UA-59049186-1 2020 Week 2: Chicago Bears 17, New York Giants 13 - Good if it Goes

2020 Week 2: Chicago Bears 17, New York Giants 13

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 fromPro Football Reference. Box score and other relevant info can be found at that link as well.

So what’s with Mitch?

Trubisky’s throws have noticeably improved over a year ago. He still has some misses here and there, but he’s not totally all over the place like he was last year. I wasn’t thrilled with his performance when I was watching the game live, but looking at the tape, he did make some nice throws. What still needs major improvement is his handling of the offense. Like last week, there’s a big negative number in his Misc. column and most of those negative points are bad reads or bad decisions. Trubisky still has zero ability to anticipate when a receiver’s going to come open. He doesn’t understand that a receiver is open until he actually sees him open and by that point, sometimes it’s too late to make the throw. I’m guessing it’s more of an issue of not understanding NFL defenses, because last week, when the Lions went to a nearly entirely man look late in the game, Mitch knew what he was looking at and that’s when he heated up. The lousy decision making is extending to the designed QB runs, too.

I mean, come on, man. All Mitch has to do there is follow Whitehair and it’s a touchdown.

How about the ground game?

David Montgomery said he made a concerted effort to eat better and reshape his body in the off-season and it shows. Those efforts, coupled with a standard year one to year two jump have him looking like he’s going to be a major player sooner rather than later. But we need to give some credit to the offensive line here, too. The Juan Castillo effect is real folks. It’s still really early in the season, but so far, this line looks like what we were promised under Hiestand. Daniels and Whitehair both played really well, Germain Ifedi has looked solid, and the pass blocking by the tackles has improved. There is one thing I’m not happy with in this new regime and that’s the practice of cut blocking on the back side of plays. Stop it. It’s not working. Blocked defenders are still getting in the way of cutback lanes and you’re putting one of your own linemen on the ground, too. On top of that, Ifedi got hit with a personal foul for doing it while a defender was still engaged. (You can cut a guy who’s not being blocked by someone else; if a defender is already being blocked and you cut him, that’s a chop block and a 15-yard penalty.)

Snacks time?

I would say so, yes. I have no hard data to back this up, but it does seem like the Bears are asking their interior defenders to two gap more this year. I don’t think they went into the season with that being the plan since Eddie Goldman opted out before camp. Rather, I think it’s a case of the team not trusting Danny Trevathan so much anymore. After a rough outing last week, Trevathan’s snaps were way down in favor of Deon Bush. So they appear to be asking the lineman to play a larger role in stopping the run rather than count on Trevathan or a safety. I think Bilal Nichols could be a quality nose tackle playing one gap, but thus far, he hasn’t looked too good in the face of double teams. John Jenkins is dealing with a thumb injury, so the team signed Dan McCullers off of Pittsburgh’s practice squad. Snacks has decided that he does want to play this year and has gotten some interest from the Bears, Seattle, and Green Bay in particular. Seattle doesn’t make a whole lot of sense given that they run a one-gap 4-3 scheme, but if he’s just looking to try to win a ring before he hangs it up, he could head to the northwest. If Harrison wants to play beyond this season and is looking for someplace to go to put some quality play on tape for teams to look at in the hopes of getting one more nice deal, he should come here. We’ll see how it plays out.

Anything else?

After the game, Eddie Jackson called out the refs for taking away his pick six. Watching the game live, it did look like he was there early and that it was a good call. Upon further review…

Yep, BoJack’s right. He’s there early, but the contact comes from the side and he’s playing the ball the whole way. Thus, incidental contact, no P.I. Should’ve been six points and effectively the nail in the coffin. Alas, the refs blew it. According to Eddie, they apologized for it, which was nice, but doesn’t put the points back on the board. At least on the last play, they swallowed their whistles where a more flag happy crew may have been inclined to toss some laundry. That, too, was not P.I., but that hasn’t stopped refs from flagging defenders before. One last note, let’s take just a second to enjoy the fact that Packer fans can’t even take delight in the fact that Golden Tate didn’t get a call in the end zone since it resulted in the Bears winning.

Looking ahead

The Falcons are dealing with a covid situation after cornerback A.J. Terrell tested positive. He has been placed on the reserve/covid list and is out for Sunday’s game. He practiced with the team Friday before he got his test results, so as of this writing, the Falcons were in the process of testing and contact tracing. The Falcons were already going to be without starting safety and backup DB Kendall Sheffield. Julio Jones and both of Atlanta’s starting edge rushers, Takkarist McKinley and Dante Fowler, Jr. are questionable. Jones didn’t practice all week. Not an ideal situation for anyone, but it’s especially demoralizing for a team that just gagged away a big lead to Dallas a week ago. The Bears need to win this one.


BoJack, Mack, Johnson, Fuller, Quinn, Montgomery, Mooney, Whitehair, Daniels


Anthony Miller had a lousy game, missing a couple passes he should’ve had, one for a first down, the other for a touchdown.

Four Stars of the Game

4star Eddie Jackson

3star  Jaylon Johnson

2star  Cody Whitehair

1star  James Daniels

Honorable Mentions: Khalil Mack, David Montgomery

Twitter: @KSchroeder_312

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