Is this considered acceptable progress for the rebuilding Bears?
I never expected the 2022 Bears to be very good, but the hope was to see the young players, especially Justin Fields, develop and show they are legit building blocks for the franchise's future. Through four weeks of play, I'm still unsure what the QB1 is, and I'm not sure about the coaching staff either.
There’s a lot of season left, so I’m not panicking, but...
I look around the league and see a second-year quarterback in Zach Wilson having 36 pass attempts in his season debut, third-string rookie Bailey Zappe given a chance to execute the Patriots offense, and the Lions and Seahawks combining for 93 points.
In yesterday's game, the Giants outgained the Bears (333 to 304), New York had the time of possession edge (31:17 to 28:43), they had more first downs (21 to 16), and they were better on third-downs too (42.9% to 33.3%).
Now let's take a closer look at the playing time breakdowns for the Bears and also some individual stats.
Justin Fields had his best statistical game of the season by going 11 of 22 for 174 yards and a passer rating of 76.7, while running for 52 yards on 7 attempts. The Giants were credited with 6 sacks on Fields, and while the pass protection had issues, Fields added to that with some of his decisions. The playcalling also left me scratching my head at times.
Khalil Herbert didn't have as many holes to exploit this week, but he still managed to get 4.1 yards a carry (19 for 77 yards), to go along with a 24-yard reception.
Darnell Mooney broke out with 4 grabs for 94 yards, and Cole Kmet added 3 for 16 yards.
Trestan Ebner caught 2 for 8 yards and ran for 20 yards on 6 carries.
Lucas Patrick and Teven Jenkins were again sharing reps at right guard, but once Cody Whitehair left with an injury, Patrick moved to left guard.
Also, that lateralpalooza to end the game resulted in some odd statistical quirks.
I just realized that yards gained on a clean lateral counts as receiving yards for a player, hence the #Bears stat sheet today shows that Equanimeous St. Brown has 9 receiving yards on 0 catches, but once there's a fumbled lateral anything gained after that is fumble return yards pic.twitter.com/YqdKFgYUt2— Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. (@wiltfongjr) October 3, 2022
Here’s the play as written up by the NFL stats crew.
Roquan Smith led the Bears with 10 tackles.
Eddie Jackson picked up his third interception of the season to go along with 9 tackles.
Justin Jones had 6 tackles and 2 tackles for loss.
The Bears' lone sack was courtesy of Jaquan Brisker, who also had 5 tackles and a TFL.
Kyler Gordan had 5 tackles and a forced fumble.
Defensive tackle Armon Watts got his first start this season and he had 3 tackles, while Angelo Blackson had 5 tackles off the bench.
*The above image has players that only played in the third phase.
Cairo Santos missed the game for personal reasons, so Michael Badgley was signed to the practice squad and elevated to the active roster on Saturday, and then went 4 for 4 on field goals.
Trenton Gill (aka the Gillotine) punted 5 times for a 52.8 tard average with 3 punts inside the 20.
Velus Jones Jr. had 2 kickoff returns for 44, 2 punt returns for 19 yards, and a muffed punt return that essentially sealed Chicago's fate in the L column.
Josh Blackwell hit the punt coverage trifecta with a tackle, forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.
To check out the full Bears vs Giants box score, I find that ESPN has an easy to navigate site.
All statistics and snap counts are taken directly from the NFL's Game Statistic and Information System, as are the accompanying pictures.