Three takeaways: The Bears’ offense was better. Now do it again

JJ Stankevitz
NBC Sports Chicago

The Bears' four-game losing streak came to an end Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field with a 20-13 win over the Detroit Lions. Three takeaways:

1. Do it again, and do better next time.

This was the Bears' best game on offense in a month, even despite a mind-numbingly awful start that saw them gain just 25 yards on their first 15 plays and, later, sputter to the finish line. But Mitch Trubisky found a rhythm at the end of the first half and the start of the second, throwing three touchdowns and looking the part of a quarterback taking advantage of a bad defense.

Trubisky's first touchdown - an 18-yarder to Ben Braunecker - registered as one of his better throws of the season. A 33-yard completion to Allen Robinson featured some good touch throwing off his back foot (while Robinson deserves credit for bodying up Lions cornerback Darius Slay to make the catch). The offense as a whole looked significantly more in sync after those first 15 plays - nearly as good as it's looked since the third quarter of the Bears' loss to the Oakland Raiders in Week 5.

The Bears will be encouraged by this result, which does relieve some of the pressure on Trubisky and Matt Nagy. But the Lions entered Sunday with one of the worst defenses in the NFL:

Yards per game: 424.1 (31st)
Yards per play: 6.1 (27th)
Passing yards per game: 288.4 (31st)
Passing yards per play: 7.4 (25th)
Rushing yards per game: 135.8 (27th)
Rushing yards per play: 4.7 (26th)
Third down conversion rate: 48.1 percent (30th)
Points per game: 27.1 (27th)

The Bears' offense, as it turns out, is not as bad as the Lions' defense. But that's not much of an accomplishment, especially seeing as the Bears did not do any better than the opponents who've faced the Lions this year (in fact, they did worse).

And not being able to put the game away after Detroit cut the score to 20-13 with just under six minutes left was not impressive. A James Daniels holding penalty and a bad sack taken by Trubisky gave the Lions the ball back with a legitimate chance to tie the game.

What would be an accomplishment is putting together a decent offensive game against the Los Angeles Rams in a week on the road. For Sunday's game to matter in the big picture of 2019 but also 2020 - as in, who the team's quarterback will be - the Bears have to go out and do this again on Sunday Night Football next week.

2. Nick Kwiatkoski was the MVP.

There was a sense of dread around Soldier Field when Danny Trevathan sprinted off the field dangling his left arm in the first quarter. A gruesome-looking injury for Trevathan could've sucked the life out of this defense - he and Akiem Hicks are this group's vocal leaders - but Nick Kwiatkoski came off the bench and not only played well, but was critical in keeping everything together on defense.

Kwiatkoski had a sack, a tackle for a loss and his first career interception, proving to be a critical reason why the Lions didn't get in the end zone for the first 54 minutes of Sunday's game.

If Trevathan is out for an extended period of time - and by the looks of his injury, he might be - Kwiatkoski should help keep the Bears' defense afloat, and in the process will have a chance to earn himself a good paycheck when he hits free agency this spring.

3. Last place avoided, for now.

This was about as uninspiring a win as the Bears have had in 2019, but Nagy will hope a victory - no matter how it felt - will be the spark the Bears need to get their season back on track.

This is a team, though, that entered Sunday with a 2.6 percent chance of making the playoffs. That's not in the discussion now, nor should it be for a while. If this game truly mattered, we'll know on Dec. 10, not Nov. 10.

So for now, the Bears on Sunday gave themselves a leg up on not finishing last in the NFC North. Does that matter? Not really. But it's something, right?

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Three takeaways: The Bears offense was better. Now do it again originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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