The Vikings have a pivotal game against the Bears awaiting them Monday Night on the Chicago lakefront. At 2-2, this game has the potential to bury them early or elevate them to the top of the NFC North, depending on how Detroit and Green Bay fare in their week five games.
In advance of the second of three straight division match-ups for Minnesota, I chatted with cover32 Bears managing editor Tyler Kading to get the full Chicago report.
What are reasonable expectations for Mitchell Trubisky in his first career game?
Tyler Kading: I was not a Trubisky fan during the draft, though he really impressed me in the preseason and with some of the words coming out of the practice facility. I do not think he has a huge game, especially against the Vikings defense. However, he is not going to be bad to the extent that Mike Glennon has been this season. I would expect maybe 30 passes for about 200 yards and a touchdown. I would expect a ton of rushes from Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen to take some of the pressure off Trubisky.
How much of a concern is the Bears’ lack of top-flight receivers in Trubisky’s debut?
It absolutely is a huge concern, there is no way around that. This wide receiver unit may be the worst unit of wide receivers I have ever seen, and that was definitely part of what was contributing to Mike Glennon’s poor play. While I really like Markus Wheaton, he is not capable of being a number one receiver in any sense of the word. Luckily, the Bears have good tight ends which do not make passing impossible, but the Vikings defensive backs should be licking their lips looking at this group.
Now that Kyle Long is back and healthy, will the Bears finally have some offensive line stability?
Contrary to popular belief, their offensive line has not been bad at all. The Bears have only allowed eight sacks this year, with Lester Wiltfong’s #Sackwatch estimation saying only three have been at fault of the offensive line. Since Long has returned, he has looked back to his Pro Bowl-level self, which is really good to see. Given that Mitchell Trubisky has a lot more mobility than Mike Glennon, the offensive line should not struggle any more than any line having to face that scary Vikings front-seven.
Where has the Bears’ pass rush been this year, particularly from Leonard Floyd?
I am not sure where it has been. Floyd finally got on the stat sheet last week with a sack, which is good to see, but he has not been the ferocious pass-rusher he was last season. I feel a lot of that has to do with the Bears facing good offensive lines (Pittsburgh and Atlanta) and good wide receiving groups to start the season. We have started to see Floyd drop back into coverage more than we did last season, and we have seen a lot more three-man rushes. I think that changes this week, however, after the defense got torched last week by the Packers.
What do you expect from the Bears’ linebackers with Danny Trevathan suspended and Nick Kwiatkowski doubtful?
I do not expect much in terms of a pass rush. While Christian Jones and Sam Acho are good, especially for backup middle linebackers, neither pose a big threat in the pass rush. That being said, they will probably have to be forced into coverage to try and deal with Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, which will likely leave Leonard Floyd to have more looks at a pass rush. Without the established running game, I think the Vikings offense fits right into the Bears strengths, so I am not sweating the middle linebacker situation.
–Tyler Kading is the Managing Editor for cover32/Bears. Like and Follow @bearcub712
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