If you didn’t bother watching the Chicago Bears lose to the Tennessee Titans, and instead just glanced at the final stat sheet, you’d be hard pressed to figure out how the Bears managed to squander the game away.
The Bears had more first downs (22 to 11), more total yards (375 to 228), they ran more plays (75 to 55), they won the time of possession (33:54 to 26:06), and they had fewer penalties (with 5 for 35 yards for Chicago and 6 for 57 for Tennessee), but this game was never really close.
Chicago’s stellar defense gave the illusion that it was a close game, but when the Titans went up 10 to 0 with 4:39 left in the first half it felt like an insurmountable lead.
Matt Nagy’s offense, behind a patchwork offensive line, couldn’t get into any kind of a rhythm, and they failed to pick up a single third-down conversion in the first half.
Things didn’t get much in the second half, as they ended up just 2 for 15 (13%) in that all-too-important category. But what makes it even worse is that the Titans were dead last by allowing opposing offenses to convert 61.9% on third-downs this year before the game.
Another killer this game was turnovers. The Bears lost two fumbles, and when the offense has to be near perfect just to give them a chance to compete, that can’t happen. On defense, the Bears are to a point where they need to get turnovers to give them a chance to win (they got none in Tennessee), and that’s not a viable way to play.
But back to the offense, this statistical nugget dug up by J.J. Stankevitz tells the story of Nagy’s discombobulated unit.
The #Bears had 7 plays go for 10+ yards before fourth quarter garbage time today. They averaged 20.9 yards on those plays.— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) November 8, 2020
On the plays AFTER, they averaged -1 yard per play.
But now let’s take a closer look at the playing time break downs for the Bears, and also some individual stats.
Again, if you simply looked at the stat line from Nick Foles, you’d think, ‘not too shabby,’ but most of what he did came in the fourth quarter after the Bears were down 17 to 0. Foles ended up 36 of 52 (69.2%) for 335 yards, 2 touchdown passes, no interceptions, and a passer rating of 99.4. The Titan defense had 3 sacks, 9 QB hits, and 7 passes defended, and I’m sure once the “pressures” numbers come up, there will be plenty of those as well.
I was not happy with the heavy dose of inside runs in this game, as the Bears were starting two really inexperienced players on the interior of their o-line. I wanted some pitches and jet sweeps to stress Tennessee’s edges, but Nagy only ran a couple toss plays.
The Bears leading rusher was David Montgomery with 14 rushes for 30 yards. He added 3 receptions for 12 yards, and he also lost a fumble.
The other fumble was from Anthony Miller who had 5 grabs for 59 yards.
Chicago’s leading receiver was Allen Robinson with 7 catches for 81 yards.
Their two receiving TDs went to Ryan Nall (4 receptions for 35 yards) and Jimmy Graham (6/55).
Riley Ridley saw his first action this season, and he caught 2 for 23 yards.
Tight end Cole Kmet again saw a nice amount of snaps as he was the second most used at his position, but he wasn’t targeted in the passing game.
Roquan Smith continues to be a bright spot for this team. He had a game high 11 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 tackles for loss.
The Bears other sacks went to defensive linemen Mario Edwards Jr. and Bilal Nichols.
Akiem Hicks’ 6 tackles led the d-line, and the newly activated Daniels McCullers chipped in with 4 tackles. Sure it was only game, but I thought McCullers (6’7”, 352 pounds) did a nice job holding his ground.
Danny Trevathan continues to come off the field in some sub packages, but he’s been playing much better football of late. He had 6 tackles, a QB hit, and a pass defensed.
Rookie corner Jaylon Johnson had 2 PD and 2 tackles.
Khalil Mack had 3 tackles, while fellow outside linebacker Robert Quinn had 2 tackles while appearing in a season high 75% of the snaps. The sacks still aren’t coming for Quinn, but he’s helping in other ways.
Justin Houston (3.5), Carl Lawson (3.0) and Robert Quinn (3.0) lead the league in sacks created minus sacks, indicating they've helped teammates get sacks more than they've been helped.— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) November 9, 2020
Pernell McPhee, Cameron Jordan, Shelby Harris and DeMarcus Lawrence next with 2.5 each.
The pressures are nice, but Quinn was paid to sack the quarterback and he’s not doing that right now.
*The above image has players that only played in the third phase.
You know the season hasn’t gone how it should have when the punt returner not sucking is a point of emphasis, but that’s where we are as Bears’ fans. Dwayne Harris had 6 returns for 64 yards (10.7 avg) yesterday and in two games has helped keep the Bears offense from starting in a hole. The offense hasn’t been able to take advantage, but that’s another story.
Cairo Santos made both extra points and his lone field goal.
Patrick O’Donnell punted 6 times for a 49.7 average, while placing 2 punts inside the 20 yard line.
I’ll wrap up the special team category with this fine nugget.
According to @NextGenStats, the fastest ball carrier for the Bears on Sunday was…— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) November 9, 2020
He clocked in at 20.33 mph on his 11-yard run on the fake punt, which was the 11th-fastest in the league in Week 9.
To check out the full Bears vs Titans box score I find that ESPN has an easy to navigate site.
All statistics and snap counts are taken directly from the NFL’s Game Statistic and Information System, as are the accompanying pictures.