Monday, April 22, 2024

13 Thoughts On The Bears’ UGLY Upset Over The Vikings


MINNEAPOLIS — The Chicago Bears are at a point at which they find themselves far too often: out of the playoff race with more than a month of the season remaining. After last Sunday’s devastating collapse to Detroit at Ford Field, Chicago fell to 3-8 and crushed any remaining embers of hope in the Matt Eberflus era.

The good news was Justin Fields showed significant improvement in his return from injury. He was quicker with his decisions, made good throws and continued to threaten defenses on the ground. He was let down by rookie Tyler Scott on penultimate drive, but otherwise Fields played well.

Whether the Bears choose to retain Fields after this season or not, he playing well is a good outcome for the Bears. Either he shows enough where they can move forward with him and use their high draft capital on other blue-chip talent, or they increase his trade value.

I said last week that the remaining seven games were critical for Fields. He played well last week, and needed another good showing tonight — in prime time — against the team that knocked him out for a month. Show improvement and beat Brian Flores, or succumb to the min/max defensive scheme he’s been employing all year.

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In the end, the Bears played a disgusting football game but upset a slightly worse Vikings team. But the talent on the roster really shined independent of coaching — the biggest win went to Ryan Poles.

Thoughts and Observations

1. Kind of a rough opening drive result for the Bears, who opened the game. Fields was very poised under heavy pressure, keeping his eyes downfield, escaping pressure, and finding completions to multiple receivers to keep the chains moving. Fields went 8/8 for 37 yards on the opening drive. But Cairo Santos’ kick sailed wide right … it wasn’t even close. A disappointing result, but encouraging progress from Fields against the exotic stuff that Brian Flores sent at him.

On the Vikings’ opening possession, Josh Dobbs tested Terrell Smith — filling in for an injured Tyrique Stevenson — immediately with a 50-yard bomb to Jordan Addison. Luckily, it got dislodged going to the ground. It was a perfect throw and Addison almost had it. On 3rd and 9, Montez Sweat beat the RT and closed QUICKLY for his second sack as a Bear. Huge play. He really is an impact player for this DL already.

2. Bears are playing an incredibly sloppy football game. A beautiful INT from Jaylon Johnson set the Bears up inside Vikings territory — but a weird unsportsmanlike penalty and multiple pre-snap infractions from the Bears pushed them back into their own territory. And then Fields missed a prime 3rd and 14 conversion opportunity (hospital ball to Mooney). On the next Vikings drive, a roughing call on Gervon Dexter (a gift for MIN) and weird holding / illegal contact calls kept a drive alive for MIN. But a nice grab by Jaquan Brisker on a missed catch by Jordan Addison resulted in yet another INT. Bears’ defense is playing good football so far tonight.

Bears only up 3-0 right now, though. They need to capitalize, as they failed to last week.

3. Jaylon Johnson almost had yet another pick (this time a pick-six) on a key 3rd down. A good play forced a punt, but man, JJ is gonna see nightmares about that again this week.

Meanwhile, the offense is just floundering immensely after a promising start. Luke Getsy thinks Brian Flores will never see the screens coming — there have been EIGHT of them called in the first half. It’s unbelievable. Bears continue to squander opportunities and cling to a 3-0 lead. Fields is also playing poorly after a good start… Not good for his evaluation so far.

4. Bears almost let Minnesota go down the field easily at the end of the first half, but tightened up in the red zone. Some good pressure forced an intentional grounding — Gervon Dexter with excellent penetration. The Vikings tied the game as the half expired, 3-3. Good recovery from the defense; but they’ve been outstanding this half. The Bears’ offense has been a disaster outside the first two drives. Just no answers for Brian Flores.

Vikings get the ball to start after the half. They will make adjustments, as Josh Dobbs is having a ROUGH game so far. Expect more screens, draws, and zone-read keepers to keep a steady pass rush off-balance. We didn’t see a lot of that in the first half. How will the Bears counter?

And on offense……. idk, man. Do something. Anything.

5. The Vikings did the Bears a solid to open the second half. After a big 21 yard run on the first play, Dobbs was sacked on a well-designed rush — Sweat was there again. But KOC decided to go for it on 4th and 9 and Kyler Gordon tackled TJ Hockenson short of the sticks.

