In one of the weirdest football games that you'll see this season, the Bears needed overtime to defeat the Baltimore Ravens 27-24 on Sunday afternoon.
Baltimore failed to score a single offensive touchdown but still somehow hung around. That is because the Bears had two ugly blunders on special teams, allowing a 96-yard kickoff return touchdown to Bobby Rainey and a 77-yard punt return score from Michael Campanero.
The Bears led 17-3 midway through the third quarter and were completing dominating on defense. But the special teams unit without captain Sherrick McManis slipped up against Rainey. It appeared Josh Bellamy touched Rainey before he was tackled by his own player. No whistle was blown and he ran in free for an easy touchdown.
Fast forward to midway through the fourth quarter and Adrian Amos just recorded his first interception and touchdown on a 90-yard return. Ravens kicker Justin Tucker booted his third field goal of the day on a 50-yarder to trim the deficit to 24-16.
The Bears needed one yard on third down to end the game. Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains drew up a stretch run to the right side and Jordan Howard lost yards. Then, Patrick O'Donnell booted a punt to Campanero who took it to the house.
It came down to a whiffed tackle attempt from Ravens safety Eric Weddle to spring Howard 53 yards down the left sideline in overtime. Then, Connor Barth finally ending the misery of a game and the Bears won.
Honestly, it was exhausting to watch and it is tough writing what transpired.
Regardless, we witnessed two major plotlines from the offense. Mitch Trubisky is a legitimate athlete and Jordan Howard is a true workhorse.
Trubisky's stats won't do him justice. He completed 8-of-16 pass attempts for 113 yards and a touchdown as the Bears ran the ball 54 times. Howard never quit with 36 rushes for 167 yards and the big clincher in overtime.
The duo of Trubisky and Howard is dangerous. It can be better with time and a with a more understanding offensive coordinator.
Loggains' third down play calling was embarrassing. He still can't quite figure out how to use rookie sensation Tarik Cohen outside of some gadget plays. We saw that with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Zach Miller.
— Jake Perper (@BearsBacker) October 15, 2017
The defense played the best I've seen it under Vic Fangio. Danny Trevathan returned and was flying around the field. He had six tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery.
Kyle Fuller played like a true first round talent batting down passes and showing some lockdown ability. There wasn't one player on the defense that played poorly. My only complaint was that Leonard Floyd could have done more.
Eddie Jackson and Amos look to be working really well together on the back end. The secondary has stepped up as of late for this defense. Eddie Goldman and Akiem Hicks shined on the interior line of the defense yet again.
Adrian Amos pick 6 pic.twitter.com/yi3Oep9sSr
— ⓂarcusD (@_MarcusD2_) October 15, 2017
At 2-4, the season isn't over, but for John Fox he isn't deserving of another year on the Bears' sideline.
He continues to coach a lack of discipline. The lone coaches on this team that I trust fully are Fangio and safeties coach Ed Donatell.
Special teams coach Jeff Rodgers needs to get his unit to play to the whistle or he could find himself without a job.
In Year 3 under this coaching staff, there have been some fine moments, especially defensively but the Bears are a strange franchise.
The offense is essentially a glorified high school offense under Loggains and his staff.
This season is all about progressing and it could be hard for these youngsters to do this offensively with an unproven wide receiver core and a rookie quarterback. Loggains hasn't had a full gameplan to date.
Three plays that Trubisky stood out on:
2nd and 17 from the Chicago 13 (3rd quarter - 5:02) - Trubisky fielded an awful high snap from center Cody Whitehair at the one-yard line. Somehow he scrambled away from a sack in the end zone and found a way to throw the ball away.
3rd and 7 from the Baltimore 27 (3rd quarter - 6:01) - Trubisky was moving backward in the pocket but found a wide open Dion Sims in the end zone for a TD pass to give the Bears a 17-3 lead. His arm strength was apparent on this throw.
3rd and 11 from the Baltimore 41 (overtime - 4:26) - Trubisky found his favorite third down target in Kendall Wright for a gain of 18 yards. Four plays later Barth kicked the game-winning field goal. This pass was proof that Trubisky is ready to be an NFL starter.
The Bears need wide receiver help, but Trubisky is a winner and Howard is one of the hardest working running backs in the league. The defense is here to stay despite a plethora of injuries. The special teams needs to improve.
Did Trubisky play great? No. He lost a fumble late in the game. But he was limited by two first time starters at receiver and a conservative playbook. He did what he could with what he was given. Anytime he was in trouble, he threw the ball away, six times to be exact.
The Bears are better off with Trubisky. Whether these are the coaches that will be here for his long time development, that doesn't look likely. But for Trubisky to get the full speed of the NFL down, he needs to be under center.
Next Sunday, the Bears return home to face Cam Newton in the Panthers. The Bears are 1-2 at Soldier Field, beating Pittsburgh by six and losing to Atlanta and Minnesota by a combined six points.
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