Chicago Bears Week 8: Takeaways

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Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

3.) Kyle Fuller had his best game in about a year

Fuller made a big impact early in his rookie season last year, but struggled in the 2nd half of 2014 and early this season. Today the Bears had him following explosive rookie WR Stefon Diggs all over the field in the first half and he held Diggs to just 1 catch for 4 yards and had a big interception that led to a Bears TD before halftime. For some inconceivable reason, the Bears coaching staff decided to take Fuller off Diggs in the 2nd half which allowed him to catch 5 passes for 91 yards and a TD. Fuller did miss a tackle on Matt Asiata on a key third down, but for most of the day was solid in run support on AP. That’s two strong games in a row for Fuller and is starting to flash the promise he showed early in his rookie year.

4.) The Bears D-line couldn’t generate any pressure

The Bears might have won this one handily had they been able to put any pressure on Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater. Besides AP, the rest of the Vikings offense today consisted off Bridgewater completing short passes in the flat after a Bears OLB had to come off his man to pressure the QB. When the Bears rushed just four players they weren’t able to get near the QB and gave him all day to find an open receiver. It’s a credit to the Bears secondary that Bridgewater wasn’t able to pick them apart. Pernell McPhee had a sack and was the only D-linemen to generate occasional pressure, but the rest of them were ineffective. The Bears were able to get to Bridgewater on blitzes, but that’s about it. The Bears D has shown legitimate signs of improvement over the last few games, but one unit always seems to struggle and today it was the D-line.

5.) The Special Teams unit was back to it’s early season form

After a couple of solid games, the Bears special teams unit struggled again giving up a punt return touchdown in the first half. In defense of the coverage unit, it was a short, low punt by O’Donnell but the return man, Marcus Sherels, was untouched on his 65-yard return. Like early in the season, there was no lane integrity from the coverage team and Sherels easily got outside and was gone.

Bears return man Marc Mariani also struggled with a fumbled punt that luckily went out of bounds and another muffed punt that he recovered. Mariani redeemed himself somewhat with a tough catch on a 3rd down pass in the 4th quarter, but the Bears are getting no impact from Mariani and their return game this season.

6.) No more screen passes on third and long please!

Enough said.

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7.) Alshon Jeffery was unstoppable

I don’t know why it took the Bears until late in the 2nd quarter to remember they have a Pro Bowl caliber WR, but once they did the Vikings couldn’t stop Jeffery. He roasted veteran corner Terrance Newman on multiple routes and always seemed to be open. For the day Jeffery had 10 catches for 116 yards and a TD, but it could have been a lot more if the Bears had went to him more often in the first half and if Cutler hasn’t overthrown him deep a few times.

8.) Antrell Rolle gave up the catch that lost the game, but saved a few AP TDs as well

In Rolle’s first game back after an ankle injury, he played his best game as a Bear. That doesn’t say much as Rolle had been awful before his injury, but he made some tough tackles on AP today that saved at least two long TDs if not more. AP got into the 2nd level of the Bears D often today, but Rolle was usually there to limit the runs to 10-12 yards instead of 50+. There aren’t many RBs tougher to bring down in the open field than AP, but Rolle was able to do it by himself on 3-4 plays that could have been disastrous for the Bears had Rolle not brought him down. It’s hard to say anything nice about Rolle after he misplayed the long pass that set the Viking up for a game-winning field goal, but he played well for most of the game and deserves some credit.