Chicago Bears: Vikings trump Bears in season finale

bears, matt nagy

Minneapolis, MN.– In a meaningless game for both teams, the Chicago Bears would fall to the Minnesota Vikings 31-17 to wrap up the 2021 regular season. The Bears will finish 2021 with a final record of six wins and 11 losses, marking the franchises’ first true losing season since 2017, when the Bears finished with just five wins.

The Bears scoring summary was simple. Kicker Cairo Santos converted three field goals while Andy Dalton connected with running back Damien Williams for a 23-yard touchdown in the first half. The second half was a different story for Chicago. Minnesota scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, including a 66-yard pick-six by cornerback Patrick Peterson and a 45-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Justin Jefferson.

In the final game of the Matt Nagy era, the Bears cruised to a 14-0 lead before Minnesota scored 28 total points in the second half to finish off the comeback. The Bears, despite a strong start, did have some struggles in this game. Head coach Matt Nagy, who was coaching in his final game, opted to go for it on fourth down, on six different occasions. The Bears would convert just once.

In what is also his final game as Bears quarterback, Dalton was sacked seven times for 59 yards. The 11-year veteran would finish the afternoon 33-for-48 with 325 passing yards and one touchdown, averaging 6.8 yards per attempt. After signing a one-year deal worth $10M in free agency, Dalton’s 2021 season was mediocre for the Bears, even after being guaranteed the starting job.

The sole positive for the Bears on offense was second-year wide receiver Darnell Mooney who had 12 receptions for 126 yards, averaging 10.5 yards per reception. The 2020 fifth-round pick eclipsed the 1000-yard mark, finishing off his sophomore season with 1,055 receiving yards, 81 receptions, and four touchdowns.

As Chicago now looks towards the offseason, 2021 is solely in the rearview mirror, and 2022 will bring winds of change to the Bears franchise, which now moves forward with quarterback Justin Fields as the face of the franchise.

How attractive is the Chicago Bears HC job in 2022?

Ryan Pace, bears

CHICAGO, IL–Just two weeks remain before the Chicago Bears officially move on from head coach Matt Nagy and begin searching for the 17th head coach in franchise history. With Nagy on his way out, the future of general manager Ryan Pace remains uncertain, with the possibility of a return not off the table.

The Bears brass being split on what to do with Pace leads to an intriguing question: If Pace is allowed a third head coach, just how attractive is the Bears head coaching gig in 2022? With rookie quarterback, Justin Fields in the fold through at least the 2024 season, any new head coach would be guaranteed at least three seasons.

Then consider the rest of the offense. The Bears have some upcoming talent in offensive tackles Teven Jenkins and Larry Borom, running back Khalil Herbert, wide receiver Darnell Mooney, and tight end Cole Kmet. Add that to an offensive core that already includes interior offensive lineman James Daniels and Cody Whitehair, along with running back David Montgomery, and it’s clear the Bears offense has the potential to be exciting.

Defense is a different story for the Bears, one that will require a full retooling. Cornerback Jaylon Johnson, linebacker Roquan Smith, pass rusher Khalil Mack, and safety Eddie Jackson form an exciting core. While 11th-year pass rusher Robert Quinn is on the verge of setting the franchise’s single-season sack record, Quinn likely won’t be with the Bears beyond 2022. The Bears’ willingness to rely heavily on defense throughout the Nagy era will soon be met with an overhaul that will form the foundation of the next great defense in Chicago.

Consider this too: Chicago is an original charter franchise of the NFL and in the third biggest market in the United States, the thought of merely getting the Bears back to relevance should excite prospective candidates. With a handful of jobs set to be open soon, the Bears surely offer one of the most enticing destinations for head coaches who are looking to win quickly and get a prominent franchise back to contention.

