Chicago Bears Week 10: Takeaways

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4.) Zach Miller is becoming a weapon

Miller showed flashes of being a dangerous receiver during the preseason last year, but then ended up missing his third straight season with injuries. Finally healthy, Miller has had two big games in a row for the Bears. Last week he made a highlight reel grab of a game-winning TD and this week he was even better. Miller opened the scoring for the Bears with an 87-yard TD catch where he outran the entire Rams secondary, then added a 2nd TD with a great catch on a 2-yard pass from Jay Cutler. On the day Miller had 5 catches for 107 yards and 2 TDs. Martellus Bennett might want to rethink his hold out plans next year.

5.) The makeshift O-line keeps getting better

Despite missing three players from the O-line that the coaches planned on starting in week 1, the makeshift O-line just keeps getting better. Facing a Rams D-line that many think is the best in the NFL, the Bears O-line were able to keep Jay Cutler clean for most of the game and open enough running lanes for the Bears backup RBs to gain 153 rushing yards on the day. Charles Leno was matched up with one of the best pass rushers in the league in Robert Quinn and held him without a sack or tackle. Last year’s defensive rookie of the year Aaron Donald was able to get 1.5 sacks but for most of the day Matt Slauson and the interior line where able to keep him at bay. Slauson also had the key block that sprung Jeremy Langford’s 83-yard TD catch. On paper the Bears O-line were drastically over-matched, but they outplayed the Rams vaunted D-line for most of the game and were instrumental in the Bears blow-out win.

6.) Marc Mariani may have played his last game as a Bear

After a little over a full season without any mistakes, Marc Mariani has three fumbles in his last three games. He lost one early in today’s game that resulted in a Rams field goal. On his next return attempt Mariani took the ball out of the end zone and only got to the 12-yard line. The Bears brought Mariani in last year for his ball security, but with three fumbles in three weeks, that is no longer a strength. If he can’t hold on the ball there is little reason to keep Mariani around as he’s 32nd in the league in punt return average (8 ypr) and 26th in kick return average (26.2 ypr). The Bears did just elevate return specialist Deonte Thompson from the practice squad and I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes Mariani’s job next week.

7.) Good to see Robbie Gould over his case of the Yips

After missing three consecutive field goals over the last two games, Gould was back to his usual self connecting on three field goals in three attempts this week. The Bears will need Gould to be consistent if they are going to be competitive in the 2nd half of the season.

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