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Well, that was a rough one. The Bears could have won. They arguably, logically should have won comfortably. They didn’t. On to the grades.
Quarterback — C
The roller coaster ride continues. Let’s start with the positives — Justin Fields threw two — 2 !!! — game-winning touchdown passes in the final minute. Unfortunately Bears receivers didn’t catch either of them. Fields run/ scramble down to the five set up four chances to win the game. Fields led the Bears with 88 rushing yards including 39 of those on his jaunt to the 5. Raise your hand if you were immediately worried the Bears would not finish the drive. Unfortunately, you were right. Fields interception by Jonathan Allen off lineman Efe Obada’s helmet at the line of scrimmage in the first quarter set the tone for what was going to be an extremely frustrating night. Missing a wide-open Ryan Griffin was painful. Throwing a perfect 40-yard TD bomb to Dante Pettis was awesome. 202 team yards in the first half, good. No points, bad. Overall, the quarterback showed his talents once again while also showing he has a way to travel to reach his full potential.
Running back — B+
Khalil Herbert come on down. Your 64-yard run was one of the highlights of the Bears night that sent Soldier Field into borderline delirium. Unfortunately, the drive ended with Herbert getting stuffed at the 1-yard line. That falls more on coaching though — more on that later. David Montgomery had a key catch on 3rd and 5 on the Bears final drive picking up a first down setting up Fields to make his run into the deep red zone. Montgomery grinded out 67 yards on the ground as well. The Bears running attack continues to be their offensive strength.
Offensive Line — D
Montez Sweat just sacked Justin Fields again. It was a rough night for Braxton Jones going up against one the NFL’s elite. Fields was sacked 5 times in all by five different Commanders who all seemed to live in the Bears backfield. Lucas Patrick got banged up and was in concussion protocol. Teven Jenkins is dealing with a shoulder issue. This group is in need of the mini-bye week and a talent infusion.
Wide Receivers/ Tight End — D+
Darnell Mooney said he lost the game-winning touchdown pass — the second one — in the lights. Ihmir Smith-Marsette dropped his lone target on a key 4th down. Not sure if he would have made it, but you gotta catch it. Dante Pettis had a huge bounce-back performance after his 2 drops hauling in the Bears lone TD pass. Pettis was also interfered on in the end zone. Can’t fault him but that would have been the triple cherry on top of the Pettis sundae had he made that catch. Cole Kmet was not spotted enough catching the football. One catch on 3 targets.
DLine / Linebackers — A-
214 yards total for the Commanders. The Bears got off the field in elite fashion holding Carson Wentz and company to 2-11 on 3rd down. Wentz threw for 99 piddly yards. Nicholas Morrow made a huge tackle on third down late that forced a punt with the Bears up by 1. We won’t mention what happened on that punt. ( come on Velus Jones) The grade would have been an A but the minus comes from 128 rushing yards and Roquan Smith getting decleated by Carson Wentz.
Secondary — A-
Eddie Jackson was flying all over the place. He forced a fumble that somehow bounced the Commanders way. Jaylon Johnson made a great play in the end zone recovering to bat away a would be Carson Wentz TD pass. Johnson was called for a ticky-tack pass interference and gave up a catch for the first time all year but looked like his impact self. Jaquan Brisker ran untouched and sacked Wentz. Brisker played with significant swag all night. Kyler Gordon had another solid night.
Special Teams — F
Velus Jones looked wobbly all night returning punts until he made what he called a “rookie mistake” and ended up costing the Bears the football game. Jones only returned punts his senior year in college and probably will not be returning any more punts in the NFL anytime soon.
Coaching — C
Luke Getsy dialed up a great play call for Ryan Griffin to catch a touchdown pass. Defensive coordinator Alan Williams dialed up more blitzes in the Bears best defensive performance of the year. But where was Khari Blasingame at the goal line when the Bears were trying to punch it at the 1-yard line? Where was more physical running back David Montgomery at that same goal line? How in the world did Matt Eberflus and special teams coach Richard Hightower not realize that Velus Jones is not close to the Bears best and or reliable punt returner? Eberflus said the Bears will be self-scouting during their downtime between now and a week from a Monday night game against Bill Belichick at New England. There are plenty of adjustments to make.
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