Chicago Bears: Changes begin uncertain, yet exciting offseason

Ryan Pace, bears

Lake Forest, IL.– After ending the 2021 season with a record of 6-11, the Chicago Bears used black Monday to begin a new era for the franchise, with the team firing head coach Matt Nagy after four seasons while moving on from general manager Ryan Pace, who had been with the organization since 2015.

The Bears’ moves don’t come as surprising. Heading into the 2021 season, many looked at Pace and Nagy as possibly being with the organization through the end of the 2022 season, especially after Pace opted to trade up in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft to select rookie quarterback Justin Fields.

After losing five straight games in 2021 while losing four of the final seven games of the season, Nagy ends his Bears tenure with an overall record of 34-31, with two playoff appearances and zero wins. Pace’s would finish with an overall record of 48-65, along with two playoff appearances and zero wins.

Pace and Nagy leave the Bears with an exciting core of young players that includes Fields, wide receiver Darnell Mooney, pass rushers Robert Quinn and Khalil Mack, cornerback Jaylon Johnson, and linebacker Roquan Smith. With a plethora of young talent, the potential for a quick turnaround is certainly possible for the next HC and GM duo.

“To the Chicago Bears organization- it was an honor to serve as your Head Coach over the past four seasons,” Nagy said in a statement the Bears released via Twitter. “I want to thank Ted Phillips, George H. McCaskey, and Mrs.Virgina McCaskey for the opportunity to lead one of the game’s most storied franchises. It’s four years I’ll always remember.”

Pace had some kinds words in his exit statement too, reminding fans that despite his departure, the future is bright in Chicago.

“To the players, I appreciate everything you gave out on the field,” Pace said in a statement the Bears released via Twitter. “I believe in each and every one of you and I know the talent is there to bring a championship to Chicago.”

The search for the next head coach and general manager has started for the Bears, who will hope to hire both candidates quickly enough to allow the new regime to establish its vision before the offseason officially begins.

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.

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 win ugly on snowy day in Seattle

SEATTLE, WA.,—On a snowy day in Seattle, the Chicago Bears managed to come away with a victory after scoring 11 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. As veteran quarterback, Nick Foles made his first start in nearly 400 calendar days, the Bears offense was putrid to begin the game before Foles completed passes of 30, 10, and 14 yards on a six-play, 80-yard drive that took just under two minutes before Foles connected with tight end Jimmy Graham for a 15-yard touchdown pass. Foles would follow up his only touchdown pass of the game by connecting with wide receiver Damiere Byrd on a two-point conversion to give the Bears the lead.

Rookie running back Khalil Herbert also helped the Bears in the second half, adding on a 20-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter to cut Seattle’s lead to just 10 points. From there, the Bears’ defense would allow Seattle to see the endzone just once more before Seahawks kicker Jason Myers missed a field goal, giving the Bears some much-needed momentum.

Chicago’s defense got involved as well, with pass rusher Robert Quinn sacking QB Russell Wilson just once, inching closer to breaking Richard Dent’s single-season sack record. Rookie cornerback Thomas Grham Jr. had another good showing with three tackles and one pass breakup, despite allowing Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf to score a 41-yard passing touchdown.

As has been a common theme for the Bears over the last few weeks, Chicago had the ball for just over 38 minutes, 26 first downs, and zero turnovers. Matt Nagy has shown time and time again that the Bears are able to sustain long drives, however, the Bears were just 2-for-4 in the redzone, with a key turnover on downs early in the first quarter that ended a 15-play, 71-yard drive that took 8:27 off the clock.

As the Bears get ready to return home for a matchup against the New York Giants in what could be the final game of the Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace era, expect the Bears to get healthier with just two games remaining in 2021.

Chicago Bears: Week 15 takeaways, quick tidbits, and more

With week 15 having wrapped up for the Chicago Bears, it’s time to go back and recap another painful Bears loss in an already lost season.

1) Let’s start with rookie cornerback Thomas Graham Jr., who had seven tackles and three pass breakups in his first career start. When the Bears drafted Graham Jr. in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, he was labeled as a hidden gem and future starter. Despite just one start, Graham Jr. did more than enough to show why he can be the Bears answer at CB moving forward, opposite Jaylon Johnson. For a team that will have a lot of needs to address in 2022, having two starting CB’s on rookie deals will provide cap flexibility.

