Greg Gabriel: Grading the Chicago Bears 24-17 win against the Seattle Seahawks
The Chicago Bears opened the home portion of the 2018 NFL season with an exciting 24-17 win over the Seattle Seahawks. Like with any win there was a lot of good but also some miscues. My thoughts…
I have come to the conclusion that fans expect second year quarterback Mitch Trubisky to be perfect. He’s not allowed to make mistakes and has to complete just about every throw. That’s just not realistic.
Did Mitch play a perfect game? No, far from it, but it was an improvement over last week. Yes, he missed a few open receivers and threw two interceptions (one his fault, the other was a tipped ball) but he also threw two touchdown passes and the Bears final touchdown drive that gave them a 17–3 lead was perhaps the Bears best drive of the new season.
Mitch was 25-for-34 for 200 yards, a 73.5 percent completion percentage. He improved over last week and the game was not too “big for him.” The hope is that he continues to improve each week as he gets more familiar with the offense and the players around him.
Position Grade B-
The stat line was not that good (27 carries for 86 yards) but the play was. When grading this position we also have to look at what they did as receivers. Howard continues to show remarkable improvement as a receiver (3 catches for 33 yards).
Tarik Cohen was the not the factor we would like but he also sprained an ankle in the second half. As I write this we don’t know how severe it is.
Seattle did a good job stopping the run and trying to force Trubisky to throw.
Position Grade – B+
Tight Ends –
Trey Burton was a bigger part of the offense this week as far as receptions with four for 20 yards and a touchdown. He also lined up at quarterback for a trick play. Dion Sims did an adequate job blocking and was not thrown to. Overall the Bears need to get more production out of the position and that will happen as the year goes on.
Position Grade - B
Wide Receiver –
When the Bears signed Allen Robinson this past spring during veteran free agency the hope was that he would become the Bears “go to” wide receiver. Through two games that is exactly what he has been. Last night he had 10 catches but for only 83 yards. While the yardage wasn’t that good, he wasn’t asked to run some of the deeper routes. Robinson is sure handed and dependable and comes up with plays when they are needed.
Taylor Gabriel got more touches than he did a week ago with four receptions and three carries. Gabriel got wide open on a post route from the slot that would have been a big play but Trubisky overthrew him.
While we are seeing very dependable play from the receivers, we need to see more big plays and I’m sure we will as everyone gets more comfortable with the offensive scheme.
Position Grade – A
Offensive Line –
I felt the line played very well last night. There were no glaring mistakes. Yes, they gave up two sacks, but on the first Seattle overloaded to the offensive right side and sent a linebacker. There was no one to block him as the defender came free. On the second sack, Seattle DE Frank Clark was at least a yard offsides and the refs missed the call.
The run blocking was good for the most part as Seattle schemed to stop the run. Cody Whitehair had no problems with his snaps and I felt Eric Kush improved over a week ago. Overall a very solid job by the line.
Position Grade B+
Defensive Line –
Like the offensive line, the d-line played a very steady game. All five linemen who were active played and all five recorded at least one tackle. The Bears recorded six sacks with only one by a defensive lineman (Eddie Goldman) but the group got consistent pressure all night allowing others to get sacks. Jon Bullard didn’t get a sack but he drew a holding penalty which is almost as good.
The line played the run very well and gave up only 74 yards rushing. From the first drive until the fourth quarter the Seattle rushing attack was held in check. Rookie Bilal Nichols got his first NFL action and recorded a tackle and provided some push as a pass rusher. Akiem Hicks is becoming one of the dominant interior defensive linemen in football. Overall, if this group plays like this every week, the Bears will win a lot of games.
Position Grade A-
First round pick Roquan Smith got his first NFL start and performed well, finishing the game with seven total tackles and a pass defensed. Smith is very instinctive and finds the ball. There were a few times when he wasn’t sure he was lined up correctly. The speed Smith brings to the defense is very noticeable.
Danny Trevathan was his usual consistent self and also had two sacks as the Bears blitzed much more than they did a week ago. Nick Kwiatkoski got plays from scrimmage in the second fourth quarter and played the run well but was easily beaten on Seattle’s final touchdown.
Position Grade A
What can you say about Khalil Mack. He is a dominating presence whenever he is on the field and has to be accounted for. Just being on the field makes things much easier for the rest of the defense. Last night Seattle had a tight end chip Mack most of the game yet he still got a sack, a forced fumble and five total tackles.
All four outside linebackers played and all played well. Aaron Lynch doesn’t get a lot of snaps but when he is in the game he makes things happen. He finished with two tackles and a sack. Leonard Floyd is basically playing with one arm yet is still making things happen. He dropped into coverage some and showed good coverage ability. He does a good job keeping things inside versus the run.
Position Grade A
Both Prince Amukamara and Bryce Callahan played very strong games. Amukamara’s pick-six sealed the game for the Bears. Amukamara just focused on Russell Wilson’s eyes on that play and jumped the route. Callahan is a physical slot corner who is becoming a valuable part of the defense.
Kyle Fuller almost always gets and keeps good position on receivers. His problem on touchdown throws both last week and last night is he hasn’t gotten his head turned around to find the ball. Great coverage means nothing if the defender can’t find the ball. Upcoming opponents will see this on tape and try to attack Fuller deep if he can’t correct his problem of adjusting to the ball.
For the second week in a row the safeties did a very good job both in coverage and defending the run. I really can’t find fault in anything they have done.
Position Grade – B (because Fuller gave up the TD)
Special Teams –
Special Teams through two games has been very consistent. There have been no breakdowns, the Bears haven’t missed a place kick and their punt return unit has been a plus. The Bears got called for an improper alignment on a Seattle extra point and that affected the following kickoff. This is about knowing exactly where to line up on an extra point block attempt.
It’s too early to know if Tarik Cohen will miss any time with his sprained ankle. While it didn’t affect anything last night, it could in the future. Cohen averaged 14.5 yards on four punt returns.
Position Grade – A-