The Chicago Bears didn’t do enough to win two in a row
The Chicago Bears didn’t take a step forward or backward in losing to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 8. If anything, the Bears did the splits as certain parts of the team progressed, and others were exposed for having a serious lack of talent.
The Chicago Bears lost this game because the team doesn’t have enough good players on defense. For most of the game, the defense, in their bright orange uniforms, looked like cracked jack-o’-lanterns smashing in on themselves while rolling down the hill of a pumpkin patch at Cowboys stadium.
The offense made a few mistakes and errors that were costly but played well enough to get a win against most teams. The offense could have put more points on the board if quarterback Justin Fields, who had a good game, had more playmakers around him. Here are three tricks and treats from the Chicago Bears’ loss on Halloween Weekend.
Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus is struggling to have his teams prepared in short weeks. The Bears lost an easily winnable game at home on Thursday Night Football to the Washington Commanders. The defense was poised, but the offense lacked situational preparation, costing them points in the red zone. Coming off the “mini-bye,” the Bears had their best performance of the season against the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football.
The short week seemed to throw the Bears’ defense off again in Week 8. The team struggled to defend the bootleg, which is crazy considering it’s Week 8, and every team has shown them that since the New York Giants exposed the problem in Week 4. The Bears should have scouted their opponent.
The Cowboys starting quarterback, Dak Prescott, recently returned from an injury. Their running back, Ezekiel Elliott, was out with an injury. Yet the Bears’ defense continued to bite on the bootleg, and the safety backed off Prescott on each play. The Bears needed to have a defender sell out and hit Prescott on the bootleg just once, and it would have stopped the Cowboys from calling it again. They weren’t going to sacrifice Prescott and their playoff shot for more of those H.I.T.S.
Smith had an awful game Sunday against the Cowboys. At least he admitted as much in his post-game press conference. Smith, who was emotional this week after losing teammate Robert Quinn, didn’t seem focused on this game.
It could have been the short week that caused problems for him and the defense. It could have been distractions like the Quinn trade, which showed Bears general manager Ryan Poles has punted on the season, that took the spark away from the group Sunday. (Poles acknowledged this week after the trade that “tweaking the fibers of the team could be an issue.) It also could have been a severe talent disparity between the two teams. Whatever the poison, Smith, and the defense he is a leader of, was terrible.
Smith finished with just five tackles against the Cowboys. None of them were for a loss. He also helped to give up a big play that killed any chance the Bears had of getting back into the game. Not great on a contract year. But his performance hurt the Bears’ chances of squeezing more leverage for a trade by Tuesday’s deadline.
Roquan Smith said Bears defenders tripped, erred on Cowboys RB Tony Pollard's 54-yd TD.
"Hats off to the guy for executing the run, but it’s embarrassing. We should never let anyone run the ball like that. Just..get better & take this one under the chin."pic.twitter.com/d38lqZJITV
— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) October 30, 2022
The Bears’ defense looked about as effective as a set of traffic cones they were dressed up to be.
Chicago Bears defensive line
It was hard to choose between the secondary or the defensive line for the third trick. However, the Chicago Bears made a few matchup adjustments in the secondary, which positively impacted the game’s progress. The Bears’ defensive line didn’t get better as the game went on. They didn’t get pressure on Prescott. They didn’t fill in gaps and were a huge reason why the Cowboys ran for 200 yards Sunday.
Darnell Mooney was one of the best players for the Chicago Bears Sunday. He finished with 70 yards on five catches. He ran a sick route that faked out one of the best cornerbacks in the league, Trevon Diggs. It was a solid day for the wide receiver as he caught all his targets. As quarterback Justin Fields progresses this season, this tandem is starting to show its power.
Darnell Mooney shadow realm 💀💀💀pic.twitter.com/J1HWXjX6vc
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) October 30, 2022
Khalil Herbert continues to show why he should be the Bears’ number one running back. He finished with 99 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown. Herbert’s vision on Sunday was exceptional. He made a great cut in the red zone that put the Chicago Bears within one score of the Cowboys in the second half. Herbert also showed quickness and vision on his 36-yard scamper.
Khalil Herbert showcased his vision and ability to cut as he found the end zone for the fourth time this season. pic.twitter.com/SEgREAbUzt
— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) October 30, 2022
Not all was bad on the defensive side of the ball. The safety tandem of Jaquan Brisker and Eddie Jackson led the team in tackles. That’s not a good sign for a Chicago Bears win if they have to do that, but their effort stood out in the loss. Jackson recorded an interception in the first half, which sparked a brief Bears comeback. I’m not sure that Jackson or Brisker were used effectively in defensive coordinator Allen Williams’ scheme, but they did their job on Sunday.
EDDIE JACKSON REVENGE SEASON pic.twitter.com/i98zzdMyL7
— DOM (@DOM_Frederic) October 30, 2022
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