Chicago Bears Week Three: Stock Up, Stock Down
Whose stock went up, and who went down from the Chicago Bears win over the Arizona Cardinals?
The Chicago Bears crawled back from 14-0 deficit to a 16-14 win against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3, with the win the Bears have a 2-1 record and are currently first place in the NFC North.
Not sure how much higher Mack’s stock can get, but it is riding high as he put together another fantastic stat line: five tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble. The most impressive part of the performance had to be the bodies that he was going against. Mack was consistently facing two or three guys and he cut through them like butter.
Mack helps the whole defense by his play; he gives the rest of the defensive line one-on-one matchups, the inside linebackers free run to the ball, and the secondary less time to cover receivers. Mack is certainly living up to his big contract and the Bears defense is moving towards the very top of the NFL.
McMannis was the most efficient player on the field Sunday, on five plays he recorded a sack, a tackle-for-loss, interception, a QB hit, and a pass defended. With that being said McMannis came into the game when Prince Amukamara went down with a hamstring injury during the game. Secondary depth was one of the biggest concerns for the Bears heading into the season and it was good to see one of those reserves make a big play. McMannis has been a staple of the Bears special teams since 2012 and to get his first interception since his rookie season in 2010 its a big moment for McMannis.
It was a great sign to see Howard carry the ball a season-high 24 times for 61 yards and a touchdown. Having Howard run the ball definitely helped Mitchell Trubisky in the passing attack. Giving manageable second-and-third downs for the young quarterback is key to his progression over the season. It also may be in the best interest for Nagy to initiate their offense by running the ball. It’s also interesting that Howard scored the Bears first rushing touchdown by a running back this season. Part of the reason for that maybe the Bears inefficiencies in the red zone, but perhaps it could be the answer for their red zone woes.
The fifth-round pick out of Delaware made the biggest play of the game for the Bears on when he tackled Cardinals running back Chase Edmunds for a three-yard loss on third-and-two with under two minutes on the game clock. Nichols only has two tackles on the season, but his ability to be physical up-front is apparent, and it gives the Bears added depth in the middle for the season.
Trubisky played an average game, but there were some flashes that jumped off the screen. His throw to Allen Robinson that connected for 39 yards was right on the money and showed off Trubisky’s touch on the deep ball, after moving from his first read. Also Trubisky achieved his highest yards per pass attempt which was 6.29.
The good unfortunately came with some bad for Trubisky, and the bad was headlined by two turnovers and a series of missed throws. Accuracy is an issue that needs to be dealt with, and hopefully video sessions, practice reps, and game reps can fix those issues.
Those strategies are important for a young quarterback, because it gives him the ammunition to create poise in the pocket. It’s important that he starts to stack top level plays game-after-game, and then once that becomes habitual he can start to do it quarter-after-quarter. It’s not going to be much longer that Bears fans will give the inexperience excuse for Trubisky, especially with the numbers Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson are putting up.
While Khalil Mack is on one side causing havoc against two offensive lineman and a tight end, Floyd is struggling to create pass-rush in one-on-one battles. Floyd had his cast lightened up so he can use his fingers for the first time against Arizona. Floyd was limited to say the least with only one tackle assist on the day. While the other defensive lineman are reaping the benefits of Mack on the edge, Floyd seems to be the only one struggling. Good teams will figure out a way to slow Mack down at some point, so Floyd needs to create a steady rush on the opposite side of the line.
All stats acquired from ESPN.com & pro-football-reference.com