The Buccaneers came on to Soldier Field on Sunday on the heels of its first loss of the season. The Tampa Bay team dropped a close one last Monday night to a tough Steelers team. The Bears were coming off an exciting but underwhelming win in the desert against the Arizona Cardinals. Many were wondering, myself included, if this Bears offense would ever get going. The Bears answered all those questions emphatically, with a 48-10 drubbing of the Bucs on Sunday.
It was more of the same from head coach Matt Nagy and quarterback Mitch Trubisky as they put together an offensive clinic to open the ballgame with their often talked-about scripted plays. The offensive success did not stop there, however, as Trubisky seemed unstoppable. He would end the day with 354 yards passing and six touchdowns. He missed a few receivers with inaccurate throws, but to call it an issue would be nitpicking. There is definitely an improvement from last week. He connected on 73 percent of his passes, which is outstanding. Another outstanding fact is that the Bears committed zero turnovers. Even with the game being pretty much over at halftime, the team kept good concentration and took care of the football.
While Trubisky held most of the spot light, another notable performance was that of Tarik Cohen. He finally had his breakout performance as a dynamic player in this offense. He led the team with 121 receiving yards, on seven catches.
A real issue with this offense is the lack of a running game. Tarik Cohen was tied with Trubisky for the team lead with 53 yards on the ground. Jordan Howard was almost nonexistent with just 11 carries and 25 yards. The Bears need to do something to get its ground game going. If the players can achieve that, there is no telling what this offense is capable of. The Bears have bye week next week, so the team will have two weeks to figure something out.
One thing the team does not need help figuring out is defense. I had noted two players to watch as the game kicked off. With the Bears’ secondary being thinned out by injuries, Kevin Toliver II and Bryce Callahan were given more snaps. They delivered, finishing first and second on the team in tackles, respectively. Khalil Mack did it again − he now has a sack and a forced fumble in four consecutive games.
At the risk of getting too far ahead of myself, the Bears looked really good. They finished the first quarter of the season 3-1 and remain atop the NFC North division. The once-daunting schedule, with predictions of maybe eight wins, is now looking like a cake walk to double-digit wins and a division title. All aboard the bandwagon because this team is going to the playoffs.
As I mentioned before, the Bears have bye next week, so the team will not play again until Week 6, when it travels to Miami to face the Dolphins.