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Cold Takes: A Look At Chicago’s Win Over Tampa Bay

Things look a bit different when you set emotions aside and go back and watch the tape a couple of times...

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Chicago Bears
Fans cheer during the game between the Chicago Bears and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Soldier Field on September 30, 2018 in Chicago
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

We’ve all seen the “Hot Takes” from Sunday’s Chicago-Tampa game all over the net.

In this series, I’m letting some time pass, and after reviewing the game tape a couple of times, I’m going to share some “Cold Takes.” These are just a series of my thoughts and observations, presented in no particular order.

  • My game ball goes to Vic Fangio and the entire defense. To hold the highest scoring offense in the league to a field goal and a garbage-time TD while getting 4 sacks, 3 turnovers, etc... that’s pretty good.
  • For the second week in a row, I’m not going to talk about Mitchell Trubisky. He’s being discussed enough elsewhere. Let’s talk about his teammates instead.
  • Kevin White didn’t have a single target out of his 28 snaps, but he still contributed big-time with several bone-crushing blocks. Being a blocking wide receiver is a long, long way from his draft position, but still, at least he’s doing something to help Chicago win. Unfortunately, that doesn’t elevate him above “bust” status, but it’s at least something.
  • We had another Josh Bellamy sighting. This just in, he’s better at catching passes than he used to be. He’s a perfectly legit #4-5 wide receiver & special teams ace. Can we stop the ‘drops everything’ routine?
  • Speaking of drops, the Bears have a team-wide grand-total of two drops on the season. Two. Trey Burton and Anthony Miller, in case you were wondering, not Jordan Howard or Josh Bellamy.
  • Before we go any further, we have to admit that the Tampa Bay defense is just really, really bad. They have some talent on their defensive line, but past that? No. They came into Chicago averaging 34 points a game allowed, and left with a worse average.
  • I’ve watched the tape 3 times now, and frankly, I’m not really sure what they were trying to do on defense. Stop the run, perhaps. Not our problem, let the Tampa fans stew on that.
  • Tarik Cohen & Taylor Gabriel are a killer gadget combination.
  • Matt Nagy is really, really smart. He developed a game plan assuming that Jordan Howard would be the focus of the defense, and anticipated that the Bucs would play a “make Mitch beat us” scheme. I’m not really sure if the Bucs actually tried this, because I have no idea what they were actually doing except “fall down go boom then cry”.
  • Expect the next Bears opponent to blitz the living daylights out of the Bears. Giving Trubisky time to set his feet and throw is a very, very bad way to defend the Bears.
  • Aaron Lynch did a thing. Then he did another thing. I’m no longer surprised that these things he’s doing are good. Good free agent signing by Ryan Pace.
  • We had Daniels and Daniel sightings... both James Daniels and Chase Daniel hit the field. From what I can tell, James did pretty well.
  • As far as Chase goes, I guess anybody who was saying “Chase Daniel is going to come into the game to take over from Mitch Trubisky” were, indeed, right. Excellent taking a knee by Chase.
  • Now, on to the fun looking two quarterback set. There’s going to be mayhem from that formation one of these games. Looking forward to seeing the options.
  • Please stop with the “Leonard Floyd isn’t doing anything” narrative. He’s playing VERY well, thank you very much. He had a pass defended, and he and Roquan Smith were sweeping the field just past the line.
  • Here’s the thing... with the amount of pressure that Khalil Mack and the front three can put on the QB (or Lynch and the front three when he is in), Fangio isn’t blitzing Floyd very much, rather, he’s putting him into coverage. The difference between this year and last year is Mack.
  • Khalil Mack is a Chicago Bear. I know this isn’t news to anybody, I just like saying it.
