Bears

Three takeaways: Did the Bears just bench Mitch Trubisky?

Three takeaways: Did the Bears just bench Mitch Trubisky?

LOS ANGELES -- Immediate reaction from the Bears' 17-7 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night:

The quarterback change happened…maybe.

Mitch Trubisky completed seven of nine passes and flipped a well-placed throw to Tarik Cohen for a touchdown on the Bears’ first drive of the second half, bringing the score to 10-7 in favor of the Rams.

The Bears’ defense forced four consecutive punts after that touchdown, including three three-and-outs. The Bears’ offense did not deliver at all, gaining 30 yards on their next 14 plays and punting four times.

And then, Chase Daniel led the Bears’ offense back on the field after the Rams opened up a 17-7 lead. The Bears announced Trubisky had a hip injury, so they can say the 2017 No. 2 overall pick was not benched.

Trubisky, though, was seen on the sidelines in a baseball cap and did not appear to be taken into the blue medical tent on the Bears’ sideline. We’ll have plenty of questions for coach Matt Nagy after the game about why the change was made, because before the Bears announced Trubisky’s injury, it looked like a move of desperation to save a season on life support.

The Bears’ season is effectively over, though, with a 4-6 record too much to overcome for a football team that might just be lucky to finish with seven wins in 2019. If the Bears were to bench Trubisky, it would be because both coach and team lost faith in their quarterback, who did have some good moments on Sunday, for what it’s worth (but still wasn’t anything special).

Plenty more to come on this. But to more takeaways:

Roquan Smith was at his best

The Bears did not place Danny Trevathan on injured reserve this week, indicating team and player believe the veteran inside linebacker has a chance of returning at some point during the regular season. But the Bears can expect to be without Trevathan for a little while, which made Roquan Smith’s performance on Sunday all that more important.

Smith played his best game of 2019 and has been building to this for a few weeks. He picked off Jared Goff in the first quarter and stopped Todd Gurley twice on third and short carries, leading to the Rams punting. The physicality and sideline to sideline speed that led the Bears to pick Smith with the eighth overall pick in 2018’s draft was more than evident.

Smith has played better as he’s got farther and farther from his mysterious absence in Week 4. If this Bears’ defense is able to hold together over the rest of the season — without Trevathan and Akiem Hicks for most, if not all, of it — it’s going to need players like Smith to continue playing at a high level.

Eddie Jackson, it should be noted, had one of his better games of 2019 on Sunday as well.

Kicking tryouts, anyone?

Eddy Pineiro missed kicks from 47 and 48 yards in the first half, leaving six points on the board and dooming the Bears to a scoreless first 30 minutes. Matt Nagy looked like he lost confidence in his kicker — again — in going for it on fourth-and-long deep in Rams territory in between those misses (Trubisky threw an incomplete pass).

Pineiro is now 12 of 17 this season and is two months removed from his game-winning kick in Denver. He missed a PAT last week, too.

The Bears should take a look at a few kickers this week at Halas Hall, but at this point — with the 2019 season devoid of hope — maybe seeing if Pineiro can work through his recent rough patch isn’t the worst idea. After all, if not — or if he were to be cut this week — the Bears still would have a kicking problem in 2020.

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Devin Hester one of six specialists to make the NFL 100 All-Time Team

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USA TODAY

Devin Hester one of six specialists to make the NFL 100 All-Time Team

The NFL 100 All-Time Team just got a serious influx of speed and athleticism. Former Bears' legend and arguably the greatest special teams player of all time, Devin Hester, was named to the squad on Friday.

Hester played with the Bears from 2006 to 2013, racking up an incredible 31 return touchdowns (18 on kick returns, 13 on punt returns). Over his 11 season career, Hester collected a total of 11,028 return yards between kick and punt returns. Hester made four Pro Bowls and three All-Pro teams over his career. 

The 2006 No. 57 overall pick out of Miami (FL) dazzled from the start of his NFL career, collecting 1,128 combined punt/kick return yards and 5 touchdowns. 

But just as impressive as his overall effectiveness, was his penchant for rising to the moment. Hester's clutch moments included an 80+ yard punt return for a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals in the infamous, "They are who we thought they were game".

And, of course, all NFL fans remember how Hester became the first player in NFL history to take the opening kickoff of a Super Bowl back to the house for a touchdown. 

Hester was a shoo-in to make the NFL 100 All-Time Team, as he is the NFL's all-time leader in kick and punt return touchdowns but even, so his game was about so much more than just the numbers. 

Devin Hester's unparalleled combination of speed and creativity in the open field delighted NFL fans in a way that perhaps no other player in history did or ever will. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.

 

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Bears win again as they trounce the Cowboys

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USA TODAY

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Bears win again as they trounce the Cowboys

Sam Panayotovick and Seth Gruen join Kap on the show.

0:00 - The Bears win again as they trounce the Cowboys. So did Mitch Trubisky save his job or was it just one good game?

12:00 - The Bulls look for their third straight win with the Warriors in town. Plus, Sam gives out his best bets for the weekend as the guys preview the college football conference title games.

17:00 - Comedian Steve Rannazzisi joins Kap to talk about the dumpster fire that is his Knicks. Plus Kap thanks his Giants for helping turn the Bears season around.

Listen to the full podcast here r via the embedded player below:

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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