A dream start turned into a nightmare finish for the Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football as they blew a 20-0 lead and lost 24-23.
It was just the latest chapter in the history of Aaron Rodgers embarrassing the Bears, but this one was particularly painful.
As the team tries to pick up the pieces and regroup heading into another primetime game in week two, there’s still some analysis to be had in week one.
These are three players that stuck out to me: both good and bad. Hopefully the stock up players are guys we’ll see more of next week and stock down, well hopefully they bounce back.
Khalil Mack, OLB/DE - I don’t even know where the Bears officially list him at, but it doesn’t matter. The guy is as good as advertised. If there was any concern that Mack was a player that would get paid and then rest on his laurels (there wasn’t), he unequivocally shut those down. The dude is a beast, and is only going to get better as he learns the system more and gets more conditioned into game shape.
Jordan Howard, RB - Howard is a workhorse, this is a known, but during the game he answered a lot of questions about whether he could actually improve as a pass catcher. He caught all five of his targets for 25 yards. He also averaged 5.5 yards per carry as a rusher. Howard looks to have another great season.
Allen Robinson II, WR - After not seeing him all preseason, Robinson made his Bears debut, catching four passes for 61 yards. It may seem like it was a little bit of a letdown, especially since Trubisky missed him a couple of times, but Robinson flashed what has made him great in the past. He caught a great contested pass, and then Trubisky fit a ball into a tight window and Robinson made the play.
My wife said, after his first two catches, “I’m going to call him Allen ‘How did he catch that’ Robinson.” Indeed, it’s been a couple years since the Bears had a player that could make those contested plays.
Nick Kwiatkoski, LB - Kwiatkoski, who had a strong preseason, didn’t really have a huge impact last night. He particularly struggled in coverage, which isn’t a strength of his to begin with. The sooner Roquan Smith is ready for the NFL speed and conditioned, the better the Bears defense will be.
Leonard Floyd, OLB - With Mack on the opposite side attracting extra attention and blockers, the club-handed Floyd could only muster two tackles in the box score and no QB pressures. I get that he needs to become accustomed to his club, and he’s facing left tackles while Mack gets the more favored RTs, but that lack of impact is concerning.
Mitch Trubisky, QB - I was a little underwhelmed by Trubisky’s debut. I’m not ready to turn on him — I think he needs this entire season before we can truly begin to get some answers about what he can really be — but his uneven performance let some doubt creep into my mind.
He missed on a lot of throws and didn’t seem as locked in as I would have wanted, especially late in the game. We knew offensive growing pains would be part of the issue, but I guess I was still hoping for more.
The epilogue here is that a lot of this stuff will be ironed out with better playcalling and more experience, but there were a lot of concerns that emerged on a night where we thought there’d be few.
Which players do you think had good and bad games?