The Bears clinched their first non-losing season since 2013 with their Thanksgiving win in Detroit.
Even in a tough spot, on the road, and a short week, this Bears team just keeps on surprising. I know it’s been tough for me to truly believe that these Bears are winning in these spots, when last season they had almost no chance to do so.
But Chicago showed up and gutted out a big win with some clutch plays from their defense, yet again.
So which players stood out to me most and which need to step up?
Chase Daniel, QB - When was the last time that Chicago Bears fans both loved the play of their back up quarterback but also were happy for him to go back to the bench? While there might be one more week of Daniel, it’s good to know that the financial investment they made in him, as well as the faith the coaches had in him to execute the offense, paid off. Daniel wasn’t always pretty, but he was efficient and he delivered when the team needed it.
Roquan Smith, LB - Smith’s worst play came when he was mismatched against Kenny Golladay in pass coverage and he still managed to eventually run the speedy wide out down. Smith was everywhere, racking up 11 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack and 1 QB hit.
Tarik Cohen, RB - Cohen managed 10 touches for 59 yards and a touchdown Thursday, which doesn’t seem that great, but then you realize he played only 38 percent of the snaps (22 of 58) and you see how effective he was. He managed to get the ball on nearly half of his snaps — he was targeted an eighth time, and was open, but Daniel missed him — and was highly effective with those touches. He truly is a special player.
Trey Burton, TE - The Bears TE probably wants a Thanksgiving do-over. Burton had just four receptions for 28 yards on seven targets. He lost a fumble and was called for a couple of penalties, which negated big plays. Tough day at the office.
Charles Leno Jr., LT - Leno allowed a sack early and then just seemed to struggle throughout the game with Ezekiel Ansah and others. Not his best week.
Jordan Howard, RB - It’s tough not be piling on the guy, because we all know he’s better than this. I’m not sure what needs to change to spur the Bears’ running game, but it doesn’t seem like what they have going is working. Howard managed a long run of just four yards and had seven carries for 13 yards and one catch for two yards. He played 60 percent of the snaps (35 of 58), meaning his yards per snap was 0.43, while Cohen’s was 2.43.