 31-28 overtime lose, there was still plenty of good that happened Sunday afternoon. For more on who received Week 6’s game balls, let’s dive in.
WR Taylor Gabriel
When the Bears signed the 27-year-old back in March, most people believed his four-year, $26 million deal was an overpay. I’d be curious to see how many still feel the same after five games.
Gabriel has been arguably their best receiver so far and continues to show the ability to stretch the field, which in turn has helped Trubisky’s big turnaround over the past two weeks (more on that in a few).
On Sunday, the former Falcon broke the 100-yard mark for the second straight game with five catches for 110 yards. In those five catches were two deep balls, including a very impressive jump ball that the 5’8 receiver went up over a defensive back and pulled down. It’s becoming very clear that Gabriel’s role in this offense will continue to stay and could even grow as he and Trubisky gain more of a connection.
Here’s an early season argument that could be made for Gabriel right now; he may have been the team’s best acquisition this off-season, not named Khalil Mack.
Honorable Mention: QB Mitchell Trubisky
Speaking of the offense, Trubisky rebounded from a lackluster first half and finished the game 22/31 (71%) for 316 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
Now I’m not going to debate that his interception in the end zone could partially be blamed for them losing the game. But I will say this: The same people saying Trubisky didn’t have a good game because of the interception, are the same ones that will ignore Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes interceptions on a weekly basis due to yardage and points.
Simply put, Trubisky was one of three offensive players to turn the ball over and all three were in big situations. I’m not going to say Tarik Cohen had a bad game because of his fumble that ultimately caused overtime either.
The second-yard quarterback’s improvements have been on full display over the last two games and there’s no denying that he’s taking large strides to becoming the player everyone hopes he can be. The fact that he was able to rebound from a slow start and continues to throw multiple touchdown passes in games is a very promising development that Bears fans should be happy about.
CB Kyle Fuller
To put it lightly, the defense had its worst performance to date in 2018. For the first time all year, the gave up over 24 points per game and more importantly couldn’t get to the quarterback. They finished with zero sacks and only four quarterback hits against a team with a banged up offensive line, who was starting their statue of a backup quarterback in Brock Osweiler.
Despite that, Fuller’s two interceptions stood out.
On a day where the Bears defense gave up a total of 541 yards and 31 points, there wasn’t much to be happy about but Fuller’s two impressive plays on the ball should give fans hope that may he can turn around what has been an up and down season so far. Especially coming off his brand new four-year deal that was worth over $14 million per year with plenty of guaranteed money.
With Prince Amukamara’s hamstring still an issue (he left in the second half after reaggravating it), Fuller’s presence will be big over the next few weeks.
Oh and the Bears already have more interceptions through five games this year than they did all last season.