11 takeaways from the Bears’ 27-24 loss to the Lions
Thoughts and observations after watching the film and going through the stats of Bears’ 27-24 loss against the Lions on Sunday:
1. So running back Tarik Cohen and tight end Adam Shaheen aren’t ready for two-minute situations but receivers Tre McBride (not here in camp/preseason) and Markus Wheaton (out with various injuries) are? The Bears’ coaching staff — starting with coach John Fox — are either afraid to play their rookies or deserve blame for their lack of preparation.
2. Receiver Dontrelle Inman also wasn’t on the field for every snap during the Bears’ final drive, which resulted Connor Barth’s missed field goal. The Bears put rookie Mitch Trubisky out there without his best playmakers.
3. As some Bears’ offensive lineman pointed out after the game, the diversified play-calling and establishment of a passing game helped them up front in the run game.
4. That said, it’s not often that you see a team lose when outrushing their opponent 222 yards to 65. But that’s how things are going for the Bears these days.
5. The Bears’ run game is simply better with guard Kyle Long. Sunday was another example. He’ll want to play the season out, but if his injuries are that bothersome, it’s best to get him to think of 2018. He’s too valuable to the future.
6. Are fans done writing off Shaheen? His four catches for 41 yards led the Bears. Trubisky clearly trusts him, too. He threw him open twice over the middle.
7. Establishing Cohen clearly was a goal. But simply having him on the field made a difference. Running back Jordan Howard’s 50-yard run was an example. It was a draw play that included Trubisky faking a quick screen to Cohen in the slot. The Lions’ linebackers moved out of position, while safety Glover Quin already was over the top of Cohen.
8. The Bears’ four-man pass rush continued to underwhelm, and that included the first three quarters when outside linebacker Leonard Floyd was healthy. Linebackers Nick Kwiatkoski and Christian Jones got to Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford on designed pressures. Defensive lineman Mitch Unrein’s sack was the result of coverage.
9. Outside linebacker and cornerback are offseason priorities. Cornerback Marcus Cooper should thank Barth for overshadowing his own gaffes.
10. Everyone is seemingly obsessed with Trubisky’s footwork and fundamentals right now. But all of that should improve in time. The Lions attacked Trubisky with blitzes and zone pressures. That changed his launch points and altered his footwork and throws. Remember, the Bears liked Trubisky because he has the athleticism and ability to make tough plays under duress.
11. It was good see offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains expand his play calls for Trubisky. Their first drive was impressive. But everyone should still find this quote from Trubisky very intriguing: “I know coach Dowell Loggains trusts me a lot with just how far I’ve progressed and what coach Fox is allowing us to do on offense. We just got to keep getting better each week. I feel like I have.”