by Wanda Wiedman / @WandaW63
Bears 23, Steelers 17 (OT)
This was one of those matchups that was a no-brainer when it came to winning; every single sports media outlet had Steelers pegged to win. Against an elite passer such as Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, there was a doubt that the Chicago Bears secondary could stop him. But the Steelers didn’t quite understand the dual threat of Bears running backs Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen. Together, they masterfully carved up the Steelers defense with precision and grit.
Howard rushed for 138 yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns, the latter in a 19-yard sprint in overtime to seal the deal. Cohen, Howard’s partner in crime, rushed for 78 yards on 12 carries. Another rookie that emerged was tight end Adam Shaheen, who not only pulled in his first TD but ran alongside Howard in the overtime hustle, blocking to keep his lane free.
As for the Steelers, Big Ben held onto the ball too long, was slightly off target on his throws and even though wide receiver Antonio Brown had 10 catches for 110 yards, the deep threat was minimized. Again, their running game was nonexistent with Le’Veon Bell failing to break tackles.
And of course let’s not forget the “Come’on Man” moment when special teams Marcus Cooper scooped up a blocked kick and took it downfield for what could have been the play of the week, only to become the joke of the week. Cooper thought he was in the end zone and slowed down, gingerly holding the ball at the 1-yard line when Steelers tight end Vance McDonald knocked it out of his hand and batted it out of the end zone. Lucky for Cooper, Howard mustered up enough strength to win it in overtime.
Despite the win, the glaring elephant in the room can no longer be ignored. Quarterback Mike Glennon has shown a lack-luster performance in these last three weeks. Glennon has averaged 72 completions in 107 attempts for three TDs, three interceptions, three fumbles, has been sacked 7 times and has a rating of 79.8. Now, these stats are based on playing with the first team players. He has struggled to get any passing TDs with the exception of the 2-yard TD from Shaheen.
But here is why fans and most sports media outlets continue to demand a quarterback change. When you look at the total games played by rookie Mitchell Trubisky in the preseason, he had a total of 41 completions in 48 attempts for 354 passing yards, three TDs, zero interceptions and an average passer rating of 118.0.
Trubisky is a mobile pocket passer who is not afraid to throw to the end zone. He follows the progression, scans the field and looks for the open receiver, something that Glennon lacks. Unfortunately, Glennon shows moments of panic when under duress and sees only the short dink and dunk options. This is something the Bears must get past to have a chance at a winning season.
The Bears are playing in Green Bay on Thursday Night Football and unfortunately, it may not look pretty. The Packers know that Glennon will not throw the ball and it will be a forced run game. The good thing is that the dual threat in both Cohen and Howard will cause the Packers defense to work a lot harder. But if the Bears want to win this game on the road, they will have to do something in the air.
Knowing how adamant the coaching staff is about Glennon being the starter, it won’t happen this Thursday. But if Glennon puts up a stinker of a game, it is an almost guaranteed change by Week 5. The Bears got a taste of what it looks and feels like to win. Now the true test is whether or not they want to continue to be mediocre or run with the big boys.
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