By Dan Pompei–
(CBS) Bad teams find ways to lose. Whether it’s a missed kick, a bad replay challenge or a last-minute interception, they lose the game. This is where the Bears are.
Here are my other observations from Chicago’s 27-24 to Detroit at Soldier Field on Sunday:
1. You can see the improvement in Mitch Trubisky. He’s doing the important things better. He just can’t fumble the snap.
2. Some of the wild throws by Trubisky are out of character for him, I believe. I’ll be surprised if that continues.
3. Trubisky’s 19-yard run on fourth-and-13 was nice. A 19-yard pass would have been nicer. But in lieu of some of the limitations of the offense, it was smart to use Trubisky’s running ability throughout the game.
4. Trubisky’s best play of the day was the play that followed the run — his 15-yard laser to Dontrelle Inman.
5. I thought offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains had a smart plan and called a nice game. He utilized personnel well, challenged his quarterback, minimized deficiencies, mixed it up and linked play calls effectively.
6. Adam Shaheen is being given more opportunities, and his play is justifying the expanded role. He clearly has progressed from earlier in the season, both as a receiver and a blocker.
7. If Kyle Long is guilty of anything, it’s playing when he should be sitting because of injuries, not sitting when he could be playing.
8. Long’s return gave the offensive line confidence, and the run blocking and pass blocking was solid.
9. The Bears offense is in a better place than it was a month ago. Trubisky is getting more comfortable. Inman is an NFL receiver. The running game is in sync.
10. The Bears defense is in a worse place. The defense is without two of its four most productive players — Leonard Floyd and Danny Trevathan — and the secondary is springing leaks.
11. Losing Floyd will necessitate changes in the Bears defense. Vic Fangio won’t be able to rely on four men to get to the quarterback much anymore, and protection schemes are going to start paying more attention to Akiem Hicks, who continues to be a force.
12. Tarik Cohen has lined up at seven positions for the Bears. I can understand why he also has yet to master the two-minute package.
13. It’s difficult to conceive how the Bears would move the ball without Jordan Howard.
14. The team’s five biggest offseason free-agent investments — Marcus Cooper, Quintin Demps, Mike Glennon, Dion Sims and Markus Wheaton — haven’t helped the Bears much at all. Between them, the four were give $39.5 million guaranteed. This is a problem.
15. The Bears couldn’t send Connor Barth out there again next week, so signing Cairo Santos, as Brad Biggs reported, was a solid move. Santos can help the Bears long term as well as short term.
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.