The Chicago Bears found a way to blow a 28-7 lead to a 0-3 Denver Broncos team who lost 70-20 in Week 3. The Bears did it at home.
The Bears coaching staff, defense, and Justin Fields looked great through the early part of the third quarter. But all three failed to finish the game and were equally responsible for losing the game to the Broncos. The 0-4 Bears must regroup before playing the Washington Commanders on Thursday night.
Here are three studs and duds from the Bears’ 31-28 loss to the Broncos.
Chicago Bears Studs
The Bears aren’t going to the playoffs. The 0-4 Bears most fans thinking about drafting Caleb Williams in the 2024 NFL Draft.
The Bears were helped by another loss Sunday. The Minnesota Vikings defeated the Carolina Panthers. The Bears and Panthers are the only winless teams in the league heading into Week 5.
Chicago’s silver lining: the Bears currently hold the top 2 picks in the NFL Draft.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 1, 2023
This loss should force the Bears to clean house
The Bears wanted to see how they’d deal with adversity in Week 4. They came out of the gate hot against a winless Broncos team and took a 21-7 lead into the half. At that point, it looked like the Bears coaching staff might have bought some time, with the team looking motivated and competent for the first time all season.
But the second-half collapse ended any hope for Eberflus of keeping his job. The incompetency Eberflus and general manager Ryan Poles have shown in two seasons should be enough for President Kevin Warren to fire both.
The Bears need a fresh start at general manager, head coach, and quarterback.
Bears receiving corps
D.J. Moore and Cole Kmet were excellent for most of the game. Moore finished 131 yards and a touchdown. Kmet added 85 yards and two touchdowns. The Bears only had seven incomplete passes, much of which had to do with wide receivers and tight ends running good routes and getting open.
(Honorable mention: Justin Fields)
Fields had one of his best games in a Bears uniform. And that’s kind of a problem. Fields was 28/35 passing for 335 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. He added 25 yards on the ground.
Fields helped put the Bears offense up big through the third quarter. He hit open receivers against an inept and broken Broncos secondary.
Chicago Bears duds
The Bears rookie running back struggled against the Broncos defense. He finished with 13 yards on five carries. He added two yards receiving on one catch. Johnson was ineffective in a game where Khalil Herbert went over the century mark on the ground.
Edmunds has been a bottom-five graded defender by Pro Football Focus twice through the season’s first three weeks. He was tied with T.J. Edwards for the most tackles against the Broncos with eight. However, Edwards missed several vital tackles, including one that allowed Broncos running back Jaleel McLaughlin to walk into the end zone.
Broncos go 84 yards in 11 plays in 6:12. Not a great look for LB Tremaine Edmunds on Jaleel McLaughlin's touchdown catch-and-run.
Broncos 7, Bears 0
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) October 1, 2023
Matt Eberflus’ defense
Eberflus’ defense gave up a touchdown on the opening drive and then stiffened until the second half. However, much of the Broncos’ inability to score early in the game was due to poor play calling on the Broncos’ part. The Broncos needed to attack the Bears secondary all game.
When the Broncos adjusted in the second half, Eberflus had no answer. He doesn’t usually have answers when teams adjust.
(Honorable mention: Justin Fields)
Fields played well enough to give the Bears a chance–if the defense was decent. However, Fields made crucial mistakes that cost the Bears a win.
Fields lost a fumble that was returned for a Broncos touchdown and tied the game. Fields needed to have better awareness of the rush and take the sack instead of trying to throw the ball.
Fields took a bad intentional grounding play on the Bears’ last drive that hurt the team’s chance of getting set up for a field goal. He then became frazzled and threw a game-icing interception.
Fields had one of his best games statistically passing. But all that mattered at the end of this game were the mistakes that cost the Bears the win.
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