Mitchell Trubisky, Bears Beat Russell Wilson, Seahawks Behind Dominant Defense

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 18, 2018

Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller (17) celebrates a touchdown with wide receiver Taylor Gabriel (18) during the second half of an NFL football against the Seattle Seahawks game Monday, Sept. 17, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David Banks)
David Banks/Associated Press

Matt Nagy is no longer winless as a head coach in the NFL.  

Nagy's Chicago Bears moved to 1-1 with a 24-17 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Monday at Soldier Field. Chicago's defense dictated play with its pressure, forced two turnovers and scored a touchdown. On the other side, Mitchell Trubisky overcame two interceptions with 200 passing yards and two touchdowns.

Seattle was driving to potentially tie the game in the final seven minutes, but Prince Amukamara's pick-six of Russell Wilson helped put the game away.

         

Matt Nagy Quickly Erasing Losing Culture of Old Regime

John Fox was the head coach for the Bears from 2015-17, and his 14-34 record was nothing short of a disaster.

He had a distinct inability to take advantage of winnable games. Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times noted the Bears were an ugly 1-7 straight-up as favorites during Fox's tenure, and the one win came against the lowly Cleveland Browns in 2017.

Nagy was presented with his first opportunity to prove things have changed when OddsShark listed the Bears as 4.5-point favorites before Monday's game.

This victory follow's Week 1's moral victory, when Nagy's Bears built a 20-0 lead in the second half on the road against the rival Green Bay Packers before Aaron Rodgers played Superman down the stretch.

His early scripted plays have also been a rousing success through two games:

"I'm not wondering if the culture's changed. I know the culture's changed," linebacker Sam Acho said, per Potash. "The cool part for me was after that game no one was satisfied [with coming close]. … I think that points to the culture change. We're not satisfied with just playing. The fun is in winning."

That fun came against an overmatched opponent Monday, and it will need to continue under Nagy if the Bears are going to make a playoff run.

           

Russell Wilson Has No Chance Behind This Offensive Line

The Seahawks finished with a winning record in each of the last six seasons with Wilson under center, but that will change in 2018 if the offensive line doesn't figure things out.

While Wilson is a mobile quarterback who can extend plays and avoid pressure, the holes in an offensive line Football Outsiders ranked 25th in the league in pass protection last year were apparent against a Bears defensive front featuring Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks and Roquan Smith, among others.

Strip-sacks from Mack and Danny Trevathan were two of six Chicago sacks, per ESPN.com, in Seattle's first game since it allowed six sacks in a Week 1 loss to the Denver Broncos.

It is more than just the sacks, though, that are holding Seattle's offense back. Wilson was consistently forced out of the pocket and asked to rely on his speed and elusiveness to pick up yards downfield and avoid drive-crippling sacks, which limited the play-calling options as Seattle attempted a comeback.

Chicago's defensive front is particularly stout, but Seattle will have trouble with almost any opponent with the current state of the offensive line.

         

Mitchell Trubisky's Consistency Will Determine Bears' Fate

The Bears have a stout defense, talented running backs in Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen, and a number of playmaking pass-catchers in Allen Robinson, Trey Burton, Anthony Miller and Taylor Gabriel.

This is a potential playoff roster if Trubisky can play with consistency, which puts even more pressure on the quarterback the Bears traded up to get in the 2017 draft in front of Patrick Mahomes II and Deshaun Watson.

The full Trubisky experience was on display Monday. He capped a 96-yard drive on Chicago's first possession with a shovel pass to Burton for a touchdown, spread the ball to seven different receivers and gave his team breathing room in the fourth quarter with a bootleg touchdown pass to Miller.

However, he also threw interceptions to Shaquill Griffin on an underthrown deep ball to Robinson and a tipped pass near the line of scrimmage, misread a block on a third-down run and was tackled short, and had another near-interception in the end zone on a field-goal drive.

The up-and-down showing was reminiscent of last week's outing against the Packers, when Trubisky built a 20-0 lead and then started missing throws and open receivers as the Bears shifted into a conservative play-not-to-lose approach while Rodgers engineered a comeback.

The inconsistency is somewhat expected, given Trubisky's lack of experience, but the Bears are contenders in 2018. They just need the quarterback to hold up his end of the bargain.

           

What's Next?

Both teams face NFC foes in Week 3, with Chicago on the road against the Arizona Cardinals and the Seahawks hosting the Dallas Cowboys.

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