Bears blow a game they had no business blowing.
The season is over.
[Note: The thoughts below were written in REAL TIME. So as things change, thoughts change. That’s life.]
- Cordarrelle Patterson’s opening kickoff return told me something: the Lions have not realized that kicking to Patterson is a terrible idea with this offense.
- Television perfectly frames the sport of football. Why on earth would Fox move the camera off the line of scrimmage?
- On the second first down of the opening drive, Mitch could have run for 20 yards. But instead throw a ball into Cole Kmet’s crotch. Can we officially stop calling Trubisky a running threat?
- Would I have gone for it on that first fourth down? Yes. But Matt Nagy is coaching with a different mindset than I would be. Nagy is coaching to make the playoffs this year and field goal is the clear percentage play.
- The thing I miss most about watching the Bears in a bar is not listening to broadcasters. Did Spielman just refer to Roquan Smith as RAEKWON Smith? Like the rapper?
- The back-to-back tackles from DHC and Buster Skrine on third and fourth down were exactly the kinds of plays Nagy was looking to see from his defense after Sunday night’s debacle.
- Bears first TD drive: no third downs faced, ran it down their throats, brilliant David Montgomery drive to finish. Can the Bears play the Lions every week?
- The pass rush is officially non-existent. Mack is invisible. Quinn continues to be invisible. No lead is safe if you’re completely unable to pressure the quarterback. Stafford did not have to complete a difficult pass on the quarter-closing touchdown drive.
- A blocked and doinked extra point in one quarter. It’s not surprising that neither of these teams have winning records.
- Trubisky actually throws the football away on first down, instead of taking a ten-yard sack. But why is he so opposed to getting a few yards with his legs? At this point it is malpractice for him not to use what is his most unique asset.
Bears 9, Lions 6
- There is nobody in this Lions secondary that can cover Allen Robinson. He should have 150 yards today.
- One positive thing about Mitch is he does have a good hard count. And for this offense, the difference between 1st & 5 and 1st & 10, is miles.
- Cordarrelle walks in for an easy touchdown and makes the game 16-6. This is the best performance by the offensive line and backs all season. And it’s not close.
- Mack sacks Stafford and Skrine commits an illegal contact, giving Lions life. Just feels like a moment the Bears will rue. (On replay, the call is abysmal.)
- 3rd & 10, 4:36 remaining in the half: Mitch throws a ball over the middle that should have been intercepted. Slow read, slow delivery, tight window. It is simply a throw he can not attempt in that spot. And it’s those kinds of decision that hold back his development. When it’s not there on 3rd & 10, dump it off to Mooney in the flat and let your playmaker try to make a play.
- Roquan “Don’t Call me Raekwon” Smith just defended a screen to Kerryon Johnson about as well as a linebacker can. Sniffed it out, the ball got completed, tracked down the back for a two-yard gain. Brilliant, brilliant stuff.
- Then on 3rd & 13, no pass rush. Zone defense. Easy completion for Stafford. Then a bomb touchdown on the next play. What has happened to this defense? Why is there zero pass rush? How much money has to be poured into that position to make Stafford mildly uncomfortable? On both of those big completions, per Adam Hoge, Mack and Quinn were in one-on-one situations. Nothing.
- Every time I watch Stafford I think the same thing. Put him on a contender next year and he’s winning playoff games.
- Anthony Miller performing on the first-half ending drive like he’s expected to perform. Tough catches. Tough runs. If this kid showed up weekly, he’s be a viable second option for this club. But he doesn’t do that.
- David Montgomery played his best half as a Chicago Bear.
- With time winding down, Skrine gives Jones the inside leverage for ANOTHER long completion. No, the pressure did not do its job, but with safety help over the top, why are the corners giving this kind of space?
- The Hail Mary could easily have been caught.
Hard to see a scenario where the Bears don’t hit the 30 mark in the game. So if this game is lost, it falls entirely on one side of the ball: the defense.
Bears 23, Lions 13
- Khalil Mack ends the opening drive for the Lions with pressure. Bilal Nichols finishes the play, and then does a jig. I liked all of it.
- Four moments in a row that kill an offense: Mitch on zone read when he has no interest in running, deep jump ball incomplete to your smallest receiver, false start on Ifedi, easy-to-read screen to Montgomery. The Bears sideline never seems to have a sense for the football game when it comes to play-calling. Attack this secondary!
- The Lions score easily on the following possession. Why? Zero pass rush. There’s not much to figure out. The good quarterbacks tear apart secondaries in clean pockets.
- Bears faced a 3rd & 6 with two minutes left. Everson Griffen jumps offside. Major moment. Trubisky gets the first down on a timid keeper outside.
- Bears once again don’t score a point in the third quarter and have reverted to the group we’ve been watching the last three months. Is it adjustments at halftime? Who knows. But the Bears don’t look like a team that are going to score many points coming home.
Bears 23, Lions 20
- Trubisky to Mooney on a pivotal third down conversion. How do the Bears not throw the ball to Mooney on 3-4 crossing routes a game? Who is tracking that speed across the field?
- Cordarrelle with the reach for the first down! What awareness. What a play by 84.
- One of the best play calls of the season by Bill Lazor. Rush to the line of scrimmage, sprint Mitch out to his left and hit Cole Kmet in the flat for a walk-in touchdown. I’ve been harping on correctly using this team’s talent all season. That whole drive was an example of it.
- 3rd & 6 and Amendola doesn’t have a defender within five yards of him. How is that possible? How is this happening on every drive?
- Bilal Nichols makes ANOTHER big play, picking off a sloppy toss by Stafford. That’s an All Pro type play. And it gives the Bears an opportunity to ice the game.
- Charles Leno holds on a Montgomery 2nd & 1 first down run. Because why wouldn’t he? He’s not good. Drive stalls a few minutes later.
- Kyle Fuller closes on the first down completion and blankets Jones on the 3rd & 5. He’s just having a special season.
- What a hit by Duke Shelley on the subsequent punt! Just leveled the Lions gunner!
- Anthony Miller doesn’t turn upfield on second down, leaving the Bears with a 3rd & 4. Leno brutalized on 3rd for a sack. Leno has been the worst player on the field this second half.
- Maybe the broadcasters – instead of pontificating about nonsense – could explain why Stafford is throwing 75% of his passes sidearm?
- Stafford went 95 yards with ease. Why? Pagano puts the defense in soft coverages and there’s no pass rush all day. Does this coaching staff watch what is actually happening on the field?
- Mitch fumbles. Wow. Just wow. He stood there like a statue.
- Adrian Peterson scores easily. Bears trail for the first time. And Nagy, Lazor and Mitch will have a minute and a half to save their jobs.
- Allen Robinson doesn’t get the first down – with the defender on the ground – on 3rd & short. Bears run it on 4th and fail.
Final: Lions 34, Bears 30