I didn’t have much fun watching the Chicago Bears in the playoffs yesterday against the New Orleans Saints, and I feel bad for the kids that decided to tune in to the Nickelodeon broadcast. I wonder how many casual fans tuned in and we’re immediately turned off by Chicago’s sloppy football, unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, cowardly play calling, F-Bombs, a punch and an ejection.
The first half had a few exciting moments, but the Bears were unable to capitalize on their opportunities and it never really felt like they were in the game. But that’s what happens with the offense has to be so precise to have any success. The dropped touchdown was heartbreaking, but we’re talking about an offense that only ran 38 total offensive plays until that final garbage time drive.
That drive contained their first and only third-down conversion of the game. They were 1 for 10 on those and 0 for 1 on fourth-down tries. The Saints converted 11 of 17 of their third-down attempts, but they failed on their lone fourth-down try.
The Saints outgained the Bears (385 yards to 239), they had more first downs (27 to 11), ran more plays (75 to 49), and they won the time of possession (38:58 to 21:02).
Chicago was flagged more than the Saints, 9 for 50 yards to 4 for 20 for New Orleans, but it was the two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties that really hut the Bears. Cole Kmet was flagged by a clueless referee and a clueless Anthony Miller got himself ejected in the same manner that Javon Wims did when these two teams met back in November.
Now let’s take a closer look at the playing time break downs for the Bears and also some individual stats.
Mitchell Trubisky was a pedestrian 10 of 19 for 107 yards (69.4 passer rating) before he led the team on a 99-yard garbage time drive to close out the game. His final line of 19 for 29, 199, 1 TD pass, and a passer rating of 96.8 doesn’t end up looking that bad, but he owes the numbers to the Saints prevent defense. Trubisky also had 3 runs for 10 yards.
David Montgomery had 12 rushes for only 31 yards (2.6 ypc) and he was targeted once in the passing game. All his action came before garbage time, so he was the focal point of 34% of their initial 38 offensive plays.
The Bears leading receiver was Allen Robinson II with 6 receptions for 55 yards. Jimmy Graham had the TD catch on 2 grabs for 25 yards, and Cole Kmet had 3 catches for 16.
Danny Trevathan led the Bears with 10 tackles and he added a QB hit.
The Bears had three players tie with 7 tackles each, Kindle Vildor, Tashaun Gipson, and Bilal Nichols. Gipson added a pass defended, a sack and a forced fumble.
Manti Te’o had 6 tackles in his Bears debut. Eddie Jackson and Akiem Hicks also had 6 tackles apiece, with Hicks adding 2 QBH.
Mario Edwards Jr. had 4 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and a QBH.
*The above image has players that only played in the third phase.
Cairo Santos hit his only field goal and Patrick O’Donnell punted 7 times for a 37.0 net average, with 2 punts dropped inside the 20
Cordarrelle Patterson had 2 kick returns for 68 yards.
Long snapper Patrick Scales had 1 of the Bears’ 4 special team tackles.
To check out the full Bears vs Saints 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.