The FIRST PLACE Chicago Bears won another (kinda) ugly one Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, 23 – 16. The defense played another really good one and the offense… well the offense was the same old Bears offense.
Around the rest of the NFC North, the Packers and Vikings both lost while the 4th place Lions got a win over lowly Jacksonville. With that Packers loss to the Bucs, the Bears moved into first place in the division. The Bucs killing the Packers after the Bears beat the Bucs means that naturally the Bears are significantly better than the Pack right?? Sort of kidding, but it was surprising how bad the Packers looked against the Bucs defense. It was great seeing Rodgers get pummeled all afternoon.
Now, for the Bears game…
The Bears’ defense looked awesome again. 2 INTs, 1 FR, and 4 sacks stand out, but the defense was just all-around good. Pass breakups, TDs that were called back, and constant pressure on Bridgewater. Defense looked really good against a team that was on a roll.
The Bears kicking situation continues to be solid. I’m not going to go all the way to “great” yet, but it was another solid game outta Santos where he didn’t miss a FG or XP, with the highlight being a 55-yard bomb. The 55 yarder didn’t like squeak in there either. It was dead center and he probably could have drilled that thing from 60. Shout out to NFL Brasil for supporting their guy:
— NFL Brasil (@NFLBrasil) October 18, 2020
Not sure what the situation is with Eddie Pineiro and his injury, but the Bears have a big decision to make when he’s healthy.
Cole Kmet: confirmed still on the team. Cole Kmet finally caught a TD and was used at the goal line. Now, he only had one other catch the rest of the game, but it was nice to actually see him in a big moment. It’s also worth noting that for that TD play, he was the TE on the field, not Jimmy Graham.
David Montgomery continued to see targets in the passing game. Total targets dropped down from last week, but it was still good to see him get the ball thrown his way 5 times and catching 4 of them.
The Bears finally scored in the 3rd quarter. They tried realllyyyy hard to keep this streak alive. There was only 1:44 left in the 3rd quarter when Nick Foles snuck it in. In the post game session with the media, Matt Nagy acknowledged it was nice to finally get this streak off his back.
This offense still kinda sucks. Excluding the 5 touchback starting field positions, the Bears started at the CAR 7, the 39, the CAR 22, the 44, and the 38. They only put up 17 points from those starting field positions and Foles was only able to muster up 198 yards. They consistently threw short of the sticks and there were no deep ball shots taken. Same old Bears. Speaking of same old Bears…the running game wasn’t able to get much going either…
The running game continues to be non existent. 25 carries for 65 yards with 19 of those carries coming from Montgomery for 58 yards. This running game is just ridiculous, and not the good kind. The Panthers came into the game allowing 133 rushing yards per game. 133 yards. The Bears couldn’t even get half of that. Until the Bears get a real running game going, this offense won’t be legit enough to be a serious playoff contender/elite team.
Anthony Miller is officially just a role player on this team. Forget his 3 catches for 8 yards, he’s still making rookie mistakes. Late in the 1st quarter on 3rd and 3, Miller caught the ball and had the 1st down, but chose to run backwards. The Bears ended up having to punt. Add this to Miller’s laundry list of mental mistakes and drops, the guy can’t be relied upon and the Bears need to get some other WRs in there. Thankfully Mooney looks solid.
Matt Nagy’s clock management came into question again. I went into his decision making at the end of the game in last week’s Quick Hits, but this time I’m not defending it. It’s the second week in a row the announcers have blatantly called it out, too. Not sure what he’s doing at the end of these games, but it hasn’t been good. It’s not like the Bears were down or trying to get into field goal range with 1:43 left. Nagy chose to throw the ball and give it back to the Panthers. Luckily the D bailed him out with an interception, but this has gotta be addressed.
The Bears travel to L.A. next Monday night to take on the Rams and Leonard Floyd (revenge game!) at the new SoFi stadium. It’ll be a huge test, if not the biggest of the year, for the Bears going up against an explosive offense and a really good defense. With the way the offensive line has been playing, I’m absolutely terrified of what Aaron Donald is going to do to it. I mean, I’d be terrified even if the O-line wasn’t playing terrible. There is going to be no running room for Montgomery once again and Foles will be running for his life.
Bears fans repeatedly find themselves saying “the Bears won ugly” or “we kind lucked out winning that game”, and it’s starting to just be a theme of this team. It looks like it will be something that Bears fans have to get used to, because this offense isn’t really making any improvements. Hopefully it can be turned around, but I for one won’t hold my breath.
On to Los Angeles.