Three Bears' Takeaways from win over Redskins
|Tuesday, September 24, 2019, 11:01 AM- -|
Week three of the NFL season ended in dominating style as the Bears made quick work of the Redskins (0-3) 31-15 to improve to 2-1 on the season. This was a big win for Chicago as it was clearly the most complete effort, they put forth this season. Right from the opening kickoff, the Bears looked to send a message, and I think it is safe to say message delivered. Here are three takeaways that I saw from last night’s victory.
1. The Defense is back to 2018 form: Through the first two weeks of the season, the Bears defense continued to carry the offense despite not playing at 2018 levels. That all changed last night as the Monsters of the Midway indeed fit that bill in Washington.
From the opening score of the night which happened to be a pick-six from former Redskin Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, the Bears defense was all over Case Keenum and company not allowing the Washington offense to gain much traction. That included shutting down the future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson in the backfield who has been known to rack up big games against the Bears defensive front.
Keenum has never been known to be an elite quarterback but for the most part, has done a great job protecting the football. That all changed last night as the Bears forced five turnovers on the night. Three of those happened to be interceptions with two coming from Dix and the other from Kyle Fuller while Khalil Mack and Danny Trevathan forced a pair of fumbles to hamper the night for Washington.
2. The passing game finally gets going: Through the first two weeks of the season, Mitch Trubisky and the Bears passing game was nearly nonexistent as the offense looked slow and flat. Fast forward to week three, and it seems like Trubisky and company figured out their groove as a faster tempo led to much-improved passing results.
Trubisky managed to go 25-31 on the night for 231 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. All three of those scores came from Taylor Gabriel, who had a monster night in the receiving core. Gabriel scored from 1,3, and 36 yards out joining Chicago great Mike Ditka in 1963 as the only Bears receivers to catch three touchdown passes in the first half of a game.
Gabriel finished the game with a team-high 75 yards on six catches while Trubisky connected for 173 of his 231 yards in the first half. The most encouraging thing about the passing attack in week 3 was how accurate Trubisky was throwing the ball. Yes, he continues to miss on some throws but completing over 80% of your passes for a game is always a good thing even if an interception was mixed in. He needs to continue to play at that level to take some of the pressure off the defense.
3. David Montgomery now the lead back? Entering the season, everyone knew the Bears had a steal in David Montgomery, and the only question was how he would be used with Tarik Cohen listed as the starting back out of camp. Well, it is safe to say we may have that answer as it looks like Montgomery has taken over the lead back status for Chicago.
Cohen has never been the top back in Chicago as he followed Jordan Howard before this year. That seemed to work out just fine for the Bears as Cohen not only offers a change of pace but a different dimension due to his versatility out of the backfield. With Howard moving on to Philly this offseason, Cohen was hoping that versatility would translate into a starting role with Chicago.
Three games into the season, Cohen has not only struggled to rush the ball but seems lost in his new role as a starter. After easing the rookie Montgomery into action, the first week of the season, it appears he has taken over as the feature back after his last two performances. Coming off minimal touches against Green Bay in week 1, Montgomery has responded with 31 carries for 129 yards over the past two weeks setting the tone for the Bears running game.
That is extremely important to watch for the rest of the season as a consistent running game will only help Trubisky on the field. Should Montgomery continue to be the lead back, which it looks to be that way right now, Cohen can fall back into the role he has played the past couple of seasons where he thrived. That will make the Bears offense that much more dynamic as now you can line both Cohen and Montgomery up in the backfield forcing defenses to adjust on the fly.