Sunday, May 22, 2022

14 Thoughts On The Bears’ Season-Finale Implosion Against The Vikings

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Dhruv Koul shares his in-game reactions, thoughts and observations from the Bears-Vikings season finale at U.S. Bank Stadium.  Follow him on Twitter @DhruvKoul to continue the conversation.



MINNEAPOLIS — Well, we’ve arrived.  The final game of the death march that commenced roughly six weeks ago.  The end of a painful 2021-2022 season for Chicago Bears fans.  The (expected) end of the Matt Nagy era in Chicago.  Possibly the end of the Ryan Pace era in Chicago as well.

News should start to trickle out this evening and tomorrow, in what will be a chaotic week in the NFL.  Some news has already started leaking.  From Denver this morning:

And lots of changes are rumored to be on the horizon for a Bears franchise that needs them.  How complete they are, remains to be seen.

Until then, there’s one more game to cover!  Bears-Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium to finish the year for the third time in Nagy’s tenure.

The appetizer to the main course, starting tonight.

And in the end, the Bears finished a disappointing campaign with a total second-half meltdown from a 14-3 halftime lead, closing the season at 6-11.  A fitting sendoff for Matt Nagy and his Bears era.

I shared my in-game reactions, thoughts and observations from the game below.  Follow me on Twitter @DhruvKoul to continue the conversation.

Thoughts and Observations

1.  (PREGAME) — With Justin Fields sitting this one out as well after landing on the Reserve/COVID list, the intrigue for this game couldn’t be much lower.  While Nagy’s firing is a foregone conclusion, what happens on the other sideline will be interesting for me.  Mike Zimmer is on the hot seat in Minnesota.  Will his players play hard for him after being eliminated from playoff contention last week?

One other bummer — Akiem Hicks is inactive in what will likely be his Chicago Bears finale.  His injuries just piled up this season.  Wishing Akiem the best as he continues his career.

2.  Fun start to this game.  The Bears lead 3-0 near the end of the first quarter.  The Bears took the opening possession for a field goal, and the teams have then traded punts (MIN, CHI, MIN).

A few things:

  • The Bears are trying to get Darnell Mooney his 71 yards.
  • Angelo Blackson came to play!  He has two sacks in this first quarter, including a forced fumble.  This defense is playing hard.
  • David Montgomery is great.
  • Larry Borom’s path to a starting RT in this league is through his run blocking, and he is improving.

3.  Andy Dalton has now been sacked twice on fourth downs.  That’s just not veteran awareness.  That’s what Justin Fields’ problem has been.  A veteran can’t be doing that.  Oh well.  Good thing that’ll all be moot after today.  The hope is that Fields, at least, improves on that front.

4.  Congratulations, Darnell Mooney!  One of the Bears’ few, true building blocks heading into 2022.

5.  Whoever the new regime ends up being, they won’t have to worry about one thing: the kicker position.  Cairo Santos has it nailed down.

6.  That was a fun drive before halftime.  Lots of veterans contributing to a touchdown drive — Damiere Byrd, Marquise Goodwin, Damien Williams.  And then Allen Robinson converted the two-point conversion to go up 14-0.  This has been fun.

Bears took a 14-3 lead to halftime.  Found this one fact funny:

7.  Not quite the open to the second half the Bears wanted.  After Minnesota rode Dalvin Cook beyond midfield, Marqui Christian fell down in coverage on 3rd and 13 and the Vikings scored a touchdown.  14-10, Bears.

Not sure why Thomas Graham Jr. isn’t out there in coverage, but a rough way to open the second half.

8.  Dalton sacked again on 4th down — this time, 4th and Goal from the 1-yard line.  This after a touchdown run was taken away on the last play.  Brutal.

9.  Robert Quinn.  Words just cannot do his season justice anymore.  The next regime will really have to think twice about cutting ties with him.  He’s been incredible.

10.  Well, after all that, we’re tied at 17.  Forget the nice things I said about Eddie Jackson up top, he just got burned (and was totally lost) on a deep touchdown to Justin Jefferson.  Whew.

(JK, Jackson has still been good this year.)

11.  So, about that Sean Desai love.  The Vikings have roared all the way back to take a 24-17 lead in the fourth quarter.  The secondary has been completely lost, and Justin Jefferson has been a problem.  Whew.

Going out with a whimper in the second half of the Matt Nagy finale?

12.  Ladies and gentlemen, the perfect sendoff for Matt Nagy after all that has transpired on this field today:

13.  Just for fun:

 

14.  The end has arrived.  Chicago heads into the offseason with plenty of intrigue surrounding their changes to come.  We’ll break it down for you as things heat up!

I want to thank you for following along and reading (and listening!) this season.  I know it’s been tough, Bears fans, but hopefully this coverage has been helpful, insightful, and perhaps entertaining.

Be sure to follow me @DhruvKoul on Twitter, and follow our podcast @clubdub_podcast that’s presented by SportsMockery.

We’ll have plenty for you this offseason!

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