(670 The Score) At Halas Hall on Tuesday morning, Bears coach Matt Nagy will review video clips from files called The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. There's a lot to unpack from each.
The Bears earned a 27-23 win against the Lions in their season opener at Ford Field on Sunday, overcoming a 23-6 deficit in the fourth quarter with 21 unanswered points. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky began a pivotal season by leading a memorable comeback.
Of course, there was a lot more that went into the Bears' outcome. Here are the observations from the Bears-Lions matchup.
The Bears got off the bus running.
For all the preaching Nagy has done about establishing a rushing attack and remaining committed to it, the Bears finally did it. They unveiled a revamped offense that featured a more physical ground attack.
The Bears rushed 28 times for 149 yards, averaging 5.3 yards per carry. David Montgomery, Tarik Cohen, Cordarrelle Patterson and Trubisky all played a role in the running game. So too did the altered blocking scheme. Nagy and the Bears utilized 12 personnel (one running back, two tight ends) and 13 personnel (one running back, three tight ends) packages more often.
Nagy believes a commitment to the running game could benefit an offensive line that struggled last season, forcing the group to be more physical. But the primary goal of establishing the run was to create a more balanced offense and to benefit Trubisky. In the fourth quarter, the Bears saw those dividends pay off.
Trubisky lined up late and saw Lions coach Matt Patricia running the same looks defensively, refusing to alter his man-to-man scheme. Detroit's defensive front was respecting the running game -- even with Chicago down by 17 and in obvious passing situations.
"When it got down to the wire, they’re going to play with what they trust the most, and that was man," Trubisky said. "We knew that. So it was all about winning our one-on-one matchups."
That's what the Bears did, with Trubisky finishing 8-of-10 for 89 yards and three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. After struggling for the first three quarters, Trubisky found his rhythm as the Bears played more up-tempo and got the ball out quickly.
Trubisky capped it off by hitting receiver Anthony Miller in stride down the sidelines for a 27-yard touchdown with 1:54 remaining. It was the breakthrough that marked a winning day for the Bears.
With 1:05 remaining in the second quarter, the Bears got the ball back at their own 11-yard line. Nagy's decision to get aggressive backfired -- badly.
The Bears went three-and-out on a drive that lasted just 14 seconds and featured two incompletions. That left the Lions enough time to follow with a four-play, 48-yard touchdown drive for the go-ahead score just before halftime. Detroit then received the ball to start the second half and drove 72 yards in eight play for another touchdown and a 20-6 lead.
At the time, the Bears seemed to be their old selves again. The offense couldn't find a rhythm to sustain drives, and the defense was overworked and unable to get off the field.
The Bears' defense struggled for much of Sunday. Lions running back Adrian Peterson, 35, gashed them for 93 yards on 14 carries. Quarterback Matthew Stafford finished 24-of-42 for 297 yards.
The Bears badly missed nose tackle Eddie Goldman in defending the run. They also missed edge rusher Robert Quinn, who sat out with an ankle injury. Star defensive lineman Akiem Hicks and star outside linebacker Khalil Mack often faced double-teams.
Couple the Bears' defensive issues with an offense that went 0-for-8 on third downs in the first half and you have the recipe for disaster -- an ineffective offense and tired defense.
The old saying reminds that it's not how you start but how you finish. Unfortunately for Trubisky, he still has to live with the struggles of three quarters.
The Bears shouldn't have found themselves facing a 17-point deficit, but Trubisky's struggles helped put them in a hole. The offense went three-and-out on its first drive, one scripted by Nagy well in advance. Trubisky missed a fourth-and-7 pass to Ted Ginn on the next drive, and the Lions drove the other way for a field goal.
When Nagy got aggressive with the Bears backed up in their own territory late in the second quarter, Trubisky threw well shy of the sticks to receiver Javon Wims on third-and-7 (it's not clear whether that was Trubisky's read or Nagy's design).
The low point came when Trubisky took a 28-yard loss on third-and-13 with 9:23 remaining -- at the time putting the Bears' comeback hopes in great doubt.
"We’re not going to let this win deodorize any of the stuff on offense, defense or special teams that wasn’t good," Nagy said.
-- Cornerback Kyle Fuller corralled the late interception that set the Bears up for their go-ahead score late, but credit safety Eddie Jackson for making it happen. Jackson displayed his tremendous instincts as he broke for Stafford's pass and deflected it into the air. It was more than a player just in the right place at the right time. Jackson's talent and intelligence made it happen.
-- Rookie cornerback Jaylon Johnson is going to be seeing a lot of the clip of Lions receiver Marvin Jones bowling him over, but it was a blip on an otherwise strong day. The Bears believe Johnson will be a quality starter in their secondary for a long time.
-- Nagy had been waiting a long while to get 6-foot-7 tight end Jimmy Graham lined up on a cornerback in a jump ball situation. Graham hauled in the two-yard touchdown with 13:39 left that pulled the Bears within 23-13. That's why Graham was brought to the Bears. They needed a red-zone threat.
-- It was notable the Bears made rookie receiver Darnell Mooney active for his first career game. The coaching staff was impressed with his showing in the truncated camp. Mooney had three catches for 38 yards.
-- Lions running back D'Andre Swift is going to be seeing his drop of a potential game-winning touchdown in his sleep.
-- Receiver Allen Robinson should get paid a lot of money, whether that's by the Bears or someone else.
-- That game looked like the beginning of the end for Patricia's tenure in Detroit.
-- Club Dub was open Sunday. "It was lit," Trubisky said. "It was lit."
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.