Breaking down what worked and what didn't in Bears big win
The Bears won in relatively easy fashion against the Cowboys, 31-24, on Thursday night at Soldier Field. Here's what went down.
THREE MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
1. When the Cowboys cut the Bears lead to 10 points early in the fourth quarter, Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky ran his way to a 23-yard touchdown, evading tacklers along the way. It was a beautiful run -- exactly the type of run the Bears want to see from the QB -- and it extended the lead in a pivotal game for the Bears' slim playoff hopes.
2. Trubisky threw a red-zone interception on the Bears' first possession of the game, but shook it off and led the Bears to a touchdown on his next chance. He didn't let the mistake compound into another. Trubisky found tight end J.P. Holtz for a 30-yard gain and later connected with Allen Robinson for a 5-yard touchdown.
3. Trubisky connected with Robinson for another touchdown seconds before halftime. The score put the Bears up, 17-7, at half. It marked one of the best first halves of the season for Trubisky and the Bears. The offense totaled 210 yards in the half. It bookended halftime with another touchdown after the break to extend the lead to 24/7.
THREE THINGS THAT WORKED
1. On a roll: The Bears offense was ... really good. Trubisky spread the ball to nearly every receiver in the lineup. He consistently used his feet to pick up yards when he couldn't find a target. Running back David Montgomery had a nice game other than a third-quarter fumble.
2. Tight end play: Holtz sparked the Bears tight end group. He caught two passes on the opening drive and ignited the offense with his 30-yard gain in the second quarter. Holtz and fellow tight end Jesper Horsted both caught multiple passes in the game. It was one of the best games for Bears tight ends this year.
3. Third-down D: Dallas drove 75 yards and scored a touchdown on the game's opening drive, but the Bears defense smothered the Cowboys for much of the remainder of the game. The Cowboys converted four third-down attempts on the opening drive, but the Bears stopped them on their next nine third-down attempts. Khalil Mack sacked Cowboys QB Dak Prescott on a key third-down in the third quarter.
THREE THINGS THAT DIDN'T
1. Roquan out: Linebacker Roquan Smith left the game on the first possession and was ruled out for the rest of the night with a pectoral injury. Linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis took Smith's spot in the lineup. The Bears are already without linebacker Danny Trevathan, who has been out with an elbow injury. Nick Kwiatkoski has been filling in for Trevathan since he went down nearly a month ago.
2. Red zone pick: About the only major criticism of Trubisky on Thursday was the interception he threw on the Bears' first drive of the game. It was Trubisky's fourth red zone interception of the season. Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis made a really difficult catch near the sideline and dragged both feet in bounds.
3. Missing Prince: Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara missed the game with a hamstring injury. Kevin Toliver stepped into the starting lineup. It was the first game all year that the Bears secondary was missing a starter. Dallas receiver Amari Cooper beat Toliver for one late touchdown, but otherwise Toliver did his job.
The Bears travel to Green Bay for a noon game on Dec. 15 at Lambeau Field. The Packers defeated the Bears, 10-3, in the season opener.