The Chicago Bears are back to being the “Comeback Bears” after defeating Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in a 20 – 19 victory Thursday night out on the Lakefront. It came down to a field goal with under 2 minutes to play in the game, a spot that Bears fans have come to dread. This time, the Bears were able to get the ball through the uprights and secure a win.
Although it wasn’t a glamorous game, it was impressive that the Bears were able to get a win against a defense that was ranked 2nd (from a DVOA standpoint). The Colts are #1 for what it’s worth…
Before I get into the quick hits, I want to dive a little deeper into one thing. There was some criticism of Nagy for not running the ball more to run out the clock under two minutes, but of all the things that Nagy does that are questionable, I wasn’t too worried about this one. Usually, in my opinion, Nagy is too conservative and just plays for a field goal which I hate given the Bears’ kicking woes since Robbie Gould left town.
We can go back as recently as last year against the Chargers where Nagy settled for a long field goal and the Bears lost the game on a missed FG. Thursday night, with 1:28 left on the clock, Nagy chose to run two passing plays from the 24 to try and get some more yardage. Getting this extra yardage was key because it brought the FG from 42 yards to 38 yards. That may not seem like much but the Bears have struggled over 40. Cairo Santos specifically, has struggled over 40. He’s around 63% (58 attempts) for his career and just 1 for 3 this year. When you get under 40 in the 30-39 yard range? Around 93% (44 attempts) for his career and 4 for 4 this year. Could they have run the ball and picked up the yards?
Yeah, maybe. But the Bears weren’t exactly ripping off chunks of yards on the ground against this defense. I know you want to leave the least amount of time on the clock for Brady, but I’m not killing Nagy for this one. There’s plenty of other things to pile on the guy about and rightfully so. I just don’t think this was as stupid of play-calling as it was made out to be.
Needed to get that out there. Anyway, onto the rest of the game:
David Montgomery’s targets increased for the second week in a row. I know Cohen is viewed as the receiving back (who’s now out for the season), but it’s time Montgomery get’s some love in the passing game. The thought was always that Nagy wanted to move on from Jordan Howard because he wasn’t enough of a receiving back… well he got to hand pick Montgomery. So he should use him more in the passing game if that’s what the expectation is. His targets in 5 games now are 3, 3, 3, 6, 8. Involvement is trending up.
Fuller laid the wood and caused a huge fumble. Bout time the Bears got one of these big, exciting, splash turnovers. It had to go to review as it wasn’t cut and dry, but it was a huge turnover. Huge heads-up play by Robert Quinn grabbing that ball too. If there wasn’t a clear recovery after that play, the Bucs would have kept the ball. That led to the Jimmy Graham TD that put the Bears up before the half. Speaking of Jimmy Graham…
Jimmy Graham caught another TD. The Jimmy Graham we were hoping for when he signed that deal is the Jimmy Graham we’re getting. Well, he’s not Saints Jimmy Graham, but he’s been pretty damn good. In just 5 games he’s already got 169 yards and 4 TDs. His last two years in Green Bay, he had 2 and 3 TDs respectively. This was the production Ryan Pace had in mind when he “overpaid” for Graham. He’s right at the top of the list for TE’s.
Khalil Mack is fully back. Returnnnnnn of the Mack. The 2 sacks and disruption in the backfield was great but how about him just picking up a 300 lb. lineman and going all WWE on his ass?
Khalil Mack RAG DOLLS Tristan Wirfs for the sackpic.twitter.com/0DlJ4AEMp8
— PFF (@PFF) October 9, 2020
The Bears finally got a rushing TD. No that’s not a typo. First one. In Week 5…
It was the first time Tom Brady lost to the Bears. Granted he’s no longer with the Pats, but the Bears are finally off that short list of teams that haven’t beaten Tom Brady.
Nick Foles still looks…not great. He had some pretty bad misses. Specifically on the first offensive drive missing ARob causing them to punt and then missing Mooney on deep (probably) TD that was just ridiculously off. Those are plays that we have repeatedly KILLED Trubisky for, and Foles shouldn’t be let off the hook.
Tackling was awful Thursday night. Guys were simply not wrapping up and were trying to make shoulder tackles. Tampa Bay players were just pinballing their way to first downs and long gains. Roquan was the culprit on a few bigger noticeable plays, but he wasn’t the only one. Simply unacceptable and this falls on the coaching just as much as the players. This needs to be drilled into their heads.
The Bears still haven’t scored in the 3rd quarter. Kind of a bizarre stat for this team. Not bizarre in the sense that I’m surprised the offense is ineffective… but more so that not even a field goal has been made in the 3rd. They don’t score a lot, but it’s still surprising that nothing has hit in the 3rd.
The Bears couldn’t get the run game going… again. 10 carries for 29 yards for Montgomery and 3 carriers for 7 yards for Patterson… not great folks. Tampa Bay has a great D, but it’s another game where the Bears couldn’t get anything going.
James Daniels is done for the season. For an O-line that was already struggling, this won’t bode well for the Bears. James Daniels tore his pectoral muscle Thursday night and won’t be returning this season. Alex Bars will be sliding in to replace Daniels and it’s looking like it might be an adventure with this O-line this year…
Another game that wasn’t pretty, but as always, a win is a win. Maybe the Bears will just win ugly all season? Next up the Bears travel to Charlotte where they face off with a Panthers team that has been playing some pretty good football, even without All-Pro RB Christian McCaffrey. Speaking of McCaffrey, his high ankle sprain timeline and IR stint puts him on track to return Week 6 against the Bears. It’ll be something to keep an eye on next week.
Can’t believe this team is 4-1… I guess we’ll take it though!