As I went back around on the Bears vs. Lions, my third and fourth looks, I know that I saw something different, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it.
Then it struck me: Bears are starting to look special.
Rather than grade, the whole team was unit-by-unit as I usually do, allowing me this week to offer a few general thoughts and focus on a few great individual performances.
The Bears' passing game, a run of all defense and pass pressure all earned "A – the first three I've given out this year.
Mitch Trubisky and Co. came out passing the ball on five of the first seven plays and 13 of the first 20.
After those first 20 calls, it was 19-0 with 11:30 left in the first half and Trubisky had thrown for 211 yards.
The O-line’s pass protection was excellent.
Trubisky and his receivers were in, and Trubisky made four of the best throws of his career.
He isn't special yet, but Trubisky took a big step forward.
The Bears 'run' now ranks second in league and first in average gain because the front wall of Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Roy Robertson-Harris and Bilal Nichols refuses to move off the line of scrimmage, and there were a couple of Jonathan Bullard sightings, too.
Add to that Danny Trev is having his best year and a Roquan Smith now has his run-and-hit game down.
The Mack Khalil shop is about 30 minutes to get back in, the groove, but that front along with Mack, Leonard Floyd and Aaron brought pressure from the jump. Roquan Smith and Bryce Callahan each executed a rare but perfectly executed Vic Fangio Blitz, and by the second half, Mack took off the entire Seven Fronts was in a feeding frenzy again.
You already know the run game is getting a "D-" and Special Team an "F."
The one thing you won't miss trying to run north and south, the off line line can not move anyone off the line of scrimmage. No one.
Right now, though, I'm prefer to talk special.
One thing that was lost as everyone in their hands over Mack the past few weeks was how much the Bears missed Allen Robinson.
He is the best player on the Bears offense, and after we all wondered in free agency if the Bears got the 2015 All Pro, 1,400-yards, 14-TD season Robinson, or 2016's "nice" wideout, he is playing like an All Pro.
Robinson didn't just beat Lions defensive backs Sunday, he destroyed them right off the line.
Eddie Goldman is dominating and destroying offensive linemen. We've gotten so used to seeing Akiem Hicks toss around 300 pounds like Nerf balls, that we haven't talked enough about Goldman doing the exact same thing.
Headed by Frank Ragnow and Graham Glasgow all day long.
Aaron Lynch is the biggest surprise on the roster. I did understand how he made the team after not practicing a day in Bourbonnais, but Matt Nagy said, "trust us," and man was he right.
The Lions game wasn't Lynch's best, but he was disrupted against the run as anyone on the field.
Lastly, if both Kyle Fuller and Bruce Callahan aren't Pro Bowlers this year, stop picking the teams.
The confidence, physicality and aggression Fuller is playing with is remarkable. His 14 combined pass breakups (10 passes defensed and 4 interceptions) Morris Claiborne (13 and 2), and Fuller spent Sunday online Matt Stafford to try him, and he beat him every time he did .
The one illegal contact call on Fuller was ticky tack as they got.
Callahan is the smallest of the Bears five starting DBs, adding five solo stops and his second Sunday sack, leaving him fourth on the team with 37 stops for the year.
When was the last time you watched a Bears game and came away saying there's not only special talent in Navy and Orange, but a lot of it?
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