Chicago Bears: Week 16 takeaways, tidbits, and more

cole kmet, bears

SEATTLE, WA.,–After winning in week 16, the Chicago Bears have now moved to 5-10 on the year and while a playoff spot is out of reach, let’s recap the Bears 25-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

1) Nick Foles final stat line may not be the flashiest but on a snowy day, he did average 7.1 yards per pass attempt. Foles’ confidence was apparent while slinging the rock all afternoon. Two throws sum up this confidence: The 15-yard touchdown to Jimmy Graham and the two-point conversion to Damiere Byrd. In both instances, Foles gave his playmakers a chance.

2) Despite having what seemed to be a solid day, running back David Montgomery averaged just 2.1 yards per carry. Seattle keyed in on Montgomery, hoping to stop him early and often. It is worth noting the Bears abandoned the running game early, which also contributed to Montgomery’s final stat line.

3) Speaking of running backs, Sunday was an ideal time to use rookie Khalil Herbert, who had a 20-yard rushing touchdown. The Bears have to start thinking about the future at some point and what Herbert brings to the table as a player who can spark an offense. Whenever Herbert has been given the rock this season, the Bears have moved the ball effectively, including big chunk plays.

4) Let’s stick with the young guys for just a second here. Rookie WR Dazz Newsome had just one reception for 10 yards on the afternoon. But why does Newsome’s lone reception stick out? It was in a third-and-long situation, helping Chicago move the football and keep the drive going. The Bears have to look into getting Newsome involved more over the final two weeks to gain just enough of an idea of what he can do for the team going forward.

5) The foregone conclusion seems to be that head coach Matt Nagy is getting fired at the end of the season. And for the Bears, there is no turning back. But players are still fighting and playing hard for Nagy. When the Bears do eventually relieve Nagy of his job duties, it will be a tough pill to swallow around Halas Hall in what is a results-based business.

“Coach Nagy, he’s an amazing coach, an even better person,” said Montgomery following the game. “I feel like everybody kind of got weird, this bad depiction of who he is but he’s also, he’s actually a great guy and a great coach. Ever since I’ve been on the Bears, day in and day out, he’s always emptied his cup.”

6) Pass rusher Robert Quinn needs just one more sack to set the Bears single-season sack record, surpassing Richard Dent, who currently holds the record with 17.0 sacks. Every time Quinn was asked about the record in his postgame press conference, he simply decided to knock on wood and maintained the stance that while his individual year is something noteworthy, it doesn’t mean much considering the way the Bears season has gone.

“Well my individual year don’t seem as great because we aren’t winning,” said Quinn. “Haven’t had the success over the year as a team so it’s kind of, for a split second, I could be proud of myself but then the next second, I’m kind of quite highly upset because we lost.”

7) Veteran CB Artie Burns started the game for the Bears before Chicago decided to slowly insert rookie Thomas Graham Jr. into the game. Burns hasn’t blown anyone away but has still showcased enough potential to warrant being on the roster in 2022 and competing for a spot. Despite being beat by Seahawks WR D.K. Metcalf for a 41-yard touchdown, Graham Jr. had a solid showing as a player who is looking to put strong performances together to kickstart his career as a starter in 2022.

8) Cole Kmet and Darnell Mooney once again had strong showings as the Bears 2020 draft class showed up once again. Mooney had a 30-yard reception on the Bears’ final touchdown drive while Kmet had two receptions for 30 yards to set up a field goal for the Bears. Chicago needs to be pleased with the progress both players are making this season, especially as the Bears continue to look ahead to 2022.

9) Speaking of Mooney, he had five receptions on Sunday afternoon, now giving him 62 receptions on the season. Mooney has already surpassed his reception total from 2020, which was 61. With two games left, Mooney has a chance to get to 70 receptions as he continues to ascend into the face of the WR position for the Bears.

10) The Bears defense put together another strong showing on Sunday afternoon and while there were times where it appeared as if Seahawks QB Russell Wilson was going to take over the game, Chicago held Wilson in check. Wilson was just 16-for-27 with 181 passing yards and a QBR of 30.8. The Bears’ entire gameplan was predicated on stopping Wilson, knowing he covers up for a lot of holes on the Seattle offense.

