The Bears came away with a road divisional win in Week One.
Whether or not they’re a good football right now is irrelevant.
The team struggled on both sides of the ball for much of Sunday’s game, offering some trademarks of bad teams. Thankfully for Matt Nagy and company, the Lions specialize in those trademarks.
But the Bears still showed enough potential to lead us to believe they could, one day, even soon, be a good team.
Playoff hopes were based on having a dominant defense. Not the kind of unit that allows 4.8 yards per carry and barely sniffs Matthew Stafford all day, despite a backup right tackle. Not the unit that allowed Danny Amendola and T.J. Hockenson to dominate the middle of the field. (One shudders to think what the passing attack would’ve looked like had Kenny Golladay played.)
They must find a way to be better against the run. Perhaps that answer can come in free agency with Marcell Dareus and Snacks Harrison seemingly available — although the latter may choose to sit out 2020.
The pass rush answers are internal. Khalil Mack will recover from a knee ailment that landed him on the injury report. Robert Quinn will return within the next two weeks. (If not the club would have put him on IR.) Mario Edwards can also give them a boost on passing downs when he’s up to speed.
Offensively, it was more of the same for the Bears in that their quarterback spent most of the game looking completely incompetent. Whether he was spinning in the pocket, somehow over-throwing a 6’7” tight end, or missing open targets down the field, Mitch Trubisky looked like the quarterback of last year.
The hope, obviously, is that Trubisky’s slow start was a matter of rust; the residue of having to split reps in training camp. We’ll see. If Trubisky can’t play better than he did for most of Sunday, Nick Foles will be on the field before October.
The rest of the offense looked more than functional. David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen combined for 105 rushing yards on 20 carries (5.25 average). Anthony Miller made big plays once the quarterback started playing better. Darnell Mooney is as advertised. Allen Robinson is still Allen Robinson. While they weren’t going against a fearsome foursome up front, the Bears offensive line was in control all game. They opened holes for runners and Trubisky had a clean pocket to throw from on most of his drop backs.
We Move Forward.
While talk of potential has grown tiresome, there were signs of a good team on the field in Detroit on Sunday. Whether they actually become a good team is anybody’s guess. Right now they don’t need to be. They just have to stack wins and, hopefully, they’ll be good when they need to be.