Three takeaways from Lions' win over the Bears

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Three takeaways from Lions' win over the Bears

Three takeaways from Lions' win over the Bears

Chicago could have beaten the Lions Saturday. They have beaten good teams this year with Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback, and with Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen the Bears have talent to make things happen on offense.

But the Lions controlled the game from start to finish as they took down Chicago 20-10 to move to 8-6 on the season. The Bears fell to 3-7 with Trubisky at the helm and 4-10 on the year.

So why then does a team that has talent on the offensive end and some players on defense get thoroughly dominated from start to finish in a game this deep into the season?

It's pretty simple, the Bears are not using Trubisky the right way. That is what leads our three takeaways.


1. Mitchell Trubisky could be so much more


It's one thing to run a west-coast offense and it's another to run an overly conservative one. The Bears are being far too careful with the 23-year-old QB. Over and over again, Trubisky is forced to throw slants, and short crossing patterns and little flares into the flat. He has essentially been turned into a poor man's Alex Smith this year and that's not how he should be used.

Give the young man a chance to throw some post patterns off of play action, let him release a post-corner route inside the 40, allow him to go through his progressions to the six route over the middle, just allow him to be what he can instead of using baby gloves on him. Sure, the offensive line may not be able to give him the time to complete some of those routes downfield, but the Bears aren't even giving him a chance to do so.

This was Trubisky's 10th career start; it's time to let him open things up.


2. The Lions are still in the playoff hunt


Somehow, despite all odds, the Lions are still in the hunt for a playoff spot in the NFC. Despite losing two of their last three games coming into Saturday, and then dropping three straight close ones to potential playoff teams in the middle of the season, the Lions are 8-6 and in second place in the NFC North.

They don't play like a playoff team, but they are one game back of the Panthers and a half game back of the Seahawks and the Falcons for the second playoff spot. If they get there, Matthew Stafford can make things happen, it's just a matter of if they can play good football the last few weeks.


3. Matthew Stafford is also unnecessarily limited


This one won't take long. Matthew Stafford got paid this offseason. He was paid well. So why do the Lions not use his biggest weapon, an arm that can make any and every throw ever put in front of an NFL quarterback?


MORE:
How did Mitchell Trubisky do? It's complicated

He threw deep a few times and made some big plays, but he is throwing far too many short passes that don't use his strengths. That might be one of the reasons Jim Caldwell is on the hot seat. Who knows?