It’d probably be wise for the Bears to stay away from any ‘boxing match’ analogy for a few games. It’s strange to remember that at one point on Sunday, they were in prime position to take a 17-3 lead into halftime. Instead, timeouts were called (fine), soft coverage was played (less fine), punches were thrown (even less fine) and the Bears – who did, to their credit, manage to get the game into overtime – let a winnable game slip through their fingers on a cold afternoon at Soldier Field. After the 26-23 loss to the New Orleans, here’s where the arrows are pointing:
Arrow Down – Javon Wims
You actually cannot punch people during an NFL game. I mean, I guess technically you can, but you saw what happens.
Arrow Up – Kyle Fuller
There’s a reason why Fuller continues to post Up arrows week after week. Fuller’s abilities in coverage were on display in the first half, when he perfectly defended a Drew Brees deep ball down the right sideline intended for Deonte Harris. His abilities in run coverage showed up only a few plays later, when he made great tackle on Tommylee Lewis one yard short of the sticks on 3rd-and-6. He *did* draw yet another (kind of soft) costly pass interference flag – one that gave New Orleans a first down on their touchdown-scoring drive to end the first half. The Bears will live with the flags, though, as long as Fuller keeps playing at this level.
Arrow Down – Cordarrelle Patterson
Patterson’s quiet day isn’t entirely his fault – the Saints clearly remembered his kickoff return against them in 2019 and were hell bent on not repeating that; the Bears specialist only had three returns for 44 yards (avg 14.7 per). He wasn’t much of an option on offense, either, finishing the night with one rush for four yards. Patterson also got flagged for a false start on a punt in the 3rd quarter, pushing Pat O’Donnell and company back to their own 13, which, coincidentally enough, was where Deonte Harris would return it to seconds later.
Arrow Up – Darnell Mooney
Five catches, 69 yards, and a touchdown. He just keeps getting better and better. Imagine if he played with even league-average QB production. Then again, maybe don’t.
Arrow Down – Nick Foles
Outside of one half of football in Atlanta, Foles has played poorly this year, and that’s probably putting it lightly. His performance on Sunday was tough to watch at times, and his stat line (28 completions for 272 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) is fairly misleading. He spent the day behind one of football's worst offensive lines, but he took more than a couple ill-advised sacks and the decision-making left a lot to be desired. Here’s where Bears fans are currently: in a 16-13 game midway through the 3rd quarter, fans were calling for Mitch Trubisky to come in because the game, at that point, was still winnable.
Arrow Down – Rashaad Coward
It was bad:
Hon. Mention Up – Allen Robinson; Roquan Smith; Cairo Santos
Hon. Mention Down – Matt Nagy; the game plan for Taysom Hill; Bear Weather’s impact