Bears

Studs and Duds: Pineiro shines, Trubisky struggles in Bears' Week 2 win

Studs and Duds: Pineiro shines, Trubisky struggles in Bears' Week 2 win

The 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 just 120 yards with no touchdowns (or interceptions.)

Trubisky's production through two games has been atrocious; he's connected on 58.3 percent 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 running back 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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Which Saints player would you want on the Bears?

Which Saints player would you want on the Bears?

The Chicago Bears have a tough test ahead of them Sunday at home against the 5-1 New Orleans Saints. Not only is New Orleans rolling on offense, even without QB Drew Brees in the lineup, but their defense has ascended into near-elite territory over the last few games.

This shouldn't come as a surprise to NFL fans, either. The Saints are overflowing with talent on both sides of the ball and there are several players who would represent an upgrade on the Bears.

Let's start on offense, where the obvious pick is Brees. But since he won't take the field in Week 7, we'll look elsewhere. 

Running back Alvin Kamara is about as dynamic as it gets at the position in 2019. He offers an equally lethal skill set as a runner and receiver with the kind of contact balance and burst to flip the field in one play. Imagine him working in Matt Nagy's offense? Scary.

There's also wide receiver Michael Thomas, who may just be the game's best all-around player at the position. He can beat defensive backs on all three levels of the passing game and is off to an incredible start to the season with 53 catches, 632 yards and three touchdowns. I'll do the math for you: those numbers equate to a 141-catch, 1,685-yard season. Yup. He's going to be a tough assignment for cornerbacks Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara.

New Orleans' offense isn't limited to just talent at the skill positions, either. Tackles Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk are two of their four highest-graded players on offense, per Pro Football Focus, and each would represent a potential upgrade over Charles Leno, Jr. and Bobby Massie. Armstead and Ramczyk each rank in PFF's top 15 at offensive tackle in 2019, while Leno, Jr. and Massie are both outside of the top 50.

On the defensive side of the ball, it's hard to find a player who the Bears would prefer over a current starter, but one candidate is cornerback Marshon Lattimore. 

Lattimore hasn't been great this season, but his incredible blend of long speed and ability to change directions quickly established him as one of the league's most talented cornerbacks during his rookie season. It's a volatile position where players go through peaks and valleys during their careers, but Lattimore's physical gifts are borderline rare.

Cameron Jordan, the Saints' premier edge rusher and most recognizable name on the defense, would be enticing as well. He leads the team with five sacks and has accumulated 31 pressures over six games, proof that he's a handful for opposing offensive linemen. He wouldn't be a perfect scheme fit for the Bears, but lining him up opposite Khalil Mack would be fun to watch (to say the least).

This is a tough call. What say you? Head over to Twitter and share your thoughts here.

Rams' trade for Jalen Ramsey will have a direct impact on Bears' season

Rams' trade for Jalen Ramsey will have a direct impact on Bears' season

The Los Angeles Rams pulled off a blockbuster trade for Jacksonville Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey Tuesday night, sending two first-round picks (2020 and 2021) and a 2021 fourth-round pick for the superstar defender.

It's the second trade the Rams have accomplished in one day. Los Angeles shipped CB Marcus Peters to the Baltimore Ravens for LB Kenny Young and a 2020 fifth-round pick earlier on Tuesday, completing a makeover in their secondary that will have a direct impact the Chicago Bears this season.

The Bears travel to Los Angeles to face the Rams in Week 11 as part of a brutal five-game stretch coming off of their bye week. Ramsey makes it even worse.

The Rams had little choice but to pull off a mega-deal like this. They're entering Week 7 with the 19th ranked pass defense and an underwhelming 3-3 record, a far cry from the expectations for last year's Super Bowl runner-up.

Mitch Trubisky and the Bears offense will have their hands full on November 17. The combination of Aaron Donald on the defensive line and Ramsey in the secondary is as intimidating as any defensive duo in the NFL and is capable of destroying even the smartest and most efficient passing attacks. And that's not exactly Chicago's pass offense so far.

Trubisky, who's expected to return from a left shoulder injury Sunday against the Saints, hasn't proven this season that he's capable of staring down the barrel of a Donald-Ramsey alliance. It will be a ridiculously difficult challenge for a quarterback who's still finding his way as a pro.

Ramsey has missed the last three games for a variety of reasons, most of which appear as tricks to remain healthy in anticipation of a trade.  He's a two-time Pro Bowler and has nine interceptions from 2016-2018.

Now, Ramsey is an opponent on Chicago's 2019 schedule.