There were no Christmas miracles for the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Saturday as the Buffalo Bills walked away with a frigid 35-13 victory.
The Bears have now lost eight straight games, tying a franchise record that has been reached five previous times. Their 3-12 record currently qualifies them for the second pick in next April’s NFL draft with games against the Lions and Vikings remaining.
The Bills, meanwhile, clinched the AFC East title with the victory and hold the top seed in the AFC with a 12-3 record.
There was some good to be taken away from this game for the Bears. The defense forced three turnovers, including two interceptions of Bills quarterback Josh Allen. Velus Jones Jr. also had a strong game with four returns for 114 yards and two catches for 52.
But the offense sputtered too much for the Bears to keep pace with the Bills, even with their mistakes. Justin Fields was limited to just 11 yards on seven carries and the depleted received corps disappointed with several drops. Fields completed 15-of-23 passes for 119 yards and a first-drive touchdown to Dante Pettis.
The Bears held a 10-6 lead at halftime thanks to a missed extra point and field goal by Bills kicker Tyler Bass.
Buffalo bounced back to start the second half, however with touchdowns on each of their first two drives to take a 21-10 edge. While a Cairo Santos field goal in the fourth quarter cut Buffalo’s lead to a one-score game, the Bills pulled away with two late touchdowns.
Here are our immediate thoughts on the game …
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Woof. Other than a nice drive to start the game, the Bears’ offense was as bad as we’ve seen it all season. Missing Teven Jenkins and Cody Whitehair, the Bears’ offensive line struggled to get a push all game. On defense, the tackling was horrible and the Bears really missed Jack Sanborn. Hopefully Saturday’s game will silence the myth that is “Bear Weather.” All it did was slow down Justin Fields, lead to horrible drops in key situations and contribute to the poor tackling. Give me fast players playing in conditions that allow them to play their fastest, please.
Inside a fairly empty stadium at Soldier Field with a kickoff temperature of nine degrees, the Bears hung around with the Bills on Christmas Eve. For a half at least. The third quarter was the biggest difference maker as the AFC East leaders scored touchdowns on back-to-back drives. The Bears’ defense forced three turnovers in the game: Kyler Gordon and Nicholas Morrow intercepted Josh Allen and Matt Adams forced a fumble. The Bears will travel to Detroit to play the Lions on New Year’s Day.
Greg Braggs Jr.
Bears lose, yet again. But I continue to see more positives than negatives through this losing streak. They have competed their asses off in every game this season with the exception of the Jets game that Fields didn’t play in. For most of the close losses it was Fields that was the silver lining for Bears fans. Suddenly, with a litany of injuries, the defense has become a silver lining. Specifically these last three games. The secondary is a big bright spot heading into next season. Jaquan Brisker continues to flash, Kyler Gordon gets back to back games with an interception and today they even started to get some pressure. You give this defense a pass rusher or two (or three) and you really have something there. Jalen Carter sounds nice, doesn’t he? Justin Fields is doing what he can week to week behind a depleted offensive line and wide receiver group. He made a beautiful throw to Velus Jones downfield where Velus was able to hold on to the deep catch. Props to him for that. A Dante Pettis drop on third down highlighted what little Justin has to work with. For most of the game the keep away gameplan nearly worked but yet again they run out of steam in the fourth quarter. Not surprising if you consider the talent deficiency. Losing isn’t fun but I see more positives than negatives, all things considered. Enjoy your holiday with the family and know there are better days ahead! Cheers.
Well, the Bears lost another game. But is anybody really surprised? They were going up against another Super Bowl contender, and this one went pretty much as expected. Tip of the cap to the Bears offense on the very first drive where they were able to march all the way down for a score. Another kudos to the defense for keeping Stefon Diggs in check for the entire first half. Praise to Velus Jones Jr for having only positive impressions and this game. Kyler Gordon continues to be a take away machine. And just like that, I am out of praise to give for this one. Draft stock remains strong, and at the end of the day that’s all that continues to matter for the Bears. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all.
Justin Fields wasn’t hurt and neither was the Bears’ draft position. Thank god for small favors. Like the rest of the games in this losing streak, we’ve seen encouraging things and a lot to be concerned about. None of it can be really addressed or fixed until the draft and free agency and we’re thankfully almost there. Just two more games to go.