Emma: Bears-Lions Observations

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CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- The Bears arrived at Soldier Field on Sunday hopeful that they could produce a breakthrough performance.
Instead, they settled for a much-needed 20-13 win over the Lions in what was another subpar showing. Many of the Bears' same troubles were on display, and the win failed to inspire hope for the rest of Chicago's season.

Here are the key takeaways from the contest.

So, what?

In reflecting on the win, center James Daniels reminded of the even-keeled nature the Bears had taken after their four consecutive losses.

"Every week, win or loss the previous week, we've been focused on the next week and trying to go 1-0," Daniels said.

The Bears will need to take the same constructive approach in assessing Sunday -- which featured a game that very well could've gone to the Lions -- as they have after each loss.

While 20 points got the job done, the Bears offense remained a mess. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky threw three touchdown passes on consecutive possessions, including a 10-play, 80-yard drive in which he thrived in a tempo offense.

Outside of those three drives, the Bears had nine possessions that accounted for 34 plays, 71 yards and nine punts. 

The Bears went three-and-out eight times, including on their opening drive. It marked the fifth time in nine games this season that the Bears went three-and-out on their opening possession. They've punted on all nine opening possessions.

A Bears defense that once dominated its opponents let backup quarterback Jeff Driskel keep the Lions in the game down to their final possession. Despite missing starting quarterback Matthew Stafford and running back Kerryon Johnson to injury -- then later losing running back Ty Johnson and right tackle Rick Wagner -- Detroit posted 357 yards of offense.

The difference was an interception by Bears linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski early in the third quarter, the lone takeaway of the day. It set up the Bears at the Lions' 25-yard line, and Trubisky capitalized three plays later with a 24-yard touchdown pass to receiver Taylor Gabriel.

Changing of the guard -- and center

What did the Bears tell Daniels when they elected to move him from center back to left guard?

Daniels declined to reveal that, instead deferring to his coaches. Nagy was mum on the details behind that decision, which also included moving Cody Whitehair back to center, but it was clear the switch was made to benefit the offense as a whole.

The 22-year-old Daniels was struggling with his pre-snap assignments and the calls for blocking that a center must make. The offensive line then struggled as a whole, which contributed to Trubisky's woes.

"Cody does a great job," Trubisky said. "Having him back there, he's a really big leader for this offense and this offensive line. He's really good with communicating, helping those young guys to the sides of him now. We have really good chemistry.

"He gives me confidence. We just got to keep feeding off of that. When he's in the middle, his communication, how he leads the guys, I think it really helps the offense and guys feed off that."

The Bears moved Daniels to center and Whitehair to left guard last spring, believing they their new spots were their more natural positions. Instead, the switch backfired.

The Bears put both Whitehair and Daniels in difficult situations during practice last week. Whitehair hadn't snapped a football since the Pro Bowl in January, and Daniels had to relearn his assignments at left guard. 

Whitehair was off the mark with several shotgun snaps, while Daniels struggled to settle back in.

"I just have to work at it," Daniels said. "No, it's not easy. It's not easy switching position within seven days."

Still flexing

On a defense that features Khalil Mack, Leonard Floyd, Eddie Goldman and more, Nick Williams is the Bears' leader in sacks.

The 29-year-old Williams recorded his sixth sack in what has been a breakout season.

After playing 26 games over parts of three years, Williams wasn't on an NFL roster during the 2017 season. He spent that season in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, working out and waiting for a phone call. Some around him wondered whether Williams should give up his dream.

The Bears offered Williams a tryout during the 2018 offseason program and kept him on the roster, believing he had untapped potential.

"It just speaks to the scouting department, the front office, what they see in players and what they can bring out of players with great coaching," Williams said. "It just speaks to them. They know what they're doing."

Healthy scratch

The Bears selected tight end Adam Shaheen in the second round of the 2017 draft with the hope that he could be a dynamic threat in their offense. They chose him with players like JuJu Smith-Schuster, Alvin Kamara and George Kittle still on the board.

Shaheen has 26 receptions over 27 career games and has proved to be a great disappointment for the Bears, who made the 6-foot-6 target inactive as a healthy scratch Sunday. They instead trusted Ben Braunecker, the injured Trey Burton and primary fullback J.P. Holtz as their tight ends. 

It's worth wondering whether Shaheen deserves a place on the Bears' roster moving forward after the statement of the Bears' frustration. 

Braunecker took advantage of his increased role by hauling in his first career touchdown pass Sunday.

Next man up
The Bears likely lost linebacker Danny Trevathan for an extended period of time -- if not the entire season -- after he suffered a gruesome injury to his left elbow Sunday. Fortunately for them, Kwiatkoski stepped up.

Kwiatkoski entered for Trevathan late in the first quarter and produced nine tackles, a sack and the game-changing interception. 

"We all know Kwit could be a starter on any team in this league," cornerback Prince Amukamara said. "He's like our hidden gem. 

"Whenever his number is called, he's always ready."

Seven up or down?

Where will this season go for the Bears in their final seven games? The tone could be set in Los Angeles next Sunday.

The Bears (4-5) face the Rams (5-4) in a battle of underachieving teams. With a win, Chicago can climb back .500 mark with some winnable games to follow. 

Extra points

-- Thirty minutes before kickoff, the Bears gathered around a key team leader, who shared some passionate words. That man was Trevathan, whose presence will be sorely missed if he's indeed out for a long time.

-- Cornerback Kyle Fuller had one of his worst showings in several seasons, picking up a questionable personal foul and having to be restrained from the officiating crew, then later falling as Lions receiver Kenny Golladay hauled in a 48-yard touchdown over him.

-- As the Lions drove for a field goal on their opening drive, the Bears' defense featured 10 men on the field for a key third-and-7 play. Driskel completed a 22-yard pass that moved Detroit into the red zone. 

-- The Lions have been searching for solutions at running back without starter Kerryon Johnson. They could wind up calling now-former Bears running back Mike Davis, who was released Saturday. Perhaps Davis remained with the Bears all week so the Lions couldn't pick him up for their game in Chicago.

-- Late in the game, the Bears announced Burton suffered a calf injury. It's another setback for a player who's still being hampered by a groin injury.

-- Trubisky shied away from making any major proclamations about the Bears' win and its significance to his play, but he did admit winning can only help his confidence.

-- As Chicago deals with winter weather this week, the Bears can look ahead to Los Angeles, where the forecast calls for a high of 83 degrees next Sunday.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.