Chicago Bears: Week 14 takeaways, quick tidbits, and more

bears, matt nagy

After another loss to the Green Bay Packers, there are just four games left in the 2021 regular season for the Chicago Bears. Before we look ahead to week 15, let’s recap week 14.

1) The Bears haven’t won in Lambeau Field since 2015. That’s right, it’s been seven seasons and Matt Nagy has won just once against the Packers since 2018. At some point, the McCaskey family needs to realize that Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace haven’t done what they were brought in to do: Beat Green Bay and make the Bears relevant again in the NFL’s oldest rivalry.

2) There are a lot of people who are pessimistic when it comes to evaluating Justin Fields play on Sunday night. There was some good, some bad, and some questionable. But overall, Fields had a typical rookie performance and went toe-to-toe with Aaron Rodgers, who already has a spot reserved in Canton, Ohio.

3) Speaking of evaluating Fields, it’s hard to gauge where he’s really at, especially since the rest of the Bears’ offense wasn’t exactly perfect on Sunday night either, especially in the second half. This brings up another important question: Is Fields struggling or does the rest of the Bears offense failed to execute and help Fields?

4) Justin Fields had a pick-six against Packers CB Rasul Douglas and while he’ll learn from this mistake, Fields responded with a 54-yard touchdown pass just a few plays later. The touchdown pass to WR Damiere Byrd is great but what really matters was Fields ability to respond to Douglas interception, something that gave the Packers life. Fields’ response showcases confidence that few Bears’ QB’s have exhibited over the years.

5) Want to know what we saw in the first half against the Packers? We saw exactly what Matt Nagy has wanted since arriving in Chicago: An explosive big-play offense that relies on quick passes to move the ball in big chunks and score with ease. The Bears had the ball for just 25 minutes the entire game and scored 24 unanswered points in the second quarter.

6) The Bears’ inability to adjust in the second half is troubling. Few teams are going to score 24 points in the first half with ease against the Packers and the Bears took the foot off the pedal in the second half, which included abandoning the running game. This lack of second-half execution cost the Bears big time, especially in a game that was winnable until the very end.

7) Let’s give some love to CB Jaylon Johnson, who shutdown Packers WR Devante Adams in a way that not many have seen before. Per Next Gen Stats, Johnson allowed just 1.9 yards of separation and 19 total yards. If you want to talk about why Adams two touchdowns, it’s because he beat backup CB Xavier Crawford twice.

8) Sunday night was another indication the Bears WR room needs to be rebuilt and rebuilt badly heading into the 2022 offseason. Darnell Mooney and Allen Robinson combine for three receptions and 33 receiving yards, and 11 total targets. Robinson seems mentally checked out while Mooney had an off day which he’ll need to rebound from.

9) Artie Burns had another above-average performance, showing us all why he’s a better option than Kindle Vildor. Burns isn’t a long-term replacement by any means but he’s better than whatever the Bears have on the roster right now.

10) Tight end Cole Kmet dropped a pass in the endzone that would’ve been a touchdown. The Bears have run this exact some play multiple times this season and Kmet has yet to haul a TD in, which is troubling for a player who was a high draft pick and once the future of the TE position for Chicago.

Why 2021 still matters for the Chicago Bears

david montgomery, bears

In another lost season, as the weather continues to get colder in the Windy City, the Chicago Bears have reached the point of the regular season that feels too familiar for fans, players, and coaches. With just four wins, the Bears are on the brink of being eliminated from the playoffs, and head coach Matt Nagy is on his way out, an anticipated move that will likely come after the Bears wrap up the regular season on January ninth in Minnesota.

It’s hard to find a reason to be excited about the Bears. Most fans are merely tuning in to watch rookie quarterback Justin Fields, who’s missed two straight games due to a ribs injury. The rest of the roster includes a perfect blend of younger players and veterans, including names like Cole Kmet, Larry Borom, Teven Jenkins, Darnell Mooney, Jaylon Johnson, Roquan Smith, Khalil Herbert, and many more.

What happens over the final five weeks of the season will dictate how the Bears approach the 2022 offseason. Chicago winning at least four games over the next five weeks means the future is bright heading into 2022 but without a first-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, the Bears will once again be forced to rely on limited draft capital to continue adding to the roster.

