Bears

Bears 20, Lions 13: Whose arrows are up and down after Bears snap losing-streak

Bears 20, Lions 13: Whose arrows are up and down after Bears snap losing-streak

It happened! For the first time since Sept. 29, the Bears won, beating the Detroit Lions 20-13 in front of a (mostly) full house at Soldier Field on Sunday afternoon. The defense played admirably after losing Danny Trevathan early on, the offense actually looked functional in the second half and Eddy Pineiro only missed one PAT.

Was it a game that’ll be replayed during instructional clinics for years to come? It was not! Do the Bears care at all? They do not! Here’s whose arrows are up and down after a much-needed divisional win: 

ARROW UP – Mitch Trubisky 

Let’s give the man some credit for once. He had his strongest game of the season, finishing 16-of-23 with 173 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. It should be noted that the Lions defense is *bad*, but the Bears are in no position to be picky when it comes to their offensive production. Touchdown passes to Ben Braunecker (18 yards) and Taylor Gabriel (24) were legitimately good, NFL-caliber throws. The 10-play, 80-yard drive that resulted in Braunecker’s first career score was especially impressive, as it milked almost five minutes off the clock and gave the Lions only 32 seconds with the ball before having to kickoff to start the second half. 

ARROW DOWN – Kyle Fuller 

Fuller was penalized twice (technically three times but one was offsetting) on Sunday, once for defensive pass interference and once for unnecessary roughness – after he hit a sliding-Driskel in the head. Fuller was also badly beaten on the Lions’ only touchdown of the day, a 47-yard pass from Driskel to Kenny Golloday. He did finish with the third-most tackles (six) on Sunday and deflect a pass, but Fuller’s certainly had better performances. 

ARROW UP – Nick Kwiatkowski 

It feels like every time the Bears ask Kwiatkowski to play meaningful minutes, he shows up in a big way. After Trevathan suffered a gruesome injury in the first quarter of Sunday’s game, Kwiatkowski came in and made the defensive play of the game: an interception off Detroit QB Jeff Driskel that led to a Bears touchdown only three plays later. He also finished the game with a sack, 10 tackles – second most of any player – and one pass deflected. It’s the second time this season that Kwiatkowski has made the most of his opportunities – the fourth-year linebacker also played well when filling in for Roquan Smith (on short notice) during Week 4’s win over Minnesota. If Trevathan is out for an extended period of time, the Bears can do much, much worse than Kwiatkowski.  

ARROW DOWN – The Offensive Line 

There was some intrigue heading into Sunday after rumors popped up that James Daniels and Cody Whitehair would be switching positions. The results … didn’t look much different. Whitehair’s snaps, particularly out of the shotgun, left a lot to be desired, and Trubisky was still sacked fives times. Three of the Bears’ seven penalties were on the offensive line, too. 

ARROW UP – Allen Robinson 

That’s probably about as quiet of an 86-yard performance as you can have, right? Robinson again got the lion’s share (pun not originally intended but we’ll keep it in there) of targets (nine) on Sunday, and finished with six catches. He averaged over 14 yards per reception in the win, and his 33-yard catch was one of the more athletic plays anyone made all day. Robinson didn’t score against the Lions (though definitely would have if Trubisky had seen how open he was on a second half checkdown to Tarik Cohen), but the wide receiver's terrific season continues. 

ARROW DOWN – The Pass Rush

Weirdly enough, the Bears have had some uncharacteristic trouble getting to the quarterback over the last month or so. Before last week’s four-sack performance against the Eagles, Chicago had three sacks over the previous three weeks combined. The pass rush wasn’t nonexistent on Sunday – Nick Williams and Kwiatkowski both had sacks – but lately it hasn’t been the game-wrecking unit that it was last season. It’s hard to complain about a defensive performance when you only give up 13 points, but you have to think a team with Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd on the edge expect a busier box score. 

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Madden 21 rating leaks: Chicago Bears Top-10 overall rated players

Madden 21 rating leaks: Chicago Bears Top-10 overall rated players

As Madden 21 ratings continue to leak out, one site claims to have gotten a hold of the Top-10 players for each team. According to Madden School, a website that says they’ve served the Madden community for 13 years, the Bears only have one player rated over 90-- Khalil Mack at 97. That’s one point lower than where Mack finished the season on Madden 20.

Here’s the full list for the Bears:

Khalil Mack: 97 overall

Eddie Jackson: 89 overall

Allen Robinson: 89 overall

Akiem Hicks: 88 overall

Kyle Fuller: 85 overall

Eddie Goldman: 84 overall

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Roquan Smith: 83 overall

Robert Quinn: 82 overall

Charles Leno Jr.: 81 overall

Cody Whitehair: 81 overall

It’s important to note that none of these numbers came with picture or video evidence from early copies of the game.

Unsurprisingly, only one offensive skill player cracked the Top-10 for the Bears, Allen Robinson. Equally unsurprising is the fact that seven of the Top-10 are on defense.

EA Sports began releasing the official Madden 21 ratings on Monday, and will continue to do so through Friday.


RELATED: Madden 21 rating leaks: Another source says Khalil Mack may have lost elite 99-overall status

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Here's where Maurice Jones-Drew ranks David Montgomery among NFL running backs

Here's where Maurice Jones-Drew ranks David Montgomery among NFL running backs

Former NFL running back and current NFL Network personality, Maurice Jones-Drew, published his ranking of the top-32 running backs in the NFL on Monday and, of course, the Bears didn't get much love. To be more specific, David Montgomery was downright disrespected.

To be fair, MJD's assessment (or ranking) of Montgomery wasn't entirely based on No. 32's talent. Instead, it appears the Bears' offense -- and Matt Nagy -- is why Jones-Drew isn't high on the former Iowa State star.

Montgomery checked-in at No. 27 on MJD's list.

Montgomery's success depends on whether or not Matt Nagy wants to run the ball. They abandoned the run game week after week in 2019, and it showed in the team's 8-8 record. I'm expecting Montgomery to get the bulk of the carries and Tarik Cohen to continue to be frequently used in certain packages. The second-year back can do a little bit of everything, but needs Nagy to commit to running the rock.

It's hard to tell whether or not MJD believes Montgomery has the talent to be a top-10 running back in the NFL. He describes him as a player who can do 'a little bit of everything,' but doesn't necessarily suggest he can do any one thing really well. There are a lot of running backs in the NFL who fit that description, and they're normally playing backup to starter with a stronger skill set.

Running backs who were ranked in the same range as Montgomery included James Conner (Steelers, No. 25) and Sony Michel (Patriots, No. 26). Detroit's Kerryon Johnson was 28th.

Whether you take MJD's list seriously or put any weight into it at all is your call. But keep this in mind: he said he'd rank himself similarly to Adrian Peterson (23rd) if he decided to come out of retirement in 2020. 

As for Montgomery, it's fair to question his long-term outlook considering the narrative around the running back position. It isn't all that difficult to find a quality starter, and with next offseason presenting a potentially historic class of available running backs, Montgomery is certainly on the hot seat. He ran for just 889 yards as a rookie in 2019.

Preseason rankings are fun exercises to evaluate the landscape of the league, but they're also extremely volatile. Montgomery can quickly become one of the most respected running backs in the NFL if he gets off to a hot start early in the 2020 season.