In the Bears’ dominant 36-7 victory over the Texans, there were plenty of positives from each side of the ball.
Mitch Trubisky led the offense by completing his first nine passes and threw for three touchdowns, outperforming Deshaun Watson, which silenced the noise, at least for one day, about the two quarterbacks.
Defensively, Chuck Pagano’s unit registered seven sacks, including a safety by Khalil Mack, and held the Texans to their lowest point total since their 10-7 loss to the Cleveland Browns in Week 10.
On special teams, Cairo Santos added to his consecutive field goals made with his two kicks in the second half, putting him at 18-straight. Sherrick McManis also forced a fumble on a punt in the fourth quarter.
It took 14 weeks, but the Bears finally played a complete game. And in the Bears’ first win since Oct. 18, rookie tight end Cole Kmet showed some glimpses of what he is capable of if given the opportunities.
Kmet caught four passes for 41 yards and was responsible for two first downs against the Texans. On the three drives that Kmet caught a pass, the Bears scored. It started with Kmet’s back-to-back 7-yard receptions on the third drive of the game, which ended with a Jimmy Graham touchdown.
Then on the Allen Robinson touchdown drive at the end of the fist half, Kmet dragged three defenders for a 16-yard gain on second-and-18 to give the Bears a chance of keeping the offense on the field.
But it was his final catch on the first drive of the third quarter, which finished with a Santos 39-yard field goal, that demonstrated how he can impact a game.
Kmet catches the sidearm throw from Trubisky seven yards short of the first, but he fights through multiple defenders to gain 11 yards on the second-down play.
Thinking back to all the great plays from the #Bears' 36-7 victory over the Texans, Cole Kmet's 11-yard reception in the third quarter was one of the more impressive ones. He gets hit 7 yards short of the first down, but fights with stiff arms and spin moves to move the chains. pic.twitter.com/bFDCyO90aW
— Nicholas Moreano (@NicholasMoreano) December 14, 2020
Out of his 41 receiving yards on Sunday, 33 of them came after the catch. And this has been a trend for Kmet the last two weeks.
Cole Kmet's 67 YAC in the last two weeks ranks 3rd at the position behind Darren Waller and Travis Kelce.
— The Chicago Audible (@ChicagoAudible) December 14, 2020
Since Trubisky regained his starting spot, Kmet has also seen an uptick in snaps played. In each of the last three games, he has had more than 50 offensive snaps and had the most for the Bears skill players with 51 against Houston. He also has had seven targets in each of his last two games.
After Chicago modified its offensive line against Green Bay, the Bears have found some success running the football with David Montgomery and Cordarrelle Patterson. The success on the ground has also led to Kmet taking advantage of defenses worrying about the run.
On plays that have involved some type of ball fake with Kmet crossing from one side of the field to the other, he has caught five passes for 44 yards and a touchdown in his last three games.
Kmet is finally being implemented into the Bears’ game plan and the production is slowly starting to come.
If coach Matt Nagy and offensive coordinator Bill Lazor can continue utilizing Kmet for the remaining three regular season games, Bears fans should get a snapshot of what the No. 43 overall pick can do for his hometown team in the years to follow.