By now you know the particulars of the Bears’ 20-12 loss to the Giants on Sunday.
The Bears did not find the end zone. The Giants played without a quarterback. The Bears are back to .500 at 2-2. All is not lost, but the moment does not feel good.
With that let’s dive into this week’s grades.
It was … better. Justin Fields had a season-high 11 completions and a season-high 174 yards. We can call that progress. There also was a 56-yard bomb to Darnell Mooney that felt oh so good. But, there were also open receivers that Fields missed and also that not-getting-into-the-end-zone-once-all-day-thing. Fields was slightly defiant after the game when asked why the passing game wasn’t working saying “the stats don’t matter.” Perhaps Fields is starting to feel a little more confident on where the offense is headed, we hope so.
Offensive Line: B-
Six more sacks for Justin Fields ain’t great. But149 more yards on the ground is nice. How many times can you remember Fields standing in the pocket calmly surveying the field with time to spare? Once? Twice? It wasn’t many. Losing Cody Whitehair to a knee injury would be a big blow.
Wide Receivers / Tight End: C+
Darnell Mooney caught a bomb. Mooney also had season highs in catches and yards — four catches for 94. Mooney deserves good things coming to him for the amount of work he puts into it. Dante Pettis had a key drop on third down. Pettis did not have a catch, neither did Equanimeous St. Brown and Ihmir Smith-Marsette who were all targeted at least once.
The Bears were in the game in the fourh quarter once again so credit to Matt Eberflus and the H.I.T.S. principle fighting to the end. Flus and company continue to be conservative calling a run play on 3rd and 2 late in the fourth quarter, coming up short and then punting it away. The Bears would have gotten the ball back had Velus Jones not muffed the punt, but the play call does not allow this Bears team to grow in the moment which is the point of the Bears 2022 season.
Defensive Line / Linebackers: C
Daniel Jones was sacked only one time, by far his lowest total of the season. Jones had been sacked 13 times combined in the three previous games. Jones must have felt like the world was his oyster running free on naked bootlegs. Containment was non-existent for much of the first half. Saquon Barkley had another big day gashing the Bears for 146 yards on 31 carries. Barkley was forced to run the wildcat for a bit and the Bears still had trouble stopping the Giants offense.
Eddie Jackson has another pick playing a beautiful center field. Jaquan Brisker stepped up and finally contained Jones for the one Bear sack of the day. There is no one on the team that wants Jaylon Johnson back playing than Kyler Gordon who had another disappointing day learning on the job getting beat and getting called for numerous penalties including 46-yards on one series.
Special Teams C
This grade should have been an A. Trenton Gill had another great day punting the football – 5 punts for an average of 52.8 yards. Wow. Gill also had three inside the 20 and stepped in well on kickoffs for Cairo Santos. Michael Badgley made all 4 of his field goals and had all the Bears points unfortunately. But, when you cost your team a chance at a victory by dropping a punt late in the 4th quarter effectively ending the game like Velus Jones did, the grade can’t be a good one.
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