Four Positives, Three Concerns from Sunday’s Victory Over the Niners

| September 13th, 2022

There is no reason to overreact to the first game of an NFL season, especially when a substantial period of that game is played in a deluge. But when a season is going to be defined by the development of a young roster, it is worth tracking that developing week-to-week. Tuesdays will be the day we do that on DBB.

Four Positives

  • Dominique Robinson. Scout friends, with much more developed football brains than my own, have been telling me about Robinson since the Bears took him in the fifth round. Well, Robinson had a jump off the screen debut Sunday and Senior Bowl Jim Nagy took notice.

  • Justin Fields. The quarterback was brutal in the first half against San Francisco, but once again he has shown the ability to forget the bad plays and forge ahead. His second half line? 5-for-8, 102 yards, 2 TDs, 0 sacks and a 145.8 passer rating. (And this second half would have likely been even better if the fourth quarter didn’t feature a large boat and two of every animal.)
  • Eddie Jackson. Not only did Jackson make the game-changing interception, but he was active and aggressive in run support, even making some noise on contact. This wasn’t EJ the finesse player. This was EJ the defensive leader and after one game it seems no Bears defender has been more significantly (read: positively) impacted by the implementation of Matt Eberflus’ program.
  • Khalil Herbert. After struggling this summer, Herbert was the best Bears running back Sunday and he seems to have a burst that David Montgomery lacks. It will be worth monitoring the allocation of carries moving forward.

Three Concerns

  • Darnell Mooney/Cole Kmet. There is no scenario where this passing game reaches mid-tier with these two combining for one catch, eight yards. Again, there were only eight completions in the whole game for the Bears and the contest was played under a waterfall, but the Bears need these two potential cornerstones to continue their progression in 2022.
  • Cairo Santos. Were those the two worst kicks of his tenure in Chicago? Golfers understand what happened to Santos on the Field of Streams Sunday. He sliced his first tee shot wide right and overcompensated by hooking the shit out of his next one. One hopes Santos will improve with improved conditions, but the kicker needs to see one go through the uprights at Lambeau this week.
  • Kindle Vildor. There has been optimism at Halas Hall when it comes to Vildor, but it just doesn’t show up on game days. And with the Bears committed to keeping Kyler Gordon in the slot, it looks like the 24-year-old Vildor will be given ample time to cement his starting role. But with him clearly being the weak link in a much-improved secondary, he’s going to face weekly tests. Can he pass them?

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