Look, if you want to ignore those first three quarters from the Chicago Bears, that’s certainly your prerogative, you can fan however you want. Because the fan in me doesn’t give a damn with how my favorite team wins games, but if I take a step back and honestly look at how the Bears played, then I’d agree with head coach Matt Nagy.
“We’re not going to let this win deodorize any of the stuff on offense, defense or special teams that wasn’t good,” Nagy said in the post game Zoom after the Bears came back to beat the Detroit Lions 27 to 23.
Nagy realized his team was fortunate they pulled out a win, but it’s a heck of a lot better to open a season 1-0 as opposed to 0-1, and this was Chicago's first week one win since 2013.
It’s good to get back to Club Dub even if the road there was a bit bumpy.
In Detroit, Chicago’s defense started strong, and they finished strong, but there was a worrisome lull in the middle of the game where the Lions had their way. Detroit outscored the Bears 20 to 3 in the second and third quarters, but the defense came alive with an interception and a sack in the final quarter.
Chicago’s offense stumbled through three quarters, but they exploded for 21 fourth quarter points behind a red hot Mitchell Trubisky, who actually had more touchdown passes in the 4th quarter (3) than he had incomplete passes in the quarter (2).
Overall the Lions out-gained the Bears 426 yards to 363, they also had the advantage in third-down conversions, 6-16 (38%) to 2-11 (18%) — but the Bears went 1 for 2 of 4th downs — and Detroit had a slight edge in time of possession, 30:55 to 29:05.
The Bears had fewer penalties, 6 flags for 48 yards to 8 for 77, and they had one more first down than the Lions did, 26 to 25.
Chicago rallied from a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit today, scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter to defeat the Lions, 27-23. The last time Chicago overcame a fourth-quarter deficit of 10+ points was on Oct. 11, 2015, with an 18-17 road-win over KC after trailing, 17-6.— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) September 13, 2020
But now let’s take a closer look at the playing time break downs for the Bears, and also some individual stats.
Trubisky ended up going 20 of 36 for 242 yards, 3 TDs, and a passer rating of 104.2, while having 3 runs for 26 yards. He was sacked once and he fumbled, but it was recovered by his left tackle Charles Leno Jr.
The offensive line had a nice tone setting game in helping the team to 5.3 yards per carry on 28 rushes for 149 yards. They also weren’t flagged one time. The Lions were credited with 4 quarterback hits and 3 tackles for loss.
The Bears were led in rushing by David Montgomery’s 13 carries and 64 yards, and he added one catch for 10 yards. Tarik Cohen had 7 runs for 41 yards, and 2 receptions for 6 yards. Cordarrelle Patterson, who appears to be a full fledged tailback now, had 4 runs for 19 yards and a catch for 12 yards. Patterson also had 3 kick returns for 110 yards (36.7 avg).
Chicago's top two receivers were Allen Robinson with 5 receptions for 74 yards, and Anthony Miller with 4 grabs for 76 yards and a TD. Javon Wims’ lone catch went for 1 yard and a TD, and rookie Darnell Mooney made an early impression with 3 receptions for 38 yards.
Only Jimmy Graham showed up on the stat sheet for the revamped tight end room, but his touchdown catch was a big part of the comeback and he finished with 3 grabs for 25 yards.
With 7 tackles apiece, inside linebackers Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan tied for the team lead with safety Taushaun Gipson.
Rookie corner Jaylon Johnson had 6 tackles and 2 passes defended, while the other starting corner, Kyle Fuller, had 4 tackles and an interception.
Safety Eddie Jackson had 6 tackles, while nickelback Buster Skrine had 4 plus a couple passes defended.
Interesting to note in the defensive back snap counts that the Bears went with big nickel and dime on occasion during the game.
Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks had the Bears lone sack while chipping in with 4 tackles and a tackle for loss. Roy Robertson-Harris had 2 tackles and 2 QB hits, and Bilal, Nichols had 1 tackle and a QB hit.
Outside linebackers Khalil Mack and Barkevious Mingo each had 4 tackles, with Mingo adding a QB hit. James Vaughters had 2 tackles and a TFL.
*The above image has players that only played in the third phase.
DeAndre Houston-Carson had 2 special teams tackles.
Cairo Santos was perfect kicking making all 3 extra points and 2 field goals.
Two of Patrick O’Donnell’s punts were placed inside the 20 yard line, and overall he had 5 punts for a 39.4 net average.
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 the full box score I find that ESPN has an easy to navigate site.