The Bears’ offensive struggles are not only Mitch Trubisky’s fault, and he had three passes blatantly dropped. But still: 10 completions on 21 attempts for 125 yards with no touchdowns and a devilish passer rating of 66.6 does not completely lie. Trubisky looked lost in the first half, taking a sack on an early play on which he had multiple receivers open for a layup completion.
Trubisky also missed Allen Robinson on third and nine on the Bears’ first drive, throwing off his back foot and sailing a throw wide and not giving his receiver a chance to make a play. That helped set the tone for a first half in which the Bears managed to gain just nine yards.
Trubisky did have a handful of good completions, like his 53-yard strike to Taylor Gabriel and a tough 13-yarder to the diminutive receiver on third and eight that extended the Bears’ second scoring drive. He hit a wide open David Montgomery for 30 yards the play after that third down throw to Gabriel, too.
But those are three completions, and they stand out in part because he didn’t make many other impressive throws throughout the game.
RUNNING BACKS: D
Montgomery and Cohen were the culprits of those aforementioned three drops, with Montgomery’s a backbreaker — it was on a well-designed and well-executed screen, with James Daniels clearing plenty of green grass ahead of the rookie running back. Had he caught it, the Bears would’ve got a first down in Eagles territory with just under nine minutes left, and could’ve reasonably rode momentum into a go-ahead touchdown.
After the game, Montgomery did not entertain an excuse for his mistake — “I dropped it,” he flatly repeated. Cohen’s drops were concerning, too: Both happened in the first half and dumped more gasoline onto the blazing tire fire that was the Bears’ offense in the first 30 minutes.
Cohen gained just 16 yards on his four touches.
WIDE RECEIVERS: C-
Gabriel had a good enough day, running a savvy route to get behind the Eagles’ defense and snag that 53-yard bomb in the third quarter while making a gritty catch on third and eight to keep a drive alive that wound up getting the Bears in the end zone. But that was the only bright spot, production-wise, for this group.
Robinson felt he should’ve come down with a one-on-one deep ball down the far sideline in the third quarter, and it was jarring to see him only have six yards on one catch against a secondary that’s been as porous as the Eagles’ this year. Miller was a non-factor, though there were a handful of players where Trubisky could’ve tried to get him the ball and didn’t.
Cordarrelle Patterson was flagged for holding on the first play of the Bears’ third drive, immediately putting an out of sync offense behind the sticks on what was another three-and-out.
TIGHT ENDS: F
Trey Burton was targeted once, with Trubisky badly overthrowing him. Adam Shaheen was targeted once, too, with Trubisky making a panicked decision to throw him the ball when he was barely beyond the line of scrimmage on third and nine. Neither player recorded a catch.
This unit is an absolute mess. Burton may not be healthy until 2020, and Shaheen hasn’t shown anything to gain the trust of his coaching staff. When J.P. Holtz, who mostly plays fullback, is consistently the best player from this group — and that’s not saying much — it’s a big, big problem.
OFFENSIVE LINE: D-
Harry Hiestand’s unit continued its inconsistent play on Sunday, failing to pick up a handful of stunts while allowing pressure in Trubiskiy’s face too frequently. The run blocking was not reliable, with Montgomery gaining 40 yards on 14 carries — take out his 17-yarder, and that’s a paltry 23 yards on 13 carries (1.8 yards/attempt).
A small positive, though: Only one of the Bears’ 10 penalties were assessed to the offensive line, and that one (a holding flag on Charles Leno Jr.) was declined.
DEFENSIVE LINE: C-
Jordan Howard’s 82 yards on 19 carries (4.3 yards per attempt) were largely the product of the Eagles’ offensive line winning matchups with the Bears’ defensive line, allowing Howard to make one cut and chew up north-and-south yards. Nick Williams’ roughing the passer penalty may have felt weak, but in today’s NFL, you can’t hit a quarterback after he releases a pass. Eddie Goldman had a sack but was flagged for a neutral zone infraction in the red zone (more on that in the next subhead).
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS: C-
Khalil Mack called Eagles center Jason Kelce’s tactic of slightly moving the ball, but not snapping it, “bulls—t,” which led to the Bears being flagged for four neutral zone infraction/offside penalties (Goldman had one, Mack had one, Aaron Lynch had two). Carson Wentz’s hard counts, though, may have had something to do with it too.
Mack did some good things despite not recording a sack, including a well-read pass breakup in the red zone. Leonard Floyd had his first sack since Week 1 but was pushed around by tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert a little too much against the run.
INSIDE LINEBACKERS: C
Danny Trevathan admitted he lost Sanders on a backbreaking 15-yard completion in the fourth quarter. The Bears had the Eagles backed into a third-and-12 with about five minutes left, and getting a stop would’ve given the ball back to the Bears’ offense with a chance to take the lead late in the fourth quarter. Instead, Trevathan got too close to the line and was not able to catch up to Sanders when he leaked out of the backfield to catch a pass from Wentz.
The Bears had three other chances to get off the field on that last Eagles’ drive only to fail to get a stop. That one, though, felt like a killer.
Trevathan and Roquan Smith otherwise were solid on Sunday. Smith has now looked much better over the last two weeks than he did after returning from his mysterious one-game absence back in Week 4.
Kyle Fuller might feel aggrieved for the dodgy pass interference flag thrown against him, and then for the non-call when Ertz shoved his helmet before catching Philadelphia’s first touchdown of the game. Prince Amukamara blew up a goal-to-go third down screen in the first half that forced the Eagles to take a chip-shot field goal, and Philadelphia’s receivers combined for only eight catches and 62 yards.
Eddie Jackson tallied a team-high 10 tackles, but was guilty of an unnecessary roughness penalty when he hit Ertz late — a penalty that looked like the product of a player’s frustrations boiling over. Both he and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix played reasonably well in coverage, and Sherrick McManis was fine when he was on the field, too.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B+
The Pat O’Donnell game! Given eight opportunities to punt, O’Donnell boomed a 72-yarder and had three drop inside the Eagles’ 20-yard line. Tarik Cohen had a nifty 24-yard punt return in the seance half, too, though Cordarrelle Patterson only mustered 34 yards on two kickoff returns. Eddy Pineiro was not given the chance to redeem himself after his game-ending miss last week.
Plenty of issues here. First: Why not go for two after the Bears’ first touchdown? Converting it would’ve dropped the Eagles’ lead to 11, and had the Bears converted another two-point try after their second touchdown, they would’ve been within a field goal of tying the game. It didn’t matter, but the difference between a 12- and 13-point lead is negligible in the second half.
Matt Nagy's playcalling still felt disjointed with a lack of rhythm, like when he called for a run to Cohen on the goal line (he got the ball to Montgomery for a touchdown one play later).
Nagy also called for a punt on fourth and six at the Eagles’ 44-yard line with Philadelphia leading 19-7 late in the third quarter. Nagy shouldn’t be wholly blamed for not trusting his offense, but it still was an example of him not coaching aggressively:
CHI decided to punt to PHI from the PHI 44 on 4th & 6 with 2:46 remaining in the 3rd while losing 7 to 19.— Surrender Index (@surrender_index) November 3, 2019
With a Surrender Index of 19.45, this punt ranks at the 98th percentile of cowardly punts of the 2019 season, and the 97th percentile of all punts since 2009.
While some of the Bears’ issues with penalties were the product of some gamesmanship from Kelce, that the Bears gained nine yards in the first half and had eight penalties was an atrocious look for this entire team, coaches included.