Chicago Bears Grades: Loss officially ends playoff hopes
The Chicago Bears will miss the playoffs for the fifth-straight season after Sunday’s loss officially eliminated them. The Bears came out flat once again, marking their third-straight loss after a big win on Thanksgiving Night.
The Bears looked uninspired from the start and allowed the Minnesota Vikings to jump on them early. From there it was all Minnesota as the Bears made key mistakes and couldn’t get back in the game. Here’s how the Bears graded in their loss.
Jay Cutler has been able to keep plays alive all season long by scrambling and he did that again on Sunday leading to a touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery. But Cutler also had a bad interception on a screen pass.
The Bears continue to split time in the backfield between Matt Forte and Jeremy Langford, but neither really got going. Forte had a touchdown on a reception and passed 1,000 total yards from scrimmage this season.
#Bears WR Alshon Jeffery logged 30 of the 64 offensive snaps.
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) December 21, 2015
The Bears receiving core continues to struggle this season. Outside of Jeffery’s touchdown in the first half, the core was very lack-luster. Eddie Royal did play again but didn’t have much of an impact.
Tight end Zach Miller saw 6 targets on the day, catching all of them and finishing with 57 yards.
One of the biggest goals to the offseason could be trying to fix this poor offensive line. The Bears line continued their struggles right away as they committed a holding penalty on the opening drive which wiped away a big run by Forte. The Bears lead the league in holding penalties and a lot have come from the line.
This has been one of the biggest bright spots for the Bears all season long. But on Sunday, the unit was fairly quiet as they seemingly couldn’t get any pressure on quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Another position that needs to be upgraded in the offseason and Sunday was a good example. The Bears linebacking core may have had the worst game by any unit as they were out of place and missing tackles all game.
Entering the game, Teddy Bridgewater never had more than two touchdown passes in a game. He finished with four as he shredded the Bears secondary all game long. Perhaps the moment that summed it up best was Alan Ball being beat bad on a touchdown pass.
The biggest storyline the last two weeks has been the play of kicker Robbie Gould. On Sunday Gould connected on his only field goal attempt and drilled two extra points. But the spotlight belonged to return man Deonte Thompson who once again impressed with a few nice returns.
I don’t know what’s going on at Halas Hall but judging by the last three games, the Bears are playing uninspired football. That goes back to coaching and how the staff gets this team ready for games like this.
#Bears coach John Fox: "I came here thinking a lot of work needed to be done and that hasn't changed much."
— Zach Zaidman (@ZachZaidman) December 21, 2015