The Chicago Bears dominated for about 55 minutes, then forgot there are 60 minutes in a game and you have to play all of them.
Oh yeah, Andy Dalton got a boo boo and Justin Fields played over a half on offense. The rookie showed us a little of what the Bears glorious future will look like, but made the prudent choice to avoid peaking early.
Lightning Andy strikes again
The Red Rifle was on fire today, forcing me to mix metaphors as he through lighting bolts to Bears receivers and munched up yards with his legs, making us double check if there was really a 4 after the 1 on his Jersey. He sadly became victim to his own speed, as the force of his thundering gallop bore down on his own knee. The warrior came back in for one last drive, but a sack from DJ Reader clearly caused the gravity of his injury to sink in, and Dalton reluctantly accepted his fate.
Robert Quinn, your sack leader
Big Bobby Q added to his half sack last week with an early smoshdown of young Joseph Burrow. Good bear. Good contract.
But seriously, the Bears spread the sack wealth evenly today, with additional sacks from Mack, Nichols, and Roquan Smith.
Taunting penalties are so much fun
I for one think there needs to be more things that have nothing to do with football play that effect the results of the game. Let’s start with mascot competitions, since obviously the Bears will win all of those.
More missed assignments on the defense, better results
The Cincinnati Bengals converted a third and long when Tee Higgins was left wide open on an out route. Vildor backed up deep and Duke Shelley didn’t follow him until realizing too late that nobody was covering him. Later, Roquan Smith and Jaylon Johnson both followed the same kitty when the receivers crossed. Luckily Burrow targeted him and the Bears got away with it, but a more seasoned quarterback would have taken advantage for a huge gain.
Justin takes the Fields!!!
He spent a little too long with the 0/1, 0 yards stat line for my preference, but his first through was a good ball on a comeback that Marquis Goodwin forgot to come back for. He erased that zero with his second pass. I’m not sure how prepared the Bears were to have Fields play this many snaps, and they started slow, with more runs than pass attempts. Fields showed great ball placement, even on his incomplete passes, and of course dazzled with his silky swift scrambles.
His couple false starts may have been in part due to heightened nerves, but also it looked like some miscommunication with Mustipher. Which reminds us that Fields still has very little experience working with the first team offense, and was consequently playing handcuffed, missing some crucial chemistry. Speaking of chemistry, if Darnell Mooney and Allen Robinson pull in a pair of well placed deep balls—that they presumably surprised by given the rarity of such gifts in the Bears recent offense—this is a different game and the story of Fields’ game is one of ruthless domination.
Bilal Nichols rewards my faith in him
As I’m sure most of you know, when Patrick Judis of Cincy Jungle asked me for a defensive player who might make a difference this came and I called out Nichols, who clearly rose to the challenge. Nichols made a crucial sack in the second quarter stopping the Bengals final drive of the half. He celebrated by badgering Bengals in the backfield for the rest of the game.
Mark Sanchez, better announcer than 3rd string QB?
I thought the former Bear did good. He was comfortable, showed enthusiasm, and had some nice little tidbits.
It may take more than one week for Bears fans to forgive and learn to trust this secondary again after the miserable week one showing, but the healing starts with this performance. Kindle Vildor played some good aggressive coverage, despite what the whiney announcers tried to complain about. But the safeties needed to redeem themselves the most, and in one play Eddie Jackson punched the ball from Tee Higgins paws and Tashaun Gipson scooped it up for a turnover and a big momentum shift. Jaylon Johnson was the best player in the secondary last week, and he continued to prove he deserves the #1 role in coverage, even before pulling an an interception of his own.
Oof, no. The Bears had to embarrass themselves by running into each other on a deep Ja’Marr Chase touchdown.
Pass protection didn’t magically correct itself
The Bears secondary may look dramatically better in week two, but the offensive line continues to struggle in pass protection. Too many plays started—and quickly ended—with five Bears pedaling backwards to wrap around their quarterback and let a tiger or two through to sack a frustrated Bears QB.
Was anyone else just a tiny bit disappointed that Roquan scored on his pick six?
Obviously, I wanted the Bears to score, and I hope it will help Roquan get the all pro recognition he deserves this year, but I just wanted to see Justin get back on the Field.
Maybe week one was just Sean McVay revenge?
McVay has been a man obsessed with Fangio-style defense since the Bears exposed his scheme with it in 2018. Maybe, just maybe, what we saw week one was more about McVay cashing in on his maniacal quest to beat this defense than it was about the Bears waning defensive glory? I’ll choose to believe as much at least for the next
week 10 minutes after writing this.
David Montgomery, elite closer
Matt Nagy said he wants the Bears to be in position to give Montgomery more than 20 touches a game. I like the way that looks.
This game was so close to being a euphoric triumph for Bears fans. Instead, it was an emotional roller coaster that ended with a lot of hope leaking quickly out of the balloon. Football is a wild game.