Chicago Bears: Week 8 takeaways, quick tidbits, and week 9 preview

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After a third consecutive loss, the Chicago Bears now sit at two games under .500 with a road trip against the Pittsburgh Steelers next on the schedule, let’s recap the Bears’ week 8 loss.

1) Justin Fields is it. You probably already knew that but today confirmed Fields has everything and more needed to be the guy moving forward. His 22-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter on fourth-and-one gave the Bears life. Watching the entire play unfold live and Soldier Field was rocking with new life after the biggest play in Fields NFL career.

2) Speaking of Fields, this was his best career game as a rookie. He didn’t wow anyone with yet another mediocre statline but the Bears opened up the offense more and Fields showed that he could produce. Going 19-for-27, throwing for 175 yards, averaging 6.5 yards per attempt, Fields threw for one touchdown while rushing for another. Fields didn’t have any throws beyond 20 yards but the 11th overall pick is showing signs of progress in the short and intermediate passing game.

3) More Fields talk: The former Ohio State standout was actually the Bears leading rusher too. Fields rushed 10 times for 103 yards, averaging 10.3 yards per carry. Kind of surprising considering Khalil Herbert finished the game with 23 carries for 72 yards, including averaging 3.1 yards per carry.

4) Lost and nowhere to be found was the Bears pass rush. With Khalil Mack out, the Bears were forced to rely on Trevis Gipson, Robert Quinn, and Akiem Hicks. The Bears had zero sacks on Sunday afternoon, making it the second straight game the Bears failed to get after the quarterback.

5) The Bears got into the redzone three times and converted just once. Chicago needs to learn to convert these routine redzone trips into touchdowns. Sunday’s matchup was a classic example of how field goals won’t get it done but touchdowns will.

6) The good news about the Bears’ offense? Chicago was 8-for-15 on third down, just around 50 percent. Under Nagy, the Bears have struggled on third down, so being able to consistently convert on Sunday afternoon was another sign of progress for an offense that’s building an identity on the fly.

7) The Bears let a very winnable game slip away. In fact, for those who expected Chicago to at least be a mediocre playoff team, this game could be the difference between the Bears sneaking into the playoffs or going home in January after the regular season.

8) Safety Eddie Jackson is clearly a polarizing player but Jackson’s importance in coverage was seen on Sunday afternoon. After leaving the game on the 49ers’ first drive due to a hamstring injury, the middle of the field was wide open throughout the rest of the game and the San Francisco took full advantage with quick, short throws underneath to pick up some easy yards.

9) Allen Robinson had another quiet day. In fact, the star Bears wide receiver had just three receptions for 21 yards, averaging seven yards per reception. Week eight was also the fifth time in eight games that Robinson had less than four receptions in a game.

10) Return man Jakeen Grant deserves some love. With six total returns on the afternoon, Grant averaged 26 yards per return, giving the Bears a spark each time. The issue is that Grant’s hard work was wasted at times with the Bears’ offense failing to put up points consistently.

Week Nine Preview: A quick trip to Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is coming off a win against the Cleveland Browns and with four wins, the Bears will have their hands full on Monday Night. The Steelers may not have a loaded roster but the Bears will need to keep an eye on running back Najee Harris, wide receiver Chase Claypool, and edge rusher T.J. Watt.

All three have had solid seasons so far and Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin will have his squad ready to go like always. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has looked like a shell of himself and the Bears should see a boost with the return of pass rusher Khalil Mack.

It’ll be up to Justin Fields and the offense to play a tough, physical football game, dominating for four quarters to have an opportunity to win on Monday night.

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