by Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63
Bears 17 – Vikings 20
In his first NFL debut, rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky entered the stadium with swagger. He had been waiting all his life for this moment and what better way to display his talents than on a Monday Night stage. But with a close game, the Chicago Bears fall to 1-4 in the NFC North division.
The Minnesota Vikings did not hesitate to put pressure on him from the get-go, but he found a way to get out of the pocket and move around trying to make a play. His footwork looked clean, his trajectory was almost on point with a few low throws that could not be caught. And let’s not forget his confidence in the pocket and his mobility outside the pocket. No nerves or fear there.
Trubisky threw a monstrous 37.5 percent of his passes outside the pocket. He had to since the offensive line would collapse around him if he stayed in it. He was forced to throw into tight windows on 40 percent of his pass attempts and, with a lack of deep threat receivers, it just made it harder to create any momentum. Even though his touchdown pass came off of the tipped fingers of Andrew Sendejo into tight end Zach Miller‘s hands, his passion to win is without question.
But it was the offensive line and receivers that held back Trubisky in failing to produce a win for this team. Oh and let’s give credit where credit is due for the ridiculous officiating in this game. Penalty flags for non-penalty situations set the Bears back but favored the Vikings, similar to a situation that occurred with the Arizona Cardinals last year.
In the first couple of plays, right guard Kyle Long seemed unbalanced throughout the night. Tight end Dion Sims has struggled to block since the start of the season as well as wide receiver Markus Wheaton. The whole offense struggled to keep up with the Vikings defense.
Trubisky threw the ball around connecting several times with wide receiver Kendall Wright, who almost lost a catch when he juggled the ball.
On 1st and 10, in the first quarter, Trubisky threw a perfect ball to tight end Dion Sims who drops it mid-field. Something that Sims had continuously done throughout the start of the season. He did manage to make a catch at the start of the 2nd quarter, but he was targeted four times in the red zone and could not complete a catch.
On one play, Trubisky throws a short pass to running back Benny Cunningham, who is trying to find daylight but has no protection in front of him. Why? Because the offensive line did not finish the play as Cunningham hits a wall of Vikings defenders.
Defensive end Daniel Hunter gets past Long and Miller to stuff Howard. Then when Howard is allowed to run on better blocking, he runs in for a TD only to be called back by a terrible holding call on Wheaton. If the Bears are going to continue to have any success with the run game, they may want to continue using the split-back formation forcing defenses to make a choice which will allow Trubisky to pass as they swing out.
The sweet catch by Tre McBride was a beauty only to be negated by an offensive holding call on center Cody Whitehair. Trubisky throws another beauty to McBride later on in the first quarter with a nice catch. Out of all the receivers, it was McBride and Wright who were catching the ball.
There can be success in the rest of the season if the Bears can get a deep threat playmaker such as Tanner Gentry, who if you recall, caught that 81-yard bomb by Trubisky in the preseason. Gentry is 6′-2″, the tallest of the current receivers on the roster. They have to go back to a balanced offense.
The defense held did a pretty good job and protecting the end zone. However, with so many injuries to the inside linebacker core, they will be depending on Danny Trevathan to stay healthy and outside the suspension jail going forward. Especially next week against the Baltimore Ravens.
It is up to the offense to assist their quarterback to make plays. And if the Bears want to win against the Ravens in Week 6, they must bring up Gentry as the much needed vertical threat and tight end Adam Shaheen for those plays in the red zone.
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