Chicago Bears: Another late collapse extends losing streak to five

Chicago Bears QB Andy Dalton - Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears QB Andy Dalton - Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports /

After the Chicago Bears defense gives up another score late in the game, their losing streak hits five, likely ending whatever playoff hope that still lingered.

Turn out the lights, the party is over. Whatever slim hopes the Chicago Bears still had of contending for a playoff spot got dashed as they lost their fifth straight game, this time to the Baltimore Ravens 16-13. Their record now stands at 3-7. With the Minnesota Vikings beating the Green Bay Packers, the Bears are now two games behind them for second place in the NFC North.

We saw the offense struggle again for most of the game. Quarterback Justin Fields was just 4/11 for 79 yards and had 4 carries for 23 yards before he suffered a rib injury after the first drive in the second half.

The team said the tests didn’t reveal any break but his status for Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day matchup against the Detroit Lions is unknown.

Chicago Bears can’t keep from collapsing despite offensive spark with Dalton

Backup Andy Dalton relieved Fields and sparked the offense. On his first drive, it took just two plays to go 83 yards and score a touchdown. The big play was a wide receiver screen that wide receiver Darnell Mooney took for 60 yards. Mooney finished the game with 5 catches for 121 yards and a touchdown. He was targeted 16 times, however. A 31 percent catch percentage is not good.

Unfortunately, the Bears weren’t able to build on that spark. They punted on their next drive. Then, on their first drive of the fourth quarter, their inability to get it together hurt them again. They passed the ball for two yards then ran it for two more. Then the Ravens committed a neutral zone infraction giving the Bears a third and 1. They decided to go for a deep to Mooney but the pass was incomplete.

The thought was that if they went deep on third and one then that meant they would go for it on fourth down. That didn’t happen, however, at least not at first. They lined up for a punt, and after a chorus of boos reigned on them, head coach Matt Nagy called a timeout. Additionally, there was apparently was trouble with the communication system.

At any rate, there was confusion and it cost the Bears a timeout.

The Bears came out of the timeout and went for it on fourth down. Instead of running a normal play, they ran a Wildcat to David Montgomery. That play failed miserably and the Bears turned it over on downs. It was another example of things falling apart around Nagy during inopportune times.

The defense was playing well until it was absolutely necessary

After giving up late scores in the last two games that contributed to losses, the defense wanted to have a big game. They had to deal with injuries, however. They were without Akiem Hicks, Danny Trevathan, Khalil Mack, and Eddie Jackson.

Despite missing so many key players, the defense still played well. Robert Quinn stepped up in Mack’s absence and wreaked havoc on the Ravens backfield. He recorded 3.5 sacks and 5 tackles, three of them for loss. He had a huge game. Additionally, Roquan Smith was everywhere in this game, recording 17 tackles, two of them for loss.

The Bears were all over Tyler Huntley. Huntley stepped in for Lamar Jackson, who missed the game due to a non-COVID sickness. The Bears’ defense sacked him six times. They now lead the NFL in sacks once again.

The defense controlled Huntley for most of the game. The Ravens offense only had three field goals late into the fourth quarter. WIth 3:45 left in the game, Baltimore held a 9-7 lead.

Then Dalton came up with another huge play. First, you know it isn’t a real Chicago Bears game without a dumb penalty happening at the worst time. On fourth and six, Jason Peters committed a false start, backing the offense five yards. That meant Dalton and the Bears had to come up with one incredible play to keep the hope of a victory alive.

Dalton and Marquise Goodwin did just that. Goodwin made a great double move that left the Ravens defender in his dust. He was wide open and Dalton hit him in stride for a 49-yard touchdown. That made the score 13-9 Chicago pending the extra point.

Again, the Bears’ disarray came to the forefront. On the touchdown, the Ravens were called for roughing the passer. They could have elected to enforce the penalty on the ensuing kickoff. Instead, they debated whether to take the penalty on the extra point, giving them one yard and going for two. They had to call their third and final timeout. That came back to haunt them.

The Bears called their second timeout on the same drive when they faced a fourth and six. The clock was stopped and it was too far for a field goal so why they called a timeout was anyone’s guess.

The two-point conversion failed and the Bears had 1:41 left to hand on. That was when the defense again failed.

Huntley took his offense 61 yards on 9 plays in 1:19. He completed passes for 21 and 29 yards, taking advantage of Chicago’s broken coverages. They also had a 21-yard pass interference call as well.

That left the Bears with 22 seconds and, thanks to calling three unnecessary timeouts in the second half, no timeouts. It wasn’t nearly enough time and now the Chicago Bears hope to regroup and hope not to be embarrassed by letting the Lions win their first game of the season.