The only question that remains is what the Bears will do with general manager Ryan Pace, who’s trending towards a fourth losing season in seven years. Should the Bears retain Pace as the organization’s top decision-maker for football operations, Pace will get an opportunity to hire a third head coach, one that could see a quick turnaround if Pace finds the right guy.

“I’m a fighter, I’m never going to stop fighting,” said Montgomery. “I’m never going to stop giving it everything I got.”

Montgomery’s fight is apparent, as is Smith’s. In a time where there isn’t much optimism surrounding the Bears, the amount of young talent that can lead to a quick turnaround in 2022 is prevalent for a team that’s struggled more than people have expected. A few early season breaks have led to some wins for the Bears and while there have been instances where the Bears lost winnable games, the remaining portion of 2021 provides the Bears with an opportunity to hit the reset button and see what adjustments need to be moving forward to maximize already existing talent on the roster.

Chicago Bears: Week 13 takeaways, tidbits, and more

bears, matt nagy

After losing to the Arizona Cardinals at home, the Chicago Bears have dropped six of the last seven games, and continue to be on the outside looking in for the playoffs. Let’s recap week 13 for the Bears.

1) Running back David Montgomery was the Bears’ best playmaker on Sunday. The third-year pro had 21 carries for 90 rushing yards and one touchdown. Montgomery was also involved in the passing game with eight receptions for 51 yards, averaging 6.4 yards per reception. The weather certainly factored into the Bears using Montgomery heavily but Sunday also proved that for the final five games of the season, the offense needs to revolve around Montgomery, which means shifting to a pass-first philosophy.

2) The Bears led the Cardinals in four key categories: Time of possession, first downs, total yards, and turnovers. Arizona averaged just five yards per play but having a short field on the first two possessions as a result of Andy Dalton’s interceptions is what led to an earlier-than-expected Arizona lead. The Bears’ defense isn’t good enough to overcome mistakes made by the offense, which means both sides of the football need to play a near-perfect game to have a chance at winning.

3) Jakeem Grant being the Bears leading receiver on Sunday shows how much the WR room needs to be overhauled during the 2022 offseason. Arizona locked up Darnell Mooney all afternoon and without Allen Robinson or Marquise Goodwin, the Dalton was forced to throw to the likes of Grant and Damiere Byrd. Chicago traded for Grant to be an impact player on special teams, not in the passing game, despite having some speed.

4) Center Sam Mustipher had two fumbles on Sunday. In other words, the Mustipher experiment needs to end for the Bears. With rookie offensive tackle Teven Jenkins officially active, the Bears can reshuffle the offensive line, inserting Jenkins into the starting lineup while moving James Daniels or Cody Whitehair to center. The Bears need to see what they have in Jenkins during the final five games of the season as Chicago believes it finally got an OT with the potential to develop into a franchise cornerstone on the OL.

5) Montgomery’s postgame presser was one of the best I’ve ever heard since I started covering the Bears in 2017. “I’m a fighter, I’m never going to stop fighting,” said Montgomery. “I’m never going to stop giving it everything I got.”

Talk about someone who’s a leader of men and is intrinsically motivated. With the chance of making the playoffs bleak, Montgomery’s positive energy should radiate throughout the locker room.

6) For the second straight game, cornerback Artie Burns posted some solid numbers with six tackles, one tackle for loss, and one pass breakup. Burns may not be a long-term solution but he’s a good enough security blanket to finish out 2021 before the Bears have to make a decision on his future with the team during the 2022 offseason.

7) The Cardinals’ offense is everything Matt Nagy hopes his offense can be someday. Arizona had the ball for just over 25 minutes but averaged 7.5 yards per pass attempt. Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray carved up the Bears’ secondary all afternoon with explosive plays in the passing game to keep the Bears defense on its toes. Kliff Kingsbury has emerged as one of the smartest offensive minds in football and the Cardinals are finding their groove with the postseason right around the corner.

