This is it folks. The last meaningless Chicago Bears game until next pre-season. I hope you whipped up your favorite snacks and already poured your favorite responsible beverages because you’re not going to walk away from this one. It’s Matt Nagy’s last game as the Bears head coach, and I for one can’t wait to see what he’s cooked up for us. I’m hoping for a touchdown pass to Andy Dalton, from Nagy himself disguised as Nick Foles.
But there was no fun this Sunday as the Bears fell 31 to 17 to the Minnesota Vikings.
Let’s jump into some game day recap.
Cairo Santos boots his way back to 90% field goal percentage
This good bear landed his 54th field goal out of 60 attempts in Navy and Orange. His right paw has been the most consistent to grace soldier field since Robbie Gould, and he finally managed to recover from the “classic Nags” to attempt a literally impossible 66 yard field goal.
Nagy’s going to go for every 4th
And there’s no way this can go wrong. David Montgomery is running hard and the offensive line is blocking with near-competent prowess.
Update: It went wrong. A 4th and 5 attempt let to Andy Dalton squirming backward for his life in what must have been a sack for 20 yards lost.
Update^2: Andy tried to toss it again on 4th for another sack. At this point, two failed 4ths in field goal range has cost the Bears 6 points. Whooopsy.
Update^3: On 4th and goal they tried to pass again and got sacked again. Even Aqib Talib could tell the Bears were “outthinking themselves.” There was no other way to end the Nagy era. Some things just feel right. This is right.
Update ^4: Another 4th & 1? You’d better believe it was always going to be a pass, a pass that that fell right into the hands of Patrick Peterson for a pick-six at that. Turns out there was an even better way to end the Nagy era, and the Bears managed to find it.
Has anyone called him Angelo Sackson yet?
If not, I call dibs. That was my idea and mine alone. This bear has been a good free agent pickup who has clearly taken advantage of learning from one of the greatest defensive lineman in the game in Akiem Hicks. Angelo Blackson got pressure early and often today, including a sack on Kirk Cousin’s first dropback. Cousins is obviously not a difficult man to sack, or even to mock on social media of that’s your thing, but it’s still an impressive performance.
Andy “QB1” Dalton is 32nd on the NFL’s all time passing list
Which is perfect because he’s been right about the 32nd best quarterback in the NFL this season! (Nobody talk about the interceptions, okay?)
Sean Desai has quietly rounded this talent-poor defense into something impressive
The Bears defense has had ups and downs this season, and there was a stretch when many of us doubted Desai. This last stretch of games, despite Khalil Mack being out with an injury, the defense has definitely outplayed the sum of its parts, considering it’s poor depth in the secondary and at linebacker.
Scratch that, maybe not
A good first half does not a game make, and the Bears’ 2nd half performance leaves plenty of room for any of Desai’s doubters. Blown coverages & DBs falling down led to open Vikings receivers and 3 easy-looking TD passes (one being a blind heave to Justin Jefferson) that rallied the Vikings back from down two scores. The phrase “It’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish” definitely applies.
Eddie Jackson, You Got Mossed
Justin Jefferson’s 45-yard TD pass that kicked off the 4th quarter was an emphatic reminder of the down-season Eddie Jackson’s had. Jackson seemingly had Jefferson locked up downfield, but he never looked back for the ball and ultimately ended up victimized on a play you’d expect him to make.
Jackson’s generally been good in coverage this season, but with a 15-million-dollar-per-year contract you’d expect him to find the ball eventually. Alas, he’s now finished his 2nd straight year with 0 INTs.
Dazz Newsome is a good little gunner
The Bears need to stop hiding their rookies on the practice squad. Newsome has made some great plays in his limited snaps, not the least of which was a brutal kickoff tackle on the 14 yard line today. He got down so much faster than the rest of the Bears for a second I thought I was watching Cordarrelle Patterson again.
The Referees seem to actually understand the stakes of this game
They didn’t throw a flag until the very end of the 1st half. And it was against the Vikings. Deep respect to Brad Allen and his crew.
1000 yard for Moon Bear!
Darnell Mooney officially broke 1000 yards on the season. People can say he’s not a “#1” all they want, but he’s been the Bears top receiver all year and looked good doing it.
The season is finally, finally over
The NFL instituted the 17-game season at the wrong time, this Bears’ season dragged on far longer than it needed to. Thankfully, it’s over — now, the real fun begins...