Bears Hold On, Beat Panthers, Move to 5-1: Rapid Fire

| October 19th, 2020

The Bears are 5-1. They have played six games and won five of them. They are still not very good in almost every facet of offensive football but that doesn’t matter yet. 5. And. 1.

First Half

Score: 13-6 Bears.

  • Let’s call it The Drive 2: Just Worse. After the Bears picked off Teddy Bridgewater on the opening Carolina drive, this happened:
    • Slow flat toss to Jimmy Graham for minimal gain.
    • Run that didn’t work
    • Graham off the field, clock winds down, timeout needed.
    • Graham back on the field, clock winds down, delay of game.
    • Graham back off the field, Foles threads a beauty to Cole Kmet for a touchdown.
  • For all the talk of Kmet’s lack of production, I’ve continued to make the same argument. If the Bears wanted to involve Kmet, they could. That’s how TE’s function in this offense. Today they seem to have chosen to involve him.
  • DJ Moore on the crossing routes. Think you might have read about this in this space last week. Jaylon Johnson – and most other corners – can’t track that speed across the field. Johnson should have given up a touchdown to end the first half.
  • Kyle Fuller is good for one borderline personal foul hit a game. But what was he supposed to do on the hit to Kirkwood? Kirkwood lowered HIS head. If Fuller supposed to go after his legs? Is that what the league wants?
  • Bilal Nichols had a lovely first half, specifically the first few drives.
  • Ted Ginn looks like a disaster waiting to happen on punt returns.
  • Anthony Miller not getting the first down on 3rd and 3 is inexcusable. How can you not be aware of the game situation, especially on an offense that struggles like this one does.
  • Fuller’s tackle on Bridgewater to prevent the touchdown run is one of those great plays that gets forgotten by game’s end. I’ll make sure this one doesn’t.
  • There’s not an entirely different feeling with Nick Foles in at quarterback. Confidence. Foles knows what he’s doing. He’s limited. He knows that. But he gets the football where it need to go.
  • Did a Bears kicker just make a 55-yarder? Santos. You stay.
  • On defense, Bears have struggled with containing the outside run game and keeping Bridgewater from moving the chains with his legs. On offense, Bears don’t look like they can run it at all. If those are not corrected, this game will stay close.

Second Half

Final Score: 

  • First drive of third quarter Bears tried to run the ball, realized they couldn’t and then tried to manufacture an offense with trick plays. Not good.
  • Anybody else notice how far Joey Slye hits his kickoffs?
  • Notice how excited the sideline got when Foles scrambled for that first down? The players respond to him. Now, after the fumble, he simply can’t throw the pass he throws. He has to have better game awareness. A field goal is huge there. Protect the points.
  • After the opening drive of the third quarter, what a punt from Pat O’Donnell. And terrific coverage from Sherrick McManis. When Sherrick plays, the specials always seem to be mistake free.
  • Hey, Kenny Albert and Jon Vilma. The Bears are now a “throwback team”. They’re a bad offense.
  • The Bears offense makes one yard feel like thirty.
  • 12 men on the field, defense, twice on one drive. I have never seen that before.
  • The pass interference call on Jaylon Johnson.
  • Roquan Smith is so good weekly that I almost forget to mention him in this space. He’s becoming one of the best linebackers in the game.
  • If Bridgewater puts slightly less air on the ball, this is remembered as “The DJ Moore Game”.

There is a lot to say about Matt Nagy’s management of this offense. And it’ll be said a lot in this space over the coming week. But for now, enjoy this defense. Enjoy being 5-1. And know that this club hasn’t even approached playing a complete game.

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