8) The Bears were 3-for-3 in the redzone and 4-for-4 on fourth down yesterday. Rarely does that ever happen but Matt Nagy found a way to get it done yesterday. Nagy is on his way out but at least converting in the redzone and on fourth down mattered in a game that Chicago tried to keep competitive.

9) One way to slow the Cardinals down is creating turnovers. And the Bears’ defense had none on Sunday. While Roquan Smith was hampered due to a hamstring injury, the Bears need to be better in this category to have a chance at being able to play complementary football and give the offense a chance at scoring more points.

10) The Bears had two drives on Sunday that lasted more than seven minutes. While this may not seem noteworthy to some, it is progress for an offense that’s been through growing pains over the last four seasons. Long drives aren’t the issue now but execution is still lacking as the Bears are unable to cap off these drives with touchdowns, instead of field goals.

 

Chicago Bears: Week 12 takeaways, quick tidbits, and more

Trevis Gipson, bears

After a Turkey Day snoozefest that resulted in a win for the Chicago Bears, it’s time to recap week 12 for the Bears.

1) A win is a win, no matter what circumstances surround a team in the NFL. The Bears got the job done against the worst team in the NFL, which is clearly positive, and at the end of the day, the Bears snapped a five-game losing streak. After the game, head coach Matt Nagy did sound relieved but also thanked players and coaches for what was a tumultuous week at Halas Hall. The Bears battled hard for Nagy in this game, despite what you believe.

2) Darnell Mooney continues to emerge as a big playmaker for the Bears’ offense. The second-year wide receiver had five receptions for 123 yards, averaging 24.6 yards per reception. During Allen Robinson’s absence, Mooney’s emergence is a positive for the Bears, who will revamp the wide receiver in 2022 with Mooney being the face of the position.

3) Staying with Mooney, the Bears 2020 draft class made an impact in this game. Tight end Cole Kmet and cornerback Jaylon Johnson both had big games, while pass rusher Trevis Gipson had two tackles, and a forced fumble. This draft class is quietly forming the foundation for the Bears roster for years to come, which is big for the Bears, who had no first-round picks in 2020.

4) The Lions have little to no pass rush but the Bears did a good job of keeping Andy Dalton upright all afternoon. Dalton was sacked just once and while Chicago’s offensive line did just enough to give Dalton time to make something happen. Overall, this was a game where the Bears OL made some progress, especially rookie fifth-round pick Larry Borom, who’s solidified his job as the starting right tackle.

5) The Bears running game wasn’t successful. Chicago averaged just 2.3 yards per attempt while David Montgomery had just 46 rushing yards. Overall, this wasn’t an encouraging performance for the Bears, with rookie Khalil Herbert falling to make any sort of significant impact for the second straight game. For the rest of the season, Nagy has one job: Figure out how to utilize Montgomery and Herbert to keep defenses guessing.

6) Give the Lions some credit. Sure Dan Campbell’s squad is winless but on the field, the Lions played and battled till the very end, something you always appreciate about any NFL team. It may not be pretty right now but Campbell’s passion and competitive spirit is prevalent every single game. Not saying the Lions are about to be an immediate threat anytime soon but a head coach always needs to sell his vision and get the players buy-in to begin building a successful program.

7) Let’s talk about injuries for the Bears. The Bears walked away from what you could consider a meaningless game banged up. Linebacker Roquan Smith (hamstring) and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (foot) left the game and did not return. While the Bears have not yet released any information about Smith or Goodwin, linebacker and wide receiver are incredibly thin when it comes to depth. Chicago will need to rely on players like Christian Jones and Isaiah Coulter to pick up the slack.

8) Quarterback Andy Dalton wasn’t bad but wasn’t great either. Dalton was about as middle-of-the-pack as it could get but throwing for 317 yards should be considered a positive. With Justin Fields’ status for week 13 uncertain, Dalton will need to prepare to face a tough Arizona Cardinals team that’s looking to rebound big that’s gone .500 over the last four weeks.

