All statistics and snap counts are taken directly from the NFL’s Game Statistic and Information System, as are the accompanying pictures.
I know the ‘Defense Wins Championships’ mantra doesn’t carry as much weight as it used to in today’s NFL, but there’s no denying that a defense capable of making plays in big time moments can still help (or even carry) a team to victory. This Chicago Bears’ defense has been doing just that this year. Sacks, interceptions, forced fumbles, game altering third down stops, and just a general monstrous swagger has opposing offenses concerned when playing the Bears.
Chicago held the Minnesota Vikings to 268 total yards, 19 first downs, and 42% on third down tries. The Bears had 308 yards of total offense, 24 first downs, and were successful on 50% of their third down attempts. Chicago also had the time of possession advantage 34:29 to 25:31.
The turnover battle was even with three apiece, but the Vikes were flagged once fewer than the Bears, 4 (for 50 yards) to 5 (for 46 yards).
Let’s take a closer look at the playing time break downs for the Bears, and also some of the individual stats.
It wasn’t the best game for Mitchell Trubisky, but he made just enough plays when he had to on third down to keep his offense of the field. He completed 20 of 31 passes for 165 yards, with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions, for a 61.9, but as a runner he had 43 yards on 10 carries.
Jordan Howard led the Bears in rushing with 63 yards on 18 carries, and I thought he ran with power and he helped set a physical tone. He also caught the only pass thrown his way for a 2 yard pick up.
Tarik Cohen had 7 runs for 27 yards, 3 catches for 23, a punt return for 11 yards, and a kickoff return for 22 yards. Taquan Mizzell had a run and a lost a yard, and his lone kick return went for 20 yards.
Taylor Gabriel led the Bears with 7 grabs for 52 yards, and he leads the team this year with 44 receptions 478 yards. He also chimed in as a runner against the Vikings with 2 attempts for 17 yards. Allen Robinson II had 3 catches for 39 yards, and rookie Anthony Miller caught 2 for 25 yards and his 5th TD on the season. Josh Bellamy rounded out the wide out production with 2 receptions for 11 yards (plus a two-point conversion).
Among the tight ends, Trey Burton caught 1 for 9, Ben Braunecker caught 1 for 4, and Adam Shaheen converted a two-point conversion.
It wasn’t the cleanest game for the pass protection, but they only allowed one sack and two quarterback hits. The tough Vikings defense was also credited with 7 tackles for loss.
A few snap count things that may be of interest.
- The Bears are no longer rotating that right guard spot with Bryan Witzmann playing the whole game again this week.
- Howard played his most snaps on offense since week 2.
- Check out Akiem Hicks and Roy Robertson-Harris getting a snap each on O.
In a Bears’ career full of good games, the performance by Hicks on Sunday night may have been his best yet. He had 6 tackles, a sack, 5 TFL, and 2 QBH. He was a force against the Viking’s o-line all night long.
Khalil Mack had another great game for the Bears with 2 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, a pass defensed, a TFL, and 2 QBH.
Prince Amukamara led the Bears with 8 tackles, and he had a PD. Kyle Fuller had 7 tackles and 2 PDs, while rookie Roquan Smith also had 7 tackles.
Leonard Floyd continued his streak of good games with 5 tackles and 2 TFL. Danny Trevathan had 3 tackles and a TFL.
Safeties Eddie Jackson and Adrian Amos each had an interception, with Jackson taking his back to the house for a TD.
Look how much time the Bears spent in nickle with Bryce Callahan getting 91% of the snaps.
The Bears held Kirk Cousins to a passer rating of 76.5, but in the first half it was a minuscule 33.2. Minnesota averaged only 1.6 yards per carry in the running game.
The players listed above only appeared in the third phase.
DeAndre Houston-Carson had 3 total tackles in the third phase.
Codey Parkey was 3 for 3 on field goal tries and Patrick O’Donnell had a 35.5 average on 2 punts.