Ryan Bukowiecki is a student at the Illinois Media School and a contributor to The D & Davis Show
After an embarrassing loss to the hated rival Packers, the Bears made it easy for most fans to give up on this team and season unless changes were made.
The major announcement of Mitchell Trubisky being named the starter for the Bears Monday night against the Vikings, suddenly rejuvenated everything. As they say hope springs eternal, the Bears now with a top rookie at QB has completely changed the outlook for the rest of the season.
Of course growing pains are expected so expecting Trubisky to be great Monday might not be realistic but his skill set should at least give the Bears a better chance on offense. As for the defense, the Bears will be without Danny Trevathan who is serving his one game suspension. The Bears had another loss with LB Willie Young lost for season with a triceps injury.
Questions surround the health of the linebacking core for the Bears. Now, with all these question marks we go to our four goals for the Bears against the Vikings on Monday Night Football.
Offensive line must win the line of scrimmage — The Vikings are a great defensive team and it is easily their calling card. Trubisky is not going to have a lot of weapons and thankfully this will be in Chicago instead of the dome.
Therefore, a major key to the Bears being able to take this game is giving Trubisky more time to scan the field and allow receivers to get open. The Vikings are the tenth best defense overall and boast the fifth best rushing defense.
The Vikings front seven is led by Everton Griffen, Linval Joseph, Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr. The Bears will be trying to run the football but the Vikings will be similar to the Packers, they will stack the box and force Trubisky to beat them. It may be tough for the ground game to get going without the threat of the passing game. The Vikings pass defense ranks 26th giving up an average of 246.8 yards a game.
There may be some chances for the Bears to push the ball downfield but again the offensive line will be key, as the Vikings are tied for fourth in sacks with 11. If the O-line can be better than the defensive front of the Vikings, they may be able to be functional enough to win the game.
Dowell Loggains must find a matchup that can win — The Vikings pass defense has struggled by the numbers, but they have good players in their secondary. The secondary is highlighted by Xavier Rhodes and Harrison Smith and the Bears are a good matchup for them.
Trubisky is not going to do anything if their isn’t a matchup that can win against the back seven of the Vikings. The receiver can be a TE, WR or RB but it has to be effective and be able to win consistently by getting open. Trubisky is believed to be much more accurate than Glennon, so he may be able to throw some guys open.
But Trubisky will be able to throw guys open so much only and hard to really expect from a rookie QB. This is where coaching must play a factor this week, Loggains has to find something that the offense can go to. Loggains is seemingly cutting some of the playbook for the rookie so his game planning will be key.
Defense has opportunity to dominate — The Vikings are looking like they will be without their starting RB after Dalvin Cook was injured in last weeks game against the Lions. Sam Bradford is questionable but he may not play. Case Keenum had a career day against the Buccaneers and followed it up with a pedestrian game against the Lions, with a QB rating of just 76.9.
Nothing great and nothing awful but Keenum is a backup for a reason, the Vikings have some weapons in the pass game but this a QB that the Bears should be able to handle. The major loss is Dalvin Cook as he looked like the most formidable weapon for the Vikings. Now it will be up to back ups like Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon.
The Vikings have the 17th best rushing offense which will be hurt with the loss of Dalvin Cook. The passing offense is a surprising seventh in the league and tied for fifth with least sacks allowed. The Bears are ranked 16th in pass defense with nine sacks and sixth in run defense. The Bears should be able to control the ground game of the Vikings, which could lead to more pressure on Keenum or Bradford to make plays.
This is a game where the Bears defense has a real opportunity to show its stuff and this is the worst offense they have seen this year. The Bears’ goal is to be the defense that can stop backup running backs and control the passing game with an injured Sam Bradford or a pedestrian Case Keenum. This will give the Bears offense and Trubisky more room for error.
Trubisky needs to look like the QB we saw in the preseason — Last but not least, we have to talk about Trubisky and this offense. A new era begins on Monday and maybe the journey to find a franchise QB will hopefully take a step in the right direction.
Trubisky looked poised in the pocket in the preseason and got rid of the ball quickly. His athleticism was evident, especially compared to Glennon. He has a strong arm and can make all the throws and his accuracy was noticeable. Behind the scenes, teammates and sources for the team have raved about his work ethic and believe he has that “it” factor.
Trubisky doesn’t have to go out Monday night and look like Aaron Rodgers or even Deshaun Watson. As we have seen from Jared Goff, rookie QBs can really struggle, but that doesn’t mean they can’t play in the league. If Trubisky can go out there and show the poise, pocket awareness and mobility to pick up yards or allow receivers more time to get open, this offense should already look better than it did with Glennon.
The time is now to start Trubisky and the goal is to just simply play better all around than Glennon. One thing though, Trubisky has to take care of the ball — something Glennon could not do, which is why he is now the backup.
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