Sometimes writing this piece is harder after a win than a loss.
There’s always something to be frustrated about and sometimes it’s easier to write angry than it is to write happy.
I’m definitely digging deep to fill out the “down” category this week since there really wasn’t that much bad about the 41-17 Bears win Sunday.
But the first half was a mixed bag, with a lot of struggles and a lot of handwringing online that the Bears were really going to blow their chances against a terrible opponent.
There’s still a lot of concerns coming into a do-or-die week 17. Namely: where is the pass rush? Plus the banged up secondary is likely going to be exposed against Aaron Rodgers more than Mike Glennon.
That said though, it’s also tough to pick just three stand out performances from Sunday’s win.
Allen Robinson II - I know I am going to miss him if he’s gone after this season. While he didn’t get in the endzone, Robinson still managed to stick it to the team that drafted him to the tune of 10 catches and 103 yards. The 10 catches puts him at an even 100 receptions on the season, a first for the seventh year pro. It also makes him just the fourth receiver in franchise history to get to triple-digit receptions.
Darnell Mooney - Mooney already set the Bears rookie reception mark for a wide out last week with his 46th catch and now he’s at 50 on the year. While it’s still quite a stretch to think that he’ll surpass either Mike Ditka’s (56, 1961) or Matt Forte’s (63, 2008) rookie records, he is still finishing a very good rookie campaign strong. With the deep shots not working with Mitch Trubisky under center, it’s nice to see Bill Lazor work Mooney into action with screens, quick passes and jet sweeps.
Roquan Smith - Is it too easy to put ‘Quan on here when he’s been “up” pretty much all year? Probably, but come on, the dude had two interceptions and really put a stamp on his 2020 season and seemed to put an alert out to the NFL world of “should I really have been left off the Pro Bowl?”
Duke Shelley - He’s still a young cornerback and it’s hard to fault him for getting beat on a 50/50 ball, but he did and it was the only touchdown given up by the starting defense, so it has to be a ding.
Akiem Hicks - Hicks had one of his quietest games of the year, just one tackle on the day. Remember, I’m really reaching for stock downs because it was a blowout, but with the defense getting just one sack, and from a blitzing LB at that, it’s worth noting that Hicks didn’t really get home or anything against a statue of a quarterback.
Chuck Pagano - Speaking of that, I’m putting a coach on the list. The defensive backs played deep all day, with huge cushions at the line of scrimmage and this is against a quarterback who is most comfortable dinking and dunking and getting the ball out quick. There was also little pressure all day against an immobile quarterback like Glennon. The biggest pressures came on blitzes. I don’t know what it is about Pagano’s scheme or playcalling that doesn’t suit an incredibly talented defense, but it’s wild to me that this unit seems so average under him.