Thoughts and observations after watching film of the Bears’ 27-24 overtime victory against the Ravens in Week 6:
Rookie Mitch Trubisky showcased his talent on his 27-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dion Sims in the third quarter and his 18-yard completion to wide receiver Kendall Wright in overtime. Both throws came on the move.
But Trubisky also deserves high marks for throws he didn’t attempt against the Ravens. He threw the ball away six times.
The best example was his decision to throw the ball out of the end zone on a third-and-three from the Ravens’ 5-yard line in the second quarter. The Ravens snuffed out a sprint-out play to running back Tarik Cohen in the left flat.
But Trubisky’s risk-averse mentality also was evident when he threw the ball into the ground on a failed play-action bootleg play to tight end Zach Miller in overtime. It immediately preceded his pass to Wright.
“It’s all about what’s necessary for the team,” Trubisky said after the game. “What do you got to do to win? [Against the Ravens], my job was to manage it [and] take care of the football.”
For a rookie making his first start on the road who has described himself as a “gunslinger,” it was impressive to see him play within the Bears’ game plan. He didn’t force one throw.
Trubisky’s athleticism on a throwaway late in the third quarter saved the Bears from disaster. He recovered center Cody Whitehair’s snap over his head at the Bears’ 1, eluded defensive end Chris Wormley in the end zone and promptly threw the ball away from trouble.
“I didn’t put us in a lot of sticky situations,” Trubisky said. “It paid off in the end. I just tried to learn from mistakes last week [against the Vikings], forcing the ball when I didn’t need to. This week, I played within myself and took what the defense gave me.”
Michael Campanaro’s 77-yard punt return for a touchdown was the result of a designed play to eliminate the Bears’ gunners through a disguised block formation.
Gunners Cre’Von LeBlanc and Josh Bellamy aligned inside on the line to ward off wide receiver Chris Matthews and tight end Vince Mayle, respectively, on the edges.
Instead, LeBlanc and Bellamy were double-teamed. Defensive backs Tony McRae and Chuck Clark eliminated LeBlanc; defensive backs Anthony Levine and Marlon Humphrey handled Bellamy.
The result was considerable running room for Campanaro. When he caught the punt at the Ravens’ 23, linebacker Jonathan Anderson was the nearest potential tackler at the 47.
A punt out of bounds by Pat O’Donnell would have negated the designed play.
Food for thought
If Ravens safety Eric Weddle tackles running back Jordan Howard instead of trying to force a fumble in overtime, Howard’s 53-yard run would’ve been a two- or three-yard gain.
Overall, the Ravens stopped Howard and Cohen for no gain or for losses 14 times — including twice on the Bears’ eventual game-winning drive after Howard’s long run.
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