By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63
It wasn’t supposed to end this way. The Chicago Bears had rallied back in the second half only to end in a gut-wrenching overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins 31-28. Again, it was left to who was the better kicker and yesterday that title belonged to the Dolphins’ Jason Sanders.
This loss hurts deep, real deep. The kind of deep that one loses sleep over because it was right there.
How could the Bears lose to backup quarterback Brock Osweiler again? Osweiler. He now holds a 3-0 record against the Bears.
I… just… can’t.
But after clearing my head and countless breathing exercises it became clear that there were a lot of incredible takeaways from this loss that the Bears can build on. However, let’s get some of the obvious factors out of the way. The Dolphins need to make it a priority to shade the visitor’s sideline so it becomes a fair fight. Keeping their opponents in the high heat index is a shady thing to do. (No pun intended.)
Also, the NFL needs to change the rules and allow interference calls to be reviewed. There are just too many of these calls that are ruining the integrity of the game. It just needs to stop. Here is a suggestion, how about fining the ref who makes an incorrect PI call? I’m sure linebacker Leonard Floyd would appreciate that.
— Melissa Jacobs (@thefootballgirl) October 14, 2018
Back to the positive takeaways from the Bears loss: there were three noticeable improvements since the beginning of the season.
QB Mitch Trubisky can throw down the field. Before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game, Trubisky was deemed as being unable to throw down the field. Scouts said that he was incapable of long passes and destined to just perfect the dink-and-dunk plays. His longest throw this year is 54 yards.
But can we just embrace the improvements? From Week 3, Trubisky has jumped from a passer rating of 73.5 to 122.5 and from zero touchdowns to nine. He shows passion for the game and fights to improve every week. Coming back from a dud first half shows his drive to win.
Offensive line protection has improved. In 2017 the offensive line struggled to protect Trubisky in his first five games. He was sacked 16 times for a loss of 95 total yards. Because of the lack of protection he had to scramble for a total of 110 yards to avoid a sack.
But with the improvement of the offense, Mr. Biscuit has only been sacked 12 times for a loss of 80 yards. It’s not a huge improvement but it has allowed him to engage more in the passing game, resulting in 300+ yards in the past two weeks. I say that is quite an improvement!
Coaching adjustments in second half: night and day. This was an area that the Bears could not recover from last season. On both sides of the ball, adjustments were almost non-existent. But that has not been the case so far, as was evident in the Miami game.
After a scoreless first half, the Bears improved and started playing to their strengths. When they stretch the field, success is knocking on the door. There is still room for improvement, especially in the use of running back Jordan Howard, but so far, Trubisky is hitting multiple playmakers and its a good thing!
It was a painful loss, but looking at the big picture, these improvements give the Chicago Bears fans hope for a promising future. There is still plenty of football left. Let’s see how they do going forward.
BEAR DOWN CHICAGO BEARS!!
Talk Bears football with Wanda on Twitter // @WandaW63