By Dan Pompei–
(CBS) There’s nothing about the loss to the Saints that the Bears should feel bad about. They competed hard and made it close despite some tough injuries and questionable calls. The arrow still is pointing up for this team.
Here are my observations:
1. My first and most important thought this morning is for Zach Miller, who was in danger of losing his leg when surgeons operated on him. As Gale Sayers once said of Brian Piccolo, “Tonight when you hit your knees, please ask God to love him.”
2. Lost in the Miller injury and the terrible instant replay reversal was one heck of a throw from Mitch Trubisky. It was a difficult pass to make, and he put it right on the money.
3. For the most part, Trubisky’s passing was rough. It’s difficult for any of us on the outside to say how much of his inaccuracy is on him and how much is on his receivers, but the educated guess is it’s a combination. His inexperience is showing.
4. Trubisky has to know the difference in size between Tarik Cohen and Adam Shaheen and adjust his throws accordingly.
5. Make no mistake, Trubisky didn’t have much help from his receivers (shocker!), who couldn’t get open and didn’t make catches consistently.
6. Using Trubisky on planned runs is smart. He’s effective with his feet, and the threat adds a dimension to an offense that doesn’t have enough dimensions.
7. Trubisky has a really good feel for when it makes sense to be risky and when it makes sense to play it safe. Some quarterbacks, cough, Jay Cutler, cough, never get that.
8. Losing Kyle Long and Cody Whitehair in this particular game really hurt the Bears. The running game was uneven without them, though Jordan Howard’s 50-yard run made the stats look good.
9. Hand off more to Howard. Throw to him less.
10. Dowell Loggains calling for consecutive passes on third-and-1 and then fourth-and-1 from the Bears’ own 39-yard line after the two-minute warning was thoroughly baffling. And it was indefensible.
11. On his one-yard touchdown, Cohen looked like he took off on a mini-trampoline.
12. The Bears defense has developed a new mentality — the football is mine. There’s no question that there’s a change in how players are thinking.
13. Is Tre McBride the new Cam Meredith?
14. Kicker tryouts should commence Tuesday, if not sooner.
15. There are numerous reasons the Bears should have more success in the second half of the season than the first. Trubisky should improve. The offensive line should find its groove. Dontrelle Inman is an upgrade at wide receiver. The defense is playing with increasing confidence. And the schedule is easier.
Dan Pompei has been covering the NFL since 1985 and is a regular contributor to 670 The Score and a host on 670’s Bears pregame show. He writes for Bleacher Report and theathletic.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Dan Pompei.