Payton Presser: Bears get first win of 2016

Jarrett Payton's Postgame Presser

Chicago Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer (2) hands off the ball to running back Jordan Howard (24) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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Last week I prayed to the man above to please bring my favorite football team back. After yesterday’s win over the Lions, I believe the big man heard my prayer. I’m not going to pretend we can breathe a sigh of relief that all is right with the Bears. But, they needed a win like that to get them moving in the right direction. Yesterday was also big because the Monsters of the Midway got a win at home! The last home win was Oct. 4, 2015 against the Raiders. John Fox and his crew needed this one to get some momentum going as they try to rebuild this organization. Let’s take a look at some of my takeaways from yesterday’s 17 to 14 win over the Lions:

Hoyer runs this offense well

“I think Hoyer is the QB this team needs RIGHT NOW.”

Not sure how this point is going to come across to you guys out there, but here we go. Over the eight years Jay Cutler has been here, I’ve been very supportive and very patient with him as a QB.  I’ve said in previous pressers that I’m a big Cutler fan, but I think this team might be better with Brian Hoyer under center RIGHT NOW. I know that sounds crazy. I’m having a tough time comprehending it as well. But I’ve watched the Bears offense over and over this season. The last two games, I’ve seen this offense actually take some steps forward. I understand the two defenses Hoyer’s gone up against the past two weeks are nothing special. But, I saw progress and better flow out of the offense. Now, granted, the offensive line was more solid with their pass protection and commitment to the running game also helped with the success of the back-up QB. Just with the eye test, this Bears offense seems to move better with Hoyer under center. I don’t want to hear that Cutler gives this team the better chance to win and that he got us to an NFC Championship. The reality is this team has to start thinking about the future. Not saying Hoyer is your future, but he could fill that gap until this organization selects a QB in the upcoming NFL Draft. Yesterday he went 28 for 36 through the air for 302 yards, 2 touchdowns and a passer rating of 120.1. Add to that he hasn’t turned the ball over in either start. I don’t think there’s a QB controversy here in Chicago but I think Hoyer is the QB this team needs RIGHT NOW.

Jordan Howard is the now

“Howard can pretty much do it all at the running back position.”

Last season I made some remarks that that Jeremy Langford could fill the shoes of Matt Forte when he departed and became a member of the New York Jets. I was very aware that I only received a small sample size of Langford to judge his potential. I saw that he did have the tools to be a good back. However, he also had his flaws, just like every running back that I study. My evaluation of Langford is that he would be perfect in one of John Fox’s old Denver offenses. The stretch play is his bread and butter because it sets him up for the one cut and get up field. Watching cut ups of some of the other runs in between the tackles, he doesn’t jump off the screen well. I’m not saying that he isn’t a serviceable running back by any means. He could be. With Langford’s injury last week, it left the door open for Jordan Howard. He didn’t just walk through the door, he knocked it down. Howard can pretty much do it all at the running back position. He finished the night with 111 yards on 23 carries in his first NFL start. I know people are going to think I’m crazy for saying this, but hear me out. OK, Howard is similar to my dad when it comes to the game of football. Now I’m not crowning him as the next 34, but I’ve studied my dad’s game inside and out. He would tell you if he was here that he wasn’t the fastest, biggest or strongest but he played bigger then he was. When I watch film of my dad I always say, “He was a damn good football player,” and that’s what I find myself saying when I watch Howard. He has a lot of football to play before we can classify him as great, but I think we have a RB for the future and now.

Defense held up their end

“It wasn’t a mistake-free outing for the defense, but it was good to see them taking steps in the right direction.”

To be fair, the Bears defense has been hit with injuries at several key positions so far this season. It’s easy to badmouth them over last 3 weeks. But, they showed something Sunday against the 6th best scoring offense in the NFL. The defense put together 4 quarters of football and held the Lions to 2 field goals. Two glaring stats stand out about Sunday. First, sacks on the QB. The Bears found their way to Matthew Stafford twice. Akiem Hicks and Cornelius Washington tallied up their 1st sacks of the season. Second, the Bears defense found ways to get takeaways Sunday versus the Lions. The youngsters got into the action with Deiondre’ Hall and Jacoby Glenn coming up with two big picks. It wasn’t a mistake-free outing for the defense, but it was good to see them taking steps in the right direction.

The special teams need work

The Bears special teams have been an issue since the Dave Toub left. This year they have had their share of problems. Yesterday they gave up a punt return for a TD, Connor Barth missed a field goal and things got a little shaky on the hands team when the Lions went for the onside kick. I’m just saying that if they don’t get things right it could cost them a game like yesterday and we all know they need all the wins they can get. Get them right, Jeff Rodgers.

“Seeing the youngsters on this team making plays gives me hope that we have something to build on for the future.”

I have to say I’m very proud of this Bears team after yesterday’s win. The reason why is because with all of the things that have gone wrong this season they have never backed down and said, “Why us?” After starting 0-3 on the season and everyone on the outside of their locker room badmouthing them, they dug down deep and found a way to turn things around. For me, seeing the youngsters on this team making plays gives me hope that we have something to build on for the future. The things that I always harp on the Bears improved in week 4. They were 5 of 11 on 3rd down efficiency, took care of the football on offense, created turnovers, got to the opposing QB and committed to the run. All that I can ask for is to see improvement and that’s what I got this week. The best part about this win was seeing the young talent make plays. That gives me promise that things will get better. Now I want to see them carry it over into week 5 when they have to take on the Colts. At least we have something to build on, Bears fans. #BearDown

Keep the conversation going with me on twitter: @Paytonsun 

Check out The Down And Distance Podcast here. 


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