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Bears spark life into Thursday Night Football with frequently-pointless semi-inspired offensive potpourri

The Bears didn’t always capitalize on their offensive drives, but are points always the point? They frequently moved the ball in the correct direction and that smells like progress.

NFL: Washington Commanders at Chicago Bears
Justin Fields is getting plenty of experience running for his life.

It’s Thursday night and the Chicago Bears are wearing delicious orange-on-orange outfits with a tasteful creamsicle tough of white in the pants and lettering. They played an opponent with 1 win and zero swagger. They had an opportunity to show a national audience they might be as laughable as they’re made out to be, and Justin Fields had the chance to quickly change the narrative about his development.

At times, it looked like that almost started to kind of happen. In the end, it didn’t, and the Bears fell to the Washington Commanders with a final score of 12-7.

No surprise Washington’s D line looks to have the advantage

The Commanders got quick pressure repeatedly on the Bears first drive. The Bears were able to make a little progress but negative plays ended the drive around where it started. This could end up being a rough outing for the Bears developing offensive line.

Jonathan Allen held Sam Mustipher

What a silly Commander. That was certainly not necessary, but thank you for doing it. To think I once thought the Bears should draft him instead of legendary Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.

I’m liking the number of passing plays on early downs

Luke Getsy is clearly listening to Bear twitter. We want to see what Fields can do, and we want to see a stat line that isn’t embarrassing. Even on punt-ending drives, it’s nice to see the Bears moving the ball in the air and Justin Fields getting some experience that isn’t just handoffs and third down sacks.

The helmet pick

What an annoying way for our young quarterback to get on the stat line. A Washington defensive lineman lucked into having his helmet bless with a shooting pass from Justin Fields, and it flew into the air to be picked off by Jonathan Allen. What a scam. This will certainly become more famous than the “helmet catch.”

5 and out

Despite an annoying third down conversion when the Commanders were backed up at their own goal line, the Bears defense looks to be up to the task of stopping this sometimes-streaky Commanders offense. Keep it up Bears. Nobody wants to see streaking Commanders.

Nice to give Herbert the ball after he got the Bears to the goal line

But David Montgomery is definitely the better goal line back. Herbert’s burst doesn’t help on the goal line unless you’re doing a wide outside run. Which they didn’t.

Justin was clearly expecting Cole Kmet speed from Ryan Griffin

Fields has been too spoiled by the athleticism of the Bears top tight end’s four-point-seven-second-40-yard-dash speed and through the ball over the reach of the lumbering old man Griffin.

Field position, though!

The Commanders had to start two drives from within their own 5 yard line. Hahahaha. They converted on third both times though. Gross.

Was Mooney looking over the wrong shoulder on their missed 3rd and 3 connection?

Fields chose to throw deep to Mooney on third and 3, even knowing that Kirk Herbstreit would criticize him for not taking the easy first down on the crossing route. But Mooney was one on one against a cornerback named Wildgoose—who was likely overdrafted and given an early opportunity because he had a cool name. Fields threw the ball to Mooney’s outside, and Mooney looked over his inside shoulder. The ball went beyond Mooney’s reach but I can’t help wonder if it would have been easier to get to if Moon Bear had looked over the right shoulder.

Bears third down blitz rate must have tripled this game

The Bears were one of the least-frequent blitzing teams in the league coming into this game. Today, it feels like every other third down is a blitz that forces a 4th down. It might not work this well now that the Bears have put it on tape, but clearly the Commanders were not prepared to handle it. Tricky Alan Williams.

Cool PI calls

Everyone was getting bored watching this game, including the officials. It looks like they’ve decided to help the offenses move the ball with some dubious pass interference calls. Not a bad idea. Hopefully we some going the Bears way on their next drive.

Update: They didn’t call them on the Bears next drive but probably because it was a 1-minute drill and the refs wanted to save them ‘til Bears could take full advantage. Seems fair.

Update: The refs decided to return the favor with an illegal use of hands replacing a 3rd down sack with a 1st down. I’ll take it.

Roquan Smith might just be getting comfortable in Flus’ defense

Smith started off a little rough against the 49ers and Packers, but since the Texans game, looks to be returning to form as a top tackler and difference maker on the Bears defense. Tonight, he’s been sniffing out the ball as well as ever. I hope this trend continues.

I suppose receivers don’t solve everything

It’s easy to fantasize about how a better receiving corps would unlock this Bears offense. And no doubt it would help. But the Commanders have a wealth of talent at receiver and their offense looks to be the Bears’ equal. Come to think of it, they may as well trade one to Chicago.

Screen to Velus Jones Jr!

What a great play on 3rd and 8. So much better than the other screens the Bears have called on 3rd down that didn’t work. V JayJay was the leading RAC receiver in the SEC last year. I wouldn’t mind seeing more than this.

I forgive all your drops Dante Pettis!

The former Husky and once-dropsie-bitten receiver caught a 40 yard dime from Fields for the Bears first touchdown. That’s one way to get around problems with your red zone offense. Fields was laid on the ground again on that play, then stepped on by Larry Borom. Our Beloved franchise savior looks like he’s in a lot of pain. I’d pull him now that he’s had a chance to show off enough chops. Let him go down with a hero play and rest up in the mini-bye.

The Commander’s left tackle looks good

The Bears could use a lineman like Mr. Leno Jr. Miss that Bear.

The Bears' o-line needs to communicate about who is allowed to lose their block each snap

Fields can avoid one free rusher, but sometimes two or three Bears think it’s their turn to let their defender through and then he ends up getting sacked. One at a time, please. Figure it out.

Noooo Velus

I want big things for our third-round, famously-mature rookie, Velus Jones Jr. Muffing two punts in his first two games is not a good omen. Good thing I don’t believe in omens. Certainly the last two fumbles of his career. Book it.

I keep looking for Deion Sanders on Thursday Night Football

And I just now realized they keep using the word “Prime” for Amazon Prime and not “Prime Time.” I thought I would share that just in case any of you were similarly foolish.

Is Ihmir Smith-Marsette the Bears tank for draft stock strategy

I guess I don’t hate it. Pick up a rival off waivers, put him in at the end of games to have a couple of bad plays that guarantee the Bears fall short of winning. The Bears can look like they tried will piling up draft capital and have an easy scapegoat. I just hope they are reimbursing him well for that difficult role.

New one-minute drill plan

Justin just runs the field. Prevent defense is silly against this man. My goodness, the league is going to be done if he and this offense hit this peak (in 2023-2024 of course).

Every week, I let myself hope that this will be the week the Bears offense explodes. There’s no logic behind it, but it gives me six days of pleasant hopefulness for the small trade-off of three gut-wrenching hours followed by a day of despair where I slowly build up hope. It’s not for everyone, but it’s a decent system.

This was not the week the Bears offense exploded. The defense looked good against just-thrown-under-the-bus Carson Wentz, for what that’s worth.