  • Jon Gruden is an idiot. I know this isn’t news to anybody, I just like saying that too. Jon Gruden is an idiot. Jon Gruden is an idiot. Jon Gruden is an idiot. There, that feels about right.
  • It’s interesting reading the comments of the other fanbases in the NFC North. Lions fans think Chicago is horrible and that Mitchell Trubisky is the worst quarterback in the league. Packers fans don’t think about anything except basking in the glow of Aaron Rodgers. Vikings fans are afraid of what Chicago is becoming. Seriously. Check out the Daily Norseman comment section.
  • The next head coach of the Minnesota Vikings will be John DeFilippo.
  • The next head coach of the Green Bay Packers will be coming along sooner than most people think.
  • Did you see all of those Cody Whitehair bad snaps these last two weeks? Yeah, I didn’t either.
  • On the one hand, the Bears lost the time of possession battle to Tampa Bay. That’s what happens when you drive the ball down and score in three-minutes or less six-or-seven times. Surprisingly, I’ve STILL heard fans complaining that we were throwing the ball too much.
  • Note to all: If you are complaining about your own team’s offense that puts up 48 points in a game, then you have issues. Serious issues.
  • Tampa Bay has eaten two 40 burgers this season. Surprisingly, they are 1-1 in those games.
  • The Chicago Bears are 3-1 largely because they are second in the league in turnover ratio, at a whopping 6+ through four games.
  • The Bears have 8 interceptions in 2018. The Bears had 8 interceptions in 2017, 8 interceptions in 2016 and 8 in 2015. In 2014, they had 14 for the season.
  • If you project on out for a full season, that would be 32 interceptions for the year. That, of course, is silly. Still, the rate is WAY up this season.
  • Chicago leads the NFL with 18 sacks.
  • Chicago leads the NFL for yards lost on sacks at 109
  • Chicago is second in the NFL in interceptions at 8, one behind our next opponent, Miami.
  • Chicago leads the NFL in pick-6’s with 2.
  • Chicago leads the NFL in forced fumbles with 8.
  • Chicago punter Pat O’Donnell is 8th in the league in net punting at 44.4 yards.
  • The more I see of Trey Burton, the more I get excited about the things he can do in a Matt Nagy offense. He had a sweet game against Tampa.
  • Allen Robinson is a legit #1 WR, but he’s not at this point in time a top-5 guy.
  • Wait. Jon Gruden is an idiot. There, I had one more in me. Now, back to the Bears.
  • If Matt Forte had played in a competent offense like a good Andy Reid scheme, he would have been a first ballot Hall Of Fame player. Can you imagine Matt in his prime on this team, with his ball catching abilities?
  • Taylor Gabriel is not overpaid. Trey Burton & Allen Robinson are not overpaid. Aaron Lynch is not overpaid.
  • OK, wait... check that, they are ALL overpaid because NFL players make a STUPID amount of money... but I’m saying they are not overpaid in terms of NFL players.
  • This 2018 draft could end up being an all-time great one for Chicago.
  • Roquan Smith is really playing well already. Not perfect, but no glaring errors
  • James Daniels looks like a 10-year starter, and that 10-years begins very, very soon.
  • Anthony Miller looks great, I’m worried a bit about the shoulder.
  • Joel Iyiegbuniwe - obviously we don’t know yet, but you have to wonder when Sam Acho went down for the year (damn it!) if Iggy doesn’t slot into the cover OLB role somewhere.
  • Bilal Nichols is absolutely balling out, the way he’s been playing and picking up minutes it looks like we have another Ryan Pace 5th Round Gem.
  • Kylie Fitts and Javon Wims both are too soon to tell anything good or bad.
  • Best wishes and quick healing to one of my favorite Bears players, Sam Acho.
  • Kyle Fuller was basically invisible in this game, which simply means Tampa was picking on the rookie, not Fuller. Good game by #23.
  • Cody Parkey did 8 things. All of those things were good. I’ll take that. Parkey’s kicked the ball to score 22 times, and has made 21 of them. That’s pretty good.

So what do you think, Chicago Bears fans... let’s hear it, spill the beans!