The Chicago Bears fell to the Los Angeles Rams 34-14 Sunday night to kick off the 2021 season. I don’t think the result surprised many Bears fans, but there was definitely more bad than good. The offense looked pretty bas as expected, but the defense looked even worse.
The Rams were able to get the defensive stops they needed, along with make some big splash plays on the way to a 20 point victory.
There’s not a lot to be happy about in Week 1 here, but let’s get to the game:
David Montgomery picked up where he left off at the end of last season. The clear bright spot to this game. Monty finished with 16 carries for 108 yards and a TD, while also contributing one catch for 10 yards. He ran with force all night. He actually had the bulk of his carries and yardage in the first half (10 carries for 80 yards), but the game script and trying to come back took the ball out of his hands. The fact that he was able to go this against a defense that is as good as any, and a front seven that is good as any, bodes well for the rest of this season.
Justin Fields got into the game. It wasn’t a ton, but it was more than most expected. In typical Nagy fashion, the plays that were called for Fields were a bit of a head-scratcher overall, but he did find the end-zone on a 3-yard run that capped off a long 16 play drive. Fields was pretty much limited to handing off the ball, but at least he got in the game. Hopefully, his involvement continues to grow and eventually is starting every game for the Bears. Would have been nice to throw him in when the game was out of reach at the end, but that would make too much sense.
Offensive line play. Ok, it’s not like their play was out of this world, but considering they dealt with some losses on the O-line during the game, there were some major questions about personnel, and Dalton didn’t die, it was a pretty good showing. Also, they were able to open up holes for the RBs throughout the night. Jason Peters and Larry Borom both got hurt, and hopefully they aren’t significant injuries. This will obviously be a topic that will have a lot of eyes on it all season, but the first game was encouraging.
Matt Nagy is still lost. This guy continues to look like he has no idea what he’s doing and the play calls are horrendous. This tweet was so spot on:
Matt Nagy drawing up a toss to the left:
— DJ (@WhiteSoxDJ) September 13, 2021
It’s the same old story. Dink and dunk throws, hand-offs to WRs, and WR screens. Did you know the Bears didn’t complete one pass over 20 yards last night and that Andy Dalton didn’t even attempt a pass that had over 16 air yards? It’s unreal. For being “Mr. Kansas City offense”, he sure hates opening it up and letting the ball fly. It appears it doesn’t matter who the QB is, this is Nagy’s game plan and he’s not going to change.
The secondary is horrendous. They gave up some massive plays. Kupp had a 56-yard catch and Jefferson had a 67-yard catch. With Kupp it was just completely blown coverage, where the Jefferson catch was due to the secondary not touching him down. We knew the secondary would be an issue, but it might be worse than expected. Now in fairness, the Rams have a very good offense. So it’s not like this secondary was going to shut them down and that wasn’t the expectation, but it was bad. At first glance here after one game, it sure seems like Fuller being gone is going to be a huge issue.
Eddie Jackson needs to get it together. This dude has a massive contract and the huge expectations, and is not living up to either. He was just as much at fault as anyone for not touching Jefferson down on the big catch at the beginning of the game, and he repeatedly missed tackles. Its to the point where it’s like he’s scared to tackle. It’s been an issue and it’s not getting any better.
The Bears were 0 for 4 on 4th downs. 0 for 5 if you want to count Andy Dalton’s fumble that would have been a turnover on downs anyway. These were usually short yardage that would have been perfect for Justin Fields given his skill set, but the real head scratcher came on a 4th and 15 in the 4th quarter. That’s already a tall order, but it makes it even harder to convert when your WR is running a 12 yard out, aka not beyond the sticks. Again, play calling.
Allen Robinson struggled. He had 11 targets, but was only able to haul in 6 of those for 35 yards. He didn’t even run a route over 10 yards. Play calling. Normally I wouldn’t have this in here because he was matched up with Ramsey all night and Nagy calls shitty plays, but this tweet from his agent made everyone’s eyebrows raise up a bit:
16 more games.
— Brandon Parker (@bparker) September 13, 2021
He later went back and said he just meant it was “one game” and the Rams team is “VERY good”. I’d still be willing to bet A-Rob wasn’t too happy with the game plan.
This was the first game so I don’t want to overreact, but it might be a long season. It’s not Nagy’s first game and we know what his offense brings to the table. Hopefully Fields can get out there more, but Nagy isn’t going to change. So we’re going to be stuck with this ridiculous offense for the foreseeable future. At least every other team in the NFC North lost yesterday as well. Like A-Rob’s agent said, 16 more games…