Justin Fields, Bears offense improve in Week 4 win vs. Lions

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Bears observations: Offense much improved after tweaks originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Bears are back. Or at least they were for one week. After their miserable offensive outing against the Browns, Matt Nagy’s team got back on track and put up 24 points, their most of the season. The defense, while not dominant, also did a great job keeping points off the board. The result, a double-digit victory.

CHANGE IN PLAYCALLER PAYS OFF

The Bears never officially announced that offensive coordinator Bill Lazor would be calling the offense on Sunday, but it became clear pretty quickly that was the case. Right out the gate, the Bears came out with three tight ends on the field to help block for a nine-yard rushing gain. That dedication to the run game didn’t stop there either. On the team’s opening touchdown drive, the Bears ran the ball nine times for 46 yards and the score. On the day they ran it a whopping 39 times for 188 yards and three touchdowns. There still weren’t many designed Fields runs, but there was seemingly more play action, and the offense was *finally* able to hit on a few deep passes.

BEND DON’T BREAK DEFENSE IS BACK

Back in the Lovie Smith days, the defense didn’t care how many yards they relinquished, as long as the other team didn’t score. That’s how things played out in Week 4, as the Bears allowed the Lions to march down the field throughout the game. But when push came to shove, the defense stepped up, whether it was with a takeaway or a fourth-down stop. It wasn’t just one man making all the plays either. Roquan Smith stopped Goff on a third-and-goal. One snap later Alec Ogletree made an incredible leaping play to break up the Lions’ 4th-and-goal attempt. Robert Quinn and Khalil Mack combined for a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Bilal Nichols came up with another fumble in the red zone, and Duke Shelley had a huge PBU on 3rd-and-2 to force a punt. These stops prevented the Lions from hanging around and helped the offense put a stamp on the game early.

ALEC OGLETREE PLAYING FOR HIS JOB

When the Bears announced Danny Trevathan’s window to return to the active roster had opened, Sean Desai was asked what Ogletree’s role would be moving forward.

“That question has the assumption that one guy's staring over the other,” Desai said. “We're going to evaluate all our positions just like we do every week and we try to put the best combination of guys and keep the freshest guys on the field for as long as we can.”

While Trevathan might be “fresher” since he hasn’t played yet this season, it’s hard not to notice that Ogletree has been a bright spot ever since he arrived at Halas Hall. Against the Lions, Ogletree was everywhere. We’ve mentioned the highlight reel PBU, but he was stout in run defense also. When it was all said and done, Ogletree led the team with 12 tackles including one tackle for loss. Desai and the rest of the Bears coaches now have a tough decision on how to split playing time between Trevathan and Ogletree, whenever Trevathan is ready to  return.

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