Bears Takeaways: Week 3

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

7.) Kevin White still doesn’t look like a top ten pick

White had his best game a pro with six catches for 62 yards on a whopping 14 targets. There were some signs of progress including an amazing one-handed grab behind the defender’s back on a deep ball and an 18-yard catch-and-run which was called back due to a Leno Jr penalty, but White left a lot of yards on the field last week.

A perfectly thrown deep ball went right through his hands and would have been a big play for an offense that badly needed it. White also doesn’t play like a guy who runs a sub 4.4 40-yard-dash. Hopefully that is due to his lack of familiarity with the offense and not a reflection of his talent ceiling.

With Alshon Jeffrey still hobbled and defenses focused on him when he’s on the field, White should see plenty more targets in the next few games. If he can continue to improve than the Bears might have the playmaker they thought they were getting with the 7th overall pick, but White still has a long way to go.

8.) Is DC Vic Fangio still relevant?

The Bears DC Vic Fangio came to the team with the reputation of being a defensive mastermind. He had a built-in excuse his first season as the Bears didn’t have enough talent on the roster to play well in any scheme. After a year of replacing the dead weight on the roster with players chosen to fit Fangio’s scheme, more was expected in year two.

So far the results have been underwhelming at best. The Bears have just four sacks total and have only forced four turnovers in three games. At this pace they will have even less sacks and turnovers than last season’s pathetic totals. It’s early in the year and perhaps too small of a sample size to draw any conclusions, but it’s disappointing regardless.

Even more troubling than the lack of impact plays is the lack of pressure that the Bears have been able to generate, especially facing rookie quarterbacks in the last two games. The lack of pressure made both QBs look like seasoned vets as they picked apart the Bears inexperienced secondary. Giving opposing QBs all day to find an open receiver is no way to protect the Bears young defensive backs.

Fangio has seemed stubborn in trying to generate a pass rush with just four d-linemen. By now it’s pretty clear that the current front four isn’t going to get it done on their own. There hasn’t been enough blitzes called and when Fangio does call for a blitz, the blitzers have been ineffective. If that wasn’t bad enough, the Bears secondary appears to be in a Lovie Smith-esque soft zone, allowing the rookie QBs to gain confidence by completing short, easy throws.

I have yet to see a series of defensive plays that made me think the Bears had an effective or creative defensive scheme. It’s early, but Fangio needs to start living up to his reputation.

9.) Bears rookies are getting valuable experience

There were very few bright spots in the Bears week three loss, but some rookies flashed talent at least. The upside of so many injuries is that the Bears rookies are getting a chance to play sooner than planned.

ILB Nick Kwiatkoski, slot corner Cre’Von LeBlanc, and DE Johnathan Bullard all got more snaps than expected and made a few mistakes, but held their own for the most part. All three should get even more time next week which could speed up their development curve.

10.) The Bears are last in the NFL in time of possession

Through three games the Bears have had the ball just 40% of the time. That’s good for dead last in the NFL and a big reason why the defense has collapsed in the second half in two of the Bears three games. The Bears aren’t going to win any games until they can string together a few first downs. The play calling, the lack of a running game, too many penalties, and poor execution on third downs have all contributed to the disappointing offense so far.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

11.) The Bears passed on Cowboys QB Dak Prescott three times in the 4th round of this year’s draft

With Jay Cutler in the last year of guaranteed money, the Bears should be looking for a developmental QB. Does anyone have faith in GM Ryan Pace to draft the right one? The fact that he passed on Cowboys rookie Dak Prescott three times in the 4th round of this year’s draft isn’t encouraging.

Prescott picked the Bears defense apart, completing 19/24 passes for 254 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions in just his third NFL start. Would the Bears trade any of their 4th round picks (ILB Nick Kwiatkoski, S Deon Bush, CB Deiondre Hall) for Prescott right now? Wouldn’t they trade all three for him?

12.) The Bears chances to make the playoffs are slim to none

The last team to start 0-3 was the 1998 Buffalo Bills. That team had a Pro Bowl QB in Doug Flutie, 5-time Pro Bowl RB Thurman Thomas, and two Pro Bowl wide receivers in Andre Reed and Eric Moulds. Those Bills had slightly more talent than the 2016 Bears.