As the Chicago Bears head into the Week 6 bye week, they find themselves at (3-2) after a disappointing loss to the Oakland Raiders in London. While it’s always fun to see the Bears play in new environments, there’s always a level of unknown in these types of games. That’s exactly what most Bears fans experienced on Sunday afternoon, as the team played their first noon-start (Chicago time) game of the season.
The good news? The Bears are on a much needed bye week. They can now get healthy and hopefully figure out their offensive struggles. It’s also worth noting that a (3-2) start isn’t a death sentence by any means and was their exact record at this point last season.
The bad news? This is simply a game they should have won. On top of that, it always feels like it means a little bit more when there’s been a recent big trade that the two teams have made. Yes, they are (3-2), which is a mirror image of last year, but the schedule is also much tougher on paper than it was in 2018, which leaves much less room for error down the stretch.
The bye week is coming at a perfect time for this team and the hope for fans has to be that they get things figured out and come out swinging in the second “half” of the season. They’ll start back at home with a pair of tough matchups against the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Chargers, though. That makes Sunday’s loss that much harder to swallow while weighing their next few games once they come out of the bye week.
Even so, there was still some good to take out of the game and that’s exactly what we are here to do.
Receiver Allen Robinson II
The offense has struggled. There’s really no other way to put that so far. Especially through the first five games of this season. Even so, there’s been one player that has continually showed up and has continued to fly under the radar as one of the team’s best players.
Robinson has been the most consistent player on the offensive side of the ball and Sunday’s game was no exception.
He finished the game with seven catches on eight targets for 97 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Weirdly enough, it was the first time this season that Robinson reached the end zone and in typical fashion, he doubled up to make up for lost time.
Despite having Chase Daniel as the team’s quarterback, Robinson’s impact was felt early and often. On top of that, he made a circus catch on the sideline to extend a drive. Not only did he lay out with minimal room around him, but he got both feet down and took a pretty big shot from a defensive back in the process. Despite Jon Gruden challenging the play, it was clearly a clean catch and was vastly impressive.
All in all, Robinson is probably the best Bears receiver since the days of Alshon Jeffery. At just 26-years-old, he’s still on the upside of his career and as the offense figures things out, he should do nothing but become more of a factor down the stretch.
Inside Linebacker Danny Trevathan
Most will look at the box score and see 24 points allowed and think “That’s not too bad.”, when in reality, the Bears defense had their worst performance of the season by a wide margin.
Not only were they bullied at the line of scrimmage all game, they touched (not even sacked, simply touched) quarterback Derek Carr just one time the entire game. On top of that, they allowed their first 100-yard rusher of the season to a rookie running back in Josh Jacobs. Simply put, it was a disappointing performances, but we also have to understand that those will happen and that’s when the offense needs to be able to pick up the slack. Maybe they would have if they had their starting quarterback? We’ll never know.
Trevathan still found a way to make an impact and have a damn good game, all things considered. With Roquan Smith back out on the field, most eyes were on the former eighth overall pick. Yet it was the veteran that kept things manageable and had one of his better games of the season.
He finished the game with 11 total tackles, which led the team. While he didn’t provide any sort of pressure on the quarterback, he was clearly their most consistent performer in what was a bad defensive performance, overall. It may be about time for the Bears to figure out how to retain him following this year.
Honorable Mention: Punter Patrick O’Donnell
Last season, special teams as a whole was a sore spot, in what ended up being a pleasantly surprising season. This year? The story has been a little bit different and O’Donnell is a big reason why.
In the off-season, the Bears signed the former sixth-rounder to a two-year extension and many (including myself) weren’t a big fan of the move. Yet, so far, he has proved to be worth his contract extension and more.
When you look at the boxscore, you may be wondering how O’Donnell made the list with a net average under 50-yards on the game. If you watched the game, you’ll know exactly why he’s on this list.
He had a pair of shorter punts that he was able to nail inside the Raiders’ five yardline which helped the Bears keep the game under control, even when they were down 17 points. O’Donnell has also continued to hold down the kickoff duties very well with multiple touchbacks.
All in all, O’Donnell may be the team’s special teams MVP and Week 5’s performance furthered that case.