The Chicago Bears (3-7) were defeated 31-30 by the Detroit Lions (3-6), where the defense blew a 14-point lead, the offense failed to mount a comeback and Cairo Santos’ missed extra point ultimately cost them.
This loss isn’t nearly as fun as the one to the Miami Dolphins last week. But quarterback Justin Fields continues to show why he’s one of the most electric players in the NFL right now. And, to be honest, that’s all Bears fans have been hoping for.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what we saw during the game and how we graded the Bears in this loss.
Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports
Another week, another game where the offense is carrying the Bears. And they’re words that I’m still getting used to typing. Chicago has averaged 31 points in the last four games, scoring 33, 29, 32 and 30 during that span. Usually, that would be enough to win games. But not with this defense.
Still, it’s hard not to feel optimistic — even after a loss — when Justin Fields continues to show that he’s a bonafide star and one of the NFL’s most electrifying players. Just one week after a record-setting performance against the Dolphins, Fields broke a whole bunch of records with his outing against the Lions. He rushed for 147 yards and accounted for four touchdowns, including a 67-yard rushing touchdown after he threw a pick-6.
Cole Kmet has become an integral part of this offense and a dependable outlet for Fields. Kmet caught another two touchdowns against the Lions, and he’s now scored five touchdowns in the last three games. But there were still some question marks: Where was Chase Claypool? Why did the Bears get away from what Fields did best at the end of the fourth quarter? Why was N’Keal Harry overlooked in favor of Equanimeous St. Brown and Byron Pringle? How did this team lose to the Lions? All valid questions.
The most frustrating part about the offense on Sunday — other than Fields’ pick-6, which he more than made up for with his rushing touchdown — was how they just can’t seem to finish at the end of a game. Once again, Chicago had a chance to drive down the field and put the game away with points. This is still a young team that’s learning how to win, and the fact that they fell short again is just another learning experience in a season made for them.
Michael Reaves/Getty Images
The Bears defense had another terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day day against a bad Lions team. Chicago has allowed an average 38.3 points over the last three games (49 to Dallas, 35 to Miami, 31 to Detroit). But it was the fact the defense blew a two-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter that hurts the most. With the offense averaging 31 points over the last month, that should be enough to win games. The defense is simply letting them down.
The lone bright spot on defense was the emergence of undrafted rookie linebacker Jack Sanborn, who had a sensational outing against the Lions. Sanborn led the Bears with 12 tackles, including two for a loss, and two sacks. Not to mention, he made a beautiful, leaping interception of Jared Goff that was negated by a controversial hands-to-the-face call on Jaylon Johnson. While the interception didn’t count in the game, it doesn’t take away the fact Sanborn made the play. Sanborn looks like a starting linebacker, and he should be around next season. The same can’t be said for a number of players on defense.
Outside of Sanborn, there wasn’t anything to love on defense. They continue to let opposing offenses march up and down the field on them, and there’s just no pass rush, which makes it a heck of a lot easier for a quarterback to pick apart the secondary. Which is exactly what happened. It’s basically a recipe for disaster (at least Chicago held the Lions under 100 rushing yards, that’s a positive). Cornerback Jaylon Johnson had his worst game of the season against Detroit, where he was burned on several occasions. It’s worth noting Johnson played through an oblique injury and he clearly wasn’t 100 percent. Still, Johnson has struggled to look like the kind of game-changing CB1 the Bears defense needs.
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Cairo Santos has brought stability to the kicking game for the Bears, but he had a costly mistake in Sunday’s loss that directly impacted the final score. After Justin Fields’ 67-yard touchdown, Santos missed the extra point that would’ve given them a seven-point lead. It just so happened that one point was the difference in the game. Santos had connected on 17 straight extra points (and hasn’t missed a field goal since last season) until his miss in the fourth quarter.
Elsewhere, Khalil Herbert was solid in the kick return game, including a 50-yard return. Punter Trenton Gill had 129 yards on three punts and, most importantly, didn’t have one blocked this week.
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
It wasn’t a good day for Matt Eberflus’ H.I.T.S. principle as the Bears committed nine penalties for 86 yards. Granted, a few of those were questionable, but they count. This game should serve as a teaching moment for Eberflus and his team as they continue to learn how to win.
There’s no denying Luke Getsy has found his stride as a play caller and has been an important part of this offensive turnaround. But there were moments when he was cautious with his play calling, notably at the end of the game. Also, the fact that Chase Claypool only played 19 snaps (well under last week’s number) is unacceptable. This is a guy the Bears went out and traded for, and there didn’t seem to be a role for Claypool on Sunday.
The Bears defense has been downright abysmal over the last three weeks, and defensive coordinator Alan Williams doesn’t seem to have the answers. There’s no pash rush and opposing offenses are tearing apart the secondary. Granted, Williams also doesn’t have the personnel. But it’s fair to discuss at this point if Williams deserves to be the play caller beyond this season.
Sign up for the Bears Wire newsletter to get our top stories in your inbox every morning
Sign up for our newsletter and have updates delivered to your inbox!
Please re-enter your email address.
You'll now receive the top Bears Wire stories each day directly in your inbox.
© Copyright Bears Wire 2023
Powered by WordPress.com VIP
Please enter an email address.
Thanks for signing up.
Please check your email for a confirmation.
Something went wrong.