The Chicago Bears put up some fight, but ultimately the better team prevailed. The Minnesota Vikings won 17 to 9, and the coaching decisions from Matt Nagy were up and down all night long. He truly looked like a man on his last legs during that game, and his time in Chicago should be over after next week, because that’s when the Bears can officially start their head coaching search thanks to the new NFL rule.
But the Vikings’ franchise might be looking for new leadership as well, because Mike Zimmer’s team should have steamrolled the Bears, but they couldn’t muster up enough to put the Bears away.
Now on to a few things I wanted to spotlight.
The Bears were playing with some passion
Chicago’s defenders started off the game playing with a chip on their shoulder. They knew they were undermanned, but they were aggressive and passionate and that carried through all 60 minutes. Matt Nagy was chewing out the refs all night too, and the offense had some moments of fire as well, but overall this team just isn’t as talented as the Vikings.
The Bears had far too many self inflicted wounds in the game, and those mistakes, penalties, and turnovers were too much to for them to overcome.
Justin Fields played pretty good
He’s now leading the league with 12 fumbles, but he also was accurate most of the night. He was 26 for 39 passing (66.7%) and there were at least 4 or 5 dropped balls that I can recall.
But he has to clean up that ball security!
And while he has become more decisive when he takes off and runs, there are still times where he holds the ball a bit too long. Rookies make rookie mistakes at times. It happens. But the future is still bright with Fields and what ever new coaching staff he gets to work with next season.
Justin Fields was most effective passing downfield, completing 8 of 11 passes traveling 10+ air yards for 128 yards and a TD.— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) December 21, 2021
Fields completed +23.6% of his 10+ air yards passes over expected, a career-high.#MINvsCHI | #DaBears pic.twitter.com/iw9FVFV3QL
Teven Jenkins struggled at times
But he also threw Anthony Barr like a rag doll and he stood up for his quarterback. The Bears haven’t had an angry offensive lineman since Olin Kreutz, and that kind of play helps build an identity. He’ll clean up his penalties, but he’s a rookie coming off back surgery. Anyone trying to write him off as a bust after 2 games is a moron.
Robert Quinn is a bad man
He’s now up to 16 sacks on the year. The Bears all-time record in one season is 17.5 from Richard Dent, and with three games to go that is within reach.
Thomas Graham Jr. looks like another late round gem form Ryan Pace!
Graham has been on the practice squad all year, and he only got some action on Monday night due to all the injuries and COVID issues, but he made an impact in his debut game. For those wondering why he didn’t make the team back in September, keep in mind he opted out of the 2020 season, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he just wasn’t ready for NFL football during the summer and through training camp.
Although, it would have been nice to see him earlier than December 20, especially with how bad the Bears’ corners have been.
I love the way Akiem Hicks plays the game
And I know it makes no sense to re-sign him, but I sure wish they could figure out a way to bring him back.
With three games left the Bears should sign the Hanson Brothers
Kirk Cousins only had 87 passing yards
Chicago’s secondary featured Deon Bush and Teez Tabor at safety, Kindle Vildor and Thomas Graham Jr. at corner, and Marqui Christian at nickel. Kudos to the Bears D for coming to play.