But then, Luke Getsy galaxy-brained the next drive on a 3rd and 2… leading to a field goal. Bears up 6-3, but man, he’s gotta stop calling such predictable screens. It’s ugly.

6. Another interception for the Bears’ defense. This is insane. And not a drop from a Vikings WR this time — Jaylon Johnson tipped a 4th and 3 pass from Dobbs and TJ Edwards secured it. It would’ve been better as an incompletion, but who cares. A very nice play all around.

Side note — Terrell Smith is playing a wonderful game. A great showing tonight for Ryan Poles’ draft picks so far.

7. Breaking news: the Bears threw the ball downfield on a third down against a blitz to the one guy (DJ Moore) who can always beat man coverage behind it. Critical first down. Drive resulted in a field goal to go up 9-3.

8. Well, here’s the good news — the Bears forced ANOTHER interception — Kyler Gordon on a tip drill.

The bad news: with the Bears near the red zone, Justin Fields fumbled and gave it back to Minnesota. With a chance to go up two scores, the Bears cling to a 9-3 lead. The one thing he couldn’t do there. His fourth quarter woes continue to hurt the team.

9. And you won’t guess what happened next! The Vikings drove 77 yards with EASE to forge ahead 10-9 on a touchdown pass from Josh Dobbs to TJ Hockenson. With 5:54 left, the Bears find themselves losing after dominating the entire game (all things considered). Clockwork. It’s clockwork.

10. Guess what? Justin Fields fumbles on a scramble and the Bears are in big trouble. It’s unbelievable. He has completely failed tonight after a strong showing last Sunday.

We needed to see zero clunkers from Fields… we got one tonight. Play calling issues, sure. But Fields has been bad when he couldn’t afford to be.

11. Fields gets another chance after the defense forces a quick three-and-out. A gift, thanks to Josh Dobbs playing QB and not Kirk Cousins.

No excuse to not capitalize on opportunity #2. Zero.

And it was an ugly drive… some missed opportunities, but Justin Fields fired a laser to DJ Moore to get them in FG territory when all was said and done. Cairo Santos drilled a 30-yard field goal to put Chicago up 12-10 with 10 seconds left.

12. Bears win a brutal game, but a win, on the road, in the division, in prime time, is a win! Congrats to Matt Eberflus — getting his first divisional win of his career. Congrats to Justin Fields on converting the gift.

HUGE game for Ryan Poles’ draft class. He’s proven he has infused this team with talent. He’s a keeper.

13. The Bears head into their bye week now, with another date with the Lions upcoming at Soldier Field right afterwards. Playing out the string is no fun, but let’s hope Fields can avenge not only the meltdown from earlier this year, but the Soldier Field meltdown last year when the Lions stormed back from 24-10 down to escape 31-30 and kickstart their ascension.

Early prediction: Lions 26, Bears 23.

Enjoy the blissful bye week!


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Martin Melhus
Martin Melhus
Nov 28, 2023 2:03 pm

@Dr. Melhus, since Jerry Angelo has passed away I’m guessing you are now the smartest man in the NFL. Oh wait, you’re not in the NFL, just some airbag who thinks he is. Douche bag

Wes P
Wes P
Nov 28, 2023 10:56 am

The Bears should have won the game 31-10 but not with Getsy’s game plan. His dink and dunk short plays use up the clock and that’s good but he never opens up the offense where they could get a comfortable lead. He is not using the talent the Bears have.

Dr. Melhus
Nov 27, 2023 10:36 pm

Agree with Dhruv Krol, Poles’s picks and signings are playing great. The Edwards signing was genius. Edmunds might have been a bit of an overpay, but he’s still playing well. Gordon, Brisker, Smith, Dexter all played key roles. Wright did well aside from the one penalty, and he gave up a few pressures. From a distance, Flus and his team should have won this game easily. Coaching wasn’t great. Getsy needs to do something else off the WR screen formation, maybe fake it, and have EQ run a go route and Moore go across the middle. At this point, every… Read more »

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