UA-59049186-1 2020 Week 14: Chicago Bears 36, Houston Texans 7 - Good if it Goes

2020 Week 14: Chicago Bears 36, Houston Texans 7

[Photo credit: Stacy Revere, Getty Images]

Player Grades

The grading scale goes from -3 to +3 for each play. Screens are graded as runs. Penalties are counted in whatever phase they were committed. Pre- and post-snap penalties are in the “Misc.” column. “Short” throws are 10 yards or less, “Medium” is 10-20, “Deep” is over 20. Everything else (scrambles, throwaways, reads, etc.) is under “Miscellaneous.” Parentheses in a column denote grades/snaps from the opposite side of the ball and are not included in grades/snaps from the player’s usual side. Snap counts are from Pro Football Reference. Box score and other relevant info can be found at that link as well.

Note: No snap counts this week – the game was a blowout, and thus, the 4th quarter is not included in the grades. Nice to be on this side of one of those.

So…are we good now?

Well, the good news is that the Bears have finally developed an offensive identity. They ran the ball well; even taking out David Montgomery’s 80-yard TD run, the Bears still ran for 4 YPC. In the passing game, they played to Trubisky’s strengths, using his mobility and moving the pocket. Trubisky seemed very comfortable with the simplified approach and you could actually see him going through his progression. A third down where he took too long to make a decision before trying to check down to Montgomery stands out as the only truly bad read.

Okay, so what’s the bad news?

For starters, Houston’s one of the worst teams in the league. The Texans rank 30th in defensive DVOA (26th pass, 29th run). Last week’s opponent, Detroit, is one of the only teams worse (31st overall, 30th pass, 26th run). Green Bay’s the best defense Trubisky has faced since reclaiming the starting job and they’re 20th (19th pass, 22nd run). Not exactly the 2000 Ravens there. While it’s nice to see Trubisky take advantage of a lousy defense, he’s always been able to do that, so I don’t think that the light has all of a sudden come on or that his struggles were just a matter of the staff not using him the right way. I mean, there’s clearly a best way to use him, but that way is still pretty limited in its scope. Frankly, I question how repeatable this is. Houston started adjusting as the game went on and now this is on tape. The other issue here is that the Bears were playing with a lead all day; if they have to come from behind, I’m not overly optimistic.

But the defense looked great.

Yeah, they had as many sacks as points given up. Similar caveats about level of competition apply, but so do positive notes about taking advantage of bums. That’s a really strong defensive chart and looks even better when you consider that the fourth quarter wasn’t even counted in it. The Texans had one scoring drive and I question if they would have even had that were it not for a big gain on a screen pass to Duke Johnson where Roquan Smith overpursued and opened up a lane. One other drive made it down to the one before a fourth down play that the Texans had to go for on account of being down four scores ended on a sack after Houston tried to throw for it with A.J. McCarron forced into action. Why they thought that was a good idea, I don’t know. Anyway, the rest of the day for the Texans amounted to not very much. The aforementioned two drives totaled 148 yards, the Texans’ other eight (I’m not including a kneel down at the end of the first half) totaled 116.

What does this mean going forward?

The Bears probably need to win out to make the playoffs. The last time we saw Minnesota, the Vikings didn’t do a whole lot, but it was enough to win since the Bears’ offense couldn’t get anything going, scoring only six points all night. We’ll see how far the offense has come, as Minnesota ranks 12th in defensive DVOA. The good news is that there might be some opportunities on the ground, as they’re 20th against the run.

On the other side of the ball, the Bears will be without Jaylon Johnson as he recovers from a shoulder injury. Chuck Pagano will have to get creative, as the Vikings bring more talent to the field than the Texans did. Houston’s leading receiver this past Sunday was Chad Hansen, who’s been out of the league the last two years after being waived by the Jets. The Vikings boast the league’s #3 receiver in TD catches and an Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate.


A-Rob, Whitehair, pretty much all defensive persons. Mitch was fine.



Four Stars of the Game

4star Allen Robinson

3star  Roquan Smith

2star  Cody Whitehair

1star Khalil Mack, Jaylon Johnson (Both men get a full star because this was fun.)

Twitter: @KSchroeder_312

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