It happened! For the first time since Sept. 29, the Bears won, beating the Detroit Lions 20-13 in front of a (mostly) full house at Soldier Field on Sunday afternoon. The defense played admirably after losing Danny Trevathan early on, the offense actually looked functional in the second half and Eddy Pineiro only missed one PAT.
Was it a game that'll be replayed during instructional clinics for years to come? It was not! Do the Bears care at all? They do not! Here's whose arrows are up and down after a much-needed divisional win:
ARROW UP – Mitch Trubisky
Let's give the man some credit for once. He had his strongest game of the season, finishing 16-of-23 with 173 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. It should be noted that the Lions defense is *bad*, but the Bears are in no position to be picky when it comes to their offensive production. Touchdown passes to Ben Braunecker (18 yards) and Taylor Gabriel (24) were legitimately good, NFL-caliber throws. The 10-play, 80-yard drive that resulted in Braunecker's first career score was especially impressive, as it milked almost five minutes off the clock and gave the Lions only 32 seconds with the ball before having to kickoff to start the second half.
ARROW DOWN – Kyle Fuller
Fuller was penalized twice (technically three times but one was offsetting) on Sunday, once for defensive pass interference and once for unnecessary roughness – after he hit a sliding-Driskel in the head. Fuller was also badly beaten on the Lions' only touchdown of the day, a 47-yard pass from Driskel to Kenny Golloday. He did finish with the third-most tackles (six) on Sunday and deflect a pass, but Fuller's certainly had better performances.
ARROW UP – Nick Kwiatkowski
It feels like every time the Bears ask Kwiatkowski to play meaningful minutes, he shows up in a big way. After Trevathan suffered a gruesome injury in the first quarter of Sunday's game, Kwiatkowski came in and made the defensive play of the game: an interception off Detroit QB Jeff Driskel that led to a Bears touchdown only three plays later. He also finished the game with a sack, 10 tackles – second most of any player – and one pass deflected. It's the second time this season that Kwiatkowski has made the most of his opportunities – the fourth-year linebacker also played well when filling in for Roquan Smith (on short notice) during Week 4's win over Minnesota. If Trevathan is out for an extended period of time, the Bears can do much, much worse than Kwiatkowski.
ARROW DOWN – The Offensive Line
There was some intrigue heading into Sunday after rumors popped up that James Daniels and Cody Whitehair would be switching positions. The results … didn't look much different. Whitehair's snaps, particularly out of the shotgun, left a lot to be desired, and Trubisky was still sacked fives times. Three of the Bears' seven penalties were on the offensive line, too.
ARROW UP – Allen Robinson
That's probably about as quiet of an 86-yard performance as you can have, right? Robinson again got the lion's share (pun not originally intended but we'll keep it in there) of targets (nine) on Sunday, and finished with six catches. He averaged over 14 yards per reception in the win, and his 33-yard catch was one of the more athletic plays anyone made all day. Robinson didn't score against the Lions (though definitely would have if Trubisky had seen how open he was on a second half checkdown to Tarik Cohen), but the wide receiver's terrific season continues.
ARROW DOWN – The Pass Rush
Weirdly enough, the Bears have had some uncharacteristic trouble getting to the quarterback over the last month or so. Before last week's four-sack performance against the Eagles, Chicago had three sacks over the previous three weeks combined. The pass rush wasn't nonexistent on Sunday – Nick Williams and Kwiatkowski both had sacks – but lately it hasn't been the game-wrecking unit that it was last season. It's hard to complain about a defensive performance when you only give up 13 points, but you have to think a team with Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd on the edge expect a busier box score.