That might have just been the most frustrating loss of the season for the Chicago Bears.
Coming off a disappointing loss in week seven and a bye week, the Bears held a late lead against the Vikings before they saw it vanish in minutes. The Bears surrendered a long drive for a touchdown and then a deep pass to get the Vikings into field goal and have no dropped to 2-5 on the season.
Here’s how I graded the Bears in the loss:
A frustrating part on the loss is that quarterback Jay Cutler and the Bears offense didn’t turn the ball over once in the game. Still the Bears come away with a loss.
Cutler played very well and even gave the Bears the lead late with a rushing touchdown. Couldn’t ask for much more by the quarterback.
The Bears tried to get Matt Forte going early on and it wasn’t working well. Forte eventually got on track but missed most of the second half with an injury and it hurt the Bears.
Rookie backup Jeremy Langford had some positives, but the play that will be remembered is his key drop on third down late in the game.
Wide receivers/Tight Ends
The Bears are glad Alshon Jeffery is back as the offense continues to make progress. Jeffery had another big game including a spectacular touchdown catch to close out the first half. The core overall is banged up and at one point, the Bears had all three active tight ends on the field for some plays.
Tight end Martellus Bennett struggled again this which has been a common theme the past few days.
The Bears offensive line didn’t play great but given the circumstances of injuries, they actually played pretty damn well. Sure there were some penalties, but the line gave Cutler time to work in the pocket after starting off slow.
Grade: C –
Early on it looked like it was going to be a long day of chasing Teddy Bridgewater for the Bears defense. Their defensive line couldn’t establish any pressure at all and Bridgewater started to settle in. Eventually the Bears developed some pressure, but it was still lacking for most of the game.
It wasn’t a bad game overall for the unit, but it could have been a lot better. Especially at the end of the game.
Grade: C –
The Bears were without signal-caller Shea McClellin for the second-straight game, but the linebacking core adjusted properly. They made some plays when they needed to and despite not being great, they still turned in a solid game.
If it wasn’t for rookie Adrian Amos’ impressive play and Kyle Fuller’s interception, this grade would be an F. The Bears secondary struggled to stop the Vikings offense late in the game, giving up a big play to Stefon Diggs and then another one to Jarius Wright.
It’s an area that still needs improvement.
Robbie Gould is human after all. Gould missed his first field goal of the season in the second half, but converted on two others.
Still that wasn’t the biggest problem. The problem that continues to haunt the Bears is kickoff and punt coverage. On Sunday, the Bears gave up another return for a touchdown as Marcus Sherels returned a punt for a touchdown in the first half.
The Bears still lack that killer instinct to put games away and it hurt them again. Good teams find ways to put these types of games away while bad teams continue to let them slip away.
Offensive coordinator Adam Gase struggled with the playcalling early on, resorting to the screen several times and it didn’t work. Gase got it together and the playcalling did improve, but overall it wasn’t a great day for the staff.