Chicago Bears Week 11: Takeaways

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

12.) Bruce Gaston is looking like a solid pick up

I was a fan of Gaston coming out of Purdue, partly because he played at my former rival St. Rita (I went to St Lawrence) but mainly because I liked his burst off the ball and lateral mobility. Gaston made a couple of nice plays against the Rams in his first extended playing time with the Bears, but made more of an impact Sunday with a big 3rd down sack of Brock Osweiler, another QB hit, a tackle for loss and four tackles overall. Gaston is a good fit in the Bears 3-4 scheme and could provide valuable depth behind Jarvis Jenkins and Will Sutton at DE the rest of the season.

13.) Adrian Amos is in the conversation for defensive rookie of the year 

After a few near misses on opposing QBs, Amos finally got his first sack of the season against the Broncos on Sunday. He also had seven tackles, a QB hit, a tackle for loss, and multiple big hits. Amos is only 22 but has been the most consistent player in the Bears secondary this season. He hasn’t made many impact plays in coverage, but hasn’t made many mistakes either and has solidified the deep middle of the field which has been a huge problem for the Bears the last few seasons. Amos has also been a big hitter which has given opposing players something to worry about over the middle for the first time in years.

14.) Tracy Porter is the Bears best corner right now 

Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas is one of the best receivers in the league and had 56 yards on the Broncos first drive of the game. After that drive the Bears had Tracy Porter shadow Thomas and from that point on Thomas had just one catch for 3 yards. The 5-11 Porter blanketed the 6’3 Thomas the rest of the game and negated the Broncos best-receiving threat after that first drive.

Porter has been the Bears best corner the last three weeks and if he can stay healthy the Bears have few solid pieces in their secondary with Porter, Fuller, Amos and potentially Bryce Callahan. They still have a huge hole at the other safety position even when Antrel Rolle is healthy. A reliable safety to line up across from Amos should be one of the Bears top offseason priorities.

15.) The Bears playoff dream isn’t over

The Bears could realistically be 7-3 as they have had a chance to win each of their last seven games after a dreadful 0-3 start, but they are just 4-6 due to late-game mistakes in all three phases of the game, a dropped pass on 3rd down, and some questionable coaching decisions. The Bears are a better team than their record reflects, but the reality is they probably are going to miss the playoffs for the fifth straight season.

The odds are stacked against the Bears making the playoffs but it’s not impossible. The Bears have a tough match-up on Thanksgiving in Green Bay this week and another tough game in Minnesota in week 15, but their other four games are definitely winnable with only the Bucs being .500. If the Bears can win five of their last six games, it would put them at 9-7 and potentially in the wild-card mix. It’s unlikely, but not impossible as two 9-7 teams have made the playoffs as a wild-card team in the last four seasons.