The Chicago Bears notched their first win of the 2019 season with Sunday's victory over the Broncos, but it wasn't easy. Despite another strong showing from Chuck Pagano's defense, Matt Nagy and Mitch Trubisky struggled for the second week in a row to generate consistent production and points.
But all that matters is the end result, and Eddy Pineiro's thrilling 53-yard game-winning field goal injected life into a fanbase that was ready to hit the panic button.
Here are Week 2's Studs and Duds.
Stud: K Eddy Pineiro
Few kickers dealt with as much pressure this offseason as Pineiro, who's been under the microscope since the team's first minicamp as part of the Bears' kicker competition. Maybe that pressure helped him Sunday when he blasted a game-winning 53-yard field goal straight through the uprights. Pineiro is kicking with confidence, and now his teammates have faith in him to win games. Chicago no longer has a kicker problem. In fact, Pineiro's quickly become one of the strengths of the team.
Dud: QB Mitch Trubisky
Is it fair to criticize Trubisky after he made a clutch throw on the game-winning drive to set up Pineiro's kick? Yes, it is. Other than that one big-time throw, Trubisky once again looked more like a middling backup quarterback operating Nagy's offense than a franchise passer who was selected with the second overall pick. He completed 16-of-27 passes for 120 yards with no touchdowns (or interceptions. His production through two games has been atrocious; he's connected on just 58.3% of his passes and has a QBR of 65.0. Trubisky needs a get-right game against the Redskins on Monday Night Football; otherwise, the quarterback situation in Chicago will become a real problem.
Stud: RB David Montgomery
Montgomery's impact on Sunday's win over the Broncos extended way beyond his box score. He finished the game with 18 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown, good for 3.4 yards per carry. His YPC average isn't spectacular, but it took a hit after successive goaline carries failed. He was much more productive than that stat line suggests. Montgomery ran hard, he was decisive and he will only get better as the Bears continue to feed him the ball.
Dud: RB Mike Davis
On the other end of the running back spectrum was Davis, who finished Week 2 with just one yard on three carries. And even though he only touched the ball three times, it felt like he was on the field way too much. The Bears need more Montgomery and less Davis at this point, as the veteran RB has struggled to show he can be more than just a backup in 2019.
Stud: OLB Khalil Mack
Mack finally recorded his first sack of the season and could've had a few more if he wasn't victimized by the second week of holding penalties. A player as gifted as Mack will force offensive linemen to get desperate, and he's doing that early in 2019. Mack has been a dominant force beyond just his pass rush in 2019. He's playing strong against the run and is a massive reason why Chicago's given up just 24 points over two games.
Dud: Matt Nagy
The Bears offense looked out of sorts for the second week in a row, and maybe it's because it was the second-straight game Chicago faced a strong defensive team. Week 1's game against the Packers was arguably Nagy's worst as a play-caller, and while Week 2 was a more balanced attack, Chicago looked out of sync and underprepared once again. Is it Nagy? Is it the quarterback? Either way, it has to get fixed. Quickly.
Stud: ILB Roquan Smith
Smith is off to a hot start in 2019 and led the Bears in tackles with 13 against the Broncos. He's a sideline-to-sideline terror and is quickly becoming the team's most valuable defensive starter other than Mack. He'll have a chance to shine in the national spotlight in Week 3 against the Redskins on Monday Night Football.
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