The Chicago Bears grabbed their first win of the season against the Lions on Sunday. Here’s Bear Goggles rapid reaction of the Bears performance during their 17-14 win.
The 0-3 Chicago Bears hadn’t won at Soldier Field in 52 weeks, the last coming on a last second win against Oakland in week three of the 2015 season.
In fitting fashion, the Bears got their first win of the 2016 season in week three, this time against NFC North foe Detroit Lions. Oh right, the Bears also hadn’t beat the Lions since the last week of 2012 season when Lovie Smith was still the head honcho in Chicago. Neat, huh?
In any case, the Bears turned in a complete reversal of the first three weeks in their win against the Lions, as they did not allow an offensive touchdown since week five of the 2012 season when they defeated Jacksonville. The offense was clean as well, as Hoyer led two touchdown drives spanning double-digit plays.
Here are brief recaps of the Bears game on both sides of the ball:
Brian Hoyer piloted the Bears to 17 points. That may seem low, but it was enough to win. Even as the special teams tried to blow the late lead. Jordan Howard showed off his shifty, yet powerful running skills as he rambled for 111 yards on 23 carries, and made a very outstanding case as to why he should be the Bears feature back going forward. Hoyer also showed off chemistry with wide receivers Eddie Royal (7 receptions, 111 yards, 1 TD) and Kevin White (6 rec, 55 yards).
The Bears also controlled the clock, which kept the ball away from one of the most potent offenses in the NFL. The offense tallied two scoring drives that were each 10 and 13 plays, taking up 5:02 and 7:42, respectively. Recording prolonged drives was huge for a Bears team which struggled to maintain drives earlier this season.
As it stands, one of the very few negatives were penalties. Bobby Massie continues to be somewhat of a liability at right tackle. Albeit, he was better today, but he continued to give up costly penalties which turned a few third down and shorts into third down and longs.
As it was indicated by FOX Sports’ Laura Okmin, starting quarterback Jay Cutler will be out for an extended period of time which indicates the Bears will roll with Hoyer until further notice. That might not be a bad thing, all things considered, as long as Hoyer assumes the game manager position. The Bears didn’t turn the ball over for the first time this year with Hoyer calling the shots, which will be sorely needed the next two weeks with games against Jacksonville and Indianapolis.
Following defensive efforts yielding 23, 29 and 38 points, a six-point defensive output was very promising to watch. If the special teams played at all on Andre Roberts’ touchdown return, there wouldn’t have been a touchdown at all for the Lions to hang their hat on.
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Overall, a performance which produced two sacks and two interceptions was an indication the Bears are taking huge strides on defense. Led by the secondary, which had positives for nearly every player, the Bears held the Lions 197 net passing yards and 66 net rushing yards. Cornerbacks Jacoby Glenn and Deiondre’ Hall both grabbed interceptions when the Lions were in Bears territory, which were both great coverage interceptions. Fellow corner Bryce Callahan was so good one-on-one against Lion wide receiver Golden Tate, Tate was benched in the second half.
Akiem Hicks and Cornelius Washington were able to get through the trenches for their first sacks of the season. Those two led a defensive line effort which included a goal line stand which held Detroit to a field goal. Linebacker Jerrell Freeman continues to be the best free agent signing of Ryan Pace’s career, as he racked up seven solo tackles to tie with Harold Jones-Quartey for the game high.
The Bears will face quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Blake Bortles the next two weeks, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to say this game could be a blueprint for those games. Coverage was acceptable, and the pass rush actually existed against the Lions which forced Stafford into two turnovers. Bortles and Luck are similar quarterbacks, and will turn the ball over if forced.
Wide receiver Kevin White and cornerback Tracy Porter both left the game in the third quarter with leg injuries. White suffered what’s believed to be an ankle injury, while Porter seemed to reaggravate a knee injury he’s had since the preseason.