9) Veteran Jimmy Graham played 20 percent of the Bears snaps on offense. Graham has been an afterthought for the Bears this season but considering how involved he was against the Lions, it’s clear the Bears are using the veteran tight end at will. Graham won’t be on the Bears roster in 2022, his days are numbered despite his usage being wildly inconsistent.

10) Final point here but it’s clear the Bears are who they are at this point. This team doesn’t have the makings of being able to make a run in December, nor at least continue to remain competitive. Hopefully, the Bears do have some December magic in them but it may be time to start looking ahead to 2022 and this game was a major indication of that.

Chicago Bears: Losing streak ends in Turkey Day snoozefest

andy dalton, bears

Detroit, MI– For the first time since October 10th, the Chicago Bears have won a football game. In what was a Thanksgiving Day snoozefest in Detroit, the Bears defeated the Detroit Lions 16-14 on the heels of an 18-play, 69-yard drive that lasted 8:30. The Bears are ready to head home and enjoy Thanksgiving after a tumultuous week that included reports saying week 12 would be head coach Matt Nagy’s final game with the Bears.

Key contributors throughout the afternoon included veteran quarterback Andy Dalton, wide receiver Darnell Mooney, tight end Cole Kmet, cornerback Jaylon Johnson, and pass rusher Robert Quinn, all of whom made an impact at various points in the game.

Lions QB Jared Goff, who made his first start since week 10 went 21-for-25, throwing two passing touchdowns to wide receiver Josh Reynolds and tight end T.J. Hockenson. Despite the Lions striking first, the Bears would score 13 unanswered points in the second quarter, taking a six-point lead at halftime.

From there, the third quarter would be all about the Lions, who rattled off a seven-play, 79-yard drive in just over three minutes as Goff connected with Hockenson for the score. But the Bears would remain in the game, fighting, with the defense continuing to give the offense a chance.

The key moments that defined the Bears’ victory on Thursday afternoon all came on the game’s final possession. Back-to-back timeouts at 1:54 by the Lions have the Bears free yards, and then just two plays later, the Lions would burn their final timeout, giving the Bears an opportunity to run the clock down to just one second remaining in the fourth quarter before Kicker Cairo Santos would hit a game-winning 28-yard field goal.

For the Bears, snapping a five-game losing streak is a positive as are Dalton’s 317 passing yards and one touchdown. Chicago now has just about 10 days to prepare for the Arizona Cardinals, who will be visiting Soldier Field on Sunday, December 5th.

Chicago Bears: Week 11 takeaways, quick tidbits, and more

andy dalton, bears

Currently, in the middle of a five-game losing streak, the Chicago Bears now look ahead to week 12 for a Thanksgiving Day matchup against the Detroit Lions. But first, let’s recap week 11.

1) There are two players of the game in this one, both on defense. Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith kept the Bears in this one, especially with the defense missing Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, and Eddie Jackson. Props to Quinn for turning in such a monstrous performance with 3.5 sacks, five tackles, three TFL, and four QB hits. Smith had 17 tackles on the afternoon, the most by a Bears linebacker since 2009.

2) Regarding Justin Fields, who has bruised ribs, the Bears have a decision to make. If it were in Fields hands, he’d be dressing up on Thursday afternoon against the Lions. Ultimately, with seven games remaining, the Bears should play it safe with Fields and sit him in a meaningless game. Give the future of the franchise a little over 10 days to get right before the Arizona Cardinals come to town on December 5th. It’s better for the Bears to have Fields healthy for the final six games of the season, a stretch that includes playing the Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, and Minnesota Vikings (twice).

3) The Bears got away from the running game early in this one and it showed. Khalil Herbert had just one carry for zero yards while David Montgomery had 14 carries for 58 yards, averaging 4.1 yards per carry. Keeping the ball out of the Ravens’ hand should’ve been a goal of the Bears but Chicago failed to do so consistently throughout the afternoon. The Bears coaching staff needs to realize that neither Fields nor Andy Dalton can fully the offense, which means knowing your limitations of what skill position players can and can’t do is vital when it comes to offensive philosophy.

