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Bears drop third straight while broken offense sputters

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Lester gives his thoughts on the game, plus he shares the complete playing time breakdown, and spotlights a few individual and team statistics from the Chicago Bears in their 17 to 16 loss to the Chargers.

Los Angeles Chargers v Chicago Bears Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Yes, the Chicago Bears’ offense got Eddy Pineiro in position to make the game winning field goal in the final seconds of the game, but football is a 60-minute game, and Chicago’s offense didn’t do enough to win. They’d move the ball, but get bogged down in crucial moments. Mistakes (execution and coaching) crept up at the worst times all afternoon.

It wasn’t train-wreck bad on offense though as there were some positives, including the team’s 162 rushing yards and 388 total yards. Both of those figures were season highs, but only being 1 for 5 in red zone efficiency was atrocious. Failing to capitalize on those cost the Bears this game.

The Bears did win the time of possession battle 38:00 to 22:00, aided by their 26 to 11 edge in first downs, and that helped keep their defense fresher, but two fourth quarter turnovers from a team trying to hold on for a victory is unacceptable.

To further show just how much better the Bears moved the ball, check out these stats.

But the ultimate job of an offense is scoring points and the Bears couldn’t punch it in.

But back to that final field goal try. The Bears moved the ball down, just like they did most of the game, then on a first down with :43 seconds remaining on the Charger 21 yards line, the Bears took a knee. They had a time out and plenty of time to get even closer for their kicker, but decided a 41 yard attempt was as easy as it gets.

After the game head coach Matt Nagy adamantly defended his decision to take a knee before the final field goal try, but in that situation he had options. I get not wanting to throw, although a quick simple curl or crosser would net a few easy yards and give the Bears time to run up and clock it on second down. Trying to pop a run for a few yards was an option too, but Nagy was worried about a turnover from L.A.’s aggressive defense in that situation. And I get it, but trust your back to put 2 hands on the ball and be smart.

If you’re afraid of a heavy box submarining your blockers, then come out in 3 or 4 receiver set to spread them out and attack the bubble in the D. You tell me an offensive genius and outside the box thinker like Nagy is handcuffed to a jumbo goal line formation in that situation? Actually, scratch that question because for some reason this Nagy we’re seeing right now isn’t 2018 Nagy.

But now let’s take a closer look at the playing time break downs for the Bears, and also some individual stats.

OFFENSE

Mitchell Trubisky’s numbers weren’t that bad, but I don’t think he played a very good game. There were some positive flashes from him, but a QB in his third year should be making plays at this point and he wasn’t. He was 23 of 35 for 253 yards, with an interception and a fumble while taking 4 sacks.

The star of the game for the Bears was rookie running back David Montgomery who had 27 rushes fro 135 yards and a touchdown. He also had 4 catches for 12 yards. Tight end J.P Holtz was used quite a bit due to his blocking prowess. He even played fullback on a few occasions and the Bears had success in those looks. Tackle Cornelius Lucas also came in to help the running game as a 6th offensive lineman (extra TE), which begs the question about why converted tight end Bradley Sowell is still on the 53-man roster.

The Bears leading receiver by catches was Allen Robinson with 5 receptions for 62 yards, and by yards it was Anthony Miller with 67 on 3 grabs.

Tarik Cohen had 4 runs for 9 yards, 3 receptions for 37, and 5 punt returns for 50 yards. He was dinged up at one point in the game and I wonder if that had anything to do with him only playing 17 snaps on offense, or if that was just the game-plan going in.

DEFENSE

It was nice to see Khalil Mack get to the quarterback for the first time since September 29, and he ended up with 4 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 2 passes defended to go along with that sack.

Kyle Fuller had an interception and he led the Bears with 7 tackles.

Inside linebackers Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith were next on the team with 6 and 5 tackles respectively.

Anyone else notice outside linebacker Aaron Lynch lining up in a three point stance and rushing form inside? He does look bigger this year so I wonder if there’s a position switch slowing taking place or if he’s just helping with Akiem Hicks sidelined.

SPECIAL TEAMS*

*The above image has players that only played in the third phase.

Besides the game winner going wide left, Pineiro also doinked one off the right upright to go 3 for 5 on the day.

Patrick O’Donnell placed 2 of his 3 punts inside the 20 while having a 41 yard average.

Cordarrelle Patterson had 4 kickoff returns for 109 yards.

Sherrick McManis and Isaiah Irving each had a special teams tackle.

All statistics and snap counts are taken directly from the NFL’s Game Statistic and Information System, as are the accompanying pictures.

To check out the full box score I find that ESPN has an easy to navigate site.