Bears Grades: Bridgewater has his way with Bears' secondary


Bears Grades: Bridgewater has his way with Bears' secondary

Minnesota quarterback Teddy Bridgewater put up a 152.7 passer rating in the first half, the highest for him in any half of his career, completing 11 of 14 passes for 156 yards and 2 touchdowns.

For the Bears, it got worse.

Bridgewater threw just 20 passes, completing 17 of them, four for touchdowns, all for 231 yards, precisely the total of Jay Cutler. But the Bears intercepted none of them, and Bears DB’s did not get a hand on any of them (linebacker Pernell McPhee had the only pass breakup, that on a pass rush).

Alan Ball lost Stefon Diggs in coverage, then he and safety Chris Prosinski were embarrassed in failed attempts at tackles as the wide receiver went 33 yards for a score after a Bears turnover to open the third quarter. The breakdowns, just a couple of many on the day, put the Bears down 24-7 and out of any realistic shot at an upset.

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Tracy Porter allowed Diggs to get a step on him down the left sideline and take in a 15-yard Bridgewater pass for a touchdown in the first quarter, the first touchdown by Diggs since his game-tying score in the first Bears game.

Prosinski failed to make a one-on-one tackle of running back Jerick McKinnon, who extended Minnesota’s first possession with a 25-yard pickup on a completion well underneath the Bears’ coverage. Prosinski also was woefully late providing deep-middle coverage on a 34-yard completion to wideout Mike Wallace, who had easily run by Shea McClellin early in the route.

“We did not execute, since one of their leading receivers went unnoticed across the whole field,” coach John Fox said. “It’s not by design. There were a number of those types of plays today where we did not execute well defensively."

Moon's Grade: F

Are expectations too high for Bears WR Allen Robinson?

Are expectations too high for Bears WR Allen Robinson?

Allen Robinson was signed in free agency to become the alpha dog of the Chicago Bears' wide receiver corps. The three-year, $42 million contract that general manager Ryan Pace signed him to is proof of how high expectations are for the fifth-year pro.

Robinson isn't coming to Chicago with a flawless resume, however. His massive breakout year in 2015 (1,400 yards, 14 touchdowns) was followed by a pedestrian 883 yards in 2016 and a torn ACL in Week 1 last year. That begs the question: Is the forecast for Robinson's impact in 2018 too high right now?

According to Bleacher Report's Doug Farrar, the answer is yes. Robinson was named as the Bear most likely to disappoint this season.

Robinson practiced for the first time since the injury during the Bears' May minicamp, but it's safe to say Chicago isn't sure what it has in Robinson. If he gets back to his 2015 numbers, that would be huge for the Bears' passing offense, but given his 2016 regression and the specter of the 2017 injury, that's a tough bet.

Robinson will have an impact that goes beyond the traditional box score, and it will happen this season. Is he a lock to reach 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns? No, but his presence on the field will be enough to see a return on investment. The Bears haven't had the kind of threat he poses to defenses in several seasons, and his ability to pull a defensive coordinator's attention away from the running game will do wonders for Chicago's offensive output.

Determining whether Robinson is a disappointment in 2018 will depend on who's evaluating his season. Sure, he may disappoint in fantasy football circles if he doesn't re-emerge as a game-changing stat monster. But if he makes the Bears offense a more well-rounded and productive group, he'll live up to the expectations set by Pace and coach Matt Nagy.

As long as Robinson is pleasing Pace and Nagy, nothing else really matters.

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Positive press about the Chicago Bears' offseason is having a strong impact on the jersey sales for the team's highest-profile player, Mitch Trubisky.

According to Dick's Sporting Goods, Trubisky's No. 10 is the fifth-most popular jersey among offensive players over the last 30 days. He's No. 6 among all players, regardless of position.

The Bears' offseason has been full of superlatives since their aggressive approach to free agency. The signings of Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel put the spotlight on Trubisky and the potentially surging passing game. The second-round selection of Anthony Miller and word of Kevin White's offseason emergence has turned positive momentum into higher-than-anticipated expectations for Trubisky this season.

For Chicago to have any chance at meeting those expectations, Trubisky, who's entering his first full season as a starter with a new head coach and offensive system, has to thrive. Fans must be confident that he will, considering the investment they're making in his jersey.

Trubisky ended his rookie season with four wins in 12 starts, throwing for 2,193 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He completed 59.4 percent of his passes. He should have a much more productive season in 2018 with his new arsenal of skill players and an innovative coaching staff, led by coach Matt Nagy and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.