Payton Presser: Bears take care of the winless Browns
The one thing on my mind going into the Bears game on Sunday was: “Don’t lose to the Browns!” Even though the Browns came into the game 0-14, since taking over the Bears, John Fox’s team, when favored, is 0-7. As you can see, there is no sure thing for a victory when it comes to Bears football over the past 3 seasons. Mitchell Trubisky and company gave Bears fans an early Christmas present by making sure they kept the Browns’ winless season intact as they recorded their 5th victory of the season.
After a tough 3-interception game last week in Detroit, my sights were on how Mitchell Trubisky would respond. The rookie had a bounce-back game, even with the snowy conditions at Soldier Field. Trubisky was 14-of-23 for 193 yards, seven carries for 44 yards and a rushing touchdown. The best part about his performance was he took care of the football. Trubisky showed his ability to get out of trouble when things broke down inside the pocket or if there was good coverage down field. Myles Garrett’s pick-six thankfully was called back because of an offsides by the Browns or it would have been really bad. The comforting thing was he led his team down the field and scored a touchdown. The rookie has shown some real growth as a signal caller in my opinion. Trubisky (2,015) surpassed Kyle Orton (1,869) for the most passing yards in a season by a Bears rookie. The young man deservedly partook in making snow angels with the day he had.
The Bears didn’t have eye-popping numbers in the run game, but when they needed to run they did. Jordan Howard finished the day with 22 carries for 44 yards and two rushing touchdowns. It was good to see the Bears win a game without a high rushing output from Howard. Every game the Bears have won this season, Howard has rushed for no less than 65 yards. I think the lack of success on the ground came mostly from the patchwork offensive line that has been decimated by injuries.
The defense came into the match-up on a mission to cause some takeaways. At the start of week 15, the Bears were tied with Browns for 29th in the league with just six interceptions. Browns QB DeShone Kizer was good at giving the ball to the Browns opponents all season with 19 interceptions. The Bears added two more interceptions as Kyle Fuller and Bryce Callahan got their hands on the ball Sunday. Once again, Kyle Fuller had an outstanding game. He’s one of the pieces I would love to see grow with this defense. But with him becoming a free agent in the off-season after the Bears didn’t pick up his option, I have a hard time thinking his growth will continue here in Chi-town.
Fox and this squad have one game remaining on the season. What I once wanted to get here, now is making me nervous. From the start of this season, I knew that changes could be coming if this Bears team underperformed. Not having control of what steps and the direction of this team makes me nervous and anxious. I said it last week in my post for the PaytonPresser on Twitter: If there’s a coaching change at the end of the season, then the next man in charge has to be the right one. It’s critical to the franchise moving forward for the direction they want to head. There is work to be done, but I tip my cap to this team not giving up all season. That’s a testament to Fox and his coaching staff. It also shows me that, if Fox’s last game is on the horizon, he’s given this team something to build on in the future. #Beardown