Oh man, I love this tradition that the Vikings and Kirk Cousins have when facing a playoff contending team. It always seems like they want to let the Bears win!
All jokes aside, the Week 4 matchup the Bears had against the Vikings was one full of promise more than anything. Unfortunately, it came at a hefty cost… or so it seems. Mitchell Trubisky, the 2017 2nd overall pick for the Chicago Bears went down early into the first quarter on Sunday and was immediately out for the remainder of the game. (We would find out later that he dislocated his shoulder a bit, but he seems to be on track to return in Week 7 against the Saints.). Now, early into the game, the Bears had four key starters injured, and things in Soldier Field looked a bit dimmer. Among those hurt were: Trubisky, Akiem Hicks, who is arguably the second best defender Chicago has, Taylor Gabriel, who had three receiving TDs only the week before, and Roquan Smith, Chicago’s rising star inside linebacker. But not to worry, their backups did phenomenal.
Chase Daniels, who used to be the backup for Kansas City when Matt Nagy was their offensive coordinator, stepped in and looked extremely comfortable in Nagy’s offense. While he didn’t do anything top crazy, he did manage to facilitate the game to a victory without making a mistake. Daniels completed 22 of his 30 throws, which resulted in 195 yards, one touchdown, and a QB passer rating of over 100. He also rushed for a pair of first downs, and proved to be ready to come in at any point he is needed. Nick Kwiatkoski and Nick Williams stepped up tremendously, causing an insane amount of pressure to Kirk Cousins and humiliated the Viking’s O-line, making them look silly against second stringers. They combined for 3.5 sacks, and helped hold Dalvin Cook, who came into the week as the second leading rusher in the NFL, to 35 rushing yards on 14 carries. Javon Wims, Gabriel’s replacement, caught five catches in his first start ever for 64 yards and make several big plays.
Overall, despite injuries and Roquan’s mysterious situation, Bears fans shouldn’t worry too much about the Bears performances. The depth of the team has been tested, and the Bears responded better than anyone could have thought.
The Bears play against the Raiders on Sunday in London, and Khalil Mack, who was traded to the Bears from Oakland, said that he is “looking forward to it”. Let’s see how it goes for these backups in Week 5!
By Hugo Vazquez, Brooks College Prep, Senior