After a shaky beginning to the season, Mitchell Trubisky flashed his potential by posting passing touchdowns leading the Bears to a 48-10 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was a huge win for the Monsters of the Midway as they establish their place as one of the top teams in the league heading into an early bye week. Here are my takeaways from this week.
Trubisky is taking form
As you may have noticed, I’m a huge critic of Trubisky’s play. It’s not that he doesn’t have the ability to be elite; he just hadn’t embraced the realization. Well toss all that shit out the window because the kid dropped the mic at Soldier Field this Sunday.
For the most part of the game, Trubisky was clean in the pocket, calmly dicing up a poor Buccaneers secondary. He showed no signs of “happy feet” and remained poised under pressure. He progressed through his reads, although many of the plays appeared to be designed to disguise the first read by leading defenders onto decoys. Still, Trubisky tossed some absolutely gorgeous passes to receivers in full stride, proving that he can be an elite QB.
Hell, he damn near looked like an MVP candidate. But we gotta chill… it’s only one game.
The Real MVP?
Although Trubisky isn’t knocking on the MVP door, another Chicago Bear is breaking it off the hinges. The most dominant player in the NFL, Khalil Mack, proved his worth yet again, posting another sack and forced fumble, putting him at five sacks and four forced fumbles for the year. There is no doubt that Khalil Mack will more than likely walk away with the Defensive Player of the Year award, but can he pull off the nearly impossible task of securing the MVP trophy on the defensive side of the ball?
The last defensive player to win MVP was Lawrence Taylor in 1986. Taylor single handedly changed the face of football as the pioneer of the 3-4 outside linebacker and the sole catalyst for the creation of the H-back position. Don’t get me wrong, Khalil Mack probably won’t cause of the creation of two new positions, but the way he tears shit up on a frequent basis, he just may change the forefront of offensive scheming. There isn’t a player in the NFL this year that has made more of an impact for a franchise than Khalil Mack, and I’m pretty sure that is what the league’s overall MVP award is suppose to emphasize.
Overall, the Bears look like an entirely new team. From the trippy two quarterback “Willy Wonka” formation, to the high-powered wide receiver depth, there are definitely no signs of John Fox left on this franchise. Unfortunately, the backbone of Fox’s basic offense and arguably the backbone of the Bears franchise prior to the hiring of Matt Nagy has been a forgotten soldier during the Bears recent success.
Jordan Howard has appeared to play second fiddle to Tarik Cohen throughout the first quarter of the season. During the landslide victory against the Bucs, Howard only recorded 11 carries, and those were all in garbage time during the second half. It doesn’t appear that the Bears are willing to completely do away with the under-appreciated workhorse - he’s played in 65.31% of the Bears snaps this season, but Cohen has been the hot hand that Nagy wants the ball in.
Based on the pace of the offense , It just seems that Cohen is more fit for the various schemes that Nagy has designed. This was an issue that everyone knew would arise before the season, and Sunday showed that the Bears may not need their dominant running back as much as we think. I wouldn’t be surprised if the young star was shipped away in the upcoming weeks.
Tough trail ahead
After the bye week, the Bears will face their true test as they travel south to face a surprisingly competitive Miami Dolphins, followed by a huge battle at home against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. If the Bears can withstand those two challenges, a Super Bowl could be in the near future.
(cover photo by Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)