It was a testament to building a team the right versus the wrong way as the Chicago Bears got beat by the Los Angeles Rams ‘other guys’. This was no comedy for Bears fans. Their team got embarrassed on Monday Night Football casting a broader shadow over their early success. Chicago, despite still having the third-best record in the NFC, has been doubted every step of the way. They gave more credence than ever to the naysayers in this one.
Bears Lose to Selves, Rams ‘Other Guys’
I’m Sorry, Who?
We spent all week talking up Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp but it ended up being Josh Reynolds who ended up leading his team in receiving yardage. Malcolm Brown, not Darrell Henderson who lead the team in rushing, dealt the deathblows down the stretch. It was Johnny Mundt, not Gerald Everett who caught a big third down, though Everett later scored a touchdown. Woods and Kupp combined for 14 touches and 104 yards.
Kyle Fuller had a rough outing with Reynolds and rookie Jaylon Johnson got tagged with defensive pass interference, but it was Brown’s runs and those wide receiver handoffs that are cause for concern. Brown (10/57/1) and Henderson (15/64) averaged 4.84 yards per carry; reminiscent of what the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers backs were able to do.
Johnny Mundt had all of one catch for a whopping five yards. He finished Monday with three grabs for 47 yards, including a 34-yarder that had the Rams threatening. Safety John(ny on the spot) Johnson’s one-handed interception in the endzone with the Bears threatening perfectly encapsulated the Bears evening. Even when doing their best they were a step behind and below the Rams.
Per @PFF, Nick Foles was under pressure on 20 of his 44 drop-backs.
And yet he still had a better passer rating under pressure (74.2) than he did when he wasn't pressured (61.8).
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) October 27, 2020
Et Tu, Brute?
It wasn’t all the Rams with their dominance in the trenches. The Bears shot themselves in the foot in a variety of ways. Not the least of which was penalties. It’s been a bugaboo all year; the Bears are tied for second in the NFL. But it wasn’t the usual suspects doing the major damage, though they did show up. Akiem Hicks seemed to be the target of the refs on Monday. He got flagged for a questionable roughing the passer call that looked like what they want defenders to do but that one was outdone by Johnson’s penalty. Hicks also got called for piling on to a play the refs allowed to continue for far too long.
Hicks and Johnson were the least of the Bears worries, all things considered. Foles was under duress for 20 of his 40 dropbacks but it looked like much more than that. Foles has seen his passer rating drop in each game he has started and, at times, looked like Mitchell Trubisky with some of the absolute prayers he was putting up. The pick to Johnson came in the end zone when Foles was trying to force a pass to fifth-round rookie Darnell Mooney. It’s something the Bears have done often this season and it bit them on Monday.
Things got so bad that fans were (and are) calling for Trubisky. Much of that is due to residual feelings that Matt Nagy pulled the plug too soon. The coach didn’t do himself any favors, though. His playcalling has been unimaginative and sometimes borderline futile in what they’re trying to accomplish. For a coach (and front office) that was brought in to modernize this offense, that hasn’t happened. For whatever you think about the personnel, Nagy has done a poor job of putting them in positions to succeed. With Trubisky no longer on the field to blame, that has become painfully obvious.
"You are the problem. We need to stop beating around the bush here. Him calling the plays is the problem. This is getting ridiculous."
– Former Chicago Bear Alex Brown on HC Matt Nagy
(Via NBC Sports Chicago's Bears Postgame Show)
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) October 27, 2020
Salt in the Wound
Foles first pick was one of two plays (and probably dozens more) that directly kept points off the board for Chicago. Safety Tashaun Gipson found himself in a prime position to take a Jared Goff pass back the other way for points. Instead, he swatted the ball down in a move that would make the cut on a volleyball training video. It would have the first of two defensive touchdowns by the Bears after Eddie Jackson finally got his defensive touchdown on a fumble recovery.
All things considered, the most disappointing part of the night came not from the feeble offense. It wasn’t the defense finally breaking after just bending for much of the game. The worst part of all of it was Leonard Floyd notching his third and fourth sacks on the year against his former team. Floyd, the former ninth-overall pick back in 2016, had just three sacks in 16 games for the Bears last year. If the Bears prevented nothing else, it should have been Floyd making an impact on this game.
Ted Ginn Jr is 35 years old. It makes absolutely zero sense to have him returning punts. Oh, his age has nothing to do with it. It’s totally due to his not having any interest in even fielding, let alone returning, any of the booming punts by Rams punter Johnny Hekker. If this was a coach’s decision, then change the directive. It’s hard to imagine this was Ginn simply refusing to do his job. He would surely have been benched for that. Whatever it was it was bizarre; especially for a team in need of some kind of spark.
Bears will be 5-2 after this and currently have a -9 scoring differential. They have scored the second-fewest points in the NFC. They don't have a starting QB on the roster. Winter is coming to Chicago … The playoffs are not
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) October 27, 2020
‘Other Guys’, Self-Destruction Key to Bears Loss
“It was just one loss”. That will be the optimists take. It is factually true but woefully shortsighted. We have seen the Bears worst games come when they face talented offensive and defensive lines. Those comebacks from earlier in the year look so much less impressive when they struggle the way they did against the Colts and now the Rams. With dates against the New Orleans Saints and Tennessee Titans coming up, it could get worse before getting better.
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