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Bears battle belligerent birds and suffer death by a thousand pecks

The Bears faced the best team in the NFC without their best player on offense or defense. Unsurprising results ensued.

Arizona Cardinals v Chicago Bears
Andy Dalton throwing a football to either a Bear or a Cardinal during a rough day at Soldier Field.

So the Chicago Bears are out of the playoffs (not technically, but come on we all know it’s over) and Justin Fields is injured. It’s hard to know what to hope for coming into a game against the top seed in the NFC. An upset would be fun of course, but it’s hard to imagine how it would happen. Also, I’d just as soon let the Arizona Cardinals remain the #1 seed for fear that a certain obnoxious franchise in a nearby flyover state might take that place. So I guess it’s development from some young Bears that aren’t Justin Fields.

At least this week I remembered to link the Box score for y’all!

Not the best start on offense

Things seemed to be on track for the Bears when they started off with an uninspired zero yard run, but their first drive turned disastrous when an almost-accurate pass bounced off Jakeem Grant’s paws and straight to a eager Cardinal defender.

Not the best start on defense

The Bears defense almost managed to cauterize the bleeding caused by their offense, putting the Cardinals into a 3rd and 12 that was sure to force a field goal. They even managed to stop them short of the sticks on 3rd down and force a 4th and 2. Then DeAndre Hopkins embearrassed our best cornerback for a 21 yard touchdown reception. Whoopsie.

Not the best second drive on offense

Old man Bear weather seems to be raining on Chicago’s Bearade today, as these slippery balls are popping out of Bear paws like slippery salmon soaked in fish oil. This time it was Cole Kmet who couldn’t hold on to a ball that slipped back into Buddah Baker’s hands. Baker would have ran the whole field if it weren’t for Andy Dalton’s heroic tackle kind-of trip that slowed him down.

Not the best second drive on defense

Again, the Bears got the Cardinals into a promising third and long situation, and again, they gave up a touchdown, this time with a Kyler Murray scramble.

It’s David Montgomery vs the world on offense

Montgomery: 1. World: 0. Love that Bear.

Ok, let’s just say not the best overall performance on defense

The Bears defense gave up touchdowns on the Cardinals first three possessions. Ewwwww.

I shouldn’t be so hard on the defense, they got a stop in the first half

And ultimately held the Cardinals to the 21 first half points they scored on their first three drives. Clearly, their plan is to hold teams to 21 points a half because they are closet Douglas Adams fans.

About those young Bears...

The best takeaway we could have from this game is seeing promise from the young Bear players who will hopefully become cornerstones of this franchise going forward. Jaylon Johnson gave up one big play to Deandre Hopkins, but otherwise continues to play an excellent season. Trevis Gipson had some nice flashes, and Larry Borom has been adequate at right tackle, which is more than one can reasonably hope for from a 5th round rookie. Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet have one catch each as I write this in the second half. Honestly, the only Bear that was exciting to watch today was David Montgomery. Give that Bear a second contract and let me watch him for the next 4 years.

That may be the Wildest Kittycat play I’ve ever seen

One thing I’ll miss about the Nagy era is crazy-ass plays that sometimes actually work. In this case a wildcat snap to (I think) Jakeem Grant, who threw it back to Andy Dalton and then ran a wheel route ultimately catching the ball for a 33 yard gain. I’ve always said: when you can’t get even, get wild!

The second half defense started to find its form

As I write this, they’ve only given up 3 points in over a quarter. Maybe I shouldn’t have been so hard on them in the first half. Two of their touchdowns came from short fields that the offense gave the Cardinals. I hope they forgive me.

Does a backfield tackle on a wildcat snap count as a sack?

The box score doesn’t think so, but I personally think it should. It matters for those tracking whether Robert Quinn will beat Richard Dent’s sack record...

Andy Dalton bests several Bears defenders with offense-leading two tackles

The veteran quarterback is versatile in many ways. It may be worth giving him some reps at slot corner.

The Bears had some fun moments playing a better team. At this point in a go-nowhere season, that’s kind of the most you can ask for. Enjoy your Sunday, Bears buddies!