Wednesday, October 20, 2021

3 up 3 down: Bears win again in week 5

It’s 3 up 3 down time again as the Bears win in Vegas keeps the train rumbling forward.

Another good week as the Bears pick up a second win in a row making it 3 overall. It was a scrappy one built on efficiency rather than flair. Less of the long explosive throws from Fields and more focus on containment and 1st downs gained.

Either way, the Bears find themselves with a winning record for the first time this season and lets hope they keep on going.

3 UP 3 DOWN: THE UPS

Justin Fields’ toughness

Fields took a few hits from the Raiders and once that even sent him onto the sidelines, with Dalton replacing him. However, 2 snaps later Fields come s back onto the field to continue the game drive.

It’s toughness that he frequently showed in his Ohio State career and it is great to see. I mean, we don’t want to see him have to be tough, we would rather him be clean as a whistle and just playing ball; but with the O-Line not being the greatest, then having the toughness to get up and go is a great asset to have.

Running Back Depth

David Montgomery is a beast, so losing him last week was a huge blow and would be for any team. Williams came in and got the TD to take the edge off, but there was a question mark of his ability to take the lead and also the talent of rookie Khalil Herbert, especially with Cohen also not seemingly returning anytime soon.

But those questions were answered, and answered well. Herbert led the rushing yards with 18 attempts for 75yards, whilst Williams ran for 64yards and a TD on 16 carries. A total of 34 runs between the pair of them, not a bad going. It’s comforting to know that the running back room as some depth and ability when you #1 guy is out.

Sean Desai’s Defense

After the first week, there was a bit of worry surrounding the defense and Sean Desai’s experience (or lack of in a lead co-ordinating role) as the Bears were completely undone.

Role to 4 weeks down the line and the defense has been the most consistent aspect of the Bears team. Leading the sack charts coming into this game, the Bears added another 3 to the tally. Mack securing 2 and Trevis Gibson did himself a great service by adding the 3rd.

It wasn’t only the sacks, but add to that an interception and the fact that the Raiders didn’t manage double figure points after scoring 104 total in the four games previous, and you have to say the defense did everything asked of them. Sean Desai has got them in ship shape and long may it continue.

3 UP 3 DOWN: THE DOWNS

Air Yards

For all the talk of Fields and his prodigy status, we are yet to see it. Most people were expecting a similar level of return as Justin Herbert’s rookie year last year but we are yet to see. Granted we should all temper expectations and allow everyone to accustom themselves to the situation in front of us, as Fields was only named the starter this week.

However, it is worth noting the lack of attempts and subsequent yards being given to the QB room. Fields attempted for 20 times and completing 12 of those for 111 yards and one 1TD (Fields’ first woop woop). The ratio is good, with almost 10 yard per completion, but the volume doesn’t seem to be there.

You look at the WRs and not one of them go over 5 receptions or 35 yards. Perhaps down to the run game being so efficient? Or a lack of trust in the young QB? We can speculate all we like but if the run game fails, we need to see higher number than what we are.

2nd Half Scoring

Echoing last week, the Bears’ offense performance petered off in the 2nd half. 14 points to the good in the first half, only 2 field goals were added to the total throughout both the 3rd and 4th quarters. The saving grace being that Raiders didn’t muster up anything different in return.

It feels different this week with the Raiders being as toothless as they were, but having multiple games were the offense slows down is not a good habit to have. As previously said, the schedule will carry on getting tougher, players will get more tired and we need to play from start to finish.

Help From Penalties

I did a little yelp when Williams span past a rushing Raiders defender to walk into the end-zone for a touchdown. The only issue I had was getting there, penalties are always going to be a factor in football games, but on that Williams drive there was a lot.

The 72 yard drive was littered with throughout and without them you have to wonder, would we have made it? There were a couple of situations on 3rd downs that the Raiders dragged us down to their end with unnecessary mistakes that gave us fresh downs and more time to play.

The Raiders also had one of their own TDs chalked off for a holding penalty. You do have to think, without the penalties gifting the Bears a TD and taking away one from the Raiders, would the Bears have been so dominant? Was it really good play by the Bears or Raiders shooting themselves in the foot?

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