Chicago Bears: More mistakes and a tired Fields result in another loss
The Chicago Bears continued to make costly mistakes and a tired Justin Fields did not have enough magic to avoid their fourth loss in a row.
The losses continue to mount for the Chicago Bears. They lost 27-24 to the Atlanta Falcons. The loss was their fourth in a row and seventh in their last eight. With a Detroit Lions win, the loss also cements Chicago deeper into last place in the NFC North.
Just like last week against the Lions, mistakes continued to hurt the Bears. After committing nine penalties last week, many of them in key situations, the Bears committed seven of them this week. They also helped stall drives and extended Atlanta drives.
The offensive line had an up-and-down game. They gave up four sacks in the game. In addition, guard Michael Schofield committed two big penalties and allowed a key sack that stalled a promising drive. Also, center Sam Mustipher had a key holding call go against him.
Guard Cody Whitehair looked a little lost at times. On one play, he looked like he was blocking for a screen pass to the right but quarterback Justin Fields ran to his left. Whitehair let the Falcons’ defender through and stopped Fields. In another play, he stood around and wasn’t blocking anyone.
As mentioned earlier, Fields did not look right. He continually massaged his hamstrings throughout the game. He looked a tad slow when he ran. He finished the game with 18 carries for 85 yards but had 73 of them in the first half and just wasn’t the same in the second half.
Without Fields’ magical running, the Bears were down two important pieces of their league-leading rushing attack. Khalil Herbert injured his hip last week and Chicago place him on injured reserve. That means he’ll be out at least four weeks. With Fields also not at full strength, that left the Bears with just David Montgomery.
Montgomery finished the game with 67 rushing yards and a touchdown. Additionally, he was the Chicago Bears’ leading receiver with 54 yards.
Despite his troubles, FIelds did have some nice plays. He had a nice touchdown throw to Darnell Mooney for the team’s first score. Also, he had nice throws to Cole Kmet, who made a tough, one-handed grab while also getting hit. Furthermore, he had a perfect 32-yard throw to Montgomery late in the game that helped lead to a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
On that same drive, Fields made another highlight-reel play. On third down, he dropped back to pass. The Falcons pressured him but he was able to escape several times. He looked like he would take off but instead found an open Equanemious St. Brown for the first down. Fields was able to use his elusiveness to extend the play to over 10 seconds. It doesn’t matter how good of a defense you have, if the secondary has to defend for 10 seconds someone will eventually get open.
The Bears just can’t seem to get their offense and defense to play well at the same time. The defense did a better job in this game. They did enough to keep the team in the game. However, the offense, with Fields not at 100 percent, really struggled in the second half.
The Bears had 189 yards in the first half. However, they only had 99 yards in the second half. They had 126 yards rushing in the first half but finished with 160 total for the game.
The Falcons finished with 280 yards of total offense for the game. The Bears’ defense made some stops but also committed critical penalties that extended a drive that culminated in a score.
On the game-winning drive by Atlanta, the Bears just couldn’t stop the run. Once again, an opponent took a drive late in the fourth quarter to get a score that wins a game. This time, Atlanta went 40 yards on 13 plays and used up 6:29 off the clock. All but two of the plays were runs.
The Falcons left the Bears with 1:52 to try to tie or win the game. However, despite not having a healthy Fields, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy called two Fields runs. On the first play, Fields went to his left. He was running out of bounds but did not have the same speed we normally see from him. He got hit and took a while to get up. He went back to the huddle rubbing his shoulder. The Bears had to call a timeout to keep him in the game.
On the next play, Fields again ran, this time up the middle. He slid but still got hit. He got up and again started to rub his shoulder again. On third down in a passing situation, Fields tried a jump pass. It made the pass sail a bit and Montgomery could not make the catch. The Atlanta defender was able to, though. The interception sealed another loss.
Speaking of questionable play-calling, Getsy didn’t call the same game utilizing Fields’ abilities. He kept calling basic running and passing plays. Perhaps that is another clue that Fields wasn’t healthy.
Now the Chicago Bears face a rough stretch through the end of the season. They face the New York Jets, the Green Bay Packers, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Buffalo Bills. They then face the Lions again, who currently own a three-game winning streak, before facing the Minnesota Vikings, who have the best record in the NFL.
It is conceivable that the Chicago Bears’ upset win over the New England Patriots in Week 7 could be their last victory of the season. There could be another upset of course, but finding a win for the rest of the season is difficult.