The Chicago Bears welcomed fans back to Soldier Field on Sunday with a 20-17 win over the Bengals. The offense still wasn’t able to get much going, but the defense stepped up to get the Bears the win.
The big news of the game was that Andy Dalton hurt his knee in the second quarter, and after coming back in to try and play through it, was ultimately held out the remainder of the game. This means you know who got to see extended playing time. Although this was what Bears fans have been waiting for, I’m sure no one wanted it to come at the expense of an Andy Dalton injury.
While the Bears got the win, it doesn’t mean it was all sunshine and roses on the lakefront. Really not trying to be pessimistic, but despite the win, there wasn’t a ton of good from this game. Let’s get into it.
The Defense showed up. 3 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery, 4 sacks, 1 TD. Finally, something that we’ve all been looking for. Roquan Smith looked like a running back on his pick 6, it was nice to see Robert Quinn finally have an impact on the game, Mack was wreaking havoc, and Eddie Jackson showed up in the backfield to get a crucial 3rd down stop. I wanna stick with this being a “Good Bears” topic but do have to say that the secondary still didn’t look great. Some work still needs to be done if the Bears are going to compete with the good teams. Was really nice to see some of the splash plays though.
Cairo Santos extended his record. Santos converted on both of his FG opportunities, now extending his franchise record of consecutive FG’s made to 29. Santos also converted on both of his extra-point attempts. It’s nice to have a reliable kicker after the nightmare situations of previous years.
David Montgomery got 20 carries. As much as Matt Nagy does wrong, he needs credit when it’s due. He gave the ball to Monty. Can’t complain with 20 carries, even if 5 of them came on the last two drives trying to run out the clock. The only bad thing is Monty wasn’t able to do a whole lot with the opportunities. He finished the game with just 61 yards on the ground.
Justin Fields didn’t look great. To be fair, he was thrown into the game and has never really played with the first team. That doesn’t change the fact that he didn’t look great. He had a costly interception that nearly cost the Bears the game in the 4th quarter. On the flip side of that though, he was able to pick up a first down on their final drive that basically sealed the game. It also needs to be said that the WRs weren’t doing the rookie any favors. Drops by A-Rob and Mooney cost the rookie at least one TD. Pending Dalton’s injury, Fields may see some practice time with the first team and have a full week of prep for next weekend. That should lead to him feeling more comfortable and making some more progress. All eyes on the rookie going forward.
The Offense overall didn’t look good. Surprise surprise. You know what the Bears got out of those 4 turnovers (3 if we take out Roquan’s pick-6)? Two field goals. One of those drives started inside the 10! Just awful, awful offense week in and week out. Cole Kmet isn’t involved. Allen Robinson is barely involved. Nagy keeps taking Montgomery off the field in favor of Williams in seemingly questionable spots. On and on we go. 83 yards passing for the game… As mentioned above, the WRs dropped some passes they have to catch, but that wouldn’t have helped the optics much. Nagy is garbage and so is his “offense”.
Penalties costing the team. More undisciplined, stupid penalties that come from a lack of leadership on the team. There were penalties throughout the game but there were two that just cannot happen, both of which extended drives. Quinn got flagged for a late hit out of bounds on Burrow (which was aided by a little acting from Burrow), but he has to know better. No reason to even bump Burrow if he’s already running out of bounds. This drive ultimately led to a FG for the Bengals. The other one was on Gipson who was clapping in the face of a Bengals player after a 3rd down stop, which extended the drive. This all comes just a week after there were similar penalties against the Rams. More “learning experiences” as Nagy would call them…
This is a big week. With Dalton’s status up in the air, it might be Fields time. Will he start this upcoming week? What happens when Dalton is healthy again? What if Fields stinks? Either way it’s clear that there are going to be some growing pains with Fields (as expected). It’s just good to see him getting some experience.
The Bears travel to Cleveland to take on Baker Mayfield and a very good Browns team for Week 3. If they play like they did on Sunday against the Bengals and there’s another horrendous offensive performance, I don’t think the Bears can expect to leave town with a W.
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