7.) Is Robbie Gould still available?
Any change Robbie Gould will forgive the Bears for releasing him and come back? Connor Barth isn’t working out. He missed badly on a 50-yard attempt and the Bears clearly have no confidence in Barth outside of 30 yards. Barth is 2-4 on field goals so far this year with both his makes being chip shots. If Barth’s struggles continue, I expect the Bears to bring in some kickers for a try out in the very near future. Hopefully, Gould answers the phone…
8.) Eddie Royal finally earning his money
At $5M per year, Eddie Royal is one of the Bears highest paid offensive players but hasn’t done much to earn it since being signed before the 2015 season. Royal finally looks healthy and is making an impact on the Bears offense. He caught all seven of his targets on Sunday for 111 yards and a touchdown, including a huge 64-yard catch and run that led to a Bears touchdown.
If Jeffery and White are both healthy, Royal gives the Bears a different look with the speed and sharp route-running ability to get open underneath and make things happen after the catch. Royal is a true slot receiver and the only one the Bears have on the roster. If the Bears can keep all three starting receivers healthy, they should be able to attack the secondary at all levels.
9.) The Bears young cornerbacks made the difference Sunday
Both Jacoby Glenn and Deiondre Hall picked off passes Sunday for the first interceptions of their NFL careers. Glenn’s stopped what looked like a sure thing scoring drive for the Lions at the end of the first half. Hall’s put a stop to a good 4th quarter drive by the Lions and effectively sealed the win. Neither interception was an exceptionally good play, both were on terrible throws from Matt Stafford, but the corner still needs to be in the right position, aware of the throw, and make the catch. Glenn and Hall took advantage of Stafford’s mistakes and made the play that was there.
Slot corner Bryce Callahan was healthy for the first time since week one and made his presence felt. Callahan out-muscled and shut down Golden Tate, who has killed the Bears in the past, and was aggressive defending the Lions screen game. Rookie slot corner Cre’Von LeBlanc didn’t see as many snaps with Callahan back, but did a respectable job covering Anquan Boldin despite giving up a few inches of height, a lot of strength, and 13 years of NFL experience.
This may be a lost season for the Bears, but if some combination of Glenn, Hall, Callahan, or LeBlanc can develop into reliable cornerbacks, the Bears will be in better shape going into the 2017 season. Glenn and Hall have the size to play outside, LeBlanc has the strength and quickness to be effective in the slot, while Callahan has proven to be a viable slot corner when healthy going back to his rookie year in 2015.