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There was some good and a lot of bad in the Chicago Bears’ 29-22 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Here’s how I graded out the performances …
Matt Eberflus called it his best game as a Bear. Justin Fields finished 15-for-21. He righted a sinking Bears ship on the road. He has a sweet run to the end zone that would have put the Bears ahead had Ihmir Smith-Marsette not committed his first of two COSTLY mistakes. Fields found Cole Kmet on third down for a first down. He hit Darnell Mooney on a bomb. After a disappointing start to the season, Fields took a MAJOR step forward.
WR/ TE: D
Great catch by Darnell Mooney. Great. Now for the rest. Dante Pettis had two drops. Fields could have been more on the money but come on. Smith-Marsette’s fumble to end the game. Cole Kmet catching a ball for a first down on third down was good to see. Four catches on four targets also a good development. But the drops and the fumble were too costly to lift this grade up any further.
Offensive line: C-
Fields gets credit for adjusting to what he has in front of him which is not enough. Sam Mustipher had the premature snap and the usual not big enough moments to handle the position. Teven Jenkins was called for a crucial holding penalty. Braxton Jones wasn’t physical enough.
Running back: B
David Montgomery back on the field was nice to see. Loaf to the jersey equipment person who forgot how to spell his name but a nice recovery getting fixed before game time. Montgomery only had 12 carries for 20 yards but four catches for 62 yards including 30 to start the game to give the Bears a boost. Khalil Herbert didn’t get many touches with the Bears trailing and Montgomery back on the field.
Defensive line/Linebacker: C-
One sack on the day and 4 TFL’s was not close to enough. Kirk Cousins was too comfortable for the vast majority of the afternoon. Robert Quinn jumped offsides and stopped playing when he did. The 16-tackle version of Roquan Smith did not show up. There were too many missed tackles as the Vikings played downhill early and often.
CB/ Safety C+
Jaylon Jones had 13 tackles but is still trying to find Justin Jefferson as are the rest of the Bears. Kyler Gordon had his best day as a Bear with 10 tackles. We have not seen a physical Jaquan Brisker preseason-style tackle for too long but we all know it is coming.
Special Teams: A
Cairo Santos was perfect again, 3-3 including a 51-yard bomb. Trenton Gill continued his campaign to become the rookie punter of the year booming 2 punts for a 56.5 average.
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