NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 16 PFF ReFocused: Chicago Bears 41, Jacksonville Jaguars 17

Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (10) throws a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears gained control of their playoff destiny after Arizona dropped a game last week, and they took advantage of it with a convincing win against Jacksonville.

The Bears now occupy one of the NFC’s Wild Card spots and only have to win their Week 17 game against Green Bay to reach the postseason.

Editor's note: All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle.

Debate has surrounded whether quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has played his way into a new contract with Chicago, and on the surface you can see why some would agree. The Bears topped 30 points for the fourth straight game, the first time they have done so since Gayle Sayers was the running back being coached by Papa Bear himself, George Halas.

They finished this game with 41 points, and Trubisky’s box score numbers are healthy enough — 265 passing yards with a pair of touchdowns and a passer rating of 97.9 — but there were plenty of typically Trubisky moments. This has been common even during this solid stretch of production, which speaks more to the competition they have been facing than about some epiphany of quarterbacking from the former No. 2 overall pick. Trubisky had a pair of turnover-worthy plays but was still able to average 0.31 EPA per play as a passer. He did add an extra dimension with his ability to bootleg and make plays as a rusher.

This game showed the gulf in talent between the two rosters. Chicago’s defense caused Mike Glennon and the Jaguars offense problems all game, and without the safety net of rookie running back James Robinson, they had to try and keep pace through the air, inevitably coming up short. 

Jacksonville moved a step closer to Trevor Lawrence and the No. 1 overall pick by the time the clock ticked zero. That reality was solidified just a few short minutes later when the Jets pulled off their second consecutive upset win, which may ultimately have been the goal for this season all along.

Rookie Watch

Chicago got solid contributions in terms of playing time from tight end Cole Kmet (65 snaps) and wide receiver Darnell Mooney (56 snaps), even if neither player had big days from a receiving standpoint. Mooney was targeted eight times but caught only four passes for 39 yards. 

With Jaylon Johnson not playing, it was fifth-round corner Kindle Vildor playing 56 snaps on defense. He was targeted five times, allowing four catches for 42 yards.

The only rookie to contribute on offense for Jacksonville was Laviska Shenault, who played 47 snaps and caught five of the seven targets thrown his way for 48 yards and a touchdown. He did drop one of the incompletions.

On defense, the team had a trio of rookies see significant snaps, with one of them showing particularly well. Doug Costin played 47 snaps on the defensive line and Chris Claybrooks played 39 snaps at cornerback. But the best grade of the rookies was from K’Lavon Chaisson, the team’s first-round edge rusher.

Chaisson had five total pressures, which will tie his season high if it holds up on review. He recorded those on just 23 pass rushes, for a pass rush win rate of 21.7% overall. Chaisson’s rookie season has been far from elite, but this was one of his better games — an encouraging sign for the future.

ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats 2.0.

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