It has gotten to the point where I might have to rename the weekly winners articles to "Silver Linings from Chicago Bears matchup." Most weeks, it is the same narrative that the Bears lost, but a few players stood out. There have been weeks when there were really no winners, but there is never a week without losers. This week, the Bears did play somewhat well for a good portion of the game, but that is not enough. The difference between a well-coached team that utilizes talent correctly and a team that is poorly coached and disciplined was clear.
Anyway, like usual, there are a few players who do deserve credit. One of the main things that has been a factor in who makes the winners list has been production. Since the Bears have had so little consistent production from all but a few of their players, those who do put together a complete performance deserve to be praised for it. Sure, the potential is important, and flashes are good to note, but for the Bears desperately need more productive and complete efforts from many of their key players.
Chicago Bears Week 9 Winner No. 1: Cole Kmet
After a week on the losers list in Week 7, Cole Kmet has now put together two outstanding performances in back-to-back weeks. Against the Chargers, he had ten catches, which was a career-high, and against the Saints, he was able to find the endzone twice. The two touchdown games are becoming his thing. It almost seems as if Kmet scores once; he will probably do it again in that same game. It is almost as if he is either scoring twice or not at all.
I have said multiple times that one of the best things for a young, developing quarterback to have is a dependable tight end who can be a safety valve and a physical target. While Tyson Bagent has developed a chemistry with Kmet over the last few games, we saw the same thing happen with him and Justin Fields as well. It seems that the Bears have recognized Kmet's value as a threat in the passing game after using him as a hybrid blocker and tight end for the last few years. He has been one of the focal points of the offense this season, and it has paid off in large dividends.
While Kmet has improved as a blocker, he is an even bigger threat as a red zone weapon. For the first few years of his career, the narrative was that he was not valuable because of his lack of success in the red zone. Well, each week it feels that Kmet is getting used more in that area, and he is using his strengths to improve as an option to score. The first touchdown of the game from Bagent to Kmet was a perfect representation of what Kmet can provide for this team, and it was great to see Bagent just put the ball up for his 6'6 playmaker to come down with. Hopefully, even when Fields gets back, they continue to rely on Kmet in the intermediate passing game because he is a real threat with his size and catching ability.