Another win is in the books, and while it definitely wasn’t pretty new Bears HC Matt Eberflus will certainly take a 2-1 start to his tenure in Chicago.
But who were the notables from Sunday’s win? Let’s get down to the 3 up and 3 down
3 Up 3 Down: The Ups
Khalil Herbert: With David Montgomery managing just 11 offensive snaps, Herbert came on and looked explosive and dangerous with almost every touch of the ball. Gaining 157 yards on 20 carries and adding two touchdowns.
That’s an average of 7.9 yards per carry with a staggering 6.6 yards per carry AFTER CONTACT. It was an incredible performance, backed up by the Bears almost total lack of a passing attack. Montgomery may still be the starter when he’s healthy, but I’m not sure why given the state of the offence.
Teven Jenkins: It’s been a rough ride for Jenkins in his short time in Chicago but his spell in relief in this game saw PFF grade him as the Bears best pass blocker in this game. It may seem like feint praise given the Bears woes on the line, but hopefully it marks the turning point for the second-year lineman.
Replacing Lucas Patrick (32.6 pass block, 44.7 run block) Jenkins was graded 77.9 pass block and 72.9 run block. Both massive upgrades. If he can stay healthy and consistent it will be a major boon to the struggling unit.
Roquan Smith: Smith was dominant on the defensive side of the ball registering 11 tackles, 4 assists and an interception. He may not be some fans favourite after the offseason trade request, but I can forgive that in a heartbeat the way this kid plays.
If he doesn’t feel valued then show him the dollars so he gets it. This kid is a centre-piece the defence can build around for years to come and this performance, full of speed, power, aggression, and out-right skill highlighted the desperate need to keep him no matter the cost.
3 Up 3 Down: The Downs
Justin Fields: I really hate putting Fields on here as he’s so clearly not being helped by his offensive line or his supporting cast, but the passing game is just so horrific that he has to be on here. Completing just 47.1% of his passes (for the second straight home game) and throwing two interceptions doesn’t represent the growth we were hoping to see from Fields.
Fields hasn’t made a big time throw all season (per PFF) and is yet to break 300 yards passing for the season AFTER 3 GAMES! Don’t get me wrong he’s getting no help, with 8% of his passes getting dropped and getting pressured on 47.7% of his drop-backs. But Fields needs to step up soon, or things could turn very ugly.
There are no words to describe how bad some of Fields reads are:
Darnell Mooney: This was Mooney’s best game with 2 catches for 23 yards and a drop. That’s his best game of the season so far? In week 2 he had a long of -4 yards! His only catch against the packers went -4 yards. For a player with such upside who flashed so much last season this year has started off really badly.
Four receptions on ten targets and only 27 yards through three games is unbelievable from Darnell Mooney. He obviously suffers from the same problems as Justin Fields, plus he has the fact that Fields isn’t playing great. But they need to figure a way to get the ball in his hands pronto.
Lucas Patrick: If the Bears had a bigger weakness than WR this season it was clearly the OL and Lucas Patrick epitomised that in week 3. I didn’t expect much when he joined from the Packers but he’s been getting worse each week.
He’s not a starter, or at least he shouldn’t be, and it may be a little unfair putting him on the 3 up 3 down this week given my low expectation but he was just so bad I didn’t have a choice.
On to week 4 and a trip to New York to face the Giants.