2) Justin Fields had his ups and downs in this game but at the end of the day, Fields performance was more encouraging than most would admit. After orchestrating five trips to the redzone, the Bears scored a touchdown just once but it was Fields leading the way on each of those drives. Moral of the story is that while Fields’ progress may not seem apparent, the Bears are at least moving the ball but failing to execute in key situations. Essentially, the Bears’ offensive struggles aren’t Fields fault, who’s been dealt a bad hand.

3) Robert Quinn deserves no more slander for the rest of the season. Quinn had two sacks on Monday night and now has 16 total sacks on the season. With three games left, Quinn needs just one more sack to break the Bears franchise record for single-season sacks, which is set at 17.0 by Richard Dent. After last season, many assumed Quinn was set to regress even more in 2021 but so far, he’s been an investment that’s paid off big time.

4) Matt Nagy was the playcaller on Monday for the Bears due to offensive coordinator Bill Lazor being out as a result of COVID-19. Nagy’s playcalling was about as predictable as it’s been since the much-lambasted head coach arrived in Chicago four seasons ago. Nagy’s inability to call the right plays in the redzone hurt the Bears, forcing the defense to win the game.

5) Justin Fields threw 39 times, completing just 26 passes. When the Bears switched to Fields, the offense was more balanced but still was run-first, with everything clicking. Over the last few weeks, the Bears have abandoned their run-first philosophy and conveyed that it’s up to the passing attack to win the game.

6) Credit to defensive coordinator Sean Desai and the Bears defense. Despite missing Jaylon Johnson, Eddie Jackson, and Tashaun Gipson, Desai found a way to hold Vikings QB Kirk Cousins to just 87 passing yards and 3.6 yards per attempt. Cousins isn’t elite by any means but the Bears secondary got the job done, which is all that matters.

7) If anything, this was a game that the Bears could’ve won with ease. The Vikings didn’t necessarily look like the better team but the Bears’ own mistakes actually created some momentum and allowed the Vikings to capitalize on missed opportunities.

8) Robert Quinn’s criticism of the refereeing is warranted. In an age where the game continues to be more QB friendly, Quinn alluded to how it’s harder to play defense in the NFL and that sometimes, calls that seem to be too close, should just be let go.

“”These refs seem like they’re controlling the game a little too much. So, when a play is clean and they’re throwing a flag for something that they thought they could change a game [with] just by one flag … let guys play ball. If this was a couple years ago, half of this stuff wouldn’t even be called. But now, they got so many of these stupid rules, they dang near in a ref’s hands [and] could change the game in any given moment.”

Quinn has every right to be upset, especially as a player who’s having such a resurgent season after being named to his third Pro Bowl.

9) Let’s talk about LB Roquan Smith being snubbed from the Pro Bowl. Smith has emerged as one of the best LB’s in the NFL over the last few years but why does he keep getting snubbed is a major point of contention. Smith is every bit talented as Darius Leonard, Bobby Wagner, and Denzel Perryman. At the end of the day, while Smith may not get the recognition he’s earned, the Bears should be content knowing they have a blue-chip player and a leader in Smith.

10) Minnesota averaged just 4.0 yards per rushing attempt. While running back Dalvin Cook has 89 total yards, the Bears limited Cook to just 3.2 yards per carry, an impressive feat as Akiem Hicks returned to the lineup and provided a spark to a defense that badly needed one. Credit once again goes to Sean Desai for being able to put together a solid game plan, with the Bears’ defensive line dominating in the trenches.

Chicago Bears: An unnecessary implosion against the Vikings

bears, matt nagy

Chicago, IL–If you watched the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football in week 15, props to you for sitting through one of the ugliest games of the season. A week after losing to the Green Bay Packers on national television, the Bears returned to Soldier Field to take on Minnesota Vikings in another ugly game that was mirrored by inconsistency all across the board for Chicago on offense.

Rookie quarterback Justin Fields had one fumble on the evening but once again, the Bears failed to get any sort of rhythm established around the 11th overall pick, forcing Fields to once again play with desperation, doing anything to keep the Bears relevant. The Bears had five total redzone trips, with just one ending in a touchdown. Add in a missed field goal from Kicker Cairo Santos and the Bears were once again a dumpster fire throughout the evening.

What the Bears did do correctly was play hard-nosed on the defensive side of the ball. Rookie cornerback Thomas Graham Jr. was a pleasant bright spot who emerged in his first career start. Graham Jr. had seven tackles and three pass breakups, leading an already depleted secondary. Pass rusher Robert Quinn took yet another step forward with four total tackles and two sacks as the 11-year veteran looks to chase Richard Dent’s single-season sack record, which is currently set at 17.5.

From a numbers standpoint, the Bears had 24 total first downs and 370 total yards of offense, compared to Minnesota, which had just 193 total yards and 13 first downs. Despite sacking Vikings QB Kirk Cousins four times, what really hurt Chicago was seven total penalties, some of which could be considered questionable calls by the officiating crew.

With the Bears’ latest loss, Chicago has now lost 10 games on the season and has lost three total divisional games this season against NFC North opponents. Up next for the Bears is a road trip to the Pacific Northwest, where Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks await.

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.

Chicago Bears: Packers spoil Justin Fields return

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Green Bay, WI– After an offensive explosion that included 27 points in the first quarter, the Chicago Bears were once again beaten by their rivals to the north on Sunday night football. After two passing touchdowns in the first half too wide receivers Jakeem Grant and Damiere Byrd, the Bears looked to be well on their way towards a victory at Lambeau Field.

Throughout the first half, the Bears looked like a team that came to play in all three phases. After Packers cornerback, Rasul Douglas returned a 55-yard pick-six to the house, Fields confidence as he led the Bears down the field in just under two minutes for a touchdown, retaining the lead.

During the first half, the Bears defense set the tone, with veteran pass rusher Robert Quinn totaling two sacks. Second-year cornerback Jaylon Johnson had a strong first half, continuing to neutralize wide receiver Davante Adams, who eventually broke away and totaled 10 receptions for 121 receiving yards, and two touchdowns.

Despite another loss to the Packers, the Bears’ young talent did have some bright moments in this game. Rookie offensive tackles Teven Jenkins and Larry Borom had solid outings, with Jenkins taking over for Jason Peters, who left in the first quarter due to an ankle injury and did not return. Wide receiver Jakeem Grant, who was acquired earlier in the season for a 2023 sixth-round pick had a 97-yard punt return in the second quarter as the Chicago’s special teams unit provided a big boost throughout the evening.

The Bears may not be ready to compete with the Packers just yet but Sunday night indicated the Bears have a good foundation in place that will form the core of the team for years to come. While allowing 17 points in the third quarter helped the Packers pull away, Chicago put up a fight in a game that many never gave the Bears a chance.

 

Chicago Bears: Week 13 takeaways, tidbits, and more

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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: Mistakes early derail any chance of a win

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Sunday afternoon was equivalent to a rollercoaster ride for the Chicago Bears. After snapping a five-game losing streak in week 12, the Bears got back to work against the Arizona Cardinals in week 13, only to lose by 11 points at home. The lone bright spot of the afternoon for the Bears on offense was running back David Montgomery, who had 21 carries for 90 yards, averaging 4.3 yards per attempt.

Despite Montgomery’s strong showing, veteran quarterback Andy Dalton threw four interceptions, including two on the Bears’ first two possessions to give Arizona a short field to work with. From there, Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray connected with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for a 20-yard score to get the Cardinals on the board first.

Chicago’s second drive of the game wasn’t bad. The offense was moving the ball efficiently, taking whatever little yards the Cardinals defense was willing to give up. What appeared to be a drive that would end up in a touchdown was halted when Dalton tried to connect with tight end Cole Kmet at the Cardinals eight-yard line, only to be picked off by Cardinals safety Budda Baker, who returned it to the Bears 15-yard line for a 77-yard return.

The Bears’ defense struggled throughout the game. Despite a goal line stop in the fourth quarter which forced Arizona to kick a field goal, Chicago failed to generate any turnovers. A short-handed defense allowed just 257 total yards and 14 first downs but Arizona’s big-play offense proved to be too much for the Bears defense, which saw another big game from linebackers Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn.

With just five games left in the season, the Bears showed us that the talent gap between Chicago and some of the top teams in the NFL is still massive and that the Bears may have moved the ball well today but a lot of work remains to be done if Chicago is to have a chance at being able to seriously compete soon.