“I would say we’re just okay right now,” Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy said of his 2-0 team after they held on to beat the New York Giants, 17 to 13.
He and his players are fully aware that their inconsistencies will hold them back unless they get everyone on the same page, and at this point us fans can only hope the up and down play is a result of this odd offseason, and not on the offense reverting to their 2019 form.
Chicago’s offense jumped out to a 17 point lead, but then limped to the finish line with an offense that only managed 112 yards in the second half. You factor in the 2 second half turnovers, some questionable clock management, and a missed field goal, and it’s a shock the Bears were able to hold on for the win.
But then you look over the box score for the defense and it makes sense.
The Bears held the Giants to 295 yards in total offense, they picked up 4 sacks, an interception, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, they had 5 tackles for loss, and 5 passes defended, while also holding them to 3 for 13 on 3rd downs.
The Giants were 3 for 3 on 4th downs in the fourth quarter, and while Chicago’s D bent quite a bit on that final drive, they never allowed New York to break through for a TD.
But now let’s take a closer look at the playing time break downs for the Bears, and also some individual stats.
It was another tale of two halves for Mitchell Trubisky, and this passer rating nugget pulled from the Chicago Sun Times’ Mark Potash was alarming.
Mitch Trubisky's passer ratings by quarter this season:— Mark Potash (@MarkPotash) September 20, 2020
Overall Trubisky was 18 of 28 for 190 yards, for 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, which gave him a passer rating of 78.0. He was also sacked 4 times, and on initial observation at least two of them looked to be on him. I’ll have my full breakdown of the sacks on Wednesday in my Sackwatch if the All-22 drops in a timely manner.
Trubisky completed passes to 10 different receivers (including right tackle Bobby Massie), and he scrambled 4 times for 16 yards with a long of 12 yards.
Before I go over some more individual stats, can I just say that Mitch’s numbers may be worse this week, but I thought he played a nice game today. He was more accurate, he had at least two drops hurt him, plus he made a heady play late to keep the clock running.
Allen Robinson had 3 grabs for 33 yards, and he was the intended target on both interceptions.
David Montgomery led the team in both rushing and receiving with 16 runs for 82 yards, and 3 receptions for 45 and a TD.
Rookie Darnell Mooney had the other TD on a beautiful play from Trubisky. Mooney finished with 36 yards on 3 catches and he also played the second most snaps at the wide receiver position. With Ted Ginn Jr. being inactive I assumed Mooney would see an increase, but I was surprised it was more that Javon Wims and Anthony Miller.
Fellow rookie Cole Kmet had the first reception of his career which went for 12 yards, and he also saw an increase in playing time from week 1. In fact, the overall Y tight end usage was up this week as the Bears did go with a 2 TE set more.
With the Bears roster constructed as is, they have options each week depending on match-ups. If a team is susceptible to the run, trot out more heavy packages, if the team is suspect in pass coverage, activate an extra wide receiver.
Roquan Smith and Eddie Jackson tied for the team lead with 8 tackles each.
There were 2 passes defended apiece from starting corners Kyle Fuller and Jaylon Johnson.
The Bears 4 sacks went to Robert Quinn (and a forced fumble), Khalil Mack (a fumble recovery), Akiem Hicks, and Barkevious Mingo.
Whether it’s age creeping up on him, the lack of a real offseason, or just a change in philosophy, the Bears are pulling inside linebacker Danny Trevathan off their sub packages now. During his Bears career he regularly played all the defensive snaps, but now he’s coming off with safety Deon Bush replacing him. It was Bush had the Bears interception and it was the first of his career.
Buster Skrine is still the team’s primary nickelback, but getting another defensive back on the field for a dime look is ultimately better against the pass.
*The above image has players that only played in the third phase.
Ryan Nall, James Vaughters, and Cordarrelle Patterson all had a special teams tackle.
Patterson chipped in with 3 kick returns for 83 yards, and Nall had a 10 yard kick return.
Cairo Santos made both extra points but was 1 for 2 on firld goals.
Patrick O’Donnell punted 3 times for a 44.7 average, while dropping 2 inside the twenty yard line.
To check out the full Bears vs Giants box score I find that ESPN has an easy to navigate site.
All statistics and snap counts are taken directly from the NFL’s Game Statistic and Information System, as are the accompanying pictures.