The Chicago Bears played arguably their best game of the season on Sunday afternoon as they dismantled the Cincinnati Bengals 33-7 for their fourth victory of the season.
The Bears, who are now 3-0 against the AFC North, snapped a five game winning streak thanks to their victory, and will hope to build momentum as they hit the stretch run of their regular season.
As we break down the Bears’ victory, here are our winners and losers from Sunday’s triumph.
Mitchell Trubisky and the Passing Game
With the Bengals down two of their top secondary threats, the Bears had an opportunity to pass the ball with impunity, and that’s exactly what Mitchell Trubisky did. He completed 25-of-32 passes for 271 yards and a touchdown, and he established a great rhythm with Kendall Wright, who hauled in 10 passes for 107 yards in the game.
Trubisky’s longest completion in the game was 36 yards to Joshua Bellamy, and even though he didn’t take a lot of shots downfield, he routinely converted on shorter passes and showcased great accuracy.
Jordan Howard and the Rushing Game
The Bengals are one of the league’s worst rushing defenses, and they showed it against the Bears as they racked up 232 total yards and three touchdowns in the game.
Jordan Howard was an absolute monster, rushing for 147 yards and two touchdowns. With the effort, Howard became the first Bears player to ever rush for 1000 or more yards in each of his first two NFL seasons, and became the first NFL player to accomplish the feat in three years.
The Team’s Secondary
Andy Dalton hadn’t had an interception in nearly 200 passing attempts, but that all changed as Eddie Jackson picked him off on a great play during the contest.
In total, the Bears had eight defended passes in the game, including three by Kyle Fuller, who did a great job in working against A.J. Green. Fuller is going to cash in when free agency hits over the offseason, and he’s earning a bigger paycheck with each passing game.
The Team’s Secondary
Even though the Bears’ secondary did a great job, they could’ve done a phenomenal job if they could have simply hauled in an interception. Fuller had an easy interception go through his arms in the game, and ultimately it led to a touchdown. Prince Amukamara also had an interception go through his hands, and the repeated failures to force turnovers had to drive Vic Fangio and John Fox crazy.
Dowell Loggains’ Personnel Decisions
Loggains made some very smart calls, including his quarterback option sneak that he dialed up for Trubisky near the goal line on his third quarter rushing touchdown, but he also made some bad decisions, including leaving Adam Shaheen and Tarik Cohen on the bench during the Bears’ two minute drill offense late in the first half.
Those kinds of personnel mistakes have been made repeatedly by Loggains this season, and they show a lack of understanding of the good things that the Bears can do offensively when they have the proper weapons in the mix.
John Fox’s Challenge Skills
Fox’s failed challenge on whether or not Trubisky threw from beyond the line of scrimmage in the first quarter would have been his worst challenge of the year if not for the epic challenge against the Green Bay Packers in Week 10 that saw the Bears actually win the challenge and lose the football in one of the most painful moments in recent memory.
Fox has lost 83 challenges of the 130 that he has initiated in his NFL career, and he needs to take a serious look at the people that are telling him whether or not to challenge plays.