Many observers wanted the Chicago Bears to make a statement against a division opponent before giving them credit for their strong start, and that’s exactly what the Monsters of the Midway did on Sunday as they beat the Detroit Lions.
The Bears took a 26-0 lead in the first half of the game, and then held off a furious Lions comeback attempt to move their record to 6-3 on the year and put themselves in a position to add some distance between themselves and the Minnesota Vikings next week.
Without further adieu, here are our Three Phase grades for Sunday’s victory.
The offense gets mild dings for not running more against a horrendous Lions rushing defense and for some execution failures in the third quarter, but those were minor quibbles compared to the effusive praise that Mitchell Trubisky and company deserve after the game.
Trubisky has had some very good games this season, but this one may have been his best, as he threw for 355 yards and three touchdowns, and even scored a rushing touchdown as well in the game. He was very accurate with his throws, completing 23-of-30 on the day, and his touch was very good on a lot of passes, including his touchdowns to Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller.
Speaking of those receivers, they did a great job of getting open as Taylor Gabriel, one of Trubisky’s favorite targets, struggled in the game. Robinson showed no ill effects from his groin injury, as he racked up 133 receiving yards, and Miller romped his way to 122 yards through the air in the game.
The Lions may not be the league’s best secondary, especially with Darius Slay out of action, but the Bears still did a wonderful job of scoring at will, and they really carried the day as the defense stumbled a bit in the second half.
The defense’s grade was originally much higher, thanks to the six sacks that they racked up on Matthew Stafford, but their struggles to keep Detroit at bay in the fourth quarter led to them getting dinged a bit.
That being said, there was plenty to be happy about. Khalil Mack, who missed the team’s last two games, was outstanding, racking up two sacks and terrorizing the Lions all day long, and he got some great backing from Eddie Goldman and Roquan Smith, who continue to be a strong presence up the middle of the field for the Bears.
The team’s secondary was solid as well, baiting Matthew Stafford into some bad throws and defending most of his passes beautifully. Bryce Callahan was especially good in the game, and Prince Amukamara registered eight tackles and defended two passes in the game.
Special Teams: D+
There’s really not much of an explanation needed here. Cody Parkey missed two field goals and two extra points, and there were no return touchdowns, so the grade was destined to be bad.