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Offensive baby steps lead to a win in Denver

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Lester gives his thoughts on the game, plus he shares the complete playing time breakdown, and spotlights a few individual and team statistics from the Chicago Bears in their tough week two win against the Denver Broncos

Chicago Bears v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

After the Chicago Bears seemed allergic to running the ball in their week one loss, head coach Matt Nagy did his best John Fox impression by calling 29 running plays to only 27 passing plays this week in Denver. While this wasn’t the first time in Nagy’s play calling career that he dialed up more runs than passes, his commitment to the run was needed with the Bears playing in the high heat and high altitude. Winning against the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium in September is no joke, and Nagy and the Bears escaped with a 16 to 14 win.

The Broncos held the edge in total yards (372 to 273), total plays (76 to 56) and in time of possession (32:59 to 27:01), including 11:37 minutes in the 4th quarter. No wonder the Bears defenders were gassed.

The Bears were bad on third down conversions a week ago at 20%, and they picked up the pace a little this week by going 27% (3 of 11), and 1 for 1 on fourth down. In 2018 the Bears were around 40% on the season, so they need to pick up the pace this year.

Chicago wasn’t as penalized as last week, but they still got hit with 7 for 65 yards to Denver’s 10 for 81.

The Bears’ offense was in a similar sputtering place last year at this time, but this year seems different because expectations were higher coming into the season. With most of the offense all returning, we expected to see version 202 of the O flying high right out of the gates, but instead we’re seeing a group struggle to put anything consistent together. The play calling, the offensive line, and the quarterback all need to improve.

But now let’s take a closer look at the playing time break downs for the Bears, and also some individual stats.

OFFENSE

Mitchell Trubisky hasn’t been sharp in his first two games this year, but he was better this week in going 16 of 27 for 120 yards and a passer rating of 70.0. He didn’t have any turnovers and he wasn’t sacked. Chicago’s pass protection only allowed two quarterbacks hits all afternoon.

It seems like the Bears have settled on a “lead” back as they gave rookie David Montgomery the start and he had 18 carries while racking up a hard fought 62 yards and a touchdown. He also had a reception for 6 yards.

Tarik Cohen had 4 runs for 18 yards and he caught 2 for 7 yards. Mike Davis only had 3 carries this week for a single yard while getting the fewest snaps of the three.

Cordarrelle Patterson had big play of the day on offense for the Bears with this 46 yard run.

Anyone else find it interesting that offensive guard Ted Larsen was used as an extra blocker this week?

Allen Robinson II was the most targeted Bear again with 7, and he caught 4 for 41 yards.

The tight ends were active this week with Adam Shaheen catching 3 for 24 yards, Ben Braunecker catching 2 for 24, and Trey Burton making 2 grabs for 5 yards. Burton seems like he’s getting eased into the game-plan after suffering a groin injury a couple weeks ago.

DEFENSE

Roquan Smith had 13 tackles and Danny Trevathan had 12 for Chicago's starting inside linebacker duo.

Corner Kyle Fuller had a red zone interception and 6 tackles. Prince Amukamara had 7 tackles at the other corner. Nickel Buster Skrine had 4 tackles and a quarterback hit.

Safety Eddie Jackson had 10 tackles and 2 passes defended.

Khalil Mack picked up his first sack of the year, as did Nick Williams.

Aaron Lynch continues to crack the stat sheet despite not playing many snaps with a tackle for loss and a pass defended in his 11 plays.

SPECIAL TEAMS*

*The above image has players that only played in the third phase.

Eddy Pineiro had a perfect afternoon by kicking all 4 kickoffs in the end zone for touchbacks, making his only extra point, and nailing all three field goals including the 53 yarder as time expired.

Punter Patrick O’Donnell boomed a 75 yard punt among his 5 for a 57.4 average (50.4 net average).

Cordarrelle Patterson, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Joel Iyiegbuniwe, and Patrick Scales each had a special teams tackle.

All statistics and snap counts are taken directly from the NFL’s Game Statistic and Information System, as are the accompanying pictures.

To check out all the team and individual stats from the game I find that ESPN has an easy to navigate site.