In an overall dominant defensive beatdown, the Bears had their fair share of standout performers on Sunday against the Bills. A defensive core that was previously reeling without a healthy Khalil Mack only a few weeks ago, seemed quite eager to prove they were more than the face of their unit.
The man who most stood out was veteran cornerback Kyle Fuller, who with his fourth interception on the 2018 season, is now tied for the NFL lead in interceptions. A man who previously struggled with interceptions over the duration of his career, is playing impeccable coverage and being summarily rewarded for it.
That pick number doesn’t tell the full story of a defensive back that’s blazing hot at the moment, though. Fuller allowed a mere one catch on eight targets in Buffalo, according to Pro Football Focus. Zay Jones, Kelvin Benjamin, Jason Croom. It didn’t matter who lined up across from him. Buffalo’s putrid passing offense wasn’t up to snuff against arguably pro football’s hottest cornerback.
Elsewhere defensively, Roquan Smith did manage to rack up 12 tackles and receive a Rookie of the Week nomination for it. He, however, allowed 11 catches on 11 targets for 100 yards in pass coverage. A gaudy statistic that would point to a bad game for the rookie linebacker without any other context, when it was actually closer to a poor start and strong finish.
On offense, Mitchell Trubisky, he who has struggled against blitzes and pressure often this year, was actually worse off with a clean pocket at New Era Field. The Bears quarterback had a passer rating of 131.2 when under pressure on Sunday, the highest of any other passer that played this past weekend. That may come with a grain of salt given how little of the game mattered for this Bears offense in a defensive blowout. But it’s undoubtedly a step in the right direction for Trubisky in his overall development.
Finally, in the most bruising of news, Jordan Howard was contacted within one yard of the line of scrimmage on 10 of his 14 carries in Buffalo. He still managed to pick up 41 of his 47 yards after contact. A lesson to defenders everywhere: you’re going to need to bring the house to bring down Howard with one man.
Robert is the Editor-in-chief of The Blitz Network (subscribe here!), the managing editor of Windy City Gridiron, and writes for a host of other fine publications. You can follow him on Twitter @RobertZeglinski.
*All numbers are courtesy of Pro Football Focus