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Game Notes: Mild offensive improvement and a resilient defense combine forces to overcome ho-hum Broncos

Nagy and Trubisky delivered a mediocre performance and set Eddy Pineiro up to win the game and our hearts.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Denver Broncos
Former Bears DC Vic Fangio looking sharp with this sweater, utility belt, and belly combo.

Since 2001, the Denver Broncos are were 21 and 1 in home games in September. Despite the Broncos uninspiring week 1 performance, it was never going to be an easy task for the Bears to win at mile-high altitude. Our hefty huskers are still huffing their way into game shape at this time of year, and their attrition throughout the game was visible. It was easy to predict this game wasn’t going to be pretty. Nobody predicted it would be this crazy.

Rest in peace, Eddie Money. Long live Eddy Dinero

Legendary crooner Eddie Money passed away last Friday. I like to think some of his swagger past on to instant-superstar Bears kicker Eddy Pineiro, who Bears fans have affectionately termed Eddy Dinero, which even my 8 year old nephew knows is just Spanish for Eddy Money. After three doinkless field goals including the 52 yard game winner, Pineiro looks like he might justify the extensive and oft tedious means of the Bears kicker search. The most promising moment for me came in Eddy’s post game press conference, when he said the whole last drive he was praying for the chance to kick the game winning field goal. Not praying that he would make it: praying to be put into the type of high pressure situation our previous kicker would have preferred to avoid.

Perhaps he just needed to make up for the lost atmospheric pressure at that elevation.

Trubisky treads water

Whatever you thought of Mitchell Trubisky going into this game is probably what you thought of him coming out of it. This isn’t great, since his week one performance left most of us concerned. Those of us who still choose to enjoy the moments of hope can rewatch the last second 4th and 15 scramble and throw that set up the game winning field goal. Beyond that moment, those who have chosen to give up on our Biscuit because their hearts can’t handle any more disappointment can rightly point out that we should be aspiring to more than flashes of potential in a franchise quarterback’s third year. Trubisky played a limited game against a great defensive coordinator and didn’t make any costly mistakes. For today, I’ll take that.

Nagy apparently turned his play sheet over

And found all the run plays. The final total of 27 pass attempts and 29 runs may look balanced, but many of the passes had about as many air yards as a hand off. This run-heavy conservative game plan was not tremendously effective and was at times frighteningly reminiscent of John Fox but ultimately it was enough to win a close defense-heavy slugfest. After the game Nagy said they still haven’t found their identity on offense. I think having an “identity” is overrated—personally I would prefer an offense that can morph itself to exploit the weaknesses of their weekly opponent—but they still haven’t found a way to be effective and that’s a problem. Luckily, next week’s trip to Washington should provide a reasonable opportunity to get on track against a defense that’s given up over 30 points in each of its first two games.

Refs did a great job of balancing unreasonable calls

Particularly the roughing the passer variety. Both Eddie Goldman and Bradley Chubb got flagged for harmlessly affectionate rossling as a quarterback released the ball. The refs seemed a little too eager to protect and pamper the precious passers, but in the end it evened out: the Goldman penalty extended a Broncos drive that led to a field goal and the Chubb penalty was crucial to setting up the Bears game-winning field goal. Ultimately the result was the same but the game was much more exciting. Gotta hand it to this officiating crew who also seemed willing to call holds against Khalil Mack for a refreshing change.

I like Vic Fangio’s head coaching style

The sweater. The utility belt. The going for two to win instead of tie. All of it.

David Montgomery is the lead back and Cordarrelle Patterson did a thing

Running back usage made a lot more since this week than last. Montgomery led the Bears with 18 carries. Tarik Cohen actually got carries. And Cordarrelle Patterson got two touches for 50 yards. I approve of all of these numbers.

At the end of the day, the Bears are winners, the Broncos are losers, and 15 and 1 is still on the table.