Every week this season, I’ve convinced myself it can’t get worse for the Chicago Bears. Every week, they’ve proved me wrong. But this week, they were set to play a team that gave up 70 points. One can’t even use the word “burger” to describe the point feast Miami dropped on Denver. That was the whole tuna noodle casserole, and that was one group of dolphins who were not playing it safe.
If the Bears offense was ever going to find a jolt if inspiration, it had to be against this Denver Broncos defense. I couldn’t believe it until I saw it. I’m still suspicious that this was just the result of the disaster of the Broncos' defense being greater than the disaster of the Bears' offense, but I’ll take it for now.
This Bears defense, though...
Fields does his best to shut up the Caleb Williams chatter
After play one, Fields is at 100% completion percentage, 9 yards per attempt. This is going to be a great game! 71 points, here we come! Robert Tonyan was worth every penny just for setting the tone in this game.
Update: at the end of the 1st quarter, Fields is 6/6, 9.5 yards per attempt. Staying on pace for 100% completion and 252 yards. I’ll take it!
Update: Just before the hail Mary at the end of the half, he was at 16/16 for 231 yards, 14.4 yards per attempt, three touchdowns, and a perfect passer rating.
Eberflus to Chase Claypool, probably
“If you’re more interested in haute couture than our hot-mess culture, you can showcase your talent on the runway.” Anyway, Chase wasn’t wrong, but EQ might also be better for this offense right now.
Getsy to Eberflus, probably
“Let’s design a couple of terrible ‘designed runs’ for Justin Fields so people will stop asking us to use designed runs for him.”
Demarcus Walker gets the first plus play for the defense
The medium-ticket free agent defensive lineman hasn’t had many flashes yet, but he slipped into the backfield quickly for a a nice tackle for loss on the Broncos first offensive drive. Of course, it didn’t slow the Broncos march down the field, but we’re already to the “find any highlight moment to appreciate” part of the season.
Bears third down defense still has it
The Broncos took a long time on their first drive to get into a third and long, but once the did, they quickly capitalized on the Bears famously-leaky third and long defense and popped a screen pass in for a touchdown.
Cole Kmet finally converts a 4th and short
Say what you want about that play call. At least everybody knows it’s predictable. The other Bears play calls, only everyone but the Bears knows are predictable.
I wouldn’t mind never seeing Travis Kelce’s face again
His image was already overstaying its welcome before the Swift boost. I really have nothing against him. There’s just something nauseous about his face in that grammar-nerd kind of way where they insist you should say “nauseated” because nauseous technically refers to something that inspires nausea like suspicious is something that inspires suspicion. Just replace him with Staley in all of his commercial spots when airing to a Chicago audience.
Does a blade of grass count as touching the ground?
Asking for a friend. That friend is DJ Moore. Don’t ask him if we’re friends, it’s more of a one-way thing.
Bears get a third down stop! Bears get a third down stop!
I’ll never doubt their third down defense again. I’m sorry, Flus! The Bears are tied with the ball and it isn’t the first drive of the game. This could happen. The Bears could win this one. 14 and 3, baby. It’s happening!
Bears are in the lead, and Justin Fields is perfect
God I love this Broncos defense. It’s really a wake-up call to how insular our focus can be. I’ve been so distracted by how bad the Bears defense has been, I hadn’t even noticed the masterpiece of incompetence that was developing in Denver.
Pickens gets his first Sacck
Sanborn got pressure first on the play, but Zacch got the cleanup for what I hope is the first of many sacks in a long Bears career.
24 squared, baby
Khalil Herbert got the first explosive run of the game, with a 24 yard run. Love to see that Bear in open space.
Even the flea flicker worked!
The Broncos defense is the gift that keeps giving. Welcome to the box score, Equanimeous!
Cole Kmet is great when unguarded
He’s going to have a banner year if defenses keep not covering him. The Bear is clearly punishing me for dropping him in fantasy, and I’m not mad about it.
Even the Velus jet sweep worked
I’m starting to fear that this game tells us nothing about the Bears' offense and will just give this coaching staff disastrous false confidence. These Bears have really done a number on me.
Justin showing off his mobility on touchdown passes
In the short pass to Kmet, Fields used the threat of his running to uncover his receiver and then popped the ball into him when everyone thought he was committed to an ill-advised scramble. Then in the 3rd quarter, he evaded a one-on-one sacker multiple times, keeping his eyes downfield and eventually hitting Khalil Herbert open in the endzone. This is a promising trend that makes me more excited than a revival of last year’s 100 yard run games would have.
Bears defense isn’t going to give up the NFL-worst honor so easily
At least, not as easily as it gives up yards or touchdowns. After a decent stretch in the mid-game while the Broncos took their turn opening holes and blowing coverages, the Bears defense we’ve come to know (and love?) came back in the 4th quarter, allowing the Broncos a barely-contested jaunt down the field for their 3rd touchdown, bringing it back to a 1 score game.
The Bears blocking scheme looked too good for too long
Until the 4th quarter, the Bears had a perfect setup with play-action forcing Justin’s eyes one way and an unblocked defender on the other side. The Bears have done this before, presumably relying on the play-fake to keep the unblocked defender from causing a strip sack that would be picked up for a game-tying touchdown. Cool play, Bears. Cool play.
Justin passes 300 yards
Good for him. If nothing else, he deserves to have this. He’s been better than his stat lines for his entire NFL career.
Why take the lead when you could give up that opportunity for a chance to take a bigger lead
I guess the Bears had no faith their defense could prevent a field goal. They were right to believe that. So going for it on 4th may have been smarter than I believe it was. This coaching staff has certainly earned the benefit of the doubt.
It was nice to see Justin Fields and the Bears offense look good. It was remarkable to see the Bears manage to lose despite the best performance of Justin’s career. I honestly don’t know whether I hope the Bears get it together or just tank the rest of the season. Let’s see if the offense can do anything against a competent defense.