The Chicago Bears takeaways this week will be a mix of great and terrible. Quite the roller coaster for this team to start the season. This is a game that’s going to sting for a team still trying to find their way back to winning football. Despite a myriad of mistakes they had four cracks at the end zone with a touchdown to win and, as has become routine, couldn’t quite finish the job. Chicago fell to 23-17.
All that being said here are a few notes about the game with three good points and three bad. Or three “to work on” for the optimistic crowd out there. Of course we must start with the young phenom at running back.
Good: Tarik Cohen
What a find this kid is turning out to be. Here’s a stat to digest. He was both the leading rusher and receiver for the Bears on the afternoon. Cohen had 66 yards rushing and 47 yards receiving with a touchdown. His amazing versatility gave the Falcons fits all game long including a circus run for 46 yards after reversing field. No doubt Chicago is going to need him more and more with injuries piling up at wide receiver.
— NFL Spin Zone (@NFLSpinZone) September 10, 2017
Bad: The wide receivers
Speaking of. It’s getting ugly in a hurt for the Bears at this position. They lost Alshon Jeffery to free agency. They lost Cameron Meredith to a knee injury. Now Kevin White is hurt again. They just don’t have many credible options at this point, scraping the bottom of the barrel. To be fair that makes life difficult for the quarterback. Still, the fact they couldn’t get any separation until the fourth quarter against the 28th ranked pass defense last year is troubling.
Good: The front seven
As expected the Bears defensive line and linebackers came to play in that game. They dominated the line of scrimmage for much of the first half and most of the second. Pro Bowl running back Devonta Freeman ran for just 37 yards and Atlanta as a team had 64. Akiem Hicks was a monster, sacking Matt Ryan twice. The best part is they escape the game healthy and will face much worse offensive lines in the near future.
Bad: Quintin Demps
As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. The Bears paid over $4 million per season to make 32-year old Quintin Demps their starting safety and unfortunately he played like it. Not only was he badly undressed in coverage on the most pivotal play of the game, he also got humiliated with a bad tackle attempt on top of it. He missed a number of big opportunities to get stops for his team and whiffed. Not a good start for him.
Austin Hooper threw him to the ground on his way to the house
— YourSports (@YourSports) September 10, 2017
Good: Kyle Fuller
While one former first round pick is watching his last opportunity fizzle out, another is being reborn. Kyle Fuller wasn’t perfect on the afternoon but he played outstanding considering the talent he was lined up against. He tackled well, played the run solid and didn’t get badly burned on any pass play. His confidence and attitude really showed up. If the Bears continue to get that guy the rest of the season, it’s great news.
Bad: Mike Glennon’s pocket awareness
People will say the man as a whole was terrible but the truth is he wasn’t. Glennon was his usual self: serviceable but not good. He didn’t turn the ball over and made a few nice throws. However, he was absolutely brutal from inside the pocket. He took four sacks on the afternoon and three of them were more his fault than the protection. His inability to process the field quickly or step up in the pocket allowed the Falcons rushers to get him. Two of those plays ended up costing the Bears points. And the game.