4) At times, it may not have looked like it but wide receiver Darnell Mooney had a game. Mooney’s quickly establishing a reputation as a big-play threat in the Bears offense. With five receptions for 121 receiving yards, averaging 24.2 yards per reception, the second-year wide receiver made his presence felt all afternoon, especially on a 60-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Andy Dalton.

5) This was what you could consider the Marquise Goodwin breakout game. Goodwin added to the Bears’ explosiveness on offense, with four receptions for 104 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown pass to give the Bears the lead late in the fourth quarter. This game needs to serve as an example of how the Bears can continue to utilize Goodwin moving forward.

6) The Bears struggled to execute consistently but another issue is playing good situational football. Matt Nagy needs to understand the Bears aren’t getting the job done right now and much of it is due to coaches being able to react in situations. An example of this is when the Bears burned a timeout with 1:41 left to go in the fourth quarter after failing to convert a two-point conversion.

7) The Bears also struggled to get off the field on third down in this game. Baltimore was 7-for-16 on Sunday afternoon, with the game’s biggest play coming on a 3rd-and-12 where Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley hit wide receiver Sammy Watkins for a 29-yard gain with just 0:33 left in the fourth quarter. The Bears defense has struggled to consistently get off the field on third down this season and it’s only going to get harder over the final seven weeks of the season with Mack being out.

8) Speaking of giving up a big gain on 3rd-and-12, guess what? The Bears’ secondary isn’t very good without Eddie Jackson but Jaylon Johnson had a nice showing. Second-year CB Kindle Vildor got rocked all afternoon while Deon Bush and DeAndre Houston-Carson were beaten as a result of miscommunication. The entire unit needs an overhaul in 2021 with just Jackson and Johnson guaranteed to start.

9) What does this loss mean for the Bears? Well, Chicago’s final seven games are against NFC North opponents. But understand the Bears were on the outside looking playoff-wise heading into week 11. This latest loss digs the Bears even deeper into a hole that’s getting harder to get out of.

10) For the rest of the season, nothing matters for the Bears except seeing what sticks on the wall for 2022 and beyond. Essentially, for the Bears, 2022 has already started despite 2021 not being over yet. The Bears’ future is already on the roster in Fields but the front office needs to figure out who’s staying in 2022 in an effort to build around Fields. That means taking a hard look at players and more importantly coaches.

Chicago Bears: Losing streak now at five games after latest loss

bears, matt nagy

What seemed to be a relatively competitive game for the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon got away very quickly in the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Soldier Field. After failing to score on the first six possessions, the Bears finally managed to get on the board after wide receiver Darnell Mooney scored a 60-yard touchdown with just 8:12 remaining in the third quarter.

With rookie quarterback Justin Fields leaving the game due to an injury and then being ruled out, the Bears were forced to turn to veteran Andy Dalton, who tossed two second-half touchdowns, including a 49-yard pass touchdown to wide receiver Marquise Goodwin on 4th-and-11.

Veteran pass rusher Robert Quinn, who is in the second year of a five-year $70M contract signed in 2020 made an impact all afternoon. With Khalil Mack sidelined for the remainder of the year due to a foot injury, Quinn totaled five tackles, 3.5 sacks, three tackles for loss, and four quarterback hits, making his presence felt from the beginning.

Currently, in the middle of a five-game losing streak, the Bears’ final seven opponents will be against NFC teams. However, this latest loss to the Ravens stings merely because Chicago seemed to be in the game until the very final possession when Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley connected with wide receiver Sammy Watkins for a 29-yard gain with just 33 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. From there, running back Devonta Freeman scored a three-yard rushing touchdown to give Baltimore the lead.

Despite being shorthanded with no Allen Robinson, Eddie Jackson, or Akiem Hicks, the Bears did all a three-win team could to try and stay competitive but ultimately, a missed field goal in the first half by kicker Cairo Santos and an inability to execute in key situations made the difference in the Bears latest loss. With the Bears scheduled to play in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day, the opportunity to snap a five-game losing streak presents itself.