It was as bad as the score. Or maybe even worse. The Bears offense started out hot as usual scoring a touchdown on the opening drive. The defense started out, not. Justin Fields was banged around but left in to “get valuable reps.” The value is up for debate at best. One more to go. Let’s get to the grades as the Bears set a franchise record losing their ninth straight game.
It feels incredibly unfair to even give Fields a grade considering the lack of talent around him. But, we most soldier on as Fields battled through another day of seven sacks, the most he has had to endure in an enduring season. Fields quarterback rating of 40.8 was his second lowest of the season, only better than the Texans game that the Bears really wish they had not won at this point. His final line of 7-of-21 for 75 yards is an eyesore even with 132 more rushing yards. Fields dazzled with his 60-yard run that has become commonplace. He showed toughness staying in the game. He is 64 yards away from setting the single-season rushing record for a quarterback. A standing ovation will be warranted at Soldier Field next Sunday if he gets there. The passing game just has to look a whole lot better and unfortunately for Fields he gets lumped into it for now while we wait for Ryan Poles to add much-needed talent.
Running Backs: C
When you are only called on to run 11 times by the coaching staff it is not your fault. David Montgomery had a great block on the Cole Kmet pitch to Justin Fields. He also ran for 24 yards on six carries. Khalil Herbert showed some of his burst coming back along with that Herbert vision. He went 5/31 including a 15-yard cut back. You can’t get a higher grade when the total number is only 55 yards but this is more of a game plan issue than a problem in the backfield issue.
WR/ TE: D
Chase Claypool had more sideline upset than actual catches and was only targeted one time. Cole Kmet had a drop. Dante Pettis had a drop. No one had more than two catches. N’Keal Harry did catch the lone ball that was thrown to him. The Bears search for receiving help is … needed to overstate the obvious. Byron Pringle was actually targeted four times, but did not have a catch. Unlike Claypool, Pringle has been here all season and has never come close to establishing himself. Help. Wanted.
Offensive Line: D-
Braxton Jones took a step back. Corey Wootton pointed out on our CHGO postgame show that Jones was decleated three times by James Houston who weighs 241 pounds. Weight room time, big time. Give Teven Jenkins credit for being back out there after last week’s scary neck injury but Jenkins did not last long before reinjuring the neck bringing on Michael Schofield who also was carted off. Seven sacks allowed by an offensive line in need of offensive line help. Pretty amazing that the Bears decided to make Alex Leatherwood a healthy scratch. Perhaps he gets a shot against the Vikings.
Defensive Line/ Linebackers: D
Two sacks! Trevis Gipson and Justin Jones both found their ways to Jared Goff. You have to go all the way back to Week 2 for the last time multiple Bears defensive lineman have had sacks in one game. But other than that there wasn’t much. 504 yards of Lions offense — 265 rushing, 239 passing was not as bad as it was to watch for those who spent their New Years Day consuming Bears football. Congrats, you are a diehard. Joe Thomas gets an honorable mention for leading the team with 13 tackles.
The grade has to be higher than what was happening up front, but it didn’t look good. Jaquan Brisker had blockers all over him, but did not flash with any Brisker-style hits even though he was second on the team in tackles with eight. Kyler Gordon and DeAndre Houston- Carson had the unnecessary pass interference penalty in the end zone when the Bears could have gotten off the field early with a 7-0 lead on 4th down. DJ Chark was well under control. The pass was underthrown. The Bears gave the Lions a gift they did not need.
I don’t get it. Justin Fields is the franchise. Fields has proven enough this year that he is at the very least your quarterback going forward and that you need to help him out with some weapons and protection. Fields gets dinged up, look disinterested, the coaching staff discusses taking him out but leaves him in? It should not matter that Fields did not get hurt. What if he did??? Once Fields started limping around he should have been taken out. Once the game was out of reach he also should have been taken out. Once the game was over over over he should have been taken out. Does Eberflus have him running sprints right now at Ford Field? Please protect your quarterback.
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