NFL Power Rankings: Bears have stronger start than Packers, Cowboys and Falcons

10. With 2:01 remaining and the Bears holding a 10-7 lead over the Ravens, it looked like a difficult, high-wire act for the Lions (Jacksonville) when the Bears moved into field goal range, led…

NFL Power Rankings: Bears have stronger start than Packers, Cowboys and Falcons

10. With 2:01 remaining and the Bears holding a 10-7 lead over the Ravens, it looked like a difficult, high-wire act for the Lions (Jacksonville) when the Bears moved into field goal range, led by two third-string quarterbacks the team was supposed to be grooming for the 2019 season. Rather than go for it, it was time for the Bears to apply some pressure. Running back Jordan Howard and tight end Trey Burton found success after shoddy first half running, but as the Ravens added extra defenders to stop their rushing attack, the Bears waited for the clock to run out before showing some life, with third-string quarterback Chase Daniel passing for one first down.

9. The offseason rebuilding effort could have gotten underway quickly if quarterback Mitch Trubisky had better protection, like it did in the first half of last year. Trubisky attempted only nine pass attempts in the first half and threw for 84 yards, with one touchdown. The Bears didn’t have to rely on the pass heavily when Leonard Floyd blitzed on every play in the second half, effectively neutralizing the Ravens’ offense.

8. The Bears are still holding the same record with the same record. The pressure is off. Until the Bears can win the next game, expect them to be ruled the weakest team in the NFC North.

7. The offense has settled into the short passing game with its core group of wide receivers – Allen Robinson, Kevin White, Taylor Gabriel, Allen Hurns and Taylor Gabriel – and the success is surprising. Robinson ranks eighth in the NFL with 74 catches and 888 yards, while White and Gabriel have 46 catches and 562 yards. Hurns is leading the team with 284 yards.

6. Fox didn’t allow a sack in the first game against the Ravens. Instead, the Bears kept the defense in the game and led from the start. The defense held the Ravens to five points in the second half, despite giving up another 72 yards and taking two unnecessary roughness penalties. The Bears forced three turnovers, all in the fourth quarter, and were backed into their own territory most of the night after Aaron Rodgers’ third quarter bomb to Davante Adams was ruled a touchdown by the officials.

5. Marc Trestman wasn’t afraid to sacrifice defense to run the ball. The Bears tried to do it again last night in the final minute against Baltimore. Fox has kept the same philosophy as the offensive coordinator, so his Bears will once again run it down your throat if they can.

4. Bears wide receiver Deonte Thompson received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for high-stepping and pointing after the replay upheld his touchdown. That would be an unnecessary waste of time for Thompson anyway. He’s on the roster because of his athleticism, but he spent the first half of the year on the practice squad and might be better off catching passes from Mike Glennon or Pat O’Donnell.

3. You might think the Ravens were still upset over Trubisky’s loss in the playoffs. They certainly looked like it in the first half, rushing for 65 yards and 1 TD on 10 carries and making Trubisky uncomfortable. Trubisky was sacked three times in the first half and had as many incompletions (14) as completions. Trubisky was benched after the first series of the second half, and he will surely be the backup quarterback when the Bears play the Patriots in New England on Sunday.

2. Jones entered the game as the 11th-leading rusher in the NFL, but he had just five carries (a 2.7-yard average) to his name after the first half. That alone should be enough to put him in the doghouse.

1. The performance of the Bears’ defense in the first half was stunning. The Ravens, after being held to 2 points by the Cowboys and 3 points by the 49ers, managed 7 points in the first half against the Bears. They averaged 12.5 points in the first four games of the season and 15.5 points in their first 12 games combined. The defense had trouble tackling. The Bears failed to sack Joe Flacco. They weren’t playing their usual game.

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