Well… The Bears backed into the playoffs after losing to the Packers Sunday afternoon 35 – 16 after getting some help from the Los Angeles Rams. Thea Rams beating the Cardinals ensured that the Bears made the playoffs win or lose.
The game started off in the right direction with the Bears marching down the field and scoring on their first drive of the game, a rarity for the Bears, but couldn’t get a whole lot more going after that. Following that score, they didn’t score another TD, although they did continue to connect on field goals. They even had more plays, yards, and time of possession than the Packers, but couldn’t get it done. When you’re playing Aaron Rodgers though, you cannot settle for field goals… Just another year with 2 more losses to the Packers.
Cairo Santos broke Robbie Gould’s record. With his 3 FGs today, he extended his current streak to 27 in a row, now the franchise record holder. He needs to be brought back next year and be the Bears’ kicker moving forward.
Darnell Mooney had a game. Aside from Monty putting up over 100 yards again, Mooney was a bright spot in the game. He finished the game with 11 catches for 93 yards, taking over the role that A-Rob traditionally fills. His huge game included an awesome 53 yard catch and he consistently fought for extra yards keeping Bears drives alive. Unfortunately he got injured late in the game, but the Bears found themselves quite a gem in the 5th round.
Montgomery finished the regular season strong. 132 total yards for Monty and he had the Bears’ lone TD. It was the 5th consecutive game that he rushed for a TD and he’s the first Chicago Bears RB to do so since Neal Anderson back in 1990. He definitely looks like he can be the Bears featured RB here moving forward. Don’t think there’s any doubt about that anymore.
Offense stunk. Same old story here, but it seemed like Mitch was dialed back again? Is Nagy back to calling plays? Dink and dunk all over the place. The Bears were able to convert on 4th down five times, but it would have been nice to, ya know, not go for it on 4th down every drive. Or multiple times in one drive. That’s what happens when you average 4.8 yards per play. Take away that 53 yard bomb and it’s even worse… And where the hell was A-rob. 2 catches? Usually he’s the only guy Trubisky throws to. Did the Packers just shut him down or did they just not get him the ball?
Injuries. Injuries everywhere. The Bears came into the game down Buster Skrine and Jaylon Johnson, and left the game with more injuries. Roquan Smith and Darnell Mooney both went down with injuries and will most likely be question marks going into next week’s game against the Saints. If all these guys can’t come back for next weekend it’s going to be a longgg game. Duke Shelley was getting burned all night against the Packers and probably won’t be on the team next year. Josh Woods looked awful coming in after Roquan left the game, and Trevathan just couldn’t step into his role either. Mooney has taken over the #2 spot on the WR depth chart for a reason, but Miller is ok. The problem becomes who is the 3rd WR? Some combo of Ridley and Wims? Wims seemed to be the guy after Mooney left and I don’t even know if Ridley was active against the Packers. Probably not, as is tradition with him… Montgomery also had an injury scare early in the first quarter, but was able to come back 3 plays later and finish it out.
Missed opportunities on defense. Not only did the defense just stink overall, but they missed multiple opportunities to pick off Rodgers. The dude throws like 3 interceptions per year and the Bears missed out today. They had at least 3 opportunities a couldn’t capitalize. I keep saying “against Aaron Rodgers”, but you gotta take advantage of things like this if you ever wanna beat him. It’s no surprise that Rodgers is now 21-5 against the Bears…
The end to this season is exactly what most Bears’ fans feared. Go on a bit of a winning streak, save Nagy and Pace’s jobs, half ass their way into the playoffs, and end up with a shitty draft pick. Round and round we go. It will be a very “Bears move” to look at this final stretch of the season after beating some shitty teams and thinking… “man, we were THIS close to putting it all together”. I find it very hard to believe the Bears can go down to NOLA and beat that Saints team. The only good team they’ve played during this mini run (Packers), they lost to. To put it in even more perspective, the Bears finished the season 1-6 against teams that finished the season with a winning record. That one win being the Thursday night game against the Buccaneers.
There’s nothing left to do but root for this team. We’re already past the point of rooting for losses for a better draft and rooting to be so bad that Nagy and Pace get fired. The Bears are in the playoffs and anything can happen, but just like this game Sunday, more heartbreak is most likely on the horizon.
I guess… Go Bears! Bear Down.