Film Study: Five takeaways from the Bears’ 24-17 win vs. Seahawks
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On the Bears’ first play of the third quarter against the Seahawks, quarterback Mitch Trubisky made a quick throw to receiver Allen Robinson, who turned his stop/curl route into a 14-yard gain.
It was a simple play but also a statement: Matt Nagy trusts Trubisky. The completion was Trubisky’s first attempt after concluding his awful second quarter with nearly his third interception.
“I’m going to have ultimate trust in him,” Nagy said. “I’ve told him that from the start, and so I’ll never back away from that.”
That said, here are five takeaways from the Bears’ 24-17 win against the Seahawks.
Believing in Trubisky
On third-and-six from the Seahawks’ 7
late in the second quarter, Trubisky scrambled to his left before unloading a pass into the end zone without a true target.
The errant throw was nearly intercepted by cornerback Justin Coleman. Cornerback Shaquill Griffin intercepted Trubisky twice earlier in the second quarter.
Nagy, though, stuck with Trubisky when the Bears opened the second half.
Nagy turned to short, quick-read throws that were based on the Seahawks’ coverage. The throws, meant to establish a rhythm, included screens to receivers Taylor Gabriel and Josh Bellamy.
“We were methodical,” Trubisky said.
By the end of the game, Nagy got the efficient outing he was looking for from Trubisky. In the second half, Trubisky was 12-for-14 passing for 88 yards and a touchdown. He completed 73.5 percent of his passes in the game.
According to the NFL’s “Next Gen Stats,” 16 of Trubisky’s completions were within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. It included all 10 of Allen Robinson’s catches. His 14-yard gain began as an eight-yard catch.
Trubisky’s ‘happy feet’
Nagy thought that Trubisky’s footwork in the pocket improved from Week 1, though there were still plays that included poor fundamentals.
There are throws that Trubisky definitely missed, starting with his overthrow of
Gabriel over the middle on the first play of the second possession.
But the Bears’ win also featured several examples where Trubisky’s “happy feet” were a weapon. As Nagy said, Trubisky does have some Russell Wilson in him, whether it’s designed runs, scrambles, improvised completions or play-action plays.
Trubisky’s 10-yard touchdown pass to rookie receiver Anthony Miller in the fourth quarter is an example.
“We got Mitch out of the pocket there, got him outside,” Nagy said. “We wanted to change the launch point for the quarterback and not just keep him in the pocket all the time. That was an opportunity for us to do it in the red zone.”
One of Trubisky’s best throws was called back because of an illegal formation penalty. On the Bears’ third play of the second half, Trubisky avoided pressure by sliding to his left. He then set his feet and fired a 14-yard completion over the middle to Miller.
Nagy said the negated completion to Miller was an example of Trubisky going deeper through his progressions.
A bag of tricks
Opponents now have two games of film to analyze Nagy’s offense. But defensive coordinators still have a wide variety of formations, personnel groupings, motions and play calls to digest.
Against the Packers, the Bears featured a multitude of screen plays. On Monday night, Gabriel did a bit of everything. He had three carries for 17 yards, which included two jet sweeps.
Gabriel also had a four-yard run on the exact same play in which tight end Trey Burton scored on a shovel pass from Trubisky in the first quarter.
On second-and-four in the third quarter, running back Tarik Cohen handled Burton’s role as the underneath shovel-pass option, while Gabriel was the first option out of the backfield. Trubisky handed the ball off to Gabriel instead of pitching the ball inside to Cohen, who was covered.
Gabriel’s six-yard catch in the second quarter also was a variation of the jet sweep. Instead of handing the ball off to Gabriel, Trubisky pitched it to him out of the shotgun.
“[Gabriel] has that threat, that speed, whether it’s handing the ball off to him and getting to the edge, whether it’s a throw down the middle of the field, or whether it’s just a simple 12-yard in route,” Nagy said.
Rookie starts, smacks
Rookie linebacker Roquan Smith missed running back Chris Carson one-on-one in the hole on the Seahawks’ first play from scrimmage. A short gain turned into a nine-yard run.
But Smith’s first start still was a solid outing for him to build on.
After playing only eight snaps against the Packers, Smith was on the field for 59 of the Seahawks’ 66 offensive plays. He made seven tackles, according to press-box statisticians. But his closing speed from sideline-to-sideline stood out, especially when he was paired with veteran Danny Trevathan.
Smith also packed a wallop when he tackled. Tight end Nick Vannett and running back C.J. Prosise were on the receiving end of hard hits by Smith.
“He was completely focused and ready to go,” Nagy said. “The lights were not too bright for him, and I think you saw that. He was out there running around, flying around and made the tackles. It’s what we want from him.”
Focusing on Fuller
For the second consecutive week, cornerback Kyle Fuller was the victim of a perfect pass. But Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett’s 19-yard touchdown catch against him still will be a focus for Fuller’s coaches.
It was a play-action play in which Wilson clearly thought he had the advantage with Lockett against Fuller, who didn’t turn to the ball, play through Lockett’s hands or run him out of bounds.
Fuller also was caught flat-footed in zone coverage on Lockett’s 20-yard catch on third-and-five in the fourth quarter. Seven plays later, Lockett beat Fuller for his touchdown.