Lost in the postgame criticism of the offense (which is justified) was the fact that the Bears did something they hadn’t done in nearly three seasons.
In overcoming a 14 point deficit, they successfully won after trailing by two touchdowns for the first time since Week 5 of the 2015 season against the Chiefs, when they trailed 17-3.
In overcoming a 14-0 first quarter deficit, they did something they hadn’t done since Week 6 of the 2006 season, yes, also against Arizona. That was of course, the famous Brian Urlacher ‘Miracle in the Desert’ game.
Last season, a 14-0 deficit would have been a for sure game over scenario. Now though, with this defense, the Bears feel like they are never quite fully out of a game, which is nice, since the offense needs all the help it can get.
There were some bright spots in Sunday’s game, even if it wasn’t the offensive performance we’ve all been waiting for and wanting.
Sherrick McManis, DB - McManis, who is the last holdover from the Lovie Smith era and the longest-tenured Bear, has started just five games for Chicago. He is generally regarded as a Josh Bellamy type; a guy who is a good (although in McManis’s case I’d say great) special teamer, but a guy that the team’s better off not having to rely on too much to play on a starting unit.
But Sunday was a big game for the career special teamer: He had a great special teams tackle in the open field and then, when pressed into the line up, had an athletic, diving interception, a pass defensed, a tackle for loss, a sack and a QB hit. His INT and sack came late in the game when the Bears needed a big play to close it out. Hats off to him, it was his first interception since his rookie season in 2010.
Kyle Long, G - Long has bounced back after a couple of injury-plagued seasons and two offseason surgeries to beginning to look like his old self. On Sunday he was getting downfield, pulling and overall just wrecking dudes. If only practicing once or twice a week means we get Pro Bowl or All-Pro level Long on Sundays, then I am all for it.
Trey Burton, TE - Burton had four catches for the second straight week and it seems like maybe, finally he’s getting the production that was expected after a preseason of hearing his name daily in training camp reports. He finished Sunday with a season high 55 yards. As Trubisky hopefully gets up to speed, we’ll see more of Burton, like we did on his 25-yard catch along the sideline Sunday.
Eric Kush, G - Kush had a rough game with two penalties and getting pushed around with some regularity. The Cardinals have some good defensive players, but issues like this is only going to make the calls for rookie James Daniels to see the field grow louder.
Mitch Trubisky, QB - This isn’t to say there weren’t some positives, but every week that the offense struggles to muster up just one or two touchdowns, the questions and complaints will only grow louder. Patience should still be heeded but Bears fans are an impatient bunch, especially with a defense that looks like this one.
Kevin Tolliver, CB - Tolliver showed his rookie stripes Sunday. He was targeted and burned a couple times, notably by rookie speedster Christian Kirk. Tolliver may have an increased workload if Prince Amukamara misses a lot of time with his hamstring injury.
Who stood out, good and bad, to you?