The Chicago Bears proved a lot on Sunday versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, most of which was unsurprisingly negative: They are not a good football team, Jay Cutler should not be on this team next season, their lack of depth at key positions is clearly costing them football games, and the coaching staff did not have their players ready for the Bucs despite two weeks to prepare.
We know that it isn’t all bad, primarily because the Bears do have a few bright young rookies that will be the foundation in moving this team forward, but it’s hard to think about progress when 80% of the time the team takes the field, they get embarrassed.
Here are our winners and losers from Sunday’s loss.
- K Connor Barth - Many Bears fans didn’t like the fact that the team let Robbie Gould go before the season kicked off, depsite Gould’s clear decline in performance. Connor Barth was brought in, but was shaky in his first couple outings with Chicago. In the first quarter Sunday, Barth lined up for a 54-yard field goal attempt, and nailed it. That gave Chicago their first points of the game, and earned Barth some much-needed credibility with the team.
- RB Jordan Howard - The rookie running looked great running between the tackles on Sunday, and closed out with exactly 100 yards on 15 carries. It was his fourth 100 yard game of the season, and second in a row.
- OLB Leonard Floyd - Another rookie making the list, Floyd added another 1.5 sacks to his bottom line, and has a pass deflection to boot. This youngster is really coming into his own, registering 4.5 sacks over the last three games.
- Honorable Mention: ILB Danny Trevathan - Trevathan continues to be a wrecking ball when he is in the game, and tallied 13 tackles (9 solo) and a pass deflection against Tampa Bay.
- QB Jay Cutler - The first interception was 100% on Cutler. It was a bad decision and horrible pass. The second interception was 100% on Cutler. It was a bad decision and horrible pass. There was a point in the game where I wondered if his thumb was still injured, or if it had been re-injured on one of the sacks, because some of his routine passes were significantly off-target, but the interceptions happened because of his decision-making, not because of his thumb.
- OC Dowell Loggains - The Bears had a great game-plan to start the game: Run the ball between the tackles and force the Bucs to try and stop you. That started out great, with Howard running well and the offensive line getting a good push. But for some reason, Loggains quickly abandoned that game-plan, and started calling passing plays instead. Particularly dumb was the 3rd and 2, where he emptied the backfield and put Cutler in shotgun. Why, why, why? This led to a bit of a Twitter meltdown...
3rd and short, #Bears go empty backfield and shotgun. Cutler throws INT targeting Jeffery. Why not run it up the gut?— Dane Noble (@WindyCGridiron) November 13, 2016
Another Cutler interception. This time, a pick-6. Ta-da!— Dane Noble (@WindyCGridiron) November 13, 2016
Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stu— Dane Noble (@WindyCGridiron) November 13, 2016
Can someone tell Dowell Loggains to run the damn football? If you're at the game, write it on a paper airplane and send it down to him.— Dane Noble (@WindyCGridiron) November 13, 2016
When the Bears got the ball back, they started running the ball again. And of course, it led to positive yardage.
See! Right up the gut! Now do it again! And again!— Dane Noble (@WindyCGridiron) November 13, 2016
YAY THEY ARE FIGURING IT OUT NOW— Dane Noble (@WindyCGridiron) November 13, 2016
By this point, though, it was too late. The Buccaneers had control of the game, the Bears defense was gassed, and the Bears were unable to keep pace. If they’d stuck with the run early and often, and mixed in some play-action, they could have easily beaten Tampa Bay.
- Chicago Bears fans - Before the game, many beat writers reported that the were nearly as many Bears fans in the stadium as Bucs fans. One of them even stated that this could be considered a neutral crowd. We hear that often around the country... Bears fans travel well on the road, and have a strong following in many cities around the U.S. So not only are Bears fans getting cheated at Soldier Field, they’re getting cheated all across the country.
Who were your winners and losers from Sunday?