Chicago Bears Week 10: Takeaways

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Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

Well that was fun! The Chicago Bears came into their road game against the St. Louis Rams as seven point underdogs, which makes their 37-13 victory even more impressive. I’m one of the most optimistic Bear fans I know and even I thought the Bears would be in trouble this week. They were playing without arguably their best players on both offense (Matt Forte) and defense (Pernell McPhee), but outside of the Rams first drive of the game the Bears dominated on both sides of the ball.

This was a statement game for the Bears. As the betting line reflects, most national analysts considered the 4-4 Rams an up-and-coming team while the 3-5 Bears were an afterthought.  It’s not talked about at all in the national media, but the Bears are a couple of late-game mistakes against the Lions & Vikings away from being 6-3. They are still a long shot to make the playoffs, but I will get into the specifics of how they might get there in my takeaways below.

The Bears outplayed the Rams on both sides of the ball on Sunday and their 37-13 road win should boost their confidence going into the second half of the season. I’ll break down the specific contributions below in this week’s takeaways.

Week 10 Takeaways

1.) This is the best stretch of Jay Cutler’s Bears career

Facing arguably the best defense he’s played all year, Cutler finished the day 19/24 for 258 yards and 3 TDs. More importantly, Cutler didn’t turn the ball over once. Granted his stats were boosted by two 80+ yard pass plays, but Cutler did more than enough to lead the Bears to victory. In a tough road match-up, Cutler was never fazed, found the open receivers when they were there, and didn’t try to force anything.

Without Matt Forte, multiple starting O-linemen, and with a limited Alshon Jeffery, Cutler was dealing with far from a full deck but he led the team to four TDs and three FGs and drastically outplayed the Rams QB Nick Foles. Watching Foles struggle reminded me how hard it is for NFL teams to find a good QB and made me feel lucky that the Bears have Jay Cutler.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

2.) Jeremy Langford is making a push for the 2016 starting job

After an impressive debut in his first start last week (141 total yards) Langford was even better this week against a much tougher Rams defense. On the day Langford finished with 182 total yards and two TDs. The flash play was an 83-yard TD reception on a screen pass where he made a few guys miss and then outran the Rams secondary. Langford got tough yards as well against one of the best D-lines in the NFL. He ended up with 46% of the Bears total offensive yards which is pretty darn impressive considering Matt Forte was leading the league with an average of 33% of the Bears total yards before he got hurt. I am as big of a Matt Forte fan as anyone, but Langford is proving that he can handle the RB job if the Bears let Forte leave in free agency next year.

3.) Ka’Deem Carey had an underrated impact 

All of the attention will be on Jeremy Langford’s big game, but Carey had 14 carries for 56 tough yards and actually averaged more yards per carry (4.0) on 14 touches than Langford did (3.7) in 20. Carey averaged 4 yards per carry last week against the Chargers as well, and has shown the ability to run low and with power, to get tough yards inside and break tackles. The Bears have used Carey as a between the tackles workhorse, similar to how they used Jacquizz Rodgers before he got hurt. The Langford / Carey combination could be what the Bears use next year if they don’t re-sign Forte and so far it is looking promising.

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