Chicago Bears Week 6: Takeaways

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

8.) Rookie Jonathan Anderson almost had a huge game – Most of his big plays won’t show up on the stat sheet because they were wiped out by penalties or the previously mentioned botched review. In his first NFL start Anderson had a sack, two interceptions, three tackles, and a pass defense. The sack was wiped out by a defensive holding and the interception overturned, but it was still a pretty impressive debut by the undrafted rookie. Anderson made more plays in his one start than Shea McClellin, the player he replaced, did in five weeks.

9.) Pernell McPhee is a bad man – It was another solid game for McPhee with a sack, two tackles for loss, four tackles and two QB hits, but his roughing the passer penalty was a game changing play that gave the Lions a few extra shots at the end zone and ultimately cost the Bears the game. As I mentioned above, I didn’t agree with the call and either did McPhee who slammed his helmet down in disgust once he reached the sideline. On the next Lions drive in overtime, they were facing a third down and McPhee took out his anger on the Lions. He came around the edge and just destroyed 6’6, 328 pound right tackle LaAdrian Waddle before sacking QB Matthew Stafford. It gave the Bears the ball back with a chance to win and was one of the most physically impressive plays I have seen from anyone on the Bears defense since Brian Urlacher.

10.) Catch the damn ball! – I haven’t been able to find the official Bears drop stats from Sunday, but from my amateur perspective Alshon Jeffrey dropped a 35 yard strike right in his hands, Martellus Bennett dropped at least two well thrown balls (one on a crucial 3rd down), Marquis Wilson dropped a 30+ yard throw in the 4th quarter, and Eddie Royal, Matt Forte, and Jeremy Langford all dropped catchable balls on Sunday. Jay Cutler has played as well as he has in any three game stretch as a Bear, but he just isn’t getting enough help from his receivers on Sunday.

11.) Eddie Goldman is becoming a force inside – His stat line doesn’t stand out, but five tackles and a half-sack is pretty good for a nose tackle. His primary job as a 3-4 NT is too occupy two blockers and hold his ground, but Goldman is starting too show signs of becoming a play-maker inside. He flashed a little last week, but Sunday vs the Lions was his best overall game as a Bear. Goldman generated pressure inside on multiple pass plays and was an immovable force inside against the run. He still occasionally makes rookie mistakes, but he is becoming a force inside and getting better every week. Goldman also had a big hustle play chasing Stafford to the sidelines and holding him to a gain of a yard or two. It was a pretty impressive display of speed, athleticism and effort from the 340 pound rookie. At the end of the day, this season is about developing young players and the Bears may have found a good one in Goldman.

12.) Sam Acho deserves the starting OLB spot – I’m still sort of angry at Acho for missing a tackle on Matt Stafford on a 3rd down scramble that eventually ended in points for the Lions, but besides that play Acho was very solid overall. He made a couple nice plays in the flat on short passes, continues to show coverage skills on both RBs and slot WRs, and has been an effective run stopper. Acho had 5 tackles on the day, one for a loss, and twice put pressure on Stafford. He’s been mostly a backup for his short NFL career, but made some flash plays for the Cardinals last season and is only 27 years old. OLB Lamarr Houston makes about ten times more money per season, but Acho has outplayed Houston the last two weeks and deserves a shot to see what he can do at OLB the rest of the season.

13.) Bears waived DB Demontre Hurst and promoted CB Bryce Callahan from the practice squad – Hurst made a heads up play on special teams Sunday, knocking a Lions player into a bouncing punt and giving the Bears excellent field position, but apparently it wasn’t enough for Hurst to keep his job as he was released this morning. The Bears will most likely try and re-sign Hurst to the practice squad, but they are running the risk of losing a player who was a decent slot corner last season, showed the versatility to play safety this preseason, and is solid on special teams.

The Bears replaced Hurst by calling up CB Bryce Callahan from the practice squad. I was a big fan of Callahan when the Bears signed him but after making the opening day roster he was sent down to the practice squad after losing lane integrity on a kick return TD vs the Cardinals in week 2. Callahan is better in coverage than Hurst and perhaps the struggles of Sherrick McManis forced the Bears into giving Callahan another shot at corner.

Next: Chicago Bears 37-34 OT Loss to Lions: A Fan's Non-Expert Take

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