I know the popular story to come out of the Chicago Bears 20-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals is rookie quarterback Justin Fields getting some extending playing time, but this game was all about the defense. Chicago’s turnover basket was getting a work out with 3 interceptions and a fumble recovery, but they also had 4 sacks, 6 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, 9 quarterback hits, and 8 passes defended.
But their offense had some issues in the first half with Andy Dalton before his knee injury, and then some more issues with Fields in the game in the second half, but the Bears also left some yards and points out there with some drops and silly penalties. These are things that can be cleaned up, so we’ll need to wait and see who get the QB1 job this week.
Offense was scarce in this game with the Bengals having the edge in total yards 248 to 206, but the Bears had more first downs 16 to 14, and they won the time of possession battle 31:21 to 28:39. The Bears were penalized 8 times for 70 yards, while the Bengals got hit with 4 for 57.
Now let’s take a closer look at the playing time break downs for the Bears and also some of their individual stats.
Fields’ had a brief run in the first half, but he was in for the final thirty minutes, and in all he was 6 of 13 (46.2%) passing, for 60 yards, 1 interception, and a passer rating of 27.7. He was penalized two times, sacked twice, and had 10 rushing attempts for 31 yards — with a few kneel downs to end the game — and he recovered his lone fumble.
But the numbers don’t tell the whole story.
There were at lest two drops, one that should have been for a touchdown, and another ridiculous pass interference penalty that erased a 13 yard first down throw. He also had a huge 10 yard run with under three minutes in the game that moved the chains, so while there were some mistakes he’ll need to clean up, his film session will show some positives too.
Dalton was 9 of 11 (81.8%), for 56 yards, 1 TD, a passer rating of 118.2, he was sacked once, and he ran twice for 25 yards.
David Montgomery led the Bears in rushing with 61 yards on 20 carries, and he chipped in with 3 receptions for 18 yards. He played 80% of the reps this week after only getting 59% last week.
Darnell Mooney led the team with 6 catches, on 8 targets, for 66 yards.
There weren't many targets for them, but it was an interesting use of the tight ends again this week. Cole Kmet led the group by a wide margin, and while Jimmy Graham played more he still wasn’t a factor. The Bears opened the gams with a 2 TE set and it was Jesse James getting the nod with Kmet.
Roquan Smith had a big game with 8 total tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss, and an interception that he brought back 53 yards for a TD.
Chicago’s other two interceptions went to corner Jaylon Johnson and defensive lineman Angelo Blackson, and it was the first career pick for both of them. Johnson added 4 passes defended and 2 tackles, and Blackson had 3 tackles and a QB hit.
The Bears other 3 sacks went to Khalil Mack (2 tackles, 1 TFL), Bilal Nichols (4 tackles, 1 TFL), and Robert Quinn (3 tackles, 2 TFL). Quinn also had a dumbass hit out of bounds.
Nickelback Duke Shelley had 6 tackles, and Akiem Hicks had 4 tackles and 2 QBH.
Safety Tashaun Gipson (3 tackles) recovered the fumble that Eddie Jackson (4 tackles, 1 TFL) forced. Gipson also had a dumbass taunting penalty.
The Bears played an extra safety quite a bit with DeAndre Houston-Carson getting in for 16 snaps, and that game planning could have played into why the Bears made outside linebacker Trevis Gipson inactive this week.
*The above image has players that only played in the third phase.
Patrick O’Donnell punted 4 times for a 42.3 average (33.5 net), and he placed 2 punts inside the twenty yard line.
Cairo Santos was perfect with 2 extra points and 2 field goals.
One week after starting at the nickel, Marqui Christian didn't see 1 snap on D.
All statistics and snap counts are taken directly from the NFL’s Game Statistic and Information System, as are the accompanying pictures.
To check out the full Bears vs Bengals box score I find that ESPN has an easy to navigate site.
And in case you missed it, that Roquan pic I used above reminded me of this!