In a season full of anticipation, the Chicago Bears put together an inconsistent performance against the Los Angeles Rams in week 1, proving that the Bears have a long way to go before truly competing in 2021. Throughout the evening, the Bears did have some bright moments, including a three-yard touchdown run by rookie Justin Fields.
Nearly every bright moment was overshadowed by a bad moment. Chicago’s defense, which many consider the strength of the team, gave up two big passing touchdowns, including a 67-yard touchdown to Rams wide receiver Van Jefferson. The Bears did start out fast, with a 41-yard run by running back David Montgomery in a drive that ended with quarterback Andy Dalton throwing an interception in the redzone.
Chicago’s inability to establish rhythm should be concerning for head coach Matt Nagy, who heads into his fourth season as Bears head coach. Nagy’s offense limped to the finish line in both 2019 and 2020 and while week 1 provided us with the opportunity to see flashes of what the offense can do under Dalton, Chicago wasn’t consistent enough.
Moving forward, the Bears defense needs to limit big plays to have a chance against explosive offenses. For a defense that features a revamped secondary, Chicago needs more consistent play from safeties, along with a front seven that get after the quarterback consistently.
Dalton did have a solid outing, going 27-for-38 with 206 yards, and one interception. Dalton took what the Rams defense gave him, completing multiple throws underneath. Chicago does need Dalton to hit plays downfield to have a chance at really staying in games.
Another silver lining is that the Bears’ offensive line did look solid throughout the night. Rams star pass rusher Aaron Donald was neutralized on most plays and had just one sack and one tackle for loss. For a unit that played together just once throughout preseason, the Bears have to be feeling good about the offensive line moving forward.
What’s next for the Bears? Chicago will host the Cincinnati Bengals at home in week 2. Labeled by fans as the Andy Dalton revenge game, the Bears will have an opportunity to build on any momentum established in week 1.