With week 5 officially in the book for the Chicago Bears, let’s breakdown everything as Chicago leaves Las Vegas with a win. The Bears are over .500 for the first time since December 27th, 2020, a stat that doesn’t look noticeable to many but should be considered noteworthy as the Bears are on a two-game winning streak.
1) No David Montgomery, no problem for the Bears running game. Running backs Khalil Herbert and Damien Williams combine for 34 carries, 139 rushing yards, and one touchdown. Herbert and Williams averaged 4.1 yards per carry, which means the Bears running game shouldn’t miss a beat with David Montgomery out for the foreseeable future.
2) Speaking of Damien Williams, he’s been a sneaky good option for the Bears as a receiver this year. Williams averaged 10 yards per reception on Sunday, his highest of the season. Williams has continued to be an impact player for the Bears despite playing behind Montgomery.
3) Khalil Mack got his revenge game. The Bears pass rusher was all over the field on Sunday afternoon, quieting any doubters who used sack production as a means of saying Mack was too old or overpaid. The eighth-year pass rusher now has five sacks on the season and was constantly in the face of Raiders quarterback Derek Carr on Sunday, including sacking Carr on a two-point conversion attempt, giving the Bears an eight-point advantage.
4) Linebacker Alec Ogletree seemed to play more than Danny Trevathan, who made his season debut had just three tackles. Trevathan played just 15 percent of snaps on defense, while Ogletree played 52 percent of snaps. Two possibilities exist when looking at Trevathan’s decreased snap count in his season debut: The Bears are easing Trevathan back from a knee injury or Ogletree legitimately played well enough during Trevathan’s absence, impressing the coaching staff enough to hold down the starting job.
5) Safety Eddie Jackson seemed revitalized when speaking to the media during his postgame press conference. The Bears secondary still has communication issues to hammer out but Jackson was clearly proud of the way the Bears secondary performed. Wide receiver Henry Ruggs and tight end Darren Waller had just seven receptions combined.
6) Chicago rushing defense limited the Raiders to just 3.2 yards per carry, just the second time this season the Bears have allowed just under 3.5 yards per carry. The other time was week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams. Despite missing Akiem Hicks in week 5, the Bears rush defense was more than solid, proving that the defensive line is playing at a high level.
7) One area of concern for the Bears is the lack of finishing opponents off. Week 5 marked the third time this season the Bears had the opportunity to put Raiders away but failed to do so. Cairo Santos’ two field goals in the fourth quarter helped but Santos’ first field goal came on the end of a 10 play, 57-yard drive that lasted just over six minutes. Field goals are fine with a lead but touchdowns usually end up being the final blow when putting opponents away for good.
8) Justin Fields threw the ball just 20 times against the Raiders, completing just 12 passes. At some point, the Bears need to open up the offense more and allow Fields to throw the ball more, especially with two tough games against the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coming up.
9) The Robert Quinn revenge tour continues. The 11th-year veteran wasted no time getting involved on Sunday afternoon, tackling Raiders running back Josh Jacobs for no gain on Las Vegas’ first offensive play. Quinn didn’t register a sack but still made his presence felt, consistently generating pressure. Fun fact: Quinn’s play in 2021 has earned him a grade of 75.2 from Pro Football Focus.
10) The Bears are good but not good enough on third down. Chicago converted 46 percent of third downs on Sunday, still eclipsing the Bears season average of 32.75 percent. The Bears do need to improve in this area to ensure the offense can keep stacking up strong performances together.
Looking ahead to week 6
The Green Bay Packers are coming to town and there’s something different about this Bears-Packers matchup. Maybe it’s the Justin Fields effect but the Bears have been playing well enough to warrant hanging with the Packers and making this a slugfest. Green Bay narrowly escaped the Cincinnati Bengals on the road in week 5, with Packers kicker Mason Crosby missing three potential game-winning field goals.
The Bears’ secondary will have its hands full trying to slow down Aaron Rodgers and Packers wide receiver Devante Adams but Green Bay’s secondary is also banged up with star cornerback Jaire Alexander unlikely to play, while CB Kevin King is injured too.
Matt Nagy has never beat Packers head coach Matt LaFleur and the Bears have beaten the Packers just once since 2018. With Rodgers not expected to return in 2022, the NFC North crown is wide open and for a changing of the guard to begin, the Bears will need to come away with a win on Sunday afternoon.
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