The argument I made all offseason as to why the Bears would be more competitive in 2016, especially within the division, was because they were already competitive within the division LAST season. Yes, they went 1-5. But both Detroit games and the home Vikings game were complete coin flips. The only time a division opponent clearly outclassed them was in Minnesota, a game the Vikings needed and Bears didn’t.
Yesterday the depleted Bears weren’t just better than Detroit. They dominated them. If their special teams show up, the game is never close. Other thoughts…
- Brian Hoyer is going to be the story this week. Nobody thinks less of Hoyer than I do but that kind of efficiency will excite John Fox in the tape study sessions. He dinks and dunks, sure, but the offense looked like a real offense for the first time this season.
- So why so few points? Well, Hoyer is why. Alshon Jeffery will be reduced to basically the third option as long as Hoyer is playing quarterback. Hoyer is a timing/crossing route quarterback. Jeffery is a downfield home run hitter. There were a few moments yesterday where Jeffery was isolated in man coverage and Cutler would have unquestionably tossed a jump ball for him. Hoyer (a) doesn’t think that way and (b) can’t physically do it.
- And so begins the Jordan Howard era? 23 for 111. 4.8 average. He’s big. He’s quick. He’s tough to bring down. And against Detroit he showed his versatility in the passing attack. Jeremy Langford’s role changed yesterday.
- The offensive line is improving every single week.
- Matthew Stafford was terrible but a lot of that credit has to go to the Bears defense.
- Right now Leonard Floyd is more valuable in coverage than he is rushing the passer. The Bears pass rush has been invisible through the first quarter of the season. They desperately need Pernell McPhee to return.
- Adrian Amos is going to be very popular in Chicago if he keeps hitting people like this.
- Nick Kwiatkoski. I wanna see more.
- Who would have guessed that through four games the Bears MVP is Eddie Royal? Very few.
- Who would have guessed that Connor Barth stinks? Many. How many kicks are the Bears willing to let Barth shank before they admit the error of their ways and bring in competition? Are they waiting for him to lose a game? Because, let me tell you, he’s gonna lose them more than one at this rate.
- Cornelius Washington needs to be on the field more. Part of that is on him. He’s never healthy. But every time he’s on the field, he makes plays.
- Kevin White’s projected numbers: 76 catches. 748 yards.
- Why does it seem like the Bears can NEVER get a yard when they need it?
- Who tells John Fox which plays to challenge and how can I apply to replace him? I will gladly sit up in the booth and just say “No” or “Yes” into his headset. Hell, I’ll do it for nothing. Maybe throw me lunch and few beers postgame. A car service to the hotel. A Portillo’s coupon.
Overall, it’s a stabilizing win for a team that desperately needed it. Now they go on the road, to a bad Colts team, coming off the London trip. If they can put back-to-back wins together, this campaign won’t be feeling so dreary anymore.