Chicago Bears Week 8: Takeaways

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Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

9.) Get well soon Forte!

Matt Forte is the heart of the Bears offense and without him the offense just isn’t the same. He is one of the most versatile RBs in the league and does a little bit of everything for the Bears. Forte had just under 70 total yards on the day when he was injured late in the first half. There hasn’t been any official word on his injury yet, but the fact that he walked off on his own power and was considered questionable to return makes me think there is at least a chance Forte is OK.

If not the RB job will fall to rookie Jeremy Langford. At times today Langford flashed the ability to be a tough inside runner but he dropped a 3rd down pass that hit him in the hands late in the game that gave the Vikings the ball back and ultimately cost the Bears a victory. It’s just one play and doesn’t negate his 46 tough rushing yards earlier in the game, but it is his 2nd bad drop of the season on just four targets and a reminder how much the Bears will miss Forte’s receiving ability if he is out for any length of time. Hopefully the rookie won’t take the drop too hard and can bounce back next week because the Bears may need him.

10.) Take your time getting healthy McClellin

When the Bears signed ILB LaRoy Reynolds earlier this season, I had no idea who he was. I figured he was just a special teams guy and hoped he could help the Bears struggling kick coverage unit. Reynolds has turned out to be much more than that and has made more impact plays in his short stint as an ILB than McClellin has in years. He’s an instinctive blitzer, fast enough to cover backs and TEs over the middle, and can hit. Reynolds stood up Adrian Peterson on a run up the middle today, which I’m not sure I’ve ever seen before. AP ended up driving him for a yard or two and Reynolds was shaken up after the play, but it was a big hit that would have crushed most mortal RBs. There is a chance that McClellin will be back next week, but I think Reynolds has done enough to keep the job and I hope the coaching staff agrees.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

11.) Christian Jones is developing into a solid ILB

Jones led the Bears in tackles today for the 2nd game in a row, including one on AP for a loss and another open field tackle on AP on a screen pass near the line of scrimmage. There might not be a harder RB to tackle in the open field than AP but Jones made the play and didn’t look overmatched. He’s an elite athlete who is raw and still learning the ILB position, but has taken over the defensive play-calling duties from the injured Shea McClellin and has made some impact plays the last two weeks. This season is a lost one for the Bears and they should be focusing on developing young, core players on both sides of the ball. The Bears don’t have many of those on either side, but Jones is starting to look like one.

12.) Rookie Adrian Amos keeps getting better

I thought Amos’s best game of his rookie season was the Bears last game vs the Lions, but he was even better today. It’s been multiple games since Amos was called out for any mistakes in coverage and he is starting to exert his will against the run. Amos was a big hitter in college and is showing some of that skill at the NFL level. That’s a sign to me that the game is slowing down a little for Amos and that he’s getting more comfortable with his defensive assignments. Amos tied Jones for the team lead in tackles today, had a nice open field tackle on AP near the line of scrimmage, and just missed a sack on Bridgewater on a blitz. Like I mentioned with Jones, the Bears should be focusing on developing some long term pieces and I’m feeling pretty confident that Amos is one of them.

13.) Bryce Callahan!

Callahan was one of my favorite undrafted rookies and I wasn’t surprised when he made the Bears opening day roster. I was bummed when he was sent down after being partially responsible for one of the kick return TDs the Bears gave up early in the season. The Bears called Callahan back up to the active roster before the Lions game and today he got a chance to play significant snaps for the first time. While he did struggle to get off a block on a Bridgewater scramble, he made a positive impact for most of the game. Callahan had a tackle for loss on AP (he fell down first, but still), had nice coverage on a 3rd down incomplete late in the game, was in his receiver’s pocket most of the day, and didn’t look overmatched. Callahan is undersized (5’10 | 185) but has great speed (4.37) and was a willing run defender in college. I think Callahan has the talent and potential to be a solid slot corner for the Bears and hope he